Good parents whose narcissistic, toxic, adult children are estranged, feel crushed and heart-broken. The cruelty and pain is excruciating when our angry, vindictive, adult children threaten that they’ll never let us see our beloved grandchildren unless we accept guilt for all their emotions, bad decisions and failures; we accept repeated beatings (verbal and sometimes physical); we give them everything they want at the moment and kiss their feet whenever they want.
They always have reasons and justifications to bully and abuse us. They’re always right and we’re always wrong. Or when we’re right, it doesn’t really count.
They blame us for all their bad feelings and problems in life. They misinterpret everything we do and give themselves reasons they think are good enough to justify their anger and rage. They’re negative and hypercritical. They blow up and throw temper tantrums.
It’s not our fault they’re unhappy or they’ve failed; we didn’t do anything particularly bad to them.
Don’t accept blame, shame and guilt. We really did nothing so bad. We did not beat them senseless, we did not torture them, we did not brutalize or enslave them, we did not deprive them of the necessities of life.
Our mistake was to believe the experts of our times. For decades, our society has had some false beliefs:
- If you give children what they want, if you make them happy, if you don’t demand high standards of conduct and if you protect them from the consequences of mistakes or failure, they’ll grow up with self-confidence, self-esteem and good character. They’ll appreciate what they got and they’ll respect their parents.
- If we felt the sting of not having enough when we were growing up, we should give our children more, we should give them what we didn’t get.
- If people (our children) are unhappy or unsatisfied or angry, someone (us) must have done something bad to them.
- If adult children are mean, hateful or failures, they have good reasons and their parents are to blame.
None of these beliefs is true.
For all cultures and in all times I’ve seen, when a society becomes rich and opulent (we really are “first world”) parents indulge their children. Then many more children grow up feeling entitled to everything they want. They remain selfish, greedy, narcissistic, arrogant, demanding, blaming and weak children in adult bodies. They can’t face the real challenges and disappointments in life. And they exhibit the behaviors we’ve seen and felt.
That’s just the way it is and has always been.
These children have free will and they chose poorly – maybe they chose to follow the selfish bullies they saw growing up in the family instead of your loving, caring, giving example.
What we did wrong.
We gave too much. When these children grew up they keep expecting us to make their lives work smoothly and if we don’t, they’re enraged. And if we stop giving them everything they want and if we stop taking all the blame for what they don’t like, they’re enraged.
They’re still throwing little-kid, temper tantrums. They’re still stamping their feet and screaming, “It’s not fair. I feel what I feel and it’s your fault.” Now they’re in control and we’d dance to their demands or else.
Now we’re stuck trying to re-train them when they have the power to deprive us of our greatest pleasures: Being loved by our children and grandchildren.
But there is hope we can take back control of our lives and our futures. We can forgive ourselves and take back control. Our future is calling to our spirits. We must answer the call or our lives will shrivel. We’ll waste the last 30-40 years that can still be wonderful. It’s simply a matter of choosing to respond with courage, strength and determination. And, of course it’s hard.
Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
- Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
- Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.