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Parents Explain Why They're Disappointed In Their Adult Children

I expected so much more....

Parents Explain Why They're Disappointed In Their Adult Children

Parents are everything, well good parents, parents who are destined to be parents. Some people really shouldn't be parents. That's for another time to discuss. When we are all born our parental units have such high hopes and plans.... and more often then not, the spawn will choose the adverse path. When you're children choose the adverse path, it has to be harrowing, but, a true parent finds a way, even with disappointment. But that doesn't mean you can't chat about it.

Redditor u/fkac3080 wanted to let some parents vent by asking.... Parents of Reddit, why are you disappointed in your adult child?



He got a 200,000 inheritance when his father passed away two years ago, he is broke now. TheWalrusSlapper

All you can do....

My son is 25 and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at around 15 years old (maybe younger). After he became too old and too big for me to manage his meds he refused to take them and his life has been a roller coaster of disasters ever since. Between prison time (juvie and adult), bad decisions, suicidal ideation, drug use, fathering 2 children he doesn't see (same mom) and insisting on making up reasons to not speak to ME I'm done, because honestly there's nothing I can do for him. At this point I'm just waiting to get a phone call on where I need to go to identify the body. Reddit

You're Out!


He's 23, and mean as hell to everyone including his gf and their kids. He tells her things like "that's why nobody wants you" to her and to me he says things like "my kids don't even like you" (they are damn babies how do they know who they like yet, did they tell him and they can't even talk ) ... I had to cut him out of my life because the hurt he caused me was unreal and I was having issues in my daily life over it. jlu742069

Let me Tell You... 

Oof, perfect timing. She's currently home for the summer and heads back to college in a few days. I feel bad for saying this, but I'm honestly ashamed that she's still enrolled there. This will be her 5th semester there, but she was supposed to have failed all her classes her 2nd semester. And 3rd. And 4th. Every semester, she skips class and parties, not even attempting her school work. Then when the school goes to kick her out, she appeals the decision and somehow, I honestly have no idea how, gets her professors to bump her grades just high enough for her to pass and continue on another semester. She lost all of her scholarships and grants already.

Initially, I was paying whatever tuition costs were leftover, and then was paying 75% of tuition and she got student loans for the rest. She was home for break last semester and I overheard her on the phone bragging to one of her friends about how she doesn't do any work because all she has to do is file an appeal to pass her classes. I was appalled and now that I know that, I'm not paying a dime.

I just don't understand why she does it or if I'm somehow responsible for causing this behavior as her father. But, we were poor when she was younger and even now, we're maybe lower middle class. She wasn't spoiled and saw how hard I worked to provide for her. We had an agreement when she turned 16 that if she wanted a car, she was responsible for paying for gas. She got a part time job and so I got her a used car.

My thought was that working to earn gas money would teach her firsthand the value of a dollar. That was the best way I could think of to teach her and give her some real life experience. I don't know if it didn't stick or what, but she seems perfectly content top keep up the routine and get a degree handed to her.

I worked for everything I have, and everything she has. Her college fund was a result of me squirreling away every dime I could for 10 years. She's currently pissed at me for it, but I will not continue to use this money to literally buy her a degree. I've begrudgingly decided to take a step back and let her handle her education on her own. im_with_cthulhu


Pathological liar. 33 years old and he would rather walk 10 miles to tell a lie than to stand still and tell the truth.
His ex wives all found out the same thing. vaylon1701

How do I activate?


I'm not disappointed in my 18-year old, but I sure wish I knew how to activate him. He graduated in May, has no desire to go to college and no real aspirations at all. He's pretty much been in his room on his phone since. He's struggled for many years with anxiety, which we're treating, and I know a lot of things are difficult for him, but man, I wish I knew how to get him excited about something - anything - whether it's a job or a hobby or a plan or whatever. FaustusRedux


He's 20 and refuses to go to college or get a job. He lives with his mom, so all I can do is talk to him about it. I fear for his future, like, we, his parents, aren't immortal and he doesn't seem to have self-preservation skills. PansOnFire

The Tough Road. 

I'm disappointed in my son because he is too much like me. He's a solid introvert who is afraid to ask for help and doesn't want to bother people -- even with very legitimate requests. He is an expert procrastinator.

I remember being that age and being soooo much like that. I'm not sure how I got through university, but I've been a successful engineer for 30 years so I've still got a lot of hope for him.

Also, both my kids vape/smoke. We've been anti-smokers for all our adult lives and I'm sad to see them choose to do something negative like that. They both "want to quit" but its a tough road. mks113

The Slacker.


My son is 24 and, by some standards, a disappointment. He has a degree and no job. He struggles with motivation, and his sleep patterns are terrible. I don't think he has a plan to move forward with his life.

Earlier in the year, my husband (his dad) was diagnosed with cancer.

I thank God every day for my "slacker" son. He is so kind. Every time he makes dinner "because I know you must be tired" or comes and gives me a hug when I get home from work makes it possible for me to keep going. PanickedPoodle

Be Better.

