“I sacrificed for years to make sure my son had the best education possible. Now, he’s out of high school and working at a low level job and says he has no intentions of going to college.”
“My daughter never calls unless she wants something. Even then, she is rude to me!”
“My son is a slob! He doesn’t seem to care at all about how he looks or how his apartment looks. I just don’t get it. I didn’t raise him to be like this.”
It can be very painful to realize that the child you worked so hard to raise is not living up to their potential. Even more heartbreaking is the realization that you may not have a very good relationship with them. Sometimes these issues can make you feel like you’ve failed. As parents, we tend to think that if anything goes wrong with our kids, it’s our fault. Not only do we have the pressure we put on ourselves, we may also have well-meaning family members (and the rest of society) sending us those same blaming messages. But it’s more likely that you did the very best you knew how to do at each juncture in your child’s life. Some things may have been more effective, and some less effective, but you did your best.
Examine Your Own Feelings
I think it’s important to look at your own feelings in a more objective light. Are you feeling frustrated because your child is in a potentially harmful situation, or because the choices he or she made don’t fit in with your goals for their life? Culturally, we tend to value social status over personal fulfillment and happiness. So, if your child opts to go into a career that makes them happy, but does not necessarily provide a good living, we can feel like they are under-achieving. If you’re feeling this way, it might be helpful to take a step back and ask yourself which is better — having a child who is outwardly successful, or one who is inwardly happy? More importantly, whose life is it, anyway?
The reality is, this is now your child’s journey. Whether you approve of their career, their lifestyle, or their choice of life partner, it doesn’t change the fact that they now have the right to make their own choices. Along with that right comes the responsibility of those choices. This is what adulthood is all about. No matter what kind of upbringing a person has had, good or bad, there comes a time when they have to take responsibility for their own lives. This is easy for most of us when we’re looking at another adult who is not related to us, yet it can easily be blurred when that adult happens to be your child.
Have You Stumbled into an Ineffective Parenting Role?
As parents of adult children, we can still fall into some of those less effective roles James Lehman talks about in the Total Transformation. We may find ourselves repeating the same patterns we did when they were children. For example, a parent may fall into the role of a martyr or savior, and constantly step in to help their adult child out of situations they have gotten themselves into. They may feel it necessary to help their child pay their rent, for example, even if that child is wasting their own money on drugs or alcohol. Sometimes, this is at a cost to our own well being. Or parents may find themselves being the Perfectionist. “My daughter could have gone to West Point when she graduated, but instead, she waited a couple years and then went to a local college.” (This was actually what my own mother used to say about me. I’m sure it wasn’t intended to be hurtful — she actually was trying to point out that I was intelligent. I just wasn’t putting it to good use, in her opinion.)
2 Points to Remember:
Aside from recognizing your feelings and acknowledging them, there are two important points to remember. The first is that there are very few black-and-white deadlines in life in regards to the path your child chooses. Every person has milestones in their life, and just as we mark early childhood milestones (the first time our child walks, talks, or uses the potty) we can also mark milestones in adulthood (the first car, first time living on their own, first serious relationship). Just like when your kids were younger, it’s important to realize that not everyone matures at the same rate.
This means that despite the fact that 18 is considered the “legal” age of adulthood, not every person who reaches 18 is truly ready for all the challenges of living independently. This is an individual choice each family needs to make, and there is no right or wrong. The key is recognizing if one of your boundaries is being crossed. In other words, are you helping because you truly want to, or do you feel like you are being taken advantage of? Generally, a good “gut check” can help you determine if a boundary has been crossed. If you feel at peace, you are probably okay. If however, you find you are unsettled, or resenting your child or the situation you are in, it may be time to look at things and make some changes.
Related content: Rules, Boundaries, and Older Children: How to Cope with an Adult Child Living at Home
The second and probably most important point to remember is that people are continuously growing and changing. Just because you don’t see the fruits of your efforts yet, it doesn’t mean you never will. One of the most inspiring examples to me is the story of James Lehman himself. As a young adult, he was using drugs, stealing, and eventually wound up in jail. Yet, fast forward a few years later, he went to college, got his Master’s degree, and began a life-long career of helping troubled youth and their parents. I’m sure he would say to any disheartened parent, “Game not over!”
6 More Tips for Parents of Adult Children
It is, after all, your child’s life. Your relationship with them will be vastly improved if you are able to let go of your expectations for them while never losing hope in their potential.
