Enabling parents know that we live either smack dab in the middle of crisis or we're simply in between crises, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Every time the phone rings at night, we are catapulted to a place of despair. Will it be our adult child in a drunken stupor, will it be the police, or will it be the morgue?
Let's look at these two ways we live and what we need to do to implement the decision we've made to stop enabling and set boundaries for our adult children.
If your adult child lives outside the home and is calling for money or a place to live, or is requesting (in many cases, begging) for your signature on a contract or rental agreement, do not give it to him.
There's an old saying, "You can't paddle another man's canoe for him." We've been paddling our adult children's canoes for far too long. It's time they learned how to paddle for themselves.
Knowing that we need to change and taking the steps necessary to make changes are, sadly, often two entirely different things. In the next article, let's look at a very real family dealing with a very real situation. This couple sought my advice when I shared my situation with them and told them about the book I was working on that would help parents establish proper boundaries with their adult children. Names have been changed to protect their privacy; any resemblance to your situation is purely accidental. Their story is typical of many.