You’re An Adult, Stop Blaming Your Parents

I think everyone goes through a phase where they blame their parents for the negative aspects of who they are  and where they currently are (or are not) in their life. That is probably normal and perhaps good in one sense. It is useful to reflect on the past to gain insight for our present and future.

However, you are an adult, right?

If you are over 27 years old, you need to grow up and stop blaming your upbringing for the negative aspects of your life and ways of thinking. You are old enough now to know better. You probably learned many life lessons the hard way, so it is your responsibility to retain those lessons and apply what you learned to other areas of your life.

You are inevitably a product of your parents and siblings; however, you are not an exact replica. You do have a choice to be different than your parents and people of major influence during your upbringing if you want to be different.

But, I encourage you to think: Are your parents really that bad? Did they really wrong you that much to create such resentment in your heart and mind?

If you came from an abusive home or from serious neglect, that is tough. I totally get how it would take a lot more mental energy to let go of resentment and not fall into similar patterns. Therefore, this article may not be for you.

However, I think many Americans can look back and their childhoods and say they had a decent upbringing. There was food, education, and love – perhaps varying degrees of such, but it was all there.

So, why dissect every moment that your parents screwed up? Why assume that you are trapped in a fate that is dictated by someone else’s life choices? Why hold onto grudges, judgements, and childhood pain throughout your whole life?

Your parents are people. They did what they could with what they knew. You can not blame them for that.

You are hopefully smarter than your parents. (I say “hopefully” because it is always the desire to provide better for your children and enhance the human species with each generation.) Being smarter, you may see things differently. Seeing things differently does not imply that all previous ways of thinking are wrong.

How narcissistic.

People once thought the world was flat. Of course, we know now that it is round. But just because people did not have the technology or capability to know the true shape of the earth, does not mean that they were wrong for thinking that or stupid or incompetent. People made decisions based on what they knew. You can not blame them for that.

You are like the people that figured out the earth is round, where your parents thought it flat. Your parents will be dumbfounded (not dumb) and very proud of your discovery. Do not patronize your parents because they did not have the capability you have to think otherwise.

One day, you may be a parent, too, and you will see how hard it is to raise a person. Even if you are not a parent, at some point in your life you will realize that your parents were humans susceptible to making mistakes, just like you.

So, give your parents some slack. Learn from the past, but do not forget all the wonderful memories of your childhood. The laughter and love. Be grateful for who your parents are exactly as they are, and thank them for giving you life and an opportunity to live.

Your parents love you more than they even realize. Give back to them by returning that love and enriching their lives.

REFLECT

Make a quick mental list of all the things you love or admire about your parents. Your parents undoubtedly have character traits that you like and learn from. Keep those characteristics in your mind at all times. When you feel the urge to blame your parents for something silly, just pull out your list and focus on the good stuff. Take ownership over your own flaws and see them as independent of your upbringing. Each day you have the choice to be whoever and whatever you want. Your past is past, so get over it. Move into the future with gratitude for lessons learned and dedication to continual improvement.

7 comments

    • Rachael says:

      Thank you, Mom. And I am very grateful to be your daughter. (Okay, it’s out now…Linda is my mother. I’m sure it all makes sense now why Linda is the top-commenter on this site :) Thanks for your continuous support, Little Mamma!)

  1. Y says:

    This part made me really sad:
    “You are like the people that figured out the earth is round, where your parents thought it flat. Your parents will be dumbfounded (not dumb) and very proud of your discovery. Do not patronize your parents because they did not have the capability you have to think otherwise.”
    Because in this scenario my parents would not be proud. They would say that I’m wrong and that Earth is flat. If I would provide them with proof, they would dismiss it saying that they live longer and know better, and who am I to tell them that the Earth is round. They would question everything, including my mental state, because to them it would be crazy to even think that the Earth is round.
    Yeah, it is hard to not blame parents like that, they never listened to me and always dismissed everything I said, they judged me based on what they did when they were my age and always patronized me and still do to this day. To them, I’m crazy and will always be. I cannot talk to them I’m so angry for everything they did, and there was barely any physical violence so it’s extra easy for them to deny that they did anything wrong. I have no idea how to ever forgive them, because when I think of my mother I’m so angry that I can’t help but imagine breaking her stupid face and the mouth that spouted so many mean things about me throughout my childhood. Also my childhood was a time of perpetual loneliness and I’m so happy that it’s over, what a sad thing to never want to go back to your childhood.

    • Beautiful says:

      I can’t even imagine what it must’ve been like to deal with constant reminders of how “imperfect” you are and not having parents fully invested in you the way all parents should be. From personal experience, I have seen firsthand the trauma clueless and misguided parenting can cause on young children, specifically regarding mothers. You might feel like your parents or parent undermine you on purpose, and to be frank, that sometimes ends up being the case. However, I truly believe most parents raise their kids the best way they know how, and although this might be hard to swallow, every time they hurl insults your way or disregard your achievements, its a reflection of themselves not you. Deep down, they don’t mean any of the things they say but have real difficulties expressing their true feelings, whether it be from their upbringing or other factors. But I can tell you with certainty your parents think you’re the smartest one in the household and love you with all their heart. This might pertain more to one of them than both, but the fact remains that they love you more than they can fathom. Nothing can make up for how they treated you in the past, but holding that resentment in leads to intense anger that worsens over the years, no matter what distractions preoccupy you. All i can say is until you question your parents to understand their ways, you’ll never be able to forgive them and move on. Forgiveness is a virtue that many people have trouble with, me included, but once you relive the pain you went through and better understand why your parents did what they did, you’ll become stronger for it and realize that forgiveness is the only true way to mend your unique heart.

  2. Papasan says:

    ‘When they hurl insults and disregard your achievements’.. Understood. Let me ask you this: “Would you ever even think that let alone do the same to them { or anyone}”?
    Never. You can mitigate all you want however, each of us are responsible for our own behavior and how it may affect others, especially those we ‘love’. Respect, empathy, and a solid plank of trust is always in style, no matter how old we are. Love and be loved but never hurt to be loved by those you cannot ever {dozens of horrid examples} trust… Self respect will also never go out of style and feels best when safe with the ones you love most.

    ‘Don’t mean the things they say/difficulties expressing true feelings’..
    Understood even more. Words are like nails to a healthy tree in that if you stab that tree with a single nail and then take it out, the scar will remain long after that tree falls. The true measure of love is trust. With trust being void, what differentiates them from a criminal on the street that only enjoys stealing from you the only thing {self respect} you have left? . However, if trust is without question, {a true and special priveleged relationship/one built on confidence and trust} and trust is always present, you can still be able to find time to laugh with those same people instead of ‘one-upping’ or being passive-aggressive and shattering the trust you’re both {hopefully} seeking from each other…Be honest with those you share DNA with, if you cannot, well, safe journey into the abyss finding it with those you don’t.

    Just two-cents from the peanut gallery. Great article, a lot of solid points!
    p.s. I love my boys, maybe one day I can trust them too…Truth and honesty vacated our love long long ago. However, we get the last laugh! Simple, me and their mom created two guys that are beautiful and amazing in ‘our’ eyes.. how could we see any different…we are parents! I play the ‘mean one’, mom plays ‘nice one’ and they play us both! Haha (love em, with all your heart; but be sure to love yourself too)

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