What inspired me to write this article was a video that I watched for a positive psychology coach where she somehow condemns the blame placed on parents, saying something like: “Enough! Stop blaming your parents, they did their best, they didn’t know any better!”
Since I knew that her words were going to provoke many people, I jumped into the comments section to see for myself. Even I was shocked by the number of people attacking her that she later had to remove the video from social media. Most were very aggressive, others told their stories in the comments about how they had to cut off contact with their toxic parents, while only a slight bit agreed with her.
This should be an eye-opener for many parents who still think that their kids will love them unconditionally only because they brought them into this world. What if you didn’t teach them unconditional love when you always criticized them and made them feel that they were not good enough? Or when you physically, verbally, or emotionally abused them every time they didn’t rise to meet your expectations? If you didn’t make them feel loved, do you still expect them to love you unconditionally?
You would be amazed at how many times I’ve heard someone say that they hated their parents. It didn’t only come out from teenagers, I’ve heard grown-ups saying it as well, especially those who have been trying to heal for so long and have tasted the bitterness of healing, or figured out that they’re probably going to spend the rest of their lives trying to recover from what their parents did to them. And why? Because they just didn’t know any better?
Knowing that you shouldn’t abuse your kids doesn’t need education. We understand that parents had their own traumas but does that change the fact that some of them have caused permanent damage or have literally ruined their children’s lives? Is it going to make them feel better knowing that their parents didn’t mean to hurt them?
An apology and a changed behavior might calm their hearts, but I have noticed how some people view every argument with their parents as an opportunity to remind them of their past misdeeds. This made me wonder whether they have really forgiven their parents.
Some people might say that they now understand the reasons behind their parents’ actions and I do believe them, but when they keep bringing up the past on every occasion, does it mean they’re over it? Even some might deny that their parents have caused them traumas, I often hear: “my parents used to hit me, yet here I am doing just fine”. That’s when I think to myself: “what about the anti-depressants you’re on? What about your anger issues? What about the chronic stress? What is your definition of fine exactly?”
I believe those people are either in denial, pretty much unaware of the damage that was done to them, or they’re still under the effect of the brainwashing. Sorry, but I had to say this since there’s something about society always sanctifying parents when some of them actually don’t deserve that label.
And how about what we used to always hear as kids “I’m your parent, I know better” or “I’m your parent, you should respect me”. And we got punished every time we disobeyed because “we made our parents angry”. Our parent’s reaction was reflected in guilt feeling that turned things upside down within us, then we kept trying to please them even if it meant denying our pain. We carry that pain into adulthood, yet we keep dismissing it since we were made to believe that our parents did what they did because they wanted the best for us. We were made to believe that parents are infallible, almost Gods who make no mistakes.
There is no way that parents take accountability, they always have an excuse for everything or even turn the blame on their children “you were a trouble maker, that’s why we had to treat you like that”. Really? Kids are never born with behavioral problems, you make them like that. And now it’s okay to blame the kids, but never the parents? How does that even make sense?
Some parents don’t even admit that they have abused their kids only because they never “laid a hand on them”. That’s funny, so now your children should thank you for not beating the hell out of them? Then you complain that kids are so ungrateful: “after all that we did for them”. Try to ask them about what they did, and their answer would be “we worked hard to provide them with food, shelter, and good education”. What about the psychological issues you gave them? Have you counted that? I bet you haven’t. So they should thank you for feeding them, letting them live in your house, and paying for their school? What? Were they supposed to work as infants to provide for themselves?
When you decide to give life to another, yet helpless human being who didn’t choose to be born, it’s your duty to take care of them, not the other way around. This includes taking care of their mental health as well. So don’t make them feel like they owe you for giving them the bare minimum, because they don’t.
What kids need is for you to make them feel loved, heard, and seen. They will grow up one day to discover that you didn’t give them these basic needs, they will as well realize how most of their poor life decisions were a result of their childhood traumas and the negative beliefs about themselves that you seeped through their subconscious. They will grow up one day and analyze the reasons behind their miserable life, to find out that it was you. And many will not forgive you!