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Thread: Who were your parenting influences?

  1. #1
    Melody Guest

    Default Who were your parenting influences?

    Ok, your up on the podium at the 'Parent of the Year' award & everyone is looking for some words of wisdom..... who would you mention? Good & bad, tv & real people, an experience a friend had made you think "I will definately do that with my children".......

    Who are the people who most influenced the type of parent you are/are aiming to be?

    For me it was my parents first & foremost. They were actually (objectively) very good. Always appropriate in what they taught & the examples they set for us. We were safe & protected & most of all supported. HOWEVER, they were also a little 'disconnected' which I plan NOT to do.... they didn't take an interest in any extra-curricular activities & never really encouraged us to play a role in the community (sports etc)

    I also loved the mother from "Happy Days" Marian. She was stoic but gentle. My Aunty who always managed to find a positive amongst the chaos that was her life with six children & no money (she was the human form of Marge Simpson)

    The last architype of my memory was my girlfriends mum, Mrs Kirkwood, she always managed to look 'well presented'. She was really pretty & 'cool' & took time with her hair, make-up & clothes & I admired that about her when i was a child. (My mum wasn't what I would call 'current' & I was embarrased about that when i was little)

    I also really like the good sense approach of Robin Barker (Baby Love)

    Who made the biggest impression upon you & still does?

  2. #2


    Oooh, good question!

    DH and I have spoken about the type of parents we want to be, and luckily we agree, in principle, about most things (just wait until we have children and watch it all change!). So, assuming everything goes vaguely to plan...

    “I’d like to thank both our parents for teaching me how to be the best parent possible. I’d like to thank my parents for teaching me how great the world is and showing me little parts of it, something I’ve loved doing with my own children. My parents supported all my hobbies and showed me how important it was to be involved in your child’s interests. Both sets of parents encouraged healthy eating and my in-laws have shown that you can be strict and still love your children.

    “I want to mention my aunts and school friends’ mothers. All of these amazing women have shown me other ways of mothering, none of them wrong, and have helped me develop my own parenting style, different from each of theirs and incorporating all the things that made me admire them as parents when I was little.”

    (Now my speech has ended, I’d like to add that none of these people were paragons of parenting and my father’s distinct lack of interest in any of my hobbies and achievements save one, and I only took up astronomy to make him interested in me, has made me more determined to do things with my children, like helping them learn play lines, with ballet or gymnastics, go riding with them and have a big music session with them if they play instruments. I also learnt that a cool mum lets you have friends round and stays out of the way for most of the time so you don’t mind the fact that she chats to everyone over breakfast, thanks Mum and Agnes, should be allowed sweets, just not all the time, and thanks to Mum for doing that and MiL for having “no sweets ever” so I know what that does in later life. Also thanks to TV Parenting Programmes to show you just how bad it can get and what to beware of.)

    Luckily we both dislike constant TV and stimulation, so drawing, gardening, reading (and being read to), baking, playing outside and stuff like that will be a big part of what we do with our children. Again, we had this as children and can’t wait for our children to have a great childhood too!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara


    Hmmm, well, we knew who we weren't going to take parenting styles from, because we'd see other people with their kids and we'd say, 'well, were not doing that with out kids' etc.

    I certainly don't parent like my Mum thats for sure, which is probably a very bad thing to say, but as kids we had no discipline as such and things just went downhill after Mum and dad divorced. Mum was always a softie and basically let us get away with a lot. I am a lot stricter and Mum tells me I'm too hard on the kids, but I don't think I am, just more strict that what she ever was.

    I suppose the most influence has come from DH's Mum. She is not overbearing or overly enthusiastic with unwanted advice, but she is there when we need her and will offer advice when it is asked. We are trying to bring up our kids much the same as DH was brought up, ie eating as a family, set bedtimes etc and a firm but gentle hand IYKWIM?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Giving the gift of life to a friend..


    I think my parent are/were good role models...

    I have & will continue to support Maddison & Indah in any of their dreams & teach them that individuality is finr...
    Something my parents really wouldnt agree with & often say, should she be wearing, reading, doing etc this or that because it's not what other girls her age do.... I ask Maddy if thats what she likes, wants & if she says Yes then I say well that's her taste & it's her choice!

