Do you consider your parents as being “better” than you? What about your kids?

By whatever moral or ethical standards you subscribe to, do you view your parents as being “better“ than you? I understand that this can be a complex idea, especially since the real answer will likely vary depending on the specific subject. And in many cases, by parent.

What about your kids?

I think of myself as a pretty “good” person, but somehow consider both my parents and both of my kids as being better than me, all things considered. So I am wondering if this is common.

My parents are definitely better than me. They worked their butts off and achieved a whole lot. I am an absolute slacker underachieving couch potato.

No to my parents, yes to my child. The reasons are too personal to go into on a message board, but the goal of emerging from a dysfunctional family is that you break the cycle and do even better by your own kid.

I don’t really think in terms of anyone being much better or worse than anyone else. My parents have some great qualities and significant flaws like anyone else. In terms of general trends, it is possible older generations had more resilience and younger ones more opportunity.


No to my parents, and I have no kids.

My mom is a very nice person, and my dad is an okay person. My mom is a republican and my dad might be a trumpist. (Part of what makes them nice people is that they recognize that conversations about this would be fatal to family relationships and don’t bring it up.)

My parents are both mormon, which means they’re brainwashed, and it also means that they christian, which means that they have obedience-based morality. I believe that obedience based on “god says so” is no morality at all, particularly as compared to morality based on what’s good for humans. This broken morality is why my angelic mother is anti-gay and anti-choice.

They’re nice people (moreso my mom than my dad, though he’s not too bad either), but man are they morally broken.

My parents were a lot tougher than me. They grew up in the Depression, my father was in World War II while my mother worked full-time with two young children, and both of them battled a host of physical problems I was lucky enough to escape. Despite that, my mother was a warm and loving person with a phenomenal sense of humor, while my father instilled a “look a person straight in the eye, your word is your bond, and a handshake is a contract” moral code in all his children.

As for my children, I hope they’ll be better than me.

Nope. Dad is a racist/homophobe/Trumpist and an alcoholic. Mom is okay as a person but she’s judgemental and bitter. She just recently became less mean to me, I think maybe spending more time at church has helped, no joke. Both had bad childhoods, neither is educated, and it shows. Shall I mention they’re Boomers? They’re Boomers.

Are they decent people? Yeah, ok, probably, considering. Nowhere as near as decent as dad’s dad, that’s for sure. And I’m not perfect by any stretch - still not nearly as good of a person as grandpa - but I’m a much better person than both of my parents.

My kids are dogs so they are better than any human could be.

Some ways yes, some ways no. I think it more or less evens out.

I’m conventionally successful and have overcome obstacles that would make a lot of people crumble.

They’re religious though and I’m not, so I’m sure they view me as morally inferior in a “concerned for your son’s salvation” type way.

My kids are a bit concerning, 3 of them are into adulthood now, haven’t done secondary education, and won’t leave the house even though we’ve been strongly suggesting it. I do feel, in a way, that my parents did a better job raising me than I did my own kids

I love my parents dearly. I try to both do and be good, but believe that my dad is a better person than me, as he’s both less critical and more patient than I am. My mom is just about as good a person as I am, I’d say, as are my kids, although naturally we all have our own strengths and weaknesses.

My father is a drug addict and alcoholic who gets handsy with teenage girls when he’s had a few in him. I try to, you know, not molest underage girls, so there’s that. I’m probably a drug addict though (I’m already jonesing for my next pot fix, and it’s at least a week away), and though I’m not the alcoholic my father is, I’m definitely somewhere on the same continuum. But again, not molesting teenage girls for this guy.

My mother … umm … well. She’s an uptight church lady to a degree, albeit the Christian Left type, if that was/is a thing. But still an uptight church lady. She’s also emotionally manipulative AF, and gets butthurt in the extreme over minor offenses. I try to just go with the flow.

I also smoke mountains of pot, something of which Mom would most definitely Not Approve.

