Adult Children and Blame

Author: Lucille Williams

Why is it so hard to live by grace for ourselves as a parent? As I was raising my children when they had behavior that was, let’s just say, “unbecoming,” my first instinct was to blame myself. Did I not teach them right? Did I not model good behavior? Is this because of the fight I had with hubby this morning? Is this my fault? And now that my children are all grown (and they seem to be struggling in an area) it can sometimes morph into self-blame, again. Did I totally miss the mark on my parenting? How can this be happening, didn’t I teach them better? Could I have done something differently to give them a better start in life?
When I see my now adult children struggling I automatically revert to somehow blaming myself for whatever the challenge. Thoughts of a crying four-year-old suddenly transfers to why at twenty something—depending on which child—is going through whatever struggle is pressing down on them?
Where does this stop?
At what point do you draw the line? Can we really say our adult kids’ struggle comes as a result of some perceived failure in our parenting?
Being the perfect parent was the unattainable goal I had longed for.
Then I heard God’s whisper…
Do you trust me? Do you believe what I command? Do you believe and trust what you read in My Word or only the parts you want to? I formed each one of your children, I gave them free choices, they are mine. The same grace, and choices I gave you, I gave and give them.
We are saved by grace. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).
We belong to Christ. “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:7-8).
We know that God causes all things to work for His glory and for our good. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
He molds us and shapes us to do His work. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
Oh heavens dear parent…
We need to stop taking blame for things that are out of our control. No one can control another person. We cannot control our children.
With that said, some people are just deficient parents. Those who are–self-consumed, self-centered, I-only-care-about-me really need to think twice before making the choice to be a Mommy or Daddy. The title of PARENT is an honor and a joy, and it comes with huge responsibility and much sacrifice—more than you ever thought. But oh, it’s so worth it. 
Nonetheless, even the best parents are flawed humans.
As a parent, I did the best I could to raise my kids according to what God said in His Word. I did the best I could, based on where I was at the time, and what I knew at the time.
If you are a parent, I’m sure you did the same, too.
And here’s the stark truth.
If we accept blame then we also are inadvertently accepting credit. If, when our kids struggle we blame ourselves, then does that mean that when they have victories it is because of our efforts? Can we as parents take credit for awards and A’s and promotions and character and wins and accomplishments? Because, if we are taking blame, then we also are taking credit. The two go hand in hand.
We can’t take credit for all the accomplishments our children reach, and therefore, we must conclude that we cannot take blame either.
We did the best we could. We loved the best we could. We trained the best we could. We pointed them to God the best we could. If we did our best, then that must be enough.
We are enough.
Let’s all stop taking blame and live by grace. Grace for others, and grace for yourself. We are all flawed. We are flawed. Our kids are flawed. We all make mistakes. We all need grace.

Coordinator of the Heartprints Blog Page: Gaye-Ellen Austin or SonShine has a passion to train people to be successful Bible students, following the words of Paul to his protégé Timothy: “ entrust to faithful people who will be competent to teach others as well.” (2 Tim 2:2). She taught 15 years in public schools and 12 years in a Christian school where she was coordinator of the NILD program for learning disabled students. She has taught Precept upon Precept classes and was a discussion group leader for 10+ yrs. in BSF in Daytona Beach. Fl. and Atlanta, GA. Also, Gaye-Ellen is the writer for the https://www.facebook.com/bible.org/ She also has her own personal blog page: https://sonshinesjournal.com/ David is a full time director for Bible.org as well as his secular job. He and Gaye-Ellen along with their son, Dr. Mark Austin, daughter-in-law, Dr. Blanca Austin and granddaughter Christina (https://christinaaustinlopez.com.) live in the Dallas area. Gaye-Ellen's goal is to present Christ and live Christ glorifying God. One of her favorite verses about the role as parents, teachers, and adults for the next generation comes from Psalm 78:4, "but tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord."

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