Oct. 7, 2023
Does Your Adult Son or Daughter Ignore You?
Over the years, I’ve heard of situations where an adult son or daughter will ignore his or her parent(s). This could be due to a strong disagreement between parents and their adult children where harsh words were said to each other. It could be that adult children believe they’ve been disrespected by their parents. Others may think their parent does not respect them.
Some adult children may have grown bitter toward a parent believing they were belittled constantly as a child. Others grow resentful because of not being allowed to hang out with friends or deprived of sports. The list goes on and on.
But what about the child who was once close to their mom or dad and moves out at age 18? They become distant with less and less communication. A parent is left to wonder, “what happened?” or “what did I do wrong?” In this situation, a parent has done nothing wrong. It is normal for an adult child to grow independent of having to depend on their parents.
Parents must allow their children to be independent instead of having to think you have to monitor or rescue them. They must be allowed to grow up, learning to adjust into adulthood. They can’t adjust if a parent continues to interfere. An interfering parent can push their adult child away.
Adult children are exactly that…adults. You as a parent must respect their space. It is unfair to them when a parent refuses to allow them to grow independent and to mature. You do not need to offer advice or an opinion when it’s not asked for. When you volunteer unwanted advice over and over, this can push your child away.
If you as their parent taught them to be responsible and respectful human beings, then trust that they will make wise choices. If they make unreasonable or immoral choices, you cannot control them if they are living on their own.
If an adult child makes bad choices in life or get in trouble with the law. They must learn to take ownership of their wrong choices and face up to the consequences. If mom or dad constantly bails them out, they will never learn to take responsibility because after all, “mom and dad will bail me out.”
Don’t feel guilty about not “bailing them out.” You love them but are willing to let your child be a responsible adult, trusting they will figure things out and work their way out of a problem. Your adult child will learn and grow through these difficulties.
There may be rare situations when a parent may need to assist their adult child, i.e., severe illness, disability, incapacitated. Each situation varies. If you learned to be responsible for your own decisions, then trust your adult children will learn as you. You may find it hard letting them become adults, but it’s the right thing to do. Otherwise, they may give you “the silent treatment.” Don’t be the reason for them becoming distant from you. Deep inside, they realize they need their mom and dad but want a chance to become an independent adult.