Adult Children Arguing

What to Do When Your Adult Kids Keep Fighting

Michele Lerner

Kids go through many phases as they grow up and as a parent, you were there every step of the way. Whether your kids were tantrum-throwing toddlers who hit each other or temperamental teens, you probably had tactics for controlling their behavior.

In fact, you probably convinced yourself that they would outgrow their tumultuous years. Unfortunately, not all siblings get along, even after they become adults. If you periodically find yourself between warring sons and daughters, you may want to consider what experts recommend for parenting adult children.

How to Help Your Children Avoid a Fight

Disagreements happen but when your adult children are fighting frequently, it may be time to take action. The first step in helping your adult children avoid fighting is to focus on each one individually. It’s important to remember that each child brings different experiences and perspectives to the table.

Develop a Separate Relationship With Each Child

Even though your children are all grown up, they still need to know that they matter to you and that they matter equally. Competition between kids is often the root of conflicts, says Thomas Gagliano, a relationship expert and author of “The Problem Was Me.” It’s no different from when they were young. “You have to give your kids time and show them that they are important to you,” explains Gagliano.

Joshua Coleman, a psychologist and author of “When Parents Hurt: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Don’t Get Along,” says it’s helpful to acknowledge that your adult kids are different from each other and to establish individual relationships with them. If your child thinks that you like them less than their siblings, it’s best to discuss their feelings rather than dismiss them. “You’re better off coming from a place of empathy and trying to understand why your kid feels this way than just saying it’s not true,” advises Coleman.

And although you may not want to avoid family activities entirely, if your kids are arguing, this may be a good time to go out with them individually and to avoid family dinners as an interim measure, recommends Elizabeth Fishel, co-author of “Getting to 30: A Parent’s Guide to the Twenty-Something Years.”

Emphasize the Importance of Strong Relationships

To reduce battles and bickering among your adult kids, it’s important to send a strong message about the benefits of good relationships between siblings, says Fishel. One way to do this is to talk about your own siblings and how your battles were resolved.

Gagliano recommends telling a story about how your own brother angered you or about the conflicts your mother and your aunt faced. “Tell your kids about how these situations can make you not want a relationship with your siblings, but that eventually people realize that they want to be close to their families,” says Gagliano. “It’s important to convey that good relationships are valuable and [that you have] the confidence that your kids can work out their issues,” adds Fishel.

Be Transparent About Financial Issues

Some of the most contentious fights between siblings occur because one sibling feels that the other is receiving more money from their parents.

What makes it worse is when the parents keep it a secret, explains Fishel. “It’s much better to openly explain that one kid is going through a bad patch or needs money for something specific and then explain that when the other needs help you’ll be there for them, too,” she adds. Coleman advises parents to be mindful that they’re giving equally financially to their children and to be as conscientious and open as possible about money.

Giving Money to Grown Children: When to Stop and How to Break the Habit

What to Do If a Fight Starts Between Your Children

Gagliano suggests that parents monitor the argument between their adult offspring to see if they can come to a resolution without parental involvement. If there’s no apparent resolution, and you decide that an intervention is required, there are ways to handle the disagreement in order to arrive at a more peaceful outcome for your family.

Don’t Try to Control the Situation

Telling your kids that they have to stop bickering and get over their argument invalidates their feelings, says Gagliano. He suggests trying to remain nonjudgmental and letting them work out their differences. “You can’t guilt your kids into stopping a fight or into seeing you or their siblings more often,” says Coleman. “Guilt backfires and makes your adult kids more withdrawn.”

Acknowledge That You Can’t Stop the Fight

“You can’t fix your kids’ issues with each other, they have to do it themselves now that they are adults,” explains Gagliano. Parents, particularly mothers, often feel as though they are bad parents if their kids don’t get along as adults, says Coleman. “You just have to accept the limitations of your own power,” he says. “Don’t feel guilty about something you can’t control. Just accept it and let it go.”

