'I don't like my adult child. What am I meant to do?'

The loving bonds of parenthood overcomes many things, or so we’re told.

Whether it’s the incessant crying in the early hours of the morning, the terrible twos, supermarket runs or the many joys of adolescence, even at it’s worst there’s a spark of ‘this is my child, my flesh and blood and I must love it.’

Because that overrides everything else, right?

Well, Mumsnet user, juicee2, isn’t too sure.

Opening up in a forum, she asked for advice on what to do when you realise that your now adult child has completely separate values to you and just isn’t a “pleasant person.”

“What can you do if this happens? Does the fact they are your child override everything else or not?,” she asked.

Both parents and adult children in similar situations responded.

Mature Woman Discussing Problems With Counselor
Sometimes parent children relationships just don't work out. What do you do then? Image: Getty.

"I do worry about this," wrote one user who has a three-year-old daughter.

"I love her more than I could ever say but it does cross my mind sometimes... what if she grows up to be selfish and inconsiderate of people's feelings?

"It actually scares me that I'll see these traits," they wrote

Mumsnet member Lljkk said she was going through something similar with her son, and that while there are a lot of values she doesn't share, she still likes him. Instead she clarifies that her job as a parent was to "do right by him."


"I could imagine disowning a kid completely if they did something horrendous. One of the unspeakable crimes. I can be grateful for every day I don't have to make such a terrible decision," they wrote.

Being worried that you don't like your adult kids is a lot more common than you would think. The Mamamia Out Loud team discuss what you should do if the same thing happens to you. Post continues after audio.

On the other side, the now-adult children who had similar relationships to their parents gave their opinion too, and spoke of what it feels like to know that your parent doesn't like you.

"[It's] taken a lot of time to overcome it though. It's a hideous thing to realise your parent doesn't like you," wrote one user.

And while member Peachgreen felt that both her and her mum didn't have a 'liking' towards each other necessarily, they do love each other unconditionally.

"I mean we wouldn't be pals if we weren't related, but we're always there for each other and are best friends in a lot of ways," she said.

Now, as a mum Peachgreen also said that if a similar thing happened between her and her daughter she would try to embrace her values, likes and dislikes so long as they're not morally objectionable.

"I'd be gutted if my daughter grew up with completely different values to me and we therefore didn't get along that well," she wrote.

SashaTaught had a similar opinion: "Lots of people don’t like their parents but do love them," and spoke about a middle ground.

"Maybe I won’t always be keen on aspects of their personalities ... but on more of a day to day level there are positives and negatives in all," he said, sharing the situation between his "lad" son.

"Although I will always include him in the family, I expect he will be the one who spends more time at the in-laws than at home," he wrote.

Most users acknowledged the fact that while no parent will like their child at all times, they still believed that unconditional love prevailed and in the end it was all about compromise.

As Mumsnet user CombineBananaFister said, "I always see it as you could love your child unconditionally as it's a feeling you have little control over but you don't always necessarily like them or their actions at times."

Have you been in a similar situation? Does the fact they are your child override everything else or can you relate to this Mumsnet user? Tell us in a comment.

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