I recently saw a quote: “It’s your parents' job to raise you. Your adult relationship with them is their performance review.” It got me thinking about how sad, harsh, but true is this quote.
When we grow up, we look up to our parents, see them as our rock, count on them, and believe they are there to love and protect us. And some parents do that. They love, protect, cherish and raise us wholeheartedly, with our best interests in mind. Unfortunately, not all parents do that, or not everything they think is good for us it really is. Sometimes, some parents believe they know best, and their kids are meant to listen to them undoubtedly, because, in the end, kids are kids, and what do they know?
The problem with this kind of parenting is that it can either raise insecure grown-ups, who don’t know how to stand for themselves, or who are manipulated by other authorities in their lives, such as their teachers, bosses, or even romantic partners. On the other hand, this parenting style can raise unhappy kids that will want to fulfill all their childhood dreams with the hopes of healing their past. Very often, some of these adults have an addiction, such as an eating disorder, a drug or an alcohol addiction, and so on.
These adults haunted by the authoritarian relationship with their parents can, and statistics tell us, they even do so, estrange from their parents. In many cases, they decide to “break up” with their parents after trying and failing to communicate their pain. Because the authoritarian parents are still the parents, and they still know best. With that in mind, every time their adult children try to have an adult conversation with them, the parents shut down their active listening skills, so they can’t hear a word.
On another side of the spectrum are the abusive parents, who were too preoccupied with their own life, addictions, lack of success, etc. These parents don’t even try to build a good life for their children. They fail at offering a decent livelihood for their young kids, and their own misery takes over kids’ security and even physical integrity. Some of these parents were raised with abuse, and now, once they’ve become adults, it’s their turn to abuse. In other cases, abusive parents can have some mental illness, hindering them from making the right decisions or living a decent life. Adults raised in a toxic environment, surrounded and exposed to abuses, have a high likelihood of becoming abusers themselves once becoming grown-ups. Very few cases of these kids grow up to break the pattern, but this comes hand in hand with leaving behind their abusers and living a life far away from their parents.
So yes, as the quote says, our adult relationship with our parents is their performance review. And if the review has less than 5*, this is a hefty price to pay on both sides of the story.
As a mom-wanna-be, all I can hope is that I will constantly try to work with myself, be as better as a human being as possible, and receive a five-star review from my future kids.