"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!

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

  1. I have posted on here frequently in the past about my relationship with my 40 year old daughter and how dysfunctional it has been. I can’t tell the story again due to the length but if anyone cares to go back and find my earlier posts, you will know the story and what I did to change it. Now…2 years later…I CAN tell you that it has made a world of difference! It went totally from me giving, giving, giving (money, time, stuff), to me letting HER come to me and ONLY if it didn’t include ‘giving’ something. I FINALLY set boundaries and by God, I stuck by them. And it got better. I went about my life and I did not give to get. And eventually things changed. And honestly? I was prepared to never see her again if it was going to be me having to do things and give things to be in her life. I realized that just because it’s ‘blood’ doesn’t mean it has to be ‘forever’. I don’t work that way anymore. It’s mutual respect now and that’s the way it always SHOULD have been and is definitely the way it always WILL be from here on out. May the force be with all of the parents that ARE in the position I WAS in. I truly hope you can find the strength I had to find to make it better. 🙂

  2. So what about if your good people that give what ever you can to your child even you really can’t financially or mentally and they still are disrespectful or cutting off huh or what do if your whole child hood you had mental and physical abuse me you hoe it is but yet your child acts up and your like y if I haven’t done anything you I feel like y like I’ve never hurt u try to go out of my to get what u need for school or anything yet u still act out but when I was growing up I had to wear what I was told or that was that it I got my hair pulled or called a name I’m just like why does she act out when I’ve done nothing and I tell her me growing up I did nothing to my foster mom and I still go beat and you you do its like y if you’ve never hand harm come to u but still disrespectful and ungrateful ness I don’t know hat to do I go out of my way to get what ever cause how it is theses days but still I get shit from her and her dad and it the same I can be the best for my husband and he’s the same disrespectful and in grateful and that’s not even her real dad they but act up with me what to do

  3. Hi. i’m in the same situation my Husband’s adult son (my stepson) never seen eye to eye about his spouse she has destroyed our family and torn us apart. when we made it clear she was not welcome around he choose her and disowned us as a result, this has affected his father whom had a loving relationship up until then he now acts as though we do not exist. he refuses to call or visit us this has been going on for a long time we have attempted to get a hold of him but was unsuccessful he just avoids us. we will not live forever and would like to be on civil terms but don’t see this ever happening. he doesn’t even call to wish us happy holidays like he use too i feel like he has changed. what should i do?

  4. I have two married daughters in their thirties but since their father remarried and moved where they live things have altered – I ve made mistakes but so has their father but they have always been loved – my older daughter was ill ( so I ve cared for her but now she is better) but there was a wedding in her husbands family which we were thought we d be going to ( but we had no invite but her father and wife did) it really upset me and we had s massive row and she text me horrible things ( I did not help airing my feelings on Facebook) so she text and said I’m bitter and she disowned me – her husband text me saying it’s his family and he should have told me we were not invited and he was sorry and he and my daughter feel awful but my other daughter was asked and her husband also ( and she never went to any family do s but my husband and I did) but for years mind we felt we should not be at the family gatherings as if we did not talk to anyone they would not really bother and I have always tried to make an effort – -anyway told my oldest daughter you are disowning me ? Well that’s fine as you have made everything a competition for years with your dad and I and I’ve had enough aswell ( for years she said I was competitive but I never saw it like that I just wanted to feel as important as her father !!!!! We be not spoken for months now and I normally contact her because she has an illness but this time I know it’s not my fault ( my other daughter supported me mind – I even had my granddaughter stayed at her house (which I loved ) even though they were all at the wedding- but my youngest at a go and me and her dad ( saying we always put our ill daughter first so we took it all and board. And said we love you the same but an ill child is always a concern whatever age they are- but then Iwe rowed as we booked a caravan as she asked for us to go away then because my other daughter wanted a 34th party my younger daughter said they would only come to caravan for a one night as she should go to her sisters party !!! Which was mentioned after I booked caravan ( my husband who is a great step dad but quiet actually had a row with her ) he’s had enough he said no more – he said I worry to much and care too much for them they treat me bad and had told me to let them come to me – the younger daughter has spoken to me since but uses our granddaughter as a pawn – but I just FaceTime my grandchild now ( as we have a solid bond) but I was asked by my younger daughter if we could have the little one ( I said we couldn’t as we had made arrangements but will have her any other weekend she said ok – no probs – I’ve not heard since ( so I will FaceTime our grandchild anyway ) buts it sad how it come to this – I love my daughters dearly and they have always expected me to run up there ( which I have always done and what they expect but now I want respect – I detest ve respect – they are not always right – it’s as though they are the parents and I am the child – so I am just getting on with life as it did all effect me for months this year – I have a 15 year old son with my husband ( my daughters step dad) and he is in his last year of school – it’s all upset him ( and I realised when he was upset – omg – what about him ???( Then I pulled myself together )

