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Should she allow kids to treat her with disrespect?

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Recently I have become aware of how dysfunctional my original family was and now how dysfunctional my kids (a 28 and 26 year old) and my ex husband and myself are. The problem is that we find ourselves all living back under the same roof again due to various issues. My problem is that I keep getting triggered when my ex does not support me in laying down boundarys or when one of my kids cross that line.

I know this could be an opportunity for growth but I find it extremely stressful and feel like just running away and never talking to them again. In my family of origin problems were handled by scapegoating me and now it seems the same thing is happening to me. It’s so painful and frustrating that in defending myself I have said a couple of things I regret. I want good healthy relationships with my kids but at what cost? I have also suggested to my kids that maybe they seek help because I know their childhood was far from perfect (I have talked to a therapist in the past) Should I allow them to treat me with disrespect just to have some kind of a relationship?

Should she allow kids to treat her with disrespect?

Answered by on -


The simple answer is “no.” As long as you permit people to disrespect you, they will continue to do so. But if you could do that, you would have done so long ago.

You say you talked to a therapist in the past. I think it’s time for you to get into therapy again. You need some practical coaching for how to say that “no” and some support for doing it. It might also help you to do some talking about how to separate your past from your present. Once you’ve helped yourself, you will be in a better position to help the rest of the family. At some point, it would probably be helpful to get all of you into family therapy to learn new ways of relating to each other.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Should she allow kids to treat her with disrespect?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Should she allow kids to treat her with disrespect?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.