Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why are parents always to blame?

   I've read a few blogs lately all pointing to the faulty parenting of others.  I get that there are a lot of bad parents out there.  There are a lot of good parents out there.  But there is an assumption that bad parents have bad children, good parents have good children.  I find that funny, like saying straight parents have straight kids.
   Don't get me wrong, I am not denying that little brats often have overly-indulgent parents who spoil them.  But at some point doesn't that person take control of their lives and make of their life what they will?  Isn't part of growing up to take responsibility and not allow society to blame your parents for everything wrong you do.  "Oh, he came from a broken home" or "his parents never taught him discipline".  I'm sorry, but if you are over the age of 16 it is time to stop blaming your parents.  Especially since we can all do it.  There is no such thing as a calculation for perfect parents, so let us all sit back and blame the over-indulgence, uncaring, alcoholic, absentee, overly intrusive, single, working, emotionally distant, over protective, overly liberal, abusive, non-disciplining, poor, rich.... insert adjective here... parents for not doing right by us.  Yes there are fucked up parents, and then there are assholes out there who will blame perfectly fine parents for everything they have ever done wrong.

I heard a brilliant line the other day I wanted to share, which I guess was kind of what put this in my head.  Someone who had come from a very physically and emotionally abusive home.  "At some point I had to separate  what was done to me, and what I did to myself.  It's the only way to own yourself."

Maybe the problems with the youth of today is that society keeps telling them their triumphs are their own, and their failures are the fault of their parents, society, the government, the times, their friends, the drugs, the environment, the media... But certainly not their own.  Maybe it's time to give kids ownership of their lives, good or bad, they are the ones making the choices.  Own the consequences.


  1. Well said Jamie.
    Often people don't like to admit that the failures in their own lives are solely down to the choices that they have made. The truth is easier to stomach if you put the blame firmly at the feet of others.

    The quote you used, pertains to my own abusive childhood. No-one but me is responsible for the way that my life turned out and I fully take ownership of that. Great post.

  2. i had a rotten upbringing.

    i turned out fine because i wanted to.

    and now i get to collect beautiful hearts like yours xoxo

  3. Yeah Jamie, tell 'em! I love this post, it is honest and spot on.
    It does not take a genius nor a rocket scientist to understand accountability. I remember learning this in Kinder class - "If you make a mess, clean it up."
    I am grateful for my imperfect parents and I am happy with the imperfect me. And I love yah!

  4. I understand where you are coming from and I agree with you to a certain point but at the same time, just as it is a choice to make certain decisions there is also the factor that we must also observe where the influences of behavior in kids come from. sure there are some kids who prove to be the goody goody who comes from a bad family and the other that is quite a trouble maker coming from two parents who tried their best. But in the end, psychologists will say that a person's personality and behavior isn't shaped by its own. but again that is just one side of things. obviously there is no right or wrong to opinions

  5. I do agree that personal accountability is rare these days and parents are often blamed for the failures of their children. I disagree that a person's failures and achievements are independent of the influences of parents.

    Many times poor choices are made because a young, inexperienced person is already in a horrible situation they were put in by their parents. What they need to own is their part (which is your point), but perhaps that choice never would have been made had their circumstances been different.

  6. I do think it is horrible when people have bad parents, don't get me wrong. Like PB I am grateful for my imperfect parents.... that does not mean I do not understand that people have horrible childhoods. But as an adult you do have choices, including the choice to get therapy if you know your childhood is bleeding into your adult life and leading you into making bad choices. I give props to all those who get past bad childhoods to take back their lives and prove that you are not always a victim if you chose not to be. Lily and A... great examples of strength.

  7. if you could hear inside my head, you would be singing along with me the theme-song to the world-famous t.v. show "the facts of life."
    who we come from is beyond us, who we become isn't.
    thank goodness for some of us...

  8. Amen. Parents raise us. They do their best (granted, in some households "the best" is woefully inadequate, dangerous and/or destructive), but once we're grown, it's up to us to make right of our lives. "I'm in charge of me", that means not only choosing to do right by ourselves and by others, but to take responsibility for how we choose to let our raising (good or bad) dictate our lives going forward. (<--Thankfully, one of the best lessons my parents taught me ;D)