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Parenting Adult Children: 6 Steps to Sanity 
Allison Bottke

Editor's Note: This article is fifth in a 6-part series on how parents can stop enabling unhealthy behaviors in their adult children. Read Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV.

Let's say we're diagnosed with a severe illness--"Sickness X."

Sickness X is a serious illness, to be sure, yet it can be cured by following a prescription that includes taking medicine and changing some specific habits. We trust our physician to know what he's doing, so we get the prescription filled, begin taking the medicine, and follow the doctor's orders so we'll get better. Some medications are short term, some are long term, and others are for life. Some medicines have a bitter taste; others have no taste.  Many have side effects; others do not.

But if the medicine will cure us, we gladly suffer the bitterness, the side effects, and even endure the long road to recovery. We know that treatment is better than leaving the disease in its present state.

Consider the "Six Steps to SANITY," outlined below, as our medication to help cure our illness of enabling. One dose won't do it; we'll need to stay on this prescription for quite some time until we return to full health. Just as our adult children may slip back and forth into their dependency on us, so, too, we may slip back and forth into our habit of coming to their rescue. Therefore, we must pray for the strength to remain firm in our resolve to make changes. Backsliding at this point is very dangerous, as we will lose not only our credibility but any momentum we may have gained as a result of the changes we are making. It is vital to continue on this prescribed course of "medication" for the duration of the treatment--no matter how difficult it may be.

I must caution you, however, that there is a possibility of a long-term side effect in following this course of treatment. In time we will begin to regain our SANITY, and we will begin to feel a sense of self-respect and peace despite any crisis.

Exactly What Is SANITY?

SANITY is what we gain when we stop focusing on our adult children and begin to focus on changing our own attitudes and behaviors.

How do we get SANITY? By recognizing and identifying the false conceptions we believe about ourselves and our adult children and replacing worldly lies with spiritually empowering truths.

In what situations will SANITY work? We can implement the six steps to SANITY to help an adult child grow up wh

  • Has never left our home
  • Has returned home (with or without mate/children)
  • Considers our home a revolving door
  • Lives on his own (or with others/roommates)
  • Is a full- or part-time college student

I trust you've begun to realize the part you've played in this ongoing drama of enabling, as well as the enemy's tactics in using these negative feelings against you. I pray you have realized the futility of harboring the negative feelings of guilt, frustration, anger, fear, and inadequacy--and that you are ready to develop new strengths to begin living a life of freedom from bondage. It's time for healing--emotionally, spiritually, financially, and psychologically. So let's look at the six steps to SANITY so you can begin to implement them into your life at last.

Six Steps to SANITY

S = Stop our own negative behaviors (especially stop the flow of money!). One of the critical first things we must immediately stop is the flow of money to our adult child.  We must stop being the First Bank of Mom and Dad or the Community Bank of Grandpa and Grandma.

A = Assemble a support group. Stop by our SANITY support group website (visit  and follow the links) and consider getting involved. Remember, there is strength in numbers!

N = Nip excuses in the bud. You must no longer accept excuses. Period. Make it evident early on that you have no intention of being swayed by clichés or con games or lame excuses.

I = Implement rules and boundaries. These rules and boundaries must be well thought-out and non-negotiable, with firm but reasonable consequences and timeframes. And they must be written down and included in your action plan.

T = Trust your instincts. Nowhere does the need to trust our instincts hold truer than when we suspect our adult children are on drugs, have alcohol problems, or are involved in illegal activity. Intuition is a powerful tool. However, that still small voice will eventually stop talking altogether if we continue to ignore it.

Y = Yield everything to God (let go and let God). For some parents perhaps religious faith hasn't been much of an issue as you brought up your child. But that's one thing about being a parent in pain--you realize the help you need is going to have to come from some source other than self.

As we begin to follow the six steps to SANITY, we often discover that one of the benefits could be that our adult child may actually become the person we've been pretending they were or dreaming they could be all along. Now, wouldn't that make all the tough-love pain worthwhile?

It doesn't matter where you are in your journey of enabling an adult child. What matters is that you can stop the insanity right now--today--this very minute. You can gain SANITY, and in doing so, begin an amazing adventure of self-discovery.

I have walked in your shoes, and I have discovered the secret of SANITY, that no matter what happens, I am never alone. God is in control.