  5. I am a mother,although I never knew how to be,I never saw my mom do more than stay in bed,my sister became the parent. I was not “mother material” I was terrified of the idea,however,I gave birth to a daughter. It cost me my marriage(my husband wanted I have an abortion,I refused),I lost my career my home and returning home to my parents house,my self esteem and family members respect. My daughter was kidnapped by her father a week past her first year,my parents showed no compassion. For ALMOST 3yrs I didn’t know where my daughter was,until I answered the phone(which I was forbidden to do) my xhusband called telling me my daughter was in California.i rode 4days one way to get her,and 4days back. My family members constantly talked bad about me to my daughter,however I soon found a place to live,only for constant interference.I was physically ill however in my family’s opinion I was crazy,so they begin referring to the crazy mommy. What my family didn’t know was my stepfather having raped me and threatening to hurt my child.As ill as I was,I did what I thought I had to to be safe,it wasn’t until I confronted my dad that my mom had always known and pretended she was a victim.They are both dead,my daughter was at their house when I confronted him.she stated that if I accused daddy she would accuse me…that’s when the assassination of my reputation,character in my neighborhood our church people I didn’t know,would call cursing me. Lying,stealing,wrecking my vehicle threatening my life,cleaning out my checking and savings account,because she could….multiple times…I don’t know whether it was ALL my fault..however I know I am flawed,but no time when I needed my daughter would she ever help without stealing or lying ..just because she could. She is an adult now I’m no longer concerned whether she cares,her kind of love is far too costly and the price to have her as a daughter,I gave up everything to be a mom only to be blamed,cursed threatened and rejected. I just didn’t believe in abortion.

  6. Wow, what I can say. I have read many comments on here and some make me sad some makes me angry, I totally agree with LJ. Some people can be very opinionated, people like myself have come on here to listen to likeminded people who are hurting, it does t matter whose fault it is the fact is as parents when our children who we have raised probally breastfed and given our all to. They then turn around and disrespect you, don’t even want to drop you to a hospital appointment then that is sad. Further, they find partners and put them first, not saying that chikdren don’t grow up and move on but for goodness sake spare a thought for those mothers like myself who feel pain, deep seated wound when your children change into monsters heartless people. We can all pray and hope that the situation turn around but please you all don’t forget pain is pain. If a dog bites you it cause pain does it matter that you stood on he dogs tail. I don’t think so… For all the mums and dads on here feeling sad right now, my heart goes out to you because I have felt it first hand I understand your pain, but I tell myself in between the tears that ‘time is the master’. God bless all.

  7. Estrangement from three of my four children began after my divorce from their father after thirty years of marriage. He was a lobbyist, seldom home, unfaithful and verbally abusive, but he supported us. I stayed in the marriage
    for the childrens’ sake, so that they could have a great education and the stability of two, however dysfunctional, parents. When the last child left for college, the marriage ended. It has been seven years and the children do not communicate but blame me for the divorce. My ex has been talking against me and brainwashing the children for years. Nothing is ever the fault of a narcissist and the children give him credibility. My attorney said to
    keep emailing the kids and eventually they will respond, but so far nothing, and it has broken my heart. I loved them and did everything I could for them. How can I heal this wound? Anne

  8. These stories touch me deeply. The last two years have been the hardest years of my life . I raised two beautiful girls without their father who was an alcoholic and separated from us very early on in their lives . I chose to be away from their father and make a good life for ourselves I went to college got a nursing degree worked raised my two girls and tried to make a good life for ourselves . Now one of my daughters in the last two years has come out gay and this has been a real heartbreaking thing to go through , and my other daughter is 19 left my house in a huff when she was 18 and now is pregnant with a guy who won’t keep a job they live in a terrible environment and it’s just a mess . She didn’t finish high school either . Neither of my girls are coming to go to college which I dreamed for them both . I am heartbroken worried sad scared to death of the future for them and spent emotionally . Thank you for your stories at least I know I’m not alone .

