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Adult Children: The Guide to Parenting Your Grown Kids

Michelle Seitzer

Parenting adult children: it’s one of the most difficult—and yet least discussed—life transitions facing today’s boomers. Toddler tantrums and teen hormones were no picnic, but there is an abundance of resources available for those stages of parenting—not so much for how to parent adult children, though. That’s why we’ve created this guide. Use this as a resource hub and reference it for tools, tips, and strategies so you can better navigate this challenging time in your adult children’s lives.

When Your Children Become Adult Children

Whether you believe adulthood begins at age 18, or that it’s less about a number and more about maturity, the reality is that today’s young adults live in a very different world. Crippling college debt. A highly competitive job market. The pressure to perform—and succeed—early on. Constant comparison with peers via social media. Because of these changes, new definitions of adulthood are emerging.

Adult Children

In fact, experts are using the term “emerging adulthood” more frequently, thanks to the work of Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a research professor of psychology and author of Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road From the Late Teens Through the Twenties. In the book, Arnett explores the demographics of this life phase and marks the distinction between adolescence and adulthood.

But life for a 20-year-old adult child looks totally different than that of a 30- or 40-year-old adult child. If you have a large family, you may have adult children in all three of these stages of young adulthood.

There may be overlap and outliers in these decades—for example, more than 10 million millennials are currently caregivers for a parent or grandparent—but these are among the general milestones and markers for young adults:

  • Life in the 20s. Finishing college (or attending other post-secondary institutions), applying to/attending graduate school for an advanced degree, looking for jobs, dating, exploring identity, defining career and life success.
  • Life in the 30s. Career advancements, relationship changes (longer-term dating, marriage, cohabitation), travel, saving for/buying a home, starting a family.
  • Life in the 40s. A more focused career (or perhaps a career change), raising children, starting to think about retirement, planning for caregiving as parents and grandparents age, continued education.

Parenting Adult Children

Your diaper-changing and chauffeuring days are over. Whether you feel relieved or conflicted about this change, it’s time to embrace your adult child’s independence and enjoy a new phase of parenthood; there are different ways for parenting adult children. Here are eight ways to grow a healthy relationship with your adult children and how to parent adult children in their 20s and beyond:

1. Recognize and respect your differences. If you and your child had conflict well before adulthood, it won’t disappear overnight on their 18th birthday. Sometimes, the conflict is simply the result of a personality clash and being under one roof can intensify it. Good news: there’s no time like the present to accept—and celebrate—the uniqueness of your child. You may not always agree with their life choices, but as their independence grows, find joy in connecting without conflict.

2. Share your wisdom and insight (without being critical). Because your child may have a very different temperament than yours, they may not always respond well to your suggestions—helpful as you think they may be. If they sense criticism, they may even shut down completely. If you’re sharing wisdom, do so with grace and sensitivity. This is one of the many challenges in parenting adult children, but it is also a strong way to build a bond of understanding and empathy with them as well. Learn how they communicate.

Setting Boundaries with Adult Children

3. Setting boundaries with adult children. No matter what your living arrangements are—adult children living at home, adult children living overseas, and everything in between—you still need boundaries. There may be times when you’re the first person they call in a crisis, and other times they’ll want to figure it out with a friend first. Likewise, just because your children are adults doesn’t mean you should tell them all the intimate decisions and discussions you may be having at home with a spouse or partner. Set ground rules for how to disagree. Setting boundaries with adult children may feel uncomfortable at first, but the more you do it and stick to it, the easier it will get.

4. Do things you love together. If you loved shopping with your daughter when she was a teen, there’s no reason to stop now. Maybe this is a time to discover new things you both love. Whatever traditions, hobbies, or activities appeal to you and your adult child, commit to enjoying them together on a regular basis.

5. Make room for significant others in their lives. It may be hard to share your children with their significant others, but these relationships are an important stage in their launch toward independence. Be open-minded and gracious as you meet this person and find ways to get to know them without being too pushy or critical. This doesn’t necessarily mean letting go of adult children but giving them the room to grow and learn at their own pace.

6. Be a consultant, not a CEO. Tess Brigham, an LMFT (licensed marriage and family therapist) from the Bay Area, says this phase of parenthood is not about running the company and being in charge of their life as you were when they were a dependent but, instead, parenting adult children may mean offering expert advice and guidance that adult children can implement.

7. Be a sounding board for adult children. Create an atmosphere in which your children always feel like they can talk to you, says Cynthia White, a Canadian-based freelance writer with a 29-year-old daughter and 32-year-old son. “Adult children will not always be asking for advice, but rather, just asking for a sounding board,” White says. And, in addition to keeping the lines of communication open, keep a poker face when they do talk to you about stuff that makes your skin crawl, she adds.

