Some parents feel anger and resentment toward their young adult child. Do you experience such emotions? If so, there may be a need to address these either through apology or forgiveness or both. Such feelings bind you to your young adult in an unhealthy and harmful way. When these exist, there is tension and reactivity in the relationship. You feel it and so does your young adult. It becomes difficult to be kind, loving and understanding.
Unless these emotions and their source are addressed, there is little likelihood of a successful letting go and launch. If you can’t let go in love, you can’t let go. Often these feelings and alienation will persist even if the young adult has left home and is living on their own.
Parents of a young adult daughter came to me for help in dealing with anger, blame, and personal attack. This daughter had severe mental health problems and attempted suicide while away at school. The mother felt guilty for past failures and responsible for the young women’s behavior. Although she apologized for certain parental shortcomings, she found it difficult to not reacts to these attacks with anger and resentment. Apology, in this case, may not be enough. Forgiveness may be needed.
Both practices are essential and can’t be just approached in a one and done way. Every day we need to practice forgiveness while holding our young adults accountable. Forgiveness does not mean excusing or condoning the behavior. How many times does a parent need to forgive when a young adult fails, acts out, attacks the parent? As much as it takes to change your heart toward the young adult. In the end, forgiveness sets the forgiver free. It is a gift to you as well as your young adult.
Do you agree with this concept that the practices of apology to and forgiveness of the young adult can change your heart and the relationship? Set you free from anger and reactivity? Would you share your experience in this regard? Don’t have to use your name but I would like to share what you have learned with others who visit the parentslettinggo.com website.
Learn More with this Practice Book
Learn more about forgiveness of young adults in the practice book – Forgiveness The Gift We Share with Our Young Adults available through the products tab on this website. We always love to hear from you; how has or can forgiveness be a part of your relationship to your young adult? To yourself? Please share your thoughts.