  9. I am a widow and have raised 2 boys on my own.I am handicapped and have been in a wheelchair for almost three years. Everyone has always told me that I am such a wonderful mother. I am doubting that now. My oldest son is 34 and we have no contact. My youngest son is 31 and we have always been very close, we always helped each other and were there for each other in good times and bad.
    He just got married and his wife and 10yr old daughter live with us. She talks very little except to him. Others have noticed this so it isn’t just me. I am having major surgery on my ankle and foot at the beginning of the yr and will in a few weeks need to have an infected toe amputated. I am scared of both surgeries especially the amputation. I take two chemotherapy drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis and they are likely the reason for the infection but I couldn’t do anything without them. I can’t drive or go out without his takng me and he has been good about it. Being housebound is like being imprisoned and when the surgery comes up I won’t be able to put my foot down or stand for a prolonged time for 12 weeks. My son and I set aside Sundays as a day for me to get out and go somewhere so at least for now I would be able to get out of the house, last week he suddenly told me that he wanted that day to go out with his wife and step daughter so no more Sundays. I am not going to be ‘allowed’ to go with them. I am left to sit home alone, not a part of the family that I support and are living in my house. I am heartbroken that he is breaking his promise and being exclusive. I’m tired of sobbing myself to sleep and he doesn’t seem to care how I feel or what this is doing to me. I’m so disappointed. Telling him how I feel doesn’t do anything to make him see how hurt I am. I want to sell the house so they will have their own place and I will have mine and not be subjected to things like this. I (we) have redone this house and it is beautiful. I don’t want to move I love the neighborhood and area. It just seems like the only thing to do unless I become a house hermit I can’t escape the pain. I’ve been by his side and he has gotten everything he wanted–no college loans to pay, two cars, expensive gifts. I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of, like it was all a spam.

  10. It was years of heavy pain. I know it feels as if our daughters died. However I wanted to give you hope. I was where you are and it changed. It changed slowly. If I were to give advice I would say
    1. Her anger comes out on you because she really does love you. She can’t do that with her father. Know that and when she does that you don’t need to be affected by it. She just unloading her stress.
    2. Don’t ever say anything negative about her father. You cannot win here.
    3. Be at peace with yourself and know you did the very best you could do.
    FYI my daughter knows now that her father was abusive to me. She can talk about it but if I talk about she will get angry.
    Please take care of yourself because she will want and need you sooner before later

  11. My son is 24 and in his first relationship she is older than him an we were friends before they started to date I did everything to make her welcome in my home but she hates me now he does too my son lives in my house and had ignored me for weeks now I adore my children and its killing me.
    I can’t get away from it as they both work with me too I had a bereavement a few weeks ago and he didn’t even ask how I was or offer support his behaviour is killing me.
    I had a turbulent childhood myself he knows what he’d doing to me and its crushing me .
    Last week I didn’t want to be here anymore I came that close but only the thought of my daughter stopped me.
    I have to think of myself now im not a bad mum I’ve packed in my job given up my house and plan to go abroad to live with my daughter in the next few weeks.
    I love my son and will always be there for him but for now I have to let go of a situation I can’t change for my own well being.
    I will always be here for him and always be his mum

  12. Powerful for me to discover these mailings. I have lost two children. I’m blessed to have one child in my life still. Never knew my father and had a mother who made it clear she wished that she had never had me and so as a baby I was given to others to raise me. After much damage and a very isolating childhood, I went everywhere seeking some form of acceptance, sense of home, belonging, and a feeling of being wanted. Constantly being reminded to be grateful not to have been adopted or taken into care. Without the awareness that it actually wasn’t totally my fault, that I was broken myself, I dived into unhealthy relationships with dangerous, damaged men all alongside attempting to balance being a mother. I had blindly believed that somehow I would manage this huge life changing responsibility. The rest became and is a stream of damage and loss. Enough to say that I have been through years of leaving behind that life with the help of real and strong therapy, healing, and have stood up and opened my heart to my children, having apologised profusely to them for my part in everything that caused them damage and pain, having given them a heart promise to do anything and everything to help them heal and move on with their lives, having given them my word that I will do anything they feel they need to help them let go and to heal. They have decided that for them, they must let go and leave things be. I did, for some time, keep writing, but then realised that this was just more pain for them and so have now stopped and honoured their request for silence from me. Every single day I struggle to keep going through the loss and the pain of this. My ex partners unfortunately have never had to pay for the damage they also caused back then. For my children, they will never be aware of how things happened, they were young. I live with the truth and the memories of how hard I tried to protect us and keep going, but they will never know. I’m in the process of taking one day at a time, learning to accept and look after myself now, more than I have ever done before. I see that it’s so important to keep climbing back up every single day and to keep growing. I am learning to forgive myself now, a slow process but one that I need to keep focusing upon. I care deeply for every creature that suffers and for this beautiful planet. Wherever I can share my heart with compassion, I do so. I hold my children in my heart and thoughts every day, through tears and loss and pain, no matter what. Every time I read about others loss, it strikes me deeply and I know of this pain. There’s nothing like it. Thank you for sites, pages and for people mailing this way, it connects us a little more and reminds us all that life is a constant journey of pain, learning, growth and hopefully, forgiveness too.

