Inconsiderate Adult Children

I love my children, ages 35 and 27, and I have always done things to help them out, and when they ask, my answer is usually, "Yes." Problem is that they only seem to show caring or concern when they want something. Mom, can you take care of the kids? Mom or dad, can you come help me? I have a flat tire. etc. etc. On New Years Eve or New Years Day neither son or daughter-in-law called or emailed to say Happy New Year - even though my husband in halfway around the world on business, and I am alone. My daughter, is mentally handicapped and she lives in our home. Often, as of late she is inconsiderate and very selfish, kind of like she is going through a very delayed adolescence. All of this causes feelings of sadness and I feel so alone. Perhaps my expectations are too high. Sometimes I just want to run away from home, but I have no place to go.

Expectations Expectations
56-60, F
8 Responses Jan 2, 2010

I have a similar experience. The parents in my generation were not so feelings-based and treated their children with a "children should be seen and not heard" attitude. Today, we treat our children with love, respect, and concern for their feelings. We adopt the attitude of "children are people too." The problem I have encountered and observe, is that our children are given to much without having to earn it. Consequently, they are quite selfish, have a strong sense of entitlement, and seem to have no feeling of reciprocity. It is so sad because many of us have no real connection with our children any more and it makes sense that we would feel alone and forgotten.

You are clearly not alone. I have a 23 year old daughter and a seventeen year old daughter. I have a granddaughter from the 23 year old. She is my daughter, I love her dearly but , she refuses to accept responsibility for that child. Taking her to my wife's mothers house to watch her and back to my house, back and forth with no consideration for the fact that I work every day as well as my wife. What hurts so much is the fact that she doesn't seen to care. Watching my my granddaughter at times is delightful and at times is stressful. You don't want to be mean, but when do I get a chance to live my life in peace. Good luck, your not alone,..

You are certainly not alone. I hear stories from other people who are going through the same things (and worse) with their grown children. I wish I could go back in time and do a better job of parenting, but I'd probably just make different mistakes. It does no good to beat ourselves up. We did the best we could with what we knew at the time. We are baby boomers, and I do believe we were raised in and taught some of our parenting ideas. I always thought that if I just loved the kids and built up their self-esteem, then they would grow up to become loving people. Well . . . WRONG! If I had it to do over again, I would have expected more from them; given them less, and had more clearly stated rules. Anyway, Where am I now? Most of the time I still feel that I am caught in an impossible situation. Due to my daughter's mental illness, she can no longer drive. She lives with us, as she has no money to do otherwise. I am her taxi to the grocery store, medical appointments, etc. She has applied for Low Income Housing, and I am praying that she will get a call soon, and then I'll gladly help move her out. This is something that needs to happen for her and for me. My son and daughter-in-law both work at part time jobs, and they struggle to pay their bills. I have been keeping their kids (3 ) for them, and I do enjoy being with them - some. However, I am feeling overwhelmed with keeping them as often as I do. I talked to my daughter-in-law about finding some other help with childcare, as I just can't do it all the time. I think I need to push that more, so they won't look to grandma as a free babysitting service. At this time in my life, I would like to enjoy a bit of retirement. I would like to take some trips with my husband and to simply have a life apart from my adult children.

I just stumbled upon this as I was frantically searching for an outlet. My sons are 22 & 24 and both are still home and unable to get their lives together. My husband and I thought the same thing, give them what we didn't have and that would make them happy and well balanced, not so much. I can't even join them in watching a TV show without them getting mad if I ask a question about it. We just moved to our favorite area by the beach and my husband and me were looking forward to enjoying it but with the boys still home it's just the same stuff, different location. I want to stop helping them all together and just concentrate on my relationship but it's hard when they are still so needy.

Hi Expectations, I was just wondering how you are getting on now. Reading your story is like I was reading about myself, just that I have 5 now adult children, saying that being five heartache's and headache's. Please get back to me, you story made me feel a bit better as it made me see that I am not alone.

It's my two oldest who present the challenge for me. They are 21 & 20 years old. They live with their father (figured he would teach them how to be men) but that hasn't gone real well. They complain about what type of work they want to do, where they are willing to work (yeah right in this economy), etc. Hand is always out but they don't do much of anything to give back.<br />
<br />
But like Phillicity said, we created these monsters by giving them what they wanted, and not what they needed. We've done such a great dis-service because now they think they're entitled.

I agree, as parents we are enabler's. I have a 23 year old and a seventeen year old, along with a 4 year old granddaughter from the oldest. I am so worn out, so is my wife, carting the seventeen year everywhere, watching the baby for the 23 year old, when can we get our lives back,. And what makes it so stressful is the fact that these kids have no remorse when they mistreat us as parents. If I could do it all over, they wouldn't get s..t unless they earned it. They feel because we are their parents that they have an inherent right to mistreat and use us. My wife lets them do it to her, as for me , they know where I stand. I still fulfill my obligations as a parent as I always have, but when I]m tired and I don't fell like doing something for them I won't,..