“My Child Decided Not to Go to College — and is Living at Home”
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Jacqueline McDowell formerly worked as an Empowering Parents 1-on-1 Coach. Prior to coming to Empowering Parents, she has worked in a diverse range of residential care settings with people who have been impacted by mental illness, cognitive and physical disabilities, as well as pregnant and parenting teens. She has a Bachelor's degree in Social Work from the University of Southern Maine. She is the proud parent of an adult son, Jeremy.
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Thank you for reaching out. Now that your daughter is an adult, there really isn't much you can do about who she chooses to spend her time with. Making negative comments or offering unsolicited advice probably won't have a positive outcome. As difficult as it may be, you have to let your adult child make her own choices. If she asks you for your opinion, then, by all means, you can share how you feel in a kind, caring way.
We have several articles that focus specifically on parenting adult children you may find helpful: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article-categories/ages-and-stages/adult-children/
We appreciate you being part of our Empowering Parents community. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going. Take care.
Thank you for writing in and sharing your story. There may not be anything you can do with that. Now that your daughter is an adult, she can make the choice not to spend time with you or have much by way of interactions with you. It may help to know that your daughter is going through a developmental stage called individuation - a time when teens and young adults pull away from their family as they move into adulthood. One aspect of this is not wanting to spend much time with parents. It can be difficult for parents when this happens, especially if there once was a close parent-child relationship. I would give her space while also letting her know that you're available if she needs support, as Debbie Pincus suggests in her article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/estranged-from-your-adult-child-5-things-you-can-do/
We appreciate you being part of our Empowering Parents community and wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.
I am so relieved I found this comment section, after hours of laying in bed worrying about my 19 year old college student who lives in a dorm and recently tells me casually she is snorting opiates. “Like no big deal mom”. I am riddled with angst, ruminating thoughts and fear that drives me. I am also professional in the behavioral health world and have some fairly well for myself so it is Incredibly scary to know the potential road she is ahead. I went through a horrible divorce with her father 4 years ago. Though we did not get along her life was fairly stable yet, she shoves all of her anger rage and life hatred towards me. Everything is my fault. She is many ways took on the verbal and emotional manipulation of her father and I can not tolerate that. I’m currently on a “break” right now from yet it has caused me to think of the most extreme consequences happening to her.
I realize my own generational trauma and personal pain keep me in this exhausting loop with her often trying to please her just because I want to to succeed. However, I realize this is not working. I feel so broken, like such a failure. It was nice to see other people had some similar situations I think I just need some connection so I feel not so alone it all of this.
I can understand your frustration. This is a bit outside the scope of what we are able to offer suggestions on. I encourage you to see if there are local supports in your area that may be able to offer you guidance. The 211 National Helpline is a referral service available 24 hours a day, nationwide. They can give you information on the types of support services available in your area such as counselors, therapists, support groups/kinship services as well as various other resources. You can reach the Helpline by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto 211.org.
We appreciate you sharing your story and wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.
I can identify with all of you. My adult kids (30 & 28) seemed to be very normal, responsible, respectful adults. My son struggled in school with ADHD, but he always passed his grades with C’s or higher.
As adults my son stopped coming to visit or call at all. My ex- husband says it’s because my son feels I was never there for my kids. That I abandoned them.
When I found out my husband was doing drugs (and he would not get help, go to rehab or marriage counseling, or try to stop) I filed for divorce.
His mother said, “Maybe losing you and the kids will force him to go get help.”
Well, turns out his mother and his employer bought him the best lawyer money could buy.
Meanwhile my son, only 3 was terrified staying at my apartment with me. He said it always looked like monsters were coming in the windows! ( I lived off of busy street where headlights shown through the trees behind my place and moved the shadows as the vehicle went by. It very much looked like the shadow of a large man walking past the windows).
At that point my son said he didn’t want to be there and was hysterical. I called my ex and he came and picked them up. I had hoped he would eventually get used to it. But it got so bad, he refused to come over at all.
Then, my ex took me to court to get physical custody based on the fact that they couldn’t get acclimated to living with me!
My lawyer said I couldn’t prove he had a drug problem and that even mentioning it would seem like I was making it up.
The judge gave him custody of my kids! Which was the first case in Virginia where a mother ( who was to major care provider) lost custody of her children to the father without being an “unfit “ mother!
I was devastated and could not talk to nor see anyone for weeks!
It haunted me their whole life.
Because even after he gained custody, my son still didn’t want to see me because I cried when I saw them.
I was broken and did not know I had PTSD. I COULD NOT help but cry. So after months of working on my emotions, I finally could see them and had moved to another place where they could spend time with me.
I did everything I could for them.
But, as adults they both feel we as in their father and I ruined their lives and are the reasons they struggle with life today.