8. Make family meetings a regular occurrence. If you’ve fostered open communication throughout your child’s life, regular family meetings will feel much more natural, says Dr. Richard Horowitz of Growing Great Relationships. In large families, keeping everyone on the same page can be tricky. Regular family meetings allow a safe space for siblings and parents to share issues of concern, and to process hard things together.

Adult Children Who Ignore Their Parents

Not every parent and child have a happy relationship, and adulthood can widen that gap. Look for opportunities to foster a healthier relationship than you had in the past, now that the dynamics of authority may have shifted. Try to find common interests—if your daughter loves sports, plan to go to an event together. If your son loves art history, invite him to meet you at a museum on a Saturday.

If the wounds of your painful relationship run deep, you may want to seek out a therapist who can help you understand the roots of the hurt, and work toward healing. There may be an opportunity to bring your son or daughter to a session with you so the therapist can mediate an open conversation about these past hurts.

No matter what the situation, be persistent in pursuing a relationship with your adult children, recognizing that you may be closer to some of them than others. If your child is completely ignoring you and you’ve already attempted to ask why you may need to give them time and space. Don’t take it personally, and consistently express your desire for a relationship when they’re ready.

Adult Children Who Disrespect Their Parents

While you may not always agree on everything in this new phase of your parent-child relationship, adult children shouldn’t be testing you or rebelling against you anymore. Set an expectation for respect: you are still the parent figure.

If your adult child moves back home, you may also be providing room and board. Tess Brigham, a trained psychotherapist turned 20-something life strategist, says one of the most important things parents can do before an adult child moves back home is to evaluate what you want from this arrangement—instead of immediately preparing your child’s room and filling the refrigerator with food.

“It can be so hard for parents to say no,” Brigham says. “That’s why it’s so important to set an intention, to think about what this might look like and set clear boundaries.” For example, you should still go to a yoga class or the gym and keep your own commitments—instead of dropping everything to go get milk or pick up a job application for that child. This prevents resentment on the part of the parent and helps ensure that self-care remains a priority. “You need to support your child without getting lost in the process,” says Brigham.

Adult Children Who Move Back Home

Dr. Horowitz says there are two main reasons kids move back home: money and parenting styles. It’s harder to be financially independent in today’s society, where college debt often far exceeds what new graduates are able to earn—if they are fortunate enough to find a job. They either rely on their parents for income or must move home.

Parenting Adult Children

Even if you wouldn’t have considered yourself a helicopter parent, many young adults are less resilient if you’ve intervened often on their behalf. “They hit an obstacle and are less likely to cope,” says Horowitz. “This may be because they’ve become too attached, and it gets in the way of independence.”

Whatever the reasons are for your adult child’s moving back home, your success in making the arrangement work for the short-haul depends on setting clear expectations and rules for adult children living at home.

Rules for Adult Children Living at Home

1. Beware of—and undo—old patterns. Even if your son kept his dorm room surprisingly neat, it’s easy to slip into old patterns and habits once he moves back into the comfort and routine of home. Be prepared for this possibility by discussing the way things were and share how you’d like to see those old patterns change in the present.

For example, if he came home from his high school job and plopped down on the couch to watch TV—leaving his dirty clothes scattered about the living room—set an expectation early on: when he gets home from work now, you’d like him to leave his belongings in his room before he hangs out in a family common area.

Whatever conflicts you had with your children before are likely to resurface, although they may look different now that they’re adults. And your relationship is different because of it, but that doesn’t mean old patterns—particularly negative ones—should be part of the new living arrangement. You may not be “in charge” anymore, but so long as they’re living in your home, work toward a better relationship with honest, open communication.

Rules for Adult Children Living at Home

2. Make sure the burden of chores and household work is shared as equally and fairly as possible. They don’t need a sticker chart anymore, but your kids should still contribute to the work of the household. Sit down together and discuss timing, and what’s realistic based on their schedule and yours.

If your daughter loves to cook but works at a restaurant during dinner hours, perhaps ask her to make some freezer meals on the weekends or mornings off so you’ll have access to easy options throughout the week.

If your son has his own bathroom now, it’s his responsibility to clean it—unless he is willing to do some other household tasks (mowing the lawn, replacing burned-out light bulbs, taking out the trash) in exchange for Mom’s white glove touch.

For more guidance on setting rules for adult children living at home and making an at-home relationship work with your adult children, read Boomerang Kids: When Adult Children Move Back Home.

