Spoiled adult children can create a generational epidemic of whiners. There is a song that dates back to the 60s called ONLY THE STRONG SURVIVE by Jerry Butler, which folks with whiny adult children need to hear from time to time.
The whole song was the reflection of the advice a boy got from his mama. I particularly remember these few lines: There’s a lot of opportunity – Out there just waiting for you – But you’ll never succeed if you’ve given up – And say your life is through – Listen this minute to what I’m tellin’ you – Only the strong survive – Only the strong survive – You gotta hold on – You gotta be a man, take a stand – ‘cause Only the strong survive – Only the strong survive.
You probably guessed by now that I can’t stand whiny adults, especially men. I guess this subject is on my mind because of I know a woman whose adult son regularly is dependent upon her for his basic needs. This 30 something year old man regularly lives with his mama in between live-in girlfriends every year or so. He stays until he finds another welcome mat with his name on it. Nobody could tell her anything about her precious boy so subsequently nobody tries – at least not anymore. A few months ago he moved with a woman from Los Angeles to Alabama. I thought good he’s finally on his own. However, last week my friend called me, and a couple of others, to borrow money to send her son to tide him over until he finds another job. Nobody showed sympathy to her request and now she’s mad at everybody.
Well, since I can’t talk to my ex-friend about it perhaps I can offer a little advice to others who have also spoiled their adult children. This is how you unspoil them. Very likely the adult-child is already used to manipulating you through whining; therefore, you must come to understand that whining is a learn art form of manipulating. My ex-friend’s son once had her give him $1,500 to pay off drug dealers or else they were supposed to kill him. I told her to tell him to go to the police but instead she borrowed the money from her credit card. The point here is to learn to say no even in the toughest situations when unspoiling your adult-child. Then they will know you’re no longer moved by their whining behavior.
The next thing you do if you can’t break the cycle ‘coldturkey’ is to prepare a chart, a big wall chart. Design a schematic that will show each time, plus date and the reason given that she/he called upon you to bail him/her out of any given situation. Have them sign the chart along with the date of promised repayment. After three entries do not allow a fourth entry until the previous three debts are honored.
Finally remember the law of the jungle – and it is a jungle out there – lions do not return home for the mama to help them hunt – they hunt or starve. The Bible says something similar in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 “If a man does not work, he should not eat.” Because as the song goes, “Only the strong survive.”
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