Following this thread to see what I can do to be a better child to my parents while I still have the chance. ParanoidCrow

It is killing us.

He is 24 years old and has a full blow meth addiction that started in the last 6 months.

He was fired from the job he got at 18 because he was high and manic (sidebar his manager was the one that introduced him to meth). Since then he has dedicated his time to either finding or using meth. He has been arrested 3 times spent 30 days in jail and continues to use even though he is on probation.

He is angry because we will not allow him to live with us while he is using. He is now homeless.

He broke into our house and stole some of his father's sports memorabilia to support his habit. Some of it is not replaceable and very sentimental.

He is a shell of the human we knew 6 months ago both figurative and literally. He can not hold a normal conversation and is constantly twitching

We have offered to get him help but he is convinced that the drugs have set him free and we all are living in a delusional world where we have to work and conform to society.

It is killing us.

On the other hand our daughter (23) just graduated college in June with a paralegal degree and has decided to go to law school. She is afraid to celebrate her success because she doesn't want to make him feel bad or upset him. But forget him for taking that away from her. Lazy_Exorcist

42 and Rough.


He's 42, lives with his dad, is 6 years into a 2 year degree, and has gone through 4 decent cars in the last 6 months. His dad bought the cars and he trashed them. He's also threatened physical abuse to his dad. He disowned his older sister over a political argument on Facebook. She said I'm leaving this discussion before we say things we'll regret, and he tried to forbid it saying if she left she was disrespecting him and was no longer related to him. fabricnut85

Don't Give Up!

No drive, no ambition, and no work ethic worth a damn. He's 25, he peaked in 6th grade. basura_trash

This was me for 2 years. I was content with my boring and underpaid job and wasting time away smoking weed. I had a moment of catharsis so to speak about 2 months ago. Since then, I've studied hard to gain my teaching certificate, applied and was accepted into a teaching placement program, started reading books again, and ditched the pot for the most part. Not sure if this helps, but if I could do it, so can your son! DanielSnipeCelly


My ex husband was the son that my parents wanted their actual son to be. So they're pissed that my brother isn't like him and they're pissed that I divorced him. Double-whammy. Never mind that we just fundamentally did not work as a couple: they basically see it as me stealing away their chance at having The Perfect Child in a son-in-law. Oh well!


31 & Lost....


He is 31 and has been a hard-core addict (meth, heroin) since age 15. He has put us through hell. I'm disappointed and we are estranged but he is still my son and I love him. Zen_Gaian

Deadbeat Dad.

He's a dead beat dad for his first daughter (which means I can't see my first granddaughter anymore), has been in and out of jail since the age of 11, is a multiple offense convicted felon as an adult, who will steal from anyone (myself and his mother included), and has threatened to have most of his family members killed.

He is known to carry (stolen) firearms, and frequently uses his brothers name to try to avoid being caught. He's a drug addict, living with a drug addicted girl, and they have now had two more children together, both of whom suffer from the effects of their parents drug addictions (fetal drug syndrome). Kardolf

Paging Dr. Phil....

She has not become a multimillionaire and decided to fund my retirement. But she's only just turned 18. I give her a year or two to sort it out. PonFarJarJar

Her age is no excuse. The Cash Me Outside girl is already a millionaire and she's only 16. Get your daughter to Dr. Phil, stat! TheWickAndReed

"sometimes we just have to get on with it..."


My mum's disappointed that I left a £33,000 a year job for a £28,000 job because I had two mental breakdowns, even though everything is now perfect.

"sometimes we just have to get on with it..." kofisbootyos

'the promised child'

I'm still not sure what my parents think of me. I was 'the promised child' who got 99th percentile on aptitude tests in kindergarten, aced tests, memorized the presidents by age 4(at my dad's insistence), and ended up just blundering my way through school because what started as a bad habit of not doing homework eventually amalgamated into depression-driven apathy about education.

I dropped out of college and I've spent more of my time in therapy learning how to be a good person and be happy, which does make my mom happy, but I can feel my entire extended family's disappointment in me that I chose to work an 8-5 job and just live in an apartment with my cat. On the bright side, I'm more confident in my life choices than I ever have been and wouldn't trade the positive mindset I've been working so hard on for any amount of work discipline.Spazznax

The Mess She's Made....

Ohh good timing. I have to be semi vague but hopefully you get the gist My middle daughter is 19 but we've had issues her entire life I strongly suspect BPD narcissism

Currently her infant child has been removed from her care by CPS for multiple reasons notably her erratic behavior she showed and continues to show and also heavy heavy marijuana use. We suspect other drugs at play but have zero proof.

Instead of cooperating to get her child back she has fought kicking and screaming every step of the way making it much harder than necessary. At the same time blaming her mother and vilifying her to the point that she has lied to CPS in an attempt to have them remove her 4 year old sister from her mothers care. Calling old friends and family giving them a hugely false story in an attempt to alienate her mother and have zero friends and help. It's a giant mess she's created and refuses to take any blame or acknowledge that she's the issue at all.