Do you believe .........?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2003
Do you believe .........?
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 4:44am
Do you believe that your childhood life/experiences plays an important role in the development of your personality today? And what is that experience that made you act or think “this” way?

Is it your broken family that made you not want to have any relationship of your own? Is it happy memories that made you a very cheerful person? A traumatic experience made you tough? Good or bad experiences help us act in a certain way. Or is it just your personality that made who you are right now?

Tell us and share your stories. Thanks, good day everyone!


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 5:45am
Hi Jen,

Great question!

I do believe that childhood experiences do influence our adult life but more subconsciously than directly. If it is that we somehow imitate the way we were brought up or - in case of bad experiences - simply avoid things our parents did. My mom always tried to teach me that everything is possible if you trust in yourself and that being a good person eventually brings the good things back to you. Took me a while to understand and accept that but I guess I am pretty close to completely adopt it now!

I also can say that seeing my parents still happily married after 34 years (and that's even more special because it was a kind of teenage marriage and they were only 18 and 19 when they got married!) always made me wish for such a relationship for myself. And perhaps it is because Rob comes out of a same kind of family situation what makes us so perfect for each other. He isn't afraid of commitment like other guys I knew before were and maybe that is because he didn't have to go through separation situations during his childhood.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 9:50am
Jen, yes I do believe that our childhood plays a very active role in our choices as adults. We may make certain choices in life to avoid being like our parents, or trying to be just like them in our own lives. It is hard to avoid taking some events and characteristics from our parents, or parent. We see and mirror everything our parents do in our childhood, then when we grow up we make a decision on whether we are happy with who we have become. Now, that I have children of my own, I see this more now. I know what image I need to portray to my boys and that determines what type of men I think they should be and then also, what type of woman they will choose for their mate.

So, it is very important how you see your parents or what you went through as a child. It can make or break you as an adult. Personally, my parents fought alot when I was a child. Finally, when they divorced, I was 13. It was very traumatic and when I was 19 and met my Ex, I wanted to be married and have the family I never had. I was in such a hurry, that now I am divorced myself. Something I wanted to avoid, since my parents were. SO, if I was really smart....I would have waited until I was of an age where the decisions I made were more thought out. Then again, if I had waited, i may not have my two boys. I love them and they are worth all I went through. SO, now that I am older and smarter, I hope the decisions and events of my childhood do not dictate too much of who I am now, but then again...can we really help it?


Good post Jen!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 10:01am

This question goes back to the old "Nature vs. Nurture" question - are we shaped by our genes or our experiences. While I believe both play a factor (life is not black and white, but shades of gray) I think genetics can play a stronger role that we'd like to think.

I know in myself - even though I never knew my father - that I am like him in more ways that I can count. I've even been told by my older step-sister that I even have his mannerisms and way of speech. You know I couldn't have picked that up from my mother or grandmother through experience - that had to be passed down genetically.

I've read and seen many stories ... about identical twins who are seperated at birth and end up leading nearly identical lives. Of course there are identical twins raised together, who turn out very differently, and that can be partly influenced by their experiences and the need for individual identities.

Or how about the case of adopted kids, raised in wonderful, even spiritual, surroundings, that turn into rapists or serial killers, because, guess what? Their biological mom or dad was too.

Now I'm not discounting the fact that our childhood experiences - of course they shape who we are to a certain extent, but I think genetics plays almost a greater role .. at least in some of us.

Anyway I guess that's my 2 cents ;o)


Avatar for born2luv
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 10:08am
My childhood definitely formed who I am and what I believe. I have been thinking about that quite a bit lately. From my religious background to my broken family, from proverty and feeling blamed for my father's death at 6y, from my traumatic childhood experiences to my disruptive, chaotic life as a child.

It made me hyper-vigilant, over-protective of my children, super-cautious about entering new relationships and about trusting people. It made me carefully and quickly think out decisons and actions thoroughly, considering all directions and understanding that I had no control over the outcome in the end.

I consider myself a survivor, and know that no matter what the universe throws at me, I can overcome it. I accept the results of my decisions, good or bad, and move on with little regrets. My tolerance for fools and poor thinking is very low, and I have little need to depend on anyone.

However, I know that my basic personality was there before all this, and enabled me to come out of all that intact, successful and able to rise above my begininngs. Many do not....

~*~ Catherine

Avatar for linds8300
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 1:36pm
I most definately believe that! I had a wonderful childhood, my parents have been married for 22 years, we've never had to worry about money, I have a huge family who is very close. I think all of that has had a huge affect on me now....the fact that I've always had such a great support system has made me more able to go out and accomplish what I want to do, its enabled me to go to college. The fact that my parents (and everyone else in my one in my extended family is divorced either) are still together and very much in love make it easy for me to realize that even with all the marraiges that don't work out, there are still lots that do, and it gives me faith that I'll have a happy marriage too :) At the same time though, my parents have always (and still do) kept me very sheltered to everything and as a result I'm very naive about some things. Its not necessairally a bad thing, but its not always a good thing either.



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2003
Thu, 08-21-2003 - 7:15am
I absolutely believe that our childhood experiences good or maybe bad influence us till we become adults. The bad ones we try to avoid it but if we can't, we try to be more defensive of ourselves.

And coming from a very close knit family it has always been in my mind to have one like that in the future. And I want a man who values family and education first.

Thnks ladies for answering all my questions!