Parent Calls Listening To Adopted Son "Emotional Labor", Gets Criticized Across The Internet

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit
A teen walking down the street with his back to the camera.
Unsplash | Jesús Rodríguez

The choice to raise a child is a big one. It's also a very complex role to take on, and there's not one person who's ever been a perfect parent. Mistakes are a part of being human, but when it comes to parenting, there are ways to handle those mistakes responsibly, ways that don't involve broadcasting your feelings about it on social media.

A parent took to Twitter to liken their listening to their adopted son's troubles as 'emotional labor', a comparison that readers certainly didn't like.

A controversial Twitter thread made the rounds recently.

A parent and child walking along a lakeside.
Unsplash | Timothy Eberly

Originally posted by author and professor Heron Greenesmith, the thread details a snippet of their parenting life.

Greensmith is the adoptive parent of an 11-year-old girl who has other siblings. They decided to take on her 18-year-old brother this past January as he lost his DCF housing, and has now been parenting them both.

The thread mostly discussed their distaste for having to parent an 18-year-old.

A teen walking down the street with his back to the camera.
Unsplash | Jesús Rodríguez

The first Tweet begins with, "Holy [expletive] parenting an 18yo is terrifying and difficult."

The second Tweet contains the phrase, "1/10 do not recommend parenting a bitter young adult coming to true realization about the horrors of capitalism."

Most of the other Tweets share examples of conversations they have that show the apparent difficulty.

But the real kicker was a pair of Tweets right in the middle, wherein they wrote, "THE AMOUNT OF EMOTIONAL LABOR I'VE PERFORMED IN THE PAST TWO HOURS HOLY [expletive]," presumably after having a conversation with the teen, followed by the post seen above.

They were blasted for their perspective.

Many people in the replies happily reminded them that parenting is emotional labor, and posting about how hard it is on social media will only lead those you're parenting to resent you.

There were social workers and former foster children alike asking Greenesmith to please examine their behaviors and listen to the experiences of other adoptees to learn what it's really like.

The thread even spread beyond Twitter, with some people on TikTok commenting on the situation.

Like user @theradicalnanny, who had some lovely insights.

"Turning the beautiful and gracious act of parenting into a transaction is a great way to guarantee that your kids will never talk to you again," she said, "Please don't take it out on children for existing because you don't feel like being emotionally available [...].

"Or, if you recognize that you don't have the capacity for that, get them in therapy and pay for it in perpetuity."

Greenesmith seems to have gotten the message.

They posted a follow-up to their account, seen above, addressing a few misconceptions about their post before saying that their "deepest wish" is for the 18-year-old to be "surrounded by adults to listen, to share, to support, and to provide possibility models for his life."

Parenting is always a touchy subject.

And though there will always be those who disagree with any one person's method of parenting, the least you can do is show your children enough respect to not call the mere act of listening to their struggles something laborious and difficult.

h/t: Daily Dot