  13. I have grown extremely tired of my 28 year old son taking out his frustration on me, but sparing his girlfriend because he doesn’t want her to know the real him. He is very disrespectful to me. He wants to quit his job because he thinks no one likes him and that his boss and co-workers aren’t always receptive to his ideas (don’t blame them because of his pushy nature). When he was overseas in Afghanistan, I was the one he called in the middle of the night to vent and yell at. He owes me money but his girlfriend wants an expensive engagement ring so I’m the one who has to wait. I reached the end of my rope and have blocked his calls and texts, and forwarded his emails to the trash folder, and he can no longer track my location using Find My Friends. He needs to realize that I’m not his whipping post. I never treated my parents this way, things were very different when I was his age. I would rather not have any interaction from him than to have him in my life and suffer from his tirades. Still love him, just don’t like him at the moment. He needs to do some soul-searching.

  14. I’ve lost so much over the years but nothing compares to the loss of a child.. I raised my grandson from an infant. Sent him to a Christian school, enrolled him in several extra activities, and then into sea cadets. Because he excelled in trumpet, I purchased him an expensive trumpet. He appeared to enjoy the life that we gave him. We were disciplinary, but not overly, and we loved him..so much.. Life was good for us and our grandson. We attended all his concerts, in school as well as in cadets and no one could be as proud as my husband and I at those occasions. Then one shocking day anger erupted, he said he hated us. He said he was using pot, alcohol and sexually active. He said he had his own dealer. My husband and I were totally destrought. He was leaving. He is sixteen. Where did he go? To his mother,whom the ministry documented as unsafe and dangerous. That’s why we had him for so long. I have no contact with him. But I do receive abusive, accusing letters from his mother. She then asks for money rides assistance. I can’t sleep and I cry all the time. He has only eighteen months and he’d be out of school and be eighteen years old. He left cadets where he was to be the band leader this year. He had the world at his fingers. I’m told he will go to school but he isn’t to interested in it. Because of this loss I have nothing left. We have no idea what to do, where to go, how to live any more. When he left he took out hearts with him. My husband, who has cancer, just wants to give up. As the other people write, I too real the pain deep in my heart, the unending dreams of loss only to wake up and face a day oh heart-ache. Oh how we suffer for our loss day after day, night after night. God be with us …

  15. Hurt people…hurt people. That’s the only thing that keeps us prodding along, hoping our children come back to us someday.

  16. You think you know pain then one of you’re children hates you for no reason that’s really pain I feel it every day like a knife twisting slowly in my heart!

  17. I’m looking for answers and support. My situation is like many others that have posted in different ways. I am 31 and have 4 Boys ages 13,11,8,5. I lost my boys to the state even though I tried my hardest to get my boys back. My 5 year old I can still get back in my custody because my rights were never terminated. I have not always made good decisions and have made many poor choices. I grew up in a home of an abusive father who is narcissistic and was very verbally abusive to my mother and us. I ended up in the system going to jail alot and I’m finally done with probation and jail. I did a year in jail and I just got out June 17 of this year. I myself repeated the pattern of dating abusive men and I have 4 kids with 4 different dad’s. One question I always want an answer to is Do my kids hate me or think bad about me because they all have different dad’s??? I love my kids so much and I tell them that Everytime I can see them but my parents have custody of my boys and they talk bad about me to my boys, I just don’t know what to say to my boys because I have to get permission from them to be able to see them and I’ve told my kids that their grandparents are the reason momma cannot always come over. What can I say to my boys? I don’t know if they hate me? They are always happy when I’m there to see me and sad when I have to leave. This has been so heartbreaking and unless you’ve gone through it, u can’t explain with words. Thanks for reading and please some support suggestions anyone???? Thanks so much

