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Mistakes Parents Make That Push Adult Children Away

December 1, 2013
Bottom Line Personal
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, PhD

Our children will always be our children, but once they turn 18 or leave home, they also are adults with lives increasingly separate from our own. It’s a challenge for parents to step back while also staying connected to their grown-up kids.

Much of the angst between parents and adult children stems from the tug-of-war over whose life it is. There often is a disconnect between parents who still want to shape their grown-up kids’ future course and the kids who are determined to live their lives their own way.

For loving parents, their grown children’s trials and errors, including failed projects and teary breakups, can be anguishing. It can be wrenching to let go of the old parental omnipotence and not be able to fix everything. But when grown kids cope with these ups and downs, they develop into resilient, self-sufficient people with the confidence that comes from standing on their own feet.

Article Continues Below

Seven “don’ts” to keep in mind when dealing with grown ­children…


It takes a long time these days for grown kids to achieve financial independence, and my research shows that money
issues are the number-one topic of conflict between parents and kids 18 to 29 years old.

    • Don’t use your financial support to control your adult kids. If you’re supplying money to your adult child, you certainly can set ground rules about how that money is used—but you should not threaten to withdraw your support if the adult child doesn’t make life changes unrelated to finances.

Example: It’s reasonable to tell your adult child that money you’re providing cannot be spent on a vacation—but don’t tell him that it can’t be spent on a vacation unless he leaves the girlfriend you don’t like.

    • Don’t push your kids to take a job in a field that pays well but that they don’t like. Not only might they hold their unhappiness with the hated job against you, their lack of passion for the field could inhibit their career growth.

Also: Don’t make snide comments about the job prospects of your college-age child’s field of study or the earnings potential of his line of work. It is reasonable to discuss career and earnings outlooks with your kids before they choose a college major, field of graduate study or first job. But trying to control the big decision of what field your adult child will choose is sure to stir up resentment. Keep in mind that although college majors do vary in their future earnings, getting a college degree, in any area, is the most important goal for enhancing lifelong career prospects.

    • Don’t insist that your kids find their own way after college rather than return home. These days, many adult children live at home for a short time. Almost always, their return home is temporary because they prefer to live independently as soon as they can afford to do so.

Helpful: Agree on a division of household responsibilities. The adult child is now an adult member of the household and should do an adult share of the housework, laundry and cooking.


Most adult children like talking to their parents and enjoy having a more adultlike relationship than they did in their teens. But…

    • Don’t ask probing questions about your children’s lives. If they want to share something personal, they will. Adult children vary a lot in how much they want their parents to know about their lives and how much they want to confide in them.

Take special care not to raise subjects that your adult child has historically been disinclined to discuss. Resist the urge to ask follow-up questions on the rare occasions when your child does raise one of these subjects.

Example: Many adult children prefer not to discuss their love lives with their parents.

    • Don’t overdo it. Today’s technology makes it cheap and easy to stay in contact with loved ones, and many adult children and their parents are in contact with one another nearly every day. However, for some grown kids, that’s a bit too much togetherness at a time when they are striving to become self-sufficient. In general, it’s best to follow your adult children’s lead on communications. If they contact you weekly via text message, then contact them weekly via text message, too. Text messaging might not be your preferred communication method, but it’s a great way to touch base with today’s young adults without seeming pushy. You can always slip in a phone call now and then.

Helpful: Don’t feel offended if kids go a few days without answering your text message or voice mail. It doesn’t mean that they don’t care. It could just mean that they are busy—or that they’re not that eager to discuss that particular topic.


An adult child’s romantic relationships can be a minefield for parents…

  • Don’t confide that you “never liked” an ex-boyfriend or ­ex-girlfriend or provide reasons why your adult child is better off without this former mate. Keep in mind that ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends sometimes reenter the picture. That could create awkwardness if you’ve previously expressed a dislike.
  • Don’t overlook your adult child’s romantic partners at family get-togethers. If your adult child has been seeing someone for a while, be sure to include the partner in family gatherings, then do your best to make him/her feel welcome and comfortable. The more comfortable your grown child’s partner is with you, the more you are likely to see of your child.

How to Give Advice to an Adult Child

Many young adults spend their 20s acting in ways that seem irresponsible to their parents. They might change jobs or romantic partners frequently or rely on their parents for financial support or housing.

This is all perfectly normal and does not mean that the young adult is destined to act this way forever.

