When your children were little, they always had an excuse. Chances are they blamed their sibling, the dog, their teacher, their friend, and even you for their mistakes. But what happens when your son or daughter doesn’t grow out of blaming you for everything that goes wrong? What do you do when your adult children still tell you it’s your fault?
First, you have to understand the root of the problem. Science says that a child’s early years are crucial for their development; by the time they’ve reached the age of five, their personality is already set. And because we constantly surround our kids when they’re still young (we have to make sure they don’t hurt themselves, after all), our little ones are continuously observing and mimicking our behavior.
“I believe that 100 percent of personality disorders are caused by poor parenting,” says Becky Spelman, a psychologist at the Private Therapy Clinic in the U.K.
Yikes! While we’re not sure we’d go that far, it’s certainly important to know just how much of an impact your behavior as a parent has had on your kid — and what can be done about it now.
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While we’re not trying to jump on the bandwagon with your child and start blaming you, it’s important to know just how much of an impact your behavior as a parent has had on your kid — and what can be done about it now.
“Variations of [future relationship quality] are not reflections of genetically based traits of the infant but of the history of interaction with the parent,” said L. Alan Sroufe, professor emeritus at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, when talking about a study that looked at children’s attachment to caregivers.
If there’s one particular thing that your son or daughter consistently blames you for, think about past incidents that may have caused your child to feel that way. Then, reach our to your kid and have a heart-to-heart about why it’s still bothering him or her so much.
“Sometimes, having difficult, well-structured conversations with parents to get some things off your chest can help you release some of the weight of emotions you’re carrying around about how your parents have affected you,” Spelman tells her patients.
Remember, there’s no need to wait for your kids to come to you. You have the tools now to reach out to your child first and show them how much you care. They may be adults now, but their relationship with you will always be important.
h/t Mel Magazine