  18. I was such a good mother. My daughters became adults in age but not in behavior. They moved back in after college because they couldn’t afford their own places and didn’t want to share an apartment together. They did nothing to help around the house and did make a mess on a daily basis. I would ask them over and over to please put things away, clean up their areas, etc. They had no respect for our home or our feelings. I believe they both have personality disorder as their father does. They really only care about themselves. Never do anything for me or their step-father. No presents for Christmas for many years and barely any acknowledgement on birthdays. I decided they would use me as long as I would let them. I disinherited them and removed myself from their lives. It is an adjustment for sure but I am at peace knowing I did a wonderful job as a mother for years.

  19. I’ve got 5 adult children aged from 40 to 23. All of them agree I’ve always been there and done anything for them. Their father was dominant controlling and physically mentally and emotionally abusive to me and rarely showed any of the affection, never got involved in their childhoods or praised them. Three of my kids were grown up the other two still young when I divorced him. I was awarded a substantial payment and properties etc but he hounded me and made life hell, in the end I decided my sanity was worth more than money, so didn’t bother to claim my share of the divorce.

    A few years later unexpectedly I became totally deaf almost totally blind. My kids started trying to build relationships with their father. During the marriage and after even when he was still violent I didn’t have anyone to turn to and my kids never got involved.
    The kids left home and all have kids I am alone with my disabilities. Recently an old insurance policy in joint names matured, my ex came to see me to tell me to sign my share over to him but I refused. My kids were angry with me saying “he has been paying it since divorce so it is his” the fact is the courts had told him to keep paying it till it matured and we got equal spit.
    My kids are accusing me of causing a family breakdown because I’ve asked them to go together and see their father to ask him to please keep the peace and to remind him I let him have everything else but now I am dirt poor and need this insurance money. None of them will stand by me or see my side, they all plan to spend Christmas with their father in his big house. They are all trying to win their fathers affection even now, and willing to let him do anything to me rather than risk his disapproval again. He’s manipulated them, told them the money from this policy is for the grandkids so now the kids think I will be robbing their children.
    I am devastated. My heart is broken in two and I am so lonely and alone no one to defend me or stand by me. How I love these five individuals and how I will never understand why they don’t think it worth standing up for mum.

  20. Us moms appreciate these posts, though we don’t know each other but we have many of the same problems in common I was reading TRACY’S she has been on here for awhile given us updates. But I saw her’s and related to it thus far.
    My spoiled brat daughter is now 23 and I have had problems with her since 17 when she told me for the first time to “f off”. That was the first time I liked her our and told her too leave.
    It’s amazing how she is so nice to everyone else but her own mom. My daughter has not lived with me since she was 22 and the past year she has lived with her grandmother to help her. Well that lasted a year with cops showing up off and on. Mom didn’t want her there because of her laziness but at least she got respect. I had to tell her to leave on Thanksgiving because she thought she was going to get a dinner and than head on to her “2nd families house” So I said why don’t you go there now. My daughter is not married and has no friends accept for lesbians, So i told her to live with them. She owes me about $2200 and will never see it again, in fact refused to pay me back, it’s added up in the past 5 years so stopped helping her, She got free rent living with her grandma but we got maybe $300 worth in return. she never keeps a job, doesn’t have a car, no friends, and she does to school part time. She will be 24 in January ad look ow she acts. I will not expect her around for xmas I’m not buying her anything, and frankly I don’t care. She has made my life hell the past 5 years and I don’t want to be around her, But all her stupid problems come my way and Tracy is right I will not answer the phone anymore We are off each others face books, text and we kicked her out, Though she tried to tell the police I was hitting her what an idiot. What a holiday right? She is my only daughter and it looks like I will need to get on with my life.