Letting Go of Adult Children as They Transition Into the Real World

If your children are still teenagers, the successful launch into adulthood starts even now. Here, Amy White, MBA and creator of the Daily Successful Living Blog, shares what worked for her and her husband as their three teens (who are now 20-somethings) transitioned into adulthood:

Letting Go of Adult Children
  • Help, without giving handouts. “One of the decisions my husband and I made as our children began to leave home was to provide support, but not give a hand-out financially,” White explains. “As a parent, it is hard to see your kids struggle, which leads to a tendency to overindulge. To help our kids, we continued to pay for their health insurance, cell phones, and kept them on our car insurance.” White says once their children started their first real jobs, she and her husband sat down with them and explained the cost of their phones and insurance, then let them know that this was a cost for which they were responsible.
  • Set up a system for payback. Each month, our adult children are responsible for paying us back, says White. “All of our kids have slowly begun to transition these accounts into their own names and take this responsibility on themselves. We now have one child on our phone plan and one on our car insurance,” she says.
  • Letting go of adult children means celebrating the transition to independence. White and her husband have enjoyed this shift. “It has been really fun watching them begin to stand on their own financially,” she says. “I think that by gradually letting them transition—while providing the financial support they needed at the time—helped each of them to experiment with money and find a way of budgeting that worked for them.”

When an Adult Child Has Mental Health Issues or Special Needs

Monica Garret-Hughes, an RN at BrightStar Care based in Lubbock, Texas, offers advice on establishing healthy boundaries when your adult child lives with mental illness. “It starts before day one, with understanding their illness and background,” says Garret-Hughes.

When she meets with families to provide care, Garret-Hughes seeks to understand triggers and how the illness presents itself. “The first priority is demonstrating clear boundaries and never wavering,” she says. But it’s important for parents to learn what their son or daughter is able to do, and encourage them along the way, per Garret-Hughes. “Establishing routines and being predictable is also very important.”

One of the biggest challenges in navigating this type of parent-adult child relationship? Separating your child from his/her mental illness. “Behind the mood swings, combative behavior and tantrums, there is a beautiful soul that still needs compassionate care,” says Garret-Hughes.

J. Hope Suis, the author of Mid-Life Joyride, assumes many of the responsibilities for her grandson, as her youngest daughter—his mother—struggles with mental illness. “My daughter, her husband, and their two-year-old son live with me,” says Suis. “I also have to work through how to handle issues like money, household chores, and other situations with her directly, and learn how to balance where mental illness stops/starts and enabling begins.” Enabling adult children can happen without you even realizing it. Suis took a course provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) so she could better understand her daughter’s illness and gain the skills she needed to parent her as an adult.

In the case of an adult child with special needs, a longer period of support may be required before a transition to independence. Some adult children with special needs may always need support, but it should be tailored to their needs and with their goals for independence in mind. Read our article, Who Will Care for My Special Needs Adult Child? for insights and advice.

Parents Enabling Adult Children

Author Heather Goodyear has a desire to see strong families in every phase of life, and this has informed both her writing and parenting (two of her six children have reached adulthood, and one is right on the cusp).

Says Goodyear, “I have learned that too many parents fall into regret as their children reach adulthood. They have nostalgia for the baby, toddler, and growing-up years—and regret that those days will not return.” This regret often fuels enabling or even conflict, because—instead of embracing all the independent aspects of their grown-up children’s lives—they begin to fight against their children’s growing independence. “This creates a turbulent time between the parents and adult children that will likely cause more regret for parents later,” says Goodyear.

How do you avoid enabling adult children, particularly when your adult child is demanding and needy (and perhaps has been that way throughout childhood)? Begin with setting boundaries with adult children and keep the goal of independence in mind. Work together to establish expectations. Talk openly about challenges and be honest in your communication about hurts and hopes.

Adult Children Taking Advantage of Parents

If you lamented the empty nest, you’ll probably welcome your child back home with open arms. But that doesn’t mean you should do everything for them or let them take advantage of your warm welcome.

Carrie Krawiec, a licensed marriage and family therapist at Birmingham Maple Clinic in Troy, Michigan, advises parents to take an inventory of what they can control and what they can’t. “You may not be able to control how late your adult child stays out or sleeps in, but you might be able to control their resources like money, use of the car, etc.,” says Krawiec. “Create rules for adult children living at home and expectations for the things you can control and avoid what you can’t.”

What to Do About Adult Children Who Expect Money

Elisabeth Stitt, author of Parenting as a Second Language and founder of Joyful Parenting Coaching, offers this advice on navigating money matters with adult children:

Enabling Adult Children

“Let’s say your mid-20s adult has moved back in with you. You are sympathetic to the challenges of the high cost of housing and want to help. Helping is different than removing all obstacles and preventing your child from taking on adult responsibility. Sure, let them rent from you at a reduced rate, but do charge rent. How much? Well, enough to reduce the amount of struggle, but not all of it. If you are housing your adult child for a reduced rate, and he is spending a lot on his leisure activities (no matter how wholesome), you are enabling your adult children and not allowing them to be an adult.