Listen, but Don’t Pick a Side

Gagliano advises that parents should never agree with one kid or the other, but he does think that parents should listen to their children’s complaints. “Ask each individually how they are doing and about what’s going on,” he says. “You can’t fix the problem yourself, but you can validate their feelings and say you’re sorry if they are hurt or angry.”

Gagliano recommends that you should never excuse your kids to each other or defend their siblings because that can add to the tension. “You can empathize about a situation but never ally yourself with one child or another unless one of them is doing something truly terrible to the other,” says Coleman.

Avoid Being the Go-Between

Stepping between your fighting kids could make them turn on you. If you’re not able to be entirely objective and even-handed when talking to your kids about their issues, then you could end up with each of them assuming you’ve picked a side, warns Gagliano. “Acting as a go-between doesn’t work,” says Coleman. “In fact, your kids will likely tell their siblings what you’ve said to each of them and you could end up with all of them angry with you.”

Consider Whether You’re Contributing to the Problem

Complaints about favoritism are common in many families and can be the underlying issue when adult siblings fight. “If you are overtly or subtly favoring one child over the over, you could be contributing to their not getting along,” explains Coleman. “You can’t control your adult kids but you can control your own behavior.”

Gagliano says his mother labeled him and his brothers as the “smart one”, the “creative one” and the “good-looking one” – and that the resentment caused by those labels continues to plague their adult relationships. “Comparison is the death knell of sibling harmony,” says Fishel. “It’s never too late to stop comparing your kids and to appreciate each child for who they are.”

Ask for a Favor

Although you can’t force your children to get along, you can ask them to be polite to each other once or twice a year so that you can see your family all together. “This works particularly well if you have grandkids because it’s natural to want to see them together,” says Coleman. “Most parents will be willing to be polite for the sake of their children and their nieces and nephews,” adds Coleman.

Lobby for a Compromise

If your kids are arguing over something relatively simple such as restaurant choices or where to celebrate holidays, this might be one time that you can weigh in and resolve the issue with a logical compromise, advises Fishel. Make sure that you’re being fair to all your children when you offer your solution.

Often, the best approach when it comes to sibling fights is just waiting it out. As your kids mature and time passes, there’s likely to be a lessening of animosity between them, says Fishel. Just remember that most of the time it’s best for parents to stay out of an argument because they can just add fuel to the fire, suggests Fishel.

In the meantime, bear in mind that your days as a parent are never really over. How you handle parenting your adult kids can ease tension between the siblings. “United siblings are so much stronger than divided siblings,” remarks Fishel. “Tell your kids that even if they are bickering about minor things, it’s important to know they can lean on each other through emotional heartbreak or other frustrations. This becomes even more important later in life.”

We want to hear from other parents. Have you had the heart-splitting experience of your adult kids not getting along? Did you try the strategies above or do you have any other suggestions? Share your story in comments and maybe your story will help another parent going through a similar situation.

31 Responses to "What to Do When Your Adult Kids Keep Fighting"
    • Robin | February 5, 2018 at 2:39 am

      My sons are 10 years apart in age. #1 son served in the AF for ten years, lost his father when he was still serving. He is a son from different father. My #2 son is like an only child because siblings have left home. Oldest son has two children an is a single parent. Now a RN and works, owns home, and is responsible. Youngest son still lives with us. Although he has a BS in mass communications he has yet to find a full time job. He tried living with his brother but that’s where their relationship went sour. This is why youngest came back home. No full time job not able to pay for apartment yet. So now the boys(men) do not talk anymore..oldest thinks the youngest is spoiled and should be out on his own. This has my heart split into….

    • jim todd | June 26, 2018 at 3:23 am

      BEST WAY FOR US IS TO LEAVE AND WHEN YOU WANT TO BE A FAMILY LET US KNOW AND WE WILL COME HOME

    • Martie | October 2, 2018 at 9:20 am

      I am divorced my children have different options about their father, that normally start a fight. They are 40 and 39 with their own families. Can I just distance myself?

