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I’m 26 and have a turbulent relationship with both my parents (who are now separated). For example, my dad was just helping me move some boxes and my bike with his car. Parts of it were nice, he bought me a couple slices of pizza and we talked. Parts were not so nice, he got really mad and accused me of not having my things ready.

When we arrived at my home I took the bike off the car and went to lock it up. My dad got really mad and told me not to waste time locking my bike and come help him carry more things. I asked why he was mad and he said he shouldn’t be the one lifting my boxes while I locked up my bike. My home is shared with lots of people and I think I was in the better position to decide to lock the bike right away, and I think my dad was out of line telling me what to do (anyway, it takes just 2 minutes to wrap a lock around the bike). Then we went inside the house and I took off my boots. My dad got mad at me for taking my boots off, as he thought I had forgotten to bring in some boxes that were sitting right at the door. So I kicked him out. He asked if he could use the bathroom and I said no (though I do feel bad about it), and I locked the door behind him. Did I do the right thing? I’m not sure what other options I had? I find it very disrespectful of him to talk to me this way, especially in front of the people I live with. In general I find both my parents extremely bossy and don’t know how to react to it.

The reasons I kicked him out were a) I didn't like the way he was talking to me b) I wanted to teach him a lesson so he wouldn't do it again. c) I wanted to make clear he was in my place and he's a guest there and had to follow my rules, not the other way around.

I know when someone does you a favor, it’s nice to help them back, but you do reserve the right not to. I definitely feel bad about kicking him out, and have thought of apologizing, but then I realize I probably did the right thing.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because not about parenting, but about relationships. – user19912 Jan 6 '17 at 5:13
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One thing to do here is to find someone whose opinions you generally respect to also help and to effectively mediate. Use their reaction to work out if you're being unreasonable.

My own example is my wife, who I can generally trust to tell me if I'm justified in being upset about my family or if I'm just being a dick or somewhere in between.

But even a relatively close friend can have that effect of diffusing the tension by not being part of your interpersonal friction.

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  • That is a great suggestion. A close friend knows when we are being too sensitive. – WRX Jan 4 '17 at 15:35
  • Most people who know my parents (including their family) believe they are unreasonable people. Knowing this does prejudice many of my views on them. – snowchym Jan 25 '17 at 13:19
  • In my experience, those others are likely to help you develop perspective and coping strategies, but bringing them into the situation may just feel like ganging up. I wonder how it went? – Luke Sawczak Nov 1 '18 at 11:11
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I believe you were quite rude and quite wrong. It seems you were unprepared for your father's help. So, apparently, your father had already indicated some displeasure with your behavior when he took himself out of his way to assist you. He probably stopped for pizza so that he could spend a few minutes with you, and not just be "used" for the moving help. It is typical for people who get help from others to supply food and drinks to those that help. Who paid for the pizza? In my opinion, that should have been you.

The bike would not be stolen right in front of you. And, as soon as he expressed unhappiness with what you were doing, you should really have stopped doing it! Just to make it worse, after he had already objected to that, you did it again with taking his time to take off your boots. I believe you should have respected his time and his wishes and not expected him to do the unloading while you did anything else. I think you should have done the unloading and had others there, ready to help. You are the one who says you are an adult. But, again, you also say you are 26, imply that you do not have a vehicle of your own, and it seems to both your father and me that you disrespected his time.

You do not say if he had any back pain or other disability, but you did mention he had to use the bathroom, and you did not allow that. To me, that is quite inconsiderate on your part. Apparently, you asked for help and he was letting you use his vehicle to load things into. In my opinion, you did not act like an adult yourself. At the age of 26, it would be more appropriate for you to have friends that you ask to help you move. Your father went out of his way for you and you acted horribly toward him. I think much more than an apology is in order. I would think that you would consider something much more generous than that and something that takes you out of your way to do. And, something that costs you money and would delight him. I truly believe you were wrong.

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I know you have on-going issues with your parents, especially your father. If you are going to continue to ask for their help, you are inviting them to interact with you and express their opinions.

Where you prepared? Were you ready, or did your father have to wait to help you?

I know from my own point of view, if someone asks me to help, I'd be less than happy if I had to wait to help them. I had a friend ask for help moving (specifically carrying boxes) and when I arrived, they had not started packing two hours before the truck was arriving. Yes, I was angry and yes, I left.

You are an adult. You have to act like one to be treated like one. So, if you were prepared and your father was just looking for ways to complain, perhaps it is time to stop asking him for anything.

You do not have to accept unfair criticism. You do not have to answer it or even defend yourself.

