Forgive your parents

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I don’t know who declared March 18th ‘Forgive Your Parents Day’. I don’t know if they were intending it seriously or as a joke. And I don’t know if you need to take it seriously or as a joke.

I doubt I was unusual in that I spent my adolescent years feeling mildly embarrassed about my parents and quite cross at them for a whole range of terrible offences – but I cannot for the life of me remember what those offences were. I think their main crime was that they were old. Other crankiness was more likely due to the fact I didn’t like myself very much, and that had to be somebody’s fault and my parents were very convenient to blame for all my shortcomings and failures.

It is amazing how much my parents improved after I became an adult. Of course, what really changed was my sour immature attitude towards them. Unfortunately they both died before I had my own kids because parenthood has really shown me what a hard job they had and gave me a real appreciation of what they did.

So March 18 – Forgive Your Parents Day. Some of you will think about it and decide, “They weren’t perfect but they did their best”. Others of us need to let our parents off the hook, take ownership of our own problems and stop blaming them for things we actually have control over. But for some of you, it’ll be a lot tougher because there are bad memories and ugly scars on your heart. For you, maybe it cannot yet be ‘Forgive Your Parents Day’, but it might be ‘I’m Starting the Healing Day’. Start a journey on March 18, because when you can eventually let go of that anger it is amazing the weight that will come off your heart.

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John Cowan

Writer, speaker and broadcaster, John Cowan shares his insight and opinions about the latest in parenting and family news in New Zealand. Hear John speak on radio stations every week throughout the country and regularly on national TV.  Follow @JohnCowanNZ on Twitter

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