There’s a calendar date parents of Oppositional Defiant kids often cling to: the 18th Birthday. That magical day when your child becomes an adult and you are no longer responsible for him — at least not legally. Sure, you’ll still be his parent. But things will be different! No more power struggles, disrespect or refusal to follow the rules. No more embarrassment over the way he behaves or the choices he makes. No more feelings of shame, disappointment or anger about the relationship. He’ll be an adult and out on his own. If he doesn’t like the rules of your house, then he just needs to move out!
“You’ve been waiting for your child to grow up, both in age and maturity so your relationship will be different. If that doesn’t happen, it can leave you feeling disappointed, angry, sad and cheated.”
Some parents can actually tell you how many days are left until their ODD child turns eighteen. “Only 543 days until Jake’s an adult!” So what happens when that day finally arrives and it’s not so magical? You’ve been waiting for your child to grow up, both in age and maturity so your relationship will be different. If that doesn’t happen, it can leave you feeling disappointed, angry, sad and cheated. Many parents have been walking around on eggshells for years, with one thought to keep them going: there’s an end to this eventually.
If your ODD child seems to have grown into an ODD adult—with the same old behavior that has driven you crazy in the past—here are some tips that can help:
Some kids do “outgrow” their ODD behavior. For ODD kids, giving up control feels like drowning, and they will fight with parents, teachers and any authority figure until the bitter end. Many ODD kids go on to pursue their dreams successfully in this world: Goldie Hawn, Cher, and Steve Jobs are just a few examples. That strong, stubborn spirit and tenacity can translate into the strength and drive it takes to survive and change the world. One ODD kid we know went on to become a very successful lawyer — when she was ready and on her own terms. Her mom’s response? “Well, she always did know how to win an argument!” On the other hand, some kids will continue to fight against authority figures in society as adults. Yes, this can present challenges and make it difficult to maintain employment or a marriage. But we all have the ability within ourselves to change our outlook and our behavior. People change when they are uncomfortable and are motivated to do so. If you can accept that your adult ODD child’s journey is not yours, but his, it can help you feel less responsible and bitter about the choices he continues to make. You can love him, wish him well and encourage him, but in the end, the responsibility for his life is his own.
Just because an adult is your child doesn’t mean you are obligated to have him in your home. You have the right to set limits on your home, property and finances. You have the right to set and enforce your own emotional boundaries. Sometimes a relationship with an ODD child can transition into an abusive one once adulthood is reached. You cannot control your ODD adult child’s behavior, but you can control your own. Again, people make changes when they are uncomfortable. If your ODD adult is still living in your home, disrespecting you and arguing with you, you don’t have to put up with it! If you are, spend some time identifying why you’re having trouble setting and enforcing those boundaries. What stands in the way? Guilt? Fear? Sometimes we have baggage from our own upbringing that’s standing in our way. You may want to consult a counselor to help you work through things, or even an attorney if there is violence or intimidation occurring in your home. Remember: you have rights. What would you do if your ODD adult was a neighbor or a tenant living in your home? What limits would you set in that relationship?
You’ve probably been waiting 18 years for that to happen and if you continue to wait, you could wait forever! It’s up to you to define how you will relate to your ODD adult. Write down on paper what an acceptable relationship would look like with your child. Is she living with you or not? If so, with what boundaries and limits? What would you like conversations to look like? Some parents find they can only talk about certain topics with their ODD adult child, otherwise an argument will ensue. If you need to stick to the weather, the news or other surface topics in order to be able to have a pleasant conversation, that’s okay. Maybe conversations need to be short — just a few minutes — or infrequent. But it will probably be up to you to set those limits. One mom shared, “If my son starts talking about his friends or his job, I end up getting drawn in, trying to get him to change his behavior or fix things for him. So if he starts talking about arguing with his boss or drinking the night before, I let him know I have to get off the phone and will talk with him later. He knows the limits, but usually I have to be the one to set them.”
