They say that nothing in this world can compare to the joy of raising a child. Well, whoever said that probably didn’t raise one of these children! As much as most parents try their best to provide their kids with the best life possible, sometimes there’s just nothing that can be done if the children simply aren’t interested in utilizing what they’ve been given. From the light to the serious, there can be all kinds of reasons that parents might end up disappointed in their child. Needless to say, it can be unspeakably difficult for those who find themselves in that kind of a situation.
Here are 42 stories of parents who, for one reason or another, are disappointed in their children.
1. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
My son got a $200,000 inheritance when his father passed away two years ago. He is now completely broke.
2. This Will Never Come in Handy
According to my son’s claims, I’ve beaten him and even cut his hand off. None of that is true. I’m disappointed that he would treat me like this and ruin my reputation in the eyes of my community when all I’ve ever been to him is kind.
3. Prodigy or Bust
I’m disappointed that my daughter has not become a multimillionaire and decided to fund my retirement. Then again, she’s only just turned 18. I guess I’ll give her a year or two to sort it out.
4. Eyes, Ears, Mouth, and Nos
I’m disappointed that my son has absolutely no drive, no ambition, and no work ethic whatsoever. He’s 25 now, and he seems to have peaked in sixth grade.
5. I Think Someone Else Is to Blame Here…
I’ll tell you why I’m disappointed with my son. We took the Ancestry.Com test, and he doesn’t share any of my genetic background. On second thought, maybe it’s not actually my son who disappointed me…
6. Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace
I’m disappointed in my son because he is too much like me. He’s a solid introvert who is afraid to ever ask anyone for help and doesn’t want to ever bother people for any reason—even with very legitimate requests. He is also an expert procrastinator. I remember being that age and being soooo much like that.
I’m not sure how I ever made it through university, but I’ve been a successful engineer for over 30 years now so I’ve still got a lot of hope for him.
7. You’re Never Too Young, I Guess!
I’m disappointed that my son isn’t even looking for a job and never bothers to get out of the house. He just eats my food without paying a penny and watches TV or plays games all day long. Two-year-olds can be sooo entitled!
8. Not Passing the Torch
My mom is extremely disappointed in me because I have chosen not to have kids. As far as she is concerned, it was my sole purpose in life.
9. Going Away for a Long, Long Time
I’m disappointed over the fact that my son is currently in prison for life. That was not what I had in mind when I was trying my best to raise him well.
10. A Change Is Gonna Come
I’m the child in this case. My parents want me to be happy in my career. In high school, my goal was to join the military and become a combat medic. I graduated in 2007 and would have likely deployed to Afghanistan upon completion of training. My parents really didn’t want me to join the military because, like all parents, they didn’t want me to have to go to war.
Yet, they still supported me. As it worked out, I never did join the military and became a welder instead. I hate my job and it’s caused me a lot of stress and instability over the last 10 years. It also is not what my parents had in mind for me, and I’ve always sensed that they are disappointed over my career choice as a result.
Every day, I regret not having followed my dream. I know that my dissatisfaction and regret with my job and life has further disappointed my parents. However, I’m looking into a major career change and they’re fully supportive of that, in ways that I can’t even begin to describe. Hopefully, soon I can make them happy for me, by being happy in my own career.
11. Don’t Make a Federal Case Out of It!
I’m disappointed with the fact that my kids are now in their 30s, still living in my basement, and seemingly getting into activities that I feel are gonna bring the Feds to my house soon…
12. Sounds Promising…
Both of my kids joined a group of hippies. My daughter regularly conspires behind my back and my son, the little brat, challenges me at every possible opportunity. This will definitely not end well…
13. Food for Thought
I’m extremely disappointed over the fact that my kid doesn’t like bacon. Or pizza. What kind of kid doesn’t like pizza??!!
14. Just Two Little Things
Overall, my son is a good boy. Nevertheless, I’m fairly disappointed in the fact that he’s a little lazy when it comes to his school work, and a bit of a drama queen when it comes to his emotions.
15. Game Day
I’m disappointed that my son cannot beat me in Smash Bros. He is like four already, like, get the heck out of here!
16. Wake Up!
I’m not disappointed in my 18-year old per se, but I sure wish that I knew how to activate him. He graduated from high school in May, yet has no desire to go to college and no real aspirations in life at all. He’s pretty much been in his room on his phone constantly ever since finishing school. He’s struggled for many years with anxiety, which we’re treating, and I know a lot of things are difficult for him—but man, I wish I knew how to get him excited about something, anything; whether it’s a job or a hobby or a plan or whatever.