    • Linda | December 20, 2018 at 4:45 am

      My grown kids are 31 & 32. They got along in the early years. Teen years started the turmoil. When my husband died when they were in high school, there was a brief truce. Now that my son is having a son (name sake of seven generations) he and his wife decided to use a middle name nickname b/c her family doesn’t like the family name. Problem is the nickname they are using is the name my daughter wants to use to honor her father’s memory when she has children. She’s been telling me for 13 years this is what she planned to do. Her brother says too bad. I’m caught in the middle and want to cancel all holiday plans because it’s going to be awkward. What to do? I’m the only one just sick over this. HELP

    • hope | February 23, 2019 at 9:29 am

      I am not the parent reading this, but the adult daughter who found this article because I fight so much with my sister. We are fraternal twins, 20 years old. I perfectly agree with this article especially the financial part and parting-up during fight part. And I think growing separate relationships is a good idea since my mom and my twin and I are so intertwined emotionally and everything and the result isn’t good.

      Reading various articles, I think having jealousy towards each other is a fundamental reason in the serious fights that continue up to adulthood. As fraternal twins, we were constantly compared very explicitely and straightforwardly by our family members and friends and strangers. This comparison is so cruel. They usually comment things on appearance and accomplishments, like “Hey you are prettier” “How come she went to a better university?” “How come you guys are twins but she is much slimmer?”. My twin and I have been constantly compared like this and we feel awful being compared, either we get the compliment or get compared in a bad way. We feel sorry for each other either way. These comparisons built rivalry and hatred and envy towards each other on such things (attractiveness and accomplishments).

      I hope people do not compare siblings in ANY way. Just do not make any remarks about differences. It is a common sense that we are different. Why point it out? Why say it out loud? I hope people get it into common sense that everybody is so different, even twins, especially fraternal twins because we are genetically not alike AT ALL.

      Thanks for the article. It is helpful in understanding the situation I am in now. I hope my twin sister and I fight less often and get over the hurts in our past of being compared and favored by different people on different things. She is my bestfriend and my worst enemy when we fight.

      • Extra Mile Staff | February 25, 2019 at 1:29 pm

        Hi Hope, thanks for reading and sharing your story.

    • Jackie Hammack | April 1, 2019 at 1:56 pm

      My sister and aunt gets on my case for being mean my mom tells them to stop because i am not their concern my sister thinks she can rule me she calls me a brat

      • Extra Mile Staff | April 1, 2019 at 7:00 pm

        Hi Jackie. Thanks for your comment. Feel free to share this article with your family!

    • Grammie Sue | May 25, 2019 at 2:54 pm

      My heart is broken and I do not know what to do. My adult daughters are now not talking to each other. This rift goes back to childhood. The youngest brings up things from then. The older one feels righteous like she has been nothing but loving and inclusive but in reality she has always been critical of her younger sister. The younger sister decided not be around the older one and her family at the holidays because she says her older sister ruined her sons birthday party by getting angry for the younger one correcting her daughter. I know this has been brewing for ages but have been powerless to change any of it. I love them both with all my heart and want them to let their kids have time together. But now every is separate. The youngest sent the older one a text message that was hurtful. They have both been hurt by each other. My birthday is in August and I am thinking of telling both I want a truce. I just want to be able to have my family together without feel this hateful separation. Any suggestions?

    • Susan | July 8, 2019 at 10:41 am

      My husband and I have 4 children.3 are biologically ours and our youngest is my husband’s sister’s son.

      We have 3 sons and 1 daughter. The problem is that my second oldest son, and my daughter whom are 3 years apart, do not get along. I thought for a long time, that it was because they are so alike and very opinionated, however I’ve recently began to notice that my son puts me down, in certain ways, and the same way he puts his sister down.
      My son is very much a mummy’s boy, as in, he calls for chats all the time, which I and my husband really love. For some reason he feels the need to constantly put his sister down when ever we spend time together as a family. He and his sister used to try and push each other off my lap, so they could be on there, and I see this type of behaviour throughout their adult lives. They are now both in their 30’s and my husband and I are are completely at a loss, as to how to stop this from continuing. So much so, that after our last family gathering, a wedding and 3 birthdays falling in the same week, he sobbed his heart out as we headed to the airport. He is completely heart broken that they do not get along, and it breaks my heart to see him so distraught.

