How (Not) To Make Bad Children Good

Ignoring – What it is and how to use it for managing misbehaviors
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Tell her about your fear and let her know that unless the situation is drastic, you will not give your opinion unless asked. This will put the responsibility on her to ask your opinion. Mary Smith December 14, Reply. Thank you very much for this. I have a 21 year old daughter that moved out but she is always in a bad mood and not motivated at all to do much for herself. She has a boyfriend that is good to her and his mom is also good and she still always in a bad mood. Problem is she jumps and wants to give me attitude all the time.

There is no right way to speak to her. I really wish you would understand that she needs to be a positive person and not always so negative. Betty January 1, Reply. My daughter is now Left a 19 year marriage and left her 2 kids with former husband. Within weeks was involved with a man 13 years older.

The man never had children so treats her like a child. My daughter did not take care of her kids. She claims to be bipolar. She just quit her job. My former husband and I have given them money on more occasions than I can count. I know she has mental issues but she feels sorry for hersef, wont work is not concerned about her future because i feel the marriage wont last.

Shes lazy and will just find another looser to take care of her. The incident became heated when she asked her brother for money to pay her child support and I make the comment that she should not have quit her job and her brother was not responsible for her kids.

I want to stop this cycle but the only way I know how is to stay out of her life. I want peace in what little live I have left. Ivy January 6, Reply. Laugh at the silliness. Not them. Now that they are adults you can offer support in the way of just listening and not judging. But listen listen listen and validate their experiences. Relate to them and share your experiences. Deborah January 30, Reply.

She does not have good social skills therefore does not make good choices with friends male or female. She has been involved with a 29 year old guy for the past 4 years. I have tried to talk to her and will not allow him in my home. Nothing seems to work. Any suggestions? Thompson January 30, Reply. The only thing that comes to mind is to get a counselor and talk with them in order to come up with a good game plan.

One more thing. This guy has broken her heart and left her 3 times already. Karin February 1, Reply. My son is But I am at the end of my finances and now must say no. Your article helped me to realize I am not helping him at all. Until I let him go…and suffer for his mistakes, bad choices…why should he really try? He is the baby of the family and has a Father with mental illness that I have over compensated for all his life.

I feel I have done him more harm than good. Breaks my heart. I do feel his resentment because I am the parent that offers my opinion much too much. Am I abusive by nagging him all the time? I feel that is so. Is it too late? Thompson February 1, Reply. My suggestion is to find a trusted counselor and have them help you to figure out the most loving way to treat your son so not to enable him. Bobbie February 22, Reply. I think you still need to give your opinion and correction to the adult child.

Of course you would.

The One-Week Fix for Bad Behavior | Parents

In the course, the adult child will have to decide, but you did caringly offer some instruction. Thompson February 24, Reply. But I would not give my opinion to a close friend unless they have invited me to do so. Robert March 31, Reply. My daughter is 59 years old.

She is the child of a divorce between me and her mother at I feel that I have been a failure to her and am depressed because of it. I wanted the best for her, but she brings me misery when I think of what she could have become. Thompson April 1, Reply. I believe all you can do is own what you failings, seek her forgiveness, and then allow her to take responsibility for her own life. Blanca Gutierrez April 20, Reply. I have a 21 year daughter who is a mom now to a 10 month baby. Once that was resolved she started see her ex boyfriend who was incarcerated for 2 and half years for selling drugs.

I was aware that he was supported and a good friend to her thru it all. I only shared that she needed to be careful and take things slow. He has been on parole for 5 months and is in trouble again for the same thing. He is locked up again. Now she has said she waiting for him because we all make mistakes and he forgave her and she is going to be there for him. When he was incarcerated during the 2 and half years she ended the relationship abruptly and started dating the father of her baby. So she has said that she will never date another guy again because she was treated so badly.

I have had discussions with her about taking time for herself but she refuses to listen. She becomes upset and tells me all the mistakes i have made. That i treat her like a child. I am so upset and worried for her and now for my grandson. Please help me understand how I accept her decisions. I have two younger teenage children who are seeing all this and sadly seeing me be so upset.

John May 17, Reply. I have an adult daughter whose soon to be 22 year old daughter has graduated from an elite college, and is engaged to a young man who just graduated from a military academy. As grand parents we are very proud of our grand daughter and see that she has a bright future. These two young Christian adults have stated that they are committed to each other but could not bet married due to the young man being at a military academy.

This part of their relationship has been extremely hard for our daughter to take and has caused a problem with her relationship with her daughter our grand daughter. To the point that the upcoming wedding my daughter is attending but NOT allowing her other children to be in the wedding or even allow her husband to walk their daughter down the aisle. Both sides of the family feel our daughter is over reacting. Her actions seem to be coming from a place of hurt and anger, not love. The wedding date is quickly approaching.

