It's not uncommon for Gen X moms to lament about their young children's "entitled" behavior and unwillingness to communicate with them, but one Gen X mom has brought to attention the possibility that such behavior may be a result of unconscious parental abuse.
The Struggle of Parenting Young Adults
In a TikTok video that suggests young children are “entitled,” a mom addresses all mothers with adult children and asks, “Why is it this hard?”
She argues that being a mom to young adult kids is highly demanding because they do not treat their parents with the respect and gratitude they deserve.
When Love and Efforts Are Not Enough
"Why," she asks, “when I feel like I was a good mom and did everything I can to show my kids I loved them and be there for them, why does this generation of kids just turn their back on their parents?”
The OP asserts that she would never treat her parents that way.
Empathy and Understanding, A TikTok Mom Responds to the Struggles of Parenting Adult Children
In response to the video, Missy Jo (@missyjocad22) chimes in with her own experience as a mother of young adults.
“I feel for this mama,” she says, “I really do.”
Owning Our Actions
“I was that mama. I was all those mamas who have adult children,” Missy shares.
Sharing her opinion based on personal experience, she explains how as a 48-year-old Gen Xer with five adult children, she had to accept responsibility for her own behavior instead of blaming her children for theirs.
Mom’s Reflection on No Contact with Her Five Kids
Missy opens up and shares that she had no contact with any of her five children at different points in their adult lives.
She was filled with confusion and self-blame when all of her kids went no contact, asking herself, "Why? What have I done?"
Confronting the Truth, Mom Admits To Being “Abusive” To Her Kids
While other moms might point fingers at their entitled kids, Missy had the courage to confront her own mistakes and take responsibility for why all five of her children cut off contact with her.
Pointing to herself, Missy admits, "This mama accepted the fact that I was abusive to my f..king kids."
When Parenting Becomes Controlling
Missy confesses that she abused her children in a way that made them not want to have contact with her, and tried to force them to believe in what she believed in.
She explains, “I shoved religion down their throat. I forced them to have the same values, beliefs, and morals that I did.”
“I Didn’t Listen To My Kids”
Missy admits that she didn't make an effort to understand how her young children think in order to improve their relationship. Instead, she “invalidated” them and was “abusive” towards them.
Listening Works Wonders
After realizing that she wasn't the best mother to her children, Missy made the decision to listen to them because they were the most important relationships in her life.
“And some really powerful sh.t happened,” Missy says, referring to the transformative effect of listening to her children.
Mom Learns How To Respect Boundaries from Her Kids
It wasn't until the mom listened to her kids that she realized she “didn't understand sh.t about boundaries,” when dealing with them.
Her children were the ones who had to set boundaries for the mom because she didn't know how to do it herself and didn't understand them, resulting in her continuously disrespecting them.
The Power of Listening, How Missy Cultivated a Beautiful Relationship with Her Children
Missy credits the power of listening for the beautiful relationship she now has with her children, as they grow and develop both their individual relationships and their relationship as siblings.
Mom Learned To Hold Space for Her Children's Emotional Wounds
She’s now able to hold space for her children when they come to her and express their feelings about the past, saying things like "Mom, what you did to me when I was young was f..ked up.”
The Key to Beautiful Mother-Child Relationships, Missy's Advice for Gen X Moms
Missy urges Gen X moms to listen to their kids, validate their feelings, respect their boundaries, and be open to learning from them.
By doing so, she promises that moms will be “amazed” at the beautiful relationship they will develop with their children.
Letting Go of Ownership, Missy's Message to Mothers Who Feel Entitled to Their Children's Respect and Gratitude
Although some mothers feel entitled to their children's respect and gratitude for bringing them into the world and caring for them, Missy opposes this view.
“They are not yours to own,” she asserts, “They don't owe you sh.t. Your kids don't owe you sh.t.”
Listen, Listen, Listen
According to Missy, the key to having a healthy relationship with your kids is to listen.
“Mamas, if you want a relationship with your adult babies, then shut the f..k up and listen to what they have to say to you,” she urges.
The Path to Healing, “It’s Not Easy”
While recognizing that listening and accepting one's mistakes can be difficult, Missy emphasizes that it's crucial for mothers to do so if they want to heal their relationships with their adult children.
Kids Grew Up Not Knowing Compassion or Love
“Our parents drank, smoked, lived poorly, abused each other, and we were never horrible to them,” commented one user. “Kids are f..ked up. They don't know compassion or love.”
All they Need is Validation
“They just want their parents to take accountability and actually listen and validate them,” one commenter argued.
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Sylvia Silverstone is a passionate writer who loves to share her knowledge and expertise on a wide range of topics, including beauty, life hacks, entertainment, health, news, and money. With a keen eye for detail and a talent for storytelling, Sylvia's engaging writing style keeps readers coming back for more.