Parenting in the Borderlands
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When your child is no longer a child

Parenting doesn’t stop when your child “ages out.” What comes next may prove to be your biggest challenge as a parent.  It is the secret rarely shared with new parents, that 20 years down the road, adult children may put a heavy burden — physical, emotional, financial and spiritual — on their parents.  Welcome to the borderlands of parenting. Be forewarned; what you read here will focus on parents, not adult children. You cannot change your adult child, but you can understand, learn coping skills and, if necessary, change yourself.  Feel free to share your own experiences in the “Comments” section of each blog post. Your civil and compassionate dialogue may be just the advice another struggling parent needs.  To send me a private email, see the “contact” link below. Also subscribe below to receive email updates about new blogs. If you know someone else who could use this community of readers, use the share links. Now, scroll down for the most recent posts!



  1. Annie

    I’m so glad to see this blog! I have three adult, married children and five grandchildren (the sixth is coming tomorrow!). I just bookmarked your url so I can check back.

  2. Gemma

    Good timing. One month ago after a disastrous Christmas visit, I began googling themes revolving around dealing with one’s adult children. I didn’t find enough to help me so am very pleased you provided a reading list.

    What is especially difficult is hearing my adult child say things to me that are similar to the statements I made to my own mother. Mostly because I know how hard I worked to treat my child with more choice and respect than I got from my mom. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry! It seems all of my effort was wasted.

    Now I wonder if the problems are more due to this child’s innate temperament rather than the specific
    issues raised. My other adult children have been blasted too by rather surprising complaints. It seems that the verbal attacks have a biological component, but I am not able to go there.

    Right now I’m in avoidance mode because I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I dislike the idea of withdrawing but it feels necessary for my own emotional survival. Frankly, if not for the magnificent relationship with another child, I would question whether becoming a mother was the right thing for me in the first place.

    • Daryl

      Gemma, I understand the temptation to “withdraw,” but please hang in there. I’m already gathering research for a blog on if and when to take a break from your adult children.

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