Teen Mom Amber Portwood is now talking about what went wrong with her this year. She sent out a statement, admitting that she's serving her five-year sentence in prison instead of doing a court-ordered drug program because she was addicted to opiates. Party's over, she says. Now it's time to start acting like a mother to daughter Leah:
I miss Leah a lot. She's a little mini-me. I see pictures of her and I think about where I went wrong and how I can fix it so she can be proud of me.
Those are chilling words -- Leah as a mini-Amber. While we'd want Leah to take all of Amber's best traits, we'd hate to see Leah inherit Amber's substance abuse problems, too! I think this is something all parents can relate to, though. We see the best and the worst of ourselves in our kids.
I can't tell you how many times the father of my son has said to me, "Sorry, he's just like me!" Our son is a bit of a homebody who likes to stay home reading and playing video games. And he's a bit of a drama queen, sometimes. But he's also inherited his father's impressive vocabulary and articulateness, and his enthusiasm.
It's a combination of nature and nurture. We can't help passing on everything we are to our kids, for better or worse. I think knowing yourself well helps you to manage that, though.
Have you ever seen a totally clueless parent get angry with their child for acting just like them? Total lack of self-awareness! I think recognizing when my son acts like me helps me understand him better. At my best moments (and I'm not always perfectly patient or paying attention), I can use that empathy to help us both overcome our weaknesses and become better people.
I hope Amber can do the same. Jail is an extreme measure, but I think she has the chance to learn more about herself and why she became addicted to opiates. Hopefully this new understanding will help her when she is released from jail and begins parenting her "mini-me" again.
How much do you see yourself in your kids?
Image via MTV