Sex & Relationships

Are you pushing away your adult children?

(This article previously appeared on Grandparents.com)

Ask parents their biggest concerns about their relationships with their adult kids, and many will tell you: not enough time together, not enough regular communication, not feeling needed or wanted unless the kids NEED something and not understanding why they aren’t closer. Barring a child’s serious issues, like substance abuse or mental illness, parents often feel alienated or semi-estranged from the children they raised — and they don’t know why.

“It’s a silent epidemic,” says Joshua Coleman, psychologist, senior fellow at the Council on Contemporary Families and author of When Parents Hurt: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Don’t Get Along, “the result of several societal shifts in the past 50 years.” Such as? Parenting styles, for one. “Families underwent a fundamental shift in the 60s, when children became the axis around which the family turned,” says Coleman. “They were raised to be individuals who questioned authority. Their relationships often revolved around what made them feel good or bad, not necessarily how to negotiate them.” Parents whose entire being exists for their children often have unrealistic expectations of their adult children’s duty to them, he says.

Another major shift was the rise of divorce. “Divorce earlier in the child’s life (or even recently) can be extremely detrimental to the parent/child relationship if one spouse turns the child against the other,” says Coleman, “even adult children.”

Is There a Rift Between You?

Societal changes notwithstanding, you, dear Mom and Dad, may be doing things that also push the kids away — not deliberately, of course, but alienating nonetheless. If you notice your adult kids acting in any of the following ways, maybe it’s time for a reality check:

  • They rarely initiate a call to you, and if you call them, they take days to respond.
  • They’re difficult to make plans with — even though they seem to make time for friends.
  • They don’t tell you much about what’s going on in their lives. “Everything’s fine,” is the common answer.
  • They often leave in a huff when you make constructive comments — even though the feedback is totally in their best interest.
  • You were always there for them, but they aren’t always there for you. Your problems seem to embarrass or annoy them, and they blow you off.
  • They refer to you as “Mom the Martyr” or “Dad the Saint” — and neither is a compliment.

Assess Your Role and What You Can Do

If any of the above sound familiar, treat them as red flags that cannot be ignored. Your goal is a better relationship and, as the parent, you’re in the driver’s seat. These are the questions to ask yourself:

1. Do you call the kids so often (or email or text) that you might be considered a stalker? Maybe you call too at bad times (like when the kids are getting their kids ready for bed).

Solve it: If you want to be in touch effectively, ask your kids how they most like to be contacted — phone, email or text and when’s the best time to make contact. Then respect their wishes.

2. Are you keeping score of how often they make plans with you vs. others? Don’t go there, says Coleman. ”Some adult kids prefer being with their friends or their own spouse and kids, and it’s a matter of wiring, not bad parenting on your part,” he says.

Solve it: Plan short specific get-togethers (Sunday bagel brunch or Friday pizza night) so they will be motivated to come.

3. Are you a meddler? Maybe the kids don’t share info with you because you ask too many questions or give unsolicited advice.

Solve it: If your son tells you he’s applied for a new position at a new company, don’t start digging for dirt on the benefits, hours and responsibilities. Assume he will tell you if he gets it, and if you don’t hear after a month or so, simply ask if there’s any news yet. Don’t say, “Maybe you should call them to show how interested you are.”

4. Is your constructive feedback really criticism in disguise? Your son knows he’s overweight and it’s unhealthy. Your daughter is aware that she’s being taken advantage of at work. All kids want their parents’ approval, no matter what their age.

Solve it: Praise generously; appreciate sincerely. Comment on what a great parent your daughter is or how proud you are of your son’s commendation at work. Keep the negative “feedback” to yourself.

5. Do you feel validated solely by your role as a parent? Coleman suggests that parents whose entire being exists for their children often have unrealistic expectations of their adult children’s duty to them. “It’s particularly difficult for parents who expect their kids to fix emotional problems from their (the parent’s) childhood, by being a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board, a confidant,” he says. Kids generally don’t want that role.

Solve it: This is when you have to heal yourself. And work on developing your identity outside the role of parent and grandparent.

6. Do you always say “yes” even when you want to say “no?” Nobody likes a martyr, so if you’re always saying yes when you sometimes want to say no, think about this: It’s OK to say no to requests that you don’t want to, or can’t, do without great inconvenience to yourself. But you have to distinguish a real need for help and a kid who only calls when he or she wants something.

Solve it: If your child only gets in touch when he needs help, use a request as a teachable moment, by saying “I’m happy to do this (or I’m sorry I can’t right now). But I’d also love to spend fun time with you and the family because sometimes I feel like I only see you when you need something.” Coleman says it’s better to say no than feel resentful.

The Bottom Line

We are parents until the day we die. It’s our job to take the high road — even if we’re frustrated by a hypersensitive child or a drama queen — because we’re the ones who model and teach how a healthy relationship works. (Which means it’s also OK to set boundaries with difficult kids.)

None of us is perfect, but we can always check in with ourselves to ask: Is my relationship with my child as good as it can be — given any major differences we may have — and if not, what can I do to make it better?

By Sally Stich

 This article is reprinted with permission.  © 2016 Grandparents.com. All Rights Reserved.

 

COMMENTS

62 responses to “Are you pushing away your adult children?

  1. I thought I was alone going through this. It’s also good to hear the comments from adult children. I ordered the book someone suggested & hoping it helps. I think divorce seems to be a common denominator here. My son was diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer at 15. I was with him every moment and slept at the hospital by his side for the 9 months of treatment. We were connected at the hip. By the grace of God he beat the cancer and went away to college. He moved into his own place after he graduated and continued life. I never meddled and saw him mostly just holidays. Now he is 34 and a millionaire.. has a house in the hamptons and I don’t even get an invite .. well i got one for sept because I asked. His wife’s family has been there 2x that I know of. I expressed my feeling a few times and they don’t get it. I can go on and on. I’m heartbroken being treated like crap. I almost lost him.. I want to see him alive! Not in pictures on Instagram having fun with everyone but me.. now I’m accused of what everyone else is. I’ve over analyzed and pick apart every word etc well maybe I have cause all I have is BS text exchanges to reread to try and figure out what I did to deserve this. His wife certainly doesn’t help. This life without my adult child is hurtful. I don’t want it to consume me anymore. It doesn’t help when we see other families that are great .. so we aren’t wrong for wanting what they have. Normal! I actually told my son recently that I’m jealous. His response is I shouldn’t be jealous of such meaningless things.. ok sure.

  2. Hi Kathy, your words find an echo in my heart. I also feel I do not deserve to be treated better either. The difference with my story is that I have tried to talk with my adult children, I have asked their forgiveness, but they refuse to be honest about their thoughts. They just keep as far away from me as possible. Every once in a while I get a message with two words from one of them, the other one even more rarely. My life without them and my grandchildren means nothing to me, I have done what I had thought was best for our family, but I did all wrong. I have asked forgiveness, I have asked for them to be honest with me, but they say they have nothing to forgive me for, and yet, there is this distance, this indifference,and there are days when I wake up, I think, “Another day…what for?”. I know I am being ungrateful by thinking this way. I wish you and all here the best.

