The Secrets of Communicating with Adult Children

Many of the elders had one piece of advice about getting along with one’s adult children: Don’t interfere in their lives, and wait for them to come to you for advice. But what when they do ask your opinion, what are some good ways to communicate?

Tom, 82, has warm and supportive relationships with his three middle-aged sons. He recognizes that sometimes one is called upon to give advice to adult children; indeed, they ask for it. A problem, of course, is that parents are naturally invested in their children, and it is difficult for them to step outside of their own needs to objectively evaluate the choices their child must make.

Tom’s advice: Take the “I” out of the conversation:

Yeah, the big advice is always be open minded. Forget the business of ‘I’ centered and put the focus on ‘you’ centered. The son that you’re talking to and who has issues that he wants to discuss and forget the ‘I’, or at least put the I in the background so that at least he understands that he’s getting the benefit of your wisdom. You, who can govern how much ‘I’ to project, can inject information or guidance when it’s appropriate, not to dominate the conversation but to augment what the son wants to say. I think it’s a delicate balance of diplomacy among family members. I’ve not always done well.

Grace, 75, found that her enjoyment of her children increased as they grew older and became adults; it was the “pay-off” for more difficult earlier years.

I think by the time my kids were a little bit older and they were able to accept their parents for who they were, as I was with my mother, then it was great. I have enjoyed my children as adults so much, so, so much, and it’s something no one ever said to me. They always would say when the kids were young, “Oh, these are the wonderful years, these are the best years.” They were lovely years, but there is something just as lovely or more lovely when they are adults and you could talk to them as another human being. To know your children as adults is great.

She shares her thoughts with her kids, but accepts that her advice may be turned aside.

Well, there again, I think – don’t be too critical. In fact, don’t be critical at all. Accept them, accept what they’re doing. But I for example just wrote my daughter giving her some financial advice, and said, “I’m giving this to you with love not with criticism,” because she just does such stupid things financially. So – and she will read it, and maybe she’ll do it and maybe she won’t, but I’m perfectly willing to accept it that way.

43 thoughts on “The Secrets of Communicating with Adult Children

  1. Most articles i read cover the communication or lack of expressing how adult children might conduct their lives.
    what is the challenge is that my adult child thinks he needs to run my life. Is continually making me wrong for anything I do or say. Even my personality and choice of friends is up for comment. How does one get out of that situation without cutting off the relationship?

  2. Sandra, if you figure this out please let me know. I have an adult daughter just like your son with the exception of the friends. My opinions and personal taste are under criticism. I just don’t know how to talk to her.

  3. Please pass alone that answer. My Adult son (only child) is not very respectful, patience or appreciates what I do for him. I’m at the point of not even wanting to talk to him. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks Brenda

  4. Likewise. I have always respected my children’s opinions and their decisions in their own lives. Now, they are critical of me regarding what I do, what I say, and even telling me off if they think I’m feeling upset, even if I don’t say or do anything. When I try to talk to them about this, they hang up on me and punish me for weeks or months by not speaking to me. Very painful. I have nobody to talk to about this because I don’t want to make my children look bad to people who know them.

  5. Wow, in a way glad this is common. I think adult children are actually very very insecure and stressed. They want to believe they know more than the older generation, we were told the same thing by the media back in our day, let’s face it. So, they lash out at the only people they know can’t leave them. But man, it hurts. I think only time will make them see how awful it is. Oh course, we may be dead by then!

  6. Wow, I really needed to read what you other parents have commented here. I am having the worst time with my 3- 20-somethings who have decided they don’t have to respect us at all. They are now rude, dismissive & plain mean using vulgar phrases to describe us…they were not this bad growing up!!
    All this after we gave them money, schl loans & groceries! I know we had some anger issues while raising them but I thought things would get better not worse. I wasn’t anywhere NEAR as rude to my mom but guess I’m getting paid back. Their dad & I have been thru SO MUCH. I don’t even want to be around them anymore but it hurts so bad cause I love them. HELP!

  7. When my daughter was in jr. high, she went out for track. She was overweight and out of shape. When I picked her up after the first practice, I asked how she did. She said not very well. My reply haunts me to this day…I said ‘what did you expect?’ She heard , although I didn’t say it, was you are too fat . I have apologized. Tried saying it wasn’t what I meant. Since that day she has held me at arms length. We are civil to each other. I try to reach out. This momma’s heart hurts.

  8. I have four children in their 30s who take turns cutting me out of their lives completely. I help them a lot, treat them with great respect, and normally get along with them, but periodically they take offense at something and cut me off completely. My son did not speak to me or have anything to do with me for 3 1.2 years after my husband and I divorced. Now he is speaking to me but blames me for all of the problems in his life, which are many.

    Any suggestions? I am practicing unconditional love and working on complete forgiveness of all of my children. Cannot tell my son that the things he think happened did not because he gets very angry and tells me I am delusional or a liar.

    I really try to treat them with respect and to refrain from giving advice. Any advice?

  9. My 48-year-old daughter is unkind and uncaring. I wish there were a support group for parents of insensitive adult children.

  10. I’d love to know how to communicate/talk to my 22 year old only daughter. She moved back home after graduating community college. She takes offense to anything I ask her. Like how was your day? She tells me I annoy her by talking to her, breathing, etc. I love her dearly. I’m at a loss for what to do. It hurts that I feel I’m treated badly. Is this normal for adult children to act?

  11. The old saying ‘misery loves company’ must be true. I hate that any of you are having communication issues with your children, but it is somehow comforting to know I’m not alone. My son has always been the most respectful child in the world to everyone… except me! Drives me crazy because I’m the one who taught him to be respectful! He’s nearly 30 and I honestly can’t remember the last visit that didn’t end in an argument. I don’t know how I managed those 28 years before he was born as I apparently know nothing unless he ‘educates’ me. I know he loves me. I just pray he finds a way to treat me with politeness before I die. I would hate for him to realize how disrespectful he was to me after I’m gone. That would be a heavy burden.

  12. I have a 27 year old son who does not live at home. He does come to dinner once a week which is great; I love it; however once we leave the table, he, my husband and I are all sitting in front of the tv and no one talks AT ALL until he leaves. This is the same pattern EVERY WEEK! I have no idea of how to get conversation out of him. He is not really a talker. The silence is painful.

