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(28 Posts)
EvieJ Thu 28-Jan-21 12:29:32


At what age would you say people/children need to take responsibility for their own actions and stop blaming parents

Thanks Eve

Toadinthehole Thu 28-Jan-21 12:34:43

That’s a hard one. Depends on so many things. Their circumstances, the lives they lived as children, people they’ve met, experiences etc. A person who feels fulfilled once becoming an adult, would do all these things naturally I would think. Why do you ask? Is there a particular reason?

Septimia Thu 28-Jan-21 12:44:32

I'd say that it's normally a gradual process. For example, they should become responsible for getting to school on time and getting their homework done while they're at secondary school. After that, they should be resonsible for coping with work/college/uni etc. Somewhere after 18 and by the time they're 21, they should be able to cope with most day to day things. In their 20s they should become responsible for their own home, for example

But all of us benefit from advice and support, no matter how old we are, especially if a major event needs dealing with.

cornishpatsy Thu 28-Jan-21 12:45:15

I find it interesting when people blame their negative traits and all the bad that has happened in their lives on their parents but achievements and positive things are down to themselves.

Also the other way, where parents will take credit if a child does well but deny any responsibility of any negative behaviour.

Iam64 Thu 28-Jan-21 12:56:43

Some interesting, accurate responses to your question Eve. I wonder if your question comes from difficulty with an adult child.

EllanVannin Thu 28-Jan-21 13:30:16

It all depends how they've been brought up.

Brother and I had caring parents who did everything for us and we learned from that, to continue nurturing and guiding and giving the stability that's vital if a child is going to be a level-headed adult.

I had no trouble bringing up 4 children in the 60's/ 70's ( 2 are step-children ) and treated them all the same, discipline and all grin Remembering that 2 children had been cast aside by their own mother so already had their own set of issues and I was only in my early 20's. There's only 9 years difference between step-daughter and myself and she was like a little mother at 10 years of age. More akin to sisters now.

All 4 were prepared for adulthood and I know deep down that whatever has gone on in their lives neither their father nor myself would be blamed as we were always involved in them growing up, playing games in the evening because we didn't have a TV until the youngest started school at 5 then I was able to work nights at the local hospital to earn extra.

They understood that things weren't easy, though they didn't go without, but entertainments weren't affordable.
They certainly haven't grown up " entitled " but their offspring have ! It's the society that we live in, this century of "must-haves " .

Daddima Thu 28-Jan-21 13:37:22

I think very young children can be introduced to the fact that their actions can have consequences for which they are responsible. Then, when they are older, they’ll look at how their behaviour has caused something, rather than, ‘ It’s not my fault, it’s because you didn’t ( insert parents’ misdemeanour here)’

Kate1949 Thu 28-Jan-21 13:39:41

I certainly do blame my parents for my total lack of confidence and self esteem. Why wouldn't I? We witnessed violence in the house regularly. I was neglected, beaten and was terrified every day. It was their fault.

Redhead56 Thu 28-Jan-21 13:53:29

My son and daughter are proud protective parents now. They always say I wrapped them up in cotton wool! I was on my own with them for over five years so I had to be.

Now as parents themselves they understand why I was over protective. I most certainly take that as a compliment they don't blame for anything.

NotSpaghetti Thu 28-Jan-21 13:59:48

I think it depends what exactly you're asking...

EllanVannin Thu 28-Jan-21 14:06:38

Kate1949 x.

Daisymae Thu 28-Jan-21 16:10:15

I think that there comes a time when as an adult you recognise any damage that was done I your childhood. At that point you can decide whether it's going to wreck the remainder of your life or whether you choose to accept it and move on. I would say 20s onwards.

Madgran77 Thu 28-Jan-21 16:21:33

Well I think it depends on the childhood experiences and the consequences!

Kate1949 so sorry that you had that sort of childhood. Of course it is your parents responsibility for what happened to you and the consequences of that flowers

Tangerine Thu 28-Jan-21 16:44:20

Like others Kate1949, I am very sorry to hear what happened when you were a child.

Kate1949 Thu 28-Jan-21 16:54:15

Thanks. I've gone on about it a bit too much on Gransnet. I don't want to make this thread about me.

Sara1954 Thu 28-Jan-21 18:10:38

This is interesting.
Our two eldest children born when we were quite young, they went to independent schools, and never went short of anything, but I was quite strict, and extra money had to be earned, and they had chores to do. We were supportive of them, and all got on well, had a good social life, which they were always included in, lots of other children within our circle, and they became independent quite quickly, both home owners in their mid twenties, and have never really needed our help for anything.
Child three, big gap, we were financially better off, she had the best education, we supported her in everything she wanted to do, she was undoubtedly spoiled, but was a lovely child, and we loved to buy her nice things and take her on lovely holidays, often with a friend.
Now at thirty she has made mistake after mistake, three children, two fathers, both completely useless, she threw away her chance of a good career, and later her opportunity to buy a home for her and her little child, instead falling into another disastrous relationship. She has a responsible job, and works hard, and is a good mum, but I think we have pretty much taken financial responsibility for her and the children for years, she’s lovely, but I think we definitely went wrong somewhere.
My feeling is, that she feels such total unconditional love and support, that she thinks whatever happens, we will be her safety net.

