More and more adult kids are coming back home—or never leaving in the first place. If you are in this situation, you are not alone. A recent study says that one-third of young people, or 24 million of those aged 18 to 34, reside with their parents.

Whether your child is contributing his fair share or driving you up the wall with irresponsibility and attitude, you’re bound to have conflict from time to time.

In this two-part series by Debbie Pincus, find out how you can manage your adult children at home effectively and how you’ll know when it’s time for them to leave.

Older children end up at home with their parents for many different reasons. Sometimes they want to get their nest built financially, so they come home to save money and secure their future. Other kids are coming home—or have never left in the first place—because they really can’t make it out there on their own. For one reason or another, they haven’t developed the maturity to launch successfully.

If your child is controlling your house, then you are allowing yourself to be controlled.

If your adult child lives at home with you and has made no move to save up for a place of his own, you’ve probably asked yourself, “Is he planning to stay here forever?”

The truth is, sometimes older kids do get comfortable back home. It takes a lot of pressure off their shoulders because Mom and Dad are there to cook and clean and pay the bills.

So when is it appropriate to ask your child to leave? Should you wait until they get a job or get married? Is there a plan, or are you just moving forward blindly, hoping they’ll get up on their feet and find their way eventually?

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Don’t Over–Function for Your Child

Some adult children are slower to mature than others. Developmentally, they’re just not ready to take care of themselves, so they end up at home. When this happens, many times it’s because the parents have been over-functioning for their kids.

What is over-functioning? Over–functioning means you’re taking responsibility for things he can do for himself, like doing his laundry and cleaning up his messes after he’s had friends over.

There’s an important difference between helping and over–functioning. Helping your older child means doing something for him he can’t do himself, such as driving him somewhere when he has a broken leg. Just know that when you over–function you’re allowing the negative behaviors to continue. The good news is that it’s in your control to change this situation.

Related content: Adult Child Living at Home Driving You Crazy?

What I recommend is to have a plan of action with your child. The message can be, “You’re not here for good. We’re going to help you, but the plan is for you to get on your feet.” Having a plan is important because it will ensure that your child’s stay back home doesn’t drag on forever. (I’ll talk more about how to make a concrete plan in Part 2 of this article series.)

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What happens when there isn’t a plan? Frustration and resentment build when you hear your child says things like, “I’m looking for a job, but I can’t find anything,” but you’ve seen him sleeping late every day and staying out partying at night. This resentment only adds to the stress of living together.

Kids Who Fail to Launch

Ever hear yourself repeatedly make excuses like, “He’s a good kid, he’s just a little lost right now;” or “He’s going through a hard time—if I don’t help him who will?” The truth is, when your kid can’t launch, you are enabling him.

I know that many parents out there have kids who never launch. Perhaps they’ve been living with their parents ever since high school, and now as adults, they control the house. Let me be clear: if your child is controlling your house, then you are allowing yourself to be controlled. And if your kids have never left, it’s because you have allowed them to stay.

I’ve worked with many clients over the years with adult kids living at home. Typically, the more parents feel controlled by their children, the more parents will try to control their children. A power struggle ensues, which is what you don’t want.

When you’re feeling controlled, you have a few choices. You can get “reactive to your child’s reactivity,” and watch things escalate, or you can try to be objective and thoughtful about how you want to handle the situation. Saying things like, “You’ve been here for three years! When are you going to get a job?” is reactive and will result in a battle of will and control. Instead, speak in more direct terms: “What’s your plan for getting a job? Please think about it and let’s talk after dinner tomorrow night.”

Kids with Disabilities

Launching can be a very difficult process for kids with ADD, ADHD or other issues. Some kids need help cooking and taking care of an apartment and doing housework. Nevertheless, the goal is for your child to be as autonomous as possible. And you have to be especially careful not to over-function if your child has a disability.

Many parents of kids with disabilities will over-function as a way to manage their own anxieties. And kids with disabilities may be tempted to use their disability as an excuse not to leave home.

I understand how hard it is to know where to draw these lines as a parent. I think the key is to stop focusing on what’s wrong with your child. Focus on what’s right with your child and many parents find that their kids are very capable despite their disabilities.

Dealing With Anger and Frustration

When your adult child is living in the house with you, you feel imposed upon. And he feels like he’s being treated like a kid. Even under the best circumstances, there can be lots of annoyances when you live together as adults.

Therefore, don’t get caught up in who is right and who is wrong. Instead, take responsibility for your behavior and how you manage your anger and irritation.

It’s normal to lose it from time to time and have a fight. But your children, no matter how old, can be very sensitive to your anger. So try to stay calm when you’re frustrated and, if necessary, walk away and finish the conversation later when you’ve had a chance to calm down.

The way to deal with anger is to use clear “statements of self.” Make yourself clear and put it out there. You’re not attacking your child, rather you’re telling your child directly why their behavior is a problem. You can say to your child:

“When you use the car without asking, I don’t like it.”

“When you make a mess and expect me to clean up after you, I feel like you don’t appreciate being here. That doesn’t work for me.”

Related content: Calm Parenting: How to Get Control When Your Child is Making You Angry

Parental Roles: Manager vs. Consultant

When your child is young, you can think of yourself as a manager. You are involved in his day-to-day life in a very “hands-on” kind of way.

But as your child grows and becomes an adult, you’re more of a consultant. That means you talk to him about what’s going on like a consultant for a business might. Or like an adult acquaintance. Indeed, he is an adult even if he doesn’t yet act the part. So you can be helpful and check in, but you’re not looking to give unsolicited advice. You may say something like the following:

“How are things going? Can I be helpful to you?”

This doesn’t mean that you don’t hold your child accountable. On the contrary, you should define boundaries very clearly and let him know that you intend to stick to them. But you’re also giving him some degree of respect and autonomy. You may say to your child:

“This is what I expect of you living here. This is what belongs to me. Here are the things you are free to use.”

What Are You Ultimately Responsible For?

If your adult child lives at home with you and you’re feeling overwhelmed or out of control, I think you have to ask yourself this question: “What am I ultimately responsible for?

Know that you are not responsible for your child’s choices in life. And if you think you are responsible for his choices then you create a dynamic where your child doesn’t learn to function for himself. So, stop trying to figure out how you can get your child to do something and instead ask yourself “What can I do for myself?”

When you try to control somebody else, no matter what their age, it is simply going to backfire and hurt your relationship. Remember, the only person you can control is yourself.

In Part 2 of “Adult Child Living at Home?” Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC will discuss concrete ways for you to talk with your child about responsibility and their future. She’ll also give you ideas on how to ease them out of your house and onto their own two feet.

Related content:
“Where Did I Go Wrong?” How to Handle Feeling Disappointment with Your Adult Child

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For more than 25 years, Debbie has offered compassionate and effective therapy and coaching, helping individuals, couples and parents to heal themselves and their relationships. Debbie is the creator of the Calm Parent AM & PM™ program and is also the author of numerous books for young people on interpersonal relations.

Comments (141)
  • Shirley
    Our adult daughter lived with us for three years. It was okay at first, but after two years things started going downhill. She started to avoid us by sleeping all day and staying up all night. We barely spoke and I felt like I was walking on egg-shells. We finallyMore put her out of our house, which was the hardest thing I've ever done. She has her own place but wants nothing to do with us. What's so great about parenthood???
  • Kath

    So I have my 20y son,his 20y gf and their 1yo living with me, I also have a 18yo son and a 11yo son living with me. My oldest and his gf cook a couple of times a week and do their own washing and when I ask will stack the dishwasher, the 18yo does nothing unless it helps himself and has tantrums when things don't go his way, the 20yo don't clean up the kitchen after they have made a mess and he also try to act like he is the boss of the house. The 20yo says they are trying to find their own place but I don't feel like they are. The 18yo is hardly at home because of the mess that the 20yo leaves around the house and therefore isn't really looking after his cat that is peeing on everything and scratching the lounges.

