I don't know how a person can ever hope to understand their own parents without having children. My mind is in a constant state of "a-ha..." as I hear myself parrot phrases thrown at me during my own childhood. Truth is truth; it doesn't matter the package or tone that it's delivered in; nor does it matter how the hearer chooses to twist it and file it into memory. Kids have a way of reconciling generations to each other. I understand my folks a lot better now, realizing that mistakes I thought they were making in parenting were an arrogant ignorance on my part - wow, they put up with a lot of crap from me. When you have your own kids, you get to see the side of your parents that you never allowed them to express, because you were too busy giving them grey hair. They are allowed to be gentle and generous, nurturing, without worrying about some mythical fallout that will happen when they are teenagers as a direct result of the third cookie they snuck to them before dinner. My mom actually cried the first time she saw me spank Lily. It was very touching.