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Monkey See, Monkey Do Is All Too True

Art by Johnny Disher

All parents would like to think they're not repeating the bad behavior of their parents, but research says you probably are. Why? Our parenting style is influenced by the way we were parented. The Urban Child Institute has written a great article on this topic:

The article highlights attachment between the parent and child as the foundation for healthy development. I wasn't bonded to my father, but I was bonded to my mother. My bond with my mother paved the way for my loving relationship with my children.

Thankfully, it only takes one loving parent to help you grow up. What the article doesn't talk about is why we tend to repeat our parents lifestyle as well. Monkey see, monkey do can be all too true. Many children of alcoholics also become alcoholics themselves.

The reason I didn't become like my father is because I made a conscious choice to NOT become like him and conducted my life accordingly. One thing I've noticed in every alcoholic I've met is agitation. I can feel the agitation coming off them in waves. They aren't comfortable with themselves. I'm specifically referring to alcoholics who are not in recovery.

In addition, I didn't have the hereditary disposition to be an alcoholic. (Yes, I discussed this with a counselor and she agreed.) I do drink socially, but have no issue in stopping when I've had too much to drink. I did notice, while struggling with untreated depression, that I craved a drink or two in the evening to relax. Once I sought counseling, and received medication for depression, the urge to drink in the evening disappeared. Long walks or exercise of any kind in the evening also helped ease tension.

A healthy lifestyle can't only be addressed by something external, ie medication, counseling, a new boyfriend etc. Self-reflection is required. What I haven't mentioned thus far is my belief in God. I do believe in God, and believe he's given me the tools to succeed in life. I pray daily and receive so much comfort from praying and practicing gratefulness. "When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears" Anthony Robbins, motivational author and speaker.

I also say affirmations out loud, so my brain can hear them. Such as, I am effortlessly thin. I like that one. Asking is Getting as I like to say. Vision boards are also a great way to bring the things you want to realization. Check out this article The Reason Vision Boards Work and How to Make One -

Let me know if you have any topics about growing up in a dysfunctional family where you would like my perspective. If I can't answer, I will point you in the right direction.

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