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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.

          • Iluv Merengue

            Well, for me the only way to find out I couldn’t trust my son was, of course, after he proved himself untrustworthy. I couldn’t exactly judge him from his teen behavior, which was nothing I’d consider really bad, just self-centered, because as you yourself said his brain was not even “done” yet. I helped him out during a time he was unemployed but due to “a girl” (that he’s now married to…) entering the scene he abused the help I’d offered in good faith and it had serious consequences for me.

            Nothing like that can ever happen again for the simple reason that the tables have turned and now not only I don’t have anything to give but I’m in actual need myself. He’s now 32 and pretty much like you said around 30 is when he began giving me credit for the kind of mother I’ve been. Had I read anything like what you said about kids being “psycopaths” until 30 you’d better believe I’d said no more often.

        • Justin

          It’s funny the selfishness is just a direct reflection of your values as Baby Boomers… Don’t worry I can’t wait to see when you are all old begging for help and there will not be any… Hmm…

    • 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!

          • S. O. Rooney

            I am a therapist and my opinion is that what you stated, RainMan49, is utter bullshit, if you will excuse the expression. You are taking some truths about child brain development (though it is more like 20 to 25 years old) and way overextending the facts to paint a sensationalistic, incorrect and cynical view of how kid’s develop social awareness. Kids are sociopaths until they are 30? You and yours might have been, but don’t speak for mine. They are wonderful people, much loved and respected.

        • Anan

          …I am a child. I would never leave my father the way you guys said! you guys are just blind because your kids didn’t turn out to be what you wanted them to be. we are not naturally selfish. just what you make us to be. I admit, me and my dad have had a few heat rounds before. but I am 15 and already working on getting a good job to support him when we get older. yea, somethings he does isn’t fair to me. but that doesn’t mean I hate him. your kids didn’t fail you. if they are like that, it’s because you failed them. and they are going to fail each other for taking you for granted like this. just wait. but don’t downgrade all kids because YOURS came out bad.

          • Iluv Merengue

            I hope you read what RainMan49 said… It’s true that how children are brought up has a lot to do with how they turn out, I can’t say I did everything perfectly myself and the father was missing, but I’m human too and just because I was the mother doesn’t mean that I would not make some mistakes even when doing my very best. What I’m talking about is not taking for granted what parents do for us, there are many who have no parents who would settle for half of what the others get in attention, love and financial help.

          • Gosh

            Come back and talk to us in 10 years… You are a kid what the heck do you know about anything?

          • #OwnItFckrs

            Do not invalidate an individual’s argument based on their AGE! Their experiences are their own, and maybe a 15 year old hasn’t experienced a lot of life, but it doesn’t mean they haven’t experienced ANYTHING. I guess you forgot what it is to be 15. Too long ago for you? That’s ok. That’s the problem with the majority of you old people, you LACK EMPATHY and disregard someone over something as trivial as their age.
            But I’m sure you’re just projecting too, like Brenda and Mimi.

            “we are not naturally selfish. just what you make us to be.”
            It seems as if this 15 yr old has more sense than a lot of you “blind” adults.
            Serial killers aren’t BORN, they are CREATED.
            #FigureItOut #IgnoranceisNOTbliss #youCANteachanolddognewtricks

          • S. O. Rooney

            Well, I’m afraid we can say the same for you:

            “Do not invalidate an individual’s argument based on their AGE!…That’s the problem with the majority of you old people, you LACK EMPATHY
            and disregard someone over something as trivial as their age.”

            I’m 60 and I certainly don’t lack empathy. Perhaps it’s more of a personality thing…

          • Lexi

            Biology tells us we’re all naturally selfish. Our brains are hardwired that way. People like to use the example that parents die for their children. That is because our goal is to keep OUR genes moving and they are next in line. We also die for others to avoid the pain of losing them. We are selfish period. Everything about us can be explained by evolution. The Darwinian Theory of human nature even tells us we developed tolerance and love for each other because we could survive better in groups than alone.

        • Nancy murph

          You raised your children to be this way.
          But you are so perfect. Overbearing and resentful of your own life decisions . Did their father leave because of you? Don’t be so needy now. You sound just like your children. They owe you nothing but you expect everything. Enjoy your freedom and make extra money by using your selfish brain. Try loving and encouraging your family. That may help to not be so disfunctional. Good luck to your kids.

          • Iluv Merengue

            You very likely didn’t even read my other comments, you also don’t know us so you’re judging very superficially.
            I grew up in a different culture where NOTHING that I expect is wrong AT ALL.