No kids. My cats are definitely not better than me.

I’m better than my dad was morally. No question. Not even worth discussing.

My mom? More honest. Brutally honest. Rip your heart out and stomp on it honest.

I’ve come to slowly realize after her death that she had narcissistic tendencies. Although I must say she mellowed out greatly after going on medication for OCD. Growing up with her was eggshell hell though.

I’m a better parent than my parents were to me. That wouldn’t be hard, but as it happens, I had a kind of child who really needed the kind of parent I was. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so great with another type of kid. Am I a better person? I am not qualified to judge that.

Obviously, a complicated question.

My father was smart, accomplished, and had a keen sense of justice. He always impressed me how he would go to bat for anyone who was treated unfairly. On the other hand, he was judgmental (not in a good way) inpatient, and a complete ass to both of his wives at times. Too many times to overlook it.

I don’t consider myself to be better than him, but I have less obvious flaws. I don’t think he was better than me, but did had some strengths I lack.

My mother was a very patient and kind woman, also smart and accomplished. She had many fine qualities. The one that influenced me the most perhaps was her willingness to let her kids find their own way and make their own mistakes. She was not controlling one bit and encouraged us to figure things out for ourselves. Better than me? Who knows. She was good. I try to be too.

ETA: My kids. They’re amazing. But far from perfect. Not better than me. But I sure do love them.

My parents were better in many ways, but they weren’t as happy. They both had difficult childhood and teen years due to the depression, and they both worked like hell to make sure that wouldn’t happen to them again or to their kids (me and my sister). They didn’t have the time or luxury to examine their feelings much, at least until much later in life, as both I and my sister have been able to do. They were mostly good parents but they didn’t know how to show warmth and love, and I felt isolated and stunted emotionally. Still do to some extent, but in all I’d say I’m happier and more self-accepting than my parents were.

I don’t have any children. On the whole, that may have been for the best.

I’m just coming back to say my mother really was more honest than I am. She had an outright hatred of any form of lying, even little white lies.

Here’s an example: One day, we were going to take our cat Rasputin to the vet, and when we took the pet carrier out, Rasputin spotted it, and crawled under the bed.

So my mom says, “Great, now what?”

I said, “Just let him sit for a few minutes and calm down. Then, you go get the food bag and rattle it. I’ll grab him when he comes out.”

My mom gave me an appalled look. Dead serious, she told me, “I’m NOT going to lie to him!”

True story.

It’s kind of subjective, isn’t it? My parents promulgated a moral code that, although some details may differ, is basically what I try to follow myself. I think it’s a good code, Unlike some others in this thread, it’s not based on, “God said”; it’s based on what people need and deserve.

It’s very easy for me look back over my life, or even the last few minutes, and see instances where I have not lived up to that code. It’s not as easy to see where my parents have done so since I can’t see into their heads. Same with my children.

So maybe I’m a worse person than they are or maybe it just looks that way to me.

My father had a terrible father who abused him. We had a rocky relationship when I was a kid but after I grew up I realized he had been a much better father than his own and was just doing the best he could.

I tried as I hard as I could to be a better father than he was and I think I succeeded. I hope my kids are able to carry that on and be better than I was.

My father who grew up in poverty and never went to college due to lack of money worked himself up to an executive position. I worked my way up even further, but I had a good start thanks to him. My kids have done even better thanks to a good start from my wife and me.
The one place where my kids are better than me is that I grew up in an environment where racism was acceptable, and they didn’t. I have to work at not being racist, it comes to them naturally.
I’m very proud of them, and we have lots of friends who wish their kids could be like our kids.

My parents are great possible as good as me. I’m fucking amazing. My kids are 2 and 5 so they are evil little bastards but they’ll grow out of it and be amazing some day too.

I’ve only ran across one person who I think is better than me. He’s my best friend and aside from not being quite as smart as I am and having worse taste in women he is better than me in every way.