Adult Children Do Not Want Their Parents’ Advice

Adult children just detest getting any kind of advice from their parents. They particularly hate the following advice.

First, when it comes to money, they never want to hear anything unless it is “Here is an extra $20.00 just for you.” Now if they hear the words, “Here is what you should do with that money.”, they will turn and run as fast as they can. You see, once a child reaches adulthood (which for some is not until they are in their 40’s or older), they know it all. There is nothing anyone can tell them that they do not already know. So, when a parent tries to tell them how to save their money or spend their money wisely, an adult child simply tunes them out with an occasional “Uh huh, sure, whatever, yeah right, o.k., o.k. I get it.”

Second, oh now let me tell you, an adult child will never sit still for relationship advice. Once they are in love then they are in loveand no one is going to tell them they are not. You see, they do not know that parents can see right through the girl/boyfriend. A mother knows exactly what a girlfriend is thinking and feeling and wanting, while a father knows the mind of the boyfriend. Yet, when you try to tell the child that, you get laughed at and a “Sure, that is what you think. She/he is not like that.” The next day they are crying on your shoulder “I can’t believe he/she did that (or said that). I should have listened to you.” And with a “Yes, I was right” under you breath, you hug and comfort them.

Third, an adult child never wants to hear what kind of car they should buy. They want what they want even if it means they will drive it down the road and call a tow truck to get it home. Yet, when Mom or (usually Dad) tells them “But, (Son/Daughter), this car is not what you need. It is not in good shape. You need something safer.” They are right back with, “But, (Mom/Dad) this is what I want and it is my money. I earned it all myself.” Of course, a few days later the phone rings at midnight and the voice on the other end is “Mom/Dad can I borrow enough money to pay the tow truck driver. My car broke down.”

Fourth, I do not care if a place is infested with bugs and has holes in the walls and ceiling, an adult child will live in it if their parents protest it. An adult child hates to hear the words, “Honey, you really need to find you a better place to live. This is not safe.” Oh, and if you tell them that they are making enough money to pay for a better place, then they will go find one even worse.

Fifth, adult children absolutely positively detest to be told what to wear or fashion advice. If you tell a young lady that her skirt is too short, she will get a shorter one. If you tell a young man that his jeans are too raggedy to wear out in public, he will rip even more holes in them. And the all dreaded pants down around their knees…if you tell them to pull up their pants they will put them down around their ankles.

So, here is some advice to parents everywhere. If you have an adult child let them make a few mistakes as long as it will not get them into trouble (or at least too much trouble). Keep your distance while staying close. Let them ask you for advice before you tell them. If you feel they are about to make a horrible mistake, do not approach them with “No, you can’t do that. You will be making a horrible mistake.” Approach them with the attitude of “Let us talk about this and see if there is a better way to handle it. Let’s think it through and then you (and emphasize the word “you”) can decide what you want to do.” Make sure you let them know that the final decision will still be up to them, but you would like to just say a few things before the decision is final.

Talk to you adult children, do not lecture them.


Personal (I have a 31 year old step son who does not like to be told what to do)