"Children Who Break Your Heart": A Reader Asks for Your Advice

At the Legacy Project, we’ve asked over 1200 of the oldest and wisest Americans for their advice about how to solve life’s problems. In this post we ask: How do you deal with children who break your heart? For advice on this topic and much more, see the bestselling book 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans.

In an earlier post, one of the Legacy Project elders shared her mixed feelings about having children. Loraine,89 , talked about accepting both the joy and the pain children can bring. She stated: “If you don’t have children now, when you have them you will have these moments.  When you look at them and your heart – it’s like your heart takes all the pain and all the love for them that you have.”

We just received a comment on that post from one of our readers, who would like your advice:

What about when your children are disappointments? I would like to hear how parents handle situations when their most loved children are cause for a broken heart? Comments please!

We asked some experts for their advice, which you can find here.

Can you help? Does anyone have advice for overcoming the heartbreak children can sometimes cause? Please share your comments!

852 thoughts on “"Children Who Break Your Heart": A Reader Asks for Your Advice

  1. I have so much sympathy for people on here. I had very a bad childhood. It took me years of suffering to realise that I don’t love myself & I had to learn to love myself. If you love yourself you’re not in need of other people to love you. This I only learned after I turned 50 years old. I’ve also learned that everything is just thought by listening to Michael Neill’s ”inside out revolution.” My son is 22 years old & he is a lovely child just lazy and I’ve realised all the mistakes I made with raising him. I’m working in a daycare centre & have realised most parents have no idea how to raise their children. I’m doing a program now for parents how to teach their children respect, manners, kindness, love and a lot more. If parents do not teach children how to respect them and other people when they are 3 when are they going to teach them and then the child becomes a teenager never had these principles discussed & taught and then show their disrespect.
    I’ve made my life better by not concentrating on my problems & negativity from my siblings by been grateful for little things every day (walk outside & see the beautiful nature, look at the birds, the flowers). Volunteer at the animal shelter, soup kitchen, go to a daycare centre & read stories for the children. Find something to do, go for walks, sign up for clubs, go to church(they usually have groups you can join) Stop thinking about your problems, as they say, what you think about will expand in your life. Do the Ho’oponopono, sit in quiet & send them all love & forgiveness and stop thinking about what they did to you, stop having a victim mentality. I wished I’ve learned all these things a long time ago and raised my child with these principles of respect, forgiveness, kindness, self love and not been the victim. I see the parents at my daycare and how they mollycoddle these kids, a 3-year-old still gets carried into the centre instead of walking and be promised a lolly if they are good. That’s why I thought to do my program it is like a road map for the parents to teach the principles form birth.

  2. Parenting is never easy and it hasnt been.
    My daughter was a very loving caring well mannered child.
    We have been estranged for about 4yrs.
    She manipulated the rules to fit he needs. Not just the house rules but also the rules that no minor can be out of the house consecutively for 30 days.
    Was told by juvenile crisis people she isnt a hard case and theres nothing they can do to help me, they are advocates for minors.
    Anyway she stayed out skipped school. Got fined for skipping. Stole make up.
    Is and has been doing drugs and Alcohol, in with the wrong crowd. Has no respect for any authority.
    Plus went to jail for battery of me.

    Recently she asked if she could move back shes now 19 (she left at 16)
    She had a few bad days and ended up in hospital.
    The rules were
    Get counseling
    Stop all drugs Alcohol
    And walk dog to offset rent .
    Things were going well for awhile, then she began to stay out loose jobs, start lying about jobs she working.
    We put a lock on the bedroom door, she has a habit of taking any and all loose change.
    In reality she was taking coins that my partner had collected for 40yrs plus. Plus and cash he had.
    We gave he another chance, unfortunately this past weekend she took about another $300 in cash from my bedside cabinet in the locked bedroom….
    I kicked her out.
    She completely freaks out and tells me im always moving things and misplaced it, tells me i dont remember conversations that we never had.
    Trying to convince me im crazy and i cant do this to her

    Stealing is never a good thing, the money is besides the point, its the blatant lying and violation of trust and not being able to trust her in my home.
    We are no parniod that shes made a set of keys. And leave the house securing all screendoors.

    Im always going to question myself as a parent, im at a loss. Im afraid to cry incase i cant stop.
    I know im not alone, and lots of people go thru much worse with their kids at time,
    I just never ever thought id be one of those people..

    Thanks for letting me rant!

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