How to Deal With a Needy Parent

How to Deal With a Needy Parent

What Your Needy Parent Really Needs

One of the ways we determine healthy parenting is when a child grows up to become independent and successful. When they’ve left home knowing how to take care of themselves, parents can pat themselves on the back for a job well done. But once that feeling of pride subsides, loneliness can set it. It’s a shock to the system to have a house that was once bustling with young energy and chaos suddenly go silent. What happens when there is nothing to do and no one to care for? Some parents handle the empty-nest feeling by finding part-time work, volunteering their time, traveling and making new friends. Other parents fall into a deep depression and find ways to emotionally manipulate their children. If your needy parent is emotionally manipulating you, read on. Here are four tips for effectively dealing with your needy parent.

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Establish New Boundaries

The first thing you should do is establish new boundaries. Remember the boundaries you set as a teenager? Maybe you locked your bedroom door so your mom couldn’t barge in. Maybe you put a lock on your journal so your mom couldn’t read it. Well as an adult, you need to set boundaries too. If your needy parent is constantly meddling in your business or trying to dominate your time and attention, you need to set boundaries that keep them as distant as you need them to be.

Create a Contact Schedule

It wouldn’t be appropriate to cut your needy parent out of your life completely (at least without good reason), so set up a contact schedule. This includes when you’ll call or visit them and when they can call or visit you. That way, you won’t have to worry about unexpected visits or calls when your house is a mess, you’re hosting a party, have a date over or are too busy with work and kids. Your contact with your needy parent can be as frequent or as infrequent as is comfortable and healthy for you.

Do you feel like your parent is too involved in your personal life? Psychic Leo ext. 5265 can help you set healthy boundaries.

Encourage an Active Social Life

If your needy parent is complaining about having nothing to do or they’re feeling lonely, encourage them to have an active social life. Encourage them to make new friends while they volunteer in their community. They could take a dance class or take a cruise or travel with a group. If they have an active social life, your needy parent will be less likely to bother you.

Having a hard time making new friends? Psychic Leah ext. 9319 can teach you how to connect with people!

Explore External Support

Some needy parents use guilt to maintain an overbearing, intrusive relationship with their adult children. They may talk about being depressed or complain of aches and pains that make it impossible for them to not be in such close contact with their children. This is going to make you feel guilty, but don’t fall for it. Instead, find local support for your needy parent. If they’re depressed, find a therapist or support group for them to go to. If they have medical issues, make sure they see a doctor and get a treatment plan. And if your parent refuses? Then you can refuse to discuss their issues with them. They don’t want to help; they just want you to feel guilty.

Is someone you love refusing to get help? Psychic Heather ext. 5064 knows when you should cut ties and move on.

You’ve Done Nothing Wrong

Growing up, moving out, being successful and having a life of your own is nothing to feel guilty about. It’s normal, and you have your parents to thank for their support. But just because they’ve supported you for the first 18 – 21 years of your life, it doesn’t mean you have to let them hold you emotionally hostage for the rest of their lives. If you have a needy parent, they need to find their new normal.

14 thoughts on “How to Deal With a Needy Parent

  1. Marc from the UK

    Wowsa Powerful stuff.

    I agree with Gina Rose, my parents gave me up for love or drink! I swore I would never allow my children to be abandoned, I have reconciled with my mum, and i have promised her that she will not end up in care like I did.

    A real irony, but being the bigger person is better than self repeating bad karma 🙂

  2. Terry

    I think everyone who disagrees with this article is missing its point. This article isn’t about tossing elderly parents to the wayside, just because they are elderly. It’s about maintaining boundaries with parents now that their children are grown. Healthy boundaries are necessary for every relationship, whether they are good or bad, and you have to be able to live your life healthfully, no matter what. As a parent, I respect my child’s need for independence. I have a wonderful relationship with my daughter, her husband and my grandchildren because I am respectful. I also have an active social life, with my own friends and I travel, take dance classes and paint. And yes, I also have medical issues. Who doesn’t at 70 these days?!? And you know what? My daughter found me medical care and support in my area and it has done wonders for me!

    I get what the author is saying and that’s because I read the article carefully and didn’t infuse it with my own issues and judgement. You don’t know what other people go through on a day-to-day basis in their families, so don’t judge. If you had wonderful parents growing up and if they aren’t acting overly needy to you, then consider yourselves lucky. This article isn’t for you, but then again, you probably think everything should be for and about you….

