January 21, 2020 | Molly Seif

Parents Share The Truth About Why They Are Disappointed In Their Adult Child

We've all disappointed our parents as kids, but have you ever done so as an adult? You may think they're being unreasonable or too hard on you sometimes, but it's important to remember that they just want the best for you. They've been with you since you first came into this world. From that very moment on, all they've ever wanted to do was to make you happy. Every parent has a plan that they hope their kids will follow, but at some point, they become old enough to make their own choices and decide what is right for themselves. Parents took to the internet to share why they are currently disappointed in their child... Perhaps reading their stories may help you understand things from their perspective:

Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!


#1 Pressure Makes Diamonds

When I graduated high school, my mom told me I had six months to move out. It sounds harsh, but she had told me my entire life that when I turn 18, I would be moving out, so it wasn't unexpected. She also told me to never grow up, so it's not like she was a bad mom. Anyway, it's probably the best thing she ever did for me because she knew if there was no pressure, I would have stayed home and played video games. I've now lived in multiple states thousands of miles away and have tons of real-life and work experience to draw off of. Plus, I still play video games! I appreciate my mom for that.


#2 Trust Your Gut

My mom's disappointed that I left a $33,000 a year job for a $28,000 job because I had two mental breakdowns, even though everything is now perfect. "Sometimes, we just have to get on with it," she'd always tell me. But honestly, my mental health is worth way more than some salary. I still have enough to get by, so I think I still made the right call.


#3 A Solid Introvert

I'm disappointed in my son because he is too much like me. He's a solid introvert who is afraid to ask for help and doesn't want to bother people—even with very legitimate requests. He is an expert procrastinator. I remember being that age and being so much like that. I'm not sure how I got through university, but I've been a successful engineer for 30 years so I've still got a lot of hope for him.


#4 That Dreaded Phone Call

My son is 25 and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at around 15 years old. Afterward, he became too old and too big for me to manage his meds. He refused to take them and his life has been a roller coaster of disasters ever since. Between prison time and a bunch of bad decisions, he doesn't see anything wrong with what he's doing and insists on making up reasons to not speak to me. I'm done because honestly, there's nothing I can do for him. At this point, I'm just waiting to get that dreaded phone call.


#5 Clueless Father

My parents are disappointed in me because I won't pretend I wasn't damaged by their abuse... My dad does this annoying thing where he acts clueless as to why his kids are “weird” or why we don’t talk to him like a “normal” child would. I don't know man, maybe being berated for your whole childhood makes you “weird.”


#6 Parenting Differences

I’m in the middle of becoming estranged from my parents. They don’t approve of how I’m raising my sons, and they can’t even bring themselves to be around them. Our last attempt at a family vacation left my sisters yelling at my parents and then storming off.

Their complaint is that I don’t have any boundaries for the kids. I do have boundaries, they just aren’t the same as my dad had for me when I was growing up. He was a hard guy with major anger issues. Due to living in that household, I’m attempting to let my kids grow up knowing that making mistakes is part of life, you just have to learn from it.

In any event, my children “are monsters” and he can’t get over that so I’m about to cut him and my stepmom out of our lives.


#7 My Happiness, Not Theirs

My ex-husband was the son that my parents wanted their actual son to be. So they're upset that my brother isn't like him and they're even more upset that I divorced him. Double-whammy. Never mind that we just fundamentally did not work as a couple: they basically see it as me stealing away their chance at having the perfect child in a son-in-law. Oh well!


#8 The Promised Child

I'm still not sure what my parents think of me. I was the promised child who got 99th percentile on aptitude tests in kindergarten, aced tests, memorized the presidents by age four (at my dad's insistence), and ended up just blundering my way through school. What started as a bad habit of not doing homework eventually amalgamated into depression-driven apathy about education.

I dropped out of college and I've spent more of my time in therapy learning how to be a good person, which does make my mom happy. But I can feel my entire extended family's disappointment in me that I chose to work an 8-5 job and just live in an apartment with my cat. On the bright side, I'm more confident in my life choices than I ever have been and wouldn't trade the positive mindset I've been working so hard on for any amount of work discipline.