  13. Ahhhh, finally a place to speak out! Like everyone else, I’m sorry we’re all going through this.
    I have twin 18 year old daughter’s. I always felt SO lucky that they never went through the terrible two’s and all the angst I watched my friends go through with their children.
    Imagine my horror when both of my daughter’s, within day’s of one another, turned me into the demon spawn from hell. They literally have made me feel like a prisoner in my own home. They scream horrible things at me and tell me how much they hate me. When just one is berating me, the other will chime in to agree. I am now even regretting ever saying the words, “PLEASE! Be good and kind to each other, you’re all each other has.” Then yesterday, the worst thing I’ve ever heard came out of one of my their mouth, “YOU’RE COMPLETELY UNLOVABLE AND EVERYBODY HATES YOU!!! GO AWAY! LEAVE ME ALONE. GET OUT OF MY LIFE. WE HATE YOU AND COULD CARE LESS ABOUT YOU.”
    I was devastated and walked away. I cried all night wondering what I had done to cause this? My darling daughter’s have no feeling for me? How could this, did this, happen? I have to say here that it got it’s worst after I lost my job, then took a serious fall which has me laid up, and told them they were going to have to pitch in. They’ve told me numerous time how “wrong I am to put them in this situation.” That I “should never have had them if I couldn’t afford it.” “Why did I choose such a loser for their father?” “Why did I try to give them such a pain free childhood when money was so tight?” Sad thing is, they’re right. 🙁
    After waking up after 2 hours of sleep, and shaking uncontrollably, I started searching for help online. I’m grateful to have found this site and a few others. This is my first ever comment. I’m going to try hard to implement some, or all, of the techniques I’ve learned today.
    I love those girl’s so much. I hope I can fix this. They are all I have left in this world and I worked my butt off raising them alone. I couldn’t bare losing them.
    Thanks for having a place for me to write and release this!!!

  14. Apparently it doesn’t get better with time. My 48 year old son is still condescending, disrespectful (at times) and manages to make me feel like the “bad mom” no matter what I say. His wife, whom I have tried so hard to love, is also this way with me. As a result, even my grandchildren are distant. Sad part is, I am widowed with no family left and he is my only child.

  15. I can’t believe I found this blog. You’re right — misery does love company but more than that perhaps misery needs validation or vindication. I was told by my 31 year old daughter, in a 3 hour marathon session, that I am overly critical, that I criticize almost every single thing she does and that even my body language (crossed arms) convey to her that I’m closed off and don’t want to hear anything from her. I was stunned and heart broken and frankly embarrassed because this happened (started) at a restaurant and then continued for another 2 hours when we went home. She said I had asked her years ago to be sure to tell ME if I ever started acting like my mother. And she said, “Well now you are and have been for a while.” What really hurt was she said she no longer wanted to confide anything personal to me because I would criticize her. Reading these entries I noticed a few things that hit home. One was to give up being “right”. Another was forget the word “I” when talking to adult children, and the last was feel actual remorse vs. guilt. Right now I feel bruised and beaten and can’t even talk to my husband (her dad) about this because I feel terrible that they’ve been talking about my critical behavior. I don’t want to push my daughter (or her older sister) away and It scares me that I do feel like I need to give them advice so they don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made. Oh help. Sadly I noticed that there haven’t been many blogs here lately so if nothing else, this lets me get it out of my system. Any suggestions out in the “elder cloud world”?

  16. I have a nasty vile daughter of 51 and have finally decided that I do not need her in my life. She has 3 offspring a boy 23, a girl of 20 and a little girl of 5 years, all with different fathers who no longer are on the scene. She is a bully, rude, controlling, unreliable,abusive,and extremely disagreeable. Whenever she visits I am walking on eggshells waiting for the tantrums and it never takes more than a few hours. I have found her out in lies and consequently do not believe anything she says. I understand from her previous relationships that I am not the only person to suffer this bad behaviour.
    Now, nobody has an ideal existence and is there any reason why we should put up with this kind of treatment? I looked at the 5 year old yesterday and saw a small copy of my daughter blossoming under her care,
    half an hour later and my daughter had picked a fight and flounced off in the car swearing and shouting as she left.
    Why do we tolerate this narcististic behaviour and blame ourselves and keep on trying to make things right.? They will never change because they are horrible selfish immature people who always think they are right and bully to get their own way.
    We haven’t made mistakes, that is life. We all get a hand of cards and play them in the best way we can. These adult brats need to realise they make their bed and let them lie on it and take responsibility for themselves and their own lives. My parents would never have put up with it, why should we?
    Go out and make new friends (incidentally there are thousands of people in the same boat) try to live life for yourself, do something new every day, talk to someone in the queue., organise a group of friends to go out for a meal.
    There is more to life than being some bodies punch bag.
    Good luck all of you, I’m off to change my will and get on with enjoying life while I can. It’s later than you think.

  17. I have the same problems, most of which are drug/ alcohol abuse related, (even though there’s no mention of this epidemic problem, with all these age groups being discussed. I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing they say should be taken personally. I’m confident that any psychiatrist or therapist would tell us all this. I’ve also decided that, after nearly a quarter century of this abusive behavior, that they are talking to themselves. I started telling my oldest son, who’s about to be 38 in 3 wks., 2 decades ago, that people who have respect themselves, respect other people, &, those who have no self respect are very disrespectful, abusive & hateful. This is why we don’t take what they’re saying personally. I also told him for 2 decades that his criticism of me/others says less than nothing about me/them & everything about him.
    The other thing I’ve decided, more recently, is that the disdain, disrespect, rage they are expressing seems to be how they feel about themselves. They think they’re talking to us/someone else, but, in reality, they’re talking about, &, or, to themselves. It’s true that we teach people how to treat us, so, it’s our responsibility to set clear boundaries about what we will & won’t discuss/do with them & keep them in place.
    for example, several yrs. ago, I set a boundary with my older son, (I lost my younger son 18 mos ago). I told him that he could talk to me about anything in his life, past present & future but he can’t bring up OUR family past, meaning; the divorce, & all the things that send him into a rage. When he focuses on his life, (present & future), our conversations can be pleasant & abuse free.
    A lot of our children seem to be addicted, to drama, trauma & are extremely self destructive. They also don’t seem to know how to feel & manage their emotions any better than we do or did. They don’t have the tools. Maybe if we acquire the tools, we can model healthy boundaries, communication, relationship, lifestyles etc…
    I don’t know if this helps anyone. It has helped me. I didn’t know not to take anything they say or do personally, until they were out of h.s. in the late 90’s Recognizing this truth, is a HUGE gift, (relief, stress buster), we can give ourselves each time we are forced to remind ourselves of it. Rather than worry, get angry, get into self pity I try to find out what my part is in the break down in communication/alienation & ask forgiveness & I try to remember to pray for them. It’s wise to pray Scripture over them as well. Don’t forget every other person these days is a sociopath &, or, a narcissist & or a psychopath.
    may god overtake all of you/us & all those we love with His Blessing

