There are parents who ‘fall’ for the trap set by their children. To describe the ‘trap’ the way it is set up might seem perplexing.
Why would a forty four year old married father try to hurt his mother by telling her how she ‘beat him when he dropped the jelly jar’ at the age of three?
He is trying to create a backstory of abuse. He is trying to cast her into a specific role so as to explain/ justify his behaviour or reactions. He is searching for bits and pieces to form into a whole.
“I won’t help my mother because she beat me when I was three…” is the purpose.
The wise parent who appreciates what what is happening, will make him/herself unavailable.
The parent who ceases to call/write/visit the child who is looking for his ‘justification’ by turning every encounter into a waterboarding session, spares him/herself.