  21. I am the mother of three adult children aged 27, 25 and 21. The two oldest are boys. Their father and I separated and divorced before my oldest was 3 and I returned home from NZ to England where my family live. When my oldest was 5 their father came to visit and we decided to reconcile despite my mother’s protests. My daughter was barely 6 months old when we split again because my husband was having an affair. After this I had three relationships of which the longest was 8 years and abusive. It was in this relationship my children grew up for the most part. Although the relationship was abusive I did my utmost to be a good mother whilst studying and keeping a clean and tidy home for my family. My two youngest were very strong willed but I tried all ways to guide them with love and discipline. I was hardest on my younger son who now appreciates how hard I tried to teach my kids right from wrong and grow them into kind, caring, wise young adults. Now after all these years my oldest son, who married earlier this year and was always my rock and goldenboy, is now saying I was a ” selfish uncaring mother who cared only for myself and not my kids and it’s a wonder any of them turned out right because they had two parents who cared about their own lives instead of their kids”. This has come as a complete shock and out of the blue as nothing has happened to trigger this lashing out although since he left the town I live in 7 years ago it has often been difficult to stay in touch with him through no fault of my own, but because he didn’t always answer calls or texts. I have tried to contact him and find out what’s wrong through his new wife but got blasted for that too. Apparently he wants an apology which I am happy to give once he communicates with me about what I’m supposed to have done to him. Communicating through his wife is not ideal at all but I cannot get in touch through his FB or cellphone as he has ex communicated me. I am devastated and broken hearted to find that after all these years of believing we had an OK relationship and the desire to build on it we have gone 100 miles an hour in the opposite direction and I’m left bewildered. I have honestly tried to keep our communication open but feel I’ve failed us both and don’t know what to do. My kids are my world.

  22. We tried hard with our daughter in law but over the 11 years she has been with our son I have walked on egg shells She twisted a comment I made about her son (from a previous relationship) which was perhaps he was rebelling at school because of arguments at home into my calling him a delinquent & being banned from seeing our granddaughter for 3 weeks Only after begging, pleading & apologising for something I did not say were we allowed back in the house but treated like a naughty schoolchild that had back chatted her This time it was a comment I made while in a state of severe stress when we had been told by doctors my mum may not live through the night we were banned again Despite trying to reach out my daughter in law told me (her words) Yes I’m a bitch & I gave your son a choice his wife & daughters or his parents, sister & her family He chose us so we don’t want you in our lives anymore Its been over 18 months since we have had any contact with our granddaughters Breaks my heart & I cry every day 🙁

  23. It’s the Generation X and Y, and a sense of entitlement, the children and grown children feel they are owed everything from parents. In return, they give disrespect, and the kids could care less about parents. Something happened in our society when the family was torn apart by the culture, easy divorce, sometimes no father in the home. We have social media where the kids talk to each other against the parents. The kids are narcissistic. Add drugs, alcohol, video games, and no wonder that we have high suicide rates for young men. Our culture is rotted now and kids are directionless and weak. These are the times, and children have no need for parents except when they need to use them. I’ve hardened myself, and found other interests. If I have no expectation, I have no pain. So, I just get busy and have no expectation from now on.

  24. Breaks my heart how people are hurting because of their children.

    My youngest daughter is 19, she treats me like muck.

    She is very lazy, hardly goes to work

    Then she nags me for money to buy Christmas presents for other people but she won’t spend 10 pence on me or her father.

    We are nice people, tried to do our best with her

    God only knows why she treats us like this

  25. My heart goes out to all of you,I hope you keep love and hope in your hearts and love yourselves because you’ve done the best you can for your families.God bless.

  26. I’ve done what I’ve said I would do I’ve left my home and everything I know and travelled thousands of miles away from my much loved son and his toxic partner.
    I couldn’t take the rejection and nastiness anymore it was crushing me.
    I feel so much pain I cry for him and miss him everyday but he will never know that.
    I don’t think he believed I would go I can only hope he will grow and appreciate what he had in me as a mother.
    In the meantime I will pick myself up and start again I only can pray that one day he will come back to me

  27. I posted something back late November about my disrespectful son. Today I saw other posts which I can only assume are from UK posters (using the word “mum”) and it’s so sad to see that what I have experienced with my son happens a lot and not only here in the U.S. I now refer to them as Millennials and after long and hard thinking/analyzing/wondering/guessing, I think that when I was young, there was no internet, hardly anything on TV other than soap operas and news, salaries weren’t what they are today, my very first car I bought was $5K USD brand new, my very first house cost $12K USD, and my very first job paid $5.25/hr. USD. Fast forward 45 years and we do have the internet and social media sites, some movies are extremely violent, houses cost too much for a Millennial to afford, cars are status symbols, etc. etc. etc. We tend to think that since things are too expensive for our children, we give to them thinking we are being good or even great parents. We don’t ask for anything in return because we assume that they will love us unconditionally. Are we wrong or what?! We have created a generation of selfish people who feel they are entitled. And money talks in a very loud voice to them. No longer do they have loyalty to a parent who is disabled like one of the blogs, their loyalty lies in the parent who is waving a hand full of money at them. It’s very disheartening to hear this with all of you that your grown children are disrespectful and unloving to you, unless they need something from you. I gave up my life in another city to move back and take care of my elderly parents until they passed away, I considered it payback for always being there for me. Children now won’t do that unless there is something in it for them. I have cut off all communications to my son. He’s on his own. I changed my will and he gets nothing. All in all, he gets what he deserves. Am I sad about this? Of course. Will I put myself in his line of fire? Absolutely not. If he ever want to resume a relationship with me he will have to earn my respect, not the other way around. I won’t be one of those parents who will do anything to get my son to love me, I won’t be sad that I don’t hear from him, I refuse to join his pity party. I choose to be happy since life is too short to worry about what my son thinks of me. Children shouldn’t punish parents and get away with it. – Just saying!

