Strained Relations

Strained Relations: Help for Struggling Parents of Troubled Teens

Parents and Common Frustrations

Posted by Marcia on December 1, 2009

It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? We are decent human beings, we have children because we want them, we do the best that we can do for them, and some of them, well…

People are born with personalities and inclinations. When a person is inclined to misbehave, sometimes get into very serious trouble, they’ll have to fight a lot of internal demons to stop themselves. Some can do it, some can’t. Some mature and grow out of it, some don’t.

Criminals had parents, too. Sometimes the parents were terrible and sometimes they were parents who did their best. It’s a boat we’re in as parents: you teach them good values and morals, you talk about society and the law, you coach them and try to get it through their heads they are harming themselves and sometimes others. And then it’s their decision to do whatever it is they’re doing.

I saw a news story about a woman whose kids had harmed another, and she was crying and apologizing.  She was devastated to know that her kids were capable of seriously hurting another person.  Her own family was torn apart in a public manner. I wonder if there were some troubles at home, too.  Displays of anger, drug use, whatever it was.  Or were the kids very good at hiding what they were really like?  Were the parents in denial?  Did they feel they had no control over the situation?  Were they seeking help, reading whatever they could, asking friends, family, counselors?

It makes me crazy when a teen or young adult does something inappropriate or illegal and some people ask, “Where are the parents?” The truth is that by the time they reach these ages, you have to hope that they do know better as they’re out of your sight/control for most of their waking hours.

What are your thoughts?

2 Responses to “Parents and Common Frustrations”

  1. Nina said

    I know too many good parents who, with multiple children, have great results with what some/one of their children become, and yet one becomes involved in alcohol or drugs, and/or worse-illegal or violent actions. The genes seem to prevail in some cases, and cannot be explained by looking at the parents, given that they raised all of their children in the same way.

    • Marcia said

      Thank you for writing. It’s true that many good parents are surprised by how different their children are, how one can be in deep trouble and the other a model child. I was just talking with someone whose friend has one child in college, working part time and very responsible, and the other child is doing drugs, has been kicked out of one high school and may not be eligible for a GED. They’re ashamed, angry, worried and appalled.

      It’s so hard for parents, isn’t it?

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