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How do you process the effects your family and parents have had on who you are, without blaming them for your problems?

14 Answers
Last Updated: 01/05/2021 at 5:20pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Johanna Liasides, MSc


I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.

Top Rated Answers
January 11th, 2015 8:14am
I DO blame them for some of my problems, but I don't let those problems define who I am. It's okay to hold abusers responsible for what they've done for you so long as you don't use it as a free pass to get out of improving yourself and taking responsibility for your own life. I hold my parents accountable for how they've hurt me in the past, but the present and the future are solely in my hands.
May 18th, 2015 9:41am
During my adolescence I blamed my parents for a lot of things. But when I got older I realized that it is better to forgive and focus on the positive things. Now I know my parents taught me a lot of good things, kept my morals high and taught me to be grateful. Thank you :)
June 2nd, 2015 3:01am
Personal experience says while parents may have set en example (good/bad) at the end of the day it's your choice on who you become. If they were a good influence definitely try to live your life with what you learned. If they were a bad influence, think of the things they did that made them be a negative influence and try not to do the same.
June 17th, 2015 3:27pm
Take it in, and make it as a motivation might be hard to find and see it But I have been there and doing it until now
September 8th, 2015 10:24am
By realizing that it is possible to unlearn those that no longer serves you and relearn the lesson again. Everyone of us are shaped by our family, friends & surroundings. it's an unavoidable cycle but it doesn't mean it's the end. It is possible that the actions / effects / reactions / thoughts / words from family / parents are the lessons they learn that worked for them; however, what works for 1 person doesn't always work for another. Blaming isn't supportive for me or those around me; it's just making a decision to change and making corrections that would work for me that helps best.
November 2nd, 2015 11:57pm
Simple, we should be able to take their behaviors and use it as a "how not to" guide. Not foolproof but usable.
November 16th, 2015 10:56am
the effects that my family has had on my life will be something that I can tell is positive on my life.
April 26th, 2016 4:12am
Your parents brought u up the best way they knew they could. Nobody is perfect and they only do the best they can. But the idea is to learn from the mistakes that your parents has made and do better for yourself and your kids to come.
February 12th, 2018 4:32pm
By understanding that everything happens for a reason. No matter how much time we spend on blaming others for what’s happening, it’ll go to waste. Instead if we constructively think about what’s actually wrong and put things into perspection, things will be a whole lot better. :)
June 5th, 2018 9:49pm
Focus on the issues that you need to address. Assigning blame is never helpful and can keep you from working through your problems. Once you begin to solve them, you may find it easier to not blame your parents, maybe even to understand why they did what they did.
August 28th, 2018 4:30pm
I still haven't actually learned how to stop blaming and resenting my parents for what problems I have in my life right now. But one thing that really helped me was actually moving to college. I know that not everyone has that opportunity, but getting some space from my parents has really helped me to see that they only wanted the best for me, and didn't necessarily know how to give me what I needed in my life because of their own upbringings. What's important to remember is that they are products of their time, just as you are, and some parents don't always know what their kid needs. Talking with your parents about what's bothering you really helps, especially if you do so in a constructive manner. Setting boundaries and learning what you like to do and what you enjoy can really help you find who you are outside of your parents' influence. Blame and resentment are never easy to overcome. A lot of times, the root of the problem is simply communication. If communication isn't an option, try simply finding somewhere or something that you can go to or do to learn who you are and what you want to do in your life.
December 3rd, 2018 6:48pm
That’s a great question. We are definitely formed and influenced by our families, but they don’t define who we are. It’s great that you want to stay away from blame, as it is completely counterproductive. I think it often takes a life time of work to realize what parts of ourselves are shaped and influenced by our family and our parents. I think it’s healthy to acknowledge that sometimes our unhealthy ways of coping with things are often related to those early influences. Take stock of the things in your life, choices and decisions that you are making, and then ask yourself the hard questions. For instance, if you felt insecure as a child, are you hanging on to those insecurities as an adult? It is only when we truly examine these pieces of who we are that we can start to make positive changes toward who we want to be.
January 14th, 2019 3:18am
Processing who you are without blaming your parents for any problems comes with time and acceptance. Accepting that experiences influence who you become but will never completely define who you are- just mold you. Parents are people at the end of the day. They've raised their children based on the principles that they believe was their best at that very time. How we are affected with their decisions will influence our thought problems immensely. Some problems we would like to blame on our parents, however accepting those problems and working through them in an honest effort everyday makes all the difference. Being self aware realizing we have a problem that only we are capable of addressing before trying to place the blame on our parents to soften and deflect the pain we are feeling.
January 5th, 2021 5:20pm
Reclaiming my agency, develop my inner resources so I can care for myself in the now and present instead of blaming them, develop kindness/understanding that they were suffering themselves, also cultural context at the time without minimizing the effect of what they did. Also focus on the now and present, instead of wishing that the past did not happened (wasted energy, futile effort). If necessary, enlist the help of a trained professional in a therapeutic modal that fits me (CBT is the therapy du jour but it is probably not for everybody). Also mindfulness is du jour but also may not be for everybody.