  18. I also have to say as much as I don’t wish anyone else to be in pain, especially regarding our children, there is comfort in knowing I am not alone in this situation. My 22 year old daughter lives at home and works but has only done entry level jobs at this time. We have put money into a RESP for her which will need to be used soon, however, she does not want to go to school. I understand this is her choice, but I cannot get her to open up and communicate with me. I am trying carefully to choose my words so that she can tell me about what her fears and desires are but she will not even communicate with me on this. I try to be open minded and non-judgmental but she clams up and gets mad. She says I nag her – I get that but I don’t nag her but obviously she thinks this possibly because it is a subject that she tries to avoid. Moving forward and setting goals is a reality and in this world today you can’t live on the wages that entry level job provides you need to find a job that you can support yourself with. I sometimes think I have been too good to her and easy on her and it is now backfiring on me. I can’t talk to my friends about this because their children our her friends and I don’t want her to be embarrassed if they speak out of place (which they would). Thank you for having this blog as it provides a means to release.

  19. This is to Ella who’s 27 year old son comes to dinner: Hi Ella, I think it is so nice that your son comes to dinner every week. I am an introvert and therefore just sitting and “not” talking is very peaceful and comforting for me. I find sometimes people talk way too much and it is annoying and I just want to scream “shut up!” ( of course I don’t though) . If this isn’t your personality it may be difficult for you to understand but your son maybe just comes to your house to find a calm and peaceful place. If you push him to talk it could drive him away. Not talking is okay in my opinion. I am just a regular person but I find that being an introvert is not a bad thing. Maybe if you try relaxing, smiling, keep making his favourite meals and providing a calm, relaxing environment away from all the stresses of today’s world, this will keep him coming home to see you and his father. Good luck!
    p.s. you may find it helpful to research about introverts

  20. I am astounded from the repeated comments, I am not alone. I connected with you all, however I especially connected with the statements from Joy. I have been reading books about Non-violent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg PHD, for the past 4 years. I have come a long way, but I still loose my shit when I am yelled at repeatedly and with such disdain (my daughter) filled with judgment, misguided accusations. I wasn’t a great Mom, and most of the anger towards me is understandable now that I have educated myself on “positive parenting,” reading how the brain develops with children at their age development and learning about non-violent communication
    Haven said that, it hasn’t improved my relationship with my 31 year old, in fact, it’s worse. However, I am more relaxed and at peace with myself and my attempts to repair the damage done by my lack of knowledge. I see a person that is so unhappy with herself that yelling at me says more about what she feels about herself than me. I know that she believes the things she is saying but I know better. I actually have a great deal of empathy and compassion now, where I had anger and a broken heart before.
    Joy is right, as hard as it is, we have to focus on our lives, be content with what brings us peace. Then, if and when they want a healthy relationship with us/me, I will be here (maybe,) but I will educate myself in the meantime. I will learn how to communicate with empathy and compassion so I can have a pleasant life with people or with my beautiful daughter, when she’s ready.
    I’m not alright, my heart is broken and painfully aching, but I must do what’s healthy for myself and be prepared to have a healthy relationship with her when the time arrives.
    We really need support groups for this. Keep trying, it can get better.

  21. I have 3 sons. Ages 28, 26 and 17 months (yes, 17 months)

    Ha! Two years’ worth of comments and similar stories and still no answer to the delimia. I guess it’s safe to say the writer of the article didn’t realize the tap they were putting into this keg.
    My 28 year old, is married and lives 7 hours away. And he is the most condescending, smug, rude, outright disrespectful young man I’ve ever met. He baits me constantly. Even throws what I call emotional arrows – conversational bombs that are seemingly meant to shut me down.
    Case in point – I called him a few weeks ago, he says to me “Mom, you can’t just call whenever.” (it was like 7:30 PM on a Tuesday – he works days) It wasn’t during working hours, wasn’t during dinner time, wasn’t bed time… Ooooookay. So this week I text him and I get no response. The next day I text again (is he not getting the text?) I say “Helloooooooo”… no response.
    SO remembering his last scolding to me, a couple of hours later I sent a second text “Are you too busy to text mom right now?”
    To which I get the immediate response of “Why are you attempting to guilt trip me?”
    EVERYthing I do or say is suspect and treated as offensive. I can say “how are y’all” (he and his wife) and get responses like “Why are you asking me that?” or “is there a reason you’re asking” . I can say ” We’re planning a trip this fall” and get a response like “Am I supposed to have an opinion about that?” I can say “Your baby brother started folding his hand for prayer this week” (we have a 17 month old baby, yes), and get a response like “Are you telling me that for a reason?”.

    I didn’t raise him to be this way – as is evident by his brother’s character and demeanor; his brother is two years his junior.

    I don’t expect any response or interaction from this comment – seeing as how no one else got one either, but at least it gave me an anonymous forum to vent into.

  22. Raised three children without a father (divorced at their ages 1, 3, 7). Son, 28, still at home, high cost of living is the reason, he is the oldest, youngest 21 married, middle, moved with her dad across country when she was a junior in high school, now on her own. Youngest is very close, but middle daughter, communication is seldom. Son, very distraught all the time. Suicidal. While in college, he had 3 bouts of inpatient for suicidal ideations. The prescriptions did not help. I have now forfeited my comfort and have condoned his use of the medical card to purchase the holistic prescriptions. It was helping. But everything he so internalizes as he has always taken to any criticism to be very devastating. I have walked on eggshells his life knowing he is like this, so if I say the least like helping him pick out a medical plan, he rages in response just forget it, I’m going to just die. I spoke just now asked him and he refuses to change now, saying he doesn’t care anymore. But he really needs his blood sugar tested, but not at the quote “evil” doctors he currently has. He is being unrealistic. I cannot communicate to him on a civilized manner, “he is right, I am wrong”. He walks by and I take the chance to say a word like “hey, wach’ ya’ doing”? he does not acknowledge, like I’m invisible. He has a stressful job in customer service, and even if he has stacks of “Kudos” on his desk from customers, it only takes one customer’s complaint to send him in a spiral. It happened the other day, and he has been an “Eeyore” ever since. I think he may act more on it as he can’t seem to shake it off. But I have expectations that he is smarter than that because he is very cordial to anyone else but me. I’m sure he resents me because he is still living at home, but with that said, he plans to save enough to move in 10 months with a roommate to share the costs. His friend same age still lives at home and they made a plan. I hope he makes it. I have seen these deep valley’s before, but either I’m tired or my perception is that it is actually worse.