    My parents wanted us to all be the same 3 girls all alike & I think we are so different it's crazy!

    I wanted to do much more alternative things & my parents refused to allow me coz others werent doing it...
    So I snuck around doing stuff behind their backs!!!
    I will be way more open with this with my girls!!!

    Definately allowing them to be individuals... Other than that I guess they did an OK job & Dh's family are all really close & I want that for our family!!!!

  5. #5
    Debbie Lee Guest


    I'm still yet to see what my "parenting style" is going to be like because Gab is only 1 and hasn't really got to an age where discipline etc. is important (still there in small doses but, uno... not fully fledged).

    I was brought up by my mother as a single parent. On the whole she did a pretty good job (she must have.... after all, as 4 girls growing up in a single parent household, statistically at least one of us was meant to be on drugs, quit school, get preggo as a teenager etc. etc. and none of that happened).
    Mum was a bit of a stickler for discipline tho. Her way of getting us to do things was to scare us and I don't want to do that to Gabby. Mum also had a thing about us not interrupting her when she was speaking/listening to another adult. I too get annoyed when a child interrupts just for the sake of it (give me attention, Mummy!) but, sometimes, it's really important. My Mum couldn't really tell the difference. Sometimes we had really pressing issues and it was frustrating to have to stand and wait politely - it felt like we weren't really being listened to.
    We were also physically disciplined but, on several occasions, it went too far (bordering on physical abuse). I was terrified of my own mother and no child should have to feel that way.
    For those reasons, I will endeavour to steer clear of my mother's heavy-handed tactics but take on board the things that did work well. Like when she was happy to buy us alcoholic drinks once we turned 16 so that she knew exactly what we were drinking and how much. She knew that the reality was that we were going to drink regardless. I really respected the fact that she trusted us so I never abused that trust and drank only what she supplied. She also allowed us to have parties at home. This way she knew we and our friends were safe but also having a good time.
    Another thing she always did was encourage us to do our best in school but never pushed us in directions we didn't want to go. She would guide us but not ever force us to do things just because it was what she wanted. I wasn't very partial to maths or science so she didn't kick up a stink when my marks weren't all that good. Instead, she encouraged me and praised me in subjects that I liked (and, thus, had good grades). She did say that she would like us all to finish high school so that our options were open for us. That was her only condition.

    My Dad's influence has not rubbed off at all. He was a pretty good Dad up until I was 10 when he and Mum split up for good. We then didn't see him for more than a couple of weeks on 2 occasions in 8 years. When he came to live in Geelong, his new wife and her family became the focus of his attention and we were pretty much forgotten (though he will argue that!).

    I really would like to take hints and tips from those Mums who have a good relationship with their kids. We have a couple of friends that have grown kids that just love to visit them and spend time with them. I'd be really interested to take a leaf out of their book. Obviously they were doing something pretty amazing if their kids want to be around them all the time.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    My parents and DH's have pretty different parenting styles, I think I'd like to just take on board what I think I like from everyone, and see what works for us.

    Dad was the authorative, disciplinarian when it came to school work, 'behaving' ourselves etc, but would help us clean our rooms by hiding all the mess under the bed and in the cupboard, and get up at 4am 4 times a week to drive us to swimming training.

    Mum was more open, easier to talk to, but very highly strung (I get that from her).

    We weren't allowed to have part time jobs because it would adversely affect our grades. A lot of emphasis was placed on doing well in school and going to uni, I think because mum finished only form 5, and dad failed by 1% (above 90 in all subjects, but failed English by 1% cos he didnt like reading)

    As a result I would get really stressed bout getting a bad mark on a test (anything below a B being a bad mark at our place), even in primary school. I remember crying in grade 3 cos I got a maths problem wrong.

    They can't have been that bad though. I didn't move out until I was 23, my brother when he was 24, and we go over there at least 2-3 times a week.

    I think if we were a TV family, it'd be the wonder years.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia


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