Iam64 Thu 28-Jan-21 18:17:24

Kate1949, I don’t think you’ve ‘gone on’ about your childhood on gransnet. I’ve seen your posts as relevant and a reminder that some have very tough times growing up.

Kate1949 Thu 28-Jan-21 18:25:15

Thank you Iam. Yes they do indeed.

Artaylar Thu 28-Jan-21 18:26:08

While my own childhood wasnt abusive, it was somewhat dysfunctional on quite a few levels. i.e. emotionally distant father and unhappy mother who developed an addiction to alchohol in my teens.

In my teens and twenties I had chronic self esteem and confidence issues, and a feeling that I had no identity and when trying to rationalise it all, put it down to certain aspects of my upbringing.

That all said, I knew that despite everything my parents really loved my brother and I.

When I was into my 30's I developed a strong sense of my parents being separate people to me, and concluded that they were just ordinary people in difficult circumstances who did the best they could. Neither of them had had much to do with children before they got married, and there was no family support to help out with bringing my brother and I up after my grandmother died when I was two.

This looking at my parents in this sort of detached way felt like becoming an adult. I felt a tremendous compassion for each of them.

I dont think there is an age as such that this can happen, each of us finds our own path there in our own time, or we dont.

My mother developed a life changing health condition (memory loss to do with the alcohol) at aged 54 when I was 29. I became very much closer to Dad in the years following, and we had an extremely close relationship when he sadly died last Summer. I remember thinking for quite a few years before he died that if anything ever happened to him, there were no unsaid things between us, which gave a feeling of tremendous peace really.

GrannyRose15 Thu 28-Jan-21 18:36:01

There is never a time when children do not blame their parents. Mine are always saying to me that it is all my fault and I have to agree with them.

Seriously though, they acknowledge that I did my best by them.

One might hope that this realisation would come when we became adults at 18 or at 21, or maybe when we became parents ourselves, but in practice it didn't come to me till I was in my forties.

It has taken many years to come to terms with my own childhood experiences and to realise that it was no-one's fault. My parents too did their best in difficult circumstances.

Philip Larkin certainly had a point.

Iam64 Fri 29-Jan-21 09:02:35

Artaylor, thanks for posting your experience. That move in early adult life, when we realise our parents are people, just as we are is so important. Remaining angry doesn’t help.

Franbern Fri 29-Jan-21 09:37:58

Responsibilty is an area which is slowly given to our children, overseen and at different ages and times of their individual maturation.

Learning how to clean their teeth properly, wash their hands after using the toilet, helping to lay the table, etc. should be done at a very young age - definitely by the time they start school (in normal times) these should be well ingrained.

Starting to learn to keep their own room (or area of a shared room) tidy, making their own bed each day, putting that days clothes in the washing (not just left on the floor), again well before they enter double figures.

Managing money should be taught from a very young age - small amount of pocket money given and taught how to allocate this out for what they would like - working on the Micawber principle - also children should learn to save some of that so they can purchase small birthday and xmas gifts for parents, g.parents, etc . Not have these bought by parents in their name - means nothing. Encouraged to use their own money when they are out and see something they think they want.

Personally, I feel that money-management is one of the most important of all responsibilities that can be taught and when it done so properly from a young age has long-term effect. As they approach teenage years, payment can be made for carrying out more serious tasks in the home, And bank accounts set up so they have have their own savings and current accounts, and understand how to run these and check them efficiently.

Attitudes to other people is difficult, some people seem to be born with a greater feelings of care than other people, but children need to have it pointed out how their actions effect other people. If they have a tantrum, then they should be told how unhappy their g.parents had been when they had witnessed it. Equally, how much other people can share joy in something well done or achieved by them.

To me this extends to caring for people they (and we,) may never meet - people in other countries, etc. Empathy for those going through a hard time whether it is homelessness, having to flee from war-torn countries, or the death of a close relative. Most younger children are naturally more caring and sympathetic if encouraged.

NotSpaghetti Fri 29-Jan-21 10:59:44

Franbern this is all about patenting and I agree with this slow handover of responsibility. It's what we also tried to do. Age-appropriate hand-over of responsibility.

This staged way of handing over does not usually involve blame...
I suspect Eve may have reasons to be asking from a difficult/complex childhood situation - hers or her childrens. She asks when children stop blaming parents.

Maybe Eve is asking "when can you let go of past traumas in such a way as you are able to accept it as truth and still function?"

I think this is a different question.

silverlining48 Fri 29-Jan-21 11:12:16

If there had been such a thing as child protection when I was a child I woukd/should have been taken into care. There are some things which stay with you all your life however hard you might try to forget.

Kate1949 Fri 29-Jan-21 11:14:11

Exactly silverlining flowers