            You actually seem like a very angry and narrow-minded person with a very limited scope of experiences and who hates other women. And please don’t speak of dysfunction, you asked if their father left because of me as if when a man cheats it’s *always* the woman’s fault, that means your thinking is already very biased and twisted. The streak of meanness that you show is much worse than my gripe which was based on how I was feeling on a pretty bad day. Your utterly stupid and self-righteous opinion just shows this is how you are every single day so I pity the people who have to deal with YOU in real life, therefore, it just slid right off of me and you can just take a hike!

          • S. O. Rooney

            I’m with you, Iluv Merengue. As they say, “haters gotta hate.”

          • S. O. Rooney

            I wish you nasty people would get over yourselves, or get off of here. Surely a lot (though not all) of what kind of adult a child becomes has to do with whether they were raised in a loving, caring environment, by parents with integrity and good modeling. If I were to make any blind judgments about good parent/bad parent, I think these nasty rants and criticisms would probably be a good clue.

    • 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.

      • Brenda Thompson-Vidal

        Not always. Stop blaming parents for everything. These grown kids know right from wrong regardless. They all need to accept the blame for their own actions, grow up and stop putting the blame on their parents for all that goes wrong in their terrible life.

        • #OwnItFckrs

          You get what you give. In every situation. THAT is what you get!
          Maybe the PARENTS need to take responsibility. Providing a roof over a child’s head and shelling out for necessities doesn’t make a “mom” or “dad”, that means you’re taking care of what you created! Which is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY in the first place, which is NOT something the child OWES you for!!!!!!!
          Don’t worry, MIMI and BRENDA are projecting: I’m sure their kids HATE them.
          #FigureItOut #IgnoranceisNOTbliss #youCANteachanolddognewtricks

        • Please, look inside yourelf

          Not always. Stop blaming [kids] for everything. These grown [parents] know right from wrong regardless. They all need to accept the blame for their own actions, grow up and stop putting the blame on their [kids] for all that goes wrong in their terrible life.

    • 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.

      • Brenda Thompson-Vidal

        See, that is where you’re wrong. Self entitlement right there! This is what parents should do for their kids until they turn adult age. Once they have become an adult, they’re on their own. If a parent wishes to continue to help, great, other wise parents don’t owe you nothing. Get that straight!

        • Jcrizzy

          Brenda… You sound like you shouldn’t have had kids because you know that with the choice to have a kid means the responsibilty to care/feed/clothe that child… PS: What if your parents refuse to let you be a man and be independent… Then your argument falls to complete sh-t.

        • S. O. Rooney

          Do you love your children, by any chance? I love mine, and I would do anything for them. And you know what? They would do anything for me. Having children is not a business contract. It’s all about love…and respect.

    • Sutekh

      Projection much? kids don’t avoid older parents without a reason.

      • Nanmurph

        Well said
        Mean, spiteful, and will die alone with because your getting what you give.

        • Leslie

          It was pretty harsh, I have to agree.

    • Judy

      I’m not sure what your child has or has not done to you to cause you to feel this way. I’m not judging you. I know kids can be selfish. However, I also know that my mother was emotionally abusive, physically abusive and verbally abusive. I’m 38 with grown children and she still uses anyone if it benefits her and if it hurts me even better. Now I’m trying to figure out how to not be like her and raise my children to be happy productive citizens and not have the issues I have. I think this selfish not caring thing can be learned and can go both ways.

    • Brenda Thompson-Vidal

      My oldest is the worst. The more I help, the more trouble I stay in.

    • Justin

      I would bet anything you are a baby boomer writing this.. It’s funny how you BBers think you know it all, yet you have wrecked this country. Hardly the type of people qualified to make petty remarks..

    • Mimi is a baby boomer no doubt

      Give me a break… Sounds like you are looking for consolation because if you can’t handle the duties and all the good/bad that comes with being a parent then you should not have kids… Then again Mimi is a babyboomer, and there’s a reason they are known as the most pathetic generation in American history..

    • Mark

      You baby boomers fostered a culture of selfishness that’s the point… That’s why it’s so funny when you guys write stuff like this… The millenials are a direct reflection of the culture you built and pushed in America, where it’s all about instant gratification. So in my mind the millenials got the selfishness from the BBs who everyone now knows are to blame.. You probably will vote for Trump too…. *Rolls eyes*

    • Micky Kearns

      Not all adult kids are like that. One can’t simply imply that the sons and daughters of these “some parents” are all the same. “some” do try for their parents but only to be rewarded with “what you could have done better”. Both parties are guilty but are your “adults kids” may have not been adults as longs you. Instead of correcting and judging, try guiding.