I say this to get to this point.
I was always told by my kids when I would say, “ You need to think of how you make others feel when you speak like that” or “ Consider what someone has done for you in giving you a helping hand and show them you appreciate their help.” In no way did I ever direct that toward myself. It was like if they ever gave someone a gift and the person said no thanks I already have one of these.
So fast forward to 2021. Both of my adult kids have ADD. I always had it as did their father. I had developed ways to work with my ADD. I tried to teach them those ways too.
But I can honestly say that it was not until my mid to late 30’s before I actually developed general concern for others in the world ( other than my kids and family). I always had sympathy when I heard sad stories and they would make me sad or cry. But, compassion was not there. Concern for others to do well even if they were not struggling.
I had hoped that they will grow into that and they still may.
But, I strongly believe our kids grew up being told that adults tend to brain wash kids by using guilt trips, which are described as life lessons we teach them in humanity, manners, simple compassionate behaviors.
Which leads back to them saying we have ruined their lives, their disrespect, their lack of tolerance for any feedback and leaning on us…because “WE OWE THEM”.
They all seem to have ADHD in common. Those with kids who are not, have perhaps not been diagnosed yet?
I really believe our kids were lost in translation growing up, They think in black and white and have never learned or cannot see the different shades of grey possibilities in life.
We may have to let this all play through with tough love.
Instead of giving them money, say, “ I am going to pay for you to take a financial planning class.” Charge them rent for six months ( save that rent money for them to have a deposit) and tell them they have 6 months to find a place with a roommate or two. Indicated they will have to make deposits on utilities, apartments, get a checking and savings account and direct deposit of their paycheck.
Let them get started. You can leave 12% of what would be a monthly income, out of the stash of rent you saved. Tell them they have 10% to go to savings (preferably a Christmas account that can’t be touched until Oct.) and 2% goes to their savings first. (first month for both in bank already) Then pay their bills. If their portion of rent is $400, utilities/ internet is about $100 and car, insurance, gas and phone are $300 then they need to keep $935 in the bank at all times. So, they can pay rent after saving up two whole months pay, then paying these bills on the day after their next full month of pay has been deposited (basically two months pay, which will leave them again having $935 in bank). This leaves them about $65-$100 a month for food. But if three roommates put $65-$100 each in the pot that’s $195-$300 a month for food. Dating and entertainment can come out of that 2% saved each month, until their pays begins to increase. Work up from there.
I am so tired and worn out. I am happily married of 22 years and have 2 boys that I love dearly.
They are 21 and 15. My oldest drives me insane. He is ADHD, refuses to do anything but half way clean the kitchen and the rest of the time he wants to play video games and watch TV.
He had a job...an easy job...that I helped him get but he lied about anxiety and so when COVID happened he was one of the first to go.
He is lazy, we tell him to do things and he either doesn't do it or lies about it.
He is a good kid but has major anger issues. He scared of doing things on his own, eats our food, uses our internet, is a smart mouth, and blames everybody else...especially me...for how his life is.
If it wasn't for us he would have nothing. We get no respect, no gratitude. Nothing. My husband and I argue about me and my oldest because we argue all the time about his attitude, his laziness, and disrespect.
I love my son and I worry about him but im ready for him to go. Everything he does annoys me. He uses us for all of his privileges but doesn't want to work for anything.
I'm tired of arguing everyday. If I ignore him he plays the victim which makes me mad. If I give him what he wants and leave him alone he gets to just sit on his butt while we work for everything.
I've given him 5 years to get his crap together and get our. In 5 years I'm buying a house and hes not coming with us.
I'm so over all of it.
I completely feel your pain. My son is 18, got expelled from college for smoking pot. Begrudgingly got a fast food job, and did ONE college class. Last night, he told me he did not like me, and he could not wait to get away from me. All because I asked him to clean the bathroom.
He accuses me all the time of gaslighting him, and manipulating him, even comparing me to my MIL, which he never knew (she did those things to my husband and me). My husband and I also fight all the time about him. I am so tired of asking him to do things NICELY for at least 2-4 times, then I raise my voice, and end up yelling because he will not do what I ask him to do. My husband gets mad because I yell, my son tells me I am a bully and abusive because I yell. But how many times do you have to ask someone to clean their bathroom? Or vacuum? It's the least you can do for living in our house rent free, and blowing $12,000 for your first semester of college.
