The Norman Transcript


October 10, 2013

Are you channeling your parents?



Consequently, phrases like: “When I was your age” or “You’re wearing that in public?” will pop out. What is even worse, you may use the same inflection and facial expression as did the parent you channeled.

Some remarks are nearly impossible to avoid.

“Those kids just don’t get it.” Never mind that the “kids” you are referring to may be 30 or older. Just because we are getting older, surely our eyesight is not so far gone that we mistake adults for kids. Or is it?

“I’m turning into my mother/father or both.” A combo channeling is beyond scary.

Then there is the delusional comment: “I don’t know where he/she gets that.” This is usually accompanied by a sorrowful shake of the head and an expression of disbelief on the speaker’s face. To this we can only reply, “Denial does not become you.”

Children are determined to avoid turning into their parents. Sorry to break the news to you kids, but you live, learn and regress.

Of course, since each of us is a unique creation, not all good and less desirable parental traits will be passed down. Sometimes there are moments when both parents are channeled at once.

It used to drive me nuts when my mother tried to cajole me out of a comfortable grump. I finally told her, “Please, let me enjoy my grump!”

In my case, I have some of my mother’s wonderful qualities, like her optimism and sense of humor, and at other times I feel my father’s critical tendencies are hovering over my shoulder waiting to take control.

There is no cure, but Polonius’ advice to his son, Laertes, may help. “This above all: to thine ownself be true.”

Eventually, the real you will come into focus and your children will be able to say: “I’ll never be like mom or dad.”

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her novels “The Dionysus Connection” and “The Marathon Man” are available on Visit her website:

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