    • Emily

      I don’t think children owe their parents anything because children didn’t ask to be brought to this world. It’s the parent that decided to bring a child into their lives to care for. Yes it’s nice and awesome if the child wants to help the parent in old age but if people are having children just because they think the child will owe them later in life then that is not fair in anyway. Yes help your parents but you do not owe anything to your parents. No body was asked to be put on this earth. If you have a child you should already accept all the responsibilities it takes to raise and care for a child until they leave home and take care of themselves. Whatever they decide to do with their life is up to them, not up to the parent.

      • Shar

        I think Emily needs a reality check on what respect means. Her parents gave alot for her to have a life and she will not acknowledge the things they tought her. I pray they were good parents to her and tought her right from wrong and how to love one another it is her choice to be an ungrateful, rude, uncaring person. Good luck in your life Emily!

  • 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.

    • S. O. Rooney

      Below is good advice from Lorilu and janese creech. I would add one thing. Thank your lucky stars.

  • 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.

      • Thank god you’re not my mom

        Hahaha oh wow

    • S. O. Rooney

      I just have to comment this once more. People are ranting about how terrible their kids are, that they don’t owe them anything, etc., etc. What happened to love? I have three all-important words: LOVE, RESPECT, GOOD MODELING. (Well, four words, but those are the essential ingredients for raising good kids. Well being stable and dependable help, too.)

    • Rana Abdulla

      You just pulled the words out of my mouth, thank you

  • 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.

      • Adam Rinkleff

        you are all over the place, in one post you talk about how selfish your children are, and here you mention your daughter works two jobs so she can help you — maybe you are the selfish one

        • Iluv Merengue

          I don’t know for sure if she took the 2nd job so she can help me (considering the small and irregular amount of money she’s been sending), it was really just a guess. But as it turns out, she told me during a recent phone conversation that she likes the 2nd job way better than the first, so it’s working out well for her. Besides, she graduated last year from her psychology studies so all this experience is of benefit to her new career so I only feel a little bad about it when I wish I could stand on my own to feet. But she’s young and has the energy to do it while I feel so fatigued most days I can barely drag myself out of bed and do the minimum to survive, I don’t even have medical insurance so I cannot get any treatment, have tried clinics but they were really a waste of time because the services they provide cannot address my health problems properly.

          My kids were pretty selfish growing up, a common case of “only children”, being that one’s a male and the other female, they still qualify in many ways according to the experts as they have to share very few things among themselves. Unlikely all the other teens I knew who got jobs at supermarkets and burger joints they both felt they were “too good” for that, the job my son wanted at a computer store didn’t hire anyone under 18 and my daughter only tried one summer at a mall because she went with a friend, but nobody called her back. However, my BFF, who was married for the 2nd time, has 2 daughters who started working early to help with their school clothes and materials, and later they fully paid for their college education whereas I had to supply everything even going into debt. And speaking of debt, I had to take up a school loan to help my son and got it paid off in a few years but he never finished paying his. His father had been the one who’d offered to help him so he could go to school but he just conveniently disappeared. Btw, my BFF has a younger son (22+) who lives at home and doesn’t want to work even in his father’s business anymore, and they barely get by with what they make out of it due to the economy. So it’s a matter of temperament and character. So me selfish? I don’t think so.

          You just don’t live in the real world, that’s all. In the U.S.A. the defense of children’s rights has now elevated to a cult in which some children are excessively coddled. In some families children are so sheltered that they grow up totally unable to face the responsibilities of adult life, many feel very entitled and expect the whole world to treat them like Mommy and Daddy did, but guess what, nobody else is going to do that, so many crash and burn in just a few years. Like it or not, the majority of people in this world can’t make ends meet, and about 1/2 the population of the earth lives in dire poverty, so a lot of the world’s children have no choice but to work to help support themselves, fair or not (and my own father had to do it) some are even made slaves. So give me a darn break! For me, a low income single mother, to have wished my children chipped in during their mid and late teens, at least during the summer, is not selfish at all, it’s even the “American” way. And the reason my children are less selfish now is because I’ve made them aware of it, which makes them better people in society anyway.

          I’ve always observed this crazy thing in this life: children who have good parents often complain because their parents do not fit their idea of “perfection” and they take for granted a lot of things. Yet, those who have to grow up as orphans would give anything to have half of what they have, but it’s not because they’re “better”, it’s just because they grew up without. It’s human nature to be ungrateful, so it was my job as a parent to teach my children to be grateful and not just takers throughout their life.

    • 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.

    • Adam Rinkleff

      yes, you are selfish. she got a ba in math so she has proven she is smart, hard-working, dedicated, and determined. you are being unrealistic about economic reality and destroying her life and the future of your family, all because you are too selfish to help pay rent.