August 10, 2009

Next Time: It's Time to Change!

If you're a hurting parent who dearly loves your adult child but longs to see him at last take responsibility for his life, please take a moment to watch the videos on the audio/video page of our web site. It could save your sanity--and maybe even your adult child's life. Video clip at: 

Adapted from Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children, Six Steps to Hope and Healing by Allison Bottke © 2008. Harvest House Publishers. All rights reserved.

I wanted to reiterate something here, it was a joint decision to include extra work into the Better Tomorrows main steam, no one suggests to know all the answers to all of life’s twists and turns. Especially where it comes to dealing with your own children the Bible lays out some specifics, yet often times we can find our children not designed to any one blue-print. They grow-up so fast and in today’s society learn vast amounts on various levels, but proverbs tells us if we teach them “what is right” no matter what teenage life offers they will value what they were given. You know,,  in the days they wanted to know so much so fast, questions about everything…… What’s important, I think is never giving up on "what’s right," They learn far more from what we do, than what we say… I have counseled people in recovery with children, mentored children, There is Power in what is right, more power in Prayer because at the end of the day They need us far greater than they know today. There is not any material on this site or any of the Christian sites that have not been read and accepted with-in the spectrum of the subject at hand we care very much about your satisfaction while meeting the obligations of sharing God’s Message.

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Better Tomorrows  << You are Here.

Serenity Unveiled  <<The Recovery Paper

Crimes Against Children  << Read

Throughout the years we have had the opportunity to have not only great messages from Ministers, but also timeless devotions that touch our heart, sharing those are part of the new Golden Nuggets imitative our new division of Better Tomorrows is to bring together these contributions of God Grace filled word to you through a localized outlet if you feel led, please provide any donations to those ministries if you need links let us know but I will be listing this new coming year a ministries sites page. Also if you have devotion you like you can submit them. My only rule for anything listed here at Better Tomorrows is that it come from a Bible believing Church that believes in the one and only Son of God Jesus Christ and is directly Biblical, these have been my only concern in using any other person’s work. For years the only papers you read here were written here at Better Tomorrows’ Also a little note: we are in the process of supporting a national prisoners Ministry program a donation to Better Tomorrows of just six American dollars will provide for many people. Every donator will also be submitted in a Annual Christmas program in which there will be a cash give away right before Christmas this will all start at the beginning of the year 2012. Could be real fun and you would be helping get printed Bible teaching materials to those incarcerated, a pastor friend of mine works very hard to lead people to Christ and encourage them to redirect their lives. Please use only this email for this purpose @





It's in you

The Power to be all that God intended you to be is right inside you, right where you are, right where you are at - in life. No matter how much the enemy has tried to convince you otherwise You are a Child of The King, heirs to HIS thrown, Salt & Light to the world, all you need is ask HIM daily to show up and show out in your life, He will do just that, make that choice Today, will YOU!  --Falcon Better Tomorrows 

Heaven Is Real


Click the picture this is a great song signed by Peter

If I can touch the hem of HIS garment


My goal today, Today I will be the example of Jesus to the world. You might ask how I am going to do that, great question thank for asking. That is the simple part I have faith in HIM to be with me, little secret, I will tell only you, I can’t do anything without HIM.

I Love The Lord so much HE does that often puts me in touch with parts of the HIS work. The answer to the question Grace,--- His Grace. ---- His Grace. --His Grace....Never ending Grace my friend. I can't stop telling people His Love is unimaginable to anything / every thing here. He Loves You So Much HE will accept You just the way you are.....

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He is The Way & The Truth
Did You Know He Would Stop Everything Just to Come and Save or refresh YOU.


I am not convinced this function has ever worked right we have never accepted any funds for Better Tomorrows my hope was to expand the Crimes against Children work But I have redirected the links to because it will not discontinue so please do not try to us this I will figure out how to get the script off this site my total focus has been on building the Golden Nuggets Devotionals along with building wall presentations for churches The New Year is going to be exciting March 22, 2011



Click the picture it will take you to One.Org they provied meals for those in need of services you can also become a member just getting things like this thermo can help in the expenses you can contact them for a tax receipt.


Psalm 23

The LORD Is My Shepherd A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd;

I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green Pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness

for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of The shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever....




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