And while adult children might seem to be in desperate need of advice, there’s a good chance that they will react poorly if their parents offer it. Such guidance makes them feel as if their parents still see them as children. This puts parents in a difficult position—they want to help their grown-up kids avoid missteps, but any wisdom they offer is likely to be poorly received.

Usually parents’ best option is to bite their tongues and not offer their adult children advice when it hasn’t been requested. Such advice might harm the relationship, and there is a good chance it won’t be heeded anyway. But speaking up could be wise if…

You believe your adult child’s safety is at risk. It’s worth putting the relationship at risk when safety is at stake.

Examples: Don’t offer unsolicited advice if you think your adult child is staying out too late—but do if you suspect he’s driving home drunk. Don’t tell your daughter you don’t like her new boyfriend—but do speak your mind if your daughter has a black eye and you suspect that the boyfriend is responsible.

The topic is money-­related and you’re providing financial support. If your money is on the line, it’s perfectly reasonable to voice concerns about the adult child’s questionable financial decisions or even set ground rules for spending. But it will help the relationship if after voicing these concerns or setting these rules, you add something such as, “The final decision is yours, and I will continue to support you emotionally whatever you decide. I just can’t continue to support you ­financially if you make this decision.”

Example: You’re paying your child’s rent while he searches for a job, but you notice that he hasn’t been looking for work lately.

You obtain permission to provide advice. The odds of a negative reaction decline greatly if you ask the child if he would like your input before you offer it.

Warning: Respect the child’s answer. If he says he prefers to work through the problem on his own, keep your advice to yourself.

When you feel you must provide advice, also ask the adult child for his advice on a different topic about which he is knowledgeable. This can keep the relationship balanced.

  • Blankspace

    Good article, but people do not like control too much. It’s best to say what you want but let your child make mistakes, if they won’t listen. It is not a parents job to decide for there child. If money is a issue give them a job with your friend or your business. I really wish people would stop half assing shit. You wanted a child, get them where they need to be. Just don’t force them into things they can decide for themselves.

  • TeamTate

    hi there, I ve been trying to find blogs or anything of the sort for my situation.
    my husband’s mother has been driving us crazy for years now. we keep giving her chances to be an active part in our and our children’s lives. my husband has severe PTSD and gets overwhelmed very quickly, especially when it comes to his mother. she suffers from depression also, and neeeeds to be needed.however, she consistently crosses boundaries that we set for her. for example,, she constantly praises one of our 3 boys. but to the extent of favoritism!! hes better, smarter, stronger,….She also knows that my husband cannot make decisions about our children (plans for her to take them out or times for her to pick them up,while she’s purposely trying to change my original plans…) . we have , on several occasions, asked her to be considerate of my hub’s condition and come to me or at least run things by me. He has made it clear that he does not want to make any important decisions alone, but she still does that. because its HER son and she says she will not control what she she does and doesn’t tell him. it’s to the point where the caller ID sends him into a panic attack! what do you guys suggest we do?

    • annie

      Exclude her. She’ll come around. And if she doesn’t, its best to leave it be and don’t stress the situation. I have PTSD/anxiety and as a young woman, age 25, I can see that my biological mother does not understand the mental effects of nagging, yelling, being fickle, giving a three days notice to move out knowing I have no where to go all while I’m being pregnant. So I deal with her when I need shelter, since my job does not pay enough to get a head start in paying off my own bills. although she is my mother, I know the difference between being needed, wanted , and uninvited, beyond that I concider her mental, she smokes cigarettes on a daily basis and she doesn’t always have weed to smoke, so I guess she goes through withdrawal. I refuse to support her negative habits, so she flips. But that does nothing good for me and my unborn child, she smokes around the house jus because its hers, and it forces me to throw up. All said, do exactly what u believe is best for YOUR family. Now that I have my own, I have to put my children first ,and always will. Favouritism is the worst when it comes to children, that could be detrimental to the children’s relationship between one another. I know, because my mother does it between myself, my older brother, and my younger brother. Remind you she is still a single parent , so I can see why she favorites my older brother and welcomes him into her home with no problem, altho he has messed up his life the worst by putting himself in jail for years, I am the only girl. I believe that had I been a male, it would def be a different relationship between my biological mother and I. Because she has shown who her so called favorite is, my younger brother could care less if she is in his life or not, the only reason why I care that she is in mine is.because she did not have her mother after the age of 15. She has neglected us all for drug use when I was 12, but kept my older brother by her side while she was doing it, she sent my older bro out to find me in the neighborhood to beg for me to come “home” which was then, a vacant house. This maybe too much info for.you, but I believe I had to mention the different circumstances we went through for you to get a fuller understanding of maybe why and how my bio mom acts and does what she does…. BTW,, I am still with my boyfriend, …

