Parental Influence

By Nick Campbell:

The lessons from our parents stick with us for a long time. For some of us it’s into our adults years, but for some they stop at the teen years and we form our views and opinions. Whether they do or not normally depends on how strong of an influence our parents actually had. You can look at a long range of issues from cheating, dating, manners, and others to see how parental influences come in hand. Sometimes they aren’t obvious, they can be subliminal with the mother who teaches her daughter all men ain’t shit. Or the man who teaches his son to treat women badly based on the example he sets, this is of course the more obvious example. They all play a role. So today we explored some different scenarios where they come to a head. Things like the lessons taught, or the ways we interact with our parents new love interests. We also asked about how men raised by single mothers still have trouble adapting to dealing with women. Below is the discussion that took place…

Growing up what lessons about dating do you recall from your parents?

A simple question yet complex and diverse range of answers flowed in. We all have different lessons that were taught from our parents. I did notice a change in the tone when the father was involved. For example: “Monica” said: “Never let a guy pull up to the house and blow his horn. He doesn’t respect you or your parents if he even tries it. I teach my daughter that to this day!” A simple but powerful cautionary tale about how a man should never just roll up to your house and honk the horn. By them not coming up to your door to greet you or meet your parents is an obvious sign of disrespect.

With so many young men being raised by single moms, why do so many of them end up treating women badly? Despite what they saw with their mothers, it still happens? Why?

Is the lack of fathers in the household contributing to this disturbing trend? It could be, if you look at the way a lot of young men are brought up. The lack of a male figure in the household can definitely play a role in the way he treats a woman as a man. There are plenty of ways to fill the void if the father is not there. Your uncle, grandfather, teachers, mentors, pastors, Imam’s, ETC the list goes on and on. So although this contributes to it, this trend can be stopped and you can control it in your household. As “Laronda” puts it: “a woman’s influence in a mans life only goes so far; while we can teach independence, instill spirituality, create an atmosphere for education/learning, and teach them right from wrong….it is only from other “men” where boys learn to be “men”….

When you were younger, and if you grew up with separated parents, did your parents date other people? If so, how did you interact with those other people? Was there friction or harmony?

This is a topic that many people struggle with, mostly because we are all affected by it in different ways. Some can move on and be ok with mom/dad’s new love life. To others it can be a little jarring and have static about it. And trust me the other person can feel that friction coming from the children. And it’s not really the child’s fault nor is it the other lover’s fault for being in the picture. The challenge is finding that middle ground to have harmony in the relationship versus friction.

Growing up were you ever aware that one of your parents was cheating on the other? If so, how did it affect your relationship with them? If not, how “would” you handle it?

We all know that uncomfortable and grossed out feeling of catching our parents having sex. Can you imagine getting that same feeling and have it multiplied by 100 because that isn’t your dad on top of mom? Think about the mental trauma put on kids who have the unfortunate experience of catching their parents not only in the act, but in the act with another person. How would you handle a situation like that? It’s hard to say until you are faced with that. How did some of our readers handle it? “Rhonda” said: “Yes. Both of my parents were cheating. I told on my mom but for some reason I never told on my dad. It didn’t come between them though. I gave my dads “jump-off” HELL whenever she came around!” And “Ebonee” said: “I was young didn’t really know what was going on but we were going to a hotel, and “uncle” showed up. *shrugs* (some things you do in front of a child(ren) you shouldn’t do, b/c a child has a VIVID memory of what’s going on)”

So clearly we are all affected in different ways in which our parents influence taught us. The only thing we can really do is to move forward and take them for what they are: Lessons. And you can take them and apply them however you choose. It’s the most powerful aspect of adulthood: the ability to make choices for ourselves. You know what they say you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family!!

I hope you enjoyed our discussion.

Till next time TRP!!




About Nick Campbell

Nick Campbell has written 163 post in this blog.

A modern day gentleman who loves to explore all aspects of relationships and discuss problems this new generation faces in love. Born and raised in the Bay Area, well traveled and cultured. Single Dad, tech connoisseur and news junkie. Drop a line if there is something you'd like discussed!