    1. Wow Tanja, I can sympathize so much with you. I have one adult son and we have been estranged on and off for years. At one time we were never like that. The sad thing is I just lost my mom three months ago and except for work and my dog I have no one. My son I love him dearly but I get no respect or good communication maybe a text every once in awhile. But no verbal talking. ‍♀️His wife hates our family and I am sorry that is the way I have to put it. My son talks to no one just his wife’s family. We did nothing wrong. I have not even seen my three grandaughters for almost a year in a half. Either did my mom for no reason and now she is passed. No reason. It is heartbreaking but you sound strong maybe a lot stronger than you think. So just hang in there ok. Bless you

  3. I’m 30 and am having some trouble with my mother that I would love to get your opinions on. We’re very close, and I think she’s suffered from depression on/off for years, and I’ve always been happy to be there for her. We text everyday and have calls every few days that last 3-4 hours long, of which a large part consists of me listening to the problems she has with others and how badly she feels. I’ve tried my best to be there for her and give her support or advice, but sometimes it gets really emotionally exhausting. Also, when I am not able to answer her call immediately or I happen to be busy that day, she gets upset and tells me I am not doing enough. It’s like I’m on call or something, and when I mentioned this she got really angry at me.

    The other thing she does which I am so broken up about is yell a lot. And not just the normal type of shouting when someone raises their voice, but the kind of raging and screaming that is so traumatising to the person at the other end. Sometimes it’s over things that don’t make sense, like the last time she screamed it was over the fact that my sister sent her a nice card for Mother’s Day and all I did was send a “fucking spa set”. I feel so so drained, and obviously will not cut her out of my life, but I find that no matter how many boundaries I set, it’s just been feeling and getting worse and worse.

    We live in different countries now, and she wants to move to where I am for at least 6 months to get away from my dad. Normally I would of course want to support family the best way I can, but with her temperament and the way she sometimes treats me sometimes I think about her coming and I end up crying. I can’t tell my mum that she isn’t allowed to come here I mean that’s just awful to say, but I don’t know what to do.

    1. It sounds as though your mother has narcissistic tendencies. If so, there will never be a time that you will have done enough to make her happy. I had a sister-in-law who was like that & she only got worse as she aged. Her only child, a daughter, ended up seeing a counselor for years because of her mom’s behavior, and ended up having to mostly avoid her. You have your own life to live and, if your mother thinks of you the way I do my children (ages, 38, 43, & 45), she’ll put your happiness first, even if she feels left out or ignored. If she starts screaming at you, tell her in a calm voice that you will talk to her when she has more control of her temper. Say something like, “I love you, mom, but I can’t talk to you when you’re so upset. Goodbye for now. Love you!” My advice is to NOT allow her to come stay with you. It would only result in alienation and/or resentment. You are not responsible for trying to fix your mom’s problems. It would be better for her to find a good counselor who can see things objectively and give advice accordingly. When I’ve had a couple of rough patches in life, I went to a counselor. I didn’t cry on my daughter’s shoulder, because I knew it would do nothing to enrich her life. Your mom needs to grow up, and it sounds like she will need a psychologist or psychiatrist to help her do that.
      I hate when mothers say they think their children owe them simply because they gave birth to them and made sacrifices. My grandmother had that mindset, but she was born in the 1800’s! Children didn’t choose to be born, and parents shouldn’t have kids, nowadays, with the purpose in mind of their kids taking care of them later in life. Have children because you want to love and nurture them into become loving, caring, strong, independent, productive members of society.

