Written by Doctor G

What Kind of Child Am I?

A friend once received a gift from her 16 year old daughter; a sign that said, “Be nice to your children, they will choose your nursing home!”  She laughed, and turned around and handed it to her mom, who lives with them and said, “Grammy should put this in her room.”

Many of us have tumultuous relationships with our parents.  Most of us have considered how our parenting is similar and different from how we were raised.  Some of the choices I make for my kids feel like an equal-and-opposite reaction to the decisions my parents made about my upbringing.  For example, I’m an only child…

I don’t know about you, but I am determined to make completely different mistakes than my parents made with me.  Throw another a dollar in the therapy jar!

Anyway, I’m struck more and more often by the truth that relationships flow constantly in each direction.  My experiences with multi-generational families in my work have made me realize that our kids learn a lot from watching our adult relationships with our parents.

I grew up far from grandparents and extended family, and always assumed I’d move away when I was an adult, which I did.  Despite all my friends who talked about moving back, and mostly did, it never occurred to me to move back home after college.  I really like my parents and enjoy spending time with them, but when I was growing up you moved for work, not family connection.

We’re lucky enough to be raising our kids in the same neighborhood with my husband’s mom.  And there was never a better grandmother.  In our quest to teach our kids respect, and responsibility towards those in our family, she helps us (which doesn’t even touch on all the help she gives us day to day) by just being here.  Our children learn that we invite her to stuff, have her for dinner, ask her counsel.  We stop by, help each other, honor her as best we can.

It’s a gratifying relationship, but it’s selfish too.  This is our best argument for how we want our kids to treat us someday, how connected we hope to be.

My friend who got the sign from her daughter?  Her mom lives with them, and my friend hopes she always will.  Far more powerful a message than being nice to our kids; how we treat our parents will influence how our kids choose the home in which we someday are nursed.


Stress to Resilience for Youth, Free Download Cover Mockup

Learn to Help Your Teen Build Resilience​

Help the teen in your life walk through adversity with strength. Download this free PDF to learn the three steps to go from stress to resilience for youth!

3 thoughts on “What Kind of Child Am I?”

  1. You know this hits home for me. Another reason for me to be thankful for my extended family in addition to those with legal responsibility should I need the help.

  2. I grew up close to my family and thought I would always be near them but 5 years ago I moved away. Now I’m wishing I could move my mom and my sister close but leave everyone else far away. Maybe one day.

  3. I think one of the good parts of being a grown up is valuing family more. I find that pretty heartening as I watch friends start to go through the emotional push-back of the teenage years. Most of these kids of ours will return to valuing our relationships very highly!

    Being apart geographically from my own family I have thought a lot about how I will want those of our kids that fly far from the nest to treat us when they are grown and flown. Our children will definitely get the message when we call and talk about and visit those family members far from us.

    I love your goal of someday moving your closest loved ones near to you. I hope it comes true!

Comments are closed.


How Can I Help?

A Little Bit About Dr. G

A widely recognized media personality, Dr. G is your go-to expert on resilience. Countless broadcast outlets rely on her contagious humor and illuminating stories to tackle tough topics. She is regularly seen on TV, as well as interviewed for print and digital outlets. Here, she’s answering your questions. Search for the answers you need, or ask her your question now!
Scroll to Top

A Newsletter All About Resilience

Sign up below to join Dr. G’s newsletter and discover how to ‘Do Stress Better’ and tap into the resilience that already exists inside of you.

Ask Dr. G Your Question

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Book Dr. G

Let Dr. G know you’re interested in having her speak. If you’d like to send her a message click here.

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

After pressing submit your forms will be sent to Dr. G and her team. You can expect a response within 1 business day.

Media Inquiry Form

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Insights to Transform Your Stress Into Your Resilience​

Please let us know where to send the Stress to Resilience guide and we’ll send it quick!