“Gauge how much support to give by asking the question, is my support helping my child to reach a higher level of adult responsibility? For example, perhaps your providing housing allows your adult child to hold down a job and take continuing education classes at the same time, or maybe you are saving him from a couple of hours of commuting a day so that he can put in the extra hours to really impress his boss and line himself up for a promotion.”

For more on this thorny topic, read our article, Giving Money to Grown Children: When to Stop and How to Break the Habit.

Top Concerns of Parenting Adult Children

Whatever parenting adult children concerns arise in this new phase, the challenge often boils down to setting and honoring boundaries:

How to Parent Adult Children
  • How do you help them launch successfully without enabling adult children?
  • How do you help your daughter struggling with money management to become financially independent?
  • How do you empower your son who battles crippling anxiety to live in his own apartment?
  • How do you navigate the return of a child—with grandchildren in tow—after a painful relationship or marriage ends?
  • How do you balance the desire to be all things to all the ones you love—children and grandchildren, spouses, and aging parents—with doing the things you hoped and even planned for in the empty nest stage?

There are many layers of complexity in this stage of life, and resources around it are few and far between—as many of these changes are newly emerging, and life for adult children looked very different in prior generations.

As in any challenging life phase, talking through the issues with peers and those in similar situations is a positive starting point—as is seeking out counselors, mediators, and other professionals who are equipped to guide and direct—to ease the growing pains of the parent-adult child relationship. For many families, the unhealed wounds and scars of childhood (for both the parent and child) may need to be confronted in order to develop a healthy, grounded relationship.

We’re here for you through it all, and we welcome your feedback on topics you’d like us to address. Or, tell us how you’re handling a difficult situation with your adult children in the comments below.

33 Responses to "Adult Children: The Guide to Parenting Your Grown Kids"
    • Sharman Snodgrass | January 16, 2020 at 4:06 pm

      Our 34 yr old daughter with MBA has not kept a job for more than 1-2 years since grad school. Her masters loan is now 6 figures. She’s a very kind person with a great personality and wit. However, when she faces any adversity she gets angry, stubborn and very defensive in a very negative way mentally. She cuts off communication with us (parents) so we are left helpless as to how to further offer her our support (not financially). We both encourage and try to guide her but she is very irrational during these episodes. She lives on her own in our city and is currently in a very long distance relationship of 8 months.

    • We Always Fight But We Love Each Other | March 11, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      You’ve got great insights about the Article, Thanks and keep up the good work!

    • Tee | April 18, 2020 at 10:38 pm

      Thanks for your post it touched some areas that are very troubling for me as the parent of an adult child that has mental issues. I really need resource to address the problems I have been dealing with since he got married eight years ago and now has to little ones. If you can give me some direction in that area I would greatly appreciate it.

    • Trease Walker | April 23, 2020 at 10:13 am

      Wow. This struggle contributes to a lot of sadness in this world- parenting adult children
      Can be emotionally draining for a lot of people. Thank u for thinking of us. Fix this and watch flowers bloom.

    • Soulsearcher | May 16, 2020 at 9:36 pm

      This post is helpful – thank you. Our son’s aged late twenties, pays a reduced rate in our rental property, he works, but has suffered anxiety and depression for over ten years. He often reneges on social arrangements with us citing anxiety/depression. Recently, my son and I arranged a time (suitable to him) for me to pick him up so he could help me run an errand but when I arrived, he wasn’t there. I waited an hour, phoned and messaged numerous times throughout the day with no response. I became more concerned as time wore on. Many hours later, he responded via text, saying he’d had a bad ‘episode’ at a friend’s place but was okay. I’m at the stage where it seems an ‘episode’ is a convenient excuse. Is it reasonable for me to feel annoyed that he didn’t contact me earlier in the day to put my mind at ease. I feel it was plain disrespectful! 😔

    • La vella | May 20, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      My adult daughter has mental illness not taking meds hospitalized every other month about to be evicted from her apartment. She can’t live with me. I don’t want to or not sure if I should get power of attorney. I don’t know what to do. I will research legal matters before making a decision.

    • Kris Ann Leonard | May 25, 2020 at 2:49 am

      My adult 37 year old daughter, bought a condo with me when my husband died suddenly. Sharing the cost of living expenses has allowed both of us, some financial freedom when other wise we would both really struggle.

      As the mom I seem to be carrying the larger share of the work load, house cleaning, shopping and walking both of our dogs.
      When I ask for her help she puts me off saying “not now”.
      If I do not give her what she wants she reminds me of some thing she gave to me even if I never asked for it. She gets angry and calls me “whinny”.
      Yesterday she called me a liar over something trivial and when I insisted I wasn’t lying she got very angry and said I was overly sensitive because she was joking and I couldn’t take a joke! She put all of the blame on me. I did not think she was joking or even that we were actually joking around.

