Be a better parent and spouse than your parents were – even if they were great – but especially if they were not
Most people know that their parents greatly influenced them but few people really understand how influential a parent is – that is until they have tried to undo faulty beliefs that were ingrained within them during childhood. Faulty beliefs come in many forms but some of the most common are thoughts that tell us we are doomed to fail, are too thin/too fat, can not succeed, won’t find a spouse or have a loving marriage, will never be as good as an older or younger sibling and the list goes on. Think to yourself about what statements your parents repeatedly said to you while growing up and ask yourself if you would say those same things to a child.
If you were blessed with great parental/marriage role models, then you are lucky but still try to improve in ways that will bless you and your loved ones. However, if you are like many of us and lived with not so great role models, don’t give up hope that you can feel better about yourself and not repeat the hurt that you experienced.
There is a wonderful book called “Toxic Parents: Overcoming their hurtful legacy and reclaiming your life” by Dr. Susan Forward. I highly recommend this book for anyone who feels that they may have been raised by a toxic parent. There are specific steps that can be taken to heal what is still painful, set boundaries with living toxic parents and reclaim the truth about yourself.