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Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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I have 3 children 20, and twins going to be 22. They depend

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I have 3 children 20, and twins going to be 22. They depend on me for everything I pay their car insurance, health ins. give them money when they need it and I am always their for them emotionally. The 20 and one 22 are in college and physically away from home. My son is going to be 22 goes to community college and usually take 3courses a semester. Am I wrong to want him to get a full time job? My daughter claims she never has any money but she is taking a trip at Christmas to Europe that cost at least $2000. Should I have made her pay for so me of her schooling. She drives my car full time---should she not at least pay something if the car breaks down. They all now pay their own gas but no money towards car upkeep. Am I not teaching them responsibility or just being a caring parent. My parents made me pay for different things but I am a little more well off because I am a chiropractor. Additionally, my wife and I are going through a divorce for about 20months now. she has only worked part time in my office these last 20 years. She is greedy, lazy and has the attitude that everything should be given to her. Do you think I am training my children to be that way or just being a concerened parent by giving them everything. My children don't clean either---they have no chores so therefore my house is a filthy mess that smells of cat urine. The appraisol on my house reflected the poor condition. Please help---is this normal child rearing behavior?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 6 years ago.

Normally therapists are not very direct in giving specific advice, but this is a clear question with a clear course of action.


These are young adults. They have decided to act outside of that role and are taking advantage of you. For their own sake as well as yours there needs to be established rules. If they do not wish to live by them, they have a choice. They can leave and there is nothing wrong with having adult expectations of adults. Truly, they are not disabled, impaired or limited.


Most parents establish chore and rule lists as early as 7years. This prepares children to accept the basic structure of life, earn and give back.


In this case that process is not in place but take heart. It is not too late to start.


I would suggest a couple of things. You mention that you do not like confrontation. Most people do not and rule enforcement is a difficult and sometimes unpleasant, but a necessary task.


However, before you begin to establish rules and process in your home I would like you to see a therapist. Why? You need a sounding board, someone to help you look at the nature of why you avoid confrontation on essential issues and how to regain your confidence and authority. Once this is done you will be able to successfully place limits and enforce them in a healthy and beneficial way. This will not take long but is important, even essential in this case, as you are dealing with adults, adults who can reason and talk back and minimize your efforts. You want to be successful and this will maximize your chances.


This is resolvable and will some brief guidance I can say that your household will be very different in a few months. Take heart! This is something that we, as parents, are never taught yet expected to simply know. That isn't reasonable either and I think you will do well once given the back up and support that you need.



Edited by Steven Olsen on 9/9/2010 at 12:17 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have not problem giving them anything they want with no expectations except doing well in school. My question is Am I doing too much and not teaching them responsibility. My son doesn't cut the grass or help clean the pool but I pay for all his needs. I don't see anything wrong with it but there are other people in my life that see that and say my son is lazy, greedy and expects things just like my soon to be ex wife. sort of like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Im sorry fo thbis, my unhappy girlfriend has been sending questyions as i was writing them, naturally they are very slanted and only part of the information.
Expert:  Steven Olsen replied 6 years ago.

You pay for an honest answer and veracity, the therapist's obligation to tell you the truth no matter how difficult it is demands a realistic reply.


Yes, I believe without doubt that you are being taken advantage of and that you are enabling behaviors, behaviors that will ruin his life as this is not how the world will treat him.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

stevwn she didnt say the three kids are all working they are helping with their expenses. They rarely ask for money unless it is a college need. They all work part time in school. Two actually worked two jobs all summer. The girl that ios travekling earned all the money for her trip and paid it on time. I do not pay for everything, I dont give them whatever they ask for. Susan has complained and whined about the kids from almost the begining of dating. My kisd are not perfect, but are growing up and will make it. They had their lives as they knew it torn apart when the ex selfdestructed. I ahve tried to ensure some resemblence of normalacy.


Im sure ur answer is a decent answer on facvce value with the question sue asked. Again I didnt write this in the first place, I was suprised u chose to be so bold without any additional info...There was a lot of info that you didnt get. Since i didnt start this dialogue, ill defer the costs to susie.

Expert:  Sarah replied 6 years ago.
Hi There,

Thanks for your question about your family. My view on this would be that as soon as our children are born, our role as a parent is to bring up our children as responsible people who can look after themselves in the future. When they are very small, obviously we have to do so much for them because they are too small to do stuff for themselves. However, if we continue to do stuff for when they are old enough to do things for themselves, we do stop them from learning how to do them practically, but also and perhaps more importantly, we stop them from believing that they have an important role to play in terms of contributing and taking part, whether it involves jobs or money or responsibilities. There are no rules or laws about this, but it will certainly affect their future, the same way that parents always affect their children's future. Often what happens is the child will grow up and find a partner who fills the role of the parent -someone who will continue to do all of this stuff for them - this can work because there are people who find satisfaction in doing everything for someone else. However, this can sometimes turn on itself, as the partner who does everything can suddenly turn and say 'you do nothing and I do it all'. But this isn't set in stone, and like I say, there are no laws. Have a look at your own patterns of life and see how you were brought up and where your need to do everything for your children ones from. Who do you do it for? Maybe it is for yourself. Sometimes we can think we are doing good for our children because our intentions are good, but then sometimes the consequences are not what we intended. It's not too late to make some changes, you could create new rules for your children if you wanted to, but I would explain them very carefully to them with your intentions clearly talked through. You could ask for their opinions too. hope this helps, Sarah
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience: Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
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