  23. These comments certainly resonate with me. I’ve been living the nightmare of abusive adult children, for 8 years now. This month is actually the “anniversary month”, of when it all began 8 years ago.
    My kids and I had such incredibly wonderful relationships, and while we had our ups and downs, I was close to both of them, and not only in my perception, but in theirs as well – and everyone else’s, too. I couldnt count the times that relatives and friends, marveled at how great we got along, as well as how honest and sensitive both of my sons were.
    Today, those same relatives and friends are stupefied, when they find out that I declined into a walking train wreck, due to 8 years of verbal and emotional abuse that my kids have dumped on me. When you’ve went from having a very good relationship to progressively becoming the target of all their scorn and hate, (essentially youre no longer human in their eyes, but instead their “toxic dump”), I think you stick around for far too long. I’d invested years in both of them, as parents do. It’s impossible to quit loving them, and you reason that you can either press logic and sanity into them somehow, and/or, you can love them out of it. But that was not true, that was a lie. Once I stepped back and took as objective of a view of this as I possibly could, I saw the disturbing realities.
    The truth is, they are also invested – but not in the truth – they’re invested in irrational beliefs, invested in escaping adult personal responsibility for their actions, and, in order to not feel the subsequent guilt which comes along with living like this, they wholly deny their adult responsibility, and dump their guilt onto me, vis a vis, by emotional abuse – insisting that I, and/or anyone else on the planet, is/was responsible for what they do/did, choose/chose, say/said, etc. In essence, abusing others further, purely in order to escape responsibility and personal consequences.
    Now, haven’t we all done this to some extent in our lives, while evolving into a decent human being? Of course (although hopefully we were less offensive) – but we learned from our mistakes, right? But some people, they get “stuck”, and dont progress into adulthood. And so long as they have a willing scapegoat, (along with a cohort of friends, in-laws, etc, who support their misdeeds and abusive behavior, as they do likewise themselves), they simply have no incentive to change.
    This is the state of things in my situation. I seriously doubt either my sons will grow up, as they have lots of support to remain absolute jerks. But I DO have to live a life, free of constant dumping. Sadly, I have to walk away, but longer have even a smidgen of guilt, by doing so. I was dragged thru the mud, blood and gore.for so long, that I had to face how impossible it is and was, to have a functional relationship with someone so invested in dysfunction. The fact that I love them beyond description, wasn’t important enough to either of them, to cease their behavior.
    So yes, I’m celebrating this month, the 8 year anniversary of when I first found myself in the hell they put me in, by using my one-way “ticket” OUT, of that hell. It’s similar to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz – she could have went home all along, but she didnt, as she didnt know she had the power to. Now I finally do know. I’m going home, not to KS, but back home to reality.
    My kids aren’t horrible people, either. They have good things about them, but – they’re stuck, and they may stay that way. But I don’t have to.
    Our adult kids have free will, and – SO DO WE. I’m pushing 60 now, and my sons are 28 and 31 now. I realize now I was enabling this to continue by sticking it out all these years, hoping that “eventually they’ll see the light”, which dawned on me about a year ago. I can walk away. I can leave. I’d never, ever tolerate the crap they’ve dumped on me from anyone else.
    Mothers and Fathers out there who have unwittingly become their adult child’s targeted scapegoat, stop engaging them, and look at your situation as if you were an observer. Read books, reach out for support, get all the help you can…and once you’ve exhausted every possible avenue of having a functional, good relationship, then my advice is that you use your own ticket, to get out of the hell that in your heart of hearts, you well know that you don’t belong in.

  24. Wow! I had no idea that so many people are living with the same pain I am. In my case I only have one extremely intelligent son, 45, who is married with 2 children, 24 and 15. I loved my son very much as a child and did the very best I could to raise him. Life got in the way of a perfect upbringing: abusive father, divorce, single parenting, etc., but I feel I did everything in my power to protect him and to give him the most consistent love and care possible. He was a sweet sensitive loving boy and we were extremely close until he was about 13. He did a complete 180 and his teen years were consumed by drug and alcohol use, dropping out of school, running away, trouble with the law, and lots of counseling and treatment for addition. I was often angry but I don’t think I was ever abusive and tried to get him as much professional help as possible. As a young adult he got his girlfriend pregnant and they decided to get married. I was apprehensive but let them live with me rent free for three years while they got on their feet. Although I worked, I could arrange my hours so I could babysit my beautiful granddaughter daily while they worked and part of most weekends so they could have time for fun together. I continued that after she started school until she was 9 and they had another child. We had a spat then because my son informed me I would be doing the same for their son. Although I love both of my grandchildren very much I told him I was looking forward to having some time to myself and could only offer 1-2 days a week. He was furious but I thought we got past that. Shortly after that I learned that my son and his wife were both heavily into drugs again. They managed to straighten their lives out over the next couple of years and moved on to become quite financially successful and a much larger home. I continued to help financially so my granddaughter could go to a private high school and college and have saved money for my grandson’s college also. Their other grandparents have done the same. I’ve had a very close involved relationship with both of my grandchildren. Throughout all of this time my relationship with my son has been very unstable. Sometimes we are pretty close and sometimes he hates me and I never know why or what triggers the change. Now when I think things should be stable and settling down everything has gotten worse. He is critical, condescending and attacks me over imaginary slights or past offenses that didn’t even happen virtually every time I see him. He has poisoned his whole family against me by telling them all of these terrible things that I supposedly have done to him. If I offer any resistance to his accusations he becomes even angrier and the kids seem to think I’m trying to undermine their father. I to some extent understand his kids’ positions because if they don’t go along with him or try to defend me they risk his wrath and hatred turned on them. This situation is tearing my heart out. My parents have passed, I’m a single woman with one surviving sister, and now I’m losing my whole family and I don’t even know why and can do nothing to help the situation. I should mention that he, his wife and now my granddaughter all openly drink heavily. I believe that my son and his wife are alcoholics and perhaps my granddaughter also, but I know it’s not my place to say anything or express disapproval in any way so I don’t . I don’t know how much if any their drinking contributes to the problem. I guess I know I have to step back and save myself but so far I can’t bear to give up on the people I love the most. Reading everyone else’s comments makes me realize I’m not alone, but that somehow makes it even worse. Any advice would be helpful.

