How Early Childhood Experiences Shaped My Personality and Parenting Style

Child records and Imitates the behavior of adults / Electrical circuit between child and adult/ Modeling behavior for children / Positive and negative poles of batteries between child and adult minds
Child records and Imitates the behavior of adults / Electrical circuit between child and adult/ Modeling behavior for children / Positive and negative poles of batteries between child and adult minds
Photo Credit: Shutter-stock

Outside a relationship with Christ, ‘personality’ makes us who we are. It influences every aspect of our lives including how we interact with others.

Growing up in a family of strong personalities that exhibited controlling behavior affected me in my adult life.

Sometimes, family can go from being helpful, to being “too helpful.”  As my son transitioned into adulthood, trying to find the balance between allowing my son to be independent and still looking out for his best interest have been challenging and a process. I didn’t always know how to let go and allow him to make his own decisions. I now understand that leaning too far in one direction can result in a controlling household.

Studies show that families and parents that control a child’s every move create adults who display maladaptive behaviors. You can’t be a dictator, you have to learn how to work with your children especially through the teenage stage.

I grew up being a perfectionist, often times to avoid criticism from within the family. As an adult it carried over to my everyday life. Its caused problems in my workplace and relationships. Which carried over into areas of uncertainty in the form of self-doubt. I sought out affirmations from everyone and anyone. I had difficulty doing just about anything without getting approval from someone even now it’s still a battle. I have struggled with feeling intimidated around people with a controlling demeanor, this was a carry-over from feeling intimidated and belittled within my own family as a child and even as an adult. My decisions were taken over by my controlling family members, this made it difficult for me to learn how to make decisions for myself. I’d seek input from others or simply avoid making them at all.

Before I confronted these deep-rooted issues, I was unaware that I processed my emotions in unhealthy ways which left me feeling intimidated by people who probably had no ill-will towards me. I found it hard to relax, always feeling like I was being watched or scrutinized. As an adult, I still felt like I was being watched by my family regardless of how far they were away from me.

When I began to exercise my freedom, the Holy Spirit showed me these areas that had affected me in profound ways, I didn’t even realize I was exhibiting such behaviors.

If you see yourself in my story there is hope, the power of the Holy Spirit is able to transform issues that took place during the course of your life. Because, believe it or not these deep-rooted issues affect how you parent which impacts your relationship with your child.


 Mental health experts can help you untangle from the effects of having grown up with a controlling family or parental figure. I am a Believer that you can have Jesus and a therapist. There is no shame in going to counseling—you don’t have to stay bound.



  1. This post takes me back to class. It reminds me of Ghosts in the Nursery by Selma Fraiberg and John bowlby’s article on Attachment and Loss. Early childhood experiences matter and history will repeat itself if we don’t take time to reflect, heal, and seek help. Thank you for sharing.

    1. These experiences unfortunately happened in my childhood into my adulthood. It’s so important as parents to not do what I did, don’t just give in to pressure just to avoid conflict with your family members. YOU are your child’s parent. Accept advice but ultimately you make the decision for your child by using wisdom from the Word not family or anyone else’s subjective.

        1. And, ask God to help us find the right spiritual mentor, that is so important as well. Titus 2:4 says for the older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children. As women, out of pride we think that we naturally know how to do that and we don’t, the Bible says that we don’t. An older woman has nothing to do with age, the scripture is referring to an older woman in the Spirit. One who knows the scriptures and walks in Godly wisdom.

  2. I’m in this now – therapy, healing, addressing growing up with a narcissistic parent and recognizing the unhealthy dynamic that still effects me today. Thank you for sharing, and God bless!

    1. I’ve been called stubborn too, and I know this about myself lol…But, you can’t allow people to force their subjectivity onto you. It’s what people tend to do and it’s often in the name of “I just want what’s best for you.”

  3. Awesome.posts Kim! Pleasure to be introduced to your writing and advice. You and Temi make me wish I could sit in some of the same classes with you both!

    But seriously, as a mom of a toddler, I have a lot of reflecting to do….learning and growing and overcoming weaknesses so it doesn’t negatively affect my parenting.

    Holy Spirit, teach us how to be the best parent u created us to be, be our strength, wisdom and guide, Amen

    1. I’m humbled, thank you for your kind words.

      Thank you for stopping by!

      I had to do some self reflection, I don’t want my son to not want to come around me because I’m always correcting him, he’s a grown man. I have to let go, let him make his own decisions even if I don’t agree with them. As kingdom moms, we have to rely on the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom–when to speak, when to hold our peace, when to lay hands, when withhold. And, when they are children & youth– when to discipline, when to show grace…

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