Just because your ODD adult might have difficulty communicating doesn’t mean you can’t effectively and respectfully communicate your own boundaries and limits. After years of conflict and arguing, she may be in the habit of relating to you in a certain negative manner. It’s perfectly acceptable for you to say, “You know, you’re an adult now. We aren’t obligated to live together. If we do, it needs to be based on mutual respect. I have some expectations if you continue to live here, in my home.” Remember, it’s your home even if your adult child with ODD has a way of acting as if she’s entitled to live there. (You are responsible for providing a home for your ODD child, but not after she becomes an adult. After that, it’s a privilege.) If your adult ODD daughter has dug in her heels and refuses to leave, you might consider seeking some legal assistance. It’s interesting that the same ODD child who fought against living with you sometimes refuses to leave! That’s because that underlying need for control doesn’t just switch off automatically at the age of eighteen.
We all have expectations — for ourselves and for others in our lives. Often we aren’t even aware of what those expectations are until we sit down and really think about it. As you transition into a new relationship with your adult child with ODD, take some time to understand, grieve and let go of the expectations you had for him that were never met. There was a picture you had of what your child would be like that never fully developed. Accepting that the picture is what it is — that this is your child— will help you let go of the expectation for him to be different. It doesn’t mean you agree with him or the way he chooses to lead his life — it just means you accept that this is how things are right now. You may continue to have hope, but when it turns into an expectation, that’s where the potential for disappointment, anger and hurt can occur. Your adult ODD child likely has expectations of you, as well. You may not always meet them; as parents, we usually don’t. You also may not meet all of the expectations you have for yourself all of the time, either. Be gentle with yourself.
Raising a child who fights against all forms of control — into adulthood — is one of the hardest tasks a parent can face. If you expect yourself to parent in a way that leaves you feeling good about your behavior — always — and one day you lose your temper and say something in anger to your child, forgive yourself. Start the next day fresh. Ask yourself, “What needs to change so I can feel good about myself more often?” Usually, if we find ourselves losing our temper or behaving in a way that we feel guilty or ashamed of, it’s because somewhere along the line we failed to set a boundary with our adult child. We stayed on the phone during a power struggle instead of disengaging; we allowed her to live in the house — making messes and not contributing; we gave money that went to drugs, alcohol or something else we didn’t intend. If you expect your ODD adult to maintain boundaries you may be disappointed, because he has the ultimate control over whether or not he meets that expectation. But if you set the boundary — and enforce it — yourself, you have the control.
The transition from childhood to adulthood with our children can be difficult even under the best of circumstances. When that child has a strong personality that is used to fighting against authority, it can seem like a daunting challenge. Just because she’s eighteen doesn’t mean she’ll stop looking at you as an authority figure she must fight against. And just because she’s technically an adult doesn’t mean you’ll automatically stop engaging in those power struggles. But by being aware of your expectations, accepting your adult ODD for who she is and — maybe most importantly — setting and following through with reasonable boundaries, your relationship with your adult ODD child may change into one where you can find and build on the times you actually enjoy each other.
Parenting ODD Children and Teens: How to Make Consequences Work
Intimidating Teen Behavior: Is It ODD or Conduct Disorder?
Kimberly Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner are the co-creators of The ODD Lifeline® for parents of Oppositional, Defiant kids, and Life Over the Influence™, a program that helps families struggling with substance abuse issues (both programs are included in The Total Transformation® Online Package). Kimberly Abraham, LMSW, has worked with children and families for more than 25 years. She specializes in working with teens with behavioral disorders, and has also raised a child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Marney Studaker-Cordner, LMSW, is the mother of four and has been a therapist for 15 years. She works with children and families and has in-depth training in the area of substance abuse. Kim and Marney are also the co-creators of their first children's book, Daisy: The True Story of an Amazing 3-Legged Chinchilla, which teaches the value of embracing differences and was the winner of the 2014 National Indie Excellence Children's Storybook Cover Design Award.