    I am so lost at what to do, I have tried telling them to clean their mess up/going crazy at them and they do for a few days but back to normal, the 18yo i have tried to talk to him about his tantrums but nothing changes.

    I am lost and feel like I am back in a relashionship with their dad and have no voice or control.

  • Jazz
    My son turned 20 years old a few months ago. He is very musically talented, writes his own lyrics etc… He went to college for two semesters but from looking at things, he didn’t really try. He was in other friend’s dorm and apartments than his own. I would callMore to see how class was and he would be sleeping , he would say they didn’t have class. He would be at a friend apartment knocked out and I found out he started smoking which I hate. He wouldn’t tell the truth about grades but wasn’t thinking that I had access to the student Dashboard so I decided to look after he told me his grades were good. Oh I lost it because I had already said son, you’re in everyone else’s room but your own. Enjoy joy college life but handle your business. I had to let him know that if he wasn’t going to do the work, why waste money and also I had to do a parent loan for the amount that was left. No sir, this isn’t happening. The thing with my son is that he doesn’t listen when he is told how job rules are and about not calling in during probationary periods and leaving home in enough time to get to work at least 15 minutes til so he won’t be late. Ohhh no, he knows everything (in his head). Then they no longer want him because he was a few minutes late some days, then goes to hang out with friends and text the job (which you shouldn’t do unless that’s how they want to communicate in certain situations) told them he has a headache which he said he had the day before when he went to hang out but it wasn’t bad at that time. They politely told the temp service that they don’t want to keep him. Another thing is that his friends that he seems to be obsessed with work and go to school but he goes and stays days at their school apartment like he is a roommate. He eats at the student center and all. The friend that he is super tight with even had the nerve to tell me that he feels that my son is old enough to make his own decision to a certain degree.(You can imagine how that response went before hanging up the phone). This was after a pallet fell on his leg at work and the doctor told him to stay off of it for a couple of days. The friend wanted him to go to a birthday party with him and my son has always been a follower. Out of all 5 of the friends, that friend should have smoke coming out of his bazooka because he smokes but he is in college and doing the work to be starting junior year (where my son would be if he stayed in) He seems to not care about himself. I helped him get a cash vehicle so he wouldn’t have to try to get rides to work and now he says he has applied to some but he puts those guys before himself. They shower regularly and tend to themselves but he doesn’t half of the time and it’s disappointing to see this. I don’t understand the part where he can be around them and not feel a way because they all are doing something productive and the part about him not being here is great because my sleeping has always been horrible, I sleep very light which is good and not. If I think he is coming home, my mind doesn’t shut down even after I have taken my sleep aide. When I know he is staying with them I go on to sleep and rest good. I may have a day that I vent then I’m good because like some of the articles say “He has to get to a point where he wants better for himself.” No one can do that but him. I don’t worry or anything anymore. I don’t give him money anymore for anything. I guess plasma donations gets him gas in his vehicle. I’m not doing it for him to go back and forth to hang out. I know it sucks that many parents go through this. We definitely want them to be responsible but we can’t enable them. His best bet is to stay on the friend couch or sleep on the other side of a bed. My peace is very important even when it comes to my young adult son. Wishing everyone the best because it can really be a problem if you allow it to be.
  • Susan W
    I have a 19 year old son at home. I do feel like a slave. He’s always hungry so I cook three times a day mostly and am left with all the dishes, laundry, cleaning, food shopping etc. I am so tired after work, but work isMore the easy part, compared to what I do at home. And it’s so boring and repetitive. My life definitely used to be more interesting, haven’t read a book in years. This article actually cheered me up, to hear of others in the same situation, and WORSE, with more than one to tidy up after. AWFUL!!! Then, on the other hand, the lady who would like to have her daughter at home. It’s a tricky one. Oh well, everybody, enjoy the slavery. I’ve got a smile on my face now. I’m off to do the dishes and remove the beer cans from his bedroom. Haha! 😃
  • Martin
    Continued… my wife treats him like a baby, constantly doing things for him. He can’t figure out what happens with the dishwasher and I’m always finding dirty plates and cutlery together with clean dishes before it’s been unloaded. He refuses to drive himself in his car therefore the onus fallsMore upon me. I could refuse to drive him but then World War 3 breaks out with my mollycoddling wife. I cannot break out of this cycle. I either do what I’m told or it changes so it looks like I’m being the problem. I don’t know how much longer I can hold it together.
  • Martin
    My 25 year old stepson rules everything including me and my wife. He is extremely bright and has learned everything HE thinks he needs to know from constantly staying in his room playing computer games and reading the internet. He has no friends, not interested in going out, no girlfriend/boyfriend,More he speaks to American people online and has started saying things like ‘SURE’ instead of ‘Yes please’ and when his mum asks him to bring his rubbish down from his room and she says ‘thanks’ he says You’re Welcome’ as if he’s the one doing a favour.
  • Christina
    My husband died in 2019 when our son was 14. It's been a struggle to say the least. He's now 18 in college and at home to save money. The issue is, he hearsay helps and when he does. It's one and do e, not consistent. He's doing well inMore school and is dating a nice young woman. She stays over often which I have no issue with. The issue is, they use my bathroom for everything when there is another full bath that he can use. We butt heads constantly as he never asks me before doing something within the house. For instance, his GFs car was towed to the mechanic down the road. He decided to basically move her in without even discussing it. I feel disrespected and used.
  • Jenna

    I have a 33 year old Stepson living at home for past 4 years. He guilts his dad about his childhood and manipulates, controls him. I know my husband knows it's wrong having him with us with: No car, No job, but he always enables. Both Father and Son are in denial about enabling.

    I am a vocal woman, they both know how I feel. I've done what I can for myself as far as: anxiety meds, self-help, praying.

    It's going on 3 years for me living with this, his Dad 4 years.

    What do I do now??

    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach

      Thank you for reaching out to Empowering Parents. Your situation is a bit outside our scope. Our focus is on parents of children between the ages of 5 and 25. If you live in the US or Canada, you may find it helpful to contact the National 211 Helpline to see what types of services and supports are available in your area.

      The 211 National Helpline is a referral service available 24 hours a day, nationwide. They can give you information on the types of support services available in your area such as counselors, therapists, support groups/kinship services as well as various other resources. You can reach the Helpline by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto 211.org (211.ca in Canada.)

      We wish you and your family all the best moving forward. Take care.

