How to Deal With a Disrespectful Grown Child: 4 Ways Every Parent Can Relate

Being a parent is no doubt one of the most challenging tasks in the world. It’s like doing a full-time job without salary, but still costs you a great deal of money and effort. Despite those sacrifices, many people are not blessed with good luck – and good children – not knowing how to deal with a disrespectful grown child.

Things do not always happen in parents’ favor, indeed. First, you devote yourself to nurturing children, ensuring their safety and healthy development for at least 18 years. Even after they have grown up, we still keep an eye on them no matter where they live or what they do.

For nearly 2 decades, you’ve tried your best to fulfill the responsibility of a parent. Then, after making a few mistakes and causing a few misunderstandings, you end up being treated with disrespect by your child.  

Disrespectful kid being angry

Are you gonna give up all the time and love invested in this person? Or are you gonna strive for what’s right? 

Why Grown Children Disrespecting Parents Bother Us

Dealing with a disrespectful grown child is heartbreaking and confusing, especially when it comes to lazy adults living with parents. One popular sign is the child focusing on your faults and failures and overlooking the fact that they still depend on your income and shelter.

Sometimes, it hits so hard as if all years of sacrificing and educating were cast off in just a second. You are angry at your children’s sense of entitlement and how they behave but, at the same time, worried about losing them for good if you overreact. 

Having little experience of confronting this hostility level of your adult children makes you a bit overwhelmed. In other words, you don’t know exactly how to hold your child accountable for their disrespectful action. According to Kira S. Birditt (2009), parents are less likely to withstand the relationship tension when there are conflicts between them and their grown child. 

rebellious child listening to her parent

Why are parents more susceptible to these conflicts? The main reason is that parents tend to invest more in emotional bonds, while children may prioritize other factors like their career and intimate relationships. 

However, your grown child is, and will never be entitled to mistreat someone. Furthermore, their acting disrespectful doesn’t mean that your parenting skills are bad. Therefore, don’t lose your confidence, and join us to understand the gist behind these misbehaviors.

Reasons Why My Grown Son Is Disrespectful

According to some research, a large number of young adults (age range: 18-34) still live with their parents, approximately 30 million people to be more specific. Some of them don’t even go to school or work, completely relying on their parent’s income and support. 

This is where tensions arise, causing more frustration in the family. Problems can stem from smaller roots and conflicts than what you can imagine, triggering their disrespectful behaviors. 

Here are the potential reasons:

  • Children blame their failure on parents, thinking that’s because parents don’t know how to provide proper knowledge.
  • They cannot keep their emotions well under control.
  • Someone at school/work mistreated your child, making them overwhelmed with bad feelings, and now they vent their anger on you.
grown child screaming in anger
  • They don’t want to engage in private conversations with parents even when it’s necessary.
  • Children have difficulty expressing something (a feeling, a problem) but don’t know how to start sharing.
  • Your daughter may realize that what you did before (judgment, criticism) causes mental issues that she cannot resolve on her own.
  • They are just spoiled children for their whole life, and now they no longer get what they demand.
  • They want to break free independently, not controlled by their parents anymore.

And a lot more…

Each child has a personality, and each family relationship is unique. Therefore, finding an adequate solution of how to deal with a disrespectful grown child takes more time and effort than just a simple talk or even a psychological therapy session. 

4 Ways to Deal with a Disrespectful Grown Child

To eliminate disrespectful behaviors, you need to fully explore and understand the root of your child’s problems. 

Remember, this is not a simple guide on how to tell your grown daughter she is disrespectful. Instead, it represents a detailed plan of how to put their mind at ease and get them ready to share their most inner thoughts with you.

Break the Ice

Sounds too general? It is, indeed. The very first and easy step to find out what’s going on with your child is to keep an open mind and start talking.

sad and weary daughter in a conversation

Choose a good moment that makes both of you feel comfortable with each other. Tell them how you feel when hearing those disrespectful words. Yet, make it a storytelling, not a blaming session.

These phrases are good for sparking a conversation:

“I’d like to talk to you about everything that may be bothering you and me. Is this a good time?”

“I’ve never seen you like this before. Have I done something that upsets you?”

Acknowledge Your Negative Action

If their disrespectful behaviors stem from you (which is according to their replies), don’t be stubborn and shake your head in denial. It is important to admit inappropriate action and take responsibility for the harm you may have caused.

No parents are perfect, neither are we. We sometimes cause problems for our children even when we have tried our best to be reasonable. If your child feels that your exertion is not enough, team up to find what makes them think so. By doing this, you are making considerable progress in repairing and creating a healthier family relationship.

sad kid getting conosoled

Reflect on Your Parenting Style

When you settle on what makes your child behave badly, it’s time you cleared up all the anxieties and troubles in your relationship. Parents are believed to smooth the way and restore the bond between each other. After that, the child will be inspired to do their part and follow your plan.

Probably, what you’ll receive is more than a sincere and voluntary apology for their disrespect.

To learn more about how to deal with a disrespectful grown child, you should consider what guidance and advice you can provide for them. Empathy, warmth, and support are the key elements to take into account.

daughter and mom having a conversation

To show empathy and earn your child’s trust, ask about their feelings when you do something wrong to them. Then, encourage them to speak their mind, whether they have a preferable solution to take shortly. Lastly, apologize to them and let them know that you are willing to mend their fences next time.

Set Healthy Boundaries

Everything comes within limits, so do you and how you manage your relationship. When there are signs of your grown children disrespecting parents, it is your responsibility to hold them accountable for it.

As a good parent, we are dedicated to empathizing with and, at the same time, making them understand those disrespectful ways of behaving are not tolerated. Children have to learn that they will get respect in return once they handle their insolence.

a funny discussion between mother and daughter

Here are some tips that can keep your relationship healthy when confronting your disrespectful child:

– Think about your ultimate goal. Express a confident mood before starting the conversation to create a positive atmosphere.

– Pause the topic and get out of the situation when things get more intense.

– Walk away if your child keeps showing an arrogant attitude and behavior.

– Stay engaged, and focus on your child’s concern first.

Learning how to talk to a grown disrespectful child may make you feel stressed, especially when you have to minimize your ego to start talking.  However, this is the recommended course of action to have a healthy relationship with your child in the long run. Hope that you can have peace of mind by finding the best method to tackle the situation.


Having problems solving how social media affects your child’s mental health? Here is a relevant article recommended for all parents.

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