Forgive: When Parents Pass Down Struggles

This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

Posted: March 24, 2020

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

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When Parents Pass Down Struggles to Their Children by Josh Spurlock

“My daughter feels like I need to forgive myself, as I’m passing that unforgiveness on to her. That’s creating trust difficulties within the relationship.“

Read more to find out what relationship expert Josh Spurlock has to say about how parents pass down struggles to their children.


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While I don’t know the specifics of your situation, I can say that it is a thing that, as parents, we can pass down the struggles that we experience in life to our kids, and that there’s really no way to avoid that other than for us to take responsibility for the difficulties that we have in our life, the struggles that we have in our life, and be willing to address that.


When it comes to child raising and parenting, much of what our kids pick up is caught rather than taught. And so, we can tell them how they ought to do things, or how they ought to experience life or how they ought to engage situations. But, if in our own life we’re modeling something very different from that, then our kids are going to pick up on what we model for them more than what it is we say to them.

And so the best advice I can give you is be willing to look in the mirror and own your own stuff and work on those things so that you can model the kind of healthy behavior that you want to pass on to your kids.

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This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

About the Author
Josh Spurlock
Josh Spurlock

Josh Spurlock MA, LPC, CST, has a BA in Biblical Languages and a Masters in Counseling. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), holding licenses in MissouriColorado, and Florida. He is also a Certified Sex Therapist (CST), Level 2 AEDP Therapist, and an Ordained Minister. He is an Advanced Practice Clinician, with over 10,000 hours of clinical experience. He specializes in Marriage Counseling, Sex Therapy, Family Counseling, and works with Executives, Pastors, Business Owners, and Ministry Leaders. Learn more about Josh Spurlock at

Josh is currently unable to take on any new clients.

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