  • Hope1969
    I have two adult children at home always been a single parent one 27, unemployed with depression and anxiety and youngest who as just finished college and starting full time employment this week I only work 16 hours a week and on low income I suffer through depression and AnxietyMore myself,both my children don’t help around the house am lucky if they wash and dry dishes between them I am financially struggling at the moment now certain benefits have stopped because off my youngest finishing full time education and I have more money going out on bills then coming in both the lads pay board money but I really don’t now how much they should be paying as it definitely dose not cover my essential bills I would get more help if they both had there own place but I don’t want to say that to them as I believe you have children for life I know I have done to much for them as I felt guilty not having a lot off money but I feel unappreciated from them they don’t understand how I feel and when I get angry they say mum off on one again people say it’s to late to change things as they are adults and I have done to much for them.
  • Spread thin
    My disabled Veteran son of 37 has been living with us for 10 years. He has physical issues as well as having schezoaffect disorder. Luckily, I recently retired, however my husband has a couple more years to do so and works irregular and 50 hours a week. IMore also have his 13cyear old daughter for the summer according to their divorce agreement. So, along with my regular duties, they have become my responsibility. For the most part, they're pretty good, but really don't help out. I feel as though the lion's share has been placed on me and can't help but be resentful and feel like a slave. I've tried to get assistance from Social security, but it's difficult contacting them and get the run around. Our Veteran's Center hasn't been any help, as well as DAV. Essentially, they are worthless. My son can't live on his own, however we toyed with the possibility of renting and getting a care giver intermittently. There aren't any rentals, even with other agency's assistance and section 8 is a 3 year waiting game. He also resists going to a group home. He gets along fine, it's just that I really wish I could get a break once in a while. Dealing with someone with severe mental illness is tasking and sometimes I despair, as these should be my golden years, doing what I want and enjoying life. Most days I'm completely warn out and spread very thin. I've spoken to my husband about this, but he works extremely hard and figures I can handle it. I have endured much in the past and people expect I will just tough it out. I don't think they realize how low that gas tank is. I've slowed down some and not sure how much longer I can keep going this way.
  • Going crazy
    My boyfriend of 21 years asked if his 29 year old daughter and her 3 toddlers 2 and 3 could move in and I reluctantly said yes. We rent a 2 bedroom house and they are not allowed here. They have only been here a week. Her 2 year oldMore twins do nothing but scream and cry all day. They don't have a bed time and they tear everything up. I am a stay at home mom of a 14 year old because he is in virtual school. Nothing is working on their behavior. It is giving me panic attacks and my boyfriend's is angry at me because he told me to tell him the things that are happening so I have been. He has now told them to leave and is blaming me. He is very OCD about the house and expects me to keep up with what her kids are doing. This has not been good for our relationship. What should I do?
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach

      Welcome to Empowering Parents. I can understand your distress. This is a bit outside the scope of what we are able to offer coaching or advice on. I encourage you to see what types of local supports may be available to help you and your family. If you live in the US/Canada, you could contact the 211 National Helpline, a referral service available 24 hours a day, nationwide. They can give you information on the types of support services available in your area such as counselors, therapists, support groups/kinship services as well as various other resources. You can reach the Helpline by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto 211.org.

      We appreciate you reaching out. Take care.

  • Rose
    My 40 year old son has been living with us for the past 7 years. He is divorced and was addicted to heroin. He has been on Methodone for several years. He has a job and makes decent money ($22. an hour). He is paying forMore his car and insurance. We live in NJ and apartments here are very expensive. You can't even get a studio for less than $1300.00. I want him out but I don't see that happening because he can't afford to get out. How do I cope?
  • divorceddtrathome
    My divorced daughter came to live with after her divorce because even with a minimum wage paying job there is no way she can afford to pay rent, much more buy food. I can afford to have her at home but I feel challenged all the time especially when sheMore seems to act like she is entitled, and I am a worrier, I feel like it is affecting my health. All that she can do for me is cook my food if I am not feeling well or in pain. She seems mad at the world and dumps it on me. Any suggestions?
  • At My Wit's End

    I have a 28 year old son who is a college graduate...finally. He changed his major so many times that he's lucky he got to graduate with an "Individual Studies" degree. Since he's been going to school forever, we felt that for him to get any kind of degree would have at least made it worth all the money invested. We paid for his school.

    He now has a job that doesn't pay well, but it full time with health benefits. He hates it and wants to just quit because "it is effecting his relationship with his girlfriend." Unfortunately, we have spoiled him.

    To help him get on his feet, we are paying his car lease, insurance and phone. To help him out, I did his laundry and made his lunch. My husband has repeatedly asked him for some money to help with payments, but he has a fit and says he doesn't make enough money.

    As I said above, he wants to quit this full time job and look for another. He has been looking but nothing has really materialized. Now my husband and I are at odds with each other because I want him to know that he can't just quit and expect us to continue to help him. If he quits, he has no health insurance which is my biggest concern, not to mention him sitting around "looking for another job." He is a slob and doesn't help out at home at all.

    I know that we have enabled him, but how do you force your kid to make payments at least? How can we force him not to quit his job until he has another?

  • M.Lee

    My 22 year old daughter is graduating from college next month. Instead of going straight to grad school, she is leaving the job she had at school (her choice to work, not ours), moving back into our home until she finds a job and eventually get an apartment with her boyfriend who is also graduating next month and from our home town (they have been together almost 4 years). He's worked to put himself through school while living with his parents (no financial support from them) and he is now 25 years old. He's a nice young man and treats my daughter very well. He plans to continue his education and work while she has a "gap year".

    A year ago, we discovered - after her dad and I made clear we didn't approve - she had driven home to spend the night with her boyfriend at his parent's home. We had warned her if she did, we refused to financially enable her to do something we disagreed and she would start paying for her own car, car insurance and gas. Needless to say, it was a major family blow up. Also, she's made no secret her boyfriend has driven to her school many, many times over the past 3 1/2 years and spent the weekend. We don't really like it and she knows it, but we just overlook it, although sometimes it feels like she flaunts it to our face by repeatedly mentioning it.

    We would prefer they not move in together but if she is on her own, it's her decision. The problem: We're still uncomfortable with the idea of her spending the night with her boyfriend at his parents house or "accidentally" falling asleep over there until 3:00 am (which has happened several times). We know we need to address this issue before she moves home.

    I've told her many times, once she moves out and is financially independent (aka has a job and lives out from under our roof) she can do whatever she wants. She's a good daughter (graduating with double major with a 3.9 GPA, is a hard worker, doesn't do drugs, etc.) But we know this is going to come up when she moves back home. I've told her if I could make myself "not care" about this, I would but I can't. Is it asking too much (I'm asking this sincerely) that while she's living with us, can she just abide by this "request" for the sake of keeping the peace? FYI: we also have a 19-year old son living at home while he goes to school and works, so our actions/discord effects him too. And it does effect him greatly: he's very close to his sister but totally understands our expectations. He's really caught in the middle. Also, if he had a girlfriend, we would feel the same way: it's disrespectful of her and her parents. Please advise.

  • Windy
    I havent read your whole article, so dont get mad, but the title really grabbed my attention. You see, I am heartbroken for the opposite reason. I would love it if my first born, now 21 year old daughter, was living with me. Instead ,she is outMore there making choices and decisions for her life that I dont agree with and even fear for her safety about. So, be happy that your adult child wants to live with you, that you actually do have the space f8r them where you live. Its a gift, really.
  • labbydog
    I have the opposite problem of most here. Son is college graduate, age 23, working good job for the last 6 months, has 20 minute commute to work from our house. He helps with dinner, does his own laundry, and is respectful. DH and I are moving to retirement communityMore in about 6 months. Son will live in this house for a little while (he pays rent monthly), as we are not selling it immediately. There will be a lot of going back and forth between here and our retirement home (same coast, different state, a plane ride away)the first few months. I worry about what son will do socially living in a suburban town/neighborhood, but he says he likes living in this town (where he grew up). He has one friend from college (who has an apartment) that he sees regularly, but I worry that he will be really lonely here by himself. Everyone has told me I have to let him find his own way, that I can't do it for him. I know this is true, but I can't help having a lot of anxiety about the move. He is a responsible and good kid, and I can't help feeling like I am abandoning him. DH feels less this way. How can I stop the worrying?
  • Janet L

    I was married a little over two years ago to my husband who has 2 daughters. I waited until his girls were over 18 and on their own to marry him. In spite of this, I insisted upon a bedroom available for when his girls visited or in case one of them ever needed a place to stay. Almost one year ago, his 21-year-old daughter moved in with us very suddenly after an abusive encounter with her live-in boyfriend. We provided her a safe place to stay to get her out of the potentially dangerous situation she was in. The huge problem is we did not have the opportunity to set rules and boundaries before she moved in. She has been lazy, disrespectful, and unwilling to do chores on a regular basis. She came with 2 cats that she acquired when living on her own, and, with the exception of feeding them on most days, she does almost nothing to care for or clean up after her cats.