#9 The Truth About IT

My mom held getting a degree as one of the pinnacle achievements you can do because it was such a big deal to her that she went back to school and got her degree in her 40s. As someone who works in IT, I dropped out about a year into school and haven't looked back. That was 10 years ago. I hid that I dropped out for many years before I actually told her. She was disappointed, but in my opinion, the astronomical cost of a degree does not have a good ROI, and in IT, I've worked up to a very high salary level without one. Certifications, mentors, learning on the job and at home. To me, a four-year degree doesn't make much logical sense in a fast-moving field like this one.


#10 My Slacker Son

My son is 24 and, by some standards, a disappointment. He has a degree and no job. He struggles with motivation, and his sleep patterns are terrible. I don't think he has a plan to move forward with his life. Earlier in the year, my husband (his dad) was diagnosed with cancer. I thank God every day for my "slacker" son. He is so kind. Every time he makes dinner "because I know you must be tired" or comes and gives me a hug when I get home from work makes it possible for me to keep going.


#11 In My 30s And Unmarried

I’m in my 30s and unmarried. My mom worries every time I take solo holidays. I’m sure she wishes I had a husband to go along with me.


#12 Lacking Motivation

He's 20 and refuses to go to college or get a job. He lives with his mom, so all I can do is talk to him about it. I fear for his future. We, his parents, aren't immortal and he doesn't seem to have self-preservation skills.


#13 Shared Dissatisfaction

I'm an adult child. My parents want me to be happy in my career. In high school, my goal was to join the military and become a combat medic. I graduated in 2007 and would have likely deployed to Afghanistan upon completion of training. My parents really didn't want me to join the military because like all parents, they didn't want me to go to war. Yet they still supported me.

As it worked out, I never did join the military and became a welder. I hate my job and it's caused me a lot of stress and instability over the last 10 years. Every day, I regret not following my dream. I know my dissatisfaction with my job has disappointed my parents. However, I'm looking into a major career change and they're fully supportive of that, in ways I can't begin to describe. Hopefully, soon I can make them happy for me by being happy in my career.


#14 The Easy Way

I took an easy job. They had high expectations and pushed hard for me to be the best of the best at everything (I can but won't if I'm not forced). Having no work-related pressure or stress is much nicer for me but I'm somewhat poor and relatively uninfluential.


#15 Another Perspective

I'm not. Life is hard and she had dealt with a lot. She may not be fully independent (yet), but she's working on it. I see her effort and I'm proud of her for it. Maybe I could be disappointed that she didn't do more stupid stuff when she was young, but I'm just glad she didn't end up like me.


#16 Lost Faith

Not a parent but the child. My parents are disappointed in me because I basically failed out of college after demonstrating time and time again that I lack the direction, drive, foresight, and discipline to do well on my A-Levels. My results came back today (EDDE) and they're seriously upset. We'll be having a long discussion on my plan going forward, but I can tell they've lost their faith in me. I can't blame them, I don't have faith in me either.


#17 A Milking Cow

My son has always viewed me only as a milking cow. He doesn't care about anything but his own happiness and even refuses to talk to me. If it's still like this when he turns two, I'm done with the entire affair.


#18 Over Ripe

He's 42, lives with his dad, is six years into a two-year degree, and has gone through four decent cars in the last six months. His dad bought the cars and he trashed them. He's also threatened physical abuse to his dad. He disowned his older sister over a political argument on Facebook. She said I'm leaving this discussion before we say things we'll regret, and he tried to forbid it by saying if she left she was disrespecting him and was no longer related to him.


#19 Liar, Liar

He's a pathological liar. 33 years old and he would rather walk 10 miles to tell a lie than to stand still and tell the truth. His ex-wives all found out the same thing.


#20 Poor Hygiene

I've got a 20-year-old son who is smart, kind, and very academically motivated but is a SLOB!!! I'm talking about gross stuff like toenails left on his desk, wads of hair stuck to the shower wall, not showering for days, and his room smells like there is a rotting animal under the heaping mounds of dirty laundry. I raised him so I guess ultimately the onus is on me.