  4. I totally and utterly agree with the comments made by “Denise Williams” and by “F”. It is wrong for the sole perspective to be that of the parents, who always complain that they cannot understand why they are estranged from their adult children. Too many parents seem to present themselves as though they are perfect, and could never have done anything to push their children away, or to cause distance in the relationship they have with their offspring. This is a complete and utter LIE. Fact.
    As the adult daughter of a mentally ill mother (BiPolar) who was treatment resistant, and an emotionally cold, arrogant, self-absorbed father, who was also my mother’s co-dependent, I can tell you categorically that when an adult child distances him- or herself from a parent, or from both parents, there is generally a DAMNED GOOD REASON. And most parents will know this. Because the adult child will have been trying to tell them for years.
    Both myself and my husband are distanced from our parents – both my own parents, and my husband’s. This is because of the parents’ behaviours and attitudes just as much, if not more, than it is to do with us. I will talk first about my family, and then a little about my husband’s.
    I was, as a child, subject to care proceedings involving the Local Authority (social services) because my mother was mentally ill. My parents at this point were not coping, and the solution was for me to start full time education early. Obviously, now that I am an adult, I have questions about this period in my life. Especially because I was badly bullied at school due to the fact that other people, including kids in m class, knew about my mother’s mental illness. The problem was – and still is – that my parents refuse point blank to talk to me about this. So, when I was growing up, I had nobody to confide in about being bullied, and nor was I allowed to ask about my mother’s illness even though it scared me. To this day, my parents are angry, hostile and defensive when I try to talk about the past. I have had to live with the knowledge that my family has secrets, but that these secrets often involve aspects of my own life that I am not permitted to discuss. My parents always put THEIR OWN feelings and needs before mine, and seem to much prefer refusal to talk, as opposed to openness and honesty. Obviously, this creates distance.
    Added to this, my mother has periods of refusing her medication, which, as you can imagine, creates intense worry for all of the family. But, if we try to persuade her to stay well, she blames us. Once, she even accused my father of trying to poison her, when all he was actually doing was trying to give her medication. My father, meanwhile, does not seek help from the NHS or social services. Instead, he comes to me in a panic. The last time, he rang me late at night to say my mother had disappeared, and should he call the Police! She had been gone since midday, and had taken her car, as well as his car keys so he could not search for her, and had turned off her mobile phone. I was worried she might be suicidal. This is the sort of stuff that happens in my family.
    Alas, if I do get in touch, then I have to put up with abuse and name calling. My father – yes, MY OWN FATHER – accused me of being “stuck up” when he found out I was undertaking postgraduate study. When I got married, my OWN MOTHER said sneeringly that I was “not a wedding dress sort of girl” (implying I was unattractive). I was also treated very differently to my younger brother (my parents’ favourite) while growing up. For example, I had to do household chores such as washing and ironing, or cleaning, whilst my lazy brother did NOTHING. I also had to have weekend and holiday jobs whilst I was at school ad university. Again, my brother did NOTHING. When I ask my parents why they treated us differently they just make excuses and try to change the subject. My brother was even permitted to stay out late at night and get drunk, then let himself into my parents’ house. Whereas if I was late home, I got punished (usually grounded and shouted at). Also, my brother could dress however he wanted, but I got told off if I looked scruffy, or tomboyish, or dressed in clothes my parents did not approve of. Finally, my parents let my brother get away with dropping out of university not once, but twice! If I had failed any of my studies, they would have gone crazy. But my brother, well? It’s clearly different. Can they explain this? No. (Probably because they don’t want to be exposed as sexist).
    My father is loud, aggressive, and abusive. He used to hit me. Neither of my parents were supportive or encouraging (see example respecting postgraduate study). They are not easy to talk to. They are emotionally unavailable, and have little concern about my concerns as they are too wrapped up in their own.
    Now to my husband’s family. We are distant from them, too. This is mostly due to my mother-in-law who is nosy, intrusive and a huge gossip. She has no concept of boundaries at all, offers unsolicited advice, comments on your appearance, clothing, job, qualifications, housekeeping… in fact, pokes her nose into pretty much every aspect of your private life, where it is not wanted. I am pretty sure if she could get away with asking what underwear I wore, and how often I had sex with my husband, she would. Her intrusion and demanding behaviour are off the scale.
    She plays the victim and never shuts up about her aches and pains. This is a woman who has a gardener, a home help, neighbours who do shopping for her, and a regular hairdresser, as well as home visits from the doctor and pharmacy. She has more people running around after her and making a fuss of her than I could care to imagine. Personally, I could not conceive of trying to go through life, expecting people to do things for me. When she makes a demand, she just expects people to drop everything for her. And, if you spend time with her, all she does is talk about herself. She appears to have no concept of the fact that other people have their own lives. Even with all the people she has running around after her, she still asks for us to do her shopping, put her rubbish out, walk her dog for her. She has tried to demand that my husband helps tidy her garden for her (even though she has gardeners!). Also, if she even so much as has a sniffle, she is on the phone, whining and demanding visits. What is the point? After all, what can we do? If she is unwell, then she should phone the doctor!
    However, just as with my own parents, when you do spend time with her, she is rude, dismissive, interfering, judgemental and patronising. She cannot seem to bear it if the limelight is not entirely on her, and as I have said, talks endlessly about herself. She also likes to stir up trouble, even between my husband and his brothers. For example, she accused him of forgetting to keep in touch with his brothers, and forgetting to send them birthday cards. When my husband explained that this was not true, and that actually, it was his brothers who had forgotten his birthday, his mother completely ignored what he said, and continued to blame him. She kept talking over the top of him like he didn’t even exist, and as a result he got annoyed, and then she tried to accuse him of being “abusive”. On another occasion, she insulted my other in front of me, and then later I heard her laughing about it with one of her elderly friends. She treats my family as if we are pariahs because she knows my mother has BiPolar. She has even said to my face “Oh, so it’s genetic. Does everybody in your family have it?”. Talk about rude and insensitive! She shouts at her pet dog in front of you, which is just cringeworthy. The poor animal ends up yelping and whining, and then she just shouts at it more. If it starts barking, she sends it to its bed! That is just cruel. Also, she shuts her pet cats in the garage, and shouts at them too.
    The worst thing is that she spreads gossip. My husband and I have heard her gossiping about us to other family members, and also to her neighbours. Some of these are people who do not even know us. It is wrong of a person to spread gossip. When she does this within the family, it causes even further rifts, because she often tries to drag extra family members into feuds, demanding that they take her side. My point is that if she has a problem with her son, or with me, she should talk to US about it, instead of going round all of the rest of the family.
    There is also the issue of parents trying to force their children to do things to suit the parent, or to be who the parents want them to be. This is a problem both in my family, and in my husband’s. For example, my parents always expected me to dress the way they wanted. They were picky about who I dated. They demanded that I excelled at school but then my father tried to accuse me of “snootiness” after I went to university. So, it seems that whatever I do is wrong. Then, my husband’s mother pokes her nose into when we are going to have children – literally demanding that we give her grandkids. She expects us to have the same political views as her. And she is a evangelical Christian, so she is offended that we refuse to be converted to her religion. All of this is very insensitive and intrusive.
    These are the reasons that people drift away and distance themselves from their parents. Adult children have their own lives and issues to deal with, and it would be nice if their parents could respect this. Parenting is not about POSSESSION or OWNERSHIP of a child, and children are not there to be their parents’ counsellors, substitute spouses, carers, personal valets, or punchbags. The problem would appear to be that some parents glorify their role as parent, and paint themselves as perfect when they are not. They act like their children owe them something, and have a duty to them just for being born. This is not so, and the reality is that some parents talk rudely and insensitively to their children, or abuse them, or have mental illnesses that they refuse to get treatment for, or drink, or spread gossip. All of these things are offensive and insulting to their adult offspring, and so those offspring choose to distance themselves from the offending parent. This is not because the children are bad. It is often because the children would like to be able to sort whatever problem that exists with their parents out, but the parents refuse to talk about it, or refuse to deal with it. Instead, what happens is that when the adult child tries to point out that there is a problem, the parent becomes defensive, angry or upset. They may clam up, or they may shout at the adult child. Other times, the parent may deny anything is wrong, or accuse the adult child of being rude, or label them the problem. NONE of this is actually the case.
    Estrangement seldom happens for no reason at all. And it is highly unlikely, from what I have seen, that it happens to kind, loving, perfect parents. If they were really so kind, loving and perfect then their offspring would have NO reason to complain. I can tell you for a fact that being at loggerheads with your parent(s) is no fun, and it would be far easier and much more pleasant to have a healthy, honest, mutually respectful and affectionate relationship. And, if this were achievable, then estrangement would not need to happen.

    1. Em, check out NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) I think you will find it resonates with your experiences with your mum and dad to a tee. There are many online resources for “adult daughters of narcissistic mothers”I think you will find your answers and your people there.

  5. Wow. I am in the same situation. My ex-husband has had my kids from the time they were 7, 11, and 16. These kids were my heart and soul. I missed out on all their later milestones. On all the hugs and kisses. He also did it to hurt me because I divulged a dark secret of his to his wife and my daughter. He raped a child and was never charged. My daughter and I were butting heads at the time and she decided she was leaving me to live with him. I needed to let her know. He and his wife who is 15 years younger than him (of course) have raised my kids and turned them against me.
    It is agonzing. I’ve often wanted to die. It’s been 8 years and it still hurts. I, too, was financially strapped and could not afford a fight in court. I pray God repays them 1000 times the hurt they’ve dealt me.

  6. I am not sure how to respond, yet feel I want to. I got divorced while pregnant with my second daughter, and then had another 3 years later from another relationship. I lived for my children, or at least I thought I did. Being a mother defined me. But in hindsight, and now being a grandmother, I could have done better. But I do not judge how my daughter is raising her son. I have my opinions, and try to share and help, but she can only do the best she can. When she is older I believe she will see that, and I think she knows I did the best I knew how at the time. She always says if anything happens to her, she would want me to raise her son. I have had long talks with her and apologized for my shortcomings. I’ve told her specifically the things I saw that I thought I did wrong, so maybe she knows I would do better if I were to do it again. There are no do overs, but every day I am thankful I get the chance to tell my kids I love them. Every day I dont miss an opportunity to say it because tomorrow isnt a given and no matter what yesterday was, I am thankful for today. Please if you can try not to live in the past, dont. Let it go.