    The largest problem is that I am her new step-mother, have never lived with her prior to this, and her father has been involved but has not lived with her full-time since she was 8 years old. This is constantly used as an excuse to guilt her father into letting her get away with not doing things around the house. We have asked for very basic chores, keeping her room clean, taking care of her cats, and cleaning up after them and herself. She will do the chores only when reminded and then holds it against both of us if she doesn't get the proper praise for doing them.

    My question is we want to give her a contract that outlines what we expect of her along with a time frame for moving out (she does now have a full-time job) but how can I be assured that my husband will stick to it and not let her guilt him into going against what he knows, and admits, is the right thing to do?

  • Frustrated Step
    I have a 21 year old step-daughter that moved back in with us after a recent breakup. Her room is OUT OF CONTROL, she doesn't help with anything around the house. I took over her laundry because I don't want my new washer & dryer ruined by herMore overloading it or the massive amounts of bobby pins I have found in it. She does attend school full time and has a job she works on the weekends. She does not pay a dime to live with us either. It's starting to wear on me badly. How do you deal with an adult living in your home like this?
  • nonosays

    Good advice here, but my adult kids don't respect my boundaries, and my husband just hides. So I feel angry, worried and hopeless quite often. I really hate this cycle, so I just withdraw.

    I feel like if I just didn't notice my daughter's mess and my son's sleeping all day, everyone would be fine.

  • Darla
    My 19 yo son still lives at home. He tried two semesters of community college and decided it wasn’t for him, which is completely ok with us! Currently he’s “living life to the fullest, one day at a time.” We allow him to make his own choices. He has aMore curfew and has to mow the yard. He pays for his own stuff; gas, entertainment, cell phone, insurance. We let him know since he is not continuing his education that it is not free to live at home, so we started charging rent. He isn’t paying! So we said ok, late fee, but he just said ok and still isn’t paying. He got a job that’s commission based so he does not have regular paychecks. We are trying hard to make him understand adult life! My question is, what do I do now? I don’t know what kind of consequence to have. Do I evict my young adult? I must also add that he is in debt to us and we told him he couldn’t move out until the debt was paid. For a while he was paying it back and now it’s been months since he made a payment! He tries to blame his father and I for his issues, but of course I know when he’s older he will realize we aren’t the issue. He no longer goes to church. He follows our house rules, doesn’t do drugs, etc. so I know it could be worse. I feel like I’m failing as a parent! Need some advice!
  • Billybob

    My GF is 58. Her 40 YO daughter plays mom against dad, moves between two housholds regularly (to "who loves me" more). Currently living with mom (for now). She ?refuses? to allow me to come to mom's house. (she has no food, she only alows tofu as the only source of protein; no meat/chicken/fish. daughter watches Netflix 5 hrs/day on the only sofa. Gets crowded. She attends theme parks 4x/mo with LGBTQ boyfriend. That's the only person she approves of in?her? house. She comes to my house 50 wknds/yr. I'm going up this weekend...we'll see......I'm wearing a flack jacket just in case she exerces "stand your ground" [just by me being there].

    I can't tell if mom is landlord? hostage? or inmate.

  • Concerned.sibling
    I saw that some of these comments were getting answers so here's mine. I have a younger sister who is 19. She's a smart girl with a college degree but has never worked or even got her license.The closest thing she has had to a job is volunteering at ourMore church on Sunday. I can see my parents are getting steadily more upset about this and have broached the topic numerous times with no good results. My sister breaks down in tears or runs away and hides. I'm not sure what is causing her to be so afraid of work or getting her license or being uncomfortable in general. My parents have to walk on eggshells so as not to offend her. They want the best for her and have even stopped giving her money for the most part as a motivator. She has said she is opening up to the possibility of moving forward towards becoming independent, but I have heard her say that since she was 16. I'm worried she is just giving my parents false hope so that they will continue to care for her in fear of what might happen if they make her leave the nest. She doesn't really have any friends and depends on my parents greatly. She's been taught how to do her taxes, cook, and anything else you would need to live on your own successfully. But from what's she's told me, she doesn't want to work anywhere unless it's the perfect job for her. She's very lost and happy to be that way as long as no one forces her to look at a map and take a direction. How can I and my family motivate her while still showing that we love her and we are not abandoning her?
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      Thank you for writing in with your concerns. Our focus is on helping people who are in a direct parenting role develop more effective ways of addressing their child's acting out or defiant behaviors. We are not able to give advice or coaching to people outside of that role.We appreciateMore you writing in and wish you the best of luck moving forward. Take care.
  • Katina
    My daughter is 27 and just moved back home with a pitbull and a baby. She's slow and lazy and does not keep house well at all. I, on the other hand, like everything in its place. How do I get her motivated to do her chores andMore help out around the house without making her mad?
  • Kenny P
    Wow - I stumbled upon this article because of a disagreement with my coworker. My coworker is 51 and all three of her adult children still live at home. None of them have plans of leaving. She told me that it's too expensive for her children toMore live on their own. I respectfully disagree. We live in Pittsburgh, PA. I'm originally from Los Angeles. When I moved to Pittsburgh I couldn't believe how reasonable the cost of living was in Pittsburgh compared to Los Angeles. To put it simply - two roommates living together making minimum wage can make it in Pittsburgh. I left home at 18 I never moved back. This was due to pride and the knowledge that my mother did her job raising me to become a man. I put myself through college and worked two jobs when necessary. I married at 21. Our daughter is 13. We've already planted seeds and laid out expectations for life after high school. There are two choices after high school: allow us to pay for college and work part time while living at home or begin making preparations to be out of the house by 21. I personally believe that we do our children a disservice when we allow them to seeming stay home forever with no plan. I am not without a heart. If my daughter leaves home and needs to return our house will be open. However, the same rules will be in effect that were in effect when she was 16 (clean up after yourself, go to church on Sunday, dinner with the family, no drinking or smoking, be a respectful, curfew, whereabouts accounted for etc.). I know this is a lot for an adult but my house my rules. Under no circumstances will we allow a boyfriend to reside under our roof. A common theme I'm seeing is that a boyfriend or girlfriend only exacerbates the issue. Years ago a nephew lived with our family. At 18 he decided to drop out of school and exhibited very little interest in finding a job. He slept until noon, ate, and left the house around 5pm (right about the time I came home from work). He returned home around 2 - 3am high and or drunk (claiming that he was out looking for a job). One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was kick my nephew out of the house. He is 26 now. The only thing that has changed is now he has 2 children. He is still rarely employed and gets high/drunk on a regular basis. The consequences of my nephew being allowed to stay would have been horrible. Our impressionable daughter would have seen her cousin willfully defy her parents. Our daughter might have modeled her cousins poor behavior etc. We still love our nephew and talk to him weekly. To sum this up I know that there are life changing events that may cause a child to return home. If this occurs there has to be reasonable boundaries and expectations placed on the child. In the future if our daughter has to return I home I do not want her to feel so comfortable as to never want to leave. I know in my heart that my wife and I are doing our very best to raise our daughter. In the future we will not entertain any discussion from our daughter that would lead to guilt or rationalization of bad behavior on her behalf.
  • Sam

    So I have my 32 y/o so and his family, living in the guest house and will not take responsibility to pay bills. Every month it's a different excuse, when it comes time to pay the bills. We only charge him $600 a month, which includes the guest house, full kitchen, walk-in closet, cable TV, free WI-FI gas, electric and water utilities and they also have access to the laundry room, which we're lucky if they even buy laundry detergent. When they run short of food, they make their way to mom and dad's side of the house to help themselves to free grocery shopping. As of today, they have moved in my daughter in laws three nephews for a two week visit (guessing we'll be providing fit them as well.