  25. I am writing this to try to learn some coping skills from rejection of a 22 year old daughter and criticism from a 29 year old son. My daughter has moved in with a known drug dealer in our area. They both come from wealth on both their sides. Him being adopted from Korea to a couple who could not have children and gave him everything he wanted. My daughter was raised by me because of a divorce situation and her dad smothered her with everything she wanted. Shopping trips to New York City and vacations we would all love to go on. My son lived with me as well and I tried to give him what he wanted. After a broken relationship we had to move back to our hometown. He spent three years in a junior college and then to my surprise enlisted in the Army without even consulting me at all about it. He served in Afghanistan and Iraq and I could not be prouder of him. As soon as he was discharged in took two weeks for himself and then went straight back into college and is now in his senior year and ready to graduate in the spring. My daughter went to school for a year and one half and suddenly dropped out and quit her job to find herself. She found herself with a new boyfriend that is a cheater and the drug dealer. She has found disapproval, from myself, her brother and her father. However, my problem is communicating with my son because my daughter left and will not speak with me because I divulged a heartbreaking episode in her life to her father and brother. My son is worried to his wits end about her and thinks I need psych help which I have entered. I have been seeing the psych regularly and my son swears I am not telling her the truth about things. He judges me and disrespects me when I call him and we always end up arguing on the phone so the psych said if I need to communicate to them go thru their father. I do not really understand why he has started judging me but I have communicated with him about his sister and what is going on with her and he said he cannot take the negative attitude and hates it when I call because he knows I am going to be negative. I feel like I am telling him what is going on with my life but he takes it the wrong way. I am very proud of him for serving our country and continuing his education. I would lay my life down for my two kids and love them with all my heart. They keep me going. Even if it is from afar. I want my loving relationship back with them but am at my wits end. Thanks.

  26. Dear All,
    I see here so many pained hearts, puzzled parents!
    1. Adult children?
    No, they are your offsprings, yes, but children, no longer. They have become full-grown adults in their own rights, with all their perceptions, hurts, natural and undeniable affection, resentments, etc., which are their life-experiences in shaping their current personalities….we, even if we are their ‘parents,’ have to respect this fact. There is an ancient saying that conveys that once grown above your shoulder, even your own children should be treated by you as a ‘colleague,’ with all due respect, for the best mutual relationship.

    They are all grown up and formed already, well or not. There is really very little that can be done anymore about the kind of person they have become, as it could have been, when they still were in their formative years and had a heart for you and had ears for you as well.

    2. You have more control on yourself than on another person even if they are your own offsprings. We have to come to terms with the fact that they are now their own persons, and our window of opportunity to ‘parent’ them on behaviors has closed! Now you can only move with them also on their terms….

    3. You can continue to be a loving person, whenever they approach you, accepting them as they are but not lowering your standards to match. I would, however, not approach them nor initiate any kind of interaction nor engage seriously once ugliness erupts, because obviously they are not where you think (or wished) they were at.

    4. So, how does one satisfy the need for love from their grown offsprings, their ‘then,’ ‘now,’ & ‘forever’ ‘family? Practice looking at their absences and distancing as kindness towards you and your relationship because whenever you are placed in close and interactive situations with you, they get so uncomfortable that they lash out at you (and somewhere deep down, they must know this is wrong and hurtful, but that’s all they are able to bring up from their inside towards you.

    5. If they ever make even the faintest show of decency in their treatment of you, acknowledge it and maximize that with a sincere response of the kind they seem to expect. If you do engage, do so dispassionately.

    6. Often there are deep seated psychological reasons buried very deep,y in our subconscious mind, which drives many of our perceptions of others (even parents) and the world around. As the recipients of harsh, seemingly unloving lashings, we will not be able to correctly surmise the deep hurts and resentment underlying these ‘tantrums!’

    7. My son who was divorced and had a young son he was raising, got finally remarried to a nice girl. He had resisted re-marrying mainly to avoid his little son facing step-parent treatment but we were able to convince him to try ‘life’ again, and he found someone he could fall in love with again. He then started distancing us, particularly me. This was hurtful. But then, luckily for me my brother in law made an objective and therefore perceptive observation that opened my eyes to my grown son’s reality and the possible reasons for his ‘hurtful’ behavior towards me which stemmed at least in part from those obscure, but compelling personal life-experiences and not entirely based on my needs to be loved as I expected to be , ‘with gratitude⁉️, etc., for having raised him?!)
    He needed to impress his new wife that he was not a parents’ boy. He needed to be the person in charge, the provider and the good husband that he was capable of being, to her- a fact he was probably having a tougher time proving because of his first, hasty marriage failing. He needed to establish their ‘family’ comprising of him, her and now ‘their’ son, and lay a strong foundation for how the future should be for his growing family. He was a parent himself now, along with a husband in the trial of a second marriage-he certainly could divest himself from being a ‘grateful,’ ‘doting’ son, front & center. If I were to push myself all the time on him if not with my physical presence but with letters, phone calls and text-messages, how can he mentally get out of a primordial filial bond to become his own man, secure in the knowledge that his ‘parents’ as guides will always be available to him?
    It is not rightfor a parent to be present all the time because they need the dotings of this person to feel fulfilled…at least now, the ‘parent’ should perceptively move aside with the confidence that there will be natural love in their offsprings heart and no exhibition of that is needed, in order not to marr that picture (although in reality, I had not been that way, until my eyes were opened by someone wiser in an objective manner). Certain close relationships carry certain aura, and certain expectations are not always right for or through all family situations. He needed me to understand that he needed that space now, without me and his dad feeling cast away for that. When we drop hints unavoidably that weare not empathetic to their adult-needs, we alienate them further.
    Once all of these complexities were parsed by my wiser brother-in-law, I began seeing his behavior towards me in a completely different light and stopped continuing to ‘parent’ this (rightly or wrongly) grown up man (even if he was of me). I started seeing him as another adult person with his own set of problems to solve and his own life to live even in spite of me. (as I would, say a colleague). This helped balance and anchor me a lot. This is why its best to practice detachment while firmly anchored in your good convictions as everyone ages. That is wisdom, which tempers strong emotions, and provides clarity of vision (in this case, perception).
    I still entertain him at my home and visit him at his but always remember he is first and foremost another grown individual and give him that space and respect for his ways however different from mine or even incomprehensible to me. It has certainly become much better after I finally grew up!
    I let him be. Then I see that he slowly starts taking baby steps once again in interacting with me, hesitatingly.