  7. we were a happy family when my children were young, we had everything going for us, 8 year old son and 4 year old daughter; we had a wonderful life. Then their dad and I fell apart, our wonderful life was over and we went through a horrible divorce. He had enough money to basically pay off a crooked judge and got custody of my babies. I went through the most agonizing depression. He kept my children from me to basically to hurt me. I was robbed a life with my treasured babies. I have spent time with them through the years, but I don’t think I’ll ever get over those times. They are now 30and 26. I know they love me and we talk (they’re in Maine, I’m in Texas), but I know they have deep underlying feelings from childhood. I speak with my 26 year old daughter pretty regular, but my son not very often at all. I text, but rarely get a response. I love my children sososo much and I want them to have a happy life.

      1. Good for you! I’m trying to get there. Stay strong and happy…live your life with a set of values that puts you first. You deserve it.

  8. I have two daughters, 14 years apart in age. My oldest is from my first marriage and her dad and I divorced when she was 6., she is now 32. My youngest was two when her dad and I split up (never married), she is 18 now. Talk about night and day in personality. My oldest and I have been attached at the hip since birth. Even thru the teen years, we never had a problem. We remain attaqched to this day. My youngest on the other hand, is quite the opposite. I resented having a child later in years than I ever expected, and I have no doubt that came across. From day one she was difficult. An hour or two of sleep, up again. She was difficult in all of her other relationships as well, friends included. Except her dad. She still cannot see him for who he really is. Her dad has played the victim for so long, that is how she sees him. Someone who has been victimized (by me for ending the relationship), and because she has no real memory of that time, only goes by what he has told her. I chose to keep quiet about it. I never talked badly about my oldest daughters dad, I figured she would figure it out when she was ready and ask the questions she needed to know, and she did, at age 12. At age 18, my youngest still goes by what dad says, and now I am afraid it is too late for her to question anything, because it now seems set in stone.

    I finally told her not long ago, when she acted mad at me for breaking up with her dad 16 years ago, that there are always two sides to every story, and that she hadn’t heard my side yet. And that the reason I never told her was because I wasn’t going to say things about her dad that I know would hurt her. She wanted to know, so I did finally tell her some of the things he had done, and as I thought, she didn’t believe it. I will forever be the bad guy in her eyes. When her dad got married, she was so happy for him (2 years after we split up). When I remarried 8 years later, she was less than accepting of my husband, and referred to her dad’s house as her ‘parents’ and as ‘home’. I asked her once why I was held to such a high standard, that was at times humanly impossible to meet, and her dad was always let off the hook? She said “because you are stronger than he is and you can handle it better.” I should’ve known then that she would remain dedicated to her dad and his role as victim. And that is how it has played out. Going to school part time, and me trying to give her the freedom she so desperately seemed to be seeking by telling her since she was 18, she did not need to follow visitation schedules, she has moved in with her dad full time. Anything from my house worth value to her, she took over there. If I text, she will reply. She rarely initiates. She has anger issues that are off the chart. When she lived here part time, she was lazy, rude, angry, drama at every turn. She cusses like a sailor. Isn’t working. Up all night, sleeps all day. Doesn’t do anything, including picking up aftr herself. Yet at dad’s, she cleans the house, gets up and looks for a job, picks up the grocries… yet never sees the irony in her actions. She obviously has no respect for my household, nor my feelings. She has that ability to cut people out of her life that no longer serve a purpose for her (usually financially and usually someone in my family). She is cold and I believe has a closer relationship with her phone, than she does to us.

    Yet even still, when she needs help, she comes to me because her dad always tells her no. I suppose I should be thankful I get that much, but instead it pisses me off. I am more relaxed with her not living here than I have been in years. There are no more eggshells to walk on, and it is terrible when I think of how long I sucked up to this kid just to maintain some sort of closeness. So now, when she brings her drama show over, I am immediately tense. Do not make your emergency my emergency! I have heard the “I am 18 now, I can do what I want ” speech enough times now to remind her of it. But I don’t. I don’t throw anything back at her that she has at me. I listen, I ask what she thinks is best, and in the end let her make her own choices, even when they are glaringly wrong. I still hope for a closer relationship with her. I still hope she will one day see her dads true colors. But I no longer need her to. I know she loves me, in her way and I will take that.

    1. Well, when I read your story I feel like it almost mirrors mine. My son and I have. Least had an amazing relationship. He had his space, I never kept him from his dad or anyone. I did everything to encourage his relationship with his dad and his extended family on that side. Now today, he is married with two kids, I just adored his wife for all this time… now however, I feel like our relationship has plummeted! He never calls me anymore. He snaps all the time if I call him which is almost bever( for fear of him getting upset with me) so instead I text hi! When I think of him.

      When it comes to his kids, he treats me like I am a second class citizen. Her parents see them almost three or more times weekly… get all holidays… and get to have the grand kids all the time.
      Me I get no calls, no time with him, no time with the kids and no holidays unless I go there. ( they only live an hour away) and if I go there … I most likely have to see her parents as well.

      I’m only allowed to babysit if my husband can come with me… even though I was a freaking teacher my entire career… even after they asked me to retire so I could babysit.

      I just don’t know what to do…

      The last conversation we had is when he sent me home after I asked if it was okay that I take the kids to a kiddie amusement park for an hour. ( I asked his wife since I knew he was with the kids and probably stressed out) she told me she wasn’t comfortable with it. I said ok no worries.

      I get to the house and I had a huge attitude and a huge “ licking” from my son when he sent me home. He sent me home because he started screaming at me telling me “ don’t you dare take my kids to that amusement park!!!!!!!) I’m a 35 year old man sticking up for myself was screamed at me after he yelled about me taking the kids to park. I yelled back at him… you don’t get to talk to me like that. When I said that… he said he was gonna take the day off and you go home.

      I was crushed!!! I was crushed by the whole thing

  9. I am the daughter of a senior mom. My mom does not stick up for herself. She says yes when she really wants to say no to people please. My brothers are terrible sons to her. I was the scapegoat growing up and am now the sounding board. As an adult child, I am putting my foot down. I will NOT be my mothers sounding board for her hurt feelings over how her sons and their wives and children behave.

    STAND UP FOR YOURSELVES! Period. It hurts. okay. get over it. You are not just parents, you are people. You have lives that have to be about you and not about your adult children. We need you to have a reason to live beyond us. We can not stand being your reason for living. It is way too much pressure. We did not force you to have us. You had sex and either produced an accident or planned a life with a child. That was your responsibility because of your choice. We did not ask you to bare us. You can’t put that guilt trip on us.

    If my brothers would call my mom once/week, just to say hi, just to say they love her, it would take some of the burden off of me. I simply can not handle being the only adult child to feel a duty to love. And that is what it is…a duty to love. I will never abandon my mom. But I do have excellent boundaries. Boundaries that she lacks, because she chose to have children with a man she knew was not a good husband, she chose to center her life around them, she chose to give up other things in life for her kids and now that they are all dispersed she does not know what to do with herself. That is not my fault, nor is it my responsibility to fix.

