You Did Not Cause Your Child’s Problems

To all the mothers out there who are feeling guilty, inadequate, and self-doubting, let me say this: You are incredibly important in family life. You are also far less powerful than you think. You can aim to influence your child but you cannot control the outcome. There are countless forces beyond your control that affect how your child behaves and how that child “turns out.” This is true whether your child is 4 or 40.

As an expert on families, I know this to be true. A particular mother can behave badly, even abominably. But she cannot unilaterally cause her child to become suicidal, schizophrenic, antisocial, or otherwise sick. Nor can she make her child shoplift, get a migraine, punch someone in the nose, or get straight A’s, for that matter.

Mothers, You Did Not Cause Your Child’s Problems | Psychology Today