Andrew, good for you! I'm going to use you as inspiration

It has been 20 months since I wrote that. Many things have changed since then. I went thru some horrific experiences with my daughter. She was diagnosed as Bipolar I, Hypomanic. Her symptoms were increasing gradually, and I had no idea what was happening with her. When she became so out of control that she was a risk to me and to herself, she was hospitalized for awhile. As bad as the experience was for me and my family, I know her life was a living Hell. Now, things are better some days, and then on others I'm back to walking on eggshells. I've been seeing a counselor on a regular basis, and that has helped. I have also taken a more active role in doing things for ME. Little things, like exercise classes, lunch with a friend now and then, and taking short vacations by myself or with my husband. There are days when I cry, but there are more days when I find little things to be thankful for. I understand what Bridgett is saying. I have had those same thoughts. It is one of those things that you can't really tell anyone else. I have often regretted that I married and had the 2 children. There has been so much pain and incredible hurt. However, I do have 3 beautiful grandchildren, and I'm loving them. They think grandma is pretty wonderful and they make life so much better. I am not giving up on my 2 adult children. My daughter needs support, prayer and love. She also needs to accept reality and responsibilty. We are working on that. My heart still desires a closer relationship with my adult son, but he is SO distant. I have focused more attention on my daughter-in-law, and she is more responsive than my son is. I've just decided that I'm not going to beat myself up for the way my son acts. I go on with my life - and keep praying that he will grow up, man up and become more responsible. During the past 8 months he and his family have experienced some awful life events that turned their world upside down. He lost a great job; was unemployed for 6 months; they lost their home one month before their baby was born. I did not take them in. Things were so chaotic with my daughter that I just couldn't. I do believe that through some really difficult times, my son and daughter-in-law have grown up quite a bit. I think these bad things will work good in their lives. All I can say is: Don't give up, but remember to take care of yourself. If you don't, then you won't be any good to anyone else anyway. Things DO change, and we are not in charge of everything or much of anything with our children. God has a way of dealing with them just like he deals with us. Bridgett - you are a dear child of God and you need to be good to yourself. You've done your best for your kids, and they just haven't matured enough to see the truth of what is important. They will regret that when they get older. All we can deal with is ourselves - one day at a time. I've learned from my daughter to be thankful for the good days. When the days are really awful, I have to remind myself that "This too will not last forever."

Remember the saying, "You reap what you sow"? Well, we've all brought this on ourselves ... we created these mondsters, now it's up to us to get rid of them. We try so hard to give our kids what they want, because we think we're preparing them for their adult lives. But we're not ... all we do is prepare them to feel that we will always be there for them and allow them to walk all over us ... because WE DO! It's time to just put your foot down and say "enough is enough". "You are grown, so start acting like it". I've been telling mine that the time has come when they get what they give ... and you can guess that they aren't getting much out of me. And society hasn't helped with taking the little bit of "God" that some kids get out of the schools ... or not allowing us to discipline our children with a spanking every now and then. If some of these kids got smacked in the mouth once in awhile when they really deserved it, maybe they'd think twice about being rude and disrespectful. So we can sit and cry and complain about how they treat us, but we've really brought it on ourselves. Not it's time for them to face life and reality ... and it's time for us to STOP allowing them to treat us like they do.


I know how you feel, but my children, 38,35, 29, and 28 are not handicaped so now what? not one card on my birthday, or thanksgiving or christmas. not one call on new years. what is up with these kids? I am heartbroken like you. I have given them all I have to give them and now that they littlerly have everything I can give, I am left alone. I honestly wish I hadn't had some of them. if I had known it would be like this I don't know if I would have had kids. I love them dearly but its just not worth it now.

My son is 22...and I cant stand him. He showed back up in my town first week of March and his behavior has gotten progressively worse...or back to what it was when he was a pubescent teenager and drove me crazy. Been crying all evening...not because he has hurt my feelings, but because I feel hopeless. He has anxiety or so he wants me to believe. He's just nuts. Sometimes I feel sorry for him and i want so much to help him and I have. I moved him into an apt. it's not real nice but it's not with me. but he calls me to harrass me about his life. I told him I am here for him but I can't help how he "feels." I can't help that he is bored and I can't help that he doesn't have a job. I truly feel like I am backed into a corner and can't breathe. I have started to fantasize about just leaving town and making him do what he has to do. I work from home and as long as I have internet, I can earn a living, although my boss I work part-time for may not be happy about it. I hate so sound so mean, but i have given this kid everything but the blood from my veins and he has to the nerve to tell me, "I just don't like you." Just makes me mad now. Any tears I cry, I cry for myself because I don't know what to do to help him, but I am tired of him making my life miserable because he is. sorry, bad night.

I hope you have been able to figure things out. At the end of the day, he will realize how wonderful you were to him, when he finally grows up.