There's an anthem I hear a lot. It's a fight song that's a few bars after adolescent angst, and it goes like this ... "I will NOT raise my kids the way my parents raised me. Nope. I won't."
For some it's an ideology based in reaction to actual harm done to them in childhood. For others it's a philosophical desire to deviate from norms thought to be antiquated or restrictive. Whatever it is, though, most of us say it.
I've said it, too.
Before I had kids, that is.
But now I realize the truth in that statement: I WILL never be like my parents.
That's not to denounce the way I was raised or magnify their mistakes, it's just that I am a wholy separate person living with a new set of expectations.
Here's how I think it breaks out:
At my age my parents already had kids in their 'tweens.
They had clergy their parents and their physcians to go to for advice.
They winged it.
They acted like they knew the answers (even if they didn't)
For all intents and purposes they were The Adults.
At the age they had me I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
I don't know what's best for everyone.
I have my parents, physicians, Google, Internet support groups, about a zillion self-help manuals to go to for advice.
I still have to wing it and pretend I know what I'm doing.
For all intents and purposes my parents are still The Adults.