March 18, 2014
March 18, 2014

Helping or Enabling?


Adult kids living at home? On drugs? Not working? Have their partners also sponging off of you? Not contributing with the household chores? Any combination of the above, plus more problems?

Do you feel sorry for them? Do you make excuses for them as to why they do or donít do what they should? Do you create rules and they ignore them? Or do you let them do whatever they want because you want to help them?

Help is frequently the operative word to failure. Taking help to the extreme is enabling. It is enabling the individual to continue behavior that does not help them to mature. Sorting out the difference is often difficult for the parent.

The HELPER must first distinguish what and why they are taking control of another adultís life, albeit it is their grown child. They need to ask themselves some questions;
Is the aide being used;
to look for a job (send out resumes, go for interviews daily)?
to save the remaining money after the college loans or other necessary bills are paid?
to work towards independence by illustrating appreciation for your assistance by sharing the household chores?


Do you see your child as an adult? If not, you are in big trouble and so is your adult child.

Be aware that when you give assistance to anyone that it does not become permanent There needs to be followed guidelines to help them climb upwards to success not downward to further failure.

Help is guiding. Guide with specific boundaries. Make consequences and stick to the consequences if the young adults do not live up to them.

Certainly if there is an emergency such as an accident or illness one must make reasonable allowances. Just make certain that generally the allowances are not for everything that they do.

Do not be an enabler. It gives the message that the youth are unable to do it alone. It instils fear of trying instead of challenging for improvement.

You want the best for your progeny, but they have to make the effort to succeed. If you do it for them, it is your success, not theirs. They do not benefit from your success. It is equivalent to cheating on a test. They may get a good mark on the test, but when they are employed they are fired because they have not the background needed for the job.

Enabling is: doing it for them; or hiding their failures and accepting irresponsibility from them.

Build strong people by encouraging them to practice daily what they need to know. Give them the resources such as learning a skill or attending college. Stand back when they graduate and let them free to become an adult. You would never dream of picking up an infant and carrying it around constantly because it fell one time. Let the young adult pick themselves up independently. Now you have a person who can face any adversity placed before him/her.

The process of maturing is painful, but necessary for the parent as well as the young adult. Every parent must let go and let God.