How to Forgive Your Parents

superheroyou how to forgive your parents

Our relationships with our parents lay the groundwork for any future relationships we have. And since not even parents are perfect, your parents probably made mistakes with you. After all, children don’t come with owner’s manuals. So you are probably holding on to at least one grudge from your childhood.

It might be petty. Maybe your parents didn’t come to your school recital or forgot to pick you up from school one day. But it’s probably a vivid and emotional memory – and one that you can’t stop thinking about. No matter the magnitude of what happened, you feel hurt and wronged.  And when you feel wronged, you hold a grudge.

But we often forget that our parents are allowed to make mistakes. They’re only human. When we’re little, our parents are our whole worlds. They do everything for us. It’s not until we’re older that we realize that our parents aren’t superheroes. But even with that realization, it’s hard for us to let go of our childhood grudges. Hindsight is always 20/20, so it’s easy for us to resent our parents and think they could have handled a situation differently.

If we don’t let those little grudges go, we end up carrying baggage with us into our personal relationships. That extra baggage is almost never helpful in platonic or romantic relationships.

So as hard as it may be, we have to forgive our parents. You might be able to do that by having a simple conversation where you explain to your parent(s) how you’re feeling and why. But it might be better for you have someone there who’s not related to you to mediate – like a therapist.

While cathartic, forgiveness doesn’t mean that you’re condoning your parents’ actions. You can forgive your parents for getting divorced because one of them committed adultery. But that doesn’t mean you’re saying that you approve of infidelity in a marriage.

Until you forgive your parents for their minor transgressions, you can never truly grow up. (To be clear, we’re not referring to major transgressions like abuse here. That’s a whole other article.) You’ll always be stunted in a way. While your mom and dad will always be your parents, as you get older you rely on them less and less. Life only moves forward – but holding on to a grudge means you’re stuck in the past. Why would you want to regress back to being a kid?

By holding on to the bad, you ignore the good times you had with your parents – especially since negative experiences stand out more than positive ones. The best we can do is try to make peace with our childhoods and try not to make the same mistakes with our own children.

Liked this? Check out How to Improve Your Relationships with Your Siblings!

Written by Roselyn Sebastian

Our relationships with our parents lay the groundwork for any future relationships we have. And since not even parents are perfect, your parents probably made mistakes with you. After all, children don’t come with owner’s manuals. So you are probably holding on to at least one grudge from your childhood.

It might be petty. Maybe your parents didn’t come to your school recital or forgot to pick you up from school one day. But it’s probably a vivid and emotional memory – and one that you can’t stop thinking about. No matter the magnitude of what happened, you feel hurt and wronged.  And when you feel wronged, you hold a grudge.

But we often forget that our parents are allowed to make mistakes. They’re only human. When we’re little, our parents are our whole worlds. They do everything for us. It’s not until we’re older that we realize that our parents aren’t superheroes. But even with that realization, it’s hard for us to let go of our childhood grudges. Hindsight is always 20/20, so it’s easy for us to resent our parents and think they could have handled a situation differently.

If we don’t let those little grudges go, we end up carrying baggage with us into our personal relationships. That extra baggage is almost never helpful in platonic or romantic relationships.

So as hard as it may be, we have to forgive our parents. You might be able to do that by having a simple conversation where you explain to your parent(s) how you’re feeling and why. But it might be better for you have someone there who’s not related to you to mediate – like a therapist.

While cathartic, forgiveness doesn’t mean that you’re condoning your parents’ actions. You can forgive your parents for getting divorced because one of them committed adultery. But that doesn’t mean you’re saying that you approve of infidelity in a marriage.

Until you forgive your parents for their minor transgressions, you can never truly grow up. (To be clear, we’re not referring to major transgressions like abuse here. That’s a whole other article.) You’ll always be stunted in a way. While your mom and dad will always be your parents, as you get older you rely on them less and less. Life only moves forward – but holding on to a grudge means you’re stuck in the past. Why would you want to regress back to being a kid?

By holding on to the bad, you ignore the good times you had with your parents – especially since negative experiences stand out more than positive ones. The best we can do is try to make peace with our childhoods and try not to make the same mistakes with our own children.

Liked this? Check out How to Improve Your Relationships with Your Siblings!

Written by Roselyn Sebastian

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