      I hate conflict. It intensifies my grief because i miss my husband so much.
      These situations always result in both of us being upset with the other person. I always apologize and try to smooth things over. Today I even bought her a nice breakfast trying to fix the bad feelings between us. I am really struggling!

      Thank you for any help you can give me for knowing how to handle these conflicts and make our relationship more respectful.

    • Babita | July 2, 2020 at 10:40 pm

      Post was helpful. Thank You. My 40 year old son lives out of state and is a DJ. He is a very caring, loving, obedient individual and lives a very simple life. Even though he has never asked for anything, we understand he makes limited income and so support him financially with a fixed amount every month. Over the years we have motivated him to take up a part time job to cover his health insurance but he somehow feels that he does not want to do that. We have talked to him, he listens but then takes no action. Every year, my husband files his taxes, as he feels that if he leaves it up to him, they will never get filed. It is like pulling teeth to get the required information from him every year. He gives great advice on people and relationships but somehow does not want to follow on what we expect from him. Please advise on what I can do to get him to act.

    • Anita Himburg | July 4, 2020 at 12:10 pm

      Boy, I needed that. Thank you. My life just got a little brighter today.

      • Chloe S. - Extra Mile Staff | July 6, 2020 at 1:46 pm

        We are so glad to hear that! Thank you for reading, Anita!

    • L. Roberts | July 9, 2020 at 6:27 pm

      This really helped. With the whole COVID-19 mess, our daughter has been here since mid-March, after having to leave uni early. She will be going back to school in September, but some days I feel like I might not make it until then. I will have to try some of your suggestions.

    • lyz jaakola | July 23, 2020 at 5:07 am

      Thanks for this article.
      I’m struggling with my feelings about our 20 year old and his sudden flight “from the nest”. His childhood had many all-consuming episodes where I had to be always thinking ahead and preparing for the “what if’s”… he had many sensory challenges and severe allergies most of his life… and now, suddenly, he is out of our home.
      His girlfriend felt I was “keeping him home” when covid-19 hit and after 2 months of safer-at-home he went to stay with her & her family 1.5 hours away. I am struggling. I just want him to be safe & healthy & happy. But it would be nice if he could stay connected to his family (especially Mom) while adulting…

    • Victoria amer | August 14, 2020 at 2:17 pm

      I married a man that has 3 children. We have been married 22 years and love each other. We have some arguments but always get over those. My husband has a brain injury and had to retire early. I have poor health with chronic pain. Last month my husband did a surprise visit to my daughter and boyfriend’s home, we have a 3-year-old granddaughter living there. I saw my husband tried to call and didn’t leave a voicemail. Later I got a message saying our granddaughter home.They live an hour away.He saw their apartment and decided it was no place for a child.We said we would give them 2 weeks to clean up the Home. They have done that.Last night I found out my daughter and husband talked. She told my husband she wanted to leave her boyfriend the child’s father[ for the 6th time} and would like to move in with us. She has other options. Her mother who she usually lives with off and on but has worn out her welcome there.I am upset because my husband never consults me about these decisions.I love both of the girls.but my daughter is lazy and a recovering alcoholic.I believe she has stopped drinking but I am pretty sure she is using some drugs,Her psychiatrist also prescribed he Adderall months ago and now she looks anorexic. Her resting heart rate was 124.I think she is using it incorrectly or her RX is too high. Besides chronic pain, I have vestibular issues. Since my grand has been her they are returning and can not handle all of this much less her living here.We have offered to pay for school a second time so she could learn a career working in the medical field as an office person or technician. She won’t do it.I am angry. My husband makes me feel guilty for not wanting them here but my overall health is declining.I retired so I could rest and not do and be around environments that make me anxious.Them living with us will make me crazy and sick.What do I do? Thank you.

    • Patricia | August 18, 2020 at 12:24 am

      I am in a dlemma right now. My 38 year old son has social anxiety and has been suffering with it for years. He finally got out on his own and met a girl who had overstayed her visa from S Korea but then he got furloughed from his job and walked the Appalachian trail. The he stopped working and he and the girl broke up. He came back here to live with my second husband and went to a therapist to help with his issues and he finally got a job on the A trail and was ready to go for training and then Covid happened and he had to come back i. He isn’t paying me rent because I told him not to but he does a lot for us and buys food etc. My husband now thinks it is time for him to figure out plan b. He says there are plenty of jobs now. I am having a hard time with all of this. Should I discuss it with him and say maybe he has to go back to the therapist. There really aren’t very many jobs right now and I am hoping he will go back on the trail next year. I really get my back up when my husband brings this up. I am sure this is called enabling but he also has so much anxiety. I am thinking maybe to discuss the fact that he needs to go back to the therapist. Any ideas ? I could use help. It gives me a pit in my stomach to deal with this. Yet it embarrasses me that we have this issue in the first place.

