Are You Overly Involved In Your Adult Child’s Life?

Transcribed from my video at

Parents of adult children so often have a hard time letting go. Their expectations are dashed and they feel that they need to get in there and either save their adult kid or control the choices they make. The reality is that all this worry and control is making the parent lose site of their own life that they need to take care of.

I’d like to speak about parents being overly involved in their adult children’s relationships and in their lives. I get a lot of letters about parents concerned about their children who are no longer children but a man of 35 or a woman of 38. I letter about a woman of 30-something, addicted to drugs, and the writer didn’t want to see her on the street, asking what should I do? Or a gentleman emailed me a question about his son, and his wife is keeping him away from the family. Both extremely painful concepts. Number one, in both cases, the parents have no control over what their adult children are doing. Addiction is a terrible thing, and it is like a poison: anyone who touches it will be affected, so I know how hard it must be to imagine your daughter on the street. But I’m going to tell you, if you don’t put her on the street, you’re simply enabling her, and you’re giving her a place to use, and you are avoiding or staving off the bottom that she needs to hit in order for her to really wake up, on her own accord, whether she would like to be alive, on the planet, negotiating life, or not. And there’s nothing you can do, parent–hard as this is for me to say–to save her. You cannot save your addicted daughter. She has to save herself. The time for saving her was 0-10, 15 years old. She no longer needs saving. She needs to stand up and decide, I would like to be alive. I would like to be on the planet. I would like to experience life’s everythings.

(2:14) The other gentleman who emailed me, whose son does not have a relationship with his family because apparently his wife is pulling him away from his family. Well hello! Isn’t he deciding to agree with this woman? Isn’t he saying, OK, I am not going to be in a relationship with my family because you, partner, have asked me. Father, you can’t change that. You can say, “Please have a relationship with me. Please do not stay away from me.” But there must be an agreement there, and there’s nothing you can do to control. And you can be as concerned as you want, but that concern and that worry are hurting you. So, parents who are overly concerned about their adult children, what they are doing is not taking care of their own lives. And they’re using their children as a way to avoid dealing with their own lives. I want you to deal with your own life.

(3:05) I want you to deal with your own life. I want you to get busy in your life, and then that will probably create less of a worry in your system, and when that worry is lower, you’re going to be happier in life. And you know, you don’t own those kids. You gave birth to them, you brought them to the planet, you gave them what you could, and the various things that you gave them they are now taking and making their own lives. So I’m stating the obvious, but I cannot tell you how many letters I’ve gotten about concerns over adult children, and I just want to say, you’re compromising your own ability to live and grow and experience your latter years. Take responsibility for your own life; let your adult kid do their thing. If it doesn’t measure up to your expectations, oh well. You don’t have a right to have expectations over anyone but yourself. I’m being harsh but I’m being absolutely in line with what I believe to be healthy and good.

Victoria Lorient-Faibish MEd, CCC, RPP, RPE
Holistic Psychotherapist
Masters in Educational Psychology
Canadian Certified Counsellor
Registered Polarity Practitioner
Registered Polarity Educator
Reiki Master
New Decision Therapy


6 Responses to Are You Overly Involved In Your Adult Child’s Life?

  1. Struggled for years and finally “getting it”–as my life passes away..thank you for the very honest and direct writing.

  2. Thank you, I know what I need to do and this post is very validating. I have been participating in a vicious cycle for many years. I walk away in anger, only to end up rescuing and apologizing for my behavior. This cycle has cost me my spirit and soul, in addition to thousands of dollars. I am now ready and willing to LIVE my life and let go with Love. It is the only truly healthy thing to do.

  3. For year I watched my father chase my brothers. He involved himself way too much in their personal lives to the point where he destroyed their families. He would over familiarize himself with their wives to obtain information he would use to manipulate each of them.

    He destroyed our own family and began canibalizing each one of us. Results varried, but each one of us suffered. A pattern developed and a dependency on money slowly began just like black tar heroin.

    Nearly all of my brothers resorted to drugs to numb the empty feelings of lost and destroyed families. Each wife, survived to carnage, character assassination, frontal and rear assaults from my father.

    I chose to limit and at times totally not have a relationship with my father in an effort to protect my marriage and family. My father hates women and completely despises my wife because she will not secret him information about me behind my back.

    As a result he has denied me an inheritance, given to each of us at the time of my mothers death. He hated her for divorcing him and leaving him and his money all alone in a big old empty house.

    The beatings and threats in the end were the very things that destroyed her and ran her away. She died early loving him so much that she trusted him with her estate. He did what any cold hearted thief would do, do, burried her and kept it all.

    I am well into my 50’s and it took all of each day to understand that a relationship with my father on any level is bad for my health. He has become very wealthy over the years at each our expenses. He is addicted to hating close relationships as well as money.

    He is in his mid 70’s showing no signs of change nor realization of his own mortality. Yeah the one thing none of us escapes.

    I did not do what my father did, I stayed with my wife. We were highschool sweethearts, 36 years ago and to present. My father was my big brother and best friend until I married my wife. He attempted to destroy my family and marriage like all of my other brothers.

    I guess she felt as though I chose my wife over himself and also saw me as his best friend and another possession. One of my daughters described him as being obsessed with collecting, “money houses and things”.

    I have tried to explain things as I have seen them play out. A father too overly concerned with his sons and a son who totally gets that none of this is healthy.

    I don’t feel that my father has any obligation whatsoever to do anything with his wealth after he is gone except disappoint each if us one last time. The couple of brothers that he drove to drinking and drugs will get all that they can handle and I own the salvage rights.

    I have my wife and eight beautiful, intelligent loving children. In exchange I, “Inherit The Wind”. My freedom and family came at a high price and well worth it if we all, simply outlive him.

    What are your comments or advice ? I have read some of the post and each of them seem logical to me.

    Camel Spider, I’m not a pest !

  4. Thank you for this. I feel as though our culture today applies too much pressure to the dream of ‘families sticking together.’ Co-workers might talk as though all of their adult children are around all of the time and visits with grandchildren are ample, but we don’t actually know the reality. The other issue is that maybe we older folks regret not spending time with our parents while they were alive, and we wouldn’t wish that on our kids. Still, they know life ends, so they have to make their decisions based on the information they have today.

  5. Excellent article. My husband was an only child and his parents followed literally every move he, I (his wife) and our kids made every day, until the day they died. It drove us nuts.

  6. my mom is super involved in my life even though i’m 22. i’m hoping she’ll try loosening up. especially when it comes to my education.

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