How to Forgive Your Parents (20+ Helpful Ways)

Are you struggling to forgive your parents for past grievances? Do you feel like their mistakes have shaped your life in negative ways, and yet you can’t seem to move on from the hurt?

Many of us struggle with unresolved tension between ourselves and our parental figures — so if you’re facing this dilemma right now, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are many ways to best approach this situation.

According to experts, here are helpful tips to forgive your parents and bring closure and healing in your relationship:

Peter E. Gradilone, MAT, LMSW

Peter Gradilone

Licensed Psychotherapist, Clarity Therapy NYC

Don’t rush to forgive your parents

My first recommendation, in terms of forgiving one’s parents, may sound somewhat severe. Don’t rush. Perhaps in the present moment, forgiveness is not the best thing to do. The answer, for now, may simply be “No.”

The rush to forgiveness is often a way to defensively avoid the negative feelings associated with truly coming to terms with how one feels about one’s parents. It is also important to remember that forgiveness is ultimately a gift that one bestows on one’s self. It does not mean all that was done is suddenly ok.

I have worked with clients who were raped since childhood by a parent. Physical and emotional beatings for others on a day-by-day, year-after-year basis. It is understandable when forgiveness is out of reach. For less severe cases, forgiveness may be more approachable.

Related: Why Is It so Hard to Forgive Someone? According to 12 Experts

The following suggestions have worked with my clients to varying degrees of success:

Build two rooms in your house for your parent, metaphorically

Follow the advice of the poet Robert Bly and metaphorically build two rooms in your house for your parent.

If you have an emotional room with excessively positive feelings towards your parent, then build a room with some negatives. The opposite holds true. Too much in the negative, build a room with something positive. It may be reduced to something as simple as just being born or fed.

Become who you truly are — it is easier to let go of the faults of others

For yourself, seek the privilege of anyone’s lifetime. Become yourself. The more you are your own emotional, psychological and spiritual person, the easier it is to let go of the faults of others. After all, forgiveness is ultimately letting go.

The analyst Carl Jung coined the term for this lifelong process, “individuation.” You eventually feel and assume the role your parent failed at. You become an archetypal mother or father. If that happens, you do not need to look elsewhere.

Jung also made a very important observation when he stated that the greatest impact on a child’s life is the unlived life of their parent. Discover that and fill what was missing with your own being.

Not rushing to forgive them may be beneficial in some ways

Don’t forget that, at least for a period of time, not rushing to forgive one’s parents may be beneficial in some ways.

I know of a man who was continuously ridiculed in childhood by his father as being stupid, with his very existence claimed as unjustified. This drove the man to gain acceptance into a prominent university, where he finished a graduate degree with a perfect 4.0 and the highest academic honors.

His response when he received his final grade of “A” was simply: “My father was wrong.” That opened the doors to finding forgiveness towards his father.

By all means, communicate with a parent if they are living to see if the possibility of understanding what happened exists. Be prepared that it may not. All encounters of this type do not have a Hallmark ending. If there is to be no reconciliation, then refer to Step 2: Become who you truly are.

Avoid blame and seek understanding

Seek to understand what the philosopher Nietzsche stated: “One genius lies close to one’s wound.” It’s even in the Bible: “The stone the builder rejects becomes the cornerstone.”

Avoid blame and seek understanding.

Sarah Almendariz Rivera, LPC-S

Sarah Almendariz Rivera

Owner, La Luz Counseling, LLC

Work through the hard feelings your parents left you with when they let you down

First things first: When considering forgiving others, we must first look at what forgiveness is “not.”

Forgiveness does not mean that what the other person did was ok. In most cases, when a person has done something wrong towards you, it is wrong.

There is no silver lining, and there’s no doubt of whether someone did something that was perhaps misinterpreted. It’s wrong. Offering forgiveness does not mean you are saying what the other person did was ok.

Forgiveness does not mean you want that person back into your life again. Some people do not deserve being in your world if they don’t know how to love, cherish and/or respect you.

Sometimes people are granted forgiveness, but this is not a hall pass for reconciliation. Reconciliation means you want to repair the hurt and disconnect in a relationship through mutual interactions and working towards togetherness.