Thompson May 20, Reply. Sheila May 27, Reply. I have a 22 year old daughter. January of this year, everything changed. She quit college, quit her wonderful job, and moved to Austin. We were so shocked!!!! My first reaction to her was that I love her no matter what. Inside I was dying. I never thought this would happen. I truly was shocked by it. She ended up coming back a few months later, and is now with a new girl.

When Good Parents Have Bad Children

I refuse to meet her, and I know this hurts my daughter, but I feel that I respect her feelings and she should respect mine. Thompson May 29, Reply. She gets to make the choices regarding her relationship. Your job is to love your daughter and allow her to make her own decisions. Personally, I would meet and interact with people she chooses to be in her life. Estella June 11, Reply.

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Thompson June 12, Reply. I would go to a counselor and have them help you process what is happening. It sounds like your daughter is old enough that she gets to make her own decisions even though they are wrong. You have to find a way to respect her freedom to do so. Arraiya July 17, Reply. What about parents who constantly bring their adult children down for how they are acting or living? There is a difference between loving comments of concern and extreme verbal abuse. I also recently went through an ectopic pregnancy and have been slacking on my hously duties.

I get called irresponsible, living in a disgusting environment, a bitch excuse my language and basically insinuates my role as a mother is terrible and has said before she would do a better job. All lies…. We have a fixer upper trailer, 3 cats, and a dog we are currently debating on surrendering, sadly. My chooses and decisions are just that… MINE. Sometimes though, I have to tell her no, we are fine 2 or 3 times and she still comes over with food. And apparently by not doing so..

When I have gently set up boundaries or ask her not to say something on social media, she reacts like I just stabbed her in the back. Everyone else can see how crazy she is. But somehow I let her get to me and convince me that Im the problem and the one with issues. So I guess my question is this… Even if my family and I make a bad decision, how do we respond with a toxic parent who pushes her way through the boundaries??

How do I explain to her that she is in the wrong no matter what she feels is a bad decision in my life?? She arouses me to anger. I try to be the best Christian I can be, but Idk how to deal with this anymore.

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I have blocked her phone and not talked with her for quite awhile before. I usually have to wait a couple days for her to calm down after a typical breakdown… then we just go about like nothing happened. If I try to bring it up, she throws a fit again. Thompson July 17, Reply. So, I have a step-daughter that sits in jail waiting for her mother to bail her out with my finances my money as usual.

But then we find out there are additional fines that doubles the amount needed to get her out of jail. I hesitantly agreed to finance her bail, but not her fines. She still needs to go to court in a month to find out if they revoke her probation that she violated. She may wind up serving her full sentence of 10 years in prison.

Her crime? Lying to police about the whereabouts of her boyfriend who was also wanted for a parole violation for a serious crime. Am I wrong to take this position of not paying her fines? The behaviors of my step-daughter is severely stressing the relationship with my wife who I adore and she adores me. Thompson September 18, Reply. These situations can be very difficult on couples.

As an adult, your step-daughter needs to be accountable for her own actions. Amber October 2, Reply. My adult son, age 25, has wanted a street bike for a couple years as a means of cheaper transportation to and from work. He was told under no circumstances would I allow him to ride a street bike while living in my home. He instead bought a cheaper vehicle and I thought that was the end of it. Until he recently bought a street bike. I see this decision as irresponsible and a blatant disregard for our wishes while still living at home and a total lack of respect.

He contributes nothing towards the household but does pay his own bills. Now I am struggling with the guilt of making him leave. Calm conversations immediately turn into arguments so we have hardly spoken. Thompson October 2, Reply. It would be a fair discussion if he was wasting money on an expensive vehicle and failing to pay for his needs. Yet it seems like he is trying to go a cheaper direction. Lorie Johnston October 28, Reply.

I am having a really hard time knowing my boundaries to an adult 29 year old daughter, when it comes to her relationship with her 28 year old boyfriend who has maybe worked a few months during their relationship.

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They have dated since high school so they have been together 13 years. He moved in with her when she went away to college but he did not go to school or worked to help their situation. We paid for her apartment rent but he was living down there with her doing nothing. Today she is an accountant and he is attending college but he had to change his major again because he has difficulties in Math.

I have watched his behavior around my daughter and he often cusses her out which angers me for all the things she has helped him with but I call it enabling him. She does so much and he rarely helps her and now she has purchased her first house to take care of. I know this is wrong but everytime I see her I express my concern for her choice of a man and it just causes us to fight.

It breaks my heart because I envisioned her to be with a nice educated young man who speaks to her nicely, who helps keep the home clean, who is independent and employed. Thank you very much for any advice anyone can give me on how to handle this. Thompson October 28, Reply.

