According to U.S. Census report, it was indicated that roughly a third of young adults (ages 18 to 34) live at home with their parents — that’s around 24 million people.
A quarter of those in the 25 to 34 age bracket are neither in school nor working, giving rise to a new name for this life stage: emerging adulthood.
With many of the milestone markers of adulthood postponed, frustration and stress may be affecting every relationship in the house.
For some families, a very different kind of independence is at stake. When an adult child helps care for an older parent, the shift in roles can cause a host of complicated feelings.
In a 2018 study, researchers explored conflicts between adult children and older parents, finding that tensions flared when the two had different goals.
What the parent wanted (e.g., “I intend to drive to the grocery store on my own”) sometimes conflicted with what the adult child wanted (“I’m driving — you’ll wreck the car”), sparking emotional fireworks.
The more stubborn the parent is, the more negative the adult child’s mood may become.
These two ends of the spectrum certainly don’t encompass all types of conflict, nor can they fully explain hostile disrespect.
Cultural perspectives, family dynamics, and individual issues may also contribute. Below are some possible explanations to consider.
As reluctant as we may be to hear harsh criticism from our children, no one parents perfectly.
Your choices and even your personal characteristics may have created hardships for your children whether you intended them or not. The anger aimed at you (even if it feels disproportionate) may be the result of past events or injuries.
If you’re parenting someone with a serious mental health condition, you’ve probably already experienced significant stress over their well-being. The anxiety may have even affected your work life.
A mental health condition, Coleman says, can affect:
- how your child perceives you
- how your child communicates
- whether your child can consistently manage emotions
- whether your child can correctly pinpoint the cause of the conflicts between you