    Go to therapy if you have to in order to deal with your pain and get help in navigating the unfairness of it. Take care of yourselves, really. It is wonderful to cut out people who are not treating you with respect and focus on peace, self care, self love, health and enjoy the beautiful wonder of life. If your children do not treat you well, don’t take it. Just stop. Like you would if any other person were not treating you well. But lordy…DO NOT COMPLAIN about it. DO something! Take care of yourselves.

    1. I test my mother to see how long it takes her to contact me, if I dont ring her. Its been about six weeks this time. I finally texted her as I was getting upset. She is in constant contact with her friends and Im sure other family members with issues might drain her a bit. Shes always I love you at the end of the chat, but to me, actions speak. l think shes rather useless …and I know she wont be around forever.

      1. Son and daughter in law live very close yet hardly include me with precious Grandaughter. I’m bewildered. I take it personally and feel I failed as a Mom. I’m single and work hard. I get called when they need something. I hate Facebook as it seems everyone and their neighbor sees the grandchild but me. (I have slightly complained but mostly remain quiet and alone). I know I need to get a life but feel so shunned. I want to fix it.

      2. Ann im so sorry for this. I dont have grandchildren yet but i understand. Only women that have grown children understand. But my husband and i have figured out that this is not our faults. Children just because they inhabit a grown body doesnt mean they have grown up. When they grow up only then will they realize how important parents are.

    2. have you heard the saying what comes around goes around . I have been a good single mum to my adult son . I have supported him in his adult life helped him in difficult times . He has now living with his girlfriend Where I don’t know for nearly 2 yrs I have not seen him . I have no phone number just his email address so I emailed him a short email. Just a couple of lines to the effect missing you would like to meet up for a coffee got a long hurtful message back along with no. Yes I can move on past it but I believe it would have been nicer if he had just said sometime and not sent a hurtful reply. .

      1. I read your comment.! I can really relate. I’m sorry for all the hurt and all you go through and think about. It is not fun. It’s like we are stuck, feeling and wondering, what in the world. Don’t blame yourself. I’ll be praying for you. We women need to get together. Not really to sulk but have someone, that we can relate to,. And maybe have a friend.
        Can’t have to many of them.
        I know I could use a friend. Gwen,♥️

    3. Thank you for your comments. I recognized myself in them.
      I have 3 adult children. The oldest and youngest, both sons, have tossed me away like yesterday’s trash. One of them hasn’t spoken to me for over 3 years, the other will speak to me but it’s clear that he doesn’t want to and I have to push the issue to get him to do so. My daughter is the middle child. I don’t talk to her often but when we do it is a good conversation. I have tried to talk to her about her brothers, mostly to find out if she knows why they have turned on me like this, but I realized I was putting her in an unhappy place by doing so and I stopped. I have made the decision to leave it alone unless she is the one who initiates the conversation.
      I read the article above but can say with all honesty that I have done none of the things it suggests as causing the problems. I do not give them advice unless asked, I do not call them often, I have embraced their spouses, I give them encouragement, I try to be generous with my time and resources, I show interest in what they’re interested in and I have always been the one they have run to when life slapped them down. I also have my own life and don’t depend on them for my happiness.
      I have reached out to the youngest and his wife, with whom I used to be close, and asked if there is something I have done to cause a problem. I have told them that if I have, I would like to know so that I can fix it. They assure me that everything is fine, when clearly it isn’t. My son has not been in my home for a year and a half. I tried to make plans with them for Christmas and my Grandson’s birthday, but both came and went without a response from them at all. I have even written to my youngest son stating that I don’t want to point fingers, I just want reconciliation and a relationship with him and his family because I love them. It was completely ignored.
      I cannot imagine what I could have done to deserve to be shunned like this. I try so hard to move on, I pray, I wait and I sit here hoping that someday, whatever it is that I have done that is so unforgivable and hateful, would finally be forgiven, but I am slowly losing that hope and am beginning to face the fact that my children simply do not love me.

      1. I don’t want to say that I agree with your conclusion, because if I did agree then I would be agreeing on that same conclusion for me. Your story and it seems as well that other moms of adult married sons all have the same story all seems to steer the same direction. Sons seems to leave their moms. The problem I have is… why???????? Why do the parents of sons lose? What do the parents of those daughters do that we don’t do?

        I’m telling you, my son has always turned to me to talk about anything… I don’t tell him what to do I just listen and encourage him. All of a sudden he is married with two children and things just changed!

        I even spoke with my ex who is his dad… in my opinion, the best dad ever! My friend… and he tile me he gets what I’m saying… he told me that he only callls our kid when absolutely necessary. He feels the exact same way as me! And we live in our own lives separately. So I know it’s not me… it’s my son!

        Im here spilling my heart with this story because I want to fix this but I don’t know how.

  10. There’s too many parents, specifically mothers, out there expecting too much of their ADULT children. Most of the time, you act like you’re entitled to special treatment because you gave birth to them. Parents are to be respected – BUT – if there’s no respect for the adult children, it’s entitlement.

    I’ve read so many articles where an adult child posts how a mother is too emotionally reliant on their child, or visits unannounced, or having too much opinions on their lifestyle and choices – and then parents would comment on how she or he is being rude and disrespectful.

    How about letting your children figure out their own lives? They deserve that. What they need from their parents is the support without the expectations and the judgements. That’s when they start pushing you away.

    Just because one mom has an article that better fits YOUR opinion does NOT make it realistic.
    Many of you may even see my response as offensive. NO. THIS is realistic. If adult children rather spend more time with their significant other – let them. Don’t resort to poor, manipulative, and guilt-tripping behavior to get them to change their plans. It will make everything worse.

    Want to know what REALLY helps? LET THEM GO.
    Not the whole, “Why aren’t you calling me more?” “How come you’ll make time with friends/significant other and not me?”
    “You’re choices are making me cry every night!”
    That makes them push you away farther and farther.

    Text/Call occasionally WITHOUT expectations or demanding to make plans. Don’t contact simply to make suggestions on where to meet and who should come, etc etc.

    Be cool about it. “Hey, how are things? Just checking in. No pressure. I love you, and hope to chat soon.”

    My mom and I live hours apart, and visit every now and then. She never demands anything from me, or expects anything. She respects my personal life. Our relationship is very tight WITHOUT having to contact each other ALL the time and without having to spend time together all the time. Our bond stems from inner trust. She trusts me. I trust her. That’s where the respect comes from. Heck, there’s even some days I’ll ask to meet somewhere, and SHE’S the one who would rather catch up with a friend. COOL! LOVE IT.
    And I’d like the same relationship with my own child when she comes of age.

    Stop being so bitter about things unless your child IS truly disrespecting you to the point of abuse.
    Just don’t over react on issues that aren’t that big of a deal.

