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Finding Articles on Letting Go of Responsibility for Adult Children?

I tried to do a google search for information on this topic, but am having no luck. All I'm finding are articles on letting go of adult children who have moved back in or need financial care. That's not what I'm looking for. Am I wording my search wrong?

Here's the situation: I have a sibling who is nearly 40 years old. He's particularly self destructive and has over the last several years turned into someone not so nice and no one is particularly wanting to have a relationship with. Most of the family doesn't. And when I say most, I can't think of one who actually does.

My mother is riddled with guilt that her son could have possibly turned out this way, how could she have created a son who would do mean and nasty things. She's sick over it. I've told her time and time again that she needs to let go, she's not responsible for his behavior at this age. She still holds all the burden. I'm looking to find some words of wisdom from an article or a book to help her let go and realize she can't feel responsible anymore for his current behavior.

Can anyone help?


Asked by amybaby_19 at 5:28 PM on Dec. 8, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 20 (8,829 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • In the words of Majior Pain "pop the tit out the kids mouth and let him grow up"
    I think it would be easier for her to 'let go' of her son when she has 'let go' of yher own guilt. He has to has to make his own choices, right or wrong. Given time, he'll come around and she will start to feel better.
    part of what is in theis articel:
    As many other parents have discovered, there are no guarantees that our children will turn out the way we expected. For starters, we may unintentionally fail our children in some fundamental way so they aren't really able to meet the standards we hold for them. Even more, because they have minds of their own, they can choose a lifestyle that we don't approve of or that we feel is less than they are capable of achieving.


    Answer by lacyjay1987 at 11:01 AM on Dec. 14, 2010

  • it is hard for any mother to let go of their kids no matter how old they are since your brother is 40yrs i don't think mom will ever stop worring any time soon that's what mom's do ,but your mom needs to let your brother grow up he is no longer has suck on her she no longer bottle feeding him ,so time to let him go and his mistake are his and his alone not her's she done her job tell her to move on

    Answer by dutchcanadain at 1:51 AM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • I understand what you are saying but in certain ways your parenting responsibilities never end ( unless of course you were never a good parent to begin with) I TOTALLY understand her not wanting anything to do with him but if there is a chance that his personality or behavior could be a direct threat to someone else she has a responsibility to notify the proper people about this as much as loudly and as MANY times as she needs to.

    Answer by NE1outthere at 5:46 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • Try 'tough love' or something like that. Good luck.

    Answer by KARRIEMARIE at 6:50 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • Go to 12 step enabling, tough love, addiction. And on a lighter note, watch the movie, "Stepbrothers" funny but sad. It is about 40 year old men living with their parents. God luck.

    Answer by twinkletoes0408 at 8:05 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • It doesn't have to be her fault. It could be he didn't learn coping skills when she taught them and he's angry life didn't turn out like he wanted. His anger is making him act like that, not his mom.

    Answer by admckenzie at 11:05 PM on Dec. 8, 2010

  • I don't know if this is the answer but my 21 yr old is now living with his g-ma because my ex is in prison. I had to make him move after an altercation in which he hit me in the center of my chest and knocked me almost 10 feet backwards after ball practice, just bcause I was pointing my finger in his face. Now after 4 or 5 years has passed he has dropper out of High school and no job. Every time I turn around, about every two to three days he's calling wanting money. Yes, he is dabbling in drugs and just the other week he Od'ed. I'm at my wit's end and sometimes I don't think I can't take it anymore.

    Answer by homegirl108 at 10:56 PM on Dec. 9, 2010