When Your Adult Child Disappoints You (Part 1)

Donald’s young adulthood, like his teen years, has been a constant source of misery for his parents. He’s always been into drugs, gambling, promiscuity and sex addiction, drinking, and endless debts. After years of his parents spending for his therapy, he still chooses to live a life of mess.

His mother, in session, was telling me that she wanted to believe him that he means it this time – to change his life. But she added, “How can I believe him who’s been lying to me all his life? I know I can’t!”

Are you a parent who has grown up children who makes you feel unhappy? Does your adult child disappoint you because ….

* he/she has a problem with addiction (eg. drugs, alcohol, sex)?
* he/she can’t get or hold a job?
* he/she is chronically depressed and isolated?
* he/she can’t or won’t leave home?
* he/she is estranged from family and friends?
* he/she is mentally ill or suicidal?
* he/she is in trouble with the police or law?
* he/she is incapable of supporting himself/herself?
* he/she is excessively dependent?
* he/she is aimless and can’t face responsibility?

As a psychotherapist and a parent myself, I’ve been listening to people talk about their children for many years. They want perspective and support for the fears, worries, resentment, impatience, and frustration they experience as parents to their adult children who fail to thrive.

Behind every one of these failing adult children is a parent who feels his/her life may also be falling apart. The parent’s heart is breaking. The Mom may be crying herself to sleep in the privacy of her bedroom. The Dad could be scratching his head in confusion.

Parents who feel unhappy about their adult children often wonder, “Where did we go wrong?”

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