When should you blame the parents?

Posted on January 31, 2012


I wrote a post a while back about how there is a point in one’s life where they have to take responsibility for their actions and stop blaming their parents.

There is another side of this that I never saw before: the side where a parent blames everyone but the child when the child (even as an adult) messes up.

Earlier this week, a 19 year old decided to drive around a crossing gate while a train was coming. His vehicle was hit by the train. He left the scene and later showed up at the hospital. Police think that drugs or alcohol may have played a part in him going around the gates.

Thankfully, no one else was injured by this man’s actions, and I hope that he will make a full recovery.

That being said, there are comments all over the article talking about how the media is to blame, the police and courts are to blame…everyone is to blame…except the man who chose to get behind the wheel of an SUV — except the man who chose to go around those crossing gates.

It really made me think: Is there a time when the parents, or the family, may be partially to blame in a person’s actions?

I understand a thing or two about having a troubled child. I have one of my own. I spend my days working as hard as I can to make sure he has everything he needs to become successful in this world. He has access to a counselor, he’s changed to a school that is a more conducive environment for him, and I’ve even held him back a bit to review some sixth grade material that he may have missed during his past trauma.

And, there is one thing that I teach my son above everything else — he needs to take responsibility for his actions. He’s 12, almost 13, and he’s no saint. I just hope he learns that before it leads to real life repercussions that he can’t take back.

I don’t spend my time out having fun with my friends, living my life. If I am not at work, I am at home. I’m trying to raise my son to be a man, and that isn’t easy when you are a single working mother who had three sisters growing up. We’re not exactly the most boy-knowledgeable family! 🙂 But, we learn from each other.

So, when are the others to blame, and when are they not? I’m not sure there is a clear line there. If a child is troubled at a young age, and that child does not get the treatment they need, I can see blaming the family. If a child has an addiction, I can see it being partially the parents’ fault if the child does not get help. But, when a child is no longer a child in this society, it is up to them, legally and physically, to seek out help. I hope that the young man mentioned above can get the help he needs. But, no amount of jail time is going to rehabilitate him if he is not willing to stand up and take the blame for his actions, and that won’t happen until those who can hold him accountable help him to see that.

Now, I put the question to you: When is the time that parent’s no longer bear the brunt of the blame for how their children behave or the actions they take? When should a person start standing up and recognizing their own culpability in their actions?

Posted in: Journal Entry