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Old 08-04-2019, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Rust'n in Tustin
2,319 posts, read 2,455,503 times
Reputation: 4313

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As I said, use your hardships to make you a better parent or grandparent.

When my father was in the hospital dying, I asked him if wanted to see some pictures of my grandkids (not his grandkids). He said, no not really.

Now when my grandkids call me or have anything to say, I give it 100% of my attention.

See, lemonade
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Old 08-04-2019, 07:55 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
20,019 posts, read 19,019,543 times
Reputation: 34062
Middle class family in an upper middle class town in the 1950s. Everybody else was rich. Father was a science teacher, mother stayed home and later worked in the school library. They bought a fixer upper house and he fixed it up. In the summer he had a huge vegetable garden and he also worked painting houses.

I rode my bike during the summer to the town pool and would stay all day. I was the oldest and the middle child was a manipulative brat. I spent a lot of time being punished for things I didn't do because of her. She always got her way and to this day, she has never worked a day in her entire life--always sponged off someone. Haven't spoken to her in years ever since my parents' deaths when she tried to get everything there was. That's a person I really despise and who made my life miserable for no good reason except to be mean.

I had a nice baby sister though and I was old enough to take care of her and play mommy. She was only a little girl when I went away to college and I wanted to take her with me to save her from the mean middle sister.

I used to babysit a lot all over town to get spending money. The good parts were having a huge backyard to play in, going to a really good high school where I got to not only have great teachers but got to take art four times a week. Wanted to major in art history but my parents wouldn't allow it because you need to be able to make money once you get out of college. I have to mention, I had the most wonderful grandparents and was lucky enough to know my grandfather until he died when I was 7 and my grandmother who died when I was in my twenties. On the other side, the grandparents died young.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:13 PM
 
Location: Gulf Coast
1,170 posts, read 659,607 times
Reputation: 2278
I grew up in a blue collar household and Dad worked faithfully. I think we were poorer than I realized at the time. We didn't have a lot of stuff back then, but it could have been worse. No physical or mental abuse but when I think back I think of the emotional distance I felt as I grew older. Dad was simply "there". We did some fun things together, but not a lot and what bothers me the most is when I developed a health problem in my younger teen years nobody helped me understand or cope with it.



As I grew up we became less and less close.. it's funny the things we miss when we're older... and it's unfortunate how those things are the hardest to give our own families later on. Mom didn't work or drive and she struggled with huge shyness and fear of people. Both parents did not have intact healthy families to support them growing up, so I suppose they did the best they could with us.


I am close and friendly with my only sibling and we make a point to tell each other "I love you". Reading all the stories here, I know my childhood could have been much worse.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:35 PM
JRR
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
3,726 posts, read 2,252,326 times
Reputation: 5338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Answers View Post
I grew up in a blue collar household and Dad worked faithfully. I think we were poorer than I realized at the time. We didn't have a lot of stuff back then, but it could have been worse. No physical or mental abuse but when I think back I think of the emotional distance I felt as I grew older. Dad was simply "there". We did some fun things together, but not a lot and what bothers me the most is when I developed a health problem in my younger teen years nobody helped me understand or cope with it.



As I grew up we became less and less close.. it's funny the things we miss when we're older... and it's unfortunate how those things are the hardest to give our own families later on. Mom didn't work or drive and she struggled with huge shyness and fear of people. Both parents did not have intact healthy families to support them growing up, so I suppose they did the best they could with us.


I am close and friendly with my only sibling and we make a point to tell each other "I love you". Reading all the stories here, I know my childhood could have been much worse.
My older sister and I have taken to saying "I love you" when we are on the phone. She is a bit more comfortable with it than I am. Guess it is from all those years of never hearing it when I was growing up.

I agree with you about the stories here. After reading all of them, it has made me look at my childhood through a different lens. While it was not Father Knows Best or Leave it to Beaver, it certainly could have been much worse.
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Old 08-04-2019, 10:38 PM
 
10,832 posts, read 8,114,679 times
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I'm grateful for the myriad of mistakes my parents and older siblings unwittingly made, and for the lessons about forgiveness and redemption they taught me.
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Old Yesterday, 12:32 AM
 
Location: San Diego
161 posts, read 151,056 times
Reputation: 674
Ernest Hemingway's famous quote: “What is the best early training for a writer? An unhappy childhood.” Pretty cynical . . . and I can’t imagine he was much of a parent!

It strikes me how many of these responses trend negative, abuse and/or neglect, and so on.

My case seems a bit more unique, but maybe it isn’t. No abuse, alcohol problems, etc., but there was emotional neglect. My father was a small town minister (yes, me and my sibs were under the microscope) and my mother was stay-at-home.

But three major events sent our home life over the edge. Early in the marriage, my mother had a foolish affair that drove a spike into the marriage. But ministers didn’t divorce back then.

Second, my father, in his 30s, had a freak accident that put him in a wheelchair for life. But he continued to work and be the breadwinner.

Lastly, my mother deteriorated into a clinically depressed, obese, isolated adult who died of emphysema at 62. I’ve thought so often of how people didn’t seek or receive mental health services back then. She definitely should have received medication and counseling; instead, her last years were just plain miserable.

When I was old enough to get out and go to college, I escaped and seldom went back.

My observations nowadays are that the younger generation parents are doing a more conscientious, dedicated job than my own parents' generation did.
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Old Yesterday, 04:12 AM
 
Location: Washington State
18,923 posts, read 9,749,807 times
Reputation: 16134
I read through most of these posts and wow, some people had it rough and had to suck it up. It makes me so thankful to have had loving though not perfect parents that made the effort. All of my siblings and I (6 of us) have had a good life and all still really close.
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Old Yesterday, 04:43 AM
 
2,064 posts, read 1,968,213 times
Reputation: 3492
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand&Salt View Post
Pretty idyllic in the orange groves of SoCal. I had a pony and we'd gallop up and down the Santa Ana river bed, then later riding in the hills above Orange. No parents knew where we were: riding our bikes to the library or friends' houses. My dad put grandparents in a house nearby with a pool we frequented.

We got to go to Disneyland and take a day off school for our birthdays. Back then, it wasn't crowded and tickets were like $12, LOL.

Our extended family was very close and we had a summer home in rural MN where we'd all get together.

We were very respectful though---no talking back or yelling. Church 3 times a week. Nobody smoked, drank or swore; nobody argued. 52 cousins we grew up with.
Same here, starting in my teens I rode my bike all over without telling anyone where I was going as I was just exploring, and no parents knew or worried about where I was. Of course I always got back for dinner and no questions were asked.

Last edited by fumbling; Yesterday at 05:17 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 12:57 PM
Status: "Life is good!" (set 16 hours ago)
 
Location: Kronenwetter Wisconsin
303 posts, read 145,019 times
Reputation: 630
It was excellent. Grew up in Chicago with 2 loving parents. We didn't have a lot material wise but we were loved. Always took a few vacations a year. Dad worked, mom stayed home. Chicago was a great place to grow up. In summer swimming at the beach almost every day. Venturing over to Wrigley to watch the Cubs play. Going to the museums, since they were all free with my friends. Going to the zoo. Playing outside until the street lights came on.
We were blessed.
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Old Yesterday, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Rust'n in Tustin
2,319 posts, read 2,455,503 times
Reputation: 4313
I remember one time when I was a kid, the maid and the chauffeur both took the same day off. Oh the humanity.

Seriously, I'm glad you are getting it off your chests, but life goes on. No one is saying it doesn't suck, but turn it into a positive.

Treat your kids and grandkids that much better.
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