  3. Canary

    I do not support a society view that promotes a parents responsibility morally and ethically only to be involved with their kids financially, socially, morally, spiritually, psychologically, and emotionally, and then goes on to say they must accept their new place that a when parents age their adult children have the right and are granted disconnection, abandonment, or distance rights, (unless the relationship is toxic).

    As a society*The Family* and the inter relationships within it, needing be the strength of the community and country and those parents who did a great job in raising their own children should not be told to accept becoming unimportant, obsolete, and rejected when adulthood happens.
    What kind of morality/unity is that? Seems a bit of hypocrisy to me.
    Society in all of history has been built upon each generation taking care and caring for all of it’s members and building itself up, taking responsibility for each person, and none to be expelled, and expendable. To care for each other.
    This article clearly leans on what satisfies the adult child, is good enough.
    And I don’t agree with this self absorbed thinking.
    I agree that as adult children, like all stages in development there are changes, that happen and adjustments made. That should not mean parents have to accept dis involvement to lean on community or government if they are falling or lonely. It’s an adult childs responsibility to return the love and care that was served onto them.
    In the best healthy way it can be..

    I’ve met adult children who say they have no time to spend with their little siblings or see their parents, yet will think about or become a Big Brother or Sister. While their little brother or sister or their own parents have been discarded.

    I believe the writer pretty sums up her view that the role of a parent, and there involvement, interest and family have to cease and disintegrate upon adult hood of their brood. The idea of finding *your own life*, using tactics like * locking parents out* as you did as teens is said to block them from your life, not to find healthy ways and alternatively adult ideas for healthy relationships.
    I wonder how close the author is to her own children, if any at all. Her article screams out if something isn’t perfect, throw it away and don’t spend the time working on the relationship of the people who gave you a life and supported you.
    Just push them out of the way if they don’t take the back of the bus with no complaints.
    How horrid.
    If we all put priority on our own backyards, and community, and globally same attitudes, most of the disconnect and blinders we all wear would be gone and the world would have more caring people in it.
    Now, this article is going at the same disregard, at the family unit level.
    This is scary and troublesome.
    I hope there are others that would feel this is not the way to go…..

    1. gemrz

      This reply ‘should’ fall in the general stream, not in response to any other commentator – apologies if it does.
      Great article. It’s not really about discarding one’s parents as some have mentioned in the comments. Rather, the parents shouldn’t really focus on children as their sole reason for being – people should be encouraged to have more interests than just producing a family. Being more involved in the wider community and having other things that are equally important to you means that if you do have a family, you don’t become as clingy and needy when your kids grow up and away – as they should. Having children is a choice not an obligation in an already overpopulated world. Not everyone is made for parenting. Just my opinion.

  4. Christina

    This article struck a nerve with me. It’s so easy for people to judge ,especially if they had wonderful and great parents. Everything is not black and white. As there some parents who feel entitled to be intrusive in their adult children’s lives. There are narc and toxic parents who won’t respect or accept that their children are adults. I am nearing 50 with grandchildren of my own. Yet my own mother feels entitled to bad mouth me behind my back to my own children. This mother feels she can harass me, barge in whenever she feels like it. Back in May, she and my brother tried to break in my apartment because they felt they could. I’ve tried boundaries and scheduled time. Doesn’t work with these type of people. They feel they can run roughshod over your life. Narc parents see their children as extensions of themselves, so therefore they can do what they want. So for people like me, it is not an easy decision. But you are not selfish or mean because you demand respect. So unless you lived that lived that kind of life with that kind of parent. Don’t judge other’s for trying to live toxic and drama free.

  5. Gaby

    Don’t forget that not all elders are manipulative. Many suffer their isolation, poverty, etc in silence.They are more than happy to give a hand with their grandchildren when asked for but are often distressed that unless there is a perk involved, they are totally ignored, calls unanswered, little lies. The sad truth is that parents consider children a part of themselves but children don’t. Give them a call to touch base every so often to make them feel they count.

  6. Kuldeep

    This is totally against the Indian Ideology and culture. We revere our parents like God. If i am having a party…my parents will be the first ones to be invited. If i am going on a date my parents will know and they themselves will not follow us. They will be too ambarrased to accompany me on a date.

    This sort of writings are the work of the dark side. The writer does not even realise that they are encouraging people to be selfish, self centered and ungrateful. All these are the traits of the Devil. We have to constantly fight the dark side. So that we see the light permanently in our lives.

