Tag Archives: childhood memories

Success or Failure? Life scenarios we pass to our children.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

Mom’s fears and expectations are close relatives.

I have noticed long time ago this problematic relation of expectations from our children (and ourselves, our lives) along with subtle fears shall something go “wrong” (read = not as we have expected).

I see a big issue about it and take all measures to get rid of all possible future scenarios, leaving, perhaps only the frame.

Games People Play – one of my favorite

There is a very interesting book I’ve read many times by Eric Bern “Games People Play”. The author explains how we program our children (consciously or not) to a certain life scenario and how hard it is to get rid of a certain program that has been embedded into our brain since early childhood.

At the same time, the author explains (in the end of the book), that children actually do expect us, the parents, to pass them some scenarios, since these life programs structure their (children’s) time and provide a sort of guidelines to the future.

That means we cannot totally refuse to give a scenario and have zero expectations but there should be a very delicate balance between the mom’s and dad’s view of life and the child’s generic layout (these are the best words I could find to express my thought, hope it was clear).

Hence, I see my primary task as a mom to avoid destructive judgment as much as possible and moreover – avoid expecting certain behaviors, certain words and certain actions from my children – based on my personal prejudices. It’s hard and I catch myself that I enjoy it when my kids copy me in different ways. But at least I am aware, which makes things a little easier to cope with.

Success of Failure, huh?

But let’s go back to the frame of the scenario (or in other words – mom’s expectations). The frame is a binary thing – like a “success” or “failure”, while the small details consist the contents of this scenario and make it happen. I know it sounds weird to mention failure because no sane parent would wish failure scenario for their children, but some parents, unfortunately, have an unconscious tendency to failure and pass it to their offspring without thinking. Therefore, I do mention failure, as Eric Bern did in his book. I even know some “failure” cases from life, so it’s not a myth at all.

So where lies the line between constructive judgment and the freedom of children’s actions where the parents stands aside and watches no matter what it is? It’s an unresolved mystery to me, and I do my best to take the lessons life generously offers me every day.


All the good things about painful childhood memories

No matter how tough you are, no matter how grown up and mature you are, there is a little girl living in every mother. A little girl that wants love and attention, that wants to be hugged and listened to, a little girl that has her own very sacred wishes, dreams, fears and emotions.
Who is that little girl and should we, moms, do anything about her?
Especially, when there is so little time to take care of our own children.

I think this little girl deserves attention. The kind of attention she was deprived of in her real childhood. The kind of understanding she never received (lucky you, who did). She deserves to get answers to her childhood questions (lucky you, whose parents always answered your questions as honestly and openly as they could).

If I learn to take care of that girl, I will be able to better listen to my own children and become a better mom. The painful memoirs from our childhood, the insults, the moments when our parents hurt us (intentionally or not) – all this is our personal “stairway to heaven”, the key to reach a better understanding and deeper awareness in our conscious adult life.


In these moments of painful childhood memories, it helps me to make a short list of main things that hurt me most. When I shared a secret that was revealed to the whole world. When I was looking for a helpful advice but remained alone with my own doubts and fears. When I was looking for solitude but instead was disturbed and questioned. This is not a list of “things I will never do to my children”. This is only a list to remind us how wrong parents can be, how blind and insensitive they can behave, how deaf they can be to their kids.

And eventually, when I remember all the “bad” things, now, as a grown up, I feel grateful. I know it sounds weird but I do. Had it not been that sour experience of childhood betrayal, sorrow and all the big, unanswered Why’s –- –I would never become who I am now. I could have become rude and inattentive. I could have given these auto-pilot answers to my children’s questions or ask these silly auto-pilot questions and lead the most meaningless conversations with my kids. (“So, how was school today?” “Normal”).

But instead, every painful memory is a reminder, that the little girl is still there. Every time my child asks something I look in their eyes and listen carefully (even if I’m tired). Every time my child tells me something, I put my phone face down and it’s just us in the universe. My child, myself and the little girl in me, who grabs some attention on the way.