Our daughter (who's in her 40s) has had lots of problems—divorce, alcohol, unable to keep a job, you name it. The problem is, she blames us for all her problems, saying we were bad parents. We always end up arguing. What can we do? We feel like such failures. — Mrs. M.R.
Your daughter sounds like she's been playing what someone has called "the blame game"—refusing to accept responsibility for her own actions in life, and instead blaming everyone else for her problems.
But is she right? I seriously doubt it. I know you might not have been perfect parents—but none of us are! One of the lessons life teaches us as we grow older is that even when things haven't been perfect, we can't let the past enslave us or hold us hostage. We have to take responsibility for our own actions, and we have to learn to make right decisions. The Bible says, "The wise man has eyes in his head, while the fool walks in the darkness" (Ecclesiastes 2:14).
Let your daughter know that you love her and you deeply care what happens to her. If you need to ask her forgiveness for something you know was wrong, don't hesitate to do so. At the same time, don't constantly dwell on the past; if you do, you'll never get out of this rut. Don't let anger overwhelm you either; nothing will be gained by arguing with her.
Instead, gently but firmly confront her with her need to face her own responsibility for her actions. Most of all, confront her with her need of Christ. Only He can put her feet on the right path and give her hope for the future.