Written by Valiant Living Recovery on Friday, February 21st, 2020
There is no doubt you have seen your parents gush over their grandchildren, your kids. You have probably seen them act completely different than how you were raised. When your parents are dealing with your children, you see them being patient, caring, pleasant, generous, and sober which blows your mind. As you grew up, you felt like you received corporal punishments on a daily basis from your under the influence parents; you only heard “no” about everything you wished to receive, and felt like you could not gain their attention enough since all they cared about was drugs and alcohol. Even if your perception is the absolute truth, there are some ways to be grateful for the experience your children are getting with their grandparents – your parents.
Most parents want their kids to have a better chance at life than what they were offered. You may resent them unknowingly because they have the relationship that you always wanted to have with your parents which is a step in the right direction for the entire family. Do not let your envy keep you from realizing that you are giving your kids something better than you once had.
Although you are probably sick of hearing, they did the best they could with what they had, maybe you should consider this philosophy. You may see your parents as older people, but they were once young and trying to figure out the ways of life – including how to raise children. While this is not a justification of bad behavior, if you could put yourself in their shoes at the age they were when they had you, you may see that they were doing the best they could at the age they were at. Wisdom comes from studying and when you were younger, they may not have understood the degree to which they were hurting you. At this point, you should give them the benefit of the doubt and start moving forward instead of backward.
This would be a great time to grant your parents some forgiveness for the past. As you hold on to what could have been, you are modeling unhealthy rivalry for your kids. Families that stick together let go of mistakes, learn from them, and use them as a source of growth. By badmouthing their grandparents, you are teaching them to speak unkindly of others and make them feel defensive and defenseless in relationships that are meant to be nurturing. Hold your tongue and emotions to process with other adults such as a therapist, close friend, pastor, or a sponsor. You are allowed to feel how you feel but finding a better outlet through forgiveness will be beneficial for everyone involved.
As you see your kids having the relationship that you always wanted to have, you may find yourself becoming jealous of the success of the relationship. You may find yourself feeling utterly disgusted with how you got gypped during your childhood and need to turn that envy into something positive. Go to therapy and talk out your frustrations with a therapist or work the 12-Steps to change your negative feelings into positive ones. The feelings you are experiencing are completely normal, but they have a place and a time. Being productive in your recovery can guide you into being happy that your children have a stable and encouraging upbringing today.
Although your parents may have been lousy examples during your upbringing, the truth is that your children are able to have loving and enjoyable relationships with their family that will give them a better chance at other relationships in the future. The foundation to which they are building is always better when they are raised in a positive, supportive, and attentive environment because they will offer your family, and the world, a better human.
Now that your parents are sober and, hopefully, working a program of recovery, you will get to see firsthand how instrumental sobriety can be. You could actually take a page out of their book. Recovery is meant to instill spiritual principles on someone who may have had a broken moral compass before. Recovery shows a person how to change their thinking and behaviors through self-examination and connecting to a Higher Power. You may also find a need to get sober from either drugs or alcohol on your own accord since addiction can be passed down or realize that you need to get your own recovery from the codependency you learned in your own childhood. Recovery is an asset to any family who wishes to remain a united front. The family can learn how to be rid of the unhealthy behaviors that corrupt them and learn how to live better together.
Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463