Comments about ‘Ask Angela: Grown-up kids coming home for the holidays — and bringing moodiness’

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Published: Saturday, Dec. 8 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

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bountifulmomofsix
BOUNTIFUL, UT

I think that children have the tendency to think of their parents home as it was for them before they left the nest - yet worse. Although I used to do my share of household tasks at home, I became a 'guest' when I would visit my parents home and spent my time vegging. It wasn't until after I had lived out of state for a long period that I realized my behavior needed an adjustment. My mom had become more open with me about how she felt when she was descended upon. I had been one of those who 'descended' upon her - not offering to help provide food and assuming that she could somehow watch my children.
Now I make a point to do some service whenever I visit my parents. I call ahead to make sure my visit comes at a convenient time and I try to avoid mealtime.

chinookdoctor
PASADENA, CA

It's odd that parents' homes are ever considered a dumping ground. It seems that part of the problem is this idea that it's someone's "job" to do housework, to bring in the bacon and that children are to be served by their mother whose sole joy should come from being a homemaker. It is not surprising that when these young people return home they behave, embarrassingly, like entitled brats. When I was growing up, as now, we children did our own laundry, cooked meals for the family and took care of the yard work and other chores around the house. In fact, we did it all, my parents were responsible for the finances by working. That is still the model, though my mother who is nearing retirement now enjoys doing things for us that she never did before: Now she helps with our son and did laundry for us when my husband and I were both students. I think if you don't teach your children respect for others when they are kids and do everything for them, you are in essence sowing the seeds that will lead to moody and selfish behavior later.

AskAngela
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Bountifulmomofsix - "descended upon" is such a great way of expressing what can happen during the holidays! And the idea of openness will help almost any situation.

I also think that the moodiness could be a red flag for something happening that the parents don't know about...parents could beat themselves up saying "oh man I must have raised a brat he/she is always moody when he/she comes home!" When really that kid could be struggling with the gospel, with a boyfriend, with grades, with self esteem, with other family relationships -- struggles that are just a natural part of growing up. So it's best to open the lines of communication, but how?

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

Christmas is a time filled with cherished childhood memories. It's not surprising that when adults return home for that special time of year with parents, siblings, familiar faces, they find themselves wanting the recapture the past and to their own surprise find themselves wanting to go back in time. It's as disquieting to them as it is to family to find themselves reverting to petty rivalries and resentments they thought they had grown out of. And when the holiday is over and it's time to commute back to their present lives, they are as relieved to be escaping as their parents are to see them go.

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