    What do I do to get them to take in some responsibility??

    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      I hear you. It can be so frustrating when you try to help your adult child, yet he seems to act entitled to this assistance. Something to keep in mind is that people generally don’t change unless they are uncomfortable with the way things are going. BasedMore on your description, it sounds like the current arrangement is working pretty well from your son’s perspective. While you cannot make your son behave more responsibly, you can make him uncomfortable with his current choices. As James Lehman writes in Rules, Boundaries and Older Children Part I, it can be useful to think of your adult child as a tenant or a houseguest when you are determining rules and consequences. How would you respond if it were someone other than your son and his family living in your guest house and acting this way? Your son should be held to the same standard. I recognize how challenging this must be for you, and I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going. Take care.
  • Gayle
    Right now I am asking my 24 yr old who has an ok job to pay 100 rent. We have to remind him to give it to us plus other money he owes up. Still wAiting Plus he isn't good about cleaning up after himself. On his days off heMore mostly sleeps has some anxiety/depressive issues but he goes to work every day he is supposed to. I'm so frustrated with his behavior I can't stand his room The only other positive thing he does is takes our dogs to the park and occasionally will help the tiniest bit with dinner
  • milk
    toilenn -low self esteem from childhood can be rebuilt, why should you mom give you three weeks of childcare- stand on your own two feet
  • Darryl J
    I have a 31 year old niece who will no leave the nest my sister and brother in law are enabling her. Plus she has 2 young daughters who are staying with my sister and brother in law. It is a frustrating situation for myself to watchMore but I cannot say anything. They live in Louisiana and I live in El Paso Texas. I feel like saying something but I will be viewed as an outsider who is butting into family business that is not my business.
  • angel
    liking articles so far
  • fred v.
    I have a stepdaughter ive helped raise since she was in 3rd grade also her older brother and sister and I love them weve gone through some tough times but the one I'm speaking about she is married now has 3 kids and another on the way they lost thereMore home they needed help I told my wife their mother ok for 2 to 3 mos. its going on a year and I want my life and my home back and they do not pay enough for what they have here and its getting to where I get angry and speak out loud that they need to go but this is my wives baby (25 yrs old mind you) and she will not confront them for any reason and its destroying my marriage I do not want to lose my marriage I love my wife but feel like I am nobody here we both work hard and we both are buying our home (2 yrs ago) with my V.A. any help would be appreciated. thank you. (FRED)
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      I hear you. Living with adult children and grandchildren can be challenging enough, and it can be even more stressful when you do not feel supported by your spouse. At this point, it could be useful to talk with your wife during a calm time, and tryMore to find some common ground in your expectations for your stepdaughter moving forward. Sometimes, if you are having a hard time coming to an agreement, it can be useful to work with a neutral third party, such as a marriage/family therapist, who can look at your options and help you make a plan moving forward. If this is something you might be interested in, try contacting the 211 Helpline at 1-800-273-6222. 211 is a service which helps to connect people with resources available in their community. I recognize how difficult this must be for you right now, and I hope you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • curtinbarb

    I've been reading through the various scenarios, looking for

    one similar to my own, but without good success.  So here's my story.

    Our youngest daughter (30 years old) attended just a little

    over one year of college after graduating from high school.  Since then she's been in and out of a few

    relationships, the most recent of which lasted for over five year.  Approximately six months ago she asked if she

    could come home while they took a month's trial separation.  Ultimately the decision was to end the relationship.

    Her ex continued to pay for everything for her up until the

    end of 2016.  In November we made her an

    offer that starting in January, out of a savings account we had designated for

    her further education or possible wedding, we would pay for her car insurance,

    health insurance, and give her a little spending money IF she fulfilled a set

    of goals (look for and get a job, find car and health ins., look for ways to

    reduce her expenses, go to counseling, be transparent about her finances).  Since then she has done nothing.  And we recently found out that she owes her

    sister almost $600.

    When we try to talk to her about it, she either says she

    "will" or just gets angry. We

    would like to tell her she is no longer welcome in our home, but we have sincere

    worries about what would happen to her since she has no money or friends in a

    position to take her in.  It doesn't seem

    to me that we are asking anything unreasonable from her, and I do not

    understand why she just sits in her room all day and waits to be called to


    We also have a 34-year-old daughter who has always lived at

    home.  She pays room & board and

    helps around the house.  Needless to say,

    she is becoming resentful that her younger sister seems to get all of the same

    benefits w/o lifting a finger or paying a cent.

    I think I feel hurt as much as anything, because I would

    think just from a sense of gratitude, she would at least be helpful around the

    house -- especially since she has nothing else to do.

    Where is the instruction manual?

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      curtinbarb I hear your hurt and frustration with your younger daughter’s behavior, and I’m glad that you’re here reaching out for support.  I recognize that you are hesitant about telling her to leave, yet she also has not followed through on meeting her responsibilities according to the agreement you made.More  In the end, it’s a decision only you can make according to your values and boundaries, as well as what you are willing to enforce.  As a minimum, I encourage you to follow through on enforcing the agreement you made with her, and not pay for her insurance or give her spending money.  If you choose to tell her to leave, I recommend setting a moving date and sticking with it, no matter what happens.  I recognize what a tough choice this must be for you, and I hope that you will check back and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.
      • Help to keep my marriage

        What if you are the stepmom just got married in September 2nd marriage.

        Son is 32 and the girlfriend moved in without anyones permission.

        After renovating house and son and girlfriend live rentfree all basics provided. Keeps saying he will graduate, 4 AAs later and switches major last spring.

        They arent used to cleaning up so me moving in and asking them to clean up their dishes or wipe down counters,or clear up area where the 5 yo left food is so much for them. Their only 2 required chores are to bring recycle out once a,week and trash once a week.

        She the GF started emailing my husband to get him on our side. Multiple emails later a family meeting all of us are good except her.

        She feels entitled to live here after more rude emails.

        We have told the don she can stay ovrr 3 nights a week. They feel she should be able to live here because they want to be a family.

        I feel once they have full time jobs and can pay for the roof over their head they can does t mean we have to allow it.

        She is fake, passive aggressive and manipulative.

        Help! Love my husband but he doesnt see how his son thinks everything is about him.

        • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
          Help to keep my marriage Being a stepparent can be challenging at times even under the best of circumstances, and it can be even more difficult if you do not feel as though you and your spouse agree on house rules and boundaries.  At this point, it’s going to beMore important to talk with your husband during a calm time about his son and his son’s girlfriend, and https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/my-blended-family-wont-blend-help-part-i-how-you-and-your-spouse-can-get-on-the-same-page/ on expectations for how much she can stay at your house.  Once you have done that, I also recommend https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ which outlines your expectations for their behavior while they are in your house.  I recognize what a tough situation this must be for you and your marriage, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • ReadytoRun
    I have a 20 year old and a 19 year old. Both graduated HS. Both went on to college. The oldest is still attending while he also works and the youngest left school to take a good job. I try very hard not to interfere in their lives asMore they are adults. I expect them to let me know if they are going to be extremely late coming in. I've recently said I will no longer do their laundry and asked that they split the power bill. I do all the cleaning, pay all the other bills, buy groceries, and cook. I also take care of any of the other things that come up on a day to day basis. I have one other child who is 14. Being a single mom to these guys is wonderful but sometimes I need help! Today my 19yo was complaining about the groceries I buy. I have very little money for groceries so I buy what I can afford and what will allow me to "stretch a dollar." Anyway since he was complaining I told him he and his brother could both help with grocery money and then I could buy better/more. He said he would buy food if no one else would eat it but since he would have to share he would keep his money. What do I do? My first thought was that I didn't want to share the food I buy either if that's how he was going to be! Realistically, no I can't stop cooking. So what do I say/do to make him see this is not ok? They know how hard I work and how hard I still have to struggle to make sure they have what they need. I don't feel like I should ever have to ask them for help. They should be offering.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      ReadytoRun I hear your frustration with your older sons, and I’m glad that you are here reaching out for support.  It’s not uncommon for young adults to want all the freedom and independence which comes along with adulthood, yet avoid taking responsibility and still want to be taken care of.More  It’s also pretty normal for most young adults to be self-centered and think only of themselves.  In the end, you cannot “make” your sons see this situation from your perspective, or to have more empathy for you.  You can only control yourself and your own actions.  It sounds like you told your son that if he wants different groceries, he’s welcome to contribute, and you do have an option to only cook for yourself and your youngest son if that’s a limit you are willing to enforce.  Another option might be to charge your adult sons “rent” or a stipend for room and board, which you can use to help pay bills or buy groceries.  You might also find it useful to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ with each of your sons, which outlines your expectations moving forward.  I recognize how challenging this must be for you.  I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
    life is on fire We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and sharing your story. I hear how much you are struggling right now with living with your mom.  Because we are a website aimed at helping people become more effective parents, we are limited in the advice andMore suggestions we can give to those outside of a direct parenting role. It may be helpful to look into local resources to help you develop a plan for addressing your particular issues. The http://www.211.ca is a referral service available 24 hours a day. They can give you information on the types of support services available in your area such as counselors, support groups, housing services as well as various other resources. You can reach the Helpline by calling 1-800-836-3238 or by logging onto their website. We wish you the best going forward. Take care.
  • flowers in the attic
    Hello, I have a 19 year old daughter, who at one time was on the road to greatness; until she found a lost ball (looser) out there in the world, to call her own. To add insult to injury, he introduced her to weed and sex and who knows what other drugs.More Now I have a disrespectful, daily drug using, rebellious young adult on my hands. She works jobs, that do NOT require a drug test, mostly from Craig's list. I am a flight attendant for a major airline and also a surgical tech, she sees me working hard but has no plans to be consistence in anything she does. She gets a job for a couple of months and then something happens to it, leaves it or gets fired. I am ready to kick her out, the stress of this situation is taking a toll on my health. I'll take any advice...
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      flowers in the attic I hear how much these current circumstances with your daughter are affecting you, and I’m glad that you are here reaching out for support.  Because your daughter is an adult, she has the right to make her own choices, even those that you disagree with orMore do not support.  In the end, you cannot “make” her stop using drugs, stop seeing her boyfriend, or find steady full-time employment; those are decisions which only your daughter can make for herself.  This doesn’t mean that you are powerless, however.  Because your daughter is an adult, anything you choose to provide to her at this point is considered a privilege, not a right.  This includes having a place to live as well as any other type of support you are giving her.  Ultimately, the choice of whether to tell your daughter to leave or allow her to stay is going to be yours.  If you decide to allow her to stay, I strongly encourage you to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/with her which outlines your expectations in areas such as employment and drug use in your home, as well as how she will be held accountable if she is not following the rules.  I recognize how difficult this must be for you right now, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • punkinpie63

    my 33 year old daughter and my 3 granddaughter moved in 3 months ago . my daughter left a 14 year abusive partner . at first i o er functioned for the kids but my daughter is akways on the phone. finally told her she had to help . now my apt is a mess cause she wont pi k up clothes. i wash her dishes if i lea e for a few days cause she will keep rhem piled up and stinking . if i mention anything aboutit she tells the kids i dont love them or want them there. i had to make appointments for her gyno and psychiatrist. i am diagnosed bipolar depressed and i got out of hospital for

    this a week before she moved in . i k ow she has depression also but i dont know where to draw the line. we jist stay mad at each other HELP Im reAlly concerned about my grandkids

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      punkinpie63 I hear you.  It can be so difficult when you want to try to help your adult child, yet she responds by not helping out and starting arguments with you.  We also hear from many parents who are hesitant to set limits with an adult child out of concernMore for their grandchildren, so you are not alone in this situation.  At this point, it might be helpful to think about what you are willing to live with, and what https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/rules-boundaries-and-older-children-part-i/ with your daughter.  Once you have had a chance to think this over, it can be useful to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ which outlines these boundaries with your daughter.  I recognize how challenging this must be for you right now, and I wish you and your family all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • Desprate nana
    Im 48 years old and my 23 year old daughter has never left our nest she has 2 great children ages 1 and 4 Iv been taking care of my grand babies since birth my daughter has her second childs father living here and pays rent but they dont helpMore us at all my husband is ill and cant do a lot of things and they just dont care I dont want them to move out and take the children because they dont take care of them I have been there mommy since birth mainly my grandson whos 4 he wont even go to them for anything its always nana or papa.Im so drained and depressed any more I cook,clean,take care of the kids and dont get a thank you or anything.Dont get me wrong I love doing for the babies but why should they continue to live here just go and leave the little ones they dont want them anyways.Every day is a fight with my daughter and she makes all the dissension for her boyfriend if she says not to help me he wont in fear of a fight so we all end up in a fight because they wont help out all I ask from them is to take out the trash and clean up there messes and the kids messes but no its me every waking moment.What can I do? With no grandparent rights here in North Carolina im stuck and I dont want to lose my grandbabies to a life of hell I wish I could tell you all my stories but this is what I have for now...Thanks for lissening
    • Cheryljean
      I'm going through the same problem with my 30 year old daughter. She has moved in more than once over the course of two divorces and three children. She has a great job and children are in school. She doesn't clean anything and doesn't understand why IMore get upset. She says we just have difference standards. I would love for her to leave, but fear that her children will be neglected since she doesnt treat them very nice now. I really need some advice. She didn't pay any rent, childcare, but pays electric with a pity party. What would you do? Cheryl
      • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
        Cheryljean I’m sorry to hear about the issues you’re facing with your daughter, and how much you would worry about your grandchildren if you were to ask her to leave.  Many parents end up tolerating more disrespect from their adult child due to concerns over the well-being of their grandchildrenMore than they would otherwise, so you are not alone.  In the end, the choice of whether to tell her to leave or not is going to be yours.  If you decide to allow her to stay, it might be useful to determine what your boundaries are, and what you are willing to enforce with your daughter.  You might also find it useful to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ which outlines these rules and expectations.  I recognize that this is not an easy situation, and I wish you and your family all the best moving forward. Take care.
  • enestwo
    Why should I, or any other working adult, have to adjust to anything? Why should I have to be careful to not hurt this cupcake's feelings? My 18 year old stepson has NO plans after graduating from HS in May of 2017. He only dreams. We've spoken to him, sentMore him to counseling, and had friends join in the conversation. NADA. He only talks about doing stuff. So, after all of these interventions, I just came out and told him that he is 18, has no plans, and I WILL NOT allow him to suck me dry in my older years. I gave him 90 days after graduation to get out. Neither he or his mom work. That makes me the ONLY breadwinner. I'm 60 and I've been working since I was 14. At graduation, I will immediately terminate his cell phone and restrict his internet usage to his laptop only, meaning that I will disable his cell, PS3, desktop, and XBOX. 30 Days after graduation I remove his bedroom door. 60 days after graduation I cut the lights off in his room and cut off his laptop from my internet. At 90 days I change the locks when he goes out to play. If his mom doesn't like it, she can go with him. I didn't work my entire freaking life so I can pay for some lazy ass snowflake to live work-free as a moocher. He's lived with us since he was 11 years old. I gave him everything he needed to be successful and offered him anything else he needed. I paid for educational field trips for him, took him on educational vacations, paid for him to join various clubs. Hell, I even paid for professional driving lessons that led to nowhere because driving scares him. All in an effort that would allow him to experience life. This ungrateful millennial is going to learn the hard way how to be an adult. In other words: Suck it up buttercup, I owe you NOTHING!
    • Darryl J
      You go head I like this if only this would have been done to my niece who will be 31 years old this year living with my sister and brother in law. With her 2 kids. I feel she should boot my niece out and keep the kids.More My niece is lazy only works mick jobs and has not intentions of getting her G.E.D. I feel like my sister is enabling her. I wonder what is going to happen to my niece and her kids if something happens to my brother in law and sister. My sister does not work and has not worked in 10 years are so due to my nephew my niece's younger brother who has autism. So, my sister has been a stay at home mom. I feel like my brother in law is being used by niece and is using the fact the she is 2 young children and has no place to live as a excuse to us her parents. My brother in law is not her biological father. I have a middle nephew is soon to be 26 going on 27 her younger brother who has a 4 or 5 year old son and he and his girlfriend soon to be wife are both working and living in their own apartment and raising their son. What is my niece's problem who by the way is the oldest child. My baby nephew has autism who will soon be 20 years old and graduating from high school. My sister and brother in law are making provisions for him to be independent and live on his on with a disability like autism. What is the issue with my niece who has no disability but is lazy and uneducated. My middle nephew who is 27 graduated from high school in 2008 and left home to live with his girlfriend and has not moved back home but has asked in past for some financial assistance and ride to from work every now and then but that is it. This so frustrating. Any help for my sister and brother in law.
    • Julie Frontera
      Enestwo I read your comment and was so struck by the anger you have towards your stepson, it's really shocking and quite clear why there's not much of a relationship. What a demoralizing way to speak about a young adult, let alone someone who's the son of your wife. MaybeMore he's no picnic but those words speak volumes about you more than him. I wish him good fortune in the challenges ahead, I'm sure he'll figure it out. There's no way a teen would choose to stay in the environment for long, so you'll get your wish.
    • Lisa Theriot
      That was amazing! My adult kids are driving ! Good for you; I gave both my son's 90 days and that's it! Enough is enough!
    • JoAnnHall
      Wow you can tell you definitely don't consider this18 yr.old as ur son.have you had a loving,fatherly man to man talk with him?or spent time alone with him.something that doesn't cost a penny?good luck to him.
  • toilenn

