adult children blaming their parents

Do Some Adults Want To Blame Their Parents For Everything?

February 9, 2024

Are they blaming them or is something deeper happening?

It's not uncommon to hear people accuse adults of blaming their parents for everything. While this might seem like an easy explanation, it's essential that we look deeper into this behavior. Often, these adults are merely expressing the same powerlessness they likely felt as children. They're unsure how to embrace their full identity as independent adults because they never had the chance to practice this during their childhood.

The Impact of Authoritarian Parenting

Adults who grow up with parents who use punishment, fear, intimidation, and manipulation as their primary parenting tactics may have trouble establishing their own inner sense of trust and independence. If you've been taught what to think rather than how to think, you may struggle with this in your adult life.

These adults are often perplexed when they're told (usually around age 18) that they're suddenly responsible for everything that has happened and will happen to them. They don't understand how to show up in an equal adult relationship with a parent who has never wanted equality and likely still doesn't.

In this type of relationship dynamic, your parent may want you to be subservient in every way, except when it comes to taking responsibility for everything you've done to damage the relationship. They want you to be an adult and take responsibility for "your part" while still being beneath them in the power hierarchy. This is a paradox that simply does not work.

The Journey to Self-Sufficiency

Adult children can and will typically become independent, self-sufficient adults when their family relationships allow for that growth. In adult relationships, you cannot demand that someone show radical responsibility for their actions/behavior and remain in control of their life. Adulthood includes self-determination.

You cannot behave like an independent adult and a subservient child at the same time. Many adult children are being asked to perform this role. They are being asked to take full responsibility for their actions and choices in both childhood and adulthood while also remaining powerless.

The Limits of Accountability

Parents can take full accountability for the choices they make as adults. Adult children cannot take full responsibility for the choices and decisions they make in childhood. They were not independent adults then. They do not have the skills, resources, or brain development to make independent choices. They are quite literally learning to be human.

If your parent is asking you to take responsibility for your part while also asking you to remain a subservient child, this may be why you're struggling to have a relationship with them in adulthood. It may also be why you can't seem to assert your independence in adulthood. We have to look deeper here: is it actually "blaming your parents" or something more profound?

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