Every family has different views on parenting, expectations, and personal involvement. My family is no exception to this policy. We all have our own defined parenting styles and ways of doing things with our children. I believe my childhood was relatively traditional and not really exceptional in any way. My family structure would be considered traditional. I grew up with both of my parents and one older brother. My father owned his own business and my mother stayed home with us kids. We lived near my father’s parents so they were in our lives a lot. Growing up with an older brother often led to sibling rivalries which are rivalries that “can occur, with siblings competing or quarreling with one another” (Feldman, 2022, p. 341). My brother and I are about two years apart. Growing up we often fought. I was the baby in the family as he always said I could do no wrong. I often thought he got more attention and freedom than I did. I can remember being so upset that he got to go out and do things and I couldn’t. Now that I have my own children I see things differently. I can see the sibling rivalries between my children and often give the same excuses my parents used. I get the whole but she gets to or he gets to and I find myself looking back into the same situations I was in with my brother. According to Feldman, “in some cases, perceived favoritism not only leads to sibling rivalry, but may damage the self-esteem of the younger sibling” (Feldman, 2011, p. 341). I try my best now to explain my reasons to my children to make sure I do not affect their self-esteem.
If I had to give my parents a parenting style I would have to represent them both differently. As for my mother she was sort of an authoritative parent which are “parents who are firm, setting clear and consistent limits, but try to reason with their children, explaining why they should behave in a particular way” (Feldman, 2011, p. 258). My mother set limits for us and always gave us explanations as to why we were in trouble or why we needed to behave a certain way. She was emotionally supportive to both me and my brother but also allowed us our independence. She had high hopes and dreams for both of us and was not afraid to express them. My father on the other hand was an uninvolved parent which are parents who “show virtually no interest in their children, displaying indifferent, rejecting behavior. They are detached emotionally and see their role as no more than feeding, clothing, and providing shelter for their child” (Feldman, 2011 p. 258). He did not reject us but he did not necessarily seem to care that much about what went on with us kids. My father and I had a very poor relationship which we are still working on to this day. He is not an emotional man and to this day I have only seen him cry one time and that was when his father passed away. I watched him chop a finger off right in front of my face and not shed a tear. He saw himself as more of the provider for the family and with his business he was constantly preoccupied. He was there but not really there in the sense of the word.
To be honest I cannot really remember much from my childhood as far as how my parents affected my development. I remember key events like at age three I almost died of neurphrotic syndrome. I can remember the physical feelings and the taste of the medicines I endured for years afterward. A lot of my family did not believe that I could remember something that happened at that age. Studies have shown however that is not true. “At the time of a traumatic event, the mind makes many associations with the feelings, sights, sounds, smells, taste, and touch connected with the trauma. Later, similar sensations may trigger a memory of the event (The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, 2014). Looking back on my life I think that the best thing that my family did for me was to leave me alone and let me be…