I tend to be very anxiety-ridden and an insomniac. Yep, that got passed down to my children as much as my "walk with a bounce" did.
I've often said that our children picked up both the best and the worst from us! There's an expression that is so true: our children love us when they're young (think of that cuddly toddler,) judge us when they're older (think teenager and young adult,) and if we're lucky, they'll eventually forgive us.
We humbly pray more and more about our parenting as we grow older, because the more mature we become, the more we can look back and see the mistakes we made. The time or times we lost kids in the mall. (With five, it did happen more than once!) The times we lost our tempers, were way out of control, usually because of exhaustion. Our child's friend whom we naively took at face value, only to see our child badly hurt.
Some parents and children have tough situations to work through. The parent who was an alcoholic when the children were younger and is recovering now. The parent who was a sexual predator. The parent who abandoned the family. The parent who was physically or verbally abusive. So often, once again, our parents grew up imitating their parents' behavior towards them. They had no one to teach them how to do parenting in a different, better way.
The cycle is clear - we hopefully grow spiritually mature enough to forgive our parents and ourselves, and hopefully our children grow spiritually mature enough to forgive us - and later, themselves as parents. As long as we stay frozen in anger and unforgiveness towards our parents and ourselves, we have cast heavy psychological and spiritual burdens upon our backs.
If we admit that we've made parenting mistakes, we can also see the whys and wherefores of our mistakes. We can then look at our parents' lives and trace the reasons they acted as they did. "Father, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who have sinned against us," Jesus taught us to pray, and that's sound spiritual and psychological advice. The more honestly and gently we can look upon our own weaknesses and failings and forgive ourselves, the more honestly and easily we can forgive others.
Sometimes, children too come to an honest evaluation of ways they hurt their parents growing up, especially in their rebellious teens and twenties.
There's a beautiful freedom and depth of intimacy that blooms when parents and children can honestly discuss their past relationships, failings, weaknesses, addictions, and hurts together, and then, together, let them go. How wonderful if children can also learn to imitate their parents' humility in confessing to the sins and failings of the past.
Pray for the strength, the grace, to eventually let go of hurts from the past and to grow into new healthy family relationships in the present and future! The Book of Wisdom speaks to God about God's gentle, patient parenting style, an attitude which we can imitate in regards to our children and our parents: " But you have mercy on all because you can do all things, and you overlook the sins of men that they may repent..... condemning them bit by bit, you gave them space for repentance." (Wisdom 11: 22 and 12: 10.)