You respect her right to make her own decisions and you refuse to badger her about it. She gets to make her decisions. Your job is to love her and support her. Kimberly January 30, Reply. My 32 yr. Head resently stollen money from his grandmother, by stealing one of her checks and filling in an amount and singing her name. I believe most of these bad decisions are based on financial issues?? He was a great kid growing up! Gordon Loop April 10, Reply. I have three adult sons all living with my wife and I. All raise to know Jesus, and all trusted Him and were baptized by me.

We have been in the ministry as either pastor or evangelist all their lives. My almost year-old son has continued to disregard our house rules and we have shown grace for almost 2 years. Vaping, smoking weed in the past, sex outside of marriage, criminal activity in the past, etc…. I have never handled this in tempered love, but our confrontations have always turned into a shouting match, I would tell him he needs to leave, we then would forgive each other and the main point became mute because of the blow up and things would be ok for a little while and he would break house rules, for example, stay out all night and sometimes not even communicate.

I told him that he has one strike on him, and two more and he will have to move out.

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I guess my question is knowing what I have told you do you think we have gone beyond all we can do to be understanding and are we now doing more harm by keep giving him chance after chance. This has taken a toll on my other kids, my ministry as a pastor, and at times divided my wife and I. Our counselor said we should affirm our love but give him an ultimatum, live by the house rules or we should kick him out.

Your thoughts, please? Thank you. Thompson April 11, Reply. I would agree with your counselor. If he chooses to ignore your expectations, that is his right but he should not continue to reap the benefits of living with you. Amber June 15, Reply. I have been searching all over the internet for help in this burden that hae been heavy on my heart for quite some time.. I had a pretty great childhood siblings parents who loved us tickets on vacation spending time with us gave us a really good upbringing..

My daughter was not going to be raised having to see that.. I was so close with my parents.. I wish so much I could go back and change the stupid things I did when I was that another place in my life if I would have known it was going to cause to really not love me the same down the road I would have never thrown that away or even risked it. Any recommendations or books or anything I dont even know. Please share and help me get my dad yo love me the way he did when i was his little girl, and make him give me a chance to prove myself, because with the way things are right now, it is discouraging to me and sometimes makes me just wanna throw in the towel because whats the point..

Parenting adult children differs from parenting small children. Other times I allow the child to make a bad decision but them make sure they experience the negative consequences of those decisions. On occasion, I have to invent negative consequences to clearly communicate the decision they made was not wise. Rarely do I have to wonder: Should I say something? Should I stay out of the issue? Is this my business? See: Help! This is not true with adult children. Yet it leads to one of the great frustrations of parenting—having to mind your own business. Angie July 2, Reply What if your adult child is addicted to drugs and alcohol?

Thompson July 2, Reply Angie, This will lead to another blog post, but my first thought is: I would work hard to figure out what the most loving action I could take toward them with a special emphasis on never enabling their activity. Jordan Cross July 2, Reply What about when the father or step father, in this case is a non-Christian and feels no moral or spiritual obligation to continue loving an adult child in lieu of their decisions and the mother is a Christian who is claiming that to honor her husband the way the Bible commands, she cannot continue loving her child in lieu of those decisions?

Thompson July 2, Reply I have a difficult time believing the Bible would call you not to love your children. Matt Pankiw April 26, Reply You know the answer to this dilemma. Cricket February 11, Reply You sure know all about everything, huh? Thompson December 17, Reply Lori-Ann, those are great questions. Angela E Hogan August 2, Reply I know this is old and wish I could have said it in , though perhaps you are still dealing with this. Deanna December 29, Reply My soon to be 21 year old son is dating a 16 year old girl. Thompson December 29, Reply Deanna, thanks for the question.

Trackback: Help! Lauren May 23, Reply This article helped me to be able to sleep. Rebecca June 30, Reply I have done everything i can for my adult daughter. MJ May 9, Reply I too, am going through the same situation, and it is hell. Glory to God July 28, Reply Pastor my 20 almost 21 year old young adult son got in trouble with the law for dating an underage girl, he tells me, he meant to harm and that he loved her.

Hilda December 3, Reply Thank you for the great article. Thanks you, Hilda. Carmen R March 17, Reply I have a 25 year old daughter who has never picked a proper boyfriend. Heather March 21, Reply Thank you for your article. Lisa April 27, Reply My 21 year old daughter is married and her husband just asked her for a divorce. Lisa April 28, Reply This is the approach I have taken.