Yet, I am abusive (I have smacked him a time or two for being disrespectful to me), I should have aborted him, which is probably what I wanted to do anyway. He knows my stance on abortion, so why would I have done that? I tell him all the time that he is handsome, smart, etc. He needs to see his full potential. But I will also call him out when he is being disrespectful. Him saying last night that he could not wait to get away from me for the rest of his life was very hurtful. My husband is gone a lot. So my son relies on me for food or dinner, or to have someone to talk to.
When I point out, calmly, what he does wrong, and how he can make it right, he does not believe that that is my intention. He keeps accusing me of manipulating him. I am also a teacher, and he says he doesn't know how my students even like me because I am terrible with kids, and I should have never had any. (meanwhile, most of my students love my class, and I am excellent with kids - not perfect, but really great with them). So why can't I be good with my own kid?
I am at my wit's end. We thought he has some undiagnosed ADD issues that we failed to realize in his formative years. We are encouraging him to see a therapist, but he will go, then come back and act like he does not need it, and I am gaslighting him again. Yet, he is the one who told me he has always felt behind in school, and it's our fault for not holding him back. He holds grudges, and is angry all the time.
I literally want to cry every day when I think about it. Where did my sweet and precious boy go?
Anyway, your post resonated with me so much because I am in the same frustrated boat.
Dear Worn out Mom, our 18 year old son does not have the same disabilities that your son has but he does the same things your son is doing.We live a a small community in Central VA.
This is how his/our sons story goes.
First of all he is very very smart! He does have a L.D. problem with executive functioning and did well in school up untill about 11th grade and then covid closed his school he did just enough to get by. Then 12th grade came and he was only going to school 2 days a week had a school issued lap top but simply would not do any of his school work.he has always lied to some extent but really turned it up by lying to teachers, to us you name it he did it. We don't believe he is into drugs or alcohol or anything
I am totally understanding your situation. From "I remember dancing with my kids, outings..etc" to being shunned, I am with you all the way. I have been going through this same situation you have for 2years almost. It is so difficult to understand, especially when shunned because we have to make up our own stories to figure out why, and our stories are likely inaccurate. Every day my heart is broken a little more but now I am beginning to despise them because I have had to draw my own conclusions due to being shunned and before that verbally abused by all of them. People I have met in my life adore me for my love and compassion - do you find that? What it tells me is that I am a good person but I have kids who are in their 30's and are mature enough to make their own decisions. If they shunned me, so I shun them. I will never know my 3 grandchildren but I have to believe they would be just as callous as their parents, just so I can get through this torture. I am so close to telling people I have no kids. The kids I have are not worth my heartbreak so to repair my heart and my psyche I have no kids. My life is being directed in a way that excludes them so I plan to follow that path and see what I get out of it. I am so sure it will be so much better than the junction I currently hover at.
I hope this helps anyone who reads it.
If your kids are younger than 30's you could hold on a little more, but don't dwell, let them find themselves and perhaps you will be more fortunate than I. Remember, we were great parents when they were dependent on us and anything else is not our problem, it's theirs.
First, a HUGE thank you for these articles!! They have been very helpful & eye-opening!!
My struggle is not dissimilar to everyone who is commenting. My 21 year old daughter recently moved back in to our home at my request. I was trying to save her from living in the streets with her abusive partner. My husband & I made our expectations clear with the advice from this site to draw up a living agreement. Admittedly, I have been drawn into many guilt trips, tantrums & resistive behaviors from our daughter about complying to the rules. I’ve felt shame, guilt, anger, resentment, disappointment & a host of other emotions because of her not following our rules. It’s been a strain on not only my husband & my marriage, but for our 18 year old son. He’s a senior in Highschool & is also fed up with her laziness & disrespectful attitude. I know that my enabling ways are holding her back, but I can’t live with the alternative of her going back into what she sees as her only option-living on the streets again in an abusive relationship. I couldn’t live with that guilt or stress. Please help.
I have 6 kids. I can say this and feel it, "I regret having kids." I was dumb. Irresponsible, and not mature.
I'm a single parent. I managed to get my BSBM and my Cosmetology license. I have work so many jobs to the point I felt like I was zombie.
My 5 children over 18 are all losers because I raised losers. I thought them seeing me walk to work, or catch the bus to school, or work until I was dead tired, then go home and study would encourage them. I failed.
Most recently they took the opportunity to tell me "You're to old to be so dumb. We can't help you pay any bills because we're dealing with stuff too."
I made the decision to leave with my youngest soon. I've been preparing for awhile now. I feel good about leaving because they never thought I did enough anyway. I couldn't afford expensive things. I don't have a car. I'm not married. I'm just a nobody so I've been told.
My faith and my dogs keep me sane. They think I'm worthy and know I try everyday.