  28. Thank you, Alex. I could have written that myself. Let’s not forget Mother’s Day’s with no acknowledgment either. I was the one who made sure they called their father growing up to even establish a relationship. He used it to undermine me for the last 14 years. One is in college, the other on the way. Never a day of child support, never even asked. My feelings are so hurt, it’s indescribable. I’m glad to know I’m not alone.

  29. Wow Minnie….thanks!!! I needed that shaking about now. I fell and broke my shoulder a week and a half ago and have heard little from my kids in their 40’s. Sentiments about that they were sorry and to call if I needed anything. Not another word. I sat alone for Thanksgiving. And now more holidays coming and me feeling sad about how I thought things were going to be. My husband died suddenly 4 years ago and our once close family just kind of fell apart. We used to have big dinners around the table on our farm. Now nothing. I’m left feeling that the only reason they used to be around was for the love of their dad and now that he’s gone they simply dumped me. I just wasn’t expecting that I guess. They are busy with their own lives and I don’t begrudge them that. But to feel rejected..well..there’s no denying it’s painful. I can’t make them love me and I’m not going to try. I get on with my life for the most part but particularly around holidays I can take that slippery slope of comparing my life to the lives of others. Hearing about the family gatherings of kids and grandkids is difficult. I truly am happy for my friends who have this in their lives. I just have to be careful around thinking how I thought it was going to be. Expectations can be the death of happiness. I guess I kind of believe that it’s as much their loss as it is mine. Particularly when it comes to being close to grandchildren. I made plenty of parenting mistakes but never with the intent of causing harm. I did the best I could. I love my children and wish them well. I harbor no animosity. It just is what it is. I don’t know why I wasn’t loved.

  30. Hi Linda, so sorry that your,kids aren’t there for you as you were there for them. Times have changed so much. It seems that today’s society is so narcissistic. My attitude has drastically changed. My goal in life is to be happy and not worry about my son. I will always love him but I refuse to let him bring me down. I have great friends and a wonderful man in my life. I surround myself with positivity and have picked up some neat hobbies. There is no magic wand to make our kids shower us with love and attention so why worry about it! Be happy Linda. You were a great parent. There is no perfect parent nor a perfect child. You are a great person!!!

  31. It was nice to be able to read and discover that I am not alone in my pain. I have spent the last 2 and a half years trying to “rescue” my youngest daughter (age 20) from herself. She struggled with anxiety and depression. But I just keep uncovering more outlandish things that she does, right under my nose. She constantly contacts young men through social media, seeking sex. She just wants to run around with friends and get high or drunk. My husband and I would do anything for her… maybe that’s the problem. But every loss and disappointment, I cry and cry and then a few days later I’m onto some new “treatment” or a plan to try to help her change.

  32. My 27 yr old only child (daughter) is a alcoholic and has depression problems. She treat me( mom )who has done nothing but help her like an enemy. She has no heart what so ever. I’m at my wits end I honesty hate her sometimes. Now she’s using my 2 grand babies as leverage. My grandchildren want to live with me but she says she would rather them so to foster care. How can our children be like this. My mom who is 72 is my bestfriend. I would die before I would disrespect my parents