      • Iluv Merengue

        Adam… don’t you think you’re being a little biased…? Can you stop and think that just like there’s unfortunate children like you who had no real help from their parents, there REALLY are good parents who get taken advantage of? 30 used to be considered “old” not that long ago! She could be married and raising a family, meaning having a LOT more responsibility than just paying her own rent. I really cannot understand how anyone would think it’s fair that the parent continues to pay rent when she’s invited a “bum” to live with her, why can’t that friend get A JOB and contribute as she should???

        I know we all judge circumstances mostly out of our own experiences but when dealing with different people with different lives we can’t use the same yardstick all the time. The fact stands that at 18 by law a person is an adult here in the U.S. (and most parts of the world) and she’s 12 years past that, bad economy or whatever notwithstanding. That is plenty of time for her to get her own act together, period. Her parents responsibility ENDED long ago, what she’s getting now is simply out of the kindness of a loving parent’s heart, it’s NOT an obligation anymore!

        It is selfish to think that parents don’t have a right to be concerned about their OWN future, when they can no longer work. It goes both ways Adam, it can’t all be for the children, parents don’t exist to cover their children’s needs forever, they’re there to TEACH children what they need to know so they can do it THEMSELVES. It’s like that in part of the animal kingdom, most birds and mammals teach their young how to fend for themselves and they push them out on their own as soon as they’ve learned (but there’s the reptiles and fish, etc., who only lay eggs or whatever and go “bye-bye”).

      • Iluv Merengue

        Hmm, I think I confused you with “princecharming”, but I bet anything your story is a lot like his, otherwise why else would you be so heavily biased in favor of grown children??? The “else” could be that or you’re just a “troll”… so which is it Adam???

  • 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.

      • S. O. Rooney

        For some reason, what you are saying to this poor girl, Iluv Merengue, reminds me of the “blame the victim syndrome.” She has obviously had a horrible, horrible thing to live through at a young age. Why pester her with unimportant details? Her life was obviously a nightmare. At least give her, and the others here, some credit for living through it. And by the way, when a mother tells her inexperienced daughter to move out of 17 years of age… you call that “selfish?” I call it abuse. Her poor, misguided parents should be in jail.

    • Rochelle

      When I was about 1 year old my mama killed my dad, she says was self defense. I have 4 brothers with the same dad. She later had 4 more children with other men. I also have a older sister who she had before she met my dad. Well growing up with her was horrible. My last 2 siblings dad, they fought so much, stabbed one another and everything. I was abused through out my child hood. I had my first child at 16 in the 11th grade. I did graduate from high school and 2 month later she took a knife and stabbed me in the hand and took a brass candle stick holder and burst my face open. I had stitches inside and out of my jaw. I eventually left home and met this guy. Long story short, i though he could take me away from the abuse i grew up in and he abused me too, physically and I wind up having all 3 of my children taken through the state and placed for adoption. Now my oldest is 26 and was pregnant and had a son.she didn’t include me in her child’s birth nor have i seen my first grand son. My second child has a daughter and he does include me in his daughter life. I haven’t seen them since November because they live in my state but different city. I learned how to text and before i texted he answered the phone every time I called or he returned my calls. My youngest is by my x husband the one who let me down and she’s 16 and still is in the system. She’s been there since she was 1.

  • 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.

      • princecharming

        As a mother, it is your duty to sacrifice a lot. As a single mother, it is your responsibility to sacrifice even more. They didn’t ask to be born, and if given a choice, they most likely wouldn’t have chosen to be born into a deprived environment to a single mom/dropout who struggles against poverty. Having children is a privelige, and you should be grateful you had the chance to have them. Also, I think it’s disgraceful that you expect them to support you even though they are of the age where they are still struggling. Shame on you!

        • Iluv Merengue

          You are judging in complete ignorance so you should be the one shamed.

          1) I did sacrifice for them because they needed me, my problem is not with that but with them taking it for granted after they became ADULTS.

          2) I wonder why it is that you’ve jumped on me without ever wondering where the father was. Well, even though it’s none of your business I’ll tell you you just to teach you not to judge: he cheated and left the family for someone else when they were 3 and almost 2 and disengaged himself from his children. And it wasn’t the first time he’d cheated, I was just forgiving and believed everyone deserves a 2nd chance. However, he proved to be an insecure, selfish and immature man that couldn’t handle any hardship and thought mostly of himself. The ironic thing is that years later he had to leave his 2nd wife, he literally ran out with only the clothes on his back because she turned out to be a psycho… and guess who helped him get new clothes so he could go to job interviews… Yet, some time later he disappeared and broke off communication with his children for good. We found out he’d married a 3rd time and moved to yet another state. And no, he was not a “loser” when I met him – that I could tell – he was a U.S. Marine on Embassy duty with some reasonable aspirations for the future.