    • Ross Shipp | September 22, 2020 at 5:32 pm

      My daughter and I don’t see each other much.I know she is busy but all I would like is a catch up phone call ever once and awhile.The only time I see her is when I babysit.I love my granddaughter .Ever since she married I have felt like her husband doesn’t want her to come see me.I recently moved 18 hours from my home because my daughter encouraged me too.She comes to my house maybe every 3 months when I have her daughter.I am lost and lonely I am trying to meet people but it is hard at 66.I feel like I am a burden.I pay my own way and don’t ask for anything

    • Janet gregory | October 6, 2020 at 2:22 pm

      I feel that every one seam to think the adult children and I am not I am confused I am still trying to create a family ethos

    • Donna L. Wigmore | October 7, 2020 at 8:35 am

      My daughter just finished her undergrad and was hoping to have a gap year where she would be in another city, trying different jobs. She is studying for her LSAT and has other goals to support her health that right now, she is not meeting. She deals with anxiety and has started seeing her counselor again. We started family meetings again, just to discuss how things are going. I am looking for advice for the best way to support her in making healthy choices. It seems like I have to watch her flounder, that is hard. Is it at least ok if I make a rule that she has to be up by 10 and needs to get outside every day for a walk? Can I make those house rules?

      • Ven Canon Patrick Munuve | April 19, 2021 at 2:09 pm

        Thank you for the wise advice. This is what many parents with adult children need.

    • Lance Halman | November 18, 2020 at 10:43 pm

      glad to be one of the visitants on this awe inspiring site : D.

    • mary | November 18, 2020 at 11:56 pm

      My 32 years adult son lives in a condo since I bought it for him in 2012 with the agreement he would pay the monthly assessment but he never did. I had to confront legal procedures with the bldg association and continue paying it since then. He has been living there with his girlfriend all this time. He has had a steady full time job. I retired in August 2020 and he agree to start paying the assessment as same as taxes starting September 01. I was also in the process to transfer the property tittle to his name. To my surprise I just found out he paid October assessment but not September. He bought a car 6 years ago and still paying for it.
      He called me 2nights ago advising me they decided to vacation overseas for one week. I felt disappointed, frustrated but calmly told him that he should take his responsibilities first over fun, paying the assessment and paying off for his car. I also told him to pay more attention to his health issues (back and stomach). He as always said I am always criticizing him.
      He is my only child and tried to back him as much as I could, He has a very strong personality and avoid arguments with him.
      Please guide me, advise me how to deal with this issue and thank you so, so much for your support.

    • Ashley M | December 18, 2020 at 6:44 am

      I’m currently 25 seeking answers & tips. This is helpful for sure

    • Micki Broadie | December 23, 2020 at 5:53 am

      I agree with you

    • Suzanne Schwanke | January 7, 2021 at 3:13 pm

      I love my adult daughter very much! We were close until she turned 23. We did everything together and we showed love and respect for each other.
      However, after she met her current fiance we have constantly fought and I really felt that she turned away from me. I realize that she loves her fiance and I really have tried to get along with him. I really feel that my daughter loves me but is abusive towards me.
      My Mom and brother passed away a couple of years ago and she told me that she could not stand to be around me so she didn’t spend time with them when they were sick. I felt really hurt by that and I really didn’t understand what she was really saying. I’m not perfect but I have really tried to be the best parent possible. I have changed certain things that could have possibly made her so angry with me.
      I’m a single parent and I have tried to over compensate for her not having her father in her life. She moved out of my place when she was 29 and now lives in another city than me. We have both agreed that we wanted to live in the same city. I put my house up for sale. I have now sold it and I have to move. I don’t want to live in the city she lives in because there are no doctors and I found there’s a lot of pollution. I am struggling because she does want to move from where she lives but her fiance doesn’t want to move.
      I visited her on many occasions even when she lived in Edmonton. Everytime I try to have a wonderful visit with her we get along for a quite a while.She says that loves having me with her. Then we end up in a disagreement and she tells me to get a hotel room and make my way home. I leave feeling like hell. I told her people argue but they don’t just kick them out and on a few occasions it put me in dangerous situations. For instance, I was talking her about me wanting her to move to Chilliwack. We weren’t really arguing but just talking and then she got off the couch and told me that I was stressing her out. I didn’t say anything more about it.Then she started to yell and this woke her fiance up. She told me get out and it was 2am. She lived in a bad area! Her fiance came and said you don’t pay rent her so get out. I got my suitcase packed and I left. I tried to call a cab but my phone died. I went back to her place and knocked on the sliding door but nobody came out. I walked over to Denny’s and I called a cab. I went to a hotel and left on the bus the next day. She said she was going to drive me but she didn’t come out so I truly believe that was a lie.
      This has happened over and over again. I am wondering if I should give up or maybe try to go for professional counselling. I really want to have a healthy relationship with her but I don’t live in the same city. Does anyone have any advice?? Please help!

