My Goddaughter came to visit me this weekend. She is the daughter of one of my closest friends. All I can say is that she was an adorable little girl, and has turned into an amazing young woman. My friend is awesome, so I’m not totally surprised that she has three equally incredible daughters…

At some point today I will text my friend and tell her how much fun I had with her child. I will tell her that she did a great job as a Mom.

Did you ever notice that when a child/young adult does something bad or questionable, blame immediately goes to the parents? What were the parents thinking? What did they do wrong? How could a parent do that? Someone does something bad, and everyone looks to the parents. Bad=Nurture


If you see a “good” kid, everyone says the parents got “lucky”. Good=Nature

Why are we so quick to blame the parents when things go wrong, but never give them credit when things go “right”?

When someone decides to have a child, they think about boy or girl, or how to decorate the nursery, and all the cute clothes and accessories that the baby “requires”. They read books about what to do while they’re pregant- how to sleep, what to eat, etc. No one is actively thinking about what comes next.

Parenting is hard. Being a parent is the toughest job in the world. It is also thankless. No one ever says you are/were a good parent.

So, let’s stop blaming parents who have kids who might not always choose the path that is “more right”. And acknowledge that maybe some parents made a “more right” choice on the bumpy parenting road.


37 thoughts on “Lucky….Or….

  1. Methinks this will be one of those ‘can of worms’ topics. 😀

    I, personally, always saw my children as potential adults. I also beat myself up for their negative life reactions and feel that any positive ones (besides something I taught, like holding a fork when eating) are to their own credit.

    Not surprisingly, therefore, I mostly find parenting difficult. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you don’t find parenting difficult, I’m going to say you’re doing it wrong. I’m with you on the future adult line of thinking ….yup….can of worms….you know, it’s Monday….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m actually kind of amazed how many people compliment people on great kids, at least in the suburbs. It’s not an accident: if you meet a polite, well-behaved child, there is definitely a lot of parenting that went into it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. More accurately, it is usually the mother who is blamed when kids don’t turn out the way they should. Serial killer? Mom’s fault. But seriously, it’s important to remember that we can take neither too much of the credit nor the blame for the way our children emerge as adults. We do our very best, but some parts of their destiny are entirely beyond our control (their choices, genetics, plain old damn luck among them).

