Is this statement True or False? Childish behavior is the opposite of adult behavior.
Well … do we ever fully let go of our childhood experiences—joyful or sorrowful? Either we expose them for all to see and hear, or we hide hide them so no one sees or hears about them. Regardless, our personal childhood experiences color nearly everything we do as adults.
The older I become, the more I’m assured of this—that our childhood years have created a blueprint for the rest of our lives. Sometimes a good blueprint, sometimes not so good.
This is precisely why childhood itself is so important—how and where we spend it, who was there, and most especially, what were the attitudes of our parents? More than likely–unless there’s a conscious effort— we express those same attitudes with our own children.
We not only look like our parents, but we also tend to think like them—unless something causes us to rebel—and many do rebel, swearing not to be a clone of either of their parents..
Still, we may later find ourselves like them. We may corner the sheets on bed just like our mother used to do. Or we may have interest in a particular sports team as our father did. Interiorly, we may have learned to solve problems the same as one or the other of our parents.
Because of our parents, we learned empathy for others, or not. We learned selfishness, or not. We put great emphasis on money, or not. We give of ourselves, or not.
As we grow into adults, we often try to forget any sorrows we may have had as children involving our parents, and our peers as well. We may even put aside the joys, too; intending to be ourselves, our own man or woman. Some who have been badly parented have success in consciously doing the opposite with their own children. But it’s not often any of us get away from the old tapes in our heads as our childhood re-plays. For better or worse, they are there.
The realization that your parents were human, and therefore, imperfect, can be tough to accept. We have a natural tendency to want to protect our parents. We even unconsciously identify with their critical attitudes toward us and often take on their disparaging points of view as our own. This internalized parent is what we refer to as one’s “critical inner voice.” It can feel threatening to separate from the people who we once relied on for care and safety.–Lisa Firestone, Ph.D, Psychology Today
Not all of us have/had mature, loving parents — and no parent is perfect. But even if our earthly parents fail, our heavenly Father never fails. Isaiah assures us, “Can a mother forget her infant, or be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)
The love of God, Our Father, is constant and unlimited. In the parable of the prodigal son, the father loves his children beyond anything they have earned–the same way He loves us.
So when the blueprint of our earthly parents fail us, and our critical inner voice is heavy to bear, we can turn to the very personal and perfect love of God to become who we were truly born to be