Social Question

Shippy's avatar

What type of rules and boundaries have you set up with your adult children?

Asked by Shippy (9889points) February 23rd, 2013

A lot of adult children live at home, and there seems to be a good comprehensive source of lists about healthy boundaries regards these adult children.

But what about adult children that are not at home? Where do you draw lines in terms of their needs? What types of behaviors would you not accept from them? For example aggression or anger. If they ignored or lashed out due to you deciding not to accept negative behavior what would you do? Not speak to them? (You can hardly punish them right?). If their behavior became destructive to themselves or others how would you handle that? (Since they are now adults). What if this could in the end cause them to become homeless. Since maybe they will not work or take life seriously. Would you just leave them to be homeless?

Some of you may have personal experience of such, some may know someone who does, or some might just have ideas on how to deal with the above. Any feedback appreciated.

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7 Answers

Aster's avatar

I have one grown daughter who fits the bill. We don’t have any boundaries for her ; she lives in another state . We just hope she stays there. She is self destructive to the enth degree and there is nothing we can do about it. Each time we “help her” as she calls it with a place to live she leaves it. Whether apartment or house she leaves. And each abode is always, without question, visited by the down-and-out who drink, drug, steal and use her as much as possible. Nothing I can do about it. All, and I mean all of her high school girlfriends have turned their lives around = but not her. She lives for her yearly tax return money which lasts a week even when into the thousands of dollars. And I won’t even go into the cars she has had stolen or wrecked. My other daughter? The joy and pride of my life .

YARNLADY's avatar

No swearing at our house, clean up after yourself, help out with expenses as much as possible, let us know about changes in schedules as soon as possible.

@Aster if your daughter is getting thousands of dollars back on income tax, she must have a very lucrative job, which requires at least some amount of responsibility.

Aster's avatar

She made 11K last year but was and is living rent/cell phone/ electric free=all paid by her father.

Judi's avatar

Oh @Shippy , This is so hard. There are two trains of thought. One is to let them hit bottom. Problem is, when someone has a brain disorder they might not ever realize that their actions brought them to this place.
I can’t give you the answers for YOU but you need to look deep in your heart and figure out where the line is. When my son was at his worst I got counseling for myself. One result of that counseling was that I wrote my son a letter telling him that I could no longer support his unacceptable behavior. I determined exactly where my lines were and put them on paper. Then I had to stick with it no matter what.
I still payed for his medical bills and I paid his rent at a room and board. (Thank God I had the resources, I often wondered what people without those resources did.)
I had to stick with my plan.
This can be a lonely road @Shippy , I hope you find peace, and that your son finds a path to health.

Shippy's avatar

@Judi Those sound like solid tips to start off with. I need a plan. That helped a lot, thank you.

flutherother's avatar

My two children left home some time ago and they are both independent and ask for very little of me though they know I would help them out if it came to it. They treat me with some respect and kindness and I do the same with them. I don’t like to help them out and prefer that they deal with things themselves. That way they have to take life seriously. I have a spare bedroom and a fold down bed in the lounge and I could take them both in if necessary though I hope it never comes to that.

If their behaviour to me was very bad I might allow them to become homeless and see how they got on but being homeless may mean different things in different countries. Sometimes love has to be tough and you have to consider yourself as well as your children.

burntbonez's avatar

They’re your kids. Your immortality. I would think you do as much as you can for them, although at some point, you do draw a line and maybe cut them off. Once they are out of the house, it’s a little easier. You don’t have to let them back, and there’s no expectation you will keep on taking care of them. If they ask, you just say no. My parents said no to me an awful lot. Perhaps that’s why I have not become a parent, myself.

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