Copyright 2023 Marline E. Pearson
What we observed and what we experienced in our
families growing up impacts us in many ways—our behaviors,
choices, attitudes, beliefs, and expectations. Some grow up with many positive past
experiences that have helped them, and some have had more negative experiences that have created
difficulties and challenges. Many have a mixture of both.
By examining the patterns of your past, you can decide what you want to keep and what you want to work to
change. You can work to develop the patterns you want for your life and relationships.
Check the boxes on these two pages that come closest to describing what you experienced most—whether you
lived with one or both parents, a stepfamily, relatives, or a foster family—or all of these. There are no right or
wrong answers. These questions are just a way to help you think back on your family experiences and to avoid
repeating patterns you’d rather leave behind.
1. My parent(s)/adult(s) in the home:
l Were able to talk openly about their feelings to each other, good or bad.
l Seemed to have many topics and feelings they couldn't talk about to each other.
2. In my family:
l People generally told each other what was going on in their lives.
l We hardly ever shared with each other what was going on in our lives.
3. When there was a problem in my family:
l People got mad, exploded, but never really sat down and solved it.
l People tended to avoid talking about it.
l We sat down, talked about it, and tried to solve it.
4. In my family:
l Everyone went their own way. We hardly ever ate together. There was not much structure.
l There was a balance between time together as a family and time alone. We ate together and had
many family traditions.
5. Regarding discipline and accountability in my family:
l There were clear rules and expectations. Consequences, for the most part, seemed fair.
l It did not exist. We all did what we wanted or what we could get away with.
Baggage from
the Past
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