          3) FYI, I was not a dropout either, but “here” they don’t take seriously the education people get in other countries, even when it’s superior to the crap children are taught here. So I just didn’t get good job opportunities. Another reason is precisely that I put my children first, it was the time when children’s pictures were in the back of milk cartons so I DON’T regret that, but it did come with a price. I was more concerned about keeping my children safe, well-fed and loved, than getting a 2nd job. With no family around I didn’t want them to be in the hands of strangers more than they already had to be in school and day care. But when they got a little older I did quite a bit of overtime and at one point went back to school hoping to increase my income, but it was just too much for me and I ended up sick and doctors were not any help.

          4) And why do you get the idea that I expect them to support me? A bit of help does NOT equal support! I’m unable to work, yes, but I do receive a small income, there’s just not enough for everything, and I’m talking about BASICS, I don’t even pay for internet or any other “luxuries”; I’ve always been thrifty and lived within my means. I am almost 63 and my children are now 32+ and almost 31 so there is NOTHING wrong with them doing some of the giving instead of always being takers, they also have good jobs, way better than I ever had so you don’t have to feel bad for them.

          5) In reality, they don’t send money every month and it’s not a big amount my any means, and I would certainly much prefer to be fully independent but it just hasn’t worked out that way, in part due to all the STRESS I had while raising them by myself.

          6) I grew up in a different culture where children DO help their parents if they need it. My father used to give his mother, who also couldn’t work, some money while raising a family of his own (3 kids) and he never complained about it, so that’s the example I grew up with. I also helped my mother with things she needed a lot of times (after she spent the money her 2nd husband left her) even though I had 2 sisters that had much better means than me and lived in the same country she did, but that’s not what mattered to me but what I considered to be MY duty to her.

          7) Lastly, I don’t know where you get your values from but I get mine from the Bible and according to it children who don’t help their parents when they are struggling are worse than unbelievers, so I’ve no reason to feel any shame. You’re the one who needs to feel ashamed for stating biased opinions about the life of someone you don’t know. You obviously are a thoughtless and cold person who does not know what it is like to have any compassion for others.

          • princecharming

            Everybody on here is writing hateful things about children, and you said some things that bothered me. That scumbag mimi isnt responding anymore so, since you said some bad things, I respond to you instead. I am judgemental and it’s about time the children start speaking out and judging the parents.

            My father was an abusive drunk and my mother was abusive too. I have scars , real physical injuries that never healed properly, not to mention the psychological damage they did to me. They nearly destroyed men, and it is difficult for me to function socially and professionally because of my injuries.

            Neither of them worked. My father was in the military, just as your husband was, and faked a disability so he could get out of his service duty and never have to work all the while being supported by tax payers. The result was that I grew up in poverty. I was malnurished and sickly.

            I lived in such isolation that it was easy for my parents to lie to Child protective services investigators and the police whenever they came around to investigate my situation. There was nobody to help me or speak up for me.

            My parents told me I was horrible as long as I could remember and would daily tell me they didn’t want me, to run away, kill myself, etc. And they were Christians . Their favorite parts of the bible were the ones where the parents would stone their children to death for being “ungrateful.” or whatever they were on me for. So when I see parents saying their children were horrible, I can only think of my own childhood in hell. I wish somebody had intervened and taken me away fromthose horrible people.

            Anyway, your xhusband sounds bad, but you’ve got to put your children first. Today’s economy is hard, but you need to make sure your children have a fair chance to make something of themselves and succeed in life. Then they can help you, but if they’re struggling, it is crazy and selfish to ask them for financial support. I don’t know if they are stable yet or not.

            Maybe you can move in with one of them if you need to, but you need to respect the fact that the economy is horrible in the USA and even worse in Europe where I live. My bagboy at the grocery store has a college degree in engineering at an American university. The janitor who cleans my office has a college degree (PhD) in chemistry but not American. Even with an education, life is a struggle. I was very lucky to escape the poverty and misery I was born into. Not many can.

          • Iluv Merengue

            Listen, thank you for taking the time to tell me your story, I can see where you’re coming from and believe me, despite of your unfair judgment of me my heart went out to you because no one deserves to grow up like you did, but please understand that not everyone is like your parents so next time wait to know more before you jump on somebody’s throat.

