Stopping Short For Parents
Stopping Short For Parents
I don’t know if you watched the show or if you remember the episode of Seinfeld where George’s mom has laser eye surgery to repair her vision.
Obviously, for the few days immediately after the procedure her eyesight was extremely limited and blurred so she was unable to drive.
George was working or had some other excuse why he couldn’t pick her up, she was currently separated from her husband Frank, and so Kramer agreed to give her a ride back home after the surgery.
As they are coming to a light it transitioned from yellow to red swiftly and Kramer had to slam on the brakes. He yelled out to her “hold on” and reached his arm across her chest so she wouldn’t fly forward, in a male protectionary instinct move.
Of course, she interpreted this as Kramer making a move on her because he had brushed up against her chest. And this made its way back to George and his dad and Frank who was separated but still the husband got angry because Kramer used his move which he’d used on his wife so many years earlier called stopping short.
I remember this episode because as I was taking my granddad around on some errands I came to a stop light. It was a weird stoplight in that there were two side streets immediately close together. Usually, an intersection has the 1 Cross Street and the one street you’re on.
But this one had 2 cross streets within about 40 yards of one another right before the stoplight I was coming up too.
So I ended up coming to a stop at this first side street rather unintentionally.
And I noticed the car in the lane to my left also came to a stop virtually in-line with me. We were the first 2 stopped at the light and were still a good 30 yards away from the actual stripe to the intersection.
So it got me thinking about leadership and how quick we are as humans to follow others. Because clearly he wasn’t paying too great attention and was simply following what he had seen me do.
It brought to mind a conversation I had with my sister a few nights back when she had just come home from an out-of-town trip. It’s her job to do the dishes and obviously after a long weekend quite a few had piled up.
She seemed a bit tired but she said “I just can’t stand having all these dirty dishes stacked up in here”.
I know my mom is this way especially about the dishes and also in a more general sense about having a clean house. She just can’t stand it when things are dirty and it makes her uncomfortable.
My sis is always quick to point out she doesn’t want to be like mom but I had to give her a little verbal jab and point out just how much like mommy she was in this instance.
She gave a kind of halfhearted be grudgingly “you’re right but I hate you” laugh.
I give more examples in the article about the next great depression and parental imprinting.
And I realize just how correct all the research I’ve read is about how hard it is to break the cycle of being like one’s parents. It’s some astronomical figure as to 80% to 90% of children retain the tendencies of their parents.
So what tendencies are you bestowing upon your kids? Are you even aware of it?
Are they things you want your children to be? And if not are you going to take conscious notice and make the changes in your own behavior before it’s too late?
I’ll be interested in hearing any of the stories you’ve noticed of how your kids are mimicking your behavior especially if they do it unconsciously without even realizing it. I’ll look forward to your comments.