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5 years ago by


Do we inevitably become our parents?

I spent this past weekend with my dad, who, on a typical basis, I speak to at least once a week on the phone and see in person every few months.

In the last couple of years I’ve realized that my dad and I have a lot of personality traits in common, and seeing him this weekend, I really noticed a lot of myself in him. For instance, we are both, at times, a little impatient and a little indecisive. We both like telling stories with the intention of keeping people interested and entertained, and we share the tendency to beat around the bush in certain conversations.

And it got me thinking – we all joke about how we don’t want to turn into our parents – but is it inevitable?? Of course, self-awareness and personal experiences shape us into our own person, but we’ve all had those moments where mid-conversation we hear ourselves speak and think, “oh my god – I’m becoming my mother!”

Do you think we’re destined to become some form of our parents – and if so, is that really as bad as we make it sound??


Add yours
  • I think we do turn into our parents, but as we have two of them, and they aren’t the same people, we are still unique. I definitely follow my dad on some things and my mom on others. Sadly, I just lost them both, within a couple of weeks of each other. Never miss a call or a chance to spend time. Each moment with your parents is a gift.

  • Yes I do believe we turn into a version of our parents. I think it’s definitely go to do with genes as much as with the upbringing and culture. I think as we get older, we start appreciating our parents more and more and maybe that’s how we start picking up more of their traits.


  • When I was younger I dreaded that I would turn into my mum… But now I hope I have developed her infinite tolerance, kindness and generosity of spirit.

    From my dad, I hope to have his joy of life and his sense of adventure.

    I don’t dread it any more… But laugh when my daughter tells me she hopes she doesn’t turn into me……

  • Ai-Ch'ng October, 18 2016, 2:12

    Oh yes! I also like to hope we become the amalgam of the best of our parents… but I am realistic, and also know that senility in old age can sometimes bring out the worst in each of us. My son said he hopes he doesn’t turn out like me -which I am pretty happy with, as right now, he the most wonderful, loving, creative soul: and, if he turns out like his father – well, I’d be very happy: my son’s father – the love of my life – is just amazing :-)

  • Sorry to hear that Taste of France, but your story is a good reminder! Yes, I fell I should make more of an effort everyday to connect. Not living in the same place makes it hard.

    I Think it’s kind of interesting. My husband tends to tell me when I do or say something that reminds him of my Mom or Dad. I don’t think it’s that annoying, it’s more fascinating. Sort of an insight of how I react to something and why I do that. It keeps me reevaluating myself, which I Think is good. And I guess I appreciate their qualities better too the older I get. Like how my Mom is so careful not to step on anyone’s toes, which means that ske cares about how others feel and she doesn’t want anyone to get hurt by a mindless question or random comment. It is a great quality.

  • Je suis en plein dedans…47 ans et de plus en plus souvent cette remarque “comme ma mere”.J’en arrive meme physiquement ,et sans me voir dans un miroir ,a ressentir mon visage se parer de ses expressions,surtout lorsque je suis dans du negatif……………et de me dire sans cesse,”pourvu que mes filles ne me ressemblent pas”!

  • This is very insightful. Of course we pick up traits and mannerisms from our parents/carers as these are the people we learn from and watch as a child. It doesn’t necessary mean we will take all of their traits but it does mean ours are shaped by theirs. As an adult we have the capacity to change how we act and understanding that there is a reason why we act the way we do will allow us to amend/change our behaviour if it isn’t what it should be. I have to say nothing is inevitable. We all have the capacity to change things – it’s more the question of do we want to or can we be bothered. It is difficult to change especially if it is something we have be doing a long time! Thanks for sharing. Elf http://www.elfeelgoodsvintage.uk

  • Yes to everything! Though once you accept this to be the case, you arrive and you can finally enjoy the YOU you’re meant to be.

  • I think that a lot of us tend to become our parents.
    Inheritance has only so much to do with it.
    The main reason is that you copy the people with whom you spend the most time. It’s human nature.

    The childhood is the stage of life when we lay the basis of our life and that’s why our parents have such an effect on us.

    Later in life we will copy their behavior because that’s how we have learned to cope with life. We don’t even realize it ourselves.

    Is it bad? Depends on what kind of persons your parents are/were! :)

    Of course some people are more prone to their parents’ behavior and some less. It’s all a big mix of stuff. :)


  • What an interesting topic!
    I agree with Taste of France, we are unique and still a mix of both, if you are lucky to grow up with both of them.
    I also see many similarities in siblings. I have the same way of speaking as my brother, same intonations although we have been living in different countries for more than 10 years now.
    I guess you have to get out of the nest as a teenager, feel your own self, get your own personality and while you get older and wiser, you might finally just accept that this background is also the way you are. And I know I have been also carrying around traits that has my dutch grandma…so it goes even further back than what we think :)

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