From Parents Not Letting Go to What to Do With Down Time

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“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”Why Won’t Parents Let Go?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

I am a 45-year-old single mom living with my two kids in an apartment attached to my folks’ home. This living arrangement is mostly because of finances. My dad was bossy when I grew up, and he’s still trying to run my life from his house, making all kinds of rules for me and my kids to live by. My kids want to move. I’m afraid to find another living arrangement — it would involve many changes, and my dad says if I move he will not help me out and that moving would make my mom unhappy. How can I get out from under this and stop reliving my past?


Dr. Gelb Says . . .

Dear Rules:

Perhaps you’re familiar with the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Sounds like the feasibility of leaving Rome will depend on your courage. Many people tend to find all sorts of reasons why they can’t do something, rather than taking initiative to make things happen. Fear of authority can be so inhibiting, especially when it controls decision-making.

Some soul searching might reveal to you that it’s time to take charge and make changes. Your children will most likely benefit from witnessing your courage. Good luck. I have a feeling you will choose to do the right thing.

”Why Is Down Time Unsettling?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

My life is full with work and family responsibilities. Occasionally, I have a few hours to myself, like when my husband takes the kids to a football game (something I don