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Poll: We become our parents by 32

Plus, a few signs that you've turned into mom or dad.

By Kristin Wong Aug 26, 2013 6:40PM

We all have that awkward moment when we realize we've become our parents. According to a new poll, most of us experience that moment at 32.

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U.K. parenting site Netmums surveyed more than 1,000 moms and dads and found that the majority of them identified 32 as the age that they turned into their own parents. Homeownership and having children were cited as factors leading to the transformation.

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Have you ever told your kids, "Because I said so," and cringed a little? Women in the poll said hearing themselves say this phrase made them realize they had turned into their mother. For men, a telltale sign they had become their father was dancing poorly at family functions.

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Below are a few more signs that you've become your parents, according to the poll. Have another sign? Tell us in the comments.

  • Thinking 6 a.m. is a time for getting up, not getting in.
  • Finding yourself saying, “Turn that racket down” or, “You’re not going out dressed like that."
  • Leaving Facebook because you're jealous of your childless friends' posts.
  • Buying coasters.
  • Listening to AM radio.

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Aug 31, 2013 6:17AM
"Because I said so" is actually an excellent statement to use, especially if you have a child that can come up with a counter-argument for everything.  Children need to know that the grown-ups are in charge, and sometimes the only reason they need is mommy or daddy wants them to do something.
Aug 31, 2013 12:11AM
Think for yourself.  
Not enough of that in the world right now.
Aug 30, 2013 10:34PM
I could not be more different than my very conservative parents, but my 17 year old daughter still thinks I'm a dork.
Aug 30, 2013 8:41PM
When they are 12-20 something, their parents are "like so not cool."  Then they grow up and have their own kids and say, "I should have listened," and "mom was right," and my favorite, "was I that bad as a kid?"
Aug 30, 2013 8:25PM
Mirror, mirror on the wall
I am my mother after all.

Aug 30, 2013 7:38PM

The various responses to this poll are funny and strange.  Some of it is spot on, and other parts are off a tad!  I think I've become "like" my mom in a lot of ways.  But I think I evaluated a few areas of being raised by my parents and made a conscious effort to do certain thing differently... and I did.


However, the first time you hear yourself saying "Because I'm your mother and I said so!" comes as a jolt!  After that you begin to hear yourself parroting a bunch of things your mom said to you.  And, yes... it makes you feel like you have turned into your mom.  It also makes you feel that your mom did a pretty good job after all.


I am now wondering if the time will come when I will hear my daughter repeat some of my very own directives, such as:  "I will trust you until you give me a reason not to; or, you're not everybody, you are Somebody!"  I  know I  have heard her say some things that my  mom said to her. 


One thing mom use to  say to her:  "Missy, you must behave properly!"  And my daughter would put one hand on her hip and shake her finger at my mom and say... "Properly, properly, properly"!


I think my parents did a good job.  Times change and methods change.  Today's parents have  to deal with things that our parents hadn't even heard of yet.  So, for  those  who seem to  relish the idea that they are "nothing like their parents", well... maybe that's what your problem is today. 

Aug 30, 2013 7:00PM
Become "our" parent or "a" parent.

A lot of those "lines" we hear ourselves say and think "omigod my dad/mom used to say the same thing!" is because ALL parents say them.

"No, you can't eat that, it will spoil your dinner."
"Because I said so"
"Are you even listening?"
"You'll go blind sitting that close to the TV"
"Why don't you go play outside"
"Daddy's in time out"
"Be nice to your sister"

I think it has less to do with being our own parents and more to do with being A parent. Plus 32 makes sense since if the median age for kids is late 20s, they'd be starting Kindergarten when you were 32ish (which is when most of these phrases are probably beginning to be said).
Aug 30, 2013 10:59AM
I have dedicated my life to NOT becoming my parents, thank you very much. They have done a great job being living examples of what I shouldn't do in just about everything. I'd say I'm turning out far better than either of them were at my age.
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