Experts Reveal The Flaws We Can Only See In Our Parents As We Become Adults

Turns out, our parents are humans, too.

mom and adult daughter laughing together Fizkes/Shutterstock

Parenting is a tough job.

You do the best that you can with the knowledge that was either passed down from your own parents or gained over time from your life experiences.

Still, you don’t know what you don’t know and as we learn more about the mental and emotional wellbeing of our children, it’s easy to look back on the way we were parented and find things we would have done much differently.


Maybe your parents were emotionally unavailable or spent too much time at work, sacrificing their familial connections.

Or maybe they subscribed to archaic views like “Children should be seen and not heard” or “Spare the rod, spoil the child”.


Our YourTango experts have come up with five of the biggest ‘mistakes’ our parents made that we only notice once we, ourselves become adults.

RELATED: How Your Relationship With Your Parents In The First Two Years Of Your Life Affects You Forever

Here are the five biggest flaws we can only see in our parents as we become adults, according to YourTango experts:

1.“We see their parenting mistakes, especially when we have our own children.”

When we grow up and have our own families, we start to identify things that our parents did that we would not do with our own children.

2.“We may realize they didn't give us the kind of support (emotionally or scholastically) that we needed.”

We start to see ‘support’ gaps— times when we could have used our parents emotionally or for any other reason, and they didn’t show up for us.


3.“We may realize they never gave us the role models we needed to be healthy adults.”

As we analyze ourselves and our own shortcomings, we see things that we had to learn on our own because they were never modeled for us.

Dr. Gloria Brame, Sex Therapist, Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, Sexologist, Board certified by the American College of Sexologists

4. “We see their inability to admit when they are wrong.

The rigidity in believing their perspective is the only "right" one. Not following their own maxim, ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’”

Leeza Carlone Steindorf, Relationship Coach, ICF Certified, Forbes Executive Coach

5. "We start to see their prioritization of work."

"Blessed by caring, smart, generous parents, the major flaw I notice is their unremitting attention to a variety of constant work and projects. Their high standards remain in my mind and often in my actions. But their quality of life would have benefited from flexibility with a related sense of humor, fun, and playfulness. Serving others sometimes took oxygen from looking after their own needs.”


Ruth Schimel, Ph.D., Career & Life Consultant, Author

RELATED: The 10 Worst Mistakes Parents Make With Their Kids

Hindsight is always 20/20 and it’s easy to pick our parents’ childrearing skills apart.

Things change as the years pass.

What might have been considered an ‘ideal’ way to parent before might be shocking and appalling now. ‘Tough love’ was commonplace during my childhood, but when it comes to how I choose to raise my children, my style might be described as ‘gentle parenting’.

Every person on the planet is unique and different, with their own life experiences and beliefs, so what one person might see as a “flaw” could be considered ‘perfect parenting’ by someone else.


Most parents (barring those that are abusive) are doing the best that they can with the information they have.

If you were lucky enough to have parents that loved you, protected you, kept a roof over your head, food on the table, and clothes on your back, consider yourself blessed and show them grace.

RELATED: 10 Things Every Child Needs To Hear From Their Parents To Live A Great Life

NyRee Ausler is a writer who covers lifestyle, relationship, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.