Author Topic: Parents and adult children - how does it work?  (Read 469 times)

Fennia

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Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« on: September 08, 2010, 09:24:03 AM »
Hiyas,
I'm not entirely sure if this is the right place for this post, but tell me your take on...

How does it work for adult children and parents?
How often do you meet? what do you talk about? are you close or not? What causes tensions, and how do you avoid them?

As a background for my questions, I'm the younger one of two kids, both of us adults now. My brother is bi-polar. He's had it since I was 10. My parents tiptoe around the issue, and demand the same of me. They give him considerable financial support (e.g. he lives in a flat they own, and doesn't pay regular/proper rent). I don't get any financial support from them, because they say I don't need it, and they don't have enough to buy us both a flat. I manage on my own, I have a job (although not permanent, 3-6 month contracts), but I can't say life isn't a struggle sometimes. It just is, that's life, and I'm not imagining I'm the only one in the world who feels that way. Most people need to pay rent/morgage regularly, if they intend to have a roof over their heads. Most people need to buy food if they intend to eat. etc.

My brother, however, is ungreatful for the support he's getting, nothing's ever enough for him, and he's continually whining or giving me bul*s*it/snidy remarks for the life that I have. He gets it for nothing, I work hard for mine, and am expected to eat their crap for it - :crazy: I have tried and tried again to tell them they are being unreasonable towards me. What they do with their money is of course their decision, but should I be thanking them for that and the verbal abuse I get for it, or what?

I just don't get it, so any insight from you is much welcomed :)
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Asmodean

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2010, 10:00:47 AM »
Answers based on my personal, subjective experience

Quote from: "Fennia"
How does it work for adult children and parents?
It doesn't.

Quote
How often do you meet?
Never since... Ooh, forever ago.

Quote
what do you talk about?
We don't

Quote
are you close or not?
Total strangers

Quote
What causes tensions, and how do you avoid them?
Well, given that we have no contact, there are no tensions to avoid and there is nothing to cause them.
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philosoraptor

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2010, 10:11:12 AM »
My younger brother is bipolar, too.  Most of the time though, he isn't a raging jackass, so long as he's on his meds.  My dad is also bipolar and my mom is borderline.  They're divorced.

My question to you would be this: what do you get out of your relationship with your parents and brother?  Are there positives, or are they always and constantly giving you shit and making you feel bad?  Only you can weigh the positives and the negatives to decide if it's worth maintaining a relationship with family for the sake of family.

My parents are extremely difficult to deal with.  So I don't talk to them, for the most part. I haven't cut them out of my life, but generally, I don't go out of my way to keep in touch with them unless they make the first move.  If all you get out of your relationship with your family is pain and suffering, than cut them loose.  You wouldn't stay friends with someone who treated you that way-there's no reason to stay in contact with people who are abusive, just because they are family.  Sometimes, distancing yourself is the best thing you can do.
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The Magic Pudding

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2010, 10:44:01 AM »
I think it's supposed to work like this:
Parents love their children and look forward to seeing them.
Children look forward to seeing their parents because they make them feel welcome and comfortable.
Children are treated equally to avoid creating ill will.
Parents and children talk and laugh about things, or nothing at all.

Tank

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2010, 01:29:04 PM »
My three kids are grown up and gone. All are in touch and I talk on the phone as and when they call. I don't as a rule call them, which is a little odd now I come to think of it, but if I called them now they'd think it was even odder!

I have never had a good family connection, my one sister is 15yo than me.

Personally I never saw or felt my kids were my possessions. Once they were adult their lives were theirs. So I don't really know how it should work either.
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Cecilie

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2010, 03:50:37 PM »
Well, I'm not an adult so I don't know if it counts. I do live alone however. My mother pays my rent (at least for the next year, I don't know what will happen when I turn 18). I talk with my mother once or twice a week. Just the normal talk "How is it going?" and all that. I'm surprised I don't miss my parents, I thought I would. I don't think about them everyday. I don't talk with my dad often, mainly because he lives on the other side of the world... But I guess that's no good excuse. I am very grateful for my parents however, and the sacrifices they've made and the sacrifices I'm sure they're willing to make. I have certainly been disappointed in them at times, but no parent is perfect.  :P
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humblesmurph

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2010, 04:19:17 PM »
I like what Magic Pudding has to say about this.  I'll stop quoting him, lest he think I'm some sort of stalker.  Anyway, if as an adult, you are in some way dependent on your parents or expect to be sometime in the future, you'll likely have to take some boundary jumping from them occasionally.  However, there comes a point where it becomes absurd to for parents to try to tell their offspring how to act.  Nobody knows how to be you better than you.  

