Children Take You Back to Your Childhood

I don’t know why this happens but whenever I write a post on a subject, I start finding material for more posts on the same subject. Right after I finished writing my most recent post, I alighted on an article on parenthood that offered the following insight:

Children give the first four years of your life back to you.

This is a very important statement not only because it’s true but also because it explains very neatly why many people are terrified of having children. The first three years of our lives are crucial in that they lay the foundation of our personalities and of all the issues that will plague us in adulthood until we address them actively. Seeing a small child brings back to many of us the feelings that we had at that child’s age and that we have successfully repressed. The more we were traumatized by our earliest experiences, the more intolerable the sight of a small child will be. It’s one thing when the child in question is somebody else’s. Then, the anxiety can be dealt with, at least to a degree. However, seeing a child who is one’s own makes it difficult not to imagine it as a continuation of oneself, which makes one relive the traumatic early childhood experiences.

5 thoughts on “Children Take You Back to Your Childhood

  1. “The first three years of our lives are crucial in that they lay the foundation of our personalities and of all the issues that will plague us in adulthood until we address them actively.”

    Parenting doesn’t affect personality much in the long run, unless a child is seriously neglected. But once the basic needs are met, one style of parenting is as good as another.

    Most of our personality comes from our genetics. An adopted child will inherit far more personality from her genetic parents than her adopted parents. The book “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids” explores the nature vs nurture question from every angle, and nature wins in the end.

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    1. “Parenting doesn’t affect personality much in the long run, unless a child is seriously neglected. But once the basic needs are met, one style of parenting is as good as another.”

      -This is beginning to get tiresome. Yes it does affect and it isn’t as good as another.

      ‘The book “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids” explores the nature vs nurture question from every angle, and nature wins in the end.”

      -I don’t dispute your right to rely on this text. Please respect my right to rely on different sources. I don’t think that people who believe that parenting has nothing to do with its result will find anything of interest on the discussions about parenting we have on this blog. There are way too many places as it is that discuss this idea that I find to be extremely strange. I don’t want my blog to become one of them. I’m not Dr. Phil.

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  2. while it is true that I’ve relived way too many childhood dramas (not sure I’d go so far as trauma) this time of year (halloween throug xmas) I’m reminded more of the good ways children allow you to see the world again through children’s eyes. They are so excited about the celebrations.

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  3. This is something I finally figured out: that one is structured by one’s parents’ childhood traumas, it’s very weird. It’s as though everything were haunted.

    There’s also the effect of one’s parents’ stories. I know a couple of people whose parents will not discuss the past and who wish they would but suddenly I realize why they don’t: they do not want to infect, so to speak, with sadness.

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