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If you have older children, have they ever blamed you for their unhappiness?++

Seems as though one of our children is blaming my DH for his lack of involvement and his not really "listening" for years. My DH is not the most in tune with every mood and feeling around here, and can be a little obtuse at times, but all in all a good and nice guy.

And then I got blamed for defending him and pointing out the many times he was involved.

Do our children get to blame us when we've spent the last 20 years juggling our lives to be at every concert, recital, sporting event to cheer for them, help with academics, drive them all over so they can have some fun, send them on school trips, take vacations, and work our butts off to provide?

We are nice people and have worked hard to do right by our kids. At some point it's up to them to take responsibility for themselves...not blame others for their being miserable.

My parents fought a lot, got divorced and my mother ended up a drug addict, but I never blamed her for my unhappiness. My Dad worked really hard and I would never dream of pulling the "you're never there for me" card. Life isn't always a bowl of do what you can with what you have.


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Asked by Anonymous at 6:45 PM on Jul. 12, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (6)
  • no not at all

    Answer by smiley745 at 7:33 PM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • No one is perfect & even parents make mistakes. All we can do is our best. If he thinks that is the cause for all his problems, you are right, he needs to own the mistakes he's made. Wait til they become parents someday & hopefully when they finally get "it", they will come back & say how much they appreciate everything you did for them :)

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 7:59 PM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • Do they get to? I think yes, they get to.
    Parents don't have to listen, or agree, but I think grown kids get to feel how they feel, think what they think, and decide what was true for them. They get to be mad when parents debate with them about their own perceptions & feelings.

    It totally makes sense to be upset & to point out the alternate view, and it is completely understandable. But it also is kind of validating the complaint. And perpetuating the "not hearing," or not being able/willing to hear (to care about the person's perceptions, rather than whether or not the accusations are fair or true.)

    I once read a quote that "the child makes up the movie of his childhood and this is the only childhood he has."

    I know that I had some heart-to-heart talks with my parents in which I shared how things negatively impacted me. There was some "But you don't understand" defensiveness, but I appreciate how they were able to listen.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:22 PM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • I believe it's the blame emphasis that causes problems for all of us, hearing each other.
    If we "get" that it's not a matter of fault or blame, so that we're not taking that on (even when someone else is blaming us) it is a whole lot easier to be receptive to what someone is saying, to their grievances & their pain.

    I can imagine validating those perceptions (for example, about your husband) without making it an indictment of him, or saying that if it is true or valid that it implies he was NOT a good & nice guy who meant well, tried hard, often did well, etc. etc.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:25 PM on Jul. 12, 2013

  • Of course the get to blame you. Is it right for them to do so? No it is not.

    Answer by Dardenella at 12:41 AM on Jul. 13, 2013

  • A bit of blaming here and there may be hurtful, but it's probably normal and just a vent. Chronic blaming isanother story. Eventually it's true, we are all responsible for our own happiness. My parents let me down in a lot of ways. Now, as an adult, it's up to me whether I move beyond that or not. If I don't, then the blame is mine because now I have control of my decisions.

    Answer by Ballad at 1:38 AM on Jul. 18, 2013

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