30-year-old son who won’t help himself – Family & People


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My 30 year old sons life is a mess. One thing after another. Nothing ever gets solved because he just avoids his problems. He acts helpless and I and his sisters(older) offer helpful suggestions based on experience and he does nothing to help himself, just keeps avoiding his problems and not dealing with them. Should I back off and let consequences happen?


This is a common question. It happens more often than people think. I hear you saying that it’s difficult for you to watch him go down in flames, and you feel powerless. I’ve been there – watching my own child throw their life away. Unfortunately, there is not one thing you can do about it. He’s a grown man. If he wants to ignore his problems and not make an attempt, then that’s his right. You and his sisters have to respect that. I know it doesn’t make it any easier, but by not heeding sage advice he is tying your hands.

Go wash those hands. Tell yourself that you are going to be as indifferent to his affairs as he is. Then, let it go. Don’t advise, don’t offer aid. He’ll figure it out eventually. And if he doesn’t, then you’ve washed your hands of his dirty laundry. You will sleep much more soundly at night.

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