What Do You Do When Your Grown Child Makes Bad Decisions?

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Life is a series of UPS AND DOWNS.

In these ups and downs it’s completely natural for a grown-up child to face challenges while finding their way.

As our children become adults, a lot of things change.

At this moment, we as a parent might also face challenging moments when they make decisions we don’t like or understand – bad decisions.

We’ve all been there – those sleepless nights, racing thoughts, and gnawing worries.

But here’s the SECRET you should know: you’re not alone and are not solely responsible.

So, keep your worries aside and explore ways to COPE.

Today, in this article, we will talk about “What you can do when your grown child makes bad decisions.”

So, without wasting a minute, let’s begin!

When Your Grown Child Makes Bad Decisions
What do you do when your grown child makes bad decision?

Why Do Parents Worry So Much? 

Parents worry a lot because they deeply care about their children.

  • It’s natural for them to want the BEST for their kids and to PROTECT them from harm.
  • The world can be unpredictable, and parents may fear for their child’s safety, health, or overall well-being.
  • Additionally, parents might worry about their child’s future, success, and happiness.

The love and responsibility parents feel can sometimes lead to overthinking and anxiety.

Understanding these concerns can help parents and children COMMUNICATE BETTER to address any worries or fears.

When your grown child makes bad decision
Image via Monstera Production

What to Do When Your Grown Child Makes Bad Decisions?

Parenting never stops being tricky, even when your child grows up.

Sometimes, they make NOT-SO-GREAT decisions, and it can be challenging to figure out what to do.

When your grown-up child is making choices that worry you, it’s crucial to find a balance between HELPING them and LETTING them learn on their own.

Let’s discuss some PRACTICAL WAYS you have to follow when your grown child makes decisions that raise concerns.

Stop Blaming Yourself If Your Child Makes Bad Decision

Feeling like we are NOT GOOD ENOUGH sometimes comes from blaming ourselves, even when it’s not our fault.

It is common for parents to feel RESPONSIBLE when things don’t go as planned with their children, especially when their kids make some bad decisions.

Self-blame creeps in, making us think it’s all our fault.

But remember, while you significantly influence your child’s values, you are not solely responsible for the decisions that your child is making.

After all, being a parent doesn’t mean you can CONTROL everything your child is doing.

As they grow up, they make decisions based on personal experiences, peers, and society.

Therefore, putting all the blame on yourself doesn’t really make sense.

You are not the only one shaping their decisions.

Get this!

Everyone MESSES UP sometimes, and that includes our adult children.

So, instead of blaming yourself, it’s more helpful to focus on guiding them and creating an environment where they can learn and grow.

Why do parents worry so much?
Image via Alex Green

If Your Child Makes Bad Decision, Offer Tough Love

Tough love in parenting means setting clear boundaries and consequences to encourage RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR in your child.

It’s about not enabling NEGATIVE ACTIONS, like letting a drug-using adult child move back home without seeking help.

Tough love differs from being mean; it aims to guide your child toward positive growth and responsibility.

As your child grows, it’s essential to let them face CHALLENGES INDEPENDENTLY, fostering independence.

By using tough love, you give your child the opportunity to learn from their decisions.

This ultimately helps them become more responsible, thus making better choices in the future.

Spend Quality Time With Your Child If He Is Making Bad Decisions

Whenever you think your child’s life is FALLING APART because of his bad decisions, spending more time with them is always a good choice. 

  • To get started, organize a schedule that allows you to spend more time with your child.
  • You might want to put things off and do them some other day.
  • Identify activities that you and your grown child can do together. 
  • Spending enough time with him can give you more opportunities to influence their future decisions more subtly.
  • Be flexible in your time and try to readjust between your daily routines and quality time with your child.
  • Only then you can help him effectively. 

Your child learns by example.

If you are setting an excellent example for them, they are more likely to ADOPT it.

Spending quality time with your child can make them feel much more settled, secure, confident, and cooperative. 

It can even help ALLEVIATE STRESS in their lives. 

when your grown child makes bad decision
Image via Anna Shvets

Giving Enough Space Is Equally Crucial

Decision-making is a skill; just like every other skill, you get better at it by PRACTICING.

If you never let your child decide things independently, they won’t learn to make good decisions.

Start by letting them make smaller and less consequential decisions. This helps them feel MORE CONFIDENT about themselves.

Instead of deciding everything for your older child, help them make smart choices.

It HELPS them feel like they have some FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE, which makes them better at handling stressful situations.

Nurture Salade Note: To help your kids manage stress, teach them how to stay calm when things get tough. This skill will help them make the best out of every situation.

Communicate with Your Child

If you are worried about your child’s bad decisions, now it’s time to have a conversation.

As a parent of an adult child, how you APPROACH this talk can really matter.

Before you start, take a moment to sort out your feelings to stay calm during the conversation.

Think about what really needs to be said – it’s not a time for a LECTURE.

Instead of telling them what to do, ask about their goals and what they’re trying to achieve. Share your worries about their actions or behavior, and offer your support.

You might have some HELPFUL ADVICE, suggest talking to other people, or provide resources to help them.

Don’t Be a One-Topic Parent

As a parent, it’s natural to worry when your grown-up child makes choices you might not fully agree with or understand.

However, it’s important not to become a “ONE-TOPIC PARENT” – someone who only talks about and focuses on mistakes or decisions.

Being a one-topic parent means that every conversation revolves around the BAD CHOICES your child has made.

This approach can STRAIN your relationship with your child and make it difficult for them to open up to you.

Instead, try to keep a balance in your conversations.

Yes, it’s okay to address concerns and offer guidance, but make sure you’re also talking about other aspects of their life.

Discuss their interests, achievements, and positive experiences.

It not only helps to maintain a healthier parent-child relationship but also shows that you care about them as a whole person, not just the decisions they make.

When your grown child makes bad decision
Image via Monstera Production

Being Patient Is Equally Important While Practicing Other Steps

Helping your grown child through tough times or bad decisions, don’t forget to be patient as well – that’s most important.

Being patient means giving things time to get better and NOT EXPECTING QUICK SOLUTIONS.

Imagine planting a seed in a garden.

You can’t force it to grow faster by pulling on the sprout; it needs time, sunlight, and care.

Similarly, when dealing with your child’s challenges, it’s crucial to give them the TIME and SPACE they need to learn, grow, and make better decisions.

Patience doesn’t mean sitting back and doing nothing; it means offering support and guidance without pushing too hard.

Rushing them may lead to frustration and resistance.

That’s all for today. Now, it’s time to move toward the conclusion.


Now, you know exactly what to do if your grown child makes bad decisions.


It’s crucial to remember that parenting is a journey of constant learning and adapting.

When your grown child makes choices that worry you, resist blaming yourself.

Instead, focus on guiding them in a positive direction.

  • Apply a bit of tough love, setting clear boundaries to encourage responsible behavior without being mean.
  • Spend quality time together—it’s an investment that can subtly influence their decisions.
  • With that, give them space to practice decision-making, which encourages independence and confidence.
  • Avoid becoming a “one-topic parent”; balance discussions by acknowledging their positive aspects.
  • Most importantly, be patient.

If you really like this post, let’s build a community of support and encouragement together. Together, we can empower our grown children to make better decisions.

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