What will they remember?


New Member
When our difficult child's grow up and (hopfully) have their own families, what will they remember about their childhoods? Will they remembr the good times that we have together as a family? You know, the camping, the picnics, the movies, etc. Or will they only remember the bad times? All the yelling, feeling like the easy child's were more loved, all the bad feelings in the house?

I would like to think they will remember the good times and forget the bad, but the bad seem to so much more frequent.

Does anyone else ever start thinking about this out of the blue?


Sheena-Warrior Momma
My husband makes that comment every other day-literally! He doesn't want difficult child to look back and only see the yelling or punishment. But how do you keep their childhoods happy while still maintaining discipline? It is a VERY fine line and we are still trying to find that balance.


New Member
My difficult child is 20, a recovering drug addict, adhd, and he remembers the good things from his childhood. And believe me, there was a lot of bad.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
I occasionally ask BOTH easy child and difficult child if they remember specific vacations, events, etc., and it's as if their little brains have dribbled out over the years. Neither of them have very good memories when it comes to that stuff.

I too worry that all they will remember is the punishments, the weekend long meltdowns and rages, DR visits, therapy, etc. Make me queasy and sad thinking about that. I do have pictures to prove we actually had many great times and lots of laughter!!


My difficult children' bio dad was a giant difficult child as a child.

His difficult child-ness was extreme - he was one of the more violent types of difficult child's, he hit his mother in the face with a shovel, stuff like that.

His childhood memories are vague, at best, and very much depend on the day and the mood at the moment as to what he recalls.

Someone once told me that recollection of the bad diminishes when the bad stops happening. Doesn't mean you forget, it just doesn't remain in the front of your mind. In my own life, I can see that having happened. In DEX, I see that, also. In times when he, himself, was collected and together, he was more likely to talk about the better times of his childhood and he had a good relationship with his folks. When he was off the deep end himself, it was nothing but woe is me and hate them all.

I guess I hope that as an adult, my difficult child's realize that some of those bad memories were in response to their bad choices. And that will laregely depend on how "mature" the difficult child gets.

My 18 year old ran off Monday after I made him stop kicking a basketball at his baby brother. He has avoided me all week because of that incident. It hurts, but he has a choice to make...to see and accept that kicking a basketball at a small child isn't probably the best idea, or just be :censored2: cause he didn't get to play his way. And how he chooses to view the world, like his dad, will probably affect what he recalls about his past.

hearts and roses

Mind Reader
Someone once told me that recollection of the bad diminishes when the bad stops happening. Doesn't mean you forget, it just doesn't remain in the front of your mind

Is this why my mom can't remember the heck I put her through as a teen? Seriously, she has forgotten almost all of it. And if I refresh her memory, she says, "I choose to forget the bad and only remember the good. You should let that go." In that way, I can't wait to get old.

Hugs to you and yours, Shari.


Well-Known Member
Maybe I can help with this one.

I was a difficult child...heck still am! I have vague memories of my childhood. I have some memories of the bad things that happened but they are of the really bad abuse stuff...not the normal punishments and upsets of childhood. I do have huge gaps that I cant recall.

My kids really dont remember much bad either...unless they want to tease me about something I have done to them. It never fails that they will pull something I did when they were young up from their memory banks and throw it back at me when I least expect it. The other day Jamie reminded me I tied him to the chair with socks!

NOTE: The socks incident was only for 5 minutes and I tied him and cory facing each other because they were tormenting each other so I made them face each other and make faces.


Well-Known Member
And if I refresh her memory, she says, "I choose to forget the bad and only remember the good. You should let that go."

Wow, I <span style="color: #CC66CC">love</span> your mom!

I'm going to take the easy way out and ask my difficult child. Heck, he's only 10, but maybe he remembers sitting in a high chair, or watching Barney. :smile: :laugh:


member since 1999
Oh gosh, I've worried about this for years. I mean, can you imagine thank you trying to explain his childhood to future in-laws??? :nonono:

"Well, you see sir, I spent half my childhood in institutions. Had roughly 2 dozen psychiatric admissions... we never ate as a family that I can recall because I wasn't home... nope, I don't remember Halloween's, not sure I ever went trick-or-treating. Christmases? Oh, my folks would come and pick me up to go home for a couple of days; same with Thanksgiving...." Seriously? It gives me a really sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Unfortunately, he has a phenomenal memory for every transgression he's ever committed. Every time he hit me. Every hole in the wall, every broken lamp, I swear, almost every mega meltdown he's had since age 5 or 6. And a ton of guilt.

At best, he's going to have snippets of good family times during off-grounds visits or brief home visits. He went into Residential Treatment Center (RTC) at age 9... how much can he possibly remember from before then? We talk about fun times from when he was younger, the one family vacation we had before he left. It is just so completely not the childhood I wanted my boy to have. And I worry about how, if he becomes a father, he can possibly be a good one?? husband has of course always been there, always been supportive, but really the male role models he's really grown up with have been staff.

I don't know... I can't say we would've done anything differently because we tried all other options. But I absolutely worry about what the long term ramifications are going to be for my boy, and how he is going to function (please, God) in his own family unit someday.


Well-Known Member
Well, I was the one who was always getting in trouble, had undiagnosed bipolar, and had a hell of a time at school. My parents were not the most understanding and most of my childhood memories are fuzzy or just not good. It's not just bad stuff from home though. Lots is from school. Lots was also from within myself. I think, like all kids, they remember both. JMO and experience.


New Member
This has been a thought that has crossed my mind very frequently over the years. How difficult child will describe his childhood - how easy child will describe hers.

I just try to keep faith that the good stuff will outweigh the bad stuff in the end.