    Now, with this approach, I am able to see that same respectful boy in this man who can truly live his own life in spite of me (his mother) being around and gets more and more comfortable with it. It increases with each interaction of ours in truly ‘adult’ terms of ‘live, and let live.’ As soon as our ‘parenting’ of these grown people stops, they start to reveal to you their grown and mature side. As long as we harbor expectations on our terms, it keeps them mired in their ‘unable to grow up,’ stage.
    I for one firmly believe the ‘love’ does not die, but gets clouded when either one, the parent or their grown offspring gets stuck in any developmental stage. Keep in mind that once grown above your shoulder, you must treat another person as an equal, a colleague. How they behave is now the product of ‘their’ life experiences, their needs apparent or obscure, and your window of opportunity to shape their reactive behavior, has long passed, and now all that remains is to be self-assured that you can still be loving and understanding, and a little detached.
    In our culture, we light oil-lamps at tge alter and that act is supposed to teach us about life and love. The lamp if kept clean and shiny reflects light brightly; the oil is likened to our enthusiasm which would be the fuel that light that lamp of undying but more importantly, unconditional love in our hearts for our family.and tge wick is our devotion to maintaining the relationship; our little prodder that keeps the wick advanced is the understanding and tolerance we show towards this person, who is still not clear of their choice among options in how they will interact with us, the only ‘attitude’ in us that can truly better everything!
    Give it a try and ALL of you will be happier?. God Bless.

  27. I have a son who has depression, anxiety and is very negative. He has tried to get help, but has had no luck. He said doctor’s are on in it for the money. He calls me daily complaining how he is so sick of life and cannot take it anymore. My husband and his father recently passed away from cancer and my son has a bad back injury. How do I deal with this? Please help?

  28. Well, it was somewhat of a relief to see that I am not the only one who feels disrespected by their adult (child/children) at times. However, in looking at some of these posts, I think my issue/pain and hurt is quite mild compared to many of what some of you are going through. I am so sorry, nothing hurts worse than our child (now an adult) to hurt our feelings. I honestly think the fact that we are someone the can use as a punching bag to release other tensions is part of that. Whoever mentioned the fact that they can treat us badly and “know” we won’t leave them somewhat sums it up.
    I suppose what bothers me most is not knowing for sure if I fell short in providing the right parenting to avoid, the “insecurity” , lack of self-esteem or whatever is at the root cause of their behavior. Quite possibly it’s just inherent in the type of person they are and has nothing to do with a shortcoming in my earlier parenting. Hoping my child can work through this and someone gain her strength to overcome needing to use someone as her punching bag.. If not, maybe its just human and the fact we love them so so much and always have done so much for them is the reason they are a bit spoiled and lash out if they don’t feel we are completely on their plane with their goals, thoughts and decisions in life..

  29. God grant me the serenity
    To accept the things I cannot change
    The courage to change the things I can
    And the wisdom to know the difference

    Children come through us not for us

    Infinite patience allows for immediate results? (first with yourself, then everyone else!)

  30. WOW you are all in good company!! I thought it was just me and my adult children. Doesn’t matter the circumstances….what matters is that I have been told that their feelings are important but mine aren’t. I am selfish for putting my feelings out there. I have NEVER disrespected my parents the way my children do me. Particularly since I was widowed 2 years ago. I get no support for what I am going through and have put my grieving and life on hold for the last two years to help them through drug addiction, divorce, custody battles, etc…always unconditional love and I forgive every time…but you know what? I am done being cut out of my sons life on a whim or spite, and my daughters constantly trying to improve who I am and if we argue she threatens to cut me off too.. WOW I never thought I would be in this situation at this stage of my life. So sorry you all are too! God help us

  31. Thank you all for your comments. I, and my husband, are the parents of an adult 29 year old son who is married to a wonderful woman, the same age. Yet they are both so very sure of themselves; and my son feels free to put me down and criticize me. He is wonderful to my sisters, but not me! I hope he outgrows his attitude; right now, my husband and I prefer it if they don’t visit.

  32. Sadly there’s comfort in knowing that I am not alone as I experience vicious, hateful outbursts from my 45-year-old daughter. She’s done this for years off and on and is relentless once she starts. In this day of email, texting, cell phones it’s easy to keep the harassment going strong. Was I a perfect mom. Of course not. Did I do the best I could? I did. I have 2 other kids with whom I have a respectful adult/parent relationship. She attacks them, too. We are the result of her problems, don’t support her, make her feel uncomfortable, think she’s a liar when we remember differently that she does, and the list goes on. I’m tired of walking on eggshells. Now she has 2 amazing kids who I never do enough for (her words – another weapon) even though I do. I have to keep telling myself that this is not about me; it’s about her. That doesn’t make it any easier to accept because I’m her mom. I think the serenity prayer from a previous blogger was helpful. I know that if I do respond in any way, her behavior gets crazier. I am realizing that these attacks are like a “fix” to her . . . not unlike an addition to drugs or alcohol. She needs them. And if I respond, I’m enabling her by feeding her addiction. So not responding, while hard and painful, is what’s best for her. And best for me and her siblings who have had it with her, too. Sadly she uses these same techniques with her husband. Is there any research that supports or contradicts my theory that this type of behavior is like that of other types of addicts? Meanwhile I pray. I appreciate the suggestions/ techniques suggested by others in this feed. I’ll try to practice. It’s hard. and Sad.

