Biologically, we enter this world with at least 2 parents, but from there, it varies greatly how much they are or aren’t involved in our lives. Parents that are involved with their children also vary in how skilled they are at parenting. For some kids, it would be better if their parents hadn’t been so involved. In any case, however, no matter how many parents you had, of what ilk, by the time you reach 30 years of age, it’s time to stop focusing on your parents and start being your own good parent.
Under the age of 30, we predominantly learn by what happens to us. We learn by what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell directly. We try things out. We experiment. We make mistakes. We make good choices. We watch and see what happens when we make decisions. We learn almost purely by experience. However, after the age of 30, we develop the ability to benefit from other peoples’ experiences without having to have that exact experience ourselves. We can read self-help books and learn from them. We can go to therapy and take therapeutic advice. We can join support groups and learn from those who have successfully navigated similar perils. It is time to start learning to parent ourselves if we have never been fully parented appropriately.
Think about what sort of parent or parents you wish you had and be that sort of parent to yourself. If you wish you had parents that took you to Disneyland and took photos of you having fun and bought you Mickey Mouse ears, seriously consider planning a trip to Disneyland for yourself with a couple of good friends who would take pictures of you, and wear Mickey Mouse ears with you as well.
If you wish you had parents that would listen to your problems and really care about them, then make a point of really listening to yourself and caring about yourself. When you are in a bad situation, don’t ignore yourself. Pay attention to the fact that you’re unhappy and do something about it for yourself. Rescue yourself from bad situations like you wish your parents would have rescued you when you were a child.
If you wish you had parents who would hold and hug and comfort you when you are sad, you need to allow yourself to experience being held and hugged and comforted when you are sad now. If your romantic partner cannot or will not do this for you, be a good parent to yourself and re-evaluate your choice of romantic partners. Have you chosen someone as un-affectionate as your own parents? If so, you may need to admit to yourself that that was a bad choice and that you may need to choose someone who can hold and comfort you when you need it. Not involved in a romantic relationship? Check out your friends. If you don’t have a friend who could hug you and hold you if you needed to cry, figure out why you don’t have any good friends and make a point to meet some higher quality people than the folks you’ve surrounded yourself with. Good parents help their kids make good choices in friendships. You need to do that for yourself now.
Nevermind that you didn’t have the perfect parents or the parents you wanted or that your parents were hideous, rotten people. It’s time now to be your own good parent and take care of yourself the way you’ve always deserved to be taken care of.