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I can relate to the pain and suffering … no one expects to have to deal
With so much when they have these entitlement issues with kids or adult children … I myself have one and it has totally destroyed my life and my quality of life .. the fact is the kids are given too much power ! Parents walk around with their hands tied … my son never finished school never had a job never tried hard enough and expects us to just do for him … it’s a heaviness and it can’t be good for anyones health … I have went above and beyond for my son with evaluations at school and outside of school … I was forced to have him medicated or the schools would not accept him … I fought to get him into private schools with job placement …. He basically wants to stay being a child …I think it’s a load of crap all these disorders….. it’s a choice to listen and a choice to try to understand … it’s a choice to be who you are …. As parents, we can only do so much … at some point you have to let them just figure it out on their own … save urself the energy … you matter too!!!! Glad I only had one …. If I could change its would never have had any … total nightmare the last 2.5 decades … not a pleasure at all to deal with …. No one deserves this … the laws are too lenient to these kids …. This post about these disorders abs what they do to families really resonated with me …. ADD , ODD …. It’s all bs ! They know very well what they want and how to do it … they just choose not to …. Go against the grain your whole life …. Only do what is fun and what you want to …. lol go gave them the privelage to ….. ? We all have obligations in life … to ourselves … like I said let them fall on their face and figure it out … no one has the right to be so disruptive and entitled … when I see kids I run the other way! No effing thank you ! Hahaha
I had to have temporary custody of my grand daughter twice in her first 10 years. First time went thru indepth testing because if outburst at day care. She was diagnosed as strong willed child not ADHD and no learning problems. Had months of classes with her to learn to parent. 2nd time again went thru therapy and learned 123 magic which helped greatly. Both times and then when finally transitioned into adult with her mom who did not continue the parenting techniques, I now have the grand daughter back in my home after living with her boyfriend and having a baby. She is immature and controlling as ever. Her mother also has lived with me for years now after several failed relationships.
I could put boundaries and I could get things on track but the mother my daughter won't support me and will go behind my back and let her have her way. So I've instructed my daughter that if the grand creates problems with my peace then she must move out with her.
It has started, where my 23yo granddaughter stays up late and sleeps during the day wants to be loud late at night arguing with her boyfriend over the phone and loosing her temper alot. I'm senior with a disability and on a fixed income and I'm just not going to put up with this. So I'm calling a family meeting this evening and I plan on spelling it out in writing to both of them.
This is not what I would prefer to do...I would prefer us to live together and support grand daughter to get her on her feet and pursue education but as you know...she won't do it. Her mom let her quit school as she made it so difficult and was failing alot of classes and she is 23 without a driver's license. Another form of control is to make others do for her. I've never been able to have that loving relationship
I understand, too. My son is now in prison. He is 19 and the youngest 'adult' in there, although he is emotionally way less mature. He did not think he had to follow the law, and even said that God is the only one he answers to. He was gifted in school, accepted into Ohio University with a scholarship but as soon as he began to drink and smoke, it went downhill pretty fast. His dad and my marriage was less than stellar, and he has anger control issues. Is it the combo of everything or is he born opposition-ally defiant with ADD? He is shocked that he got caught and was put into the bigboy prison.... I pray he has learned.
I agree with what Rebecca said as the more you give your son, the more entitled he becomes. I know how you feel and honestly, my son being in prison is sadly the safest I have felt at night regarding him getting hurt or hurting somebody.
Rebecca thank you!!
I am going to read the book and contact the number
God Bless you
Thank you for
writing in, and I hope that other parents of adult children will write in as
well to share their experiences. From our perspective, it is never too
late to change, even if your child is now an adult and getting into legal
trouble. As a matter of fact, James Lehman, who created many of the
programs and wrote numerous articles here on Empowering Parents, was defiant as
a child, and was in and out of jail as a teen and even into his adult
years. You can read more about his story in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-a-former-troubled-teen-turned-his-life-around-the-james-lehman-story/.
If you are looking for support groups, you might consider contacting the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222. 211 is a
service which connects people with resources in their community. I wish
you and your family all the best moving forward. Take care.