    I had a very sad conversation last week with a friend whose son has struggled terribly with addiction. He is 22, and clinging to a fragile sobriety. She wistfully said something to the effect that my husband and I had done it “right” because our 23-y.o son has graduated from college, is working and living on his own. I tried to console her, saying it wasn’t as if we had “done” anything she hadn’t, because if any of us had the power to save someone from addiction, we all would do it — none of us have this capacity.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Addiction is horrible. I don’t even know what to say when someone’s child goes down that path. I live near the methadone clinic, and it’s just such a sad reality.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. We do tend to be a nation of blamer’s don’t we? Perhaps it’s easiest to focus on the parents because no one wants to field deeper discussions about environment, community, peers, choices, resources, psycho-social development in the face of mental health issues, trauma and violence…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have had the “joy” of being on both sides of this. When it came to anything school related… with OC, we would constantly get the whole “You need to spend more time working with him” from every single teacher he had regardless of the fact that we would spend 3 or 4 hours every single night trying to just get him through his homework. Because of that time needed to just get him through, there was almost zero time for MC and BG. When we’d have discussions with their teachers, it was always “You are doing such a good job with them” and we really had no part in how smart they were or how well they did in class because they both loved school. So, in this, we got both the blame for the bad (no matter how much we did to change the situation) as well as the credit for the good. Neither one was warranted commentary. Not a single teacher took even a moment to find out if their assumptions of the situation were accurate. And that is what this amounts to, assumptions. It is assumed that if a child doesn’t do well or has problems, it is the parents fault. If a child does well, it is assumed the parents were good, attentive parents, even if they aren’t always given that credit, the assumption is still there.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably because we are more likely to point out and talk about the negative than to say something nice or complimentary. The assumption that the parents are good is still there when the child is good or does well whether they are told that or not.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. We have had people tell us that we were good parents so I guess we were “lucky” in that our kids listened to us once in a while. Not to say that they are perfect and not to say that they aren’t a pain in the a$$ to us sometimes but at least in public they do okay. Fortunate also that they had good friends and we compliment their parents as well. I must admit that when a tragedy strikes I wonder how the parents did not know that their child had a collection of weapons in their possession and what kind of home life they actually had.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My son is a social worker that deals with troubled kids and he will fully admit that some kids were affected by their upbringing or trauma but when parents are trying so hard they get no help or even credit for doing the best they can in bad circumstances. Parenting in the best of times is so hard and in the worst of times is heart wrenching. Parents need more support as well as someone telling them they did good!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Great post! I was just thinking about this very subject the other day.
    It is so true at how we judge and its so not right. Plus like you said, we are so quick to point the finger at the negative, than to give praise for the positive!
    A parent has enough grief to deal with when their child is heading down a wrong path, and they are usually blaming themselves anyway, they surely don’t need others too!
    Yes, there are times when the parents do have a role in a child choosing a wrong road, but its definitely NOT that all the time!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Two kids can have totally different outcomes, and each were loved/parented equally.
    Addictive lives, depression, illnesses, bullying can change the outcome of a child.
    As a parent my suggestion is to love your child, thats all. Try to guide and influence them positively and be glad as long as they are good people, everything else is whippedcream.
    I met another parent in walmart a few summers ago, he openly wept when I asked about his son. His young son was paraplegic from a work accident.
    I walked away stunned, a new perspective received. Two of my daughters friends died in their twenties, one leaving two babies behind.
    I’m a Dad and I love both my kids and I know life can change in the blink of an eye.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I forgot genetics. Sometimes one child can be born without an inherited tendency that even skips generations. Also child has different experiences once they are outside the home, even in schools!


  10. IDK L…..luck, love, goal-setting..making decisions to raise our ds the way we wanted to, acknowledging and discussing when we made mistakes, letting them make mistakes, challenging them to be everything we knew they could be (even when they did not think of themselves that way). We feel incredibly blessed….but parenting is so hard.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What’s interesting about this topic is at some point children/young adults begin to make their own decisions. These decisions ought not have any reflection on the parents.
    Regardless of the foundation built by parents, the child begins building upon it.
    Parents can only watch with bated breath and hope their lessons stick.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Exactly! I know of many kids whose parents raised them well and loved them, but the kids still went down the wrong path. Sure, sometimes kids who get in trouble are the result of bad parenting, but not always. Just like good kids can come out of very troubled families. Honestly, I think we are all a blend of “nature and nurture.” And we need to cut parents some slack…..

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Everything is a matter of perspective. Stereotyping is the result of our brain making split-second decisions about people and putting them into certain boxes along with labels applied. When we’re all out there making those snap judgements, is it any surprise that a lot of us are getting it wrong? Add that to the competitive nature of our Society and this is what you get.

    There’s a really interesting NLP exercise called Perceptual Positions where you put yourself in the shoes of people you’re in opposition to, thus allowing you to find tucked away in the recesses of your brain, the information you need to better understand them. If practised widely, it could have a remarkable impact. But there’s me being an idealistic optimist again 🙂

    Hope you’re recovering from your ghastly germs.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. There are BAD and GREAT parents, to be sure. But there are also kids that are just born troubled. Some really excellent parents can help those troubled kids overcome their issues, when an average or poor parent may not be able to. So I guess I’m saying that sometimes it’s fair to blame the parents and sometimes it’s fair to praise the parents, and vice versa, but you need to know all the facts before you can judge. There are heroin addicts out there who had great parents. There are heroes who had terrible parents.

    Liked by 1 person

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