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blame game parenting

Can We Really Blame Parents for Everything Their Kids Do?

If you’re a parent, you’re likely to have heard the saying, “kids are a product of their parents’ upbringing.” This translates to kids having attitudes like their parents because that’s what they see from them.

I’ve seen power parents who manage to do it all and still raise good, decent human beings. While many parents, regardless of how much they try, can still raise brats. Most parents love to think they are always doing their absolute best. The thing is, not everyone has the ideal situation for raising kids, not to mention the different personality traits.

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My parents have 3 kids. Myself, of course, and my brothers. One is 2.5 years younger while the other is about 9.5 years younger than me. So yes, I’m their big sister.

Each of us was raised very differently. My parents were extremely strict with me. The middle child is mama’s boy, but dad was very hard on him, yet still spoiled him quite a bit. The third is a splitting image of my dad so he was the golden child and was VERY spoiled.

I was very mischievous as a child because I was always worried about getting in trouble for something. In fact, I was always made to think I was lying about everything. I think half the time, I really was.

I’m not going to go deep into my childhood, but I am going to talk about one of the most horrifying experiences parents could go through. It happened with the brother who wasn’t raised in an overly strict way or wasn’t the golden child but had the best of both worlds.

blame game parenting

Teen years are probably the scariest parenting stage. You’ve got kids who are about to become adults and most of the time, they think they are already there. They don’t listen to reason, because they are always right and they know everything. To them, their parents “just don’t get it.”

I witnessed horror as my mom and dad scrambled to go backward and treat my brother in every way possible based on the advice others gave them. It was, “he needs tough love” or “just do your best to understand him” or “he needs professional help.” My parents did it all, but eventually, there was nothing they could do.

When a Parent’s Worst Nightmare Comes True

My brother went to prison for drugs. As a teen, he slowly went from bad to worse as he met and spent time with peers who led him in really bad situations. He had trouble with the law, but he was given changes because he was a teen. Eventually, he became an adult and his chances had run out.

Before this, I remembered hearing my mom cry at night for many nights wondering where her son was. Was he ok? Where was he? Was he lying on a ditch somewhere … the horrible thoughts were endless!

She used to wake up from nightmares thinking someone was going to call her to give her terrible news. The worst was that someone was going to tell her he was in the morgue somewhere. No words to describe what a complete mess she was.

Then he went to prison for 11 years and the fear overwhelmed her. There was not a day she rested easily, because she wondered if he was ok or if he was going to be killed while he was sleeping. She and my dad went to visit him at visiting hours every single weekend for 11 years. They never missed and they never got over the guilt.

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You Could Only Keep Moving Forward

My brother finally came home a year ago and it was the most emotional time in my family’s life. He is completely rehabilitated but is still paranoid about almost everything. He missed all of his a significant part of his 20s and the best young years of his life. Now he’s doing his best to make amends, but how do you get back those lost years?

As a parent now, I understand some of what my parents went through trying their best, but whatever they did, was never good enough to grow the perfect child. Now I go through scenarios and think ‘if I do this, my child will be this way.’ As he grows and develops, I realize he grows into stages and those stages are all very different, which he responds to in ways I could never predict.

I know that no matter how much I try to pay attention to my son’s every need, he has potential to blame something on me or his dad. We could never be too prepared for what comes along in the years to come. Our children look up to us and often mimic (and sometimes make excuses for their behavior because of our actions) what we do.

Is the Parent-Child Bond Formed on a Cellular Level?

Love has a funny way of working through us. We love our children and regardless of how close we may be to them, there is a special, emotional attachment between both parent and child. It is the reason kids get most angry with their parents when life doesn’t give them rainbows and flowers. It is often the reason that children try their best to look for lost biological parents and vice versa. Sometimes no matter how much a child or parent rejects the other, either party may still find a way to look for the other.