      1. You are wrong Rose. The problem with so many elderly parents is that think they are still entitled to tell their adult kids and grandchildren what to do and to be at their beck and call. It is not disrespectful to establish boundaries. It’s disrespectful for senior parents to violate those boundaries and treat adult children as if they were five years old.

    1. Your response is incredibly helpful to me. I’m the mom of 3 adult children. I have never thought of these communication issues from their perspective and now I am able to with your help.
      I take things way too seriously and am always anxious about my rapport with my adult kids. I see now that I need to relax , set my own natural boundaries and not fret so much. They don’t want me to fuss! Thank you!

    2. Thank you! You’re spot on! It’s hard to remember what life was like before kids. You put things into perspective for me. My youngest just moved out days ago. I called crying & put all of my sadness on all 3 of my kids w/out meaning too. I don’t want them feeling sad for me. I want them to have happiness w/out guilt. Making sure I’m okay everyday is not their responsibility. I’m going to text them right now & tell them Dad & I have decided to date each other again now that they’re all on their own. My husband will be happy to hear this as well. This parenting gig is HARD!!! Thank you, F! Sincerely.

    3. I liked your response most of all. I too have 4 kids and each kid treats me differently. It is my job to love them not their job to love us. I raised them, and when ready they will call me more when they need me. My kids have had a privileged upbringing with every possible opportunity presented for them; however, they also had to work very hard and appreciate and afford their own toys. They are all successful in their own right and determinations. I believe they will grow up once they have kids of their own. I have a very solid, loving and respectful relationship with my own mother – always have. I love spending time with her and dread the day she leaves this planet but I know we had a great bond all throughout our lives. I reflect my own respect towards my parents and do not place the same expectations on my own kids. I had 4 kids so that I would have someone to visit when I got older….ha ha and now that they all live in different areas; it is hard even for them to come visit me. I will take your advice and you are right I need to get a life and quit making my focus about them reaching out to me….they will when they need me. Thank-you for your insight!

      1. I get that you do not want to be “smothering “ but really… you don’t feel like they have some responsibility to encourage your relationship???? Or is this just you saying… I’m not going to be unhappy ? I really do want the real answer… I need to hear the real answer…then maybe it could help me to move on as well .

  11. Oh man… Another ridiculous article on this subject. Take the high road? Give me a break!!! I’m done with walking on eggshells.

    Hey everyone, please read “Done With the Crying” by Sheri McGregor. She’ll turn your life around for the good. She’s the only one that I could find that deals with the subject realistically.

  12. Take the high road? Hmmm.

    Our young adult adult daughter was self-absorbed, rude, and entitled while living under our roof. She resented any kind of boundaries, usually refused to even let us know where she was, who she was with, and whether she would be home for meals. At the same time, she demanded all manner of favours, and seemed to require a good deal of financial and emotional support. She expected us to be there for her all of the time, in every way. However, we were rarely invited into her world, questions asked of her were an “invasion of privacy”, the slightest bit of advice was misconstrued as “criticism” and “nosiness”, and calls or texts to her (made at pretty much any time of the day) were deemed intrusive and annoying. She expected us to respond to her texts and calls within minutes, while she would often ignore our texts to her. We were expected to entertain her friends on a moment’s notice. And God forbid that she not get her way, in the manner and fashion expected. In such situations, we could expect threats, rude comments, and accusations of being mean, uncaring, even controlling.

    Despite our daughter’s habitual rudeness, lack of respect, and oppositional nature, we continued to hold firm on some very basic house rules, which she routinely mocked. She was also dating an individual who was rather unimpressive (an understatement), yet if we expressed any concerns to our daughter about him, we were suddenly “toxic”, “controlling”, “mean”, “judgemental” We did our best to be a support to our daughter and to encourage her in her many pursuits. We even bent over backwards trying to get to know her lack-lustre boyfriend, having him for regular meals, inviting him to events, and so on. He had the personality of a wet dishrag, brought her down in countless ways, and generally was difficult to get to know. Still, we were routinely told that we weren’t doing enough to support and express happiness him, and about their relationship.

    The tensions became very emotionally taxing, and took a toll on every member of the household. One day, our daughter announced that she had had enough, and was moving out. While the timing and practicality of her move-out did not seem a smart choice for a variety of reasons, it turned out to be positive for all involved. Since she moved out, we have experienced a peace and stability in our home that had been lacking for some time. We now have more time, energy, and resources for other things and we no longer wake up in the morning wondering when the first bit of drama will arise. The limited encounters we now have with our daughter are generally pleasant. She remains a self-absorbed, immature millennial who chooses to learn her life lessons the hard way on most things. So far, she has mostly only initiated contact with family members when she has wanted or needed something. She has little concept of showing respect or honour to her parents or grandparents, but hopefully this will come as she matures.

    We have recently come to the realization that we have been part of the problem, but not in the way the the author of this article has suggested. In any relationship, we often subconsciously “teach” others how to treat us. Kids who treat their parents badly continue treating their parents badly along as this practice is tolerated. Some adult children treat their parents badly simply because they are ignorant and self-centred, and have no idea what a healthy, reciprocal relationship looks like, and in those cases, there is not much that can be done. Perhaps some of our daughter’s self-centredness stems from us placing her too much at the centre of our family life, such that our own needs are no longer seen as important. Perhaps some of her entitlement stems from the fact that we have done too much for her. Perhaps her demands are partly a result of us stepping in too often to rescue her from negative consequences. We have come to realize that we have put up with more than necessary from her, and it has hurt rather than helped her. So, now when she responds to a simple text or call with rudeness, we disengage, except to express that her response was hurtful. When she behaves like a spoiled child in our home, we ask her politely to leave. When she fails to purchase birthday gifts for other family members, we stop purchasing gifts for her too. Relationships are a 2-way street. When she tells us that we don’t support her enough financially, we give her even less, investing instead in people who are genuinely grateful for our support, and who express their appreciation. When she complains loudly about how hard a given situation is, we listen and empathize but are not quite so quick to step in and relieve her suffering. Life and logical consequences are good teachers! As for me, I am getting on with my life! If my daughter chooses to be a part a my life and make it a reciprocal relationship, great. If not, I will invest more in those who treat me well, enjoy my company, answer my texts more often than not, and bring me joy instead of stress!

    1. It’s the other way around for me my Mom and other relatives don’t want to keep in touch with me…However, my daughter and I reach out once or twice a month through txt or phone call…

      1. I think adult children have become selfish it’s not there fault society has made them like it ie credit cards they do not need an old chair now from mum or granny they have every thing on the card and then have to work overtime to pay it off so then something has to go and it’s time,time for mum time for granny time for themselves they do not know which way to turn except for their friends they have gotten into what is a magic round about and cannot get off .they have to pay for big morgages clothes false nails false eyelashes new boobs so come on folks where do we fit in.

