My mother seems to suffer from excessive guilt. Now that I am adult, she keeps asking me to forgive her for how she parented me when I was a child. I actually see no big deal here. So, do I tell her that I forgive her, even though I don’t think she did anything wrong?

Your mother seems to need your reassurance that you love her and that she is a good person. Her standards for herself are higher than yours in judging her parenting skills. If it were me, I would say something like this: “When people forgive others, they see the others as worthwhile and of great value. Mom, you are of great worth and of infinite value to me. When people forgive others, they love them. Mom, I love you without condition. Now that I have shown the attributes of forgiveness to you, may I make a suggestion? I think that you should forgive yourself for anything you think you might have done that is still causing you guilt. I want you to have peace regarding how you raised me. I think you did a wonderful job of that.”

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Categories: Ask Dr. Forgiveness