Pricey Therapist: Ought to I Financially Assist My Struggling Youngsters?
Your daughter is likely going to Twitter to express anger because she feels like if she goes straight to you, she won’t be heard. Likewise, your perception that you are “saying nothing of importance” when you see your son but “having a good time” may indicate that you are also unaware of how he is really feeling. With so much anger (on his part) and fear (on your part and your husband’s) beneath the surface, these interactions sound hollow and shallow at best, and emotionally torturous at worst. Is the time together really “pleasant enough” when he knows that you are disappointed in his career, his partner and his weight and that you find his life sad?
In fact, if you don’t have conversations with consequences, you are maintaining the status quo, which sounds unhealthy to everyone. However, if you can approach these conversations like a detective trying to understand another person’s perspective and motives, you can potentially learn a lot about your children – not just their anger, but how you maintain closeness between them that will help them feel more supported in their lives. And when they feel more supported, they may feel less angry.
Indeed, there may well be a link between your children’s life choices and their anger. Many people who carry unresolved anger around with them tend to let that anger determine their decisions without realizing it: Sometimes anger leads people to make decisions that upset the person they are angry at. In other cases, they channel the anger inward by engaging in self-sabotage. In other words, your children’s anger could be a reason your academically successful son and daughter both chose not to pursue higher-paying jobs that they are qualified for.
As you start asking these important questions, keep in mind that what you are learning may not be easy to hear. Like many well-meaning parents who have been very thoughtful about how they raised their children, you might feel that your children should be grateful and have no right to be so angry when you did everything well.
For this reason, if you invest money in your children, I suggest that you pay for family therapy with them. Family therapy provides an environment in which you can get to know your children better and, in turn, hear them better. It will help purify the air and resolve remaining issues from the past, and teach the whole family more productive ways to interact. And finally, all of you have the opportunity to understand not just each other but yourself individually, with less projection, distortion, and erroneous assumptions.
If you design the invitation to family therapy as an opportunity for you to better understand your children, they may be inclined to accept it. You can also ask that they just try a few sessions to see how it goes. Sessions can be done virtually so the location shouldn’t hold you back. And even if no child brings it up to you, you and your husband can watch the therapist so you can learn how to better communicate with them and receive support in coping with the very real grief many parents have when they are Have history not only for their adult children but for themselves does not come about. This is a far better investment in the general health of the family than a car or condo.
Dear therapist, is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice from your doctor, mental health professional, or other qualified health care provider with questions about a medical condition. By submitting a letter, you are consenting to The Atlantic using some or all of it and we may edit it for length and / or clarity.