For better or worse, your family is your family.  I never agreed with the notion that you have no ties to them besides blood.  If you grow up in a household with people for 15-25 years it seems to me that there is some sort of connection besides a genetic one.  That is not a bridge I would burn without some deep deep thought.  And then some more deep thought.  Setting boundaries has worked for me.  I share aspects of my life with my parents, but I never ask them for advice that is above their pay grade.  I might ask my mother how to make cookie batter to make her feel needed, even though I could just do a quick Google search and likely get a superior recipe.  Try to talk about things that aren't contentious.  Be nice even if they won't.  Love them.   If that fails, take a break, then love them some more.  That seems to work for me.

Asmodean

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2010, 06:23:26 PM »
Quote from: "humblesmurph"
I never agreed with the notion that you have no ties to them besides blood.
Well, that depends on a multitude of factors, does it not?  :raised:
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Fennia

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2010, 06:30:56 PM »
Thank you all so far for your answers :sigh:

Quote from: "The Magic Pudding"
Children are treated equally to avoid creating ill will.

Exactly!  :brick: i.e. in their terms, for it to be reasonable on me, would mean for them to abandon my brother and throw him to the street. As in, happy mediums, anyone?! :blush: I think that's a dad thing  ;)

And bi-polar or not, there's n excuse to behave like a prat! :bully:
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Asmodean

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2010, 06:41:53 PM »
Quote from: "Fennia"
As in, happy mediums, anyone?! :mad:
They owe you just as much as they do him, so their reasoning is highly questionable whatever it may be. You could try demanding your due, but you must be prepared for a war if you feel like using such measures.
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humblesmurph

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2010, 06:54:55 PM »
Quote from: "Asmodean"
Quote from: "humblesmurph"
I never agreed with the notion that you have no ties to them besides blood.
Well, that depends on a multitude of factors, does it not?  :raised:

Of course.  I was referring specifically to people that you grew up with in the same household.  Whether related by blood or not, there is, I believe, a certain bonding that comes through shared experiences.  It's a nice feeling to have an extensive history with a person.  Then and now sort of thing, you know.  I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt to people who fed, housed, and clothed me for 18 years even if they act like miserable shits sometimes.  Every situation is different.  I have never been abused by my parents so I'm likely biased.  I can't say if I could forgive the unspeakable.

Cecilie

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2010, 06:58:42 PM »
Quote from: "Fennia"
Quote from: "Cecilie"
Well, I'm not an adult so I don't know if it counts. I do live alone however. My mother pays my rent (at least for the next year, I don't know what will happen when I turn 18).
Cecilie, I think there's a huge difference between being under 20, or early 20s, compared to my brother being 34.  ;)
I think so too.
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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2010, 08:16:10 PM »
Quote from: "Fennia"
Quote from: "Tank"
My three kids are grown up and gone. All are in touch and I talk on the phone as and when they call. I don't as a rule call them, which is a little odd now I come to think of it, but if I called them now they'd think it was even odder!

 ;)  as my dad rarely calls me, it's usually my mum, speaking for both of them, so to say. Does your wife ever call the kids, or always the kids calling?
Got it in one. My wife calls them and they call here, apparently they are fine.
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Category

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2010, 12:37:03 PM »
I feel like in this situation you have absolutely nothing that is forcing you to continue this somewhat pointless relationship, other than the fact they're family (doesn't really matter to me either, actualy)
I ask theists if God is omnipotent. They say yes.
I ask theists if God loves us. They say yes.
I read the news paper or look on the web or remember other people's sad stories or remember things that happened to me...and I see that no omnipotent entity loves us.
I ask theists if they can prove their god. They can't.
So, I have excellent reason to

Asmodean

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Re: Parents and adult children - how does it work?
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2010, 02:06:33 PM »
Quote from: "Category"
(doesn't really matter to me either, actualy)
Family, I'd say, is more than blood. I would call my best friend family and while technically incorrect, it'd describe my relations with him far more precisely than calling one of my blood relatives family ever could.
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