Understanding how to cope with a disrespectful and manipulative adult child (or children) at home is an epidemic that is on the rise for parents today. This is not a new matter; they just seem to have become more brazen with it as the years progress. Learning how the problem begins and what to do during the episodes will determine how you succeed in correcting it and maintaining your health while staying balanced.
We give birth and take care of our child (children) the best way we know how. Some of us go the extra mile in putting ourselves through some unbelievable sacrifices to make sure that we provide only the best for them during their childhood years. No limit is placed on the lengths some parents will go to make sure that everything is as it should be for the comfort of their child (children).
When they reach maturity, it is the hope of every parent that the principles and morals that were taught will be absorbed. It is said ‘you make your kids but not their minds’. As parents, we still expect to see some trace of what was shown over the years. To our surprise, this can sometime take a drastic turn for the worst. When this occurs, you are faced with the offspring of it to struggle to try and correct. This battle is not only with your child (or children) but also with yourself to maintain your own sanity.
Experiencing abuse from your child (or children) and watching all that you have instilled in them come apart before your eyes can leave a parent heart-broken and in despair. When and if this day comes your way, how do you cope and what do you do to keep yourself balanced while working to make sure it all stays under control? I have seen this situation pull down the strongest of the strong and have battled with it in my own life; this is, by far, one of parents’ worst nightmare!
I relocated to Miami back in ’92 and witnessed a co-worker struggle with her son for days on end with this predicament. He was 17 years of age and everyday she had to leave work earlier than expected because of the stress he was putting her under. He was also sleeping out, and she would often fight with him about it the next day, from the office. My sons were much younger back then, but I remember thinking ‘my God, I am so happy I do not have to deal with that problem’! I had two boys at the time. They were, both, well-mannered and easy-going. Everyone would always comment on how great they were as children.
My husband and I were separated, and once we got back together, my relationship with my first son began to change. He was not the same, but I was not having any major problems with him; he was simply different.
When my husband joined us in Miami, we had a third child. Things were not going well with our marriage after a while, so we split the family up again. I moved into an apartment with the two younger ones and left our eldest with his dad. He was now a teenager, and I felt it was best as they got along a lot better.
A year later, I decided to return to New York with our two sons because it was becoming difficult to manage things in Miami. I had a very demanding job and was trying to simultaneously complete my degree. It was tough! I was alone with two young children, and so I decided to move back to New York where I had more support of family and friends.
Once the boys got older, I found myself battling with the same issue my co-worker was having with her son back in Miami. They were giving me a hard time and was taking turns on the verbal abuse. My life was in total turmoil living with them! I woke up one day and this is what I was dealing with. My relationship with my sons had changed and was getting progressively worst. I wound up in the same boat as my friend – only, I was a single mother living with not one but two disrespectful adult children on my hands.
I have come to realize that we can do everything right, as parents, but one wrong turn can drastically change the personality of your child (children) and the way, in which, he or she responds to you. And this is without any kind of remorse! If this day becomes a reality for you, you must be ready for it. Hopefully, you were paying attention to some, if not all the details, to decipher how and when it materialized. Only then can you come up with a solution to work through it safely and effectively.
In my case, it all suddenly crept up on me. In the blink of an eye, my sons were disrespectful to me in ways I never felt possible. As mentioned earlier, I woke up one day, and it was happening. This was a serious time for me, but I prevailed simply because I was paying attention. I was able to go back in thoughts and identify with how it all started and worked with what I knew to sort it all out, accordingly. The most important thing that I will point out is that when you are alone in this (as a single parent), it can be more difficult to battle but is not impossible. It can also be more challenging when you are working with a male child (or children). Either way, remembering who you are (the parent) will make the world of difference in keeping the situation under control.
Knowing how to cope with an adult child (or children) is a task on its own but when they become disrespectful, manipulative and/or verbally abusive, these are the most hurtful things a parent could ever endure – regardless of which one it is (mother or father). I want to go even further and say that this makes more of an impact on mothers simply because we are the ones to make that first bond.
You have already done your job in raising your child (or children). There is no reason to allow yourself to be ill-treated or become a doormat to them under any circumstances. It is your life to live now, so work to correct all wrongdoings but, simultaneously, focus on living and enjoying your life as you see fit – your main focus should always be ‘you’.
Any kind of abuse can emerge from a child to a parent; it can occur for various reasons. When and if it does, it is important to understand what steps to take to position yourself to take care of ‘you’ while finding the best way to pull yourself through this painful and stressful period successfully.
This is a problem most of us, parents, are having. Support us with Ebook below and learn how and why this issue occurs and methods you can use to fix it while keeping yourself strong, balanced, and healthy through it all.
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