17. When Hard Times Bring People Closer Together
My son is 24 years old and, by some standards, is a disappointment. He has a degree and no job. He struggles with motivation and his sleep patterns are terrible. I don’t think he has a plan to move forward with his life any time soon. Nevertheless, earlier in the year, my husband (i.e. his dad) was diagnosed with cancer. I now thank God every day for my “slacker” son.
He is so kind. Every time he makes dinner “because I know you must be tired” or comes over and gives me a hug when I get home from work, it helps make it possible for me to keep on going.
18. Ever Heard of Potty Training?
I’m disappointed in the fact that my son is already seven years old, yet he still can’t seem to take himself away from any task to go and use the bathroom when he needs to. This results in many, many messes that I am left to clean up. It’s not a matter of if he will pee his pants today, it’s a matter of when—and sometimes, on one of those extra special days, he even poops his pants too!
Any fluid intake has to be timed so that all activities will be guaranteed to end less than 30 minutes from then, so that a bathroom break can be fit into his schedule. Ahh, children.
19. First-Degree Disappointment
My mom has always held getting a degree up there as one of the main pinnacle achievements that she expected me to reach in life, mainly because it was such a big deal for her when she went back to school and got her degree in her 40s. As someone who works in IT, I dropped out of my degree program about a year into it and haven’t looked back since.
That was 10 years ago. I hid the fact that I dropped out from my mom for many years before I finally told her. She was disappointed—but, in my opinion, the astronomical cost of a degree does not have a good return on investment. Meanwhile, in IT, I’ve managed to work my way up to a very high salary level even without one.
Certifications, mentors, learning on the job, and learning at home have all been just as valuable to me as a degree is for others. To me, a four-year degree doesn’t make much logical sense in a fast-moving field like the one I’m in.
20. Not Exactly His Bread and Butter
My son doesn’t like garlic bread. I love garlic bread. This makes me upset.
21. Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire
I’m disappointed by the fact that both of my kids vape and smoke. My wife and I have been anti-smokers for all of our adult lives, and I’m really sad to see my children choosing to do something as negative as that. On the bright side, they both “want to quit”—but it’s a very tough road ahead. I really hope that it all works out in the end.
22. Mind Over Matter
I’m still not quite sure what my parents think of me. I was “the promised child” who got in the 99th percentile on aptitude tests in kindergarten, aced tests in school, memorized the names of all the presidents by age four (at my dad’s insistence), and ended up just blundering my way through school because what started as a bad habit of not doing homework eventually amalgamated into depression-driven apathy about education.
I dropped out of college and I’ve spent a great deal of my time in therapy learning how to be a good and happy person—which does make my mom happy, but I can feel my entire extended family’s disappointment in me that I chose to work a regular nine to five job and just live in a small apartment with my cat. On the bright side, I’m more confident in my life choices than I have ever been in the past.
I wouldn’t trade the positive mindset I’ve been working so hard on for any amount of work discipline in the world.
23. A Long List of Worries
My kid is lazy, he lies about everything, and he steals from everyone. I love him so much and I’m at a loss. I’m sincerely afraid that he’s going to end up in prison someday.
24. Don’t Be a Wise Guy
This is a little harsh, but I’m disappointed in the fact that my kids are not very smart. I didn’t realize when I married their mother that she was utterly and willfully stupid. As the children get older, I’m starting to see all of the emotional, behavioral, and intellectual problems that I once saw in their mother suddenly manifesting in them.
It scares me. And it saddens me. I know their lifestyles and their opportunities are going to be limited somewhat because of this. I try to instill in them every day that what matters is working hard, but it’s hard as hell to watch my son who has Asperger’s struggle with basic writing skills and reading comprehension. Or to watch my daughter, who is mentally stable, just not care about learning.
I feel like I let them down by not choosing a better partner. I know I let myself down.
25. It’s a Gift!
Honestly, I’m pretty disappointed in the fact that my kid doesn’t seem capable of figuring out that Santa Claus isn’t real yet, even though I’ve been trying to send him plenty of fairly obvious hints for a number of years at this point. Do I really have to sit him down and have that whole awkward conversation now? Please no…
26. Riding Solo
My mom is disappointed that I’m now in my 30s and still unmarried. I can see that she worries about me and feels bad every time that I take a solo vacation. I’m sure she wishes that I had a husband to bring along.
