10 Reasons Why You're Sick of Your Grown Kids

Fed up, frustrated, or disappointed in your grown kids? You're not the only one!

Posted Feb 04, 2019

Over a year ago I wrote a column titled Ten Reasons Why Your Grown Kids Hate You.  I've gotten thousands of responses, most of them really angry at what readers felt was a very one-sided perspective.

It was, and it was meant to be.  I prefaced the list with the caveat that not all parents committed these acts all of the time, but most of us did so occasionally, and it was worth checking our own behavior to insure that we didn't continue those boundary invasions or inappropriate acts.

In the same spirit, I urge you to consider the following list the same way. That is, you may not have all of these reasons to feel fed up, frustrated or disappointed in your grown kids, but if even a few of them seem familiar, you're not alone. Post-parenting has its problems, and revisionist history is just one of them. If you and your kids are distant, disaffected, and/or disappointed in each other, opening up a dialog that allows both of you to hear, respond, and agree on what needs to change and how may help. But if both are determined to prevail—to hold onto their positions, admit no mistakes, express no regrets—there's not much that will change until #10 does.  

  1. Blaming us absolves them from taking responsibility for their own lives.
  2. They hear “I told you so” when they screw up, even if we never say it.
  3. They're only telling one side of the story—theirs.
  4. They expect us to keep giving, and they rarely give back.
  5. They still need our approval, which infantilizes them.
  6. They usually ignore us unless they need something.
  7. They're still fighting with their siblings and expecting us to be on their side.
  8. They're ashamed or embarrassed by us.
  9. They think we abused them emotionally, and we didn't (see #3 above).
  10. They've taken so long to grow up and they still haven't.