            I was actually having a bad day when I wrote what I first did, I’d needed some money my daughter offered (a few months ago I’d only asked for like $25/mo. to help me pay for my car insurance as I can’t be without a car where I live) and although she’s been way more consistent than her brother, she waited till the last minute to try to make a transfer and then that didn’t work so without letting me know she sent a check instead, but that meant I had to mail the check out of town because I’d closed my local account due to inactivity. I had encountered a big and unexpected problem with my insurance (through no fault of my own) and getting the money on time could’ve solved the problem. I got very upset because they’d been late other times in the past when I needed help, and that caused me anxiety and embarrassment. I’d taught them how to budget as soon as they got their first job so I felt they could include even a small amount to help me. And so many times I stretched myself for them even after they were adults with jobs, that it made me sad and even angry to feel I was last in their list.

            If you knew them both, you’d know they love to spend on themselves, and not on “dollar store” stuff like they saw me do. I think because when they were growing up they spent quite a few summers around their cousins who were well-off and also got spoiled by my parents, they wish they had more than I could provide (and believe me, I still sometimes feel VERY bad about the modest life we lived). So if they “struggle” it’s been because they didn’t like living within their means and also because now the economy stinks. But then their father had “champagne taste with Coca Cola pockets” so maybe it’s also in their blood.

            And btw, I don’t even think he was a “bad” man, just immature and not responsible enough, I really loved him which is why I kept forgiving him. After he disappeared what I’ve thought is that he probably had some mental issues himself. I struggled with depression so that didn’t exactly make my life raising children by myself a “walk in the park”. I do admit I felt burdened a lot of times, but I also loved my children fiercely and I’m proud that despite my shortcomings I was able to do a pretty good job, but I also had good parents who helped, and I’m grateful to God for that.

            Living with my children now is totally out of the question for many reasons, perhaps along the line when I’m older. I still have some hope that I can get better so I can get a p/t job or at least sell items that I crochet as I’ve done sporadically in the past. But for some reason this summer I’ve been feeling extraordinarily fatigued, so much so I can’t keep up with my chores and that bothers me a lot.

            I can definitely understand how you feel about the Bible if your parents used it as a weapon against you. I even distanced myself from it for about 10 years, not completely because I can see the truth in most of it, but enough to have sort of had my way in some things, but I never stopped praying even if sometimes I was rather angry with God. But I think He used “Conspiracy Theories” about the New World Order (if you’re not familiar with that I suggest you google it) to remind me about the “end time” prophecies and I could see that they’re coming true at a fast pace so I began reconciling myself with God even if I still don’t understand a lot of stuff.

            But at least, using it the right away, without condemnation or shaming, I know it helped me raise my kids better. We used to go to church, read the Bible (or Bible stories) and pray together and they enjoyed it. My daughter has been in a “denomination” I don’t like for the last 5-6 years but God had allowed me to be in it myself (when younger than her) so I’ve stopped telling her what I think about it. My son has gone to church on and of for years and sometimes I’ve exhorted him to keep going so he can give his kids a good moral foundation like he and his sister have and because of the “end times” thing but I don’t harp about it or anything, it’s up to him to decide.

            When judging your parents please try to understand that they very likely grew up in miserable homes themselves where their own parents didn’t want them and belittled them, not that it justifies how they treated you but it can explain the demonic “programming” that prevented them from doing any better, it takes being very damage to treat kids the way they treated you. I know it would be difficult for you to feel any compassion for them but perhaps it can help you to forgive them eventually simply because they didn’t “know” what they were doing, they were used by demons to due what the “enemy” does best (kill, steal and destroy). Jesus set the example for us by forgiving those who crucified him precisely saying “Forgive them Father because they do not know what they’re doing!”. I’m sure that might be a stretch for you now but I feel that God cared about you by giving you the strength to survive it all and be where you are today, as you yourself said “not many can”. I congratulate you for overcoming your circumstances, that shows that despite your negative experiences you have strength and determination which are great qualities to have.

            Aaah! I feel much better now that we’ve “talked” :-D, I hope you do too; I want you to know that I’ve said a little prayer for you. I feel you’re a really good person with much potential to contribute a lot of good to this evil-stricken world. Try to remember what I’ve always told my children in times of difficulties: “It’s just a ‘test’, it’s all a test”. Life is like a school, we’re here to learn lessons, and those we don’t grasp we’re bound to repeat, either until we learn them or get destroyed by the negativity they generate. Also, things happen for “a reason”, perhaps we came here to post to get a chance to have this “conversation” and I hope it will have a positive effect on you. Thanks again for being so open here, I know it’s not easy so God bless you for that!