I just came across these articles while searching for a solution for our situation. My husband and I have living at home, an 18 year old who just graduated; a 16 year who is trying to graduate a year early; and a 12 year old. the 18 year old is from my husbands 1st marriage. the 16 year old and 12 year old are from my 1st marriage. we have been together for over 8-9 years and married for 4 years.
I have raised the 18 year old, obviously for the last 8-9 years of his life as my husband had primary physical custody of his son. I have always treated my husbands children as my own. there is no difference, and many many people and friends can't tell who belongs to who...which was my goal in trying to be a successful blended family.
The issue at the moment is the 18 year old. He helps around the house with some chores, but since graduation has made no serious effort to "step into the adult world" of finding employment or figuring out what or where he is going to end up. We have had the talk with him but it seems the more we talk, the less the results and efforts become.
Now we have to move from our 3 bedroom home and can't really afford to pay for storage while we pack up the house, so we took over the 18 year olds room as a "storage / command center". Now before you raise an eyebrow, the 16 year old gets child support which he gives back to us every month to help pay bills and make ends meet, has a part time job, and just saved enough money to purchase a moped and shares a room with the 12 year old.
My thought of using the 18 year olds room was to "make him uncomfortable in his current situation" and "lovingly push" him to kicking in and getting a job so he can move out, help out or something but he moved himself into the other boys room. I just told him that's unacceptable and he of course got upset...as did my husband. He feels that I'm not being fair...I need an outside opinion as to what is reasonable for us to ask of him being that he is an "adult"...please as this is pulling our family apart quickly...
I can understand your
frustration. Of course you want your 18 year old son to have some direction and
motivation to move forward into the adult world. Having just graduated, your
son is facing a pretty uncertain and scary time. Some kids really have it all
mapped out and are on to the next phase, many do not. I think it is fair to
give him a bit of transition time as I am guessing he probably graduated very
recently. Instead of taking over his room, we would recommend coming to an
agreement on what the expectation is and when you expect it to happen. For
example, you could expect him to be looking for a job each day and show you
evidence of that. You can set up a https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ so that everyone is clear and on the same page. Establishing
ground rules and expectations can be very effective in giving your son some
clear guidelines. Also, do your best to see each of your children individually.
Comparing their efforts or contributions is generally not very effective, as
they are different people. Viewing child support as your 16 year old
contributing financially is not fair to your 18 year old. Your 16 year
old is not contributing that money, it is your money to help with the
expenses of raising your children. Thank you for reaching out. Let us know if
we can be of any further help. Take care.
I hear you. It sounds like you have been through a lot
with your daughter, and it’s understandable that you might feel frustrated and
worn out with the constant conflict. In addition, it can be difficult to
witness your daughter making poor choices that impact not only her, but also
your grandchild. We hear from many parents in similar situations, so you
are not alone in this. The truth is, as an adult and a parent, your
daughter has the right to make her own decisions regarding her life as well as
your grandchild’s life, even decisions that could potentially have a negative
outcome. This does not mean that you are powerless, however. As her
parent, you have the right to set and enforce boundaries with your daughter
while she is living in your home. I also hear your concern that your
daughter might leave with your grandchild if you try to enforce too many
rules. Ultimately, you are the best judge of what you are, and are not,
willing to live with. It could be helpful to sit down with your daughter
during a calm time and write up your expectations for her behavior while she is
in your home, such as in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/. I recognize how difficult this must be for you, and I
hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and
your family. Take care.