      He’s at the point now, that he doesn’t want family gatherings anymore, because of the tension, bickering and judgemental behaviour.

      We simply adore our children and have tried to raise them close to each other, but we feel like we have failed.

      I also feel that we spend so much time keeping the other two from arguing, that we don’t spend enough quality time with our oldest son and his family.

      we don’t want our family to be like our family’s of origin. We thought we raised them differently. We are intelligent, educated, loving parents who have provided a good life for our children.

      So why can’t they just get along? Where did we go wrong?

      • Extra Mile Staff | July 8, 2019 at 7:09 pm

        Thanks for sharing your current situation, Susan. I’m sorry to hear this has been so tough for you and your husband.

        Has anyone else been through a similar situation? What did you do?

    • Marcia Hatt | July 16, 2019 at 3:50 pm

      Or tell them they are childish, inconsiderate, rotten people and you are sick and tired of dealing with their ignorant, petty bickering. That they are grown and you’re fed up with it after 20 or more years.

    • GlenAnn | August 14, 2019 at 8:06 am

      I am not the parent, but the older sister. My brother and sister have not spoke or been in the same room for over four years. This is killing my parents. I have tried to explain to them what they are doing to all of us. Now they are not speaking to me. My parents won’t tell my brother how much he has hurt my sister because they want to see their grandkids. But they have no problem telling my sister to talk to him and make up. Even though we all know who is wrong in the fight.

    • Maureen Grant | August 29, 2019 at 6:29 am

      I have 4 children and have just been on holiday with 2 of my daughter’s and their 6 children. My husband paid for the villa and the flights . The 2nd week was the saddest thing I have ever witnessed in front of my grandchildren. The vile and disgusting things they said to each other. Things the children should not have heard. There was a physical fight at the villa. Then 3 days later a public brawl on the street and the police were nearly called. We were in shock! Saddened to the core. Then to top it all on the last day of our nightmare holiday when we were all packing and I was crying in the shower, one made another vile comment and the other one was running through the house screaming like a woman possessed. She broke a door and smashed a picture. My husband was not there at this point. I had to call the owners and pay the damage. They were so lovely to me about it all and eased my shame. Once again all in front of the 6 grandchildren who were all crying. Until then we were so very close. My husband and I cannot believe what has happened. They said they are dead to each other. My heart is broken. I haven’t told my son as he is on holiday. My other daughter who is about to have her 3rd ivf treatment is disgusted and I need to be strong for her now. But the pain I feel when I think about what happened is overbearing and my husband is so sad. It’s all a mess. So to anyone out there who feels the pain I feel you are not alone. We are good parents and our children had a lovely childhood. We can’t control adults. They are responsible for their actions not us. I cling to the fact that they are all alive and healthy. It’s the only thought that keeps me going. Our whole lives will be different now and I have to adapt. So very sad😢

    • Sheri | September 9, 2019 at 10:47 pm

      My sister and I are both adults had a fight a few years ago. Til this day my mom takes her side argues with me that I need to include her for different family functions like my sons graduation party so I invited her she didn’t come or notified me Mom said thats not a place for you to talk. I don’t get it. She was upset with me that I didn’t send my sisters daughter anything on her birthday back in June we don’t talk she hasn’t sent anything to my sons either in years. Im the bad one so I told my mom please stop yelling Im about to cry so she hangs up on me really mature My son and I feel that she hates us and my sister is filling her with anger so she yells at me