Reconciliation is not a requirement for forgiveness. However, forgiveness is a requirement for reconciliation.

Forgiveness is not about the other person — forgiveness is about you. Forgiveness means you are no longer allowing that person to hold any form of restriction, control, or lasting hurt in your life.

Related: What Is Forgiveness and Why Is It Important?

You forgive them for you — for your health, for your well-being, and for your sanity. You can actually forgive someone who is not even living on this earth anymore. Forgiveness is about you, not them.

Forgiveness is not a one-time act. As often as you feel the hurt is as often as you choose to forgive.

Choose to forgive them; they don’t need to be “in on it”

Yes, forgiveness is a choice. You must choose to forgive a person who has hurt you — for many, forgiveness is a daily choice — part of one’s day. If there were many hurts, then there are many acts of forgiveness.

Forgiveness does not require the other person’s knowledge or consent. If you choose to forgive someone, they do not need to be “in on it.” This person does not need to know you forgave them.

Remember, they do not have to ask for your forgiveness in order for you to give them your forgiveness. Forgiveness is about you, not them, remember?

Now that we’ve established what forgiveness is not, let’s talk about how to do it. Forgiveness means you have to acknowledge that someone hurt you, in this case, your parents. Your parents hurt you, and they hurt you deeply. That sucks.

Your parents are supposed to be the ones to love, protect and nurture you. But somewhere along the way, they failed. They let you down, and as a result, you hurt — you hurt a lot.

Owning this hurt takes time and effort to process. Sometimes processing your hurt can happen over a conversation with a friend or loved one. However, most times, it takes a while to fully understand and work through the hard feelings that your parents left you with when they let you down.

Related: How to Forgive Someone Who Hurt You Emotionally

Rayna Sanghvi, PhD

Rayna Sanghvi

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

It depends on your history with your parents

Forgiveness does not justify your parents’ harmful actions or excuse their behavior. With forgiveness comes liberating ourselves from our pasts and taking relevant actions.

Related: How to Let Go of the Past and Move On

Depending on your history with your parents, this could mean:

  • Re-engaging with your parents.
  • Maintaining distance to protect yourself emotionally.

Allow yourself to be compassionate towards them

When we see our parents as human beings (instead of putting them on the parent pedestal), moving through the world with life circumstances, intergenerational trauma, and other stressors, we can allow ourselves to be compassionate towards them.

Compassion does mean acceptance of their actions but shifting in perspective on how you understand their actions.

Work on your inner self

Another way to move toward forgiveness is to do your own inner work in the form of:

  • Therapy
  • Processing your emotions
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Self-care

Related: How to Know if You Need to See a Therapist (50+ Signs, According to Therapists)

As a therapist, I often meet with clients who want their parents to understand the pain they have caused. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.

With dysfunctional dynamics present, your parents may not have the capacity, emotional awareness, and self-awareness to even understand your pain. Forgiveness comes with accepting this if it applies to your situation.

Aura Priscel De Los Santos

Aura Priscel De Los Santos

BA in Clinical Psychology | MA in Higher Education | Clinical Psychologist, WonderBaby

Forgiveness is not making the person who has hurt you feel good — it is freeing yourself from what they have done to you and understanding that the situation that has caused you so much pain no longer has control over you, and it is time to move on.

Maybe you are at a point where you are considering forgiving your parents for your mental health, but you don’t know why you should.

Here are two reasons how and why you should forgive your parents and how it can help you on your healing journey:

Understand that they probably didn’t want to act that way; they must’ve learned it from their parents

The way your parents raised you may not have been the healthiest for you. Perhaps you were mistreated, communication between the family was scarce, and you did not feel confident in expressing yourself since you did not know how they were going to react.

Your parents probably didn’t want to act that way toward you, but that’s what they learned.

Just as you are a product of your parents, your parents are a product of their parents. They learned how to act according to how their parents acted with them, and even as adults, they did not understand that the forms of upbringing they have are not the healthiest.

When you understand that, just as you acquired behaviors and thoughts due to the teaching that your parents gave you, your parents also learned from their parents how they should be. It becomes easier for you to understand why they acted in certain ways in specific events.