I am so happy to find this website. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what is wrong with my 20 year old daughter. I seem to be 100% sure my daughter has ODD disorder. My daughter was always very headstrong, but it progressed in her early teens. My ex husband and I divorced when she was 2 years old. My daughter lived with me up until she was 16 and my ex then somehow persuaded her to move in with him. While I was at work, my daughter grabbed her belongings and just left. I was devastated. I am sure there were no boundaries set at his house, I'm sure he was just happy she was with him. To my ex it was a power trip for him, to try and get our kids to be with him because he never forgave me for filing for divorce. He has been trying to get revenge on me ever since. My ex has battled drugs for many years. He has been arrested a few times for marijuana, had a few DUI's , and finally after 20 years he went to rehab (kudos to him), but my daughter is the one now suffering. By him stealing my daughter to live with him, I feel like he set the downward spiral with all this. My daughter then moved back with me because se didn't like his rules (about a year later), eventually didn't like my rules and went back to him. It went back and forth a few times until she finally moved into her own place a few months ago. Her disrespect for me has grown stronger and blatantly told me she hates me and her father. She never had a concrete reason why, just the way she felt about us. She would never listen to me when she was here and did what she pleased. It was my fault, because I reluctantly allowed it. I did not know what to do besides tie her up and lock her in a room. So, how do you set boundaries when you have no control over your child. She has so much anger towards me, it became physical last week. She verbally abuses me and degrades me and I had enough. She is in her own apartment and seems so unhappy. I have seen this progress over the last few months. I claimed her as a dependent on my taxes in February and she went ballistic. She felt it had affected her refund (it did not). I had every right. She now had a reason why she is behaving like this. I am now a piece of shit to her, dumbass, etc. I feel she may have another disorder as well, due to her mood swings; it's almost like a bi-polar type of behavior. One minute I'm no good, the next she's texting me asking me a question, and being totally nice. Her father and I do not speak, and haven't for a few years. I moved in with my mom about 8 years ago after my father died, along with my daughter and son. She had a very stable and happy environment here until my ex took her at 16 to live with him. Due to her going back and forth and it being allowed I think it has mad her feel like she does not have a stable life. My mom is not a fighter and never really backed me up with my disciplining. She more less allowed it and out of respect for her, I did not want to make any unnecessary stress for her.
It all makes sense now. She never listened to anyone when it came to disciplining (parents, teachers, etc). She does have a job, but signed herself out of school in 11 th grade because she could not handle all the girl problems at the High School (anti-social disorder possibly). She did receive her GED thankfully. She only lives half a block from me and I see her on occasion. There is so much tension it's ridiculous. I tell her she needs counseling to help her through her anger, but is in denial. I am afraid something drastic is going to happen. How do I persuade her to go to counseling with me??
I can hear how fearful you are about your daughter’s future.
That’s a common worry for parents, especially parents of older teens and young
adults. It can be easy to futurize and awfulize when your child is making poor
choices. It sounds like you think counseling would help the two of you
have a better relationship. While that may be true, it may not be possible to convince
your daughter to go. This doesn’t mean you can’t go on your own, though. You
may find working with a neutral third party to be an effective way of helping
you determine where your limits and boundaries are, as well as ways of
responding to her choices that will help you feel empowered, instead of
overwhelmed. That’s really the best way to parent an adult child – establishing
clear boundaries and deciding how you are going to respond when those
boundaries are crossed. The 211 Helpline would be able to give you information
on counseling services in your area. You can reach the Helpline 24 hours a day
by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by visiting them online at http://www.211.org/. Best of luck to you and your family
moving forward. Take care.
Thank you so much for responding. I know I cannot get my daughter to go right now. I finally understood that. You are right about me going to counseling for myself to learn how to cope. I have been so overwhelmed and stressed and it is not a great feeling. I want to feel empowered. I will keep you updated. Maybe I can help other parents dealing with this situation.
Thank you so much!!!
I'm sorry for you as well. I think I just posted in hopes of hearing from others like me. I feel so sad all the time. I'm 65 and exhausted. I watch our granddaughter to have her have normal at least two days. My sons wife appears to lack emotion and just stands and stares at me if I offer anything that makes sense: then she attacks my son verbally when I'm gone. My son is emotionally unstable and his reasoning is like that of a stubborn toddler. I can't believe I'm in this situation. We pay the majority of their bills due to all my sons disabilities and his wife contributes nothing. They live and dress like slobs and I feel sick seeing it. Just venting. It's a true heartache that only those dealing with similar situations understand. God bless us.
Hi Bella, I so feel you! I know that I practice surrender most of the time when it comes to them because I am powerless. The law does not provide grandparents any rights in the state that I live in so I cannot take them to court... Because I have no power, I give myself permission to "let go" so that I am not miserable over it.