      • sundari

        Many times parents expect their children to be one step up and overreact and this ends up in widening the gap between child and parents. I personally feel parents should speak to children in a friendly way and tell them their problems and ask them if they can help. Similarly children can also do this. Give time for healthy communication. Many unhealthy issues may crop up but first of all both of you decide to make the conversation healthy and not unhealthy. Understanding each other helps in a big way

  • Lynne

    I have my 29 year old daughter on my cell phone and car insurance. She stopped paying me and avoids talking or texting about it. If I take her off the phone plan there’s an early termination and equipment charge. Plus if I take her off the car insurance she probably will never pay me back the $1200 she owes! What can I do? She lives in Minnesota and I live in Washington.

    • Nene

      Give her 2 weeks to pay u or transfer her phone to her own name or just drop her. She is not ur reeponsobility. She needs to learn if u dont pay u dont get to keep it. U r just enabling her and it actually hurts her cuz she is not learning responsibility and she is using u. None r good

    • I.Popoff

      Judge Judy!

    • BarbaraKlepper

      do not help her again. ever.

    • Lorilu

      When the phone’s contract term is up, tell her that it is soon to end, and tell her that you expect her to make arrangements for her own contract. (If she doesn’t, she’ll lose her number, which is a bit of a nuisance.) As to the car insurance, do the same thing. You may never see the $1,200, but at least the amount won’t keep growing.

      Don’t waffle, or you will be picking up her bills forever.

    • RainMan49

      Best way to get out of a hole? Don’t start digging one to begin with. Guarantee this is not new `financial` behavior on your daughters part. It probably shouldn’t have been a surprise (but denial is an effective way to deal with life).

      I suggest you spell out the future for her.. if she does not start paying you back she’s off the the phone/insurance and the `bank` will be closed for good.

      And, if you can’t afford to be out money you lend her .. you really shouldn’t lend it to begin with.

      • Iluv Merengue

        I believe you are wrong. This generation is just selfish.

        It happened to me that I thought I could trust my kids (good kids) when I helped them, that they’d understand that I was just being gracious in assisting them, but apparently they just took it for granted, especially my son who is the oldest. I guess they never wanted to give up their idea of Mom being the provider and problem solver. I too had my kids on my car insurance policy and thanks to my son I once had to leave the company I’d been with for many years, needless to say he had to get his own insurance and pay more. So as not to discriminate, I helped my daughter to even get a used car and also included her in my insurance, but she was often late with her payments while indulging herself on what she wanted.

        Trust me, it was a harsh lesson for me to learn, I ended up moving away so I could have my own life for once. All I did “wrong” was to expect them to be as responsible with me as they were with the rest of the world.

        • Lorilu

          I want my children to be as responsible with me as I was with my parents. That is that I paid my own way as soon as I could, and never took a dime from them after I had a job. Everything I have today I paid for with my own earnings; I thank my parents for giving me a good start in life by teaching me responsibility.

          • Iluv Merengue

            Every family is different, my parents were there for me whenever I needed it, my life would’ve been very hard if they had not because I suffered from very bad depression, so I very much appreciate they were there for me and my kids. I, in turn, tried to be there for them as they got older, but I know what I did was little in comparison to all they did for me. Thankfully, my children have been living very responsibly (what I wrote above happened years ago), once they were on their own they had no choice, and they help me when I need it too.

        • RainMan49

          You missed my point completely. It takes two to `dance`. So, just say `NO!`. You have every right to .. especially if you know they’ll not pay you back and you CAN NOT AFFORD IT.
          If you kids take advantage of you, do not take their responsibilities, or it’s bad impact on you, seriously .. I guarantee that this is not some `hidden` or `new` behavior. Many parents are in denial about their kids .. so when the kids come to you with real problems (kids that make poor decisions always have simply awfull problems) all the the parents have in their head is to jump in to fix it to keep the kid from suffering the consequences of the problem they created. And, parents do this even though it’s the only way kids will ever learn to handle problems and stand on their own two feet.

    • Mark Roberts

      There is clearly some other underlying issue. Either she has lost her job or her expenses have increased greatly or something else monetarily related. However the biggest issue is she feels like she can’t talk to you about it. I suggest you try speaking to her about things unrelated to what she owes you and see if you can get to the issue causing it. Then if it is serious maybe discuss how you can help and then say that you are willing to forgo the debt for now and you two can work on some sort of payment plan down the road.

