Why do some parents feel the need to live their lives through their children?

United States
March 26, 2012 6:30am CST
Three years ago I became friends with someone who lived with their mom just like I do. However, her mother and her grandmother(mother's side) had forced her into things that she disliked. My friend had been planning to move with her dad when she felt that she was of age whether her mother approved or not. Both parents still had custody and the kids could live with whomever they pleased. Anyway what I am asking is for opinions. Is it because the parent didn't have a great life growing up? Is is because the parent feels that the child should be just like them? I already have an opinion, but I'm curious about what others think too.
2 people like this
10 responses
@dazzledlady (1624)
• Philippines
26 Mar 12
Majority if not all parents wants what is best for their children. Trying to impose their ideas and wants on you is their way of making sure that you will have the best of what life has to offer to the point that sometimes they are the ones living your life. Their reasoning, they made that decision in their life once and it was no good so maybe it will not be good for you too. They live their life long enough and made many mistakes along the way. Probably the best statement is " been there, done that". But what some parents failed to realized is that by preventing their children to commit mistake, they are promoting dependence instead of self reliance. They are not helping their child grow.
• United States
27 Mar 12
I agree with this as well. I like how you mentioned majority instead of saying all. I've seen parents completely treat their children like crap for their own benefit, which is sad. I am thankful for my mother openly letting my siblings and I do what we want.
@WakeUpKitty (8707)
• Netherlands
26 Mar 12
I can't tell you. To be honest I don't care what my kids will be or do as long as they are happy. But my parents were exactly that way too. Both of them. Big fight about who of their kids would be a doctor and who a midwife. We kids really felt miserable about that. Can be some parents feel they missed chances and they want to give their child that chance? Other might like to have their kids follow in their footsteps and take over the business. Also there are parents who feel better/more accepted by society if at least their kid did study and has a great profession (= income) to show off with. Since this is what society wants.. you have to be someone (yourself of by your kids or via your friends) to be accepted.
• United States
26 Mar 12
I can see your point, I agree. It seems as if financial success is the best thing to show off in society. I believe that education is the best thing to have period :)
• Philippines
26 Mar 12
because of their frustrations which they havent done in their past.. and sometimes they think that we have no right to decide for ourselves and they are afraid that they might lose us... like we need to have our own family they wont allow us to...
• United States
26 Mar 12
What you've explained is the same thing my friend went through and I totally agree with your explanation.
• Jacksonville, Florida
4 Jul 12
It is most likely because they want their children to have better than what they have. They want their kids to do better and not make the same mistakes they did. My mother did not want me to be with the man I chose to be with. He has no education and did not have a lot of money. My mother threw a fit! She always told us to marry for money. When I didn't she tried to separate us. I was angry at the time, very angry about it. But now I understand a little more. I want my children to have a better life than I have. I want them to be able to go on vacations, have extra money to go shopping or to do nice things, etc. I have none of that. As much as she was wrong for the way she went about things I know she was doing it because she loves me. I will not do this to my children because it hurts and it is their life, not mine...
• India
4 Jul 12
It is true, many parents live their dreams through their children and this is very wrong. Each person deservers the chance to live his/her own dreams. I will encourage my kids to do stuff they like as much as I can. That’s the best thing you can do for yo
@sukumar794 (5047)
• Thiruvananthapuram, India
27 Mar 12
It is but natural for most parents to think of a living the later years of their lives in the safety and protection of their parents. There would be an air of warmth and security by being in the surveillance of one's children for whom they have toiled much in earlier days.
@megamatt (14331)
• United States
27 Mar 12
Well some parents have had miserable childhoods that cause them to be miserable adults that have not accomplished much of anything throughout their lives. Therefore they have to use their children as a tool to live right through their lives. It is not right, but it is just something that happens. I see parents push their children towards certain activities because it is something that they need to do. Of course "what they need to do" is often parent code for "what I wished I could do, but failed at." It really is plain and simple, bottom line, some parents tend to live right through their children and at times, when children gain a bit more independence, wanting to do things other than the plan that their parents made for them, things that said parents had been unable to do right through their lives. If your childhood sucked, then get off of it. Your children are not a license for you to get a reset. They are their own individual people.
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
27 Mar 12
I really do no know. My mother was very controlling to the point where I really could not stand it. My dad was the complete opposite and offered up advice, phylosophy and guidance and most important...acceptance of who I was as a person. Although, I could never measure up to the wonderful parent he was,I tried to. I think that until your friend is of age and supporting herself then she has to live by the rules and ways of her parents no matter how she feels about it. How old is she? What is her mom trying to force her to do? Truthfully, my mother as controlling as she was, in a twisted kind of way, actually helped me a lot. She gave me incentive to work and save so that I could move out and be on my own. As for my own kids, I just wanted them to be happy, independent and decent people. And they are...all 4 of them.
@Runite (307)
• United States
26 Mar 12
Some parents are just overprotective and don't want their kids to make the mistakes they did while their parents let them out into the world.
@vertu007 (683)
• Romania
26 Mar 12
I think is because they didn't think to do some of the stuff when it was the right age and they think is definitely a good thing so they try and make their kids do it. Or they didn't have the chance to do some things, or the necessary means. The most important thing here is that parents want what's best for their children but they sometimes forget to wonder if their kid wants those things. Often parents regrets fall on their children's shoulders and that's not ok.