It is possible that your mother was mistreated when she got bad grades and did the same with you or that your father did not spend time with you, and it is because his father in the past did the same.

Understand that they possibly went through very hard times

There are times when children visualize their parents as those perfect beings who are in control of everything and will have the solutions to any type of problem. When they see this is not the case, their expectations drop, and they have problems seeing them again the way they used to see them.

Understanding that your father has a drinking problem or that your mother no longer keeps the home tidy as she did before are situations that many homes go through.

This does not mean you have to justify actions that harm you and the family in general — understand that every human being is susceptible to temptation, that changes occur for reasons you can ignore, and that human weakness will always be present.

When you begin to see your parents as more human and less perfect, you understand that they possibly went through very hard times and did not want to share it with you so as not to make you suffer. They decided to shut up and handle it in the best way possible, although many times, it could have been in a way that could have caused them trauma.

Dr. Gwen Bass

Gwen Bass

Educator | Consultant | Coach

You don’t have to forgive your parents to feel better about your relationship.

In my work, I talk to caregivers about how to develop and maintain positive relationships with their children.

I always underscore the power of reconnecting after conflict. By emphasizing resolution after a period of disruption and hurt feelings, both parties have the opportunity to share what they need to feel safe in the relationship.

We all step on toes, lose our cool and say things we don’t mean from time to time. But when we take responsibility and ask for another person’s understanding, it deepens the connection.

Ideally, parent-child relationships are sustained through ongoing efforts to truly see one another across periods of personal evolution. We all develop and change, so it’s important to stay current with one another — easier said than done.

Many of us didn’t grow up with parents who taught us how to recover after relational disruptions or who made us feel like they could sit with our expressions of hurt or anger.

It’s been almost a year since my mom passed. We grew apart over the last few years of her life, and though I loved her, I couldn’t bring myself to sit by her bedside as she took her last breaths. I don’t regret it, and here’s why.

Agree to disagree

A friend once said to me, “You can’t go to an ATM and order a sandwich.” What she meant by that is that you can’t expect people to be someone they’re not. Well, you can, but prepare to be disappointed over and over again.

Related: How to Let Go of Expectations & Why It’s Important

My mom and I were very different people, and I spent years trying to make our relationship work — we both did. I remember feeling such sweet relief when, in my 20’s, I took a graduate class on child development, where I read about the concept of “goodness of fit.”

Basically, this idea refers to the compatibility between a child’s temperament and their parent’s temperament. As I read the lines in that textbook, I realized that she was not a “bad mom” and wasn’t a “bad daughter.”

Regardless of our biological ties and our shared love of music, comedy, and travel, I came to believe that we were quite simply not a good fit. As I got older and distanced myself from her a bit, it became easier to acknowledge our differences and appreciate who she was.

Take a step back when things get hard

You probably know what it feels like to be frustrated, disappointed, or hurt in a relationship, but do you know what you need to feel better?

In my work with parents, we talk a lot about how to recover from conflict and repair disruptions in the parent-child relationship after a tantrum or a power struggle. Most of us lack practice in good conflict resolution. Often, after a hard moment or a series of hurts, we find ourselves waiting on the other person to fix it, to apologize in a way that lands.

Other times, we misstep, feel bad, gloss over the situation and act without checking in with the other person and making sure it’s all good.

Two questions you might ask yourself:

  • Is there something you need to hear or say so you can move on?
  • Do you know what you want your relationship to look like?

At the end of the day, we can only be responsible for our own behavior in any given situation.

We can communicate our boundaries, we can express love, and we can be curious, but we can’t control how other people respond. You want to be able to look yourself in the mirror and know that you’re in your own integrity.

Make amends with yourself first. Sometimes forgiveness looks more like showing up in a relationship in a way that aligns with our own integrity and values and setting clear boundaries.

Related: How to Forgive Yourself: 5 Steps to Self Forgiveness

Dr. Ronnie Gladden, MFA, Ed.D.

Ronnie Gladden

Speaker | Author, “White Girl Within” | Tenured Professor

Use the R.E.F.L.E.C.T. process — the authentic path to forgiveness

“The best way to get over a loved one is to turn them into literature.” After stumbling upon that approximated quote, upon reflection, I realized I did just that.