    Some of these parents are controlling, physically, verbally and

    emotionally abusive, manipulative, that is why the adult child is living

    at home -because they've been mentally broken since childhood. I

    returned to my parent's home after 20 years living independently.  My

    car was totaled in an accident and without transportation I lost my job,

    so with my infant child, my narcissist 'mother' suggested that I could

    come live with her and use her spare car to start over, get a job,

    etc...I move 2600 miles to her house and a week later she sells her

    spare car!  So, now I'm trapped at her house with no way to leave. She

    lured me to her house just to have control over me and my child and she

    lords over the house as if I owe her while she's made my life a living

    hell. I received two separate job offers, but realized that I

    wouldn't be able to work because she refused to front me the money for 3

    weeks of childcare(which I would pay back with my first check) even

    though she and brother said they would. She didn't want me to have

    independence. She wanted to keep me trapped and isolated, so she could

    have access to my son. She treated me like a nanny to my own child. She

    wouldn't let me drive her car, so I had to ask her for rides and she

    would decide if I "deserved" to go anywhere.  It's been almost 4 years

    and I've finally saved enough money to get the h3ll out of here, by

    doing work online. This is a warning to anyone that has ever been the

    family scapegoat: never return to your parent's home; there is nothing

    good for you there. Have enough faith in yourself to tough it out on

    your own.

    • S.
      I don't think this article is aimed at your kind of situation. An adult child living at home leeching off their parents while not doing what they need to do to the best of their abilities to get on their feet is very different from a situation like yours whereMore it is a matter of control, manipulation, abuse, etc. on the part of the parents while the adult child is desperately trying to break away. This article is talking only about the former, when the son or daughter is still in the nest for no legit reason, not cases where he/she cannot move out due to extenuating circumstances. Sorry about your situation, though. I hope you can find a way out soon.
  • Garth5
    I have a situation I need help with.. have a 19 year old son that has not worked for over 4 months (due to being fired for lying) He constantly lies about everything and steals money from Mom purse all the time. Leaves dirty dishes lying around and his roomMore is a mess. Laundry is never done like we ask.. I have tried reasoning and calmly telling him its time to start pulling your weight around the house etc. but always falls on deaf ears. I know he is hanging around the wrong crowd and is having issues with Alcohol and drugs. Every time we confront him on this he becomes defensive and gets angry. He has punched a hole in the wall twice so he has anger issues. We have been telling him we have no problem helping him get a job and helping him get on his feet so he can get independent but to no avail. He has not even attempted to gain employment. We are so stressed and worried about all of this its making life miserable. I tried a little agreement and kicked him out once for a brief time (couple hours) he came back and apologized.. so I guess I am to blame for not putting my foot down .. I just don't know where to go from here..
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Garth5 We hear from many parents who are struggling with their young adult children, so you are not alone.  Something to keep in mind is that since your son is an adult, anything you choose to provide to him is considered a privilege.  This includes having a place to live.More  While this doesn’t mean that you have to tell him to leave, it might be useful to think about rules which your son will need to follow in order to maintain his privileges.  I encourage you to be as specific as possible with your expectations, such as “You need to fill out 3 applications each day by 5PM” instead of “You need to find a job”.  Once you have determined what your boundaries are, I encourage you to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/  I recognize how difficult this can be, and I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going with your family.  Take care.
      • Garth5
        RebeccaW_ParentalSupport Garth5  thanks for the insight.. I have been praying over this for a long time and I think this is the approach to try.. I know kids these days think they are owed things, its much different than in the past. Again thanks I will give this a try andMore hopefully things will turn around.
  • boomerang mom
    Our daughter who is now 33 1/2 years old came back to live with us in our walkout finished basement that has a separate bedroom, living room, kitchen and bathroom with a separate entrance and she uses the laundry gratis.  For the first year we charged her nothing as sheMore had a protection from abuse order from her husband (she got the divorce).  She whines that she knows people that don't have to pay anything to their parents for living at home.  We had her paid nothing for the first year to get back on her feet, then she had to pay $50 a week the next year, $75 a week the third year, $!00 a week the fourth, fifth and six year.  She tells us that her therapist tells her that paying $125 a week is too much and that she doesn't even charge her daughter that. I don't think that is too much.  About $500 a month is not a lot when you basically have an apartment to yourself.  Does anyone think that is unreasonable? Our one rule is that she can't have men come over and stay.  If she wants that then go into an apartment complex. We told her she has to be out  by end of May 2017.   For the past three months we agreed for her to put the  weekly money into a separate savings account to save up for first and last month's rent plus save up for an emegency account money.  I feel like we are eing taken over and resent it.  She now has $1800 saved upped.  I think we are being taken advantage of.if she can fly to three different place She just went on a vacation to Bermuda for six days last week at Thanksgiving.  (airfare - had a place to stay there for free).  She also went on airfare trips to Texas and Oregon the past year.  I am really getting resentful as she is playing the Daddy card. Just blowing off steam.  I feel like we are taken over and resent it.  She is using the who is going to cosign my apartment? Got to keep telling myself and telling my husband, not our problem and do not co-sign.  .
    • S.
      I am close in age to your daughter and also living back under my parents' roof after a divorce, not in separate living quarters, though. Like what I do in my situation, I would advise you to sit down with her and calculate out what the appropriate amount shouldMore be in your individual circumstances. That amount will vary from person to person. I.e. maybe a certain percentage of what she makes or a certain percentage of your total expenses each month, the cost of living in your area, what resources of yours she is using, etc. There really is no right or wrong amount.
  • HauteSwan

