TODAY

TODAY   |  August 28, 2013

Are we destined to turn into our parents?

Women’s Health editor Sascha de Gersdorff and Dr. Janet Taylor discuss whether we’re pre-disposed to act like our nurturers and how we can break a negative trait.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> have you said something negative to your children or had a disagreement with your spouse and thought, i have turned into my mother? you maybe surprised to know most women say they turned into their moms around age 31.

>> so are we all destined to become our parents? janet is a psychiatrist and she is editor of women's health.

>> good morning.

>> how real is this? is it inherited directly or behavior we repeat.

>> we like to call it emotional dna. it behaviors passed down from generation to generation. the trick is we're not often aware of it. we might be acting just like generations before us, totally subconsciously.

>> dr. taylor?

>> it's personal tates inherited. whether it's openness and these elements of control that combined with the environment in terms of how we adapt to behavior in terms of our thoughts and feelings. so when you respond to something a certain way and you said to myself i will never be like my mother, you may, in fact, replicate that.

>> now we spend a lot of time trying not to be our parents and is there a flip side of it too? to try to also go back and recognize the positive communication skills or work ethic that your parent had and then repeat that? is that a part of how your --

>> yeah, absolutely. if you're a productive part of society, which hopefully we all are, you have to thank your parents in ways and it's a matter of the positive and the negative but if you recognize there's a pattern within your family around an issue that you need to know , you have the ability to stop it and recognize how that might have contributed to whatever is going on in your life now in term of the communication.

>> so many people use it as a justification for behavior. they say it's in my genes. that's something important to address with our families.

>> that's right. it's not an excuse but it could be an extra nation for something that's happening. we talk a lot about love life . why do i act the way i do in relationships. your relationships might be steered by your parents before you. you want to take a look at that. if they were affectionate you might be too or vice versa .

>> how do we break the cycle?

>> look at the situation, think about your emotions and thoughts and be determined the next time to make a difference. sometimes that may require going back and talking to your parents and families about what is not being said so you have the opportunity to create a family that has harmony and open communication .

>> and forgive them too.