Ask a Counselor: My Adult Child is Making Bad Decisions

By | July 14, 2009

What advice would you give on adult children still living at home and dating a person whom we feel is totally wrong for them.

We have based this decision on things that we have seen and heard and believe that it is totally against how we have raised our child, which is to honor God.

-Brenda

Dear Brenda,

Thanks for your question. I understand your dilemma and the difficulty it must be creating in your family.

You didn’t say how old your child is or the reason this adult is still under your roof, but in general, I don’t think it’s beneficial for adult children to live with their parents. There are some circumstances when this might be necessary such as while they are a full time student or while they are in transition for a season.

Children need to be able to spread their wings and fly which means they need to be put out of the nest to do so. Flying means they can make their own decisions regarding their lives and how they live them. As a parent you can advise them of your opinion on an issue, but ultimately it is their decision.

When the adult lives with the parents, there is always the temptation to pull out the “while you’re under our roof” card. This will only turn out badly I’m afraid. As a parent the hardest thing to do is let go, but it is a necessary step. You have to trust that you did a good job raising this child and the Godly truth you instilled in them will lead them to make good decisions.

There will be some lessons they will have to learn the hard way, but ultimately they will find their way because of the God who resides in their hearts as well. So my ultimate advice would be for this child to move out and learn to fly on their own, but if circumstances forbid this then I would advise you to express your feelings on the matter in a rational way, but allow your child the freedom of making their own decision. Show your child love and show this boyfriend or girlfriend love as well as I’m sure he or she needs the love of Christ also.

God works in mysterious ways and this person could have been brought into the path of your family for a reason.

Sincerely,

Ted

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