What Should I Do When My Mom Says I Remind Her Of My Dad?

Father and Son thumb.jpg

Father and SonWhen your parents were married to each other, they may have talked about who you remind them of.  Maybe you look like your father or sing like your mother.  Maybe you’re more animated like your father or more analytical like your mother.  Perhaps you’ve picked up some of the habits of your father or mother that remind your parents of what the other was like when they were younger.

After your parents divorce though, these qualities may take on a whole new meaning – one that is less positive and care free.  Maybe your mannerisms remind your mother of your father or vice versa.  If she hasn’t gotten past her anger towards him, your mannerism may begin to rub her the wrong way.  Maybe you’ve heard something like:

“You’re irresponsible and inconsiderate of other people – just like your Father!”

It’s not fair of your mother to put you in that position, but then she isn’t acting like herself these days anyhow.  What can you do when one parent is irritated by your actions or your appearance or your mannerisms just because they remind them of your other parent?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Tell the parent who is making the comments that you love your other parent, and even though you understand that they are angry, comments like these upset you.
  2. Remind your parent in a respectful way that even though you are in some ways a combination of both your mom and your dad, you are still an individual and your own person. While you can control come of your actions, it is not your fault that you are a certain way, and your parents should respect that.
  3. Let your parents know that you still them both, and any type of derogatory comments directed towards the other parent also hurts you.
  4. If there are certain actions that one of your parent objects to (not things which define you like your looks or the way you think but specific actions) consider whether or not you can make the choice to put forth the effort to curtail those actions for a time while your mom or dad adjusts and heals from the divorce.  Do not change who you are, but if you can make minor changes in habits and routines to make life run smoother, there is no harm in that.