How to Stop Enabling Your Grown Child

How to Stop Enabling Your Grown Child

Do you find yourself constantly giving your grown child money? Bailing them out of bad situations?

Making excuses for their bad behavior?

If so, you may be enabling them. Enabling is when you do something for someone that they should be doing for themselves.

It can be tough to see, but if you're enabling your child, it's only going to make their problems worse in the long run.

Parenting can be a challenge, and here's how to stop enabling your grown child.  If you need any more information, our parenting counseling services will be happy to help. 

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Step 1. Set Boundaries

The first step is to set boundaries with your child.

This means making it clear what you will and will not do for them.

For example, you might say, "I'm not going to give you any more money unless you start looking for a job."

Be firm in your boundaries and don't give in, no matter how much they plead or how much they promise to change.    

Step 2. Let Them Experience the Consequences of Their Actions

If your child is engaging in bad behavior, don't bail them out. Let them experience the consequences of their actions.

This means that if they get into trouble at school or get fired from their job, don't try to fix it for them. Let them deal with the fallout on their own.

They need to learn that there are consequences to their actions and that they have to face up to them.

Otherwise, they'll never learn and they'll just keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Step 3. Encourage Healthy Coping Mechanisms.

If your child is struggling with addiction or mental health issues, encourage them to seek help from a professional rather than relying on you to fix things for them.

Suggest therapy or AA meetings and offer to help them find a good therapist or sponsor.

But don't try to do everything yourself or be their sole support system.

That's not healthy for either of you.

Step 4. Seek professional help yourself.

If you find yourself struggling to cope with your child's issues, seek professional help yourself.

Parenting an addict or mentally ill child can be extremely stressful and it's important to have someone to talk to who can help you deal with your feelings and work through this difficult time.

If you're constantly bailing your grown child out of bad situations, making excuses for their bad behavior, or enabling their addiction, it's time to stop.

This isn't helping them; it's only making their problems worse in the long run. By setting boundaries, letting them experience the consequences of their actions, encouraging healthy coping mechanisms, and seeking professional help yourself, you can begin to break the cycle of enabling and start helping your child in a way that will be beneficial for both of you in the long run.

Why Enabling Your Grown Child Is a Bad Idea

If you have a grown child who is struggling to make it on their own, you may be tempted to help them or out financially or in other ways.

After all, you want to see your child succeed and you don't want them to end up homeless or destitute.

However, enabling your grown child can actually do more harm than good in the long run. Here's why enabling your grown child is a bad idea.

Enabling Your Grown Child Does Not Teach Them How to be Independent. 

If you are always bailing your grown child out or giving them money, they will never learn how to be independent.

They will never learn how to budget or save money because they will always have someone else to rely on.

As a result, they will never learn how handle their finances responsibly.

Enabling your Grown Child Prevents them from Taking Responsibility for their Own Life

Every time you bail your grown child out, you are preventing them from taking responsibility for their own life.

They need to learn that they are responsible for their own choices and actions, and that there are consequences for poor choices.

If you enable them, they will never learn this valuable lesson.

Enabling Your Grown Child Can Lead to Resentment and Conflict

If you are constantly bailing your grown child out or giving them money, they may start to resent you.

They may feel like you don't trust them to make it on their own or that you think they are incompetent.

This can lead to conflict between you and your child, which is something you want to avoid if at all possible.

Overcomers Counseling is Here to Help

Overcomers Counseling is here to help you and your grown child if you are struggling with enabling.

We can provide counseling for both of you as well as addiction treatment services and other forms of support.

We understand how difficult it can be to help a grown child who is struggling, but we also know that it is possible to break the cycle of enabling and getting your child back on track.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you and your loved one.


Enabling your grown child is a bad idea because it doesn't teach them how to be independent, it prevents them from taking responsibility for their own life, and it can lead to resentment and conflict between you and your child.

If you want to stop enabling your grown child, try setting some rules and boundaries regarding what financial assistance you are willing to provide.

Explain to your child that they need to start taking responsibility for their own life, and offer emotional support instead of financial assistance.

Finally, make it clear that if they continue down the same path, they will no longer be welcome in your home.

Overcomers Counseling offers parenting counseling. So if you need any more guidance, we are here to help. 

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June 6th, 2023

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