    • Maddie | October 24, 2019 at 12:08 am

      Gosh, I have to say at least I don’t feel alone in this cutting pain that I feel about my two adult daughters fighting over and over. Thank you all for sharing. My two girls have a pattern of fighting as adults for the past 10 years now. They are 35 and 40. It hurts me so much that although I am a single parent living 3000 miles away from them, I don’t want to visit anymore. It breaks my heart to have one daughter want to spend time with only me, pick me up and I have to leave her sister alone. I only have these two children and two step grandkids and it feels horrible and like my life has been rather wasted since my marriage went south and now I don’t even have the two girls to share my life with as I’m aging. I’ve tried everything from talking to each one separately to writing letters to just crying my eyes out. I’m realizing that at the age of 69, I’m going to have to rebuild my own life and focus on more positive things and let go of my dreams of family. This is sad, but it so painful to keep trying to find solutions that never hold. I keep them in my prayers and let this all go.

    • Johanna | November 2, 2019 at 7:42 pm

      Maddie I am in exactly the same position with my grown adult daughters 30 and 37 yrs. – single parent. It would be nice if we could actually talk. It is exhausting and making me ill. I too am aging and spent my life trying to please. It’s not working at all. My older one has recently used my granddaughter as a pawn and I am unable to see her for 5 months for not apparent reason. I heart feels broken beyond repair.

    • Angela Jackson | November 7, 2019 at 11:56 pm

      This is a helpful article, heartbreaking as it is. It will make me be careful as I speak to my son and daughter, to avoid comparisons and gossip. And also try not to waste time fretting and worrying about their relationship.
      Thank you for making me feel not so alone in this parenting journey.

    • Barbara | November 30, 2019 at 11:00 am

      OMG, these comments are so like my own life. My 3,adult In 40’s Children have a hugh Rift caused after my only son was made executor of the dads estate. The oldest daughter sued my son to gain control as she felt he was not moving things along fast enough. I tried explaining that the process is a long one, be patient etc but to no avail. She proceeded w lawyers and litigation which ended w no evidence of wrong doing after two fiduciary accounting’s, the details are horrendous, and there’s no end in sight.. my son is unmarried w no children and my daughter has 3 children that I’m very close too.. but she kept me from seeing them for almost 3 years, aligning me w accusations w my son. She burned so many bridges w vitriol and insults that I find it hard to regain our past relationship. But slowly I’m rebuilding w the children… this thanksgiving she was back home but stayed w the in-laws and we spent one day at an amusement park, as I drove she complained that because my son was at my house she couldn’t come and the children either.. now insisting I allow her and kids stay at Xmas w me….. I can’t turn my son away… after sleeping fitfully on the prob all nite, I think I have to tell her today that she may come but can’t make the rules at my house about who can or can’t come. Maybe she has guilt about what she’s done, ripping us all apart starting on her dads death bed, And still denying her sister and brother to see the nieces and nephew. They were very close to their uncle and have trashed him so it’s weird for them to hear my news of his travels and his life.. making me feel so torn to reunite my family. Especially w/o my husband to help problem solve… Yoga has helped me w my stress And to Be mindful. My daughters will never speak to each other and my son is still furious w all the lawyers accountants and money spent defending himself. I always heard money is the root of all evil and now I know that is truly the case. Any comments .

    • sasha | December 1, 2019 at 10:29 am

      As a parent you have to try and be neutral like Switzerland. You love them all equally so you can’t take sides. Talk about ways you resolved disagreements peacefully but do it subtly. Don’t become too involved or be the message taker/ stuck in the middle. They are adults….let them be adults