Thank you for this post. I read it as one of my sons walked through the house saying, "This is ridiculous," (I hide food, household items so my younger son & I will have these) This from a person that works, and will not even buy his own deodorant.
Although it’s not clear to me when you wrote this note, the pain is real to me.
You are someone very special to have created a group of children who will have each other in this world. Whether they appreciate each other or you is up to them.
I hope you have walked away and got to enjoy raising your youngest by now. Wish you the best.
There are many people who wish they had a cosmetology profession or anything useful to put a roof over their heads and food on the table.
My daughter tells me what a loser I am on a regular basis and how stupid I am... the whole nine yards.
The fact is that most people who speak to their parents this way are in pain themselves ... and often, it’s impossible to feel it will ever end or change.
You added to the population and are a success. A car is an asset that goes to zero. People where I live no longer waste their money on cars. It’s a lifestyle choice.
Please love yourself. Close your eyes and just focus on the word : LOVE. You must counteract the negativity so it doesn’t ruin your life.
Good luck and best wishes.
I wish there was a support group for parents like us who are struggling with their kids'life decisions. I can relate to the anguish of the parents who have left their comments. It is emotionally draining to deal with what life has handed you. Especially when it comes to your children.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to the time when they were little. We were a stable, loving family and both kids were well-adjusted and by all accounts, happy.
Here we are, over 20 years later, with 2 suicide attempts, mental illness and one who is transgender and is choosing life altering surgery.
Not that I am ashamed about that, but in addition to all of the challenges she has - autism included, I have concerns about the rest of the world not accepting her. My other daughter was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and is covered in unsightly tattoos and her career choice is... not what I ever imagined. She had a scholarship to a great University and she just had so much potential. What happened? I took parenting courses and read parenting books. Everything I did, was in their best interest. My philosophy was 'firm but fair' in my parenting style. Anyway... I'm a failure as a parent. That's how I feel and I blame myself for the struggles they've had. It doesn't help to have super-stars in the family and to hear all of their accomplishments reiterated to you at every gathering. After hearing my niece got her master's degree I was asked about my kids and I felt so ashamed. My husband's family has academia in their blood so there are PhD's all over the place. And they are extremely judgemental. I love my kids no matter what, but their path has been difficult to deal with and accept. I'm working on it though. Prayers to everyone.
I can relate so very much to your situation (and Laura's below)--I could check almost every box you have listed, including the parenting style. I actually came to this site/article via a Google search "I'm having a hard time accepting my adult daughter". Life has been complicated for around 10-13 years now--we've been through the gambit with both kids; runaways, drugs, alcohol, verbal & physical abuse, destruction of our home, stealing from us, cops at our door for a variety of reason... We just NEVER thought this would happen to us or our kids!
My daughter is 25, Bipolar and 2 suicide attempts. She has tattoos from neck to toe, front and back. Her main source of income comes from dancing at strip clubs. She just broke up w/boyfriend of 2 years and has now taken up what she calls taxidermy--she finds dead animals and preserves their bones. We are not able to converse much about anything without her getting riled up or defensive and her calling me a martyr. I hold my tongue 90% of the time because I know anything I say can/will damage my relationship with her.
Life with our son who is 22 was not easy either. He used alcohol and drugs heavily from the age of 15. He has told me he was dealing for a while back in H.S. He has been to a handful of treatment programs and has still had several DUI's and other drug/alcohol offenses. He has 6 months left on this last DUI and I am still scared for him as he continues to drink. He has a good job and is a hard worker but parties hard, too. At least I can talk to him a little about things, but it is hard. I love them both so much! They have had difficult teen/young adult years and I just want it to be easier for them, but they think I am just negative about everything they do.
Prayer, meditation and time away from them actually help. We are empty nesters and that has been a big help. I am ashamed to say it but life with them in it is so, so hard and sad, and I feel so helpless sometimes.
Thanks for listening.
We have a very similar path ... borderline daughter doesn’t live her potential ... so many issues ... success all around and we are just trying to survive, let alone deal with all these relatives and friends with their PHD kids. Oh god .
My daughter has a real disability and suffered incredible mental anguish. That she is alive and not in horrible trouble is a miracle. Honest to god, it’s a miracle. We get the blame for our kids being borderline, however, my daughter was born screaming and honestly never stopped ... DBT therapy has saved her life. It won’t change our relationship. I’m her target the past few years and the best I can do is not interact too much to be honest.
As for your transgender child.... my oldest friend has pulled her transgender son through the whole transition to becoming a female. After years of therapies and surgeries, her newly minted daughter is comfortable in her own skin.
