How Have Your Parents Influenced You?

The parent-child relationship is an important one for most people. Can you think of ways you have been influenced by your parents?

The first relationship that we have is with our mother, followed shortly by our father. For most people, they remain of primary importance throughout our development and into adolescence.

Because of this, the relationship we have with our parents helps to define who we are, what we believe, and often how we think and what we like.

Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What makes you you?’ We also discuss another question as well, ‘What gives a person value?’

Of course, that fact might also lead to problems. There is a reason that many therapy sessions deal with understanding the way we were treated growing up, and how it might impact our behavior as adults. Additionally, many people end up with romantic partners that have behaviors similar to a parent.

Some people have a complicated relationship with their mother and/or their father. Even if you don’t, you can probably trace some of your likes and dislikes, as well as some of your beliefs, to one or both of your parents.

How have your parents influenced you?

Related questions: How are you just like your parents? Why do we like what we like? What makes you you? What is your favorite childhood memory?

2 thoughts on “How Have Your Parents Influenced You?”

  1. Of course, my parents have influenced me in many ways. Today, I will share just one example from each of them for which I am very grateful.

    My mom taught me how and encouraged me to garden. In fact, if I remember correctly, I grew some veggies in my own little plot a few months before I was ten. Years later, my mom (and my Arcadia dad) let me return home to rural Wisconsin for one summer to grow enough vegetables and to forage fruits to fill a large chest freezer. And years after that, after I switched to heirlooms, Mom encouraged me even more by telling me how beautiful the garden pics I shared on Facebook were.

    My Minneapolis dad taught me the value of being direct. Not one to beat around the bush, he demonstrated how frankness or straight talk was the most efficient and effective way to be understood. He didn’t do this by actively teaching me; he did it through example. Sometimes, I could improve at it, but I try–hopefully doing so with kindness and grace.

    Lastly, my Arcadia dad is really good at encouraging people to do the things that excite them. When I was pretty young, I got a cheap camera. I loved taking pictures. Back then, you had to mail your roll of film to a processing company. I loved going to the mailbox to see if my prints were shipped back. Dad would seemingly enjoy looking at the photos as much as I did when they were. Today, he continues to encourage me, as I already mentioned with my mom, by talking to me about my garden pics on Facebook.

  2. Mom was depressed and remote and Dad was strict and narcissistic. So, emotionally, neither connection helped me much.

    But they both gave me scientific perspective and rationality and logic, and my mom gave me love of classical music and literature and my dad gave me love of Science Fiction, among other things I like about myself.

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