Many people admit to having a difficult parent. Adult children play a game called “let’s see whose parents are worse”, awhile exchanging crazy parenting stories from childhood. But for those of us who are parents, reality starts to set in, even we don’t always know what to do.
As adult children it can be easy to forget certain factors about our parents. Therefore, these are 3 reminders of why difficult parents need to be forgiven:
- Parents are not perfect. Being a parent does not make you wiser. There is a theory many children believe to be true- parents always know what is best. As we grow older we realize our parents may have messed up along the way. Then we hold our parents accountable and there begins the journey of judgement placed on them. The reality is parents are no wiser then other beings. Before these beings were parents, they were just like you and I. Parenting is not an easy role, and there isn’t a magical spell placed on them, which suddenly transforms the person they have always been. So please give them a break, or at least lend them a “break free out of Guilt Jail” card.
- Most parents do the best with what they know. Many times children forget their parents where raised differently. Their parents were exposed to a different society and way of being. It is somewhat crazy to expect our parents to “fully” understand the current generation, if we take the time to acknowledge where they came from. For some parents it takes time to learn the new generations way of being, for others that time may never come. But it helps if they are treated with more compassion, rather than with judgment and criticism. Think about it, would you like it if your child, asked you to be different, to change the person that you are? Just because they did not understand you. Probably not.
- They will not be here forever. Often many adult children forget to cherish their parents while they are alive. Disagreements will seem very petty when facing the illness/death of a parent. Would you prefer to have memories of the moments you embraced your parents or memories of rejection? The choice is ultimately yours, but it will a choice you will have to live with. Take the time to get to know them, not as your parent, but as a person.
It is easy to forget parents where once children themselves. They were beings just like us on a journey called life, trying to figure it all out. Society places a role on parents, which holds rigid standards and expectations. In the eyes of others there is little room for error, and judgment is easily passed on and placed on parents. But if the time is taken, many will remember, parents are humans, with their own journey. If adult children remove those rigid standards they hold for their parents, then they will get to know who their parents really are, as a human being.