Therapist 101: Why You Must Accept Your Child-Rearing Mistakes

When my sister and I were growing up, It was evident who my parents’ favorite child was, not me. In all fairness, mom and dad were never mean to me. If I asked for something, they would get it in a heartbeat. Often, I only had to look at an object for more than two minutes, and they would buy it before I even asked.

I said that my little sister was the most favored member of the family because she could get away with anything. For instance, she dismantled the ship I was making out of LEGO blocks once, and no one reprimanded her for it. My mom even blamed me mildly for it because I placed it where my sister could reach it.

I also felt slight discrimination when it came to how soon we had to be home. While I had an early curfew as a teenager, my sister could stay outside until 10 PM or 11 PM. I would ask my parents why, and they would reply that it’s because my sister was at a group study session. Since I was a teenage boy, they had reservations about trusting me whenever I said the same thing.


When The Crapola Hit The Fan

One day, the police called. I remembered it vividly because I happened to pick up the telephone when I saw that mom was busy cooking. When I asked what the call’s about, the police told me that mom and dad need to go to the local station because my little sister got caught stealing a car while high as a kite.

I was shocked by what I heard; I did not hear it when my mother walked near me and asked about the caller. She had to snap her fingers a few times in front of my face before I blurted out, “Sis is at the police station.”

As I expected, mom did not believe the charges. We picked up dad from work, and they began calling their lawyers, preparing to file charges against the police who claimed that my sister was a drug addict and a car thief.


But once we came face to face with my sister inside the station, all the words seemed to have left my parents. Sis was in a cell all by herself because she was aggressive to the other people in the holding cell. The police even showed footage of her trying to run away from the scene.

When my sister saw mom and dad, though, her facial features turned soft and sweet. She begged them to help her get out because the charges were false (according to her). I noticed that my parents wanted to turn a blind eye and believe her, but the case was already out of their hands. My sister was eventually sentenced to 90 days in a juvenile prison.

Questions And Denials

My sister’s imprisonment took a massive toll on my parents, especially on my mother. She kept asking things like, “What went wrong?” “Why didn’t we see the signs?” “Didn’t we give her enough love and attention?” Dad had to take mom to a therapist because he feared that her depression would continue if left untreated.


The therapist practically encouraged my parents to see the problem during therapy: they placed my sister on a pedestal. They thought that she was perfect, that she could never be at fault. Because of that ideology, my sister kept up a sweet façade, and they believed it 100%.

“So, are you saying that we’re the reason why our child is behind bars now?” my mother demanded, wide-eyed.

“No, that’s not what I meant. Still, we have to accept as parents that we sometimes slip up during our child-rearing years. You loved your daughter too much in your case, so it became effortless for her to manipulate you and hide her real activities. If you took a step back at least once, you might have seen that something about her behavior did not add up,” the therapist explained.


Realization finally dawned on my mother. She recounted those times when my sister would come home with red eyes and say that it’s because she watched a tearful movie. There were also days when my sister would not accept money from our parents and claim that she had enough savings. They were sweet gestures, but they should have doubted her a smidge for her sake.

Final Thoughts

It’s challenging for any parent to accept their child-rearing mistakes. My mom and dad had to stay in therapy even when my sister already got out of juvenile prison since they did not trust their judgment skills when it came to her.

That was a challenging year for our family. My parents began questioning everything my sister said; my sister had to regain their trust. Despite all that, we learned from what happened and came out stronger as a unit.