          • Read this

            2 Corinthians 12:14

      • Adam Rinkleff

        sounds like you hate your children, that’s not a good mother

        • Iluv Merengue

          Oh, get a life, who cares what some bonehead stranger in the internet thinks??? You’re probably the type who believes love is always “mushy” and permissive and perhaps you don’t even have children, or they run the show.

          Regardless of our past differences, when my children got into their late 20s they both told me how much they appreciated the way I’d raised them because they learned to stay out of trouble and were SO clear on a lot of stuff that their peers were not; plus they’re both affectionate and pretty well-balanced adults and you don’t learn that from a “bad mother”. I remember one afternoon when my daughter was like 15 or 16 and she gave me a hug and thanked me for being so open with her, she’d learned that one of her classmates was being poorly treated by her mother and b/f, they told her that if she didn’t like it she could move out but she had nowhere to go, while I’d separated from my 2nd husband mainly because he was too tough with them.

          Their friends were always welcome in our little home, my son’s best friend even called me “Mom”, so what exactly do you think you know about me as a Mom???

  • 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.

  • Ba’al

    First, the money thing. If it’s your money, you can attach any conditions to it you like. Period. Financial support means the cash is never in the possession of my kids. I pay a car payment every other month for both kids. And both are authorized users on a credit card of mine. And I insist on reasonableness in the use of that card i.e. necessities. And the credit limit is $1000.00, so if they are tempted to go crazy, I go on line and shut down the authorized card. My wife and I have always been careful with money and the kids grew up listening to our discussions about money. As a result they are grateful for what they get, and don’t abuse the situation. Setting boundaries starts when they are beginning to walk. A lot of what I’m reading here sounds like the result of overindulgent parenting. If you raised your kids with care, and if you helped as best you could with college, if that applies to your situation, you have done your share, and have discharged your responsibilities. Anything beyond that is a gift to your children. If they don’t see it that way, then cut them off.

    As far as the advice thing is concerned, I made it clear to my kids when they went off to college that they were now the captains of their ships. They would own the glory, and they would own the crap, that came from their life decisions. If they broach the subject, I will tactfully give my view. But it ends there. Life is short, too short. And I’ve done my part for them. I love them but I’m not going to try to live their lives. And I have no desire to do so. It’s just my point of view on these matters. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.

  • Mike

    Have a 19 year old son who hasn’t spoken to me for 1 year. He has a gaming weakness for long time. Was in college and failed many courses. I paid everything for college. Knew he was gaming and gave all kinds of suggestions to get him outside and away from computer. He lived far from me and only control I had was money. Started limiting his spending money trying to force him to get part time job. Nothing. He has lied so many times I have lost count. Since he failed college, he has not spoken to me and has gotten low paying job in restaurant. Now I say nothing and appears he is gone until he probably wants money for something but I will not give it unless I am convinced of his sincerity which will be very difficult to do. Any suggestions. His mother is not helpful at all.

    • youll figure it out

      stop the funds.. hes a lucky boy to have a dad who even cares about his education at all and spends even 1 dollar with him …he should be lucky youre not a crack head and didnt pawn his games lol im serious though, thats not real life and he wont make it out there on his own. you know know this.. some kids work their entire way through college,full time with no help.. because they have to… does anyone want to? NO haha obvi not. …so survival will always prevail, needs over wants .you provide all the “needs” so he goes with the wants…

  • Its too late

    If your kids don’t love you or it doesn’t seem that they do, then its your fault. You( as a parent) have not built the trust and connection needed for a great relationship. The kids do make mistakes but you know what, trust is everything. You always have rules but be lenient with them. If a child breaks it once, remind them of it, if they do it again, then you can yell at them, but you don’t need to overreact right away. Don’t always feel like you are right and not listen to their opinions because that alone could ruin the relationship because if you dont let your child have a voice, they are going to grow wrong and shy and not be able to do anything for themselves. Just because it is wrong in your eyes, make sure to think about how they are seeing it. Remember who is the adult in this relationship.
    Kids will always mess up. It is the parents job to be there for them and not let the same mistake happen again.

    Remember; your kids don’t have to love you. But it is and always will your job to love them back

  • Iluv Merengue

    You are obviously from another culture, aren’t you?

    • S. O. Rooney

      What is that supposed to mean?

  • Caroo

    #8 Don’t: don’t constantly whine to your grown child about money or repeatedly ask for gifts!

    I’m a married & newly successful professional who has just became financially independent. As my financial footing becomes more sure, I’ve noticed my mother more frequently request money or gifts, or have expectations that I will finance family trips, take her out wining and dining and treat her to spas, etc. Most recently she’s asked me to get her a credit card so that she can make personal purchases on my dime. She’s sitting on seven digits of liquid and real estate assets but constantly asks us (my brother and I) to spoil her and pay for things. I’m absolutely frustrated because I’m approaching my 30s and I’m still saving up to buy my own property (I unfortunately live in one of the most high cost cities in my country). My husband and I are unsure if we can even afford to have kids.