      • Felicia | April 8, 2021 at 6:43 pm

        If you have any family that you are close to or even close friends, I would find a place nearer to one of them. I would not be in the same town with my youngest daughter now if not for my 2 grandchildren whom I have helped raise. I think we get too fixated on being near our children, because they are our children. The fantasy of it is not really always the reality.

    • Ken | January 14, 2021 at 7:09 am

      My 33 year old son lives with my wife and I. He is a very good person. He has not worked since about 2009 when he was laid off during the recession. He has anxiety issues that have affected previous employment. We know he needs to move forward with his life. He just seems to still be the teenager. How should we move forward.

    • Stephanie | February 20, 2021 at 7:44 am

      I have always been a single parent, but when my husband died 7 years ago, I became the only parent to my two children. They were fortunately both able to go to university and study to be Chartered Accountants. They both passed and are currently doing their Articles. During that time though, I had to sell our property and made the unfortunate decision to buy a property jointly with my neighbour. The main reason I bought this property jointly, was because it had a separate flat area for my kids after they finished studying. I knew that they wouldn’t be able to afford their own accommodation so made yet another sacrifice in buying with a virtual stranger (whom I thought I knew at the time). Turned out that he is a complete Narcissist and made impossible rules for my children to adhere to. But, then also, the kids did not keep their space clean although they insisted on paying rent and paying for their own domestic worker to come once a week.
      The big problem happened when we had a lockdown during Covid and my son asked if his girlfriend could stay over during that time. I said yes – thinking it would only be for 3 weeks, but she ended up staying for more than 9 weeks, with me having to cook for everyone, cleaning and even having to clean their flat! I eventually got so frustrated that I basically told the girlfriend to leave. My kids were furious about that. They were so angry that they moved out and got their own flat. I was heartbroken because I had done so much for them and am now living in a place with a person I hate. Who has been threatening to sell this property, virtually from the start. I cannot really blame my kids for moving out, because it could not have been nice for them to live here with the constant threats, but I still feel betrayed. And now I am forced to sell this property and buy somewhere else – which will cost me money which I just don’t have! Any suggestions?

    • Ben | February 26, 2021 at 11:41 am

      I was looking for information on issues that parents commenting here are undergoing with their adult children. I see that some parents here have already asked the questions that I have in mind too and am interested in knowing the answers, if there were any. I don’t see any replies posted.

    • Amelia G Porras | March 16, 2021 at 4:08 am

      I read your articles and I found them very informative. Thank you! Being a parent is for always and is very challenging at times. When to give? when not to give? is a balancing act at all times. Specially when it comes to our children no matter what age they are. My 39 yr.old daughter tells me that I always want to solve her problems and it’s true. I go to my “fix” mode automatically and i need to stop and wait to be ask for help instead of offering it right away. I am still learning!

      • Extra Mile Staff | March 18, 2021 at 8:20 am

        Amelia – Thanks for reading.

      • Linda Perez | April 19, 2021 at 11:56 am

        I can relate to your wanting to solve your daughter’s problems. I have a 25 year old son who tells his father and I that he’s not happy with his job. He has a college degree in accounting and works as a state auditor, which is a related field, but from what he tells me, it is not the same as accounting. He wants to work in corporate accounting. The other day I found 3 job postings on Indeed, all of them located in the state where he lives (which is next-door to our state, in the Midwest). From the job descriptions, it seemed to me he would be a good applicant. I sent the information to him, and all I get back in response is that he’s “suspending his job search” after he talks to this one company he’s reached out to. The company is located in a city over 900 miles away. I feel for my son, and I believe he has anxiety, although it hasn’t been diagnosed. I have anxiety and depression myself. I take medication for it and have gone to counseling, which has been helpful. It’s just difficult to watch your adult child spin his wheels. His job search seems purposeless. He isn’t going about it in a thoughtful way, at least that’s my impression. And of course, I think he needs counseling too, and likely some medication, but I don’t even bring this up. I should let up and wait for him to approach me, or approach his Dad, which he is much more likely to do.