  • Mimi

    Text only when texted, keep it short and sweet, don’t give advice and never sleep over.

  • mimi

    And speak only when spoken to, again yes no answers, thank you and no thank you, and refrain from asking questions or your input, listen more speak less, and when talking choose meaningless subjects..cars movies clothes, etc..non personal issues to avoid drama disrespect and humiliation-lesson well learned..and stop being their dust ragdoll or doormat atm.

  • mimi

    What some parents on this thread fail to realize about their adult kids is that they are entitled seeking monsters who seek their parents only when they need or want something, and wouldn’t hesitate to mistreat or even physically abuse you when you’re nursing age collect all your funds and yell neglect you without remorse. Live your lives, get a dog, that pet will not only show you more love and appreciation, but also fill that void, take vacations and live up your remaining life, be grateful your body mind are still intact and live, when you get older live in a nursing home, strangers will have more respect/dignity for you, play bingo and cards etc…when you die leave any savings to charity like foster kids or abused kids, leave your kids with nothing!! You don’t owe your kids crap, and you’re not a ragdoll waiting to be dusted at paytime or a doormat they wipe their crap on. Live!!!

    • janese creech


    • Bro chill

      Or just dont have kids you fucking psycho.

      • Iluv Merengue

        Too late to say not to have children that after one’s had them, duh!

        wouldn’t say all grown children are as mimi describes, but many are
        because this present age encourages selfishness. I was a single Mom who
        sacrificed a lot to bring my 2 children up. I’m the type of
        person who likes to tell it like it is and it’s been nearly impossible for me to look the other way
        when they were doing something that I knew would backfire on them. And I guess because of voicing my opinions, even though I’m really a very loving Mom, we’re
        now not too close. My mother always told me what she thought and actually interfered much more than I ever have, which of course I didn’t like, but due to my Hispanic culture it was also pretty normal, but here in America people frown on that.

        My children still lived with me when
        both were past 21, I would’ve wanted them to move out but for them it
        was obviously better living together rather than be responsible for
        everything themselves. Finally my son, the oldest, moved out and the next year I left because although my health was bad my daughter didn’t want to help me with the chores and between us we had 3 cats. And when I moved I did it 2 states
        away so I could have my own life without being tempted to get too involved with their lives.

        My view is that children are naturally selfish and if we
        sacrifice too much for them they just take it for granted, period. And call me “selfish” (which I know I’m not) but after raising them all by myself I just couldn’t see myself being forgotten while living in the same city. At least for a while I went back to work and tasted wonderful freedom. Now that I can’t work and SS pays too little they have to help me financially sometimes, but I feel it’s perfectly fine because I was there for them way past the point I needed to be, and I helped them get to where they are now while their father didn’t so in my time of need they should be there for me.

        • RainMan49

          Kids are naturally sociopaths until they hit 30 .. they don’t have a fully developed frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is the region of the brain where cognitive skills are managed (decision making, social skills, in general a persons `character`). Until it fully developes they have impaired decision making, lack compassion, and are generally narcissistic (self-love). This is why parenting requires expertise in managing child developemental goals and a firm hand to get them there .. otherwise you end up with adult children that can’t take care of themselves, totaly lack social interaction skills, and continually make terrible life decisions.

          • Kathy mazza

            Mine is 33 and still acts like you say! Breaks my heart!

    • disgusted

      I completely agree with you. And to you Bro chill, I agree with you too. With many of the adult children that mimi describes & there are MANY, one shouldn’t have children b/c you don’t know what you’re going to get!

      • 85Silver

        Agreed. Plus most adults are too narcissistic to care for them properly anyhow. I guess that’s what happens when children are treated like accessories and on the same level as pets but w more social rules attached.
        You can’t win for losing if you live in a place that fosters narcs like LA or Washington.

    • Kjenk

      Children are a reflection of their parents, you have no one to blame but yourself!

      • 85Silver

        Not a complete reflection you moron.

    • princecharming

      I feel sorry for your children. I have no doubt they will spend the rest of their lives trying to fix the damage you did to them. You need a license to drive a car. Too bad you don’t need one to have chldren.

  • mom

    Is there a rule of thumb on how often you should call your adult children? I ask because my daughter and I are close and we would talk every couple of days. My husband would say I am calling her too much, so I don’t call her and then she is offended because she says she is the one calling me all the time and I don’t call you enough. I feel like I am in this losing game. Should I just let her call me all the time?