    2. I feel for you and I want to thank you for your honesty, you are definitely not alone in this – it is harder when one has triplets who all take their shots at you both as parents. The rudeness is intolerable and best left alone to fester in their souls. They all were quite vocal about how abusive we were while raising them giving them everything we never had as kids. Then they spout off telling us we didn’t quite do enough for them and go to their girlfriends/boyfriends families on holidays and birthdays calling their family members aunts and uncles to feel included after you have provided all you could afford with a conditions of gratitude and love. I have personally had enough of their poison and cut them off by making a personal choice to keep my health and sanity and not waste my precious time with someone who could care less if I drop dead or not. I am willing to let the road take them where it must. If they would ever wish to earn back the relationship they threw away it will be an extremely cautious one.

      1. My parents were very cold growing up. And my mother was practically non-existent. We never shared in anything, and when I say anything I mean it – we have never done a thing together, she has never called me or visited me, had lunch etc… normal things that mothers and daughters do. She spent most of my young childhood screaming and yelling at all of us kids so much so that she earned the nickname of “the screamer” on our little cul de sac. She was belittling, negative, and always in a bad mood. There was just no guidance, no love and no joy. My father wasn’t much better … he wasn’t around that much because he was busy working but when he was around he was cold and unemotional. He would help me with my math homework but didn’t make me feel very good when I couldn’t understand it. Over the years I became somewhat of a ghost myself, always travelling, and trying to live as far away from these two as I could. I guess I wanted to assert my own independence even though I’d be fired from nearly every job I ever did! Whenever I would return for a visit my mother would treat me like a stranger who was boarding at her house … not a daughter she hadn’t seen in awhile… I made an effort to try and bond with her, asking her to go places with me but I got nothing in return. Finally, I made the decision to leave and never come back after my mother told my niece “you can have her room as soon as she blows.” I knew right then and there that it was just pointless to save this so called relationship. When my dad dropped me at the bus station he screamed and yelled at me in front of everyone because he thought I was going nowhere in life and he was actually right. I didn’t know what I was doing but all I wanted was some love and support while I tried to sort my life out and I was trying … but we have never spoken since until last year when I messaged my dad and tried once again to establish contact. Big mistake – he wrote back “scolding” me as if I was still 13 years old, it was awful, he ranted and raged online about not staying in touch with him and my mom but I guess it’s ok for her not to stay in touch with me …? She has never even been a real mother to me so what’s the difference? Why is he so mad that I wasn’t in touch all these years when they’ve never really been parents at all? I mean, what in the world does he expect??? Am I being too sensitive here? You can’t treat your kids like shit and then expect them to stick around ….. there are consequences in life ….

    3. Well written and I am glad to see you are setting boundaries as that is a necessary step. While reading this, I could not help but wonder if a mental disorder could possibly be affecting your daughter? I am not a psychologist], though have a sibling who has narcissistic personality disorder among other things. This causes a distorted view of reality about most everything; exhibiting some of the behaviors you described, such as entitlement and the constant criticism of others’ behavior, where there is an inability of the victim of the behavior to ever please, because it all about self. I don’t know, but it may be worth a google search. Best wishes.

  13. Take the high road, huh? It seems more like I”m hearing continue to take their inconsiderate demands and once in a while, feel free to say NO. We gave our children a very good life. We sheltered them as much as possible from life’s painful situations. We gave them more than what we had as children growing up. And what we have come to realize, regretfully, that many are self-absorbed people. Incentivise them to come home or call? Visiting one’s parents and calling them is honoring parents and showing love. As adults, I do believe our children need to find their way in life. They pass through us but they do not BELONG to us. If they are sucking you dry and leaving you worse off after their visits or calls, feel free to allow them to experience the lack of your time, attention and funding. This is an opportunity for their growth and self-awareness and for you to work on self-care. We must make our own happiness and not look to others to make us happy.

  14. I get all of these parents, I was especially close to my younger daughter and after her dad passed away and I remarried that was it for our close relationship. We may see each other once a year(at Christmas) at her sisters house. I can’t seem to get through to them that I call or text you to check on you and that’s it. Sometimes I never hear back.

    1. I needed to read this Things have really changed I grew up to honor your parents I saw my parents taking care of their parents In fact I had a great grandmother whom my grandmother took care of A whole loving family that took care of each other No wonder it was so easy for me to become a caretaker My mother was first when I was thirty my mother developed breast cancer my brother was living in California and he came home to help. My sister also helped She lived for 2 more years and we all helped It was a very hard time but none of us had any regrets This is what we witnessed as children It was only natural Later in life my brother developed hepatitis and we were all there for his care I even rode in the ambulance
      When he changed hospitals It wasn’t long until he also passed away. Shortly after that my grandmother at age 94 needed help They arranged for full time help during the week and because she had 4 sons it was her granddaughters that would rotate on the weekends I lived 8 hours away but every 4th weekend I would make the trip to care for her and the other 3 weekends were covered by my cousins. No one complained it was just what you do for family This lasted about a year and she too passed I cherished the special time I had with her A few years later my sister had a heart attack so I was care taker again I even spent some nights in the hospital with her and bathed her once she got home This time she survived thank God. Now I am older and I need help and can’t find anyone to help me (unless I pay them) I hate to see the way the world has changed and darn the ones that would of helped have all passed

  15. Comforting to know I am not alone. Still hurts. Raised my kids after divorce (ages 4 & 8 yrs). Father moved away with no contact with kids. It wasn’t always this way. I’m not allowed to take pictures of my son’s boy’s unless they give me their permission. My daughter says I’m a bad influence on her daughter age 14 yrs old. My husband and I raised this child age 3 yrs when my daughter joined National Guard or when she wanted to go out and party. She married a man (not father of granddaughter) who was accused of molesting my granddaughter. Hurting grandmother.

  16. I enjoyed the article and comments — life does not stop when our children become independent adults. It truly begins — by giving us a second chance to focus on ourselves without feeling guilty. Stop fretting over your selfish adult children — keep active by staying healthy!!!

  17. Im tired of always being the one to text or call. Then i wait for days for a response,if i get one. My kids are 36 and 39. The 39 yr old decided for some unknown reason he doesnt want to call or be a part of our family suddenly. I did not raise my kids to be like this. I would have never been like this with my parents. I am close to retirement age and guess i will be alone. What is wrong with this generation of kids? I have always been there for them and this is the thanks i get.

    1. You sound like me. I thought I was alone. I was a stay at home mom raised my 3 girls hoping they’d stay close to me like I was with my mom. A day doesn’t go by without talking to my mom. I thought it would follow suit. They all live out of town and I’m lucky they want to see me once a year. I cry… I hate it.

      1. Wow and here’s me thinking it’s just me. I had terrible parents and vowed I would be a great Dad given the opportunity, I did everything I could for my kids. Their mother decided she wanted to party instead of being a parent and initiated a divorce I fought through it all to protect my kids, nearly bankrupting myself. Now they are adults they never call, i can initiate some things with my daughter but my son has me low on his priority list. I am married again and need to enjoy my life now but i feel dogged by guilt and doubts about how i parented them. The thing is we go through that paradigm shift when our children are born vowing to love and protect them to our last breath and never understanding that the pay back may not equal the investment. Reading this makes me understand their are a lot of us in the same situation and it helps. Learning to re centre on ourselves has got to be the key and without guilt.