My son & his wife are also complete slobs. They smell so bad & it's sad. But since I have no power to make them change & any advice or soft suggestions makes them angry, I choose to let go & give myself a hug instead.
He challenged me since he was very little. I refuse to give him the power today to make me miserable but every now & then I get weak & allow my inner critic to have expectations that he "should be" kind to me & give me the respect I deserve... That's what I was upset about yesterday.
We do have the right to be happy... I hope tomorrow brings you happiness. Write back any time if you need or want to vent.
Dear Bella, I feel you. I also have a 32 year old son with ODD who is married to a woman who is bipolar with ODD: They have 3 children with 1 due soon. Since I am physically disabled & have a 13 year old busy daughter at home, I am not able to babysit for them every weekend as they would like so he gets very mad at me & calls me a bad grandma... I also do not know what to do because they are cruel parents. I feel so terrible for my grandchildren. My 6 year old sweet & kind grandson talks about how he often feels so sad & cries "for no reason." I feel so sad that I cannot do more. I also do not know what to do.
I am sorry that you feel sad Bella. Maybe someone might have some advice?
I wish you well.
I believe our middle son, who has moved back in with us at age 26, to have ODD. I don't know where to turn for help; I can't involve myself with his health care because he is a legal adult and I have no rights. He is very bright, and holds a math degree, but is extremely negative and absolutely refuses to set goals that would get him a job. He talks of applying to graduate school, but has no references since he has never worked and did not involve himself with professors or counselors while he was in college. When I said he needs to start the process by contacting professors he had in college, he becomes negative and says none of them would give him a recommendation. He won't even try! I also don't think he has any clear concept of what he would do with a graduate degree, so I'm not sure it would matter. He seems to feel that the only option he has is to go to grad school. When we tell him that's not so, that people with math degrees have many options, he starts in with the negativity.
I have suggested volunteer work. I have suggested going back to school for a different bachelors' degree. I have suggested getting any kind of a job at all, just to gain experience and references. Any suggestion I make is met with flat negativity and usually the comment that it wouldn't help, or that I'm stupid. We have observed this pattern for many years: during high school, it seemed like anything we praised him for would be immediately dropped. Like art; he enjoyed drawing and painting and won an art award at school, but did not even tell us about the award. When we tried to encourage his interest, he dropped it. This was repeated many times.
On the plus side, he is as honest as the day is long and would never hurt anyone (except us—emotionally). He doesn't have substance abuse issues or any of the other problems I see that other parents sadly have to cope with as well.
I feel that we've failed him as parents; my husband, unfortunately, chose to pretend that none of his issues were terribly important and that he'd grow out of them. I've felt like I was battling both of them: my son because of his issues and my husband because of his passivity. At this point, my husband finally realizes that he is NOT going to outgrow his issues on his own, and that we need to do something. But what? Should I try to find a counselor for the two of us? Or what?
You bring up an interesting dilemma. Truthfully, whether or
not your son has ODD doesn’t really matter in terms of the expectations you
have for him in your home. If you think counseling could be helpful for you
and/or your son, I would encourage you to find out what types of services are
available in your community. I would also encourage you to consider developing
a mutual living agreement with your son that outlines what expectations you
have while he lives in your home. You can find some great tips for developing a
living agreement in the articles Parenting Your Adult Child: How to Set up a Mutual Living Agreement & Ground Rules for Living with an Adult Child (plus Free Living Agreement). The
second article includes a template for a Living Agreement that can be
downloaded and printed off. We wish you and your family the best of luck moving
forward. Take care.