As parents, we are dealing with problems that are beyond PhD ... I’ve learned to ignore or simply say my daughter is not a straight line and will take longer to find her way. Then, focus back on them and move along.
Borderline personality disorder is a serious health problem. It’s also one where the child turns consequences into revenge and not learning ....
Try to remember that you are not alone... many of us suffer in silence.
We’ve made the choice to isolate ourselves and that was wrong . If you have family members to spend time with and who love you, simply let them know things are difficult and ask for privacy. Let them know you need support and a cup of tea . Find ways to stay part of the family.
We are so alone there is literally nobody for us to spend time with anymore. Once people realize the problems our daughter creates, we are too much trouble.
Good luck and stay connected as best you can with everyone in your lives. You will need them going forward.
I am sorry to hear the stories that was shared under this topic. However, it sure feel good to read and share a mental connection with other parents who is willing to be real enough to share their stories.
I raised 3 kids. Honor students, acheivers in sport, great speakers always chosen to represent their schools, well mannered, wearing the best of the best and groomed to the T type of children.
I was PTA mom, Team Mom, girl scout and boy scout troop leader, business owner; well known and respected in our community. We attended church 3 days a week, held bible study at home, prayed before every meal and my children knew bible scriptures and were even given the tools to understand how to apply the scriptures to their lives. I read every book on parenting, hugged, kissed, encouraged, nutured, laughed with and despite my busy career, I made time to look in their eyes and listen to and enjoy them.
Now they are ages 28, 24 and 20 - they have broken my heart, totally embarrassed me and at this point seems like they hate / despise me. Prostitution, Prison, Drugs, Abusive Relationship, Homelessness, Borrowing money, Stealing - are all apart of their lives making their bad choices my problems to bear.
I ask, where did I go wrong? All 3 of mine are screwed up. I recently decided, enough was enough for me. No more bail outs, no more mamma to the rescue roles and for my oldest, because she has become so verbally disrespectful, she was told that she can never come back to live with me. Making that decision was hard, still hurts but it was necessary. Now. I can not see my grandkids ( my oldest child children) - and I am left feeling empty and lonely.
But I am tired, just went through a painful divorce, ridding myself of an abusive husband. Recently, I bought me a 2 seater and a 2 bedroom condo. I am living alone for the 1st time ever in my life and I have peace. I am taking tennis and dance lessons and filling my days up with things that I enjoy. I have stpoppopped attending church, just feel like heaven let me down. But I feel torn, although I am doing what is best for my sanity - is it best for my family as a whole. Meaning, cutting off the financial strings, the midnight bail out calls, the my home being a revolving door, the smart mouth talking and the need to please them ALL.
They say, Im hard, selfish and judgement - even toxic. Yet they want my money, support and to live off me. I'm tired, and enough is enough - what do you think?
You deserve the best and most loving grown kids. Since you don’t have this, my god you must love yourself. Keep busy. Put yourself first. I dream of the life you have now
God is there for you so as to be a source of strength. There are many religions and ways of prayer that bring healing and comfort.
Focus on figuring out why you were with someone abusive and learn how to attract life affirming friends.
My brother was borderline. I chased his love for decades, begging for approval. Most of the important people in my life are borderline and I had to figure out why I put up with and attract these personalities. Now that I’ve figured it out, I’m going to make friends with low drama people and just keeping things very simple.
I am soo sorry to hear this!!
Must be very painful for you... Bit I just admire your wisdom and strength in this situation!!! Divorce abusive husband after many years is heroic! (Personal experience)Finding wisdom to separate yourself from problems of your loved ones is another great challenge!! Wow!
My son is (26) years old and he's constantly making irresponsible and reckless decisions. Whatever he can do to get attention he does it-good or bad. I'm so disappointed with the decisions he's made/making. He's the oldest and doesn't show to be a role model to anyone. He is constantly talking about the purge, the antichrist, and working like slaves. Just simply no respect for my rules, my house, husband, children or me. He thinks he can come and go all times of the night. Notably, my husband nor I come in after 2:00 am.
I've tried everything to help me get his life back. However, he's so anger, bitter and entitled that he thinks I owe him. He continues to say he never had a dad he's always had a step dad. Got this reason, I should allow him to be him and love him regardless. Yes, I will always love him but that doesn't mean I have like or agree with what he does. His most recent outlash was tattooing his face. I just don't know who he is anymore.
Can you volunteer at their school or effectively reach them on social media? Having a grandparent/anyone who is supportive Is a Huge Difference to a teenager. They have an innate need to rebel against authority figures and it wouldnt be a terrible thing to use that energy to forge a better relationship. Just use your time wisely so it can withstand scrutiny from their parents.
