- Even if your child is an adult, he or she does not have the right to be abusive to you or anyone else.
- Give them your support and guidance if they ask for it, but try not to force it on them.
- Continue to help them in appropriate ways if you feel it is healthy and necessary to do so.
- Give them the same space to follow their journey, just as you want others to do for you.
About Jacqueline McDowell
Jacqueline McDowell formerly worked as an Empowering Parents 1-on-1 Coach. Prior to coming to Empowering Parents, she has worked in a diverse range of residential care settings with people who have been impacted by mental illness, cognitive and physical disabilities, as well as pregnant and parenting teens. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the University of Southern Maine. She is the proud parent of an adult son, Jeremy.
Your relationship with them will be vastly improved if you are able to let go of your expectations for them while never losing hope in their potential
I am so relieved I found this comment section, after hours of laying in bed worrying about my 19 year old college student who lives in a dorm and recently tells me casually she is snorting opiates. “Like no big deal mom”. I am riddled with angst, ruminating thoughts and fear that drives me. I am also professional in the behavioral health world and have some fairly well for myself so it is Incredibly scary to know the potential road she is ahead. I went through a horrible divorce with her father 4 years ago. Though we did not get along her life was fairly stable yet, she shoves all of her anger rage and life hatred towards me. Everything is my fault. She is many ways took on the verbal and emotional manipulation of her father and I can not tolerate that. I’m currently on a “break” right now from yet it has caused me to think of the most extreme consequences happening to her.
I realize my own generational trauma and personal pain keep me in this exhausting loop with her often trying to please her just because I want to to succeed. However, I realize this is not working. I feel so broken, like such a failure. It was nice to see other people had some similar situations I think I just need some connection so I feel not so alone it all of this.
I can understand your frustration. This is a bit outside the scope of what we are able to offer suggestions on. I encourage you to see if there are local supports in your area that may be able to offer you guidance. The 211 National Helpline is a referral service available 24 hours a day, nationwide. They can give you information on the types of support services available in your area such as counselors, therapists, support groups/kinship services as well as various other resources. You can reach the Helpline by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto .
I can identify with all of you. My adult kids (30 & 28) seemed to be very normal, responsible, respectful adults. My son struggled in school with ADHD, but he always passed his grades with C’s or higher.
As adults my son stopped coming to visit or call at all. My ex- husband says it’s because my son feels I was never there for my kids. That I abandoned them.
When I found out my husband was doing drugs (and he would not get help, go to rehab or marriage counseling, or try to stop) I filed for divorce.