March 15, 2011

10 On Tues: Painful Exercise Part 1

The following might be a painful exercise. Carefully answer each question truthfully. YOU are doing no one, least of all your adult child, any favors by SUGAR-COATING the painful reality. If you are unable to be objective, ask someone close to the situation to help. HOWEVER, don't get angry with the person if he or she tells YOU things YOU don't want to hear.

1.) Truthfulness: Does my adult child tell me the truth about his activities? (Or have you caught him in lies on more than one occasion?)

2.) Temperament: Does my child have an even temper? Or is he prone to mood swings? Does he often display irritability, annoyance, and impatience? Does he withdraw from interaction with others?

3.) Empathetic: Is my adult child able to empathize with the hurts of others or is he most likely unaware of others' pain or unable to identify with their plight?

4.) Personality: Which word best describes my child: warm or cold? Is he often personally cold toward other people....or is warm and inviting to people he meets?

5.) Selflessness: Which word is more accurate in describing my child, "humble" or "prideful"? Is he egocentric? Cocky? Does the world revolve around him and his own desires, or is he able to give himself to others to help meet their needs?

6.) Emotionally stable: Is he able to handle his emotions maturely....or do his emotions (anger, depression, guilt) drive his actions?

7.) A healthy conscience: Is my child able to feel the appropriate guilt for his wrong actions? Or is guilt something he rarely feels or tries to rationalize away by placing blame elsewhere?

8.) Independent: Is he more independent or dependent? Does he consistently see that his needs are met through his own efforts or must he rely on others to supply his needs?

9.) Physically responsible: Does he treat his body with respect....or is he careless about his health?

10.) Responsibility: Is my child assuming full responsibility for his life? (Does he follow through on promises made? Are bills paid on time? Does he show up on time for work?)

Hat Tip: Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children

Sound Familiar?

Next Week: Painful Exercise Part 2


  1. Sounds like tough love! I am a firm believer in tough love. I know my children are still young and unable to make many of their own decisions and I hope as they become adults they will make only the best decisions but I also know that is unrealistic.
    I make sure my kids know that there are consiquences to all of their actions. Bad grades=privledges taken away.
    All I can hope is that I have instilled the right values and then and let them fly.

  2. It’s good to let your kids make their own decisions as long as they are not harmful. This way they have the opportunity to suffer the natural consequences of those decisions.

    For example: If you have a tween or teen in middle school and they choose not to take a shower before they attend school then they will get to experience what it’s like to smell bad and what the consequence of that decision will be.

    Another example: If you have a teenager who thinks it’s okay to stay up until two o’clock in the morning on a school night – that’s their choice. They will then get to experience what it’s like to be dog-gone tired at school the next day.

    In our house there was always a consequence for bad grades, especially if there were missing assignments or things that could have been accomplished to prevent the bad grades. The consequence of that is you were grounded until you brought your grade up to an acceptable level.

    Our oldest used to argue with us all the time that being required to have all A’s and B’s was “dumb” or “stupid.” Personally I think it’s pretty silly that the difference between a C & B or B & A is missing assignments.

    Not our problem. It was her decision to do the work or not do the work.

    Our kids have to suffer the natural consequences of their choices while the brunt of it is harmless or a learning lesson before they become an “adult” when their consequences can possibly be somewhat more severe in nature.

    Yes, once they are adults – you have to let them fly.

    There is a difference between “helping” and “enabling.” Helping is when you do something for someone that they cannot do for themselves. Enabling is when you do something for someone that they can totally do for themselves.

    Let me ask you something Carrin – Do you have “family” or “relatives” who are critical of your parenting? Do they ever insert themselves into the equation completely going against you and totally disrespecting you as the parent? If so, how have you dealt with such audacity? I’m curious.

  3. My family is very supportive of my parenting style. However they are not afraid to tell me if I may have made a decision that they don't think I handled correctly, never infront of the kids though. My ex-husband sometimes underminds my authority but that is a whole other situation.

  4. You are so lucky to have family that is supportive of you Carrin. My husband’s side of the family, my brother, his wife, and all of our close friends who have access to most of the information are extremely supportive of us. My mother and father...not so much.


Thanks for the comment