Use their natural instincts/feelings to help them.
Source: Was a teen who rebelled into bad things to make parents mad. If their "rebellion" is visiting their grandmother then go you guys.
My 35 yr old daughter, met, got married and move to a new state with her husband & my Grandaughter in less than 1 yr. She gave up the stability of family living near by and state assistance. She was a single mom for 9 yrs and doing all the right things to get off state assistance.
They fought all the time in front of the kids( he has a 9 yr old son). He threatened to leave her every week and finally moved out After 4 months of marriage . My daughter cannot afford the rent and has been trying to find a roommate, I am paying for childcare after school but the summer is coming and I have offered to put her in summer camp and stay with Grandma & Grandpa for the summer. We offered to have my daughter move in with us for 3 months to get her life back in order. My fear is, my daughter is making poor decisions and I want my Granddaughter to have stability and not have to worry about getting a roommate to pay the bills. When do I step in and stop just trying to fix things? We have given her money, cars, picked her up at 2 in the morning when her car broke down. Am I helping or hurting the situation? Any suggestions?
Thank you for reaching out. I hear how concerned you
are about the decisions your daughter is making, as well as the potential
impact of those choices on your granddaughter. Ultimately, there are no
universal rules about how much assistance you should offer to your daughter, or
for how long. In the end, those are choices only you can make. If
you are feeling uncomfortable with the amount of help you are giving your
daughter, or you feel as though it is no longer helpful, you have the ability
to make a different choice. You mention numerous instances of helping your
daughter and your granddaughter, and I hope you are taking steps to take care
of yourself as well. Self-care is an often overlooked, yet crucial part
of being an effective parent. Your self-care plan can be anything you
wish, from calling a supportive friend or family member, to using more
structured supports such as counseling or support groups. You might find
additional assistance through the 211 Helpline as well. 211 is a service
which connects people with resources in their community, and you can contact
them by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by visiting their website at http://www.211.org/. I recognize how difficult this
situation must be for you, and I wish you and your family all the best moving
forward. Take care.
Well, I was feeling badly that my daughter (18) is sabotaging her last semester of high school and that instead of going a excellent university (in another city) she is choosing a mediocre one because she can stay home. We have saved up enough money for her to any school and stay in res. and get a meal plan. I guess she is not ready to leave the nest. But I feel she is avoiding being an adult. She has never had a boyfriend (or girlfriend which ever I don't care) she has never had a job (although I have encouraged her to get one) because she has no money she doesn't go out unless I pay for her evening - which i hesitate to do, so she just sits at home.
But my daughter seems like a Saint compared to some descriptions below. I feel disappointed that she has no ambition, she will not take risks, she will do the minimum necessary to get by. I tried so hard to provide her with self-esteem, confidence, opportunity. I feel she is squandering everything. I am letting her make her own choices, she knows I am not happy...still it hurts. The disappointment hurts. My friends accuse me of living vicariously through her, and its true I did not have the chances she does, I did not have the parental support she does and I feel I did not live up to my full potential. But I am still allowed to feel disappointment. I think all of the parents in this comment page are allowed to feel disappointment. You can still love someone and not agree with their choices...but eventually you will stop liking them.
I don't even know where to begin. I have three adult biological children and life is SO not EVER what I thought my family would become. My two sons(same dad who is a loser) in their late 20s. A just 20 year old daughter with my husband who I've been with/married to for 23 yrs. my husband accepted my kids as his own, as I did his son-who is a year older than my oldest son. Well his son became the model adult, for which I am proud. My two sons became heroin addicts and are living with my husband and I. The oldest has gotten help and is now on maintenance meds holds a job and pays rent. Yea! That's a win. But I still want him to move out. We are always butting heads. Most of the time we argue and he is very rude to me. Never my husband. It really seems he has hated me since he was little. No matter how often I tried to get close.
Well then there is my other son. He has severe depression along with being an addict. He hasn't worked in almost 9 months and now can't pay for his dope habit and sits all day in his room.
He was arrested and spent nine months in jail right after he turned 18. When that happened I did not help him. He was in another state and we let him pay the piper.
Most of the time he doesn't even talk. He has a temper and becomes suicidal when we confront him about things. I've signed him up for a Medicaid plan. He's finally gotten an appointment for a psychiatrist after this last blowup. Both sons have contracted hepatitis from their drug use
Now my daughter. She and her dad haven't ever gotten along. He spent most of her life away for work. Never did he do anything to warrant her feelings. He always loved her. But as her 18th birthday approached, she insisted she was leaving. Not yet done with school mind you. That's another thing, she NEVER did poorly in school. Straight A's and ended up graduating with honors. Accepted to a top ten college with a partial scholarship.