As an adult, if someone is less than pleasant or disagrees with us, or misunderstands us, we can answer and then let it go. Who cares in the long run? It's on them if we are not wrong and they can't admit it; or if they have a point, we should listen and try to fix it or improve and then move on.

Life isn't fair. Not everyone acts well or appropriately -- including parents.

IMO, yes. You should have allowed him to use the bathroom. Also imo, don't ask him for help.

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  • I guess with not being prepared, I thought he was able to carry all the boxes but it turned out he was only willing to move a few. So I took 5 minutes to go through them and decide which ones I needed the most. Also the fact we stopped for pizza seemed to suggest there wasn't a rush. We definitely do not see eye to eye. – snowchym Jan 3 '17 at 23:51
  • sounds like it... you can distance yourself. It might make both of you more respectful of each other... – WRX Jan 3 '17 at 23:56
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    Is that really a solution just to not see him anymore? I mean the reason I post questions on this site is to see if there's anything I can do to make our relationship better. – snowchym Jan 4 '17 at 10:10
  • @snowchym Sorry if I wasn't clear. Distance yourself (to me) means see less of him. Do not ask him for help. If he asks you for help -- show him how a person should behave. If he becomes rude, be polite and say that if he is going to be unfriendly, you will have to leave. If he continues to be hurtful, then do leave. Not forever, but for that visit. It is perfectly fair to tell him your new rules for yourself in advance of meeting him. I also like deworde's suggestion -- ask someone who knows you personally. Are you being reasonable? – WRX Jan 4 '17 at 15:34
  • This answer would maybe fit if it wasn't family. If you act like that, you are not solving any issues, you are running away from them. You can do that if you don't care about the person, but family is different, you cannot choose it. – daraos Jan 6 '17 at 14:15
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If you aren't comfortable with your father continuing to try to parent you, you should quit asking him for help or assistance (or accepting it, if you haven't asked for it). As long as you continue to present your self to him in the role of the (needy) child, he will keep treating you in that role.

In my judgment, your story doesn't describe you treating your father with the minimum level of respect and gratitude you owe anyone, let alone a parent. Given that you are an adult, he was under no obligation to help you move or buy you food. The fact that you seem to have taken his assistance for granted may help explain why he doesn't seem willing to view you as a capable adult, and why he seems to anticipate being taken advantage of.

If you really want to impress your father and your friends, then locking him out of your apartment after he helps you seems like the exact wrong approach. Instead try buying him lunch or helping him out. That's a better way to demonstrate maturity and independence than being a bully.

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I think the adult thing for you to have done would be to have sat him down and explain to him why that's not okay for him to talk to you the way he did. By kicking him out you not only went down to his level (if not below), but you also never explained to him how it made you feel and why you don't want him to talk to you that way anymore. Therefore, your whole "teaching him a lesson" part is quite ineffective.

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I can relate. I’m taking a different stance because I understand people are only taking what you gave them and making judgement calls. It’s unfortunate, you have people calling you rude rather than asking for more details.

I’m certain it was not the first incident. I’m certain in the past you were not in the position to make such calls like kicking your father out. I know I’ve been mad at either or both of my parents and because I was in their houses (after their divorce) I had to abide by rules whether I agreed or not. Many "old school" parents especially grandparents will always say you're wrong for standing up to an adult as if your are to remain a child in a child’s place. I do understand why older people say it but I also understand why it needs to be done.

Older people tell you everything from experience, that way you can avoid making the same mistakes. ie: having an outburst and not being granted the opportunity to apologize or feel forgiven as anger is always temporary. However, putting your foot down because you feel as an adult the line has habitually been crossed from a time you were too young to stand up for yourself and just put ride being disrespectful are too different situations. This was a matter of you letting your father know that I am not longer a child and as an adult you must respect me regardless of my decisions.

Damage Control: its ok to apologize but its equally important to understand what you are apologizing for. I've kicked my father out for cursing around my kids at the age of 31. I'm 32 now, and I still feel bad I had to do so. I contacted him later in the month and told him, "I apologize we couldn't enjoy ourselves and everything ended up the way it did. I understand you may be upset with how everything turned out, I hope that next time we will have a better understanding of one another and the turnout will ne better". Although, I doubt my father will ever come back ton my house he does not curse at me or around my children as he has done since I was too young to have much of authoritative voice for myself. He is a great leader and parent however when he didn't like something I did he'd curse and carry on. Make me feel less of a man at times.

I hope you do ammend the relationship with your father and forgive him. The most important aspect of situations like this is we font live forever. Everything is temporary including life. With that said everything is nothing other than mere lessons like my dad told me at the end of our discussion. "The best teacher is one who learns from his students. I still love you, SON."

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