#21 Not Listening

I'm disappointed in her for not having her child tested for speech and language developmental issues and seeking early intervention. I’m hoping she talks to the pediatrician and he tells her to get the kid checked out. She’s not listening to me.


#22 Relationship Woes

I think my parents are proud of my academic and career achievements. My dad was secretly pleased I ended my relationship with a guy he didn’t like for always upsetting me. My mom tried to get me to get back with him and I think she’s disappointed my relationship didn’t work out because she was married and lived happily ever after at 22. I’m 29 and back at home and single. Maybe she isn’t but that’s the feeling I got for weeks after we split. She cried more than I did.


#23 A Complete Slob

My 22-year-old daughter is morbidly obese, covered in tattoos, and a complete slob. I blame myself. I'm a failure of a parent. When I took her to see her therapist, one time I thought about ending myself just for the irony. The moment in the car was the more depressing one.


#24 Brainwashed By Religion

My oldest daughter followed a very religious path which has isolated and ostracized her from my side of the family. She is still very close to her mom's side of the family because they are all religious. If you are not part of her church group or functions, you are not on her radar. The church group has taught her that God's work is what matters above all, and if you are not part of that work, then you don't matter. She would never say any of this outright, but her actions speak louder than words. By all outward appearances, she is a very nice and upbeat person. But she is boxed into an echo chamber that has made her incredibly naive and judgmental. It breaks my heart.


#25 Extreme Mood Swings

Not disappointed in him, but disappointed for him. There's a very nasty streak of mental health issues in my family. He's been hit with a shitload from it. It's better now but he does have a borderline personality disorder, which is horrible for all of us. I was a dad at his age and he constantly compares to me and the fact I could stand on my own two feet and raise a family. I doubt he will ever be able to because his mood swings are too much.

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#26 A Big Change

After Trump "won", my eldest lost it and abandoned his wife to live in Ukraine. He barely communicates with anyone except his grandmother on his dad's side. He totally erased himself from all our lives. My other two are sweet, normal, fine young humans, and there's no insanity in either of our family histories. Prior to this, he had the same job for over a decade, creating signage for ambulance and rescue vehicles.


#27 Forever Couch Surfing

He has zero interest in working or going to school. He's been couch surfing for years, he doesn't really help with chores where he stays, gets way too involved in 4chan and 8chan nonsense and has completely unrealistic ideas about how he's going to succeed in life. He constantly tries to guilt-trip us with announcements that he's just going to end himself.


#28 Bad Blood

Our much-loved adult son in his 40s, our only child, has chosen to estrange himself from his dad and me for reasons he hasn’t told us. He didn’t come to his dad’s funeral (I was the only person there) and he hasn’t been in touch with me in the 15 months since. His dad and I loved him and I love him still.


#29 Thinking Realistically

My dad is disappointed in me because I'm going to the cheapest college around for an accounting degree instead of going to art school. Yes. You read that right. My dad believes my art skills are very talented and that I'd make more money in design than owning a store like I really want to do, but I'm really against that because I don't want to turn a hobby and something that relaxes me into something that's basically life or death if I don't get paid. I also applied to an art college before and they reviewed my portfolio—they told me it was terrible and yet he still pushes me for it. I'm proud of his support, but it drives me nuts.


#30 Don't Be An Enabler

Not a parent, but my sister stole $3,000 from my grandma for a trip to NYC and then continually asks me for food money. She has three roommates and I live on my own. We used to send each other gas and food money all the time but she's just irresponsible. It hurts seeing her struggle but I refuse to enable her.


#31 Bad At Adulting

My daughter is in college but is unable to cook or care for her own needs. She will literally starve if she isn't handed food. I put out easy food like sandwiches and stuff for her to make because I work long shifts. She is only with me during the summers and lives with her dad for the majority of her time. He lets her get away with anything and expects me to "fix" her in the summers. This has been going on since she was 10 or so. I know she has anxiety, but really?

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#32 Temporary Disappointments

Today? Because he took my wife's car without permission last night and thought it was okay because he put gas in it. He's 18. He let a friend drive without permission; plus, there is a spare tire on it and it needs to be replaced ASAP. My other kid has been lying about small things that really don't matter. Just real trivial things. Every other day? I'm very proud of both my adult children. If this is the worst stuff they'll do, I won't be disappointed that much at all.