  33. Thank you all so much I got it finally my life is important too. The prayer is on my frig and everyday I look at it and it reminds me to accept life as it is not to expect but to appreciate the grace from God. I know my son 28 years old who now will not talk to me will come back some day as the prodical son in the bible returned to his father and the father had open arms to him so shall I. My son has not completely moved out of my home seems he is testing his wings out living at his girl friends mothers home for now taking care of the dogs because his girl friend is in Japan her grandfather died of cancer. I don’t not know what will happen when they come home will he come back to my house his home or not. Jason that is his name has many things here at home our house and has not moved them he only took his hard drive to play video games and some clothes that leads me to suspect he is just not sure of what to do. He is full of anger issues and has ADD and Dysflexia so I suspect his harshness and disrespect of me is due to some of his health issues. I had great problems with his dad who died 4 years ago from depression and was an alcoholic which caused him to have liver disease and suffer a coronary heart attack he had also had cancer and survived that but it took its toll on him. Jason suffered for years as a child and yound adult but I hung in there and glad I did because now our futures are secure.
    I struggle with the disconnection my son not talking to me but I am strong and have had a very hard life God is for me so I know things will someday be changed for the better. I ask not for myself but for Jason to feel good about himself, me and his life even thou he says he does not believe in God and that is one of our problems because I will never give up my faith in God and Jesus Christ. Our children are a gift from God and Jason is my miracle child and every day I must thank God for him. As parents we are constantly tested how will we treat our kids trying not to wipe their noses every time they fall habits are had to break but we must break those habits so that they can wipe their own noses. I was told we should not let anyone rob use of our joy so I say to all of you don’t even let your kids rob you of your joy. I know that love is all there is and we must walk in that love give it to ourselves and to others every day don’t let hate come into your heart no matter what happens and pray keep praying. My dear son Jason is in my heart and that is where he will remain with all the memories think on the good times look at the pictures of them your childen and don’t beat yourself up if they don’t call or want to see you. There is a two way street remember I do not think you should go there but if you must remember no one says you have to see them and you can also cut them off funny how that is our kids never think we will or that we could. Life is what you make it and you must never get so depressed that you don’t want to live anymore if it comes to that it is time to say enough is enough and go on living as hard as it is. I pray to God for Jason and I pray for me too God have mercy on us. Thanks to all of you Peace and Joy be with you.

  34. #M says:
    February 20, 2017 at 8:29 am
    Thank you for your thoughtful, well advised comment. It hit me where I needed it most. I hope you don’t mind that I copied it and emailed it to myself so that I have it handy to read it when times are tough and I need a reminder.

    My initial reason for reading the blog was to find the answer to: How to talk to adult children? I want to step out of the mommy with “small” children role into what you call (as in, a colleague), and I slip and slide all over the place. If I were to watch from the outside, I’d be dismayed at my tone of voice, actions, and behaviours as if my adult children were small children. Afterwards when things go sideways, and the frustrations and sadness depart, I have to kind of laugh at myself as I imagine myself treating my 36 year old daughter as my “baby girl”.

    At the same time, I think my children in some semi-conscious child state behave as a small child too, and I think they are dismayed at themselves too. And we can’t seem to “kick the habit” that we keep falling into.

    How do I improve this automatic state of being “mommy” to my three beautiful adult children that I fall into and be their adult mother? How do I set boundaries with adult children? How do we have healthy, adult lives where we respect and admire each other? And the time we do get to spend together will be those new memories we create? Grandchildren are on the way and I want healthy relationships to be modelled for them. To my original google search, How to talk to adult children?

    Peace be with all of you.

  35. I think many parents here need some introspection.
    Many of you have cited being overly critical, expressing anger/rage and not being a great parent growing up. This shakes the foundation of a person. It totally rewires their brain. Many of your children are likely in therapy/have been in therapy trying to repair the damage. Issues with insecure/anxious/avoidant attachment affect children well into their adult lives, and dismissing your responsibility to their pain will not make the relationship better with your children.
    Taking the level of responsibility of hurting someone so greatly it affected the rest of their lives is definitely uncomfortable, feels heavy and you just want to be rid of it. But if you want a relationship with your child, you need to acknowledge your responsibility in the situation you are now. You cannot admit to being overly critical/angry/abusive and in the same paragraph express that you do not know why your adult child is a,b, or c. You know exactly why, and you just said it.
    There definitely are some adult parents that end up dealing with BPD or NPD (or other cluster B) children, but that’s not what I’m reading the most here.

    This is the Come to Jesus Talk: Take responsibility. Not just in your words but in your heart too. Express your sincerest apologies to your kids for the damage you’ve done without trying to justify or explain it. Tell them you are so sorry that you hurt them, and you’d go back and change things if you could. Tell them you are willing to respect their boundaries. Tell them you love them, and that you are proud of the person they became. Tell them you want to be a part of their lives, and are willing to do so on their terms. Then give them space and let them come when they are ready. This is where the healing begins. If you continue to rugsweep and be the victim, you will never get the relationship you are desiring.

  36. Prayers to all the parents that are going through similar situations with their adult children. I too am at a loss of how to handle a situation with my son and daughter-in-law. I have a 7 mo granddaughter that I haven’t been able to see. Hurting everyday.

  37. Hello to all,

    Thank you for sharing so much of your struggles, I can relate to the sadness and disappointment many shared. Parenting is hard, we don’t often have all the tools to do it well all the time. My parents did the best they could, and yet it’s taken me years of therapy to learn what I need and let go of the rest.
    I think my adult offspring have a good idea of how much I tried to do the right thing. They’re great people, my daughter is doing well. My son, well, that’s the issue. He’s not abusive or rude, he’s just so cut off. I’ve done a lot of letting go. Still there seems to be more and more I have to accept. He’s had everything he could possibly be given, not to much, but certainly more support and love than I ever had.
    He dropped out of college even when he had a free ride! That one is hard. He’s working, doesn’t ask for money and saves. But you might ask, what’s the problem? He’s always alone, he has never had a girlfriend, he’s not gay( that would be a non issue) He hardly returns our calls, and when we see him (holidays/birthdays) he seems to have nothing to offer. He just sits in quiet. It’s like my lovely son is gone! I honestly don’t know what he feels or really thinks. In addition he’s fiercely private. Ack!!!!!
    He seems incapable of planning for his future, or want any input in that area. He’s almost 30, has ADHD, a serious life threatening illness. He doesn’t manage his health, plays fast and loose with it like it’s a game. His body is taking a toll. All I can do is try not to judge. Lord! That’s my issue. I have to watch him slowly kill himsef and can’t say a word. If I speak to him about it, he just goes silent. Then I don’t hear from him for months.
    The serenity prayer is good, but really I just want a miracle. I want him to stop hurting himself. Perhaps just focus on what I can change. Myself and my expectations.

