Hello!

Today we’re wondering where parental responsibility should begin and end.

Logically, it’s totally different depending on the age of the child but emotionally, do we ever really make the distinction?

Can we really bear the blame for everything that happens to our children (even when they are adults) or do we need to come to terms with the fact that there is only so much influence we can have over what our children do?

Our heart goes out to Bob Geldof who, like any parent who has lost a child, is blaming himself for the death of his “super bright” but “errant” daughter, Peaches.

Peaches, Geldof’s daughter with Paula Yates, died in April 2014 of a heroin overdose.

In an interview with ITV News, Geldof said that he “goes over and over and over” what he could have done to help his 25-year-old daughter who had relapsed in the months leading up to her death.

“You blame yourself. You’re the father who is responsible and clearly failed,” he said.

“For anybody watching, who has a dead kid and you’re a parent — you go back, you go back, you go back, you go back, you go back, you go over, you go over. What could you have done? You do as much as you can.”

Geldof said that he knew his daughter was dealing with addiction before her overdose. He went on to say that he had conversations with Peaches after she began receiving help for her relapsed addiction but feels he “clearly failed”.

We guess that’s the same for so many parents in his situation; you know there’s a problem and you spend your time flicking between letting them be the adult they now are and then worrying you’re not doing enough.  And at every turn you worry that the last thing you did or said was not quite right … and then it starts all over again.

What do you think?  Is there a point where a parent can’t blame themselves? We think yes, there is.

It doesn’t matter how much you love your child, how much you beg, plead or attempt to convince them otherwise.  At some point in time, they will make their own choices.  It’s just so devastating that sometimes, we’re the ones left behind to deal with the grief of their decisions.


Bob Geldof image courtesy of Shutterstock Peaches Geldof image courtesy of Shutterstock

  • This is so sad…

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  • Poor Bob, I feel so sorry for him but it is definently not his fault. :(

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  • As any parent you always will question yourself. Did I say the right thing? Did I do the right thing? Should I have handle that differently? At the same time, I think it’s easy to say Yes, there is a point. But, it’s being said when not going through the situation. It’s always easier when it’s not you. I think their lifestyle is so greatly different from ours. In so many ways. We really can’t say we understand his decisions. I feel for him and her sisters, as their whole lives have been swamped by such illness. Those poor boys as well. There will always be a ‘What if….’ whenever any young person passes away.

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  • So absolutely tragic. And so sad for those little boys not growing up with their mother.

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  • This is such a sad story. Doesn’t matter how much money or fame you have drugs don’t discriminate.

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  • That is so sad she relapsed R.i.P

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  • Absolutely heartbreaking and saddening for everyone.


    • I have been reading articles on this family and it is complicated and sad.

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  • So so sad, especially for her babies. She was an adult and made her own decisions that resulted in a tragic end to her young life. There wasn’t anything he could have done, but I know if it was my child I imagine I would feel exactly the same way :(

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  • wow this is a full on story

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  • My name is Emma Howard I am the director of A psychology private practice and have over 10 years experience in working with mental health specifically, Child youth and adult presentations with addictions. I foresee that parents responsibility to impart appropriate moral and ethical standards begins pre-gestational and does not end until the child\’s life ends, which is hopefully after the parent(s) have passed. Having said this I have unfortunately observed far too frequently in Psychological consultation that an addiction affected youth will fail to take responsibility for their own poor choices and be ready to blame anyone and everyone for results of their life. A seductive target to vent one\’s upset is the family of origin, namely the parents. This is fundamentally the foundation of the addict\’s poor mental health management. They have an external locus of control, primarily, anything that goes poorly in their life is external to their control. And anything that goes well in their life is also out of their control. The locus of control theory is helpful to explain why full recovery from addiction is unlikely, as the individual will not congratulate themselves on a job well done. See more of my blog posts with Equilibrium Health – http://www.equilibriumhealthgc.com.au

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  • It’s never an easy thing to do burying your child, no matter how old. Children make their own choices and paths in life and sometimes it doesn’t work out. I feel sorry for her children, partner, siblings and dad of course, death affects a lot of people just not the immediate ones. :(

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  • I think parents will always see their children as their babies and not necessarily as adults solely responsible for their own lives. It’s just built into who we are.

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  • Such a sad, sad story. An unimaginable pain.

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  • I feel for Bob and maybe he could have tried more, who knows. But ultimately it was her decision not his.

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  • there are a lot of shades to this story, family members have a history of drug abuse going back 20 years. Not a wholesome environment for the Geldof children to grow up in. Lets hope Peaches’ two little boys have a more normal life.

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