    Today she gleefully said “Wait until your brother
    gets out of school and finds a full time job. Then my life will be so easy and you’ll each give me a credit card, right?”. I’m absolutely disgusted by this but at the same time I’m wracked by guilt. Aging parents, please don’t ever put your adult children in a position such as this. If you raised a decent human being they will feel completely torn between trying to be a good child and securing their financial independence.

    • sounds self centered

      next time ask her how much money she has and you cannot really afford it sorry… and just keep like that, dont speak of money. shes not poor as you said.. so its not up to you.. you owe no one a living..why does she think of money so much..im dirt poor and i try to not let it worry me lol that wouldnt be “living” thats not what lifes about ..

  • Alison R Wynder

    Parenting is the most stressful yet rewarding job ever given to a person. Man or woman. I believe if u think about what you do as a parent for your child makes you a better parent then some. This is not like the commercials or tv sitcoms by any means. But as a child with no family who grew up on her own and now having the responsibility of raising a person whom will be part of my elder society, I love any idea of how to help. If you took time to look and read then YOU are trying. That is the true sign of a parent who cares and is trying. SO IF U ARE READING THIS, GOOD JOB AND KEEP TRYING TO DO THE BEST U CAN FOR THAT CHILD! Loving them and trying to help them is all a kid really needs I think…. but who am I in the bigger jist of things? A parent trying my best at making my childs life the best quality available .. xoxo keep goin parents. <3

  • Joe

    This is a toxic thread of discussion, in my view.
    I came looking to understand my bad feelings about my Mom and myself, yet now I feel violated by the comments here. I cannot control what Mom says to me, and I will seek my answers for peace and love elsewhere.

  • damward

    After my divorce and their dads remarriage, I find myself missing my kids a lot. My son especially does not visit or spend a lot of time with me. I have taken on all the good advice, got my own life, etc., and make sure that I am always happy and content when I do get to spend time with them. He does spend a lot of time with his step-mom which hurts and only because I am “alone”. How can I, in a positive way, express to my son how much I would love to spend “time” with him, my daughter-in-law and grandson doing fun things like he does with the step-family. His dad passed away last year maybe that’s why he spends so much time with his step-family? I still find it hard.

  • Denese Wong

    This was a really helpful article. It helped me realize that I was invading my adult son’s space too much via Facebook, and that I need to back off.

  • Facefriend

    Sure. That’s the “beauty” of society nowadays. Dump your kids when they turn 18, after all, the law says they are adults. Still, their brains are not fully developed.

  • Leslie

    I thought the article offered good advice. I spent some time with my adult kids this Summer and it wasnt as nice as it has been. They seem to do better with knowing I am there for them but not always in their face. I miss them, they make me happy and so full of hope. It seems like kids today need their space I guess. I hope one day they will seek me out. Guess I better get a life, lol

  • Mad world

    It may be normal, but it’s not good

  • abusive

    no one can disrespect you. you are a good kid. you seem it to me.. you know that. your are just trying to advance your education. with a girl.. a connection shes probably never felt with a man. so she is unhappy with her self and takes it out you.. i am sorry, hang in there.. cant find much else for 200$ but maybe rent a room off some one else.. id start looking..

  • apexadam

    I think this is a good article helping parents have boundaries and remain connected with their children.

  • patty

    I would love to reply to this, This is just my opinion. I am only giving my views on my situation. We have raised 5 wonderful children. In all these years we have tried to instill good morals and values into their everyday lives. We were never the perfect Parents we made our share of mistakes, We hurt because our children hurt, we stood by them in times where we disagreed with them but they always knew we loved them unconditionally. We instilled in them that respect goes both ways and the outcomes may not have been what they expected. Our children knew that we are Parents first and friends when they were older. We knew that we had to provide all the love we could give and the basic needs of their lives. WE felt anything more we could give them was a plus! Responsibility always came first . I never felt I owed my children anything except love and a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs and the best role models we could be. You can be the best parent out there but your children turn out different. We as parents can only do our best. So for all the negativity on here we can all learn a lesson in the phase we cant down others because we do not walk in there shoes, just assume its their opinion no matter how sad it is it is their story. I am not a therapist just a Parent that loves their kids with all my heart. As we age I will hope my children stand by us but if it is not meant to be then we are on our own. I nver had children to help me as I got older I had children to make a family and enjoy my life.

  • Irene Carlson