I wrote a book that centers on my White and female aspirations while grappling with my Black and male complications. And at the start of penning my manuscript, I had no idea I would be led to focus on my “father wound.”

Yet, sure enough, the power of the pen connected me with the pain of growing up with both a dutiful and dour father.

I am reeling and still torn from my childhood and adolescent experiences. There is much cognitive dissonance resulting from the legacy of my father’s domestic graces and terrorism. And thus, I am confronted with the challenge of how to forgive him.

Surely I am not alone.

Particularly during the holiday season, many of us are confronted with current (and past) familial dynamics and legacies just the same. Resultingly, many people avoid family (or at least certain kindred members) and holiday festivities while attempting to run from the past. And maybe, for a time, fleeing could actually be an appropriate option for some to cope.

However, at some point, others often decide to embark on a more systematic, reflective, and healing journey that may very well lead to forgiving a parent (or, at the very least, one may attempt to start the process of forgiving). This recursive trek will vary for us all.

While I admit I have not completely pardoned my father from the years of intermittent domestic terrorism he doled out, I have discovered, nonetheless, that “turning [him] into literature” is a powerful catharsis and valid support for mental health, indeed.

Related: 10 Powerful Ways to Build Your Mental Strength

Ernest Hemingway was on to something in urging us to “write clear and hard about what hurts.” In that spirit, I invite you to not only start your personal writing campaign but also ask you to consider operationalizing the following list of action steps that just might help you to forgive a parent (or guardian).

It may be time to R.E.F.L.E.C.T:

  • Rewind. Consider not only your past trauma but also the traumas of your parents to maximize your perspectives. Journal, accordingly.
  • Excavate. Go to the depths of your emotions. Write an exhaustive inventory. Identify the patterns and aim for root causes.
  • Fuel. Transmute your pain to not only help yourself to progress but seek to aid someone else in need.
  • Leverage. Draw from other families, communities, and educational services. Also, connect with music, movies, art, sports, etc., to manage emotions.
  • Expect. Curb your (over) enthusiasm. While channeling your raw emotions in constructive ways is useful, know that not everyone will share your zeal.
  • Calculate. Complete a cost-benefit analysis to assess the pros and cons of your parental relationship. Is it worth it to continue to nurture your connections with them?
  • Talk it out. Consult with a mental health professional and other appropriate bonafide experts who can help you with important decisions while attempting to arrive at a place to forgive your parents (or guardians).

There it is. The R.E.F.L.E.C.T. process. I would be delighted to support your authentic path to forgiveness.

And while it is almost always beneficial to embark on a reflection journey at any time, as we are at the dawn of a new year — starting a path toward forgiveness may beam with urgency.

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, MS, LCPC

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor | Co-founder, The Marriage Restoration Project

Release the hard feelings that our childhood permanently impacted us

We all experience the world through our own filters. No people see things in an identical way. As we get older, we begin to realize that the way our childhood self experienced our parents is not necessarily the way we would see it as adults.

We did not necessarily have the context for their behavior; even if we did, it does not mean that anyone is at fault. For example, as a child, you may not have experienced your parents as available as they worked long hours. This experience may have left you feeling you did not get enough attention growing up.

Realize that they had demanding jobs and were trying to support the family

The reality is that your hours of interaction with your parents were limited. You may even feel that they didn’t prioritize spending time with you. As an adult, you realize they had demanding jobs and were trying to support the family. It could be that they did not have control over when they could leave work.

Even if they didn’t do anything malicious, you still felt they were unavailable because they were not physically there. When you look from a bird-eye perspective, you can be able to forgive your parents, validating your own feelings of loss and hurt, and yet not having to blame them.

Realize that our immaturity may have caused us to act or react in certain ways

So many childhood wounds can be seen differently once we become adults and realize that our immaturity may have caused us to act or react in certain ways that would not be warranted as an adult.

Realize that they did the best they could with the skills they had

We can also realize they did the best they could with the skills they had.