    • Janetpretty | December 12, 2019 at 3:36 am

      Im so relieved to know im not alone..Also sorry for all the sad mums above…Iv had so many many similar problems as yourselvs…Raised my 5 children alone for 20yrs since my divorce..4boys 1girl..Theres been every problem under the sun..Fights and toxic comments..Iv sometimes tried to stay out of it, also tried to help, plus make them see sense..Alas, iv just lost my second eldest boy.. Im grief stricken …He was troubled, Fighting addiction..We were all close..Family Dinners outings cple holidays..Many many deep discussions..I was and am a solid loving mum throughout..Always putting them first….Theres now many more arguments and terrible sadness….It happened 4 months ago….Now my only daughter who lives at home with me, and her own daughter my granddaughter are also squabbling…My daughter whom is very very close to me, feels the need to keep pecking me, and saying things about the past..Which is very upsetting.They never see their father, He featured very randomly in their lives which was upsetting to us all…He also never attended his sons funeral…Which devastated me….Life will never ever be rounded again….My boy has gone forever..Its pulling us apart slowly….Im being very strong..But so sad and frightend……!

      • Extra Mile Staff | December 19, 2019 at 7:30 pm

        Thanks for sharing your story, Janet, and letting others know they’re not alone. And our deepest condolences to you and your family for your loss.

    • Chrishertler | January 7, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      as a divorced adult parent mom I try to love my 31 and 33 yr old sons equally and although I think I do a pretty good job I find it difficult because I am frustrated with their behaviors
      There is clearly competition and jealousy between the two of them and I do not believe that it was my doing
      One son seems to be caring And see the close family bonds and morals that I admire
      The older one is in a marriage and is very distant and disconnected
      He seems to be thoughtless and selfish
      I want to say something to him but I’m afraid that it will trigger a massive fight and he will get angry with me and withdraw further but I feel compelled to want to help improve things now because in the future when there is an inheritance I feel there’s going to be major conflict
      Passing of my brother my sons were entitled to some of his personal possessions there seems to be a lot of jealousy and competition over what they should be entitled to and it makes me very upset because I feel that they have no entitlement at all yet at the same time I would like them to have some important pieces of their uncles liv passing of my brother my sons were entitled to some of his personal possessions there seems to be a lot of jealousy and competition over what they should be entitled to and it makes me very upset because I feel that they have no entitlement at all yet at the same time I would like them to have some important pieces of their uncles life
      The future likely will be that they will inherit their fathers home which will be a challenge in that they both feel bonded to the home and the value and I can’t imagine how this is going to play out and I anticipated being ugly unless their dad is sensible enough to write up will that prevents a lot of conflict

    • Sofia | April 3, 2020 at 1:48 am

      Hi. Thank you for your comments. I have two adult boys 22 and 24. It’s has always been hard as a single mother but now it’s even worst they fight all the time sometimes I have to be in the middle so they won’t physically fight. It breaks my heart as a mother cause I love my brothers and sisters and never fought or disrespect them . I have been struggling with both since they were teenagers cause they don’t want to do anything with theirs lives. I still financially support them and try to help them accomplish what ever dreams they had while growing up but they always quit. I have spend so much money I have worked all my life to give them what they needed thinking that one they they will help me but no it’s not like that. I find myself paying for their mistakes. They both live in my house and I pay for everything but the worst part is the fighting like if they are two strangers that hate each other. I’m so tired of their ways and inside I’m so disappointed and angry that when they fight I loose it too and scream like a crazy person trying to make them stop. I’m so sad I can’t let go and try to live my life away from them. They are very loving kids when they want to be and I don’t want them to get hurt in any way life can be ugly and one little mistake and they can be gone for ever. I don’t like spending time with them there is always and argument. My heart goes out to all of you and thank you. I trust in God And hope For a miracle. God bless you all.

    • Sonika | May 13, 2020 at 8:11 pm

      Hi
      Even I have two kids ,who don’t get along.
      My daughter is elder to my son and she is in her twenty’s and son is tennager.They just don’t get along .I have tried everything possible but things r getting out of my hand .My daughter is very short tempered and mostly she’s at fault but just not in the mood to listen or compromise.They have common bedroom but every now and then she asks him to go out of room.He’s also getting very furious on her nature.I’m totally helpless because I keep fighting with my daughter.She is absolutely no mood to listen or accept her mistake

    • Belinda | July 3, 2020 at 6:27 am

      I was severely struck by my younger sister in 2004. This affected my self development and self esteem to date. I stagnated.

