The Bill of Rights for Parents of Adult Children

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Parents undergo a dramatic shift in their lives when the child grows to be an adult. The Parent must learn to treat them as an equal, to transition from being a doting figure to a respected and respectful neighbor. It is a harsh transition, one that leads to many broken hearts or unexpected obstacles. While it is important to make this transition with communication and understanding, there are a few ‘Rights’ that parents should keep in mind while making this move:

  • The Right to be Free from Abuse: There are unexpected scenarios in which a parent of a newly adult child will find themselves in the position of lashing out, verbal abuse, sometimes even domestic abuse. Abuse from anyone is never warranted, so parents of abusers must set strict boundaries with the child to prevent further concern.
  • The Right to be Guilt-Free: Certain Adult children will become abusive in the sense of attempting to put the blame on the parents. This can lead to a sort of rewritten family history in some cases, in the hopes of pinning guilt and or blame on the child. It is necessary to get help if the child cannot forgive, or the parents cannot forgive themselves.
  • The Right to Peace of Mind: It is instinctual in order to take the negative emotions involved with the child’s state of affairs unto the parents’ selves. The parents, however, still have the right and permission in order to take time to enjoy peace, time, jobs, hobbies, or otherwise.
  • The Right to Have Reasonable Expectations: There are certain minimum guidelines by which an adult child should live by when living alongside their parents. Young adults who temporarily live in the same house as their parents, and the parents owned the home, the young adult should be working part-time or going to school, such as with college. They should contribute to the maintenance and good of the household, such as with some cleaning or certain payment. If the young adult is working a full time job, it is expected that they should be responsible for their meals and payments, such as for health insurance and the like.
  • The Right to be Imperfect: No one individual succeeds perfectly at all times. There are scenarios in which even parents do not have an answer to certain problems. But that is alright, each one person has the right to make mistakes, as long as they are aware of their own limitations. It relieves a massive amount of stress when you do not worry about your own imperfections.
  • The Right to Decide What to Do with Your Own Money: The parents have a choice to grant financial support to their child, but it is not an obligation. The parents must consider that they have no obligation in order to financially assist their adult child, even for basic necessities. Be perfectly transparent and forthcoming with financial expectations whenever the child moves back home.
  • The Right to Decide What to Do with your Time: Time is a precious resource that we must not squander. This is highly important when considering the time that you spend doing favors or the like for your adult children. Consider that time spent doing favors may create an expectation that is difficult to maintain. You are your own person, and not obligated to your child.
  • The Right of Selective Association: It is each parent’s, and adult’s, right to choose who they involve themselves with, romantic or otherwise. Most children acknowledge this, or do not care in the matter. However, there are always exceptions, so you must keep this in mind.
  • The Right to Retirement: Each caring parent has, at least a minute, instinct to give away retirement funds and rewards for a lifetime of work in order to support an adult child that has
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