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Playing With / Breaking The Cycle Of Bad Parenting

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Basic Trope: A character whose parents were abusive, incompetent, or otherwise dysfunctional does their best to do a better job with their own kids.

  • Straight: Bob grew up in a genuinely Dysfunctional Family. His dad drank like a fish (and was either out drinking, or sleeping off a hangover), and his mom was always in some kind of dramatic crisis (often one that she created, or at least majorly contributed to). When Bob marries Alice, and finds out she's pregnant, Bob swears to do better by his kid than his parents did by him.
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  • Exaggerated: Bob's Abusive Parents were Complete Monsters. They both beat and raped Bob (and his siblings) almost daily, they used his name to sign up for loans and credit cards they never paid back (thus trashing his credit before he even reached his 18th birthday), they left him alone for days at a time while they went off on romantic getaways, etc. Not only has Bob cut off contact with them, he promises himself that he will never be that horrible.
  • Downplayed: Bob was raised in a very strict environment, and it gave him anxiety and a perfectionist streak. He promises not to raise his kids that way, and to celebrate the good instead of focusing on their mistakes or grades.
  • Justified: Bob is a caring person, who doesn't want to inflict that pain on anyone else, least of all his own offspring.
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  • Inverted: Bob grew up in a loving, happy, almost perfect family. When he has kids of his own, however, he is neglectful and abusive.
  • Subverted:
    • It's not the issue of how to raise the kids, but rather whether or not to stay with Alice.
    • Bob decides that he doesn't want kids, and schedules a vasectomy right away.
  • Double Subverted:
    • Bob decides it's better to divorce Alice instead of "staying together for the kids," because he remembered when his own parents did exactly that and how negatively it affected Bob and his siblings.
    • The reason Bob doesn't want kids and decided to go for "the big snip" instead, is because his parents were terrible at being parents; he doesn't want to take even the chance that he'll make the same mistakes. (One of which, he feels, was having kids in the first place because they felt that they "had to," or were "supposed to," not because they actually wanted kids.)
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  • Parodied: Bob's mother won't let him leave the table because he won't eat his (overcooked, mushy) peas. When he grows up, he swears he'll never let peas into the house.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • Bob does not have children.
    • Bob came from a very loving and functional family.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: ???
  • Invoked: After a lifetime of living with parents who had addictions, dysfunctions, and were always fighting, Bob grows up, leaves their house, and eventually marries Alice. One day, Alice tells him she's pregnant. Bob flashes back to his crappy childhood, and promises himself that he'll never raise the child the same way he was raised.
  • Exploited: Someone sets up parenting classes at the local adult education center.
  • Defied: Alice and Bob raise the kids exactly as they were raised.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???

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