    • janese creech

      I have a son and it may be diff..I know his wife and her mother talk often..4-5 times a weeks

    • Lorilu

      I know, this is a difficult question. We want to treat our grown children as we would a close friend or other relative. I think you should do what your daughter seems to like. If she’s conveying that she’d like you to call more often, then go ahead and do it. But always be willing to make the call short and sweet if it seems like she’s too busy to talk.

  • fromperpig

    One of my most proudest moments of my life occurred just a week or so, ago. My 25 yo daughter changed my mom’s diaper. My mother is 94. Heck, it was only, “yesterday”, my mother showed me how to change a proper diaper…for that very same girl!
    It’s my understanding, this article serves to “educate” parents on how to deal with their “adult” children. Good grief! This is totally @$$-backwards! What in the world are we talking about, here? If you don’t teach your kids, early on, the importance of honesty, respect, hard work and accountability, your adult kids will grow to be big pr!cks regardless what you do or say around them.

    If you’re a proper role-model for your children from the “get-go”, then, once they reach adulthood, nothing changes. You don’t behave, differently. You don’t change the way you talk to them. Geeze, isn’t that the whole point of having a family? To provide your kids with every opportunity you can afford in the hopes that they will not just meet but exceed your expectations?

    Or, are we suppose to play games, never express our feelings and tip-toe around each other so nobody gets pi$$ed off? imo, this article is for parents who gave their kids, “everything”, except for one thing. An “honest” home where people can trust one another, no questions asked.

    • Iluv Merengue

      I definitely agree with you. I know that as a single parent, maybe out of subconscious guilt I might not have been as consistent as I should have in what I tried to teach, so they began to take a lot for granted when they were older, BUT I have not hesitated in “straightening” them out, we all make mistakes and at least my mistake was in trying to be a “really” good mother.

      The above brought resentments on my part and then from theirs, I ended up moving 2 states away and our relationship was a bit strained for a few years, but I never budged because I know how manipulative children can be, and I was raised to believe that a good parent should be honored. Things have been getting better and it’s required some effort on my part to not always say what’s on my mind, and to a better way to say it if I feel I must because I know sometimes I don’t quite “filter” my thoughts. But when I know I’m right I don’t care if they get pissed, I did when I didn’t like what my parents said, and only when I got much older I realized they just had my best interests at heart and I’m very grateful for that.

  • Lori Jackson

    My daughter graduated with a bachelors in math at age 27. She spent 2 years applying for jobs and finally got an entry level job making $500. a week. She lives in LA and her rent for a small, old apartment is $1100. We agreed to pay her rent for one year hoping she’d move up. She got a promotion in 4 months to $800. a week so we reduced what we pay for her rent to $550. I also pay her cellphone bill, buy her dogs food, buy her clothes etc. She routinely tells me she doesn’t have enough money to eat. She is 30 years old. The next promotion will mean $1250. a week, but may be another 6 months. It has been a year. She recently let a friend move in with her and she is not paying rent and I have told her I’m not paying the rent anymore. I told her not to let her move in unless she pays half the rent. Now, my daughter is mad at me and won’t talk to me. Have I helped her too much? Am I being unfair?

    • Iluv Merengue

      Yes, you helped her too much and, no, you’re not being unfair. Your having to ask these questions give me the impression she’s been
      good at guilt-tripping you to make you feel sorry for her but your true
      responsibility ended when she turned 18, or 21 at most, so she’s been riding on the gravy train for too long now. If LA’s too expensive she should just move, or get a responsible roommate, period.

      By my own experience many children today take for granted what’s given to them. So, let her be angry, she’ll get over it eventually. My own daughter’s that age and has 2 jobs so she can pay her debts AND also help me a little bit. Be strong even if you miss her, and don’t give in. Your job was to make her a productive adult, not to continue solving her problems throughout her life. The sad part is that children only begin to understand their parents after they have children of their own, and the way yours is going might be a good while if ever.

    • Lorilu

      You’re not being unfair. You helped your daughter until she is 30 years old! Time for her to stand on her own two feet; and since she has a bachelor’s in math, she should be able to figure out how to pay her bills. You shouldn’t be buying her dogs food and her clothing, or paying rent for her and her friend.

      Step back, Mom, and start saving that money for your own retirement.