Surely you’ve heard amazing stories of kids taking care of their drug or alcohol addicted parents. Somehow, the child still grows up to be an amazing, successful, generous person. It sounds crazy, but it happens much more than we realize, because of the cellular connection children and parents have.

Our Best Has to Be the Most Honest Best

As parents, we could only do our best, but it is our best that our children will depend on. Our best has to be our honest best and not the best according to what others may find to be the best. We have to be honest with what our best is, only to truly believe you’ve done your best.

It is our job to raise our children so they could be prepared for the future that may not always have us in it. They will grow and develop based on the influences around them and without a benefit of a doubt, will also make their decisions. We can’t force them to have good values, because essentially, their mind and body belongs to them. Sharing what we know is our best bet. Incorporating good values, being the best examples we could be, and having confidence in the positive roles we’ve played in their lives could be their saving grace.

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Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop is the proud mommy to little Oliver and wife to hubby. She is a resident of Laguna Beach and a big player in the web's large social media circle.


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  • J.K. Rowling’s statement is true. However, parents will ultimately be accountable to God, their creator, for how they raised their children. Sadly, too many grown children blame their parents for everything they do, just to live out a disastrous life.

  • I jokingly blame my parents for my bad genetics, but now I’ve passed them on to my own children. When it comes to upbringing, it really is tough. Parents can only do so much, but at some point it becomes a person’s responsibility to choose his/her path. Your parents must have endured so much. So much worry, so much unnecessary guilt. I hope they found peace.

  • I have always been a firm believer in modeling the best behavior at home for your children. We are not always perfect though and if we do try our hardest at being parents and give our children consequences for their actions they will learn that their behavior has a direct link to the outcome of what they put into lives. The same goes for parenting.

  • Being a parent is tough. Most of the time (not all the time), I think parents do the best that they can and kids still have the possibility of making bad choices. This could be from a number of things like school, other kids, work, etc. It’s a lot to put all of the blame on upbringing. Sometimes, it does happen, though. However, people have to make their own choices and live with the consequences.

  • I love being a mom more than any other thing I have to do in life. My goal is to raise them to be smart independent thinkers, wise decision makers, responsible and strong. My husband and I are living positive examples for them but you still never know what outside influences will grab hold of them. Neither of us do drugs, drink, fight etc. We keep them involved in many activities with other children so that they can be around other like minded children who aren’t involved in the wrong kinds of things.

  • Raising children is very difficult. My husband counsels parents in his ministry, and there are so many who blame themselves when their children make bad decisions. Even if it is not their fault, it is still difficult to convince them otherwise sometimes.

  • Raising children is not easy for anyone even if it appears they have the perfect family model. I feel for parents who feel lost or like they cannot control their kids. Everyday is a new challenge, but doing the best you can is all you can do. Everyone has their own struggles and I think children reflect their parents and the parents reflect the children. It’s a two way street.

  • I was just talking about this subject with a co worker today. She’d said that she went to a birthday party with her son and there was another child there who was a terror. He kicked, bit, scratched all he came into contact with. His poor mother felt so bad about how he was acting at the party she left early in frustrated tears. I felt so bad hearing the story but thought, is this something instinctual? Are you born bad? i’m not a mother but If I were I would pray every day for clarity and direction and making sure I make the best decisions for my children.

    • Sadly, a lot of people will judge and feel the need to place blame, depending on the severity of the situation. It’s not always the parent’s fault, because all kids are learning, growing, developing … there are many parents who also pray under their breath every time they leave the house and hope to God that their child doesn’t do something outrageous. It doesn’t mean they don’t try to do their very best to instill values that could help the child out.

      Sometimes I wish people were just a little more understanding, rather than judgy. It seems we often run into the latter much more often. I know many parents who are just too tired and have learned to just shrug it off. Sometimes it’s the best solution for the sake of their sanity.

About Author

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop is the proud mommy to little Oliver and wife to hubby. She is a resident of Laguna Beach and a big player in the web's large social media circle.