      There are very strong feelings of wortilessness on my part, I am bigger,

      We became estranged, and stopped talking from then,

      She said I was her nothing,

    • Maxine | July 9, 2020 at 3:48 pm

      I have 3 adult sons. My older son is married and his wife has MS. My middle son is living with a women that constantly critizing the entire family especially my older son and his wife. How can I defuse this situation without alienizing either son? I am 76 years old and had a stroke 3 years. I need assistance at times from both of them. I feel that I am caught in the middle of all of this.

    • Sonya | July 20, 2020 at 12:42 pm

      Looking for advise on my situation, I ran across this post. I have a unique problem, I think. I have three children, all five years apart. Girl. Boy. Girl. The last girl is adopted. They all know of course. Since being grown there have been multiple issues with her. I understand, and know where it is coming from. However, since having 2 children it has multiplied many times over. I’ll not go into all the many arguments there have been. Mostly they are with her sister, 10 years older. My son has 3 boys and lives 5 mins. from me. My oldest daughter has one grown daughter and lives about 20 mins away. The youngest daughter has 2 children but they live an hour away. There is a HUGE disagreement going on now because my youngest daughter is upset because she says her sister favors her brothers 3 children and ignores her children. She claims the kids know it and it has upset her whole family. There was a family event yesterday. They did not attend. Dealing with an adopted adult child who definitely has issues makes my situation much more complicated! Not much advice out there on this.

      • Chloe S. - Extra Mile Staff | July 22, 2020 at 2:36 pm

        Thanks for sharing your current situation, Sonya. This is a tough situation for a parent to be in.

        Has anyone else been through a similar situation? How did you handle it?

    • Mary K. | September 15, 2020 at 5:28 pm

      We all have similar situations. Does anyone have answers?

    • Michelle Tompkins | October 7, 2020 at 6:58 pm

      Hello – I am a single mom of 3 sons (divorced in 1984), my oldest is 46 and my youngest is 39. My middle son passed in 2012, age 34, – he had struggled with drugs in the past and he finally succumbed to them after turning his life around for 6 years.
      My oldest son and I have been estranged for 6 years – had a very bad argument. We reconciled – and I am visiting him now in Las Vegas.
      My oldest son is pushing very hard to reconcile with his younger brother who wants nothing to do with him.
      My oldest is single, living with his forever love and no kids, in Las Vegas.
      My youngest is married and had 3 kids and 2 foster boys that they will be adopting later this year. He lives in Ohio.
      They both have done well in their careers.
      My sons are very distinct personalities and have very different lifestyles.
      When my youngest got married, my oldest son was a real jerk at the wedding – he just rubs people the wrong way. He also using the “F word” as part of his normal vocabulary. He said it was dumb for my youngest son to have so many kids. I told him that if he ever were to be around his brother’s kids, he would have to clean up his language and he called me a “prude” that everyone talks that way.
      Their major falling out was 5 years ago thru an issue of possible “senior abuse” with their dad.
      Their dad now lives in a rented house (from my son) in Ohio.
      My youngest son and I discussed his brother when I was in Ohio two weeks ago – he told me very adamantly that he wants nothing to do with his brother and that I should please stop talking to him about his brother.
      My oldest son says since I am the “mommy” that I need to use my maternal powers to mend their relationship.
      My oldest also dwells very much on the past – the divorce, him being a “surrogate dad” rather than a brother, etc. He was a bully when they were growing up – I know he was also very frustrated when his dad wouldn’t take him to live with him. I TELL HIM THAT ALL OF THIS IS IN THE PAST – LET IT GO.
      I am at my wits end. I know that they need to do this between themselves – my oldest said he has called the youngest and he won’t respond.
      I told him to write a letter – he said he doesn’t do that.
      He went to some kind of retreat last week that has caused him to pressure me about this even more.
      Any suggestions????
      thanks

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