      2. Hi there! It’s Gwen, you are not alone! I’m 67 and still don’t understand. Or know what I can do.
        But, you can not do anything, give them space, to think about things I did,
        Time keeps going by.
        People say, well you can’t make them. You can’t but,.
        I can’t stand this. We can’t help but, to blame ourselves.
        Just pray about it , God knows our heart. And we should have total faith, our Father will be the only one that can talk to there hearts, as the live letter he sent”the Bible! Tells us to leave it with faith with him, all to him.
        It’s hard. But if that’s all we can do. And if they, do text or call, just listen. Make it simple with love.
        I’ll be praying, for all us ladies, that’s are hurting.
        A heart thing

  18. Divorced after a 30 year marriage, my son, at 21 at time of divorce, claim I cheated, but I didn’t, I gave up, because my ex wife would not share in our relationship, my daughters were different, kept a relationship
    But since the election, we have our differences and I am the bad guy, I used to call in the past every week, even though I would get a message, now I am depressed, don’t call anymore, and feel I not worthy of
    Being their father. I have given up, but I do send cards and gifts to their kids, but never worry about hearing from them, but do worry that they have talked to their kids about me, or tell their kids the gifts came from somewhere else.
    My son and wife never acknowledge receiving gifts, so sad. I have given up, but will keep up with sending gifts to the
    Grad kids birthdays. One day when they get older, they may start questioning their parents, hoping they will come
    To their senses.

    1. I am in the same boat. I feel your pain. After reading the internet dry on ‘adult children of divorced’ parents, I find no solution. I seem to be in the wrong most of the time. It is a new world for communication…..none. Yet I watch other families bond. My self esteem is suffering and my happiness. It is true that we need to put our focus on ourselves and just leave them to live their lives. I am 72 and they are going to blow it…..sad for the grand kids, super sad for us. Know that you are not alone…..it’s referred to as an epidemic. Stay sane :)

      1. My heart hurts for you. I have two kids and got divorce at 20 years, my son was 16 and my daughter 21. I have been very close to my children but when my son moved out to go to college he asked me to move back to save money to buy his house after a year I told him it was time for him to move out due to he was incredibly disrespectful which he apologized for, A month later he bought a house and I paid someone to help clean it and he was very appreciated, we bought him a brand new bedroom set and all the stuff for his kitchen. I stopped by to say hi and his girlfriend was home and he has cameras because he is a police officer and he called me and yelled at me that he did not want me just dropping by that I needed to call for permission. I felt like he put my heart in a blender at high speed. It has never been the same between us. We all were incredibly close. IM not sure what he is so angry about to this day but I do know I stayed home and raise both of my children and never saw this coming. God knows as parents what we do and one day our kids will be in our position and I pray their kids don’t put them through what they are putting us through. My prayer for you is that someone magical comes into your life that can take some of the time spent on thinking about your children away and allow you to have fun. I know my kids take up way too much time in my mind. Best of luck to you.

      2. I’ve been emotionally, verbally abused by my son, my only child. Almost all of this has to do with his actress,liar,controlling, mentally ill other half not married and I have a gkid, I have no almost noncontact witeither ofnthem, because of HER
        I’m done with his abuse, verbal and emotional, he says things I can’t even defend because they’re so in Layla land!,,. I can’t beleive it has come to this. I’m 68 and he is 43.
        I can’t do this anymore, he doesn’t care. I’m not too sure this is his truth, it is mine.
        I have five other Gkids afrom a 23 yr relationship. THEY ARE MY FAMILY. In do feel guilt, don’t feel it is warranted. It is what it is? This is my only life. I deserve to be happy and T peace. I do not feel this with my son”…..

      3. I have a similar experience. My childhood was great until age 11 when my parents separated. They divorced when I was 14 and my mother remarried.
        My parents sold our childhood home, split the proceeds and led their lives after that mainly with their own self interest as the most important thing.
        It was very difficult for me and I had not parental support for my adult goals. At this time I am barely making it.
        My parents think I am a pathetic loser. The truth is, they are pathetic losers.
        I keep contact with them to an absolute minimum. They never think of my welfare – only theirs. This has been their pattern for 40 plus years. I do t expect it to change.
        Ironically, their parents did not divorce and their families were a tight economic and emotional unit.
        You do reap what you sow. It is ridiculous for old parents to expect a warm and fuzzy relationship with adult children with whom they have had no relationship. They want caregiving just because they procreated and have a false idea that they were great parents. Their re-written” history is something that sickens me (literally) so I keep my distance.

    2. I see these trends—parents giving to much and desiring a relationship with their adult children.

      I have met elderly parents who when asked about their children assisting them in aging issues, heard I often ”Oh, my children are too busy, they have their own lives.” This results in — the government having to take care of the parents totally!

      My cousins are very, very well off but their parents were left in a lurch at time of aging issues.

      I’m thinking this trend is more due to lack of respect and value of parents. I’m very concerned about selfish kids.

      1. Ann im so sorry for this. I dont have grandchildren yet but i understand. Only women that have grown children understand. But my husband and i have figured out that this is not our faults. Children just because they inhabit a grown body doesnt mean they have grown up. When they grow up only then will they realize how important parents are.

      2. Laura we all should be concerned. Somethings not right with this pic. Going through this with my only child my son is 24 married and unless i call or text i get nothing. Thats all i want is one time a week hear that they are ok. A text, a call or message saying hi mom im doing good and a i love you. Heck at this point would take it once a month. Thats just ridiculous. I speak happily with my mom and or dad once a day. I shouldnt have to beg for a simple text.

    1. Great article. I related a lot to it! I just feel I don’t deserve to be treated better because I wasn’t a good mom really.
      So I take it and listen to my kids, especially my oldest. I told them from my heart I did my best with what I knew, but they find it hard to believe. But I don’t want to be spoken to like that because I really worked on myself to be a better person and mom and I’ll keep working on it!
      We were a dysfunctional family unfortunately. If I only knew then what took me almost my whole life to learn. My kids now are in their thirties and are all healthy and functioning. Thank God! But I know there is repercussion from it.
      Thank you for listening and sharing!

      1. Hi Kathy, your words find an echo in my heart. I also feel I do not deserve to be treated better either. The difference with my story is that I have tried to talk with my adult children, I have asked their forgiveness, but they refuse to be honest about their thoughts. They just keep as far away from me as possible. Every once in a while I get a message with two words from one of them, the other one even more rarely. My life without them and my grandchildren means nothing to me, I have done what I had thought was best for our family, but I did all wrong. I have asked forgiveness, I have asked for them to be honest with me, but they say they have nothing to forgive me for, and yet, there is this distance, this indifference,and there are days when I wake up, I think, “Another day…what for?”. I know I am being ungrateful by thiking this way. I wish you and all here the best.

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