    • Felicia | April 8, 2021 at 6:37 pm

      How do you disengage from being an enabler? My adult (38yr old) daughter has custody of her children, lives near us and has no help from her ex in the day to day care of her children. She makes bad decisions, like going to spend the night with her boyfriend on school nights and has asked us to babysit. He is at home with his children on these nights( he also has custody). My husband and I feel very strongly about not supporting these weeknight rendezvous and recently told her we would not babysit on weeknights except work or emergency related. I found out that she left the children at home ahead of when her niece (my 21yo granddaughter by my son) who arrived 2 hours later in the evening than expected. My grandchildren are 11 and 12, but they are in a new home, don’t know the neighbors and I am very angry with her regarding her decisions. It seems she will make these decisions where spending time with him completely clouds her good judgement and common sense. I am at a loss, I told her that I am staying out of her business, she drives an old vehicle of ours, on our insurance, and has for over 2 years. She has made thousands of dollars over the past year of living with us and us providing child care and (her buying groceries only) but did not save up to buy her a car, now she has moved out, car in tow, only 6 miles from us but close enough to expect us to change our plans to accommodate her mostly last minute decisions of running the 15 miles out to sleep over at his house. I feel guilty because I know we are her only support system, but at the same time, I feel I have enabled her and am now trying to disengage and enjoy being a grandparent second, a wife and having and enjoying my own life in retirement first. I have no problem helping if necessary, if planned, but am quite annoyed that she does not see the importance of being there for her children first and boyfriend second. He is her 3rd relationship since her divorce in 2018, first one she married, briefly and was a really bad breakup, close to being as bad as her divorce emotionally for her and her children. They need stability, her presence and to feel that she puts them totally first, but I don’t see it and they have expressed their feelings about their Mom to me. I try to be neutral and just listen, but get so angry with her because she is too stubborn and blind to see the damage her decisions are causing in her relationship with them. Have recommended family therapy, started taking the kids myself with the understanding that she would keep it up when home between job assignments and at her cost(retired and fixed income for us) and she didn’t. She has at one time though spend $300 on a birthday dinner for her boyfriend’s Mom, which I elected not to go to. she has her priorities totally wrong and I am getting to the point I want to just withdraw from her as much as possible because I get so angry at her inability to see it clearly. How do you cope in these situations? she is our youngest

    • Jackie | April 23, 2021 at 7:01 pm

      What about an adult child who lives at home and has a child of there own. All the information I read is very helpful but doesn’t seem to touch on adult children with children living at home. I am struggling to keep my sanity. Any advise. My husband and I have raised her and help her through all that we could. She got pregnant in her senior year, and has lived with us ever since. Our dreams of her attending college were gone. She still hasn’t graduated high school. She turned 21 in March of this year. We have pushed for her to continue school or get her GED, nothing has been done. The father of the child even moved in with in 2 months of finding out my daughter was pregnant. He ended up quitting his job!! So we took care of my daughter her unborn child and the father of the child for months. We set stipulations and rule for our home. It seemed like one by one they would knock them down. The disrespect started happening and we would discuss it and it continued. Now the baby is 2 years old, my daughter is 21 and she is no longer with the babies father. If I back up a little bit she met him in high school and they dated for 4 years until they got pregnant. So a total of 6 years they have been together and now they are co-parenting. Which is great most of the time. My daughter sleeps all day, is up all night, the baby is not on a good schedule. She just lately has taken the 2 year old out with her to friends houses at late hours. She is lazy and doesn’t pick up after herself and now, now of all times she wants to turn things around and say that I am trying to control her and tell her how to raise her daughter. Even though it was okay to ask me for help which I gave freely, or to support them when she had no money, I have pretty much raised her and helped her through pregnancy and raised her daughter, and allowed the father to live in my home. I cant ask her to do anything she either argues or it never gets done and I do it my self. She disrespects her own father and younger sister who also helps where they can. If we don’t like something and tell her she will just leave and stay at a friends or her current boyfriends house. Just recently its been 3 days since I have seen my grandchild. I feel that if we say something she doesn’t like she will with hold us seeing the baby. Because the baby is so important to us I have not told her to get out or told her how I really feel. So what advise do you have for this type of parenting?? I could really use some help.
      Obliviously there is a lot more to the story but this is all I have time to put into words.

    • Im not a parent to the baby daddy | May 9, 2021 at 12:07 am

      Read. Understand. Still not finding a way to stop a 42 year old use an EBT money for junk food and not groceries? Why splurge on the dumbest things verse saving money?

      Baby daddy was supposed to stay two weeks and now it’s five months later. Not finding a place because of not finding a job that will accept the past mistakes.

      Plus never been an actual parent. I’ve raised our daughter. Now showing throwing trash out a car window is okay, smoking is okay, drinking is okay, yelling to get a point is okay.

      I wish there is parenting classes. Because yes it’s needed or a personal coach because I’m tired off dealing with this mess. I have restarted my life and had my way of rasing the best kid, accordingly to preschool teachers.

      I did what is best for my daughter. Kept her dad in the picture. Let my daughter know her dad. Yet, I’m done with trying to raise two kids!! Responsibility is not mine and I’m tired dealing with the dramatics that my daughter is now learning

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