Especially for those of us who are parents, we understand that we will not always be perfect, attuned, or validating all of the time. Yet, as a child, we may have suffered from the fact that our parents weren’t. This perspective can help us look back at our situation differently and forgive.

While our childhood permanently impacted us, it is ultimately our perception of that experience that has stayed with us and impacts us to this date.

It is in our best interest to release the hard feelings so that we can not only be healthier adults but should not replicate and rewound our own children in the same way we felt we were by our parents.

Forgiving and healing will serve us the way and change the trajectory of our relationships.

Mike Cundall

Mike Cundall

Associate Professor of Philosophy | Founder, Mirth Management | Author, The Humor Hack

My father and I don’t have a relationship anymore, and that’s a sad state.

It’s a long story — let’s just say he wasn’t cut out to be a father. Alcoholism, drug use, anger issues, and the rest. He was never physically abusive, but mostly just selfish, absent, and unwilling to ever admit he’d ever been wrong.

For most of my life, this was just a problem that I faced. There wasn’t much family would or could do to help, and I was busy trying to grow up. This all changed when I started my own family.

To speed up the story, when my children were younger, I attempted to patch up the relationship so the kids could have a relationship with their grandfather. It didn’t work out well. There was a big kerfuffle over his reneging on a promise made to the kids. He also angered my wife.

I tried to explain why he was wrong and that it wasn’t going to go well, but his stubbornness came out, and that was that. Ever since then, we’ve had little to no contact with him. As I said at the outset, it’s a sad state for all involved.

What I am about to say may sound odd given the topic, but I haven’t forgiven my father. I am not angry at him, and I bear him no ill will. Mostly I’m sorrowful because of the parts of my family’s lives that are missing because of his actions.

Forgiveness only works when there are two willing parties

Forgiveness is an important social and relationship tool. It might be one of the most important ones that we have to restore and repair relationships. And we all make mistakes, so it’s a necessary tool. But it only works when there are two willing parties.

The offender has to be aware that what they did was wrong, care enough to acknowledge it, and then make an effort to change. The offended also have to commit to overcoming their anger and resentment. They have to be ready to accept that person back into their lives.

When we say, “Forgive, but don’t forget,” that says you haven’t forgiven because you still see that person as someone who might harm you again. If we forgive, we expect that person to treat us well in the future.

Forgiveness is an involved social practice. It takes two people who commit to putting themselves in the power of others (the harmer waits to see if the apology is accepted, and the harmed trusts that it won’t happen again), and this opens us up to harm. It reminds us how vulnerable we are.

Forgiveness helps us to address that vulnerability and create better relationships as a result. All of what I’ve learned about forgiveness helped me immensely in dealing with my own anger and hurt with my father.

I knew, as anyone who feels the need to get someone back, that anger can burn you out. I knew I needed to get past it, and I also knew, as I know now, that my father would never acknowledge his wrongs, let alone apologize to them.

But my anger, if not dealt with, would then find a new target, and that would likely have been my children, thus furthering an already destructive cycle.

Related: The 19 Best Anger Management Books (to Read in 2022)

Overcome your anger towards your parents

So I looked at one of the goals of forgiveness as the overcoming of anger, and I found a way to overcome that anger toward my father.

It’s because I looked at and studied forgiveness that I was able to see more fully that I was never going to get from my father what I needed, what I still need an apology for.

I realized that forgiveness wasn’t likely, but that didn’t mean I needed to hold on to that anger. To do that would have been worse.

See them as flawed people

So I started to look at my father as a flawed person, began to understand that there wasn’t much to be done, and moved on. The relationship hasn’t been repaired, but my other relationships won’t be threatened by my anger.

Had I not thought about what forgiveness does and how it works, I would have never gotten to what I know is a better place.

This is the importance of forgiveness. Not that it highlights what I am missing, but it also highlights what I can do to make my world better. And that is an unexpected and wonderful bonus of forgiveness.

Emilia Moskal

Emilia Moskal

Parenting Content Specialist, HiJunior

You may have difficulty forgiving your parents for their past errors, but by learning more about psychology and how it affects parents’ actions, you might be able to forgive them.

All people make mistakes, including parents. It is crucial to see that they only want what’s best for their children, even if they cannot consistently execute what is right.

