Getting along with parents as adults can be hard. What’s should adults do when parents are being difficult or even toxic? There are clear answers to this muddy issue.

Build Your Own Happiness

The best way to deal with a difficult parent is to build your own happiness. Get your own friends. Find your own fulfillment in life. Even if your parent never improves, you will be a thriving, healthy, happy adult with or without your parents.

Your parent is likely difficult because he or she is emotionally suffering. Sometimes the best way to help someone is to lead by example.

Enforce Your Own Rules

You are an adult. You have a right to choose what your children are exposed to. You have a right to choose what happens inside your home.

When your parent attempts to overstep these boundaries, clearly and calmly express your rules to them. Don’t give a lecture, and don’t explain your reason for the rules. Make a clear statement like, “I don’t want my children to hear that type of language.” If they don’t listen, calmly leave or ask them to leave.

Don’t Accept Money

In the hands of a manipulative person, money, even given as a gift, can be a weapon. Money can be used as a motivator and a guilt trip. If one or both of your parents have proven to be manipulative, be extremely wary of accepting money from them.

These tips may not be as useful if your parent has been diagnosed with a mental illness. In that case, the situation may be more complicated than having a bad parent. It would be best to consult with a mental health professional who understands your parent’s diagnosis for advice on how to deal with them.