Let's say you're the parent of a very successful catastrophizer--should you feel pride, because so much of you lives on in a new generation? Or sadness and regret because your offspring has arguably been infected by your own congenital and over-arching pessimism?
- Anonynomous Individual Not
Responsible for Fathering the
Before going any further with this answer, I should make one thing very clear: you should always feel sadness and regret. Very occasionally, you may allow yourself to feel pride, or joy, or elation, but only because those sensations will add a certain piquancy to your subsequent feelings of sadness and regret. Don't be concerned about having to force the return of the sadness and regret; they will come back without much prodding because life is full of things that cause them.
Feeling pride that part of you lives on in the next generation can quite easily be made to result in profound depression (although all things, obviously, can be made to result in profound depression). First of all, that pride is necessarily bound up in the fact that you yourself will die, a fact which is likely to be interpreted as a downer. The individual in whom your qualities (fine ones, I will admit) will live on will also die, possibly without issue. Even if that individual were to produce offspring, those offspring would eventually die, and so on. Even if you belonged to a family that regularly produced progeny, all of whom inherited your qualities, remember that the world itself will most likely shrivel up and disappear at some point in the vast expanse of future time. Your pride will, one way or another, be short-lived.
You should absolutely believe that it is because of your style of parenting/doomed genetic bequest that your child has developed catastrophizing tendencies, because as you've indicated, that line of thought will undoubtedly produce more sadness and regret. However, if you were lucky/unfortunate enough to produce an even vaguely observant child, that child, one way or another, would have grown up catastrophically. The beige and brown Ford Fairmont had nothing to do with it.