Learn how to forgive your parents, which will benefit both of you in the long run. Studies have found that forgiveness results in better psychological adjustment, and you are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

Talk with your parents about why it’s been difficult for you to forgive them

One place to start is by talking with your parents about what happened and why it’s been difficult for you to forgive them. Sometimes, discussing the issue can help both of you see things more clearly and understand each other’s perspectives better.

Understanding that forgiveness does not suggest excusing or pardoning terrible behavior is crucial. Instead, it means relinquishing any grudge so that you can live your life free of negative emotions. It might take time, but eventually, it is possible to forgive parents and have healthier relationships with them moving forward.

You can try many strategies if you want to practice forgiveness, for example:

  • Writing a letter of forgiveness.
  • Meditating on the situation.
  • Creating a ritual to symbolize letting go of any hurt associated with the incident.

With time and effort put into practicing these methods regularly, you will be able to achieve forgiveness and improve your relationship with your parents.

Lastly, it’s pivotal to recall that absolving your parents doesn’t necessitate having an emotionally intimate relationship with them. Rather, it means letting go of any resentment and progressing forward without anger.

So long as you uphold healthy boundaries and stay true to yourself, forgiving your parents can be critical to achieving inner tranquility and emotional restoration.

Aditya Kashyap Mishra

Aditya Kashyap Mishra

Relationship Expert, MoodFresher

It’s not easy to forgive your parents. After all, they’re the ones who are supposed to love and care for you, and when they hurt you, it can feel like a betrayal. But forgiveness is possible, and it’s a process that can begin with understanding why your parents acted the way they did.

Your parents are human, and they make mistakes just like everyone else. They may not have meant to hurt you, or they may have been dealing with their own pain that they took out on you.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that they’re not perfect and that they’re doing the best they can.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting what happened or excusing your parents’ behavior. It’s about letting go of the anger and hurt you feel and finding a way to move on. It’s a process that takes time, and there may be setbacks along the way. But it is possible and can lead to a more positive relationship with your parents.

Here are some tips on how to forgive your parents:

Acknowledge the hurt

The first step to forgiveness is acknowledging the hurt that your parents have caused you. This can be a difficult and painful process. But it is necessary if you want to move on with your life and find inner peace.

If you can’t acknowledge the pain that they’ve caused you, then you can’t begin to forgive them. It’s okay to be angry, hurt, and resentful. These are all natural reactions to being hurt by someone you love.

Related: How to Deal With Someone Who Hurt You Emotionally (40+ Ways to Cope)

Allow yourself to feel these emotions, but don’t dwell on them. Don’t let them control your life. Acknowledge the hurt, and then move on.

Focus on the positive. Think about the good times you’ve had with your parents. Remember the times when they were there for you, and try to focus on that.

Understand their motivations

If you’re struggling to forgive your parents, try to understand their motivations:

  • Why did they act the way they did?
  • What were they trying to achieve?

Once you have a better understanding of their mindset, it may be easier to forgive them.

Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes, and your parents are no exception. They may have had the best intentions but made some poor choices along the way.

You’ll likely feel much better if you can find it in your heart to forgive them. Let go of the anger and resentment you’re holding onto, and give yourself some peace of mind.

Try to understand why your parents acted the way they did:

  • Was it because they were feeling insecure, threatened, or inadequate?
  • Was it because they were trying to protect you from something?

What is important is that they love you and are doing their best. Try to have compassion for them and forgive them when they make mistakes.

“Choose” to forgive them

Forgiving your parents is a choice. It is not something that happens automatically. But it is something that you can do if you choose to.

Parents are the people who brought you into this world, and they have your best interests at heart — most of the time. They’re probably pretty imperfect, and that’s okay.

What’s not okay is holding onto anger and resentment towards them. It’s not healthy for you, and it’s not going to change them.

Related: How to Overcome Bitterness and Resentment, According to 8 Experts

So how do you forgive your parents? It’s important to:

  • Understand that they’re human, and they make mistakes, just like you. They’re not perfect, and they never will be.
  • Try to see things from their perspective. They’re probably doing the best they can with what they have.
  • Remember that forgiveness is for you, not them. It’s a way to let go of the anger and resentment you’re carrying around.