    I do not consider having to take care of my parents in old age as a chore, rather i consider it my good fortune and a privilege to be of service to them. They (my parents) did not calculate the pros and cons of raising a kid like me. They gave me unconditional love all their lives. And now when they need me …. am i supposed to shun them? Turn my face away from a responsibility and have some organisation take care of them? It would be such a shame!

    So now that we know where we stand.

  7. Amy

    It sounds like you keep yourself busy with your animal shelter and don’t invade your kids’ privacy. That’s great! It would be nice if more parents of adult children acted the way you do, but a lot of them don’t. The author isn’t advocating for abandoning the elderly, whether they are sick or impoverished or not. The article is about boundaries and how certain parents of adult children don’t respect them. I have firsthand experience with this as my son-in-law’s mother is so needy and won’t give her son and my daughter space to enjoy their lives together. In fact, her behavior is making my daughter’s pregnancy very difficult. I am going to share this article with my son-in-law and daughter so they have the tools to better handle his mother. I think the advice is great! As a mother, I am proud of my son’s independence and he is proud of me for having an independent life of my own!

  8. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    To sum up , I would say that taking care of our elderly is part of the wheel of life. As that wheel turns, remember, what comes around, goes around.

    Much we can learn from our elderly….I was raised by elders who lived thru 2 World Wars and the Great Depression….needless to say, I learned ALOT ( is an understatement ) about life.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

  9. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Well, while I understand the ” jist ” of this article….maybe my vision is a bit biased or clouded by the fact that my Grandparents and Great Aunt adopted me when I was just 17 months old and raised me….

    ….Reading this article, as a senior citizen myself now, made me sad….especially the last 2 paragraphs of this article.

    My Great Aunt and Grandparents have long crossed over, but if they were alive, I would have no problem being there for them and in any way needed.

    Seniors just want to feel loved and needed , they don’t want to be shoved off, or re-directed to groups of strangers they don’t know. Many of our elderly , physically can’t , or don’t have the energy and/or the financial means to get out and around. In many the spirit is willing, but not the body or the wallet. In this country today, with the rising cost of just about everything, many seniors that want to get out and go, and are still physically able to do so, just , financially, can’t.

    And many of our elderly are having to move back in with their children just to survive….I see it as part of the wheel of life.

    Better to take care of our elderly, much can we learn from their life experiences. I don’t think our elderly want us to feel guilty at all, they are reaching out to us for the same love and understanding they gave to us.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    ps… I do try to stay out of my children’s life as much as possible and respect their privacy….

    ….but I’ll tell you this…IF the day ever came, when I have to make an apt to speak with my children, I would be extremely hurt….hurt enough to change my will and leave it ALL of my worldly possessions to animal shelters. (Because animals show us and teach us unconditional love )

    PLEASE remember this : YOU will be a senior citizen someday too !!!!!

  10. Jalessa

    If you read the article carefully, you would have read this part: “It wouldn’t be appropriate to cut your needy parent out of your life completely (at least without good reason), so set up a contact schedule.” So, it’s obvious the author was not telling anyone to abandon their parent. And I think it’s a little dramatic to call the opinions/ideas in this article “dangerous.” It’s obviously bringing up some personal issues for you, Gabrielle, that you need to explore on your own time.

  11. Psychic Delphine 6468

    I find it is a good idea to put boundaries in place so that parents know that you are entitled to an independent life and that you won’t put up with any emotional blackmail. Taking a step back can be helpful as it gives space from any negative relationships with parents.

    Delphine 6468

  12. Gabrielle

    The author of this inappropriate advice sounds as if they have great issues of irresponsibility their self. Or, they just have never been a responsible parent or indeed one at all – this persons sounds as if they haven’t got a clue about family values, loyalty and commitment.To tell someone to abandon their parent / parents that have sacrificed 24hrs a day of their lives, put their careers to the side and their health if they were single parents with no family to support them raise a child or children, and of course the huge financial outlay and daily sacrifices that it takes to raise a child and see them off to university etc. And, even support financially and otherwise support their child / children when they are not successful or need help. What about the parents that have sacrificed their health so much they have become disabled and depited. The author is of such narrow mind that it’s really a waste of time communicating here.

    This article is very dangerous if a similar irresponsible selfish person reads it.. it gives them licence to be a disgusting human – the types we don’t need on this earth, because there are too many of these useless selfish takers, and greedy types already.

    Shame on you – or maybe you are more to be pitied than blamed because you are so bittet and obviously don’t know what happines and decency is. Either way, your article is disgusting


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