  • Jojo

    My mother asked me to leave her house at age 17. I had no job, no work experience, no sexual experience (so I couldn’t successful pick up that trade), I had a step father. And even though he loved me very much he kept his distance from me because my mother did not want him and me to have any kind of relationship.
    So at 17 I went to a man I knew since was a little girl. His older daughter and I were primary school friends. My mother was so threated by having a illegitimate daugher around her husband that she asked me to go stay with this man at age 17. He was 43 years old. That’s where I lost my virginity.
    I don’t understand how parents can be so selfish towards their own children. I don’t agree that a parent is responsible to paying their children’s bills. But I feel it is a parents responsibility to prepare their children for the world. Not shuve them off like my mother did. I am 35 now and I don’t have a relationship with her or my stepfather. I live oceans away. My mother has so much hate for me that she tells aweful stories about me to my younger siblings. They are my stepfather a real children.

    • Iluv Merengue

      So sorry you had it so tough, but it’s hard for me to believe she told you to leave out of the blue, there’s got to be more to your story than that, and as Dr. Phil always said “no matter how flat you make a pancake it always has 2 sides”, and no one here can talk to your mother to hear her side to verify if all you say is so. I’m not trying to take her side (because if she really did that for no reason it was very selfish) but I also know how we all “conveniently” leave out details that might make us look bad.

      I hope you have received counseling or that you’ll consider to so you can move on in life as none of us can do anything to make others change, we can only change ourselves. If you can’t afford it, at least try to read some good “self-help” books, it’s not good to go through life feeling like a victim and with unforgiveness in your heart, not for their sake but for your own.

  • Cm

    My son is 20 years old. Away at college and very financially irresponsible. He works off and on but I still help him with spending money. I don’t mind helping him, I just mind that he doesn’t appreciate my help. I have cut back what I give him and stopped at times. Overall he is not a bad young adult, but I do feel he is selfish, spends money selfishly and irresponsibly and only cares about being with his friends. I often feel like I’m failing because he is so selfish and I want/expect him to be more grateful.

    • Iluv Merengue

      My kids have been pretty selfish but I did not hesitate to tell them so, I helped them until each was 26, perhaps trying to compensate for the voluntary absence of their selfish father, who for no reason at all, decided to disappear from their lives as well.

      Now the tables have turned and I’m the one needing some help and I also have not hesitated to tell them that the right thing to do is to be here for me in my time of need as I was for them so they could get to where they are today (both professionals).

      Today’s world encourages selfishness and irresponsibility so don’t take all the blame yourself, but do set limits and remember that his brain won’t be fully developed until he’s 25.

  • Cm

    Also, Mimi I feel very sorry for you. Either you had children and they disappointed you, or you haven’t had any, and if that’s the case you don’t understand the joy they can bring. Regardless, if I were your child and you spoke like that to or about me, I would go far away too. You sound miserable and I’d prefer to be around happy people.

    • Iluv Merengue

      How do you know she didn’t become miserable while raising kids who turned out ungrateful? I sacrificed A LOT as a single Mom and my kids took it all for granted for a long time, I became pretty resentful because even getting them to help with the chores was like pulling teeth. Neither got a little p/t job while in HS to help out and still trying to be a good Mom I let them live with me to their mid 20s. My son moved out when he was 26 only because of a g/f (who’s now his wife) but if I had not left 2 years later heaven knows when my daughter, who was 26 at the time too, would’ve moved out. I believe they just took after their father who is pretty selfish too.

  • Meg

    We have a grandniece that moved right out of high school because she was sick of being manipulated. We had raised her mother from the time she was 12 and she always thought the world owed her. (She just turned 40). Her mother knew we were always available for financial & morale support and she took advantage of us time and time again. Everything was fine as long as we minded. As soon as she got what she wanted, we were dirt again. This went on until she was 30, when she wanted us to pay her bills. She had two children by this time with two different fathers, and was living with her now husband. He wasn’t working and neither was she. We said enough. We have jobs, you get a job. So for 10 years we haven’t been able to see the kids other than birthdays and Christmas. Now that her oldest has moved out, has a job and enrolled in college, she “just can’t help her”. She has turned her back on her own daughter because she doesn’t want her to accomplish what she didn’t. She even tried to mess up the financial assistance her daughter needs.(luckily we caught that in time). But she still expects her daughter to do what she says. We have stepped in and helped out because she has no one else. And it isn’t because she asked. I just can’t understand why some parents have to treat their children so bad when they can’t control them. If this is the way she had been raised, it would be different!!

    • Meg

      And by the way, her mother “Can’t help her out” “Can’t afford to do anything” but she can get tattoos monthly.