“It’s so easy to love our children when they are babies, toddlers, and little kids. They need us, they love us back, they tell the truth… such as, ‘I love you most of all when you give me cookies, mommy.’ But as we all know, our little ones grow into teens and then into adults. Over the past few years, I’ve listened to hundreds of people tell their horror stories of grown children who don’t have association with their parents any longer. I can’t imagine not having my parents in my life. They mean the world to me’’ ~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall.
When our children are small, they rely on us for everything. That’s how it is supposed to be. We take care of them, fill up their love cup until it runs over, and make sure they know they can run to us when they have a hurt or a ‘’boo-boo.’’ As mothers, we give them 100% of our love. As the famous Psychologist, Eric Erikson stated many years ago, this is when children are learning trust vs. mistrust and autonomy. If we do not provide this, the child will become afraid, unsure of himself, and not fully develop as he passes through each stage into adulthood.
What happens when your grown children begin expecting you to continue to take care of them or their problems? What if you, as their parent, do not allow them to fall flat on their faces? What if YOU are the enabler to all of their money problems and rescue them every time they run out of money, find them a job when they can’t find one themselves, or babysit their children because they won’t hire safe, nor decent, babysitters for their own children? Let me tell you what will happen. The first time you cut the cord and STOP bailing them out of their problems, you will be blamed for everything. And, eventually, they will cut ties with you. How do I know? As I first mentioned, I’ve listened to and coached hundreds of people through their heartbreaking situations. And, yes, I’ve had this happen to me. It hurts.
Five Ways To Not Be Blamed Into Shame Every Time Your Grown Child Screws Up:
1) Do not offer to bail them out every time they can’t make rent or mortgage payments. If they can’t come up with the $, let them suffer the consequences.
2) If they need a car, please do not buy one for them. I signed on one with the understanding I would be paid back monthly in full. Each month, I had to beg for the payment, only to be put off most of the time. In the end, I paid the bill in full so I wouldn’t have my credit ruined. I still am owed $2300. on the car they sold.
3) If your grown child forges your name onto ANY document or uses your credit without your permission, let them suffer the consequences. Turn them in to the authorities. Again, do not bail them out. After all, they keep telling you how grown up they are, right?
4) Dump the drama! Social media is a nasty bastard is many instances. It has caused more harm, than good. A huge lie was told about my family. It crushed my elderly parents and me. I’ve since then left my personal Facebook Page and haven’t missed it one bit.
5) Disrespect? Step away before it kills you! If you are the one who is constantly making trips to see your grown child during the course of 20 years, paying for those trips, taking time away from school and/or work, yet not even once has that same child ever come to your own home, analyze that. Why are you breaking your back to see your child when it all comes down to disrespect? Your grown child is completely disrespecting you by not coming to your home. Why allow that to happen when it is breaking your heart?
The easiest way to love life and be happy is to surround yourself with those who truly WANT to be with you. Why be with people, even family members, who make you feel like crap or who blame you for all of their faults? When does one step up and take responsibility?
Parenting is not an easy job. I gave it all I had and tried to do the right thing in each and every situation. There isn’t a handbook on parenting…perhaps there should be. With limited skills, we each try to do our best when we raise our children. I am proud to say that I unconditionally loved my children and still do. I sought psychotherapy and counseling for the feelings of guilt thrown on me. Combined with much self-reflection and conversations with my life mentors, I do not allow the blame of any misconduct to shame me anymore.
©Copyright – Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD. All rights reserved worldwide. None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.