So the day before her 18th birthday she decided she was leaving. She made arrangements to live with a friend from school and her parents. It absolutely killed me. Well that lasted a couple months and while gone she met a guy and decided to get married after knowing him fo 6 weeks. He was the same age as her. They weren't going to live together til after graduating. She called us and asked to come home and we let her. She'd be leaving for school shortly anyway.
So she and her husband moved to the family housing on campus and she went her freshman year hating every minute of it. She decided that she wasn't going back to "that" school. They moved to a different apt. They had taken on all of the responsibility of living out there to begin with, so we had no say in what they did. Now she works and he's going to school. She claims that when he's finished she will go back. I hope so.
But to make matters worse they are both saying they are transgender. This was a complete shock to all of us. Not that we wouldn't accept it. She had never shown any signs that she was not comfortable in who she was. I am so confused because she was such a beautiful young woman and was always "boy crazy". She chopped off her long beautiful hair and dresses like a boy.
I love all my children and accept them all no matter what. If 15 years ago anyone had told me this would be my life I'd've said they were WRONG!!
I always thought I would never allow a child to steal from me or treat me poorly and stay in my home(the way my sons dad did to his mom). Anyone who says "I would kick them out" or says I should, hasn't had a child become an addict. Because it's not that easy. I sure wish it were.
On top of all of that my husband has two other older kids that have their own baggage and issues. And I have a physical disability as well. Life is a mess!
I’m sorry to hear you are having a hard time talking to your
dad. While our site is focused on helping parents, there is a website you may
not be aware of that is focused on helping adolescents, teens, and young
offers help and support several different ways, through online support, by
phone at 1-800-448-3000, as well as e-mail, text, and chat. I encourage
you to visit their site to see what they have to offer. Good luck to you and
your family moving forward. Take care.
Do you guys have the equivalent of your site but dedicated for the young ones willing to seek improvement? I can find myself in this article and in some situations of others.....
So it would be great if you have a sister site or just articles aimed at the young adults themselves :)
You ask a great question. Unfortunately, we don’t currently
have a site that addresses questions and concerns young adults might have.
There is a website available for teens and young adults that you might find
helpful – http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/.
We appreciate you writing in. Take care.
Lying can be a big button issue for a lot of parents. When a child lies to you,
it can leave you feeling hurt and betrayed. This is true regardless of your
child’s age. It can help to recognize that lying isn’t really a moral issue or
a character flaw; it’s a reflection of poor problem solving skills. We have
several articles that offer tips for dealing with this frustrating behavior.
Two in particular you may find helpful are https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/i-caught-my-child-lying-how-to-manage-sneaky-behavior-in-kids/ & https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/kids-and-lying-does-your-child-twist-the-truth/ We appreciate you writing in.
What a tough position to be in as a parent and grandparent.
Sometimes situations such as you describe come down to a judgment call in
regard to the boundaries you wish to establish. You and your daughter are both
adults and have the right to make whatever choices you see fit, even if the
choices she makes may have a negative impact on her children. Unless there is
abuse or neglect occurring, there may not be much you can do about how she
chooses to raise her children. If you believe there is neglect, you may want to
contact https://www.childhelp.org/, an organization
committed to protecting children from abuse and neglect. They have a 24/7
helpline that will connect you with a counselor. All you have to do is call
them at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) and you can talk with someone about
your situation and concerns. They may be able to help you identify the next
step and walk you through it. You may decide you do want to move away and
separate yourself from your daughter and her choices. Or, you may decide that
you need to be close to your grandchildren to assure yourself they are being
cared for properly. Ultimately that is a decision only you can make. Good luck
to you and your family moving forward. We appreciate you writing in and sharing
your story. Take care.
You are absolutely right when
you say your son is going to make his own choices but you don’t have to like
it. You certainly don’t have to like it or agree with it, but the unfortunate
truth is he is an adult and can work where he wants to even if it is against
your wishes. The best way to work towards accepting his choices is recognizing
that you don’t have control over them and what he decides to do now at 21 years
old, is not going to determine what he will do as a career or determine the
person he will become. Most young adults make poor choices, but that is how
they learn and grow and decide what they do and don’t want in life. Give him
the space to do that, while you take some time for yourself to work through and
accept your current circumstances. Thank you for writing in. Hang in there; you will both get