My 20 year old son was never add. He and I were very close up until I left my husband when he was 15. He chose to stay with his dad who set no boundaries. I tried to stay involved but my ex always over ruled my authority stating my son was living with him. My son grew increasingly hostile towards me but we were bumbling along At the end of his 1st year of university his behavior changed. His flat was a disgusting mess. He would shout at me if I called at "the wrong time ". I started to fear he was abusing some substance. I discussed this with my ex who promptly told him my concerns
My son immediately stopped talking to me He is angry and full of hatred for me. He has stopped all contact with any family members and has destroyed any photos of me. He has blocked me off all his social media and his phone He forbids me to go anywhere near him or for his father to discuss anything with me. He is the authority in their relationship. His rude and aggressive messages to his sister say he is who he is and everyone must accept him as he is. He is no longer going to be told what to do by anyone and will take I bs from anyone
The change in him is so extreme that I'm left confused and hurt. It has been suggested that he has ODD. He did take add meds in the last two years of school as his concentration levels were bad. Is this a possible diagnosis? He has no communication with me and if he does its to tell me to get out or get way
This comment hit home. My 26 year old brother I know without a doubt has ODD, and his behavior has become unbearable. Unfortunately our circumstances have all four of us, me (age 28), and my two 62 yr old parents living in a 900 sq ft house and we can't easily escape his behavior. I so desperately want my mother and father to take the action you have. My father is more like you and my mom is the one who feels that kicking him out is not an option...because he will be homeless! He has made absolutely no effort to make a life for himself. He plays video games on the computer 24/7 which he refers to at "work". Truly laughable, but its what he actually believes. He is on social security, but claims he tricked everyone so he could have the money but insists he is not mentally ill.
My question is how do we set boundries for someone who refuses to believe his is ill or ever wrong. He can NEVER be wrong, which I am sure you understand. How do you go through with this without him thinking we just hate him and want him gone. He always thinks we and planning conspiracy and plans behind his back....ay yi yi
Watching someone you love struggle with substance abuse issues
can be distressing, especially when it continues to impact your life as well.
It may be helpful to look into area supports, such as Al-Anon or perhaps a
private counselor. Many people in similar situations have found these resources
beneficial for developing clear limits and boundaries with loved ones who
continue to abuse alcohol or other substances. You can find information on Al-
Anon online at http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/ If
you think a counselor could be helpful, the http://www.211.org/ can give you information on counselors and therapist available in
your area. You can reach the Helpline 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222.
We appreciate you writing in and sharing your story. We wish you the best of
luck moving forward. Take care.
can be difficult to know how to effectively respond when your child is making
choices that you do not agree with, especially when she appears to be under
someone else’s influence. In addition, many parents struggle with setting
appropriate boundaries with an adult child, so you are not alone in your
situation. Something to keep in mind is that your relationship with your
daughter does not have to be “all or nothing”. That is to say, you can
have a close relationship with your daughter while still setting reasonable
limits around who you allow in your home. It might be helpful to talk
with her over the phone, or to meet with her at a coffee shop or local park, in
order to maintain a connection with your daughter. Ultimately, it’s going
to be up to your daughter to make changes in her life, and she’s going to do
that when she is uncomfortable enough with the way things are going that she
needs to make a different choice. It can also be useful for you to make
sure that you are taking care of yourself during this time. Self-care is
an important, though often neglected, part of being an effective parent.
Your self-care plan can be anything you desire: from calling a supportive
friend or family member, to engaging in an activity you enjoy, to using more
structured supports such as a support group or a counselor. For
information on this type of support in your community, try calling the http://www.211.org/ at
1-800-273-6222. I understand that this is a difficult situation, and I
appreciate your reaching out to us for assistance. Please be sure to
write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family.
I can hear your concern. Many parents struggle with the
uncertainty of how their child’s conflict with others may impact their future.
You don’t mention in your comment how your son responds when he gets
frustrated by his peers. I think it can be helpful to recognize that it’s
OK to beMore frustrated, upset, or angry. These are emotions we all have. Troubles
come about when we utilize ineffective or inappropriate behaviors to cope with
difficult emotions. One thing you might consider doing is problem solving with
you son about situations that arise and things he can do when he starts to get
frustrated or upset. We have several articles on problem solving. One in
particular you may find helpful is The Surprising Reason for Bad Child Behavior: “I Can’t Solve Problems”. Good luck to you and your son going forward.