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#33 With An Older Man

My 19-year-old stepdaughter is dating an older man (32) who is paying child support, works as a waiter for tips to avoid loss of money, and is near homeless. She has caused repeated dramas in our house proclaiming her love for him and she says that we just don't understand. She is an honors student with a wealth of extracurricular activities and in a privileged situation to exceed in college without bills.

She did not suffer from a lack of love or attention in our house. We never missed a band performance and I was always the loudest voice in the audience cheering her on. She clearly has some paternal issues with her biological father, but no matter how I say it or explain the situation, she prefers to spend her life with him and is rarely home. It breaks my heart that she doesn't find a healthier situation for herself.


#34 Taking Responsibility

I'm the adult child, at age 20 with two felonies and a DUI. My parents disowned me for it. Now, I'm a math major who's been clean for a year. I'm not blaming them at all—I take responsibility, but sometimes parents need to check themselves and their parenting before judging or being "disappointed" in their child.

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#35 A Teen Crisis

I'm not disappointed in my 18-year-old, but I sure wish I knew how to activate him. He graduated in May but has no desire to go to college nor any real aspirations at all. He's pretty much been in his room on his phone since. He's struggled for many years with anxiety, which we're treating, and I know a lot of things are difficult for him, but man, I wish I knew how to get him excited about something—anything—whether it's a job or a hobby or a plan or whatever.


#36 Failing At Love

I think my parents are disappointed in my past relationships. My older sister married the first guy she ever dated and my younger brother is engaged to the first girl he ever dated, while I'm sitting here with two failed relationships behind me and no idea how to meet people as an adult.


#37 It's Her Life

She dropped out of college and hasn't figured out what she wants to do, even temporarily... besides work full-time and live with her boyfriend. She seems to have no sense of adventure or urgency, and it's difficult for me to see. However, it's her life, not mine, and she can do whatever makes her happy.


#38 Asking For Respect

I haven't seen or heard from her in about two years. All because I set a boundary asking to be treated with respect. She has treated me terribly ever since she was a teen and she never grew out of it. I spent most of her life walking on eggshells so I could be around her and felt it was time I asked to be treated, at minimum, as a human being. She now is 29 and, I'm assuming, out of my life forever.


#39 Opposite Sons

My oldest son is great. He's headed to a higher road. The other is a piece of work. He doesn't have a job, refuses to find work, plays video games all night, and won't lift a finger to help. He's 21. He doesn't live with me anymore, I kicked him out when he turned 18.


#40 Starting Off Poorly

He's very lazy and takes no initiative to get things done. He's always relied on friends to clue him in about deadlines and homework due dates. He's about to go off to college and I have no idea how he'll make it through.

#41 Just One Course

He was one course shy of finishing his bachelor's degree when he decided to quit. $160K later. Years of begging him to finish the course didn't work, nope. Then, it was so long that he couldn't finish at any school without going again for two years. I even said I would help pay for that. Nope. He's doing well, but I worry when he turns 40 and all those college grads want his job. Just one course... that's it. I've let it go. It's his life.


#42 An Inconsiderate Son

My parents love my brother very much. But I know there are days. My mother had surgery this week, which I reminded him of and told him to make a good luck call or text for. I got to the hospital and she said she hadn't heard from him. Nothing that day, yesterday, this week... My mom's a cancer survivor whose health is somewhat up and down recently. And he couldn't even spare the time to text. Her face said it all, and I hurt for her. He's 28 and I'm 23, yet I'm the one in charge.


#43 Scared Of The World

If only it were that easy... She has severe anxiety and she is scared of the stove. I have tried to show her over and over how to make very simple foods. The slightest pop of oil and she runs. I have a brother like her that just never left home... All I want from her is to not stay at home just because the world is too scary for her.


#44 Wasteful Spending

He got a $200,000 inheritance when his father passed away two years ago. He is broke now.



My mom is extremely disappointed with me because I’m not having kids. According to her, that is my sole purpose in life.




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