Anna Irvin May 1, Reply I have a thirty six yrs. Jacquelyn May 4, Reply My son now 19 managed to get himself kicked out of a service academy at the end of his first year. Thompson May 4, Reply It sounds like you are on the right track—make clear house rules and be stern with them. Patty August 20, Reply So glad I found this website! Thompson August 25, Reply Not sure what you can do other than love him as he makes his own decisions. Magyar Lany April 9, Reply My 27 year old son collected money for community work he intended to do the work I think but has not actully done it very disorganized person.

Thompson April 9, Reply Might be something that you never take part of something like this until he proves he has changed? LB May 2, Reply I am 21, almost 22 and have adult child tendencies. Thompson May 2, Reply I would speak to a counselor about these issues and have them help you figure out how to have the structure and love you desire. Bethany June 4, Reply I can share, from my own experiences with my young adult son, that rushing to rescue an adult child from poor choices is extremely unwise; it generally leads to more poor choices and further requests for assistance.

Thompson June 10, Reply I think you are right. Not to help is probably the most loving thing to do at this point. Liza July 20, Reply I have 3 adult children , which only my two sons have contact with me until of late…. Jill July 25, Reply Kevin, my adult Military son, who is 19, got a tattoo against my wishes and I was able to move past it.

Janine mowat July 30, Reply So my first search into this bought me to you…. Thompson August 21, Reply I would read about co-dependency. Karen August 24, Reply I have a situation that is really hard. Thompson August 24, Reply I think the two of you need to go to a counselor to get help with this situation so you can make sure you are loving the son well and not enabling him. Distraught October 3, Reply Parenting advice please.

Thompson October 3, Reply I would find a good counselor and go, you and your husband. Distraught October 11, Reply thank you All I can do is suggest. I can foresee the answers from all being, No. Thompson October 7, Reply My first thought—I would love and listen, but not offer any monetary help. Concerned Momma October 10, Reply Advice please, my daughter just turned 19 and was accepted into a Christian college a little over 5 hours away.

Thompson October 10, Reply At 19, you can only help her if she wants help. I desperately needed this today. Thompson November 4, Reply I think you have every right to be angry.

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Angela November 10, Reply My oldest son is 22 with a 3 year old daughter and a girlfriend for the past 5 years. Amy November 13, Reply Our 28 yr old daughter has been married for 4 years to a son-in-law we love and respect. Thompson November 13, Reply Amy, my first thought is since they are adults you allow them to work through their own relationships.

Maria Wright November 20, Reply What do you do if your child is choosing to move away to another city approx miles away but you know it is completely the wrong decision? Thompson November 20, Reply Assuming they are old enough to be on their own, yes, you watch as they go. You hope and pray. Thompson December 3, Reply It depends on your relationship with him. Thompson December 6, Reply Berta, I would get with a counselor so they can help you process what is happening and make good choices in response to the circumstances.

Curtis Robinson December 14, Reply Thank you for the post. Mary Smith December 14, Reply Thank you very much for this. Betty January 1, Reply My daughter is now Ivy January 6, Reply Laugh at the silliness. Deborah January 30, Reply 29 year old daughter with intellectual special needs. Deborah January 30, Reply One more thing. Karin February 1, Reply My son is Bobbie February 22, Reply I think you still need to give your opinion and correction to the adult child.

Robert March 31, Reply My daughter is 59 years old. Thompson April 1, Reply I believe all you can do is own what you failings, seek her forgiveness, and then allow her to take responsibility for her own life. Blanca Gutierrez April 20, Reply I have a 21 year daughter who is a mom now to a 10 month baby.

John May 17, Reply I have an adult daughter whose soon to be 22 year old daughter has graduated from an elite college, and is engaged to a young man who just graduated from a military academy. Sheila May 27, Reply I have a 22 year old daughter. Estella June 11, Reply I have a 21 year daughter who is a mom now to a 10 month baby. Thompson June 12, Reply I would go to a counselor and have them help you process what is happening. Arraiya July 17, Reply What about parents who constantly bring their adult children down for how they are acting or living? Like fatherly on Facebook.

Something went wrong please contact us at support fatherly. By Lauren Vinopal. Featured Video. Loading Video Content. Watch more Fatherly Subscribe. They should never be used when kids are unable to perform an action, lack understanding, make mistakes, or act out of fear. If there is not an observable and timely reduction of the problem behavior, parents are probably doing it wrong.

This teaches kids to replace negative behaviors with positive ones. In general, they should know what to expect when they misbehave.

Science proves kids are bad for Earth. Morality suggests we stop having them.

After just a few weeks, the children re-adjusted and their play became far more creative and social. They published their findings in a book, The Toy-free Nursery. They will not learn to value them if there is always a replacement ready at hand. And resourcefulness is a gift with unlimited. T he research was published in the journal Infant Behaviour and Development. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Visit our adblocking instructions page.