Let go of the anger

Anger is a natural emotion. But it can be destructive if it is not dealt with in a healthy way. If you can’t let go of the anger, it will continue to poison your relationships and your life.

Forgiving your parents is a necessary step in moving on with your life. It will allow you to find inner peace and have healthier relationships. Just like you, they make mistakes.

They are not perfect, and they will never be perfect. Just because they are your parents does not mean that they are infallible.

Erik Pham

Erik Pham

CEO, HealthCanal

When it comes to forgiving your parents, it can be a difficult process to navigate. But it’s essential to put in the work if you want to have a healthier relationship with them.

Here are some tips for learning how to forgive your parents:

Acknowledge and accept their limitations

It’s important to remember that your parents are humans and, as such, have their own limitations. Recognizing this can help you accept them for who they are rather than being frustrated by their imperfections.

Communicate openly

If there is something that has been bothering you about your relationship with your parents, make sure to communicate it openly. This will help clear up any misunderstandings and could potentially lead to a better understanding of each other.

Practice self-care

Forgiving your parents can be difficult. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself throughout the process. Make sure to take time for yourself to rest and relax, and practice healthy habits like getting enough sleep and eating nourishing food.

Seek professional help

If you find yourself overwhelmed, seek professional help.

A therapist can help you work through your emotions and find healthy ways of dealing with them. They can also help provide support and guidance throughout the process.

Related: What to Talk About in Therapy (60+ Examples from Therapists)

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean to forgive your parents?

Forgiving your parents means letting go of your negative feelings toward them for past hurts or mistakes they have committed. It does not mean forgetting what happened or excusing their behavior, but finding a way to put it behind you and no longer hold on to anger or resentment toward them.

Why is it important to forgive your parents?

Forgiving your parents can positively impact your mental and emotional well-being. Holding on to negative feelings towards your parents can lead to stress, anxiety, and even depression. Forgiveness can also help improve your relationship with your parents and lead to greater feelings of empathy and understanding for them.

What if my parents don’t apologize or acknowledge their wrongdoing?

Forgiveness does not necessarily require an apology or acknowledgment from the other person. It’s possible to forgive someone without them knowing or admitting their mistakes. Remember that forgiveness is ultimately for your own good and healing, not for the other person.

Is it possible to forgive but not forget?

Yes, it’s possible to forgive someone without forgetting what happened. Forgiveness is about letting go of negative feelings toward the person, but that doesn’t mean you have to forget what happened or trust the person again. It’s important to set healthy boundaries and protect yourself from further hurt.

What if I’m not ready to forgive my parents yet?

Forgiveness is a personal decision and shouldn’t be rushed. It’s important to take the time you need to process your feelings and work through your pain or anger. It may be helpful to seek support from a therapist or trusted person while you process your feelings and decide when to begin the forgiveness process.

Can forgiveness help mend a damaged relationship with my parents?

Forgiveness can be an important step in repairing a damaged relationship with your parents. However, it’s important to remember that forgiveness alone may not be enough to completely heal a relationship.

Open and honest communication, setting boundaries, and seeking mutual understanding and respect may also be necessary to repair the relationship.

What if my parents passed away?

Forgiveness is still possible even if your parents have passed away. You can process your feelings and gain closure by journaling, talking to a therapist, or participating in a support group. Remember that forgiveness is ultimately for your own good and healing and that it’s never too late to begin this process.

Can forgiving my parents have a positive impact on other areas of my life?

Yes, when you forgive your parents, it can have a positive impact on other areas of your life as well. Letting go of your anger and resentment toward your parents can improve your mental and emotional well-being and your relationships with others. It can also help you develop more empathy and understanding for others who have hurt you.

Is it okay if I can’t forgive my parents?

Forgiveness is a personal choice, and it is okay if you can’t forgive your parents right now. It’s important that you prioritize your own well-being and take the time you need to process your feelings. Remember that forgiveness is a process, and it may take time and effort to achieve. The support of a therapist or trusted person can also be helpful as you work through your feelings.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?