What We Learn from Our Parents


What We Learn from Our Parents

There are a lot of things we learn from our parents. Mostly we learn how the world treats us. If as a child, you were scolded, you might learn that the world is harsh. If you were yelled at, you might become angry. And if your parents just expected things silently, but you knew you had to comply, you might become quiet too and harsh on yourself.

Psychologists often examine how people grew up to get clues about how we operate as an adult. And as a therapist I know this is always a fruitful search, and it proves helpful when I work with people addressing their issues while in counseling.

Our Parents Shape Our History and Memories

We learn from our parents, sometimes picking up their hobbies or otherwise expanding the breadth of what we enjoy.

But this article is not about that. I want to write about something else that we get from our parents, and those are some of the things that mold us. I thought of this recently while hearing classical music.

My mother loves classical music. I think she would rather listen to this music than any other music on earth. As a little girl, I remember being made to attend classical concerts with her. I didn’t like these events. They were uninteresting to me, and I did not feel a connection to the evening, the music, or my mother.

And yet, something happened to me while attending these concerts. I remembered them. As I grew into an adult I went to classical concerts on occasion and even bought some classical music. Currently, my husband and I see orchestras perform regularly.

So, you see, something got planted. I had the occasion to think about this recently while listening to a classical radio station pledge drive. Pledge drives are where the people from the station ask listeners to donate money. On this day, the person talking to listeners said, “Tell us about someone that helped you understand this music.”

Our Parents Pass On Their Tastes and Comforts

We learn from our parents. Thank you, mom.

The question brought me right back to the moment of being a little girl and attending those concerts with my mother. It also brought me into my heart, because my mother loved me enough to do this for me. I didn’t like those concerts. I was probably mad at my mother too. But now, as an adult, I can see the wisdom of her actions.

Classical music was her refuge, her church, her joy. Maybe those were the seeds she planted in me. And I am grateful she did. Maybe you can see some of the things your parents provided you that are important for you today.

It doesn’t matter how the message is delivered. What matters is whether it is meaningful to you now. For me, it was. Thank you, Mom.


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