  38. It’s sad to read how many other parents are going through what I’ve had to accept with my daughter. Once an estrangement occurs the most important thing a parent can do for themselves is to find something that makes them feel closer to that child. I have found the old art of letter writing is good therapy plus I was told they are getting read. Also don’t alienate that child. Actually the best way to handle this situation is to continue what you’ve always done, that is if it included cards, letters, birthday and Christmas gifts. Also if something important happens in your life or something that may affect them dramatically a phone call is warranted. Let them know you’re still out there and thinking of them. The worst thing you can do is justify their reasons for the estrangement. There’s no way to get in side their mind to find out what was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Often times adult children go through many different phases in their lives and we can’t always protect them from the things that influence their decision making. I feel fortunate and comfortable in giving this advice as I have an honours degree in psychology. This has helped me work through the estrangement that I am experiencing with my daughter. I love her as much now as I’ve always loved her.

  39. WOW! I would KILL to have one of you guys for a mother!! 24 year old female here! I live with my mother, and everyday and night I struggle to get her attention. She is either glued to her phone, or out having a social life. She won’t even anisiate a hug, I have to be the one to hug her. She doesn’t like to cuddle, doesn’t ask about my day, can’t eben sit to have a conversation with me. Most times, I am scared to start a sensive conversation or open up to her, because I know she will critize, or tell me to “grow up and deal with with it” to whatever is bothering me. I am a really affectionate person, and need the love of a mom to help with my self esteem, but she she feels I am to old for motherly affection. Sometimes I feel as if I don’t have a mother at at, and it kills me to read all your comments about how your adult kids can treat you like crap, and you still want to cuddle them! 🙁
    Like I said, give anything for a mother’s affection right now.

  40. Thank you everyone for the dialogue. It is so helpful. I have a 33 year old daughter who is a doctor. She has taken to renouncing religion, telling me she will never marry and isn’t interested in kids. She lives in another part of the country and when she comes to visit, makes it tense for all of us. She has a great boyfriend who I hope will talk some sense into her. I often feel that her renouncing is more about me than it is about her…..somehow getting either back or at me for our history. It is very difficult. I try to have a conversation about her as a person and it all goes back to her great work as a doctor and pretty much solving the world’s problems. While visiting here, she rarely lifts a finger to help with anything (while younger brother pitches right in with dishes and so forth) and always leaves the room where she has slept a total wreck. Her dad communicated to her that he’d like her to attend mass because it was important to us…it was a very nice ask. She slept late instead while younger brother showed up (even though he’s not very religious either). We saw this as a sign of disrespect and it stung a bit but we didn’t bring it up as neither her dad or I had enough energy for a confrontation about it. We do leave things unsaid which bothers me but she seems to have contorted much as my fault and fails to understand that I, as most parents, were doing the best I could. My spouse had a full depression meltdown…following years of undiagnosed depression and yelling…so I’ve been pulling the whole wagon for the past 12 years. Nobody seems to care about that. My daughter also never asks about what I’m doing or how I’m doing….no interest. She’s an amazing person but this ego driven selfish outlook is tough to watch. She also comes home, doesn’t shower or clean up while here, wears awful looking/raggy clothes and goes braless. While I like that she feels comfortable enough to hang out, even little brother made a couple of comments in regard to this. I suspect under all the doctor provado, there’s insecurity. I want to be there to support her and enhance the relationship but it is so hard. I’m also not real good at this as I didn’t have an older mom to learn from (my mom died when I was 28).

    I guess I needed to sound off. While it’s comforting to know others are facing this, it’s also sad. I hope that my daughter will somehow see life differently and embrace herself, family, marriage, religion and be kinder to us but I am not sure this will ever happen. I have practiced letting go of comments/ judgments and the like but when I do that, there’s not a lot to talk about.

    Appreciate your insights and prayers. I just don’t get it and I hate that she brings a swath of stress whenever she shows up. I commented to my husband that even a brief visit of a couple of days was extremely tiring. That’s another thing…she seems to show up for the minimal time and then gets back home as soon as possible. That doesn’t feel real good either and she also seems to expect to be taken care of while here.

    Frustrated and hurt….

  41. Do not give them money for investment. Stay away from your daughter if she can’t respect you. Since when do we have to take our adult kids shit! I’m in the same boat as all of you but I have decided to cut my losses and enjoy life with my husband.

  42. It is 3,15 am. I cannot sleep because I am upset by my 45 year old only son’s treatment of me. Looking for advice on the Internet I founded this site. It is comforting to learn it is not just me with this problem.

    If a friend treated me with the indifference and subjected me to the criticism my son does, I would have dropped them in a heartbeat. But what do I do? I keep going back for more. Bending over backwards to help him.

    Reading through the entries here I realised that we can’t change what our children do, we can only change how we react to it. We have to retrain our thinking. Certain phrases come to mind. One of them is ‘behaviour that is rewarded will be repeated’ …… so if they behave badly pull back and dont keep rewarding them. If they are not available to spend time with you, dont be available to babysit for them.

    But I also realise I can’t control his life, who he marries, dates or who his friends are. I have to refrain from telling him how to live his life. After all, if I had a friend who kept telling me how to run my life, however well meaning she was, I would avoid her. Adult children have to make their own mistakes. It is excruciating to sit on the sidelines and watch.

    After reading these entries, I have given myself a good talking to. I am going to start focussing on ME, spend money on ME, pull back and not be so available, not offer unsolicited advice, not keep buying him things, cooking for him, etc.

    Perhaps I am expecting too much? How solicitous was I to myparents? Not very. Perhaps it is not realistic to expect ones adult children to like us. I did t like my mother, but she was t a good mother. I have always thought zi was. Perhaps my son doesn’t think so!

    I do not have a husband or partner and am retired so have a lot of time on my hands. I need to get busier.

    I need to make a shift in how I perceive things. Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so. But also I must stop feeling hurt and saying nothing. If I feel ignored or neglected, I should say, I know you are busy with your life, but it would be nice to have a coffee once a week to catch up. My son lives only a few houses away and rather than pop in to see me tends to email me!

    One thing I am glad about. There is some respect between us. There is a line we have never crossed. Insults are not bandied about, tempers are not lost. I was saddened by some of the stories I have read on here where respect has been totally lost.

    But I realise I can’t control, I can’t make my son behave in a certain way, I need to change my expectations. Live my own life. Not focus on him. Let him make his own mistakes. Not be too available. Not criticise. Keep my wallet closed. Get more of a social life. Definitely not criticise his ghastly girlfriend, lol!!

    Feeling better now, off downstairs to make a cup of tea and then hopefully I will get some sleep. Good luck to all of you lovely parents out there and remember we need to change our approach here! X

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