Bad Parents

DGS49

Diamond Member
Apr 12, 2012
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Pittsburgh
I started watching a horrible miniseries on Netflix about a wealthy English fellow in the throes of addiction, and how fucked up his life is. Seeing how bad it was, I got on line and looked at the capsule summaries a few of the remaining episodes and saw that it was more of the same, with a focus on WHY he was so fucked up, using flashbacks to his terrible parents (one of whom had died in Episode 1). The fellow was apparently in his late 30's or early 40's, and the story was sort-of autobiographical. I won't continue watching it.

A close friend of mine got married quite young and had two boys right away, with the result, candidly speaking, that he was not a very good father. Lacking maturity, he was at times overly severe, overly compliant, and he never showed the stability of good parenting until they were in their late teens - a fact that he acknowledges.

The "kids" are now in their 40's with lives that are, while not criminal, generally fucked up. Both have substance abuse issues, neither has ever been married, neither can seem to keep a job for more than a few months at a time, and both are living "at home" with my friend and his wife, a situation which will not change in the foreseeable future. From time to time each of the two boys (men) will say something that implies that their troubles are their father's fault.

Both of these men are intelligent, personable, well read, and more than a little bit opinionated. Why they can't or won't keep a job is a mystery to me (they live in a remote state so I don't get a change to talk to them much).

My brother does not deny his parenting shortcomings, but says to them when the occasion arises,

"I agree that you didn't have the best parents in the world, but at some point you have to take responsibility for your own choices and your own lives, and you are way past that point."

As I look around, I think that (a) this is a valid point both specifically in his family and generally in society, and (b) it is a message that should be made often and emphatically in all of society. EVERYBODY's parents can be faulted for one thing or another. My own parents were both substance abusers (high-functioning aalcoholics) and largely focused on money - we all had to pay Room & Board from the time we were able to get PT jobs - to the exclusion of trivial things like SCHOOL(!). I am the only one of five of us ever to go to college, although we all had the intelligence and opportunity to do so.

How about you? Whatever stage of life you are in, do you still blame some of your problems on your parents? Is that reasonable?
 
I think it depends

If you are physically or emotionally abusive, I think there are lasting results

Just being a bad parent who ignores the child and is not there for them will have an impact on their ability to form relationships.
 
I started watching a horrible miniseries on Netflix about a wealthy English fellow in the throes of addiction, and how fucked up his life is. Seeing how bad it was, I got on line and looked at the capsule summaries a few of the remaining episodes and saw that it was more of the same, with a focus on WHY he was so fucked up, using flashbacks to his terrible parents (one of whom had died in Episode 1). The fellow was apparently in his late 30's or early 40's, and the story was sort-of autobiographical. I won't continue watching it.

A close friend of mine got married quite young and had two boys right away, with the result, candidly speaking, that he was not a very good father. Lacking maturity, he was at times overly severe, overly compliant, and he never showed the stability of good parenting until they were in their late teens - a fact that he acknowledges.

The "kids" are now in their 40's with lives that are, while not criminal, generally fucked up. Both have substance abuse issues, neither has ever been married, neither can seem to keep a job for more than a few months at a time, and both are living "at home" with my friend and his wife, a situation which will not change in the foreseeable future. From time to time each of the two boys (men) will say something that implies that their troubles are their father's fault.

Both of these men are intelligent, personable, well read, and more than a little bit opinionated. Why they can't or won't keep a job is a mystery to me (they live in a remote state so I don't get a change to talk to them much).

My brother does not deny his parenting shortcomings, but says to them when the occasion arises,

"I agree that you didn't have the best parents in the world, but at some point you have to take responsibility for your own choices and your own lives, and you are way past that point."

As I look around, I think that (a) this is a valid point both specifically in his family and generally in society, and (b) it is a message that should be made often and emphatically in all of society. EVERYBODY's parents can be faulted for one thing or another. My own parents were both substance abusers (high-functioning aalcoholics) and largely focused on money - we all had to pay Room & Board from the time we were able to get PT jobs - to the exclusion of trivial things like SCHOOL(!). I am the only one of five of us ever to go to college, although we all had the intelligence and opportunity to do so.

How about you? Whatever stage of life you are in, do you still blame some of your problems on your parents? Is that reasonable?
Family dynamics are complex but there are general tendencies that hold true for most situations. If you have two parents regardless of income who are devoted to each other and their kids, the outcomes are usually positive. But even with that, there can be problems. I've shared stories about my wife's niece and her family. She is a trust fund millionaire and has 4 kids and every one of them has serious issues because the parents always fought and were completely obsessed with sports. The son was going to be a pro baseball player but when he didn't make the high school team he was basically "dropped". The two young girls were going to be LPGA golfers but lost interest and they were dropped. The oldest girl is a soccer phenom and they traveled all over the country for years to tournaments showcasing her. She has a scholarship to college but she is very slow academically since she barely passed high school being so focused on soccer. I doubt she will keep her grades up in college.

To answer your question, I've never blamed my parents for anything. They did the best they could but were low income and always struggled financially. It made me more determined to make it on my own, and I did.
 
I started watching a horrible miniseries on Netflix about a wealthy English fellow in the throes of addiction, and how fucked up his life is. Seeing how bad it was, I got on line and looked at the capsule summaries a few of the remaining episodes and saw that it was more of the same, with a focus on WHY he was so fucked up, using flashbacks to his terrible parents (one of whom had died in Episode 1). The fellow was apparently in his late 30's or early 40's, and the story was sort-of autobiographical. I won't continue watching it.

A close friend of mine got married quite young and had two boys right away, with the result, candidly speaking, that he was not a very good father. Lacking maturity, he was at times overly severe, overly compliant, and he never showed the stability of good parenting until they were in their late teens - a fact that he acknowledges.

The "kids" are now in their 40's with lives that are, while not criminal, generally fucked up. Both have substance abuse issues, neither has ever been married, neither can seem to keep a job for more than a few months at a time, and both are living "at home" with my friend and his wife, a situation which will not change in the foreseeable future. From time to time each of the two boys (men) will say something that implies that their troubles are their father's fault.

Both of these men are intelligent, personable, well read, and more than a little bit opinionated. Why they can't or won't keep a job is a mystery to me (they live in a remote state so I don't get a change to talk to them much).

My brother does not deny his parenting shortcomings, but says to them when the occasion arises,

"I agree that you didn't have the best parents in the world, but at some point you have to take responsibility for your own choices and your own lives, and you are way past that point."

As I look around, I think that (a) this is a valid point both specifically in his family and generally in society, and (b) it is a message that should be made often and emphatically in all of society. EVERYBODY's parents can be faulted for one thing or another. My own parents were both substance abusers (high-functioning aalcoholics) and largely focused on money - we all had to pay Room & Board from the time we were able to get PT jobs - to the exclusion of trivial things like SCHOOL(!). I am the only one of five of us ever to go to college, although we all had the intelligence and opportunity to do so.

How about you? Whatever stage of life you are in, do you still blame some of your problems on your parents? Is that reasonable?

As this happens more and more in families--generationally--society attempts to pick up the pieces in the schools.

We can't do it. We are meant to be schools, not day treatment centers, not orphanages.

But here we are nonetheless.
 

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