The apple does not fall far from the tree?
A joyfully proclaimed "All the father" after birth is filled with pride. A "You are exactly like your mother", on the other hand, expressed in a quarrel can be a hurtful insult. Parents and children have a bond for life, which is not always uncomplicated...
As children, we learn the first lessons from our parents. They give us rules and values and prepare us for life. Children imitate their parents, often father and mother are the greatest role models. There is a lot of equality between the two generations. This applies not only to appearance but also to interests and career choices, as well as to vices and character weaknesses. As is well known, the apple does not fall far from the tree... or does it?
Some seem to have fallen from a completely different tree. Because beside similarities there are also numerous differences between parents and their children. And the behaviour of mother and father can even turn into the unrestrained desire for demarcation among the offspring: Some children do their utmost to resist living like their parents. This leads to life plans that could not be more different. - Friction points are pre-programmed.
But do we all become more and more similar to our parents when we increase in age? Partly we live as they lived before us, and, consciously or unconsciously, we repeat our parents mistakes. (Does that seem better?)
Is a parent-child relationship a lifelong oscillation between imitation and demarcation? And in the end, will we all become like our parents - whether we like it or not?
"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" is the theme of Michael Steinbrecher's visit to the night café on 28 September 2018.
The guests of Michael Steinbrecher:
"The son of ..." - Danny Humphreys often read that about himself. The relationship to his eccentric father, the 70s star Les Humphreys, was anything but fatherly. His mother, pop icon Dunja Rajter, fled the relationship early on. Nevertheless, Danny inherited not only the visiual similarity, but also his musical talent: "If I dressed like him, with cotlettes and overalls, you could make the Les-Humphries-Singers 2.0".
For the developmental psychologist Pasqualina Perrig-Chiello, these are the normal and important processes in parent-child relationships. For without demarcation young people cannot develop their own personality , according to the psychotherapist. "The definition of one's own identity is one of the great developmental tasks in our lives.”
Nicole Zepter actually never wanted to become like her mother. But when she was in her mid-30s, the journalist discovered that she had unconsciously repeated her mother's story in an unhappy love affair. She intensively tried to understand the repeating patterns of behaviour: "The good thing is that you can throw the apple further away once you understand why you were almost caught up in these behaviours".
Gerd Klein, on the other hand, deliberately decided to take up the legacy of his ancestors. Already in the seventh generation, his family runs a vineyard on the Moselle. The fact that now, almost 200 years later, his son has also accepted the challenge, fills the winegrower with great pride: "The long family tradition has always fascinated me and is still a kind of obligation today".
Dörte Thümmler involuntarily succeeded him. As a competitive gymnast, she was supposed to realize her mother's unfulfilled dream and was sent to the boarding school for sports at the age of eight. Performance, pain and drill determined the childhood of the exceptional athlete. With far-reaching consequences, also for her own mother role: "When I had my first child, my greatest fear was that I would overlook something and that my child would be as bad as I was".
It was only as a teenager that Rainer Höß learned of the legacy of his family: his grandfather was the Auschwitz commander Rudolf Höß. With the knowledge of the terrible family inheritance, he struggled for years, worked out his family history and broke off contact with the entire family. But one insight remains: "I am part of Rudolf Höß and he is part of me. Whether I want it or not. But I define myself through what I do and how I do it".