27. High Hopes?
My son is 25 years old and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at around 15 years of age (or maybe even a little bit younger). After he became too old and too big for me to manage his meds, he refused to take them and his life has been a roller coaster of disasters ever since. Between prison time (both juvie and adult), bad decisions, suicidal ideation, drug use, fathering two children he doesn’t see (with the same mom both times), and insisting on making up reasons to not speak to me and to blame me for his problems.
I’m done, because there’s honestly nothing I can do for him. At this point, I’m just waiting to get a phone call someday on where I need to go to identify the body.
28. The Early Results Are In
Honestly? I’m disappointed in the fact that my daughter is slightly below average in most categories. Sure, she’s just five years old right now and a lot can change by the time she grows up, but yeah. It’s a disappointment. She had some testing done recently and a fair bit of the intelligence stuff came out below average. I don’t know why, but I had just always expected to have a smart kid one day.
She is a smart aleck, though, so I guess that counts for something.
29. At Least They’re Happy With Somebody!
My ex-husband was like the son that my parents had always wanted their actual son to be. So, they’re pissed at my brother for not being more like him, and they’re pissed at me because I divorced him. Double-whammy. Never mind the fact that we just fundamentally did not work as a couple.
They basically see it as me stealing away their one chance at having “The Perfect Child” in a son-in-law. Oh well!
30. I Moustache You a Question
I know that these are fairly petty problems that matter not in the grand scheme of things, but, in my family, my great-grandfather, my grandfather, my father, and myself have all had mustaches as a family tradition. It’s been a matter of pride for us that every generation has kept this going. My son doesn’t sport a mustache, and he and his wife don’t want any children.
Therefore, our family line, and our family traditions, will end with him.
31. But Which Twin Is the Evil One?
I’m not one of the parents myself in this story, but the twin brother of the person in question. I guess that some would classify me as “the successful” twin because I’m in the fourth year of my MDS and my twin has failed his first year of law three times in a row now and is living back at home. I know that my mother is just devastated about how his future is shaping up, because she’s always Skyping me and telling me all about how unmotivated he seems and how sad it is to see.
The worst part of all is that he had always done so much better than I had academically before we reached university. She had such high hopes for him and now she’s having to watch them all wither away, despite constantly doing her best to help.
32. Living for the Present
Our son is 20 years old and refuses to go to college or get a job. He lives with his mom, so all I can do is talk to him about it. I fear for his future because we (his parents) are not immortal and he doesn’t seem to have any self-preservation skills.
33. Some Bonds Can Never Be Broken
My son is 31 years old right now and has been a hardcore meth and heroin addict since the age of 15. He has put our family through hell and then some. I’m deeply disappointed in him and we are currently estranged from each other, but he is still my son and I love him anyway.
34. Money Can’t Buy You Happiness
My mum was pretty disappointed that I left a £33,000 a year job for a £28,000 a year one. She didn’t realize that I did so because I was heading down the path to a nervous breakdown and that now everything is perfect as a result of this change of pace. As the saying goes, “Sometimes, we just have to get on with our lives.”
35. How Selfish Can Someone Be??
The parent in this case was not me, but my uncle. He is a very kind and hardworking man who did everything for his sons and for all of my other cousins as well. While the younger ones are decent and successful people, the oldest one was always a piece of work. He never finished school or worked in his entire life and, at the same time, belittled my uncle for his work.
He often said things like that he wouldn‘t even leave his bed for the money that my uncle makes. He also said that my uncle is stupid for working for someone else and hadn‘t understood life. They always believed in him. They gave him money so that he could open his own store(s), or bought him expensive cars and stuff so that he would get motivated and do something with his life.
After about 10 years of this pattern, at the age of 28, he ran out of money again and asked my uncle for another gift so that he could start another business. My uncle told him basically that he wanted to see a business plan first and that he would have to wait about three months because they were in the process of renovating their house.
My cousin responded by throwing an absolutely insane temper tantrum and leaving the house for a while. In the meantime, his parents continued with their plans and renovated the main floor’s walls, floors, and bathrooms. They even bought new furniture for my each of my cousins’ rooms. And guys, this is where it gets ugly.
One day, the oldest son came back home while nobody was there and just completely lost it. He called my uncle up on his cell phone and screamed something about how he refused to wait for HIS money while they were out spending it on themselves. And then, he proceeded to smash their newly renovated and beloved house to pieces.
Everything in the house, new and old, was totally ruined. He ripped out the floor and destroyed the bathroom. There was water everywhere and all of the walls were smashed in. He slashed the furniture and destroyed his brothers’ electronics. He must have been really freaking angry. I was utterly speechless when I saw the damage.
