I know it's been a really long time, but I hope you will accept my apologies for staying away.
Dr. Richard A. Friedman is a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in Manhattan. A recent article of his appears in the New York Times today entitled, “Accepting That Good Parents May Plant Bad Seeds”. His article ends with “For better or worse, parents have limited power to influence their children. That is why they should not be so fast to take all the blame — or credit — for everything that their children become.
For the last 7 years, I have been feeling so responsible for the person my son has become. Since he was 13, he has gotten worse and worse, getting in trouble time and again, has dropped out of school, and now rejected us and moved out of the house. Granted, he is at the age that he should be on his own, but he has not become a responsible adult in our eyes. My husband, and many of our friends, has told me over and over again that it is not my fault. But as a mother, I feel bad that I have brought forth this person and let him loose in the world.
I suppose my heart will always be heavy with sadness for the direction my son has chosen, but my head is trying to grapple with the sentiment expressed by Dr. Friedman. His article is helpful toward tackling my feelings of incompetence and depression and I suppose in time as I see my son improving with maturity (a positive wish), those feelings will subside. I suppose it’s jealousy plain and simple. I want to have what my friends have; successful children who make them proud.