  33. I raised two sons and a daughter as a single parent and they are now 41 [my daughter] 35 and 29. The father of my sons who I was in a relationship for 14 years was violent and I required medical intervention more than once. He tried to strangle me once while I was holding my youngest who was 2 at the time. The reason because I had volunteered him to help drive my daughters netball team to a game. He would be in bad moods for days. His violence towards my daughter when she became a teen was the point I knew I had to leave. I had counselling and then did two degrees undergraduate and postgraduate as I wanted to do it for myself and be an example for my children. I then got work as a child protection caseworker.
    Currently my eldest son has not spoken for about 10 years. He has had two controlling women who are both very rough. His father was able to exploit his bad relationships and convince both partners that I was mad and bad. I did have a breakdown when my eldest son was 4. My ex has never stopped hating me and he told his sons that his hatred of me overrode his care for them but when they turned 18 he could have a relationship with them.
    My sons first partner had a drug problem and was diagnosed as personality disorder. She had 3 children but eventually the family court removed them and placed in the care of her mother. The whole family are disgusting and took over my son abusing and controlling him. They threatened that if he ever had anything to do with me or his sister he would lose the children. This history is so sad as I understand being a sociologist the impact of abuse first by his father then his partners and inlaws.
    His father demands my sons loyalty and his love is conditional on him hating me. This monster is present at all times like Christmas and birthdays and I cannot see my grandchildren. I am going through the courts in 2017 to gain some contact.
    I will not be so disrespected like as if I am nothing. My youngest son saw his father recently after a long absence from when he was about 4. His father told him that I was to blame for everything and that I was so bad it made him want to kill me. He told him I was to blame for everyone’s unhappiness including my brothers heroin addiction [I gave him a joint when we were both young]. He said all this knowing my son has drug alcohol suicide attempts and violence problems. My youngest son is also hearing impaired. My ex does not care about him as his main goal is to have the sons we had together hate me and abuse me like he does. He is obsessed all these years later with his hate and never once called to enquire about his sons welfare.
    So I have made a life for myself. Even though I am in my sixties I still work and I organise social activities to ensure I am in good company and not isolated. I always hope that one day my oldest son will see what has happened but he has never taken a breath from one relationship to next. His father has fuelled both of his partners to be abusive and justify them cutting me out of their lives. So I am hoping the court action based on psychological harm of my grandchildren [as they love me and I love them dearly] are being played like pawns in a game.
    And yes it is heartbreaking but my advice is never compromise on the truth. The truth must always prevail. To compromise the truth would be soul destroying. While I am heartbroken my soul is strong and I will fight for the truth to be heard till the day I die. I keep contact even though it is not reciprocal [he hasn’t blocked me on his email] and I keep many records.

  34. To Christian mom,
    I’ve been going through similar circumstances with my daughter for years and she is my only child. The best thing I ever did for myself was to get a female therapist. I just feel a female was the best match for me. My whole perspective and outlook have changed dramatically. I feel free from what my daughter chooses to do with her life. At some point we have to let them walk their journey alone even if we see their rock bottom moments. I’ve seen my daughter hit rock bottoms again and again. They have to figure it out for themselves. Get a therapist and go to group sessions with other parents. You need an anchor and a support system.

  35. Hi Everyone,
    I wrote here back in October. I read through all the posts since then and feel so badly for all of us. It is good to know that I am not alone but I wish we all had only happy things to write about. So be it. I have friends to speak to and they commiserate and are there but only the people here truly understand the heartbreak we go go through. Nothing in my life has been so hurtful and I have never been treated so badly, so rules and so disrespectful. My son continues to help, take me to appointments, sit with me for a few minutes sometimes but he just doesn’t seem to have the backbone to stand up to his wife. She passes me by like I’m not even there, whispers to him in front of me and is ever so secretive and he has become that way too. She got a newer car, he was coming home late and she was leaving to meet him. He said they were shopping at the grocery. Did she not think I would notice the car on the driveway? He goes bowling on Saturday nights but his friend said he hasn’t been there since October. Why a lie like that, it means nothing to me if he goes or not, he even makes up the scores. Why? I wish we could sit down and talk, speak the truth, but she just won’t talk to me (or anyone but my son and her daughter) I’m not the only one who she does this to and it seems so abnormal and wish there was a way for her to know that she needs help. I don’t understand how she can do this, she lives in our home, she was welcomed yet she just stays upstairs and sleeps or something like I don’t exist, doesn’t pay even one bill or do one chore.If I were to fall out of my wheelchair she would find it an inconvenience to have to walk around me. My son lets this happen I am finding this so difficult. I can’t wait to be well so we can separate, it will be easier to not have them around.
    The Season of love is upon us, I wish you all the very best, you are always in my prayers. May we all find some Peace in the New Year.

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