Anyone who has a child also gets new parents – society

This text comes from the family newsletter Süddeutsche Zeitung. You can subscribe here.

Dear reader,

It’s quite possible that you’ve already read so much about Prince Harry that you’ve finally had enough. As Panorama editor, I still have one more thought its self-disclosure campaign around the corner.

I noticed how impressively Harry emphasizes that his flight from Great Britain – and thus the break with his family of origin – was needed for one reason in particular: to protect his own family, his children. And non-royals should also know that.

When you have a child, a lot changes – often also the relationship with your own parents. Who will then become grandparents. And usually want to contribute their own experience. How often can you breastfeed? where does the baby sleep When’s the first porridge? Parents today often have different opinions on this than the parents of the past, and so there are often arguments between the generations – my colleague Lisa Harmann has described the phenomenon here and how it can be avoided.

It is only superficially about the family bed, sling or baby food. Comments like “So that’s how it’s done these days” or questions starting with “Are you sure that…?” begin, young parents mainly hear reproaches. And grandparents, on the other hand, experience it as a reproach when something is done differently than they did back then. As if that wasn’t good enough.

In fact, becoming a parent changes many people’s view of their own childhood. A friend who has just become a father recently said to me that he had only now realized how much he had lived in tacit agreement with his parents until now. Becoming a parent forces many to emancipate.

Many mothers and fathers today think deeply about what is important to them when raising children – and then realize that it was very different in their own childhood. Nevertheless, they catch themselves slipping out sentences that they got from their own parents and that they always hated. This psychological view is sharpened by the rows and rows of literature on child rearing that lies on parents’ bedside tables today, titles such as “Nest warmth that gives wings” (Stefanie Stahl) or “The book you wish your parents had read” (Philippa Perry ).

Typical thoughts then are: Oh, my normally loving mother couldn’t handle my anger. Hm, somehow it feels like nothing was ever explained to me. No, my father has really never apologized to me.

In summary: if you have children, you also get new parents, repressed feelings from your own childhood come up and everyone involved has to deal with them.

Did you feel the same there? How did your relationship with your parents change when you had children? write to me

Have a nice weekend

Elisa Britzelmeier

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