They threw him out, took his keys, and haven’t heard from him since—but not before he fought with his father one last time and called his mother an idiot without an opinion of her own. This whole thing just totally broke my uncle’s heart. He isn’t the same man anymore.
36. Getting Schooled
My daughter is currently home for the summer and heads back to college in a few days. I feel bad for saying this, but I’m honestly ashamed that she’s still enrolled there. This will be her fifth semester there, but she was supposed to have failed all of her classes back in her second semester. And her third. And her fourth.
Every semester, she skips class and parties, not even attempting to do her school work. Then, when the school attempts to kick her out, she appeals the decision and somehow, I honestly have no idea how, she always gets her professors to bump up her grades just high enough for her to pass and continues on for another semester.
She has lost all of her scholarships and grants already. Initially, I was paying whatever tuition costs were left over, and then was paying 75% of her tuition while she received student loans for the rest of the amount. She was home for break last semester and I overheard her on the phone bragging to one of her friends about how she doesn’t have to do any work because all she has to do is file an appeal to pass her classes.
I was absolutely appalled and, now that I know that, I’m not paying another dime for her. I just don’t understand why she does it, or if I’m somehow responsible for causing this behavior as her father. But we were poor when she was younger and, even now, we’re maybe lower middle class at best. She certainly wasn’t spoiled in any way and she saw how hard I worked to provide for her.
We had an agreement that when she turned 16, if she wanted a car, she was responsible for paying for gas. When that time eventually came, she got a part-time job, so I got her a used car. My thought was that working to earn gas money would teach her firsthand the value of a dollar. That was the best way I could think of to teach her and give her some real-life experience.
I don’t know if it didn’t stick or what, but she seems perfectly content to keep up the routine of slacking and expects to just get a degree handed to her on a silver platter. I worked extremely hard for everything I have in life, as well as for everything that she has. Her college fund was the result of me squirreling away every dime I could for over 10 years.
She’s currently pissed at me for it, but I will not continue to use this money to literally buy her a degree that she doesn’t deserve. I’ve begrudgingly decided to take a step back and let her handle her education on her own from now on.
37. How Quickly Everything Can Change
My son is 24 years old and has a full-blown meth addiction that just started within the last six months. He was fired from the job he got at 18 because he was high and manic. Unfortunately, his manager at that job was the one who had introduced him to meth in the first place. Since then, he has dedicated the majority of his time to either finding or using the drug.
He has been arrested three times and spent 30 days in jail, yet he continues to use the substance even though he is on probation. He is angry because we will not allow him to live with us while he is using. He is now homeless. He broke into our house and stole some of his father’s sports memorabilia to support his habit. Some of it is not replaceable and very sentimental to us.
He is a shell of the human being that we knew and loved just six short months ago, both figuratively and literally. He can no longer even hold a normal conversation and is constantly twitching. We have offered to get him help, but he is convinced that the drugs have set him free and that we are all living in some kind of delusional world where we have to work and conform to society.
Dealing with this is killing us. On the other hand, our daughter (23 years old) just graduated college in June with a paralegal degree and has decided to go to law school. Unfortunately, she is afraid to openly celebrate her success because she doesn’t want to make him feel bad or upset him. I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for taking that away from her!
38. Missing the Good Old Days
My oldest son has all kinds of attitude problems. Every day is an uphill battle. He used to be so sweet, loving, and obedient. Now, he’s corrupting his little brother. I’m just exhausted. I miss just being able to love my boys and have fun with them.
39. Too Much to Handle
My son is 23 years old. He is incredibly mean to everyone around him, including his girlfriend and their kids. He tells her things like, “That’s why nobody likes you,” and tells me things like, “My kids don’t even like you.” I had to cut him out of my life because the hurt he was causing me was unreal. I couldn’t deal anymore.
It got to the point where I was having issues in my daily life because of it.
40. You May Be Good Lookin’, But You’re Not Lookin’ Good!
One of my kids is incredibly smart and very pretty, but mentally and physically lazy. And manipulative. She will not go far in life based on the choices she’s made so far, and I’m sad to see that it’s not likely to change any time soon. She’ll do poorly in college, probably bomb a marriage, and get by on her looks for as long as she can, not realizing that they will fade fast with her combined mental and physical laziness.
She also completely loves the idea of using labels as excuses for everything, so “MY anxiety, MY bipolar, MY issues…” Being defined by labels allows her to believe that she has limitations, so it’s automatically accepted as perfectly fine in her mind whenever she fails at something. She would rather not try something than try and risk failure.