“Each generation wants new symbols, new people, new names. They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors”- Jim Morrison
I recently started thinking about this idea that we use our parenthood to right some kind of wrong acted upon to us by your parents. How many times have you heard people say things like “I just want to give them what I never had”? I personally hear it all the time. Parents vow to: spend more time with their kids, not get divorced, be supportive of their kids career choices, never raise their voice, always say sorry and I love you, and – my personal favourite – give their kids all the toys, holidays and other goodies that their parents couldn’t afford when they were growing up.
I can’t say I am not guilty of believing in the same idealistic notion of ‘parental evolution’. I believe I said to my husband this evening that I would like my child to have a sibling because I never had a true sibling (from the same mother AND father). The funny thing is that people with true siblings rarely see the value that I have assigned to it, and tend not to appreciate it. Why would they? It is just normal for them. And the same goes for parents that say I love you or sorry or stay together.
So, having said that, would my child value having a sibling in the way that I would have? Well the answer to that is of course, a big NO. And I will tell you why. I am assuming that my child will want what I wanted, and although that might be the case, it’s not a certainty. Perhaps she will want richer parents. Who knows? So it’s not a perfect case of parent evolution.
I imagine that if it were really that simple, and we were all successfully righting the wrongs of our parents, and them their parents, we would all be pretty perfect parents by now. Which of course we aren’t.