The Perception of Parents As Parents

There's nothing better than being a parent.

Three generations

I read some research on children and parents that has kept me thinking about myself, my children and parents, and bringing it up with others. There were two major points. One, children perceive their parents as the parents they were, raising their family. I’ve often felt that way that my children still relate to me as a parent and Mom, which makes sense, but as the same Mom I was when they were growing up. They now have children of their own.

The research went on to say that the only time adult children relate to the parent as aging and changing is if a serious disease or injury occurs. Then there is a huge adjustment required and the children step into the role of parenting the parent.

When I run that by my friends with children, everyone agrees it is true. However, when I ran it by a friend without children, the response was, “No way. I am very aware of my maturing along with my parents. I certainly have way more consideration for them than ever before. Finally, we are all adults.”

Ready Ruthie

Ruthie Working in the Gift Shop

A second point was that losing a parent leaves a huge hole that cannot be filled. I was so close with my parents that when my father died, a few friends said that they always thought my parents and I shared a house or that they lived very close by, maybe next door or upstairs or downstairs. I talked about Ruthie and Nat so often that peers and acquaintances were very surprised to learn that my family was eight and a half hours away in Richmond, Virginia.

Funny, reading the research made me ponder and consider, but I’m not sure what to do with the information. What do you think?


No tags
2 Responses
  • Lenore
    March 13, 2019

    Always love to read you – like a conversation we don’t often get to have. One thing about parents came to my from Jerome. I asked him why my mother’s opinion seems to matter more to me now that she’s gone – he said, it is because now her voice coming from me, from my own brain.

    • Sheryl Kayne
      March 13, 2019

      Lenore, so great to hear from you! It was so lovely today relaunching my blog! You two are so great — brilliant question and response. Yes, we are bringing back our mothers’ words in our heads and voices. There was one expression of Ruthie’s that I never liked, so I never used it with my children and still don’t! But there are other expressions that I didn’t realize I have taken on as my own. Friends and family are happy to hear them continuing to be used and heard! One was her simple signature on every card or letter she sent: Love and Kisses, Ruth