    Frankiejonay  I would give him a set amount of time, give him a notice to move and on that day kick him out.  Warn him 1 month in advance, warn him again at one week the day you intend for him to move.  Get it in writing so you can show the police the eviction notice.  Then just do it.  Call the police if you have issues exiting him from the home.  My son is bipolar(I mean a nasty, mean, rapid cycling bipolar) and we had to do this to him and his cousin too and he is 26 now and making his way.  Assure your son that you love him but you gave him plenty of time to prepare.

    It sucks but I am sure he has a friend whose sofa he can crash on.  This is not your problem that he is failing to launch and he is being codependent.  I just served my 19 year old daughter a notice to move because she and her husband are filthy lazy people.  Her husband works and she goes to school but I am not going to put up with her husband urinating all over my house, splattering his bloody noses all over and not cleaning up, sleep walking and sleep eating all our food (maybe) and leaving clothes and food, plates, empty food wrappers and stuff all over the floor.  In fact they are being exited Dec 15 and I am not going to feel bad about it.  Not my problem after that.

    Good luck.

    From a mom of 5 of which 3 are adults.


  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
    Frankiejonay I hear you.  It can be  very stressful when an adult child moves back home, even under the best of circumstances.  It becomes even more challenging when the circumstances you described are present, and I’m glad that you’re here reaching out for support.  It is concerning that your sonMore becomes violent when you attempt to set limits with him.  As James Lehman states in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/rules-boundaries-and-older-children-part-ii-in-response-to-questions-about-older-children-living-at-home/, if your son is becoming abusive, then it is appropriate to hold him accountable by telling him to leave for 24 hours.  Ultimately, the decision of whether to allow your son to remain in your home, or to tell him to leave permanently, is going to be yours.  If you decide to allow him to stay, then I recommend https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ which outlines your expectations for his behavior while he is living in your home.  I recognize how difficult this must be for you and your family, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • Erica226

    This website doesn't seem to deal with the side I'm looking for, but maybe you can direct me to some resources that would help from my end? I'm a young adult woman (25 years old) who has tried to teach myself to develop general adult life skills but just haven't been successful in many ways. My inability to accomplish some of those things -- like how to search for, find, apply/interview for a job or how to find a place to live -- now seem daunting and overwhelming. Part of this is due to what you described with over-functioning, which is the sort of relationship my parents and I have had since my childhood. It may also have to do with the fact that I have ADD, although I have trouble admitting that as a possibility because that feels like I'm discounting my own responsibility. It's not that I don't have the skills to BE independent; it's that I don't have the skills to LEARN to be independent, and I want to.

    Until recently I lived with roommates in an apartment, hoping that forcing myself into a semi-independent living situation would foster independence in other areas (like a steady income), but that didn't happen and I've just returned to my parents house because the apartment was an unhealthy environment. This website is obviously dedicated to helping parents with difficult children. I'm wondering if you know of resources for the difficult children themselves. Life skills classes, life coaching therapists who focus on skill-building rather than talk-therapy, dietitians who help clients develop day-to-day meal plans, etc. I know I'm not lacking the ability, just the know-how to implement it: If someone told me what I need to eat regularly to stay healthy, I'm very capable of buying those ingredients, cooking those meals in advance, cleaning up after myself, and everything else that entails.

    (I'm in the tristate area, in case you know of site-specific resources, but obviously that's a long shot.)

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Erica226 We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and sharing your story.  I can hear how motivated you are to learn skills so you can live more independently. Because we are a website aimed at helping people become more effective parents, we are limited in the advice and suggestionsMore we can give to those outside of a direct parenting role. It may be helpful to look into local resources to help you develop a plan for addressing your particular issues. The http://www.211.org is a referral service available 24 hours a day, nationwide. They can give you information on the types of support services available in your area such as counselors, employment services, support groups as well as various other resources. You can reach the Helpline by calling 1-800-273-6222. We wish you the best going forward. Take care.
  • Susan61
    My 33 year old son has been living with me for the 3rd time this time for 2 1\2 years. When he moved back I took nothing financially from him so he could pay his fines and eventually get on the feet. My husband and I divorced 10 years ago.More As both my sons were growing up I set rules and boundaries which my x husband would never enforce. My x worked picked our sons up at practices from wrestling,soccer,baseball,football etc. My EX in his mind thought he was doing his job as a parent leaving everything else in my hands. So I was the one trying to solve problems and enforcing rules and setting boundaries that were not being followed. My second son now 33 does work full-time but refuses to purchase a car leaving me taking him to work. He has brought 2 dogs with him when he moved back home. I had a dog before he moved home totalling 3 dogs. He has a girlfriend which shares the responsibility of bringing him home most nights. The problem is I'm caring for his dogs which he seems to forget about.im now 60 years old and resentment is building. I have asked him to pay for the water ,light bill and dog food and he does. I have also asked to help with repairs in my home and he has.Now he is back to slacking off and getting him on track once again is a struggle. I gave him an ultimatum come January that is 2 months away he has to have a car or move out. I have been trying to give him little bits towards becoming an independent adult. He says he is not going and doesn't need a car. I have mentioned the hardship he is putting on people and transporting himself to work is his responsibility. His argument is the cost of insurance since his DUI. I told  him oh well that is your responsibility since you chose to make the irresponsible choice of driving under the influence of alcohol. I also said we all have bills as adults we don't want to pay and have to that's life. He says he's saving his money to purchase a home a fixer upper he is more than qualified to do.i know he can be being bull crapping me once again.my fear s him never getting in life where he needs to be. When first moved back there was so much turmoil it was worse than now. He wouldn't clean up after himself shower the way he should just basic stuff. He lives downstairs n the rec room so he has a living area and the other half turned into a bedroom.he has made improvements he showers, bought clothes and is very neat and clean.he cleans his area he lives in works fulltime does not use disrespectful language towards me anymore there are improvements. I'm not understanding why he refuses to buy a car or want to get insurance or have independence. What can I do to not have to ask him to leave so he can become independent.he has improved in many ways but still lacking in many for a man of 33 years old?
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Susan61 I hear you.  Many parents who have adult children share the same fears that you described, so you are not alone.  While fears for the future are normal, I encourage you to do your best to stay focused on the present, andhttps://www.empoweringparents.com/article/worried-sick-about-your-childs-future-how-to-stop-the-anxiety/.  Right now, it sounds like you areMore starting to feel resentment over transporting your son to and from his job, as well as taking care of his dogs.  It tends to be most effective to focus on what you can control in this type of situation.  While you cannot make your son buy a car, or care for his pets, you can set boundaries for yourself.  For example, you might set a deadline and let him know that after that date, you will no longer drive him places.  You could also set some limits around the amount of pet care you are willing to do.  You might also find it useful to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ with your son which outlines your expectations and boundaries while he is staying with you.  Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and your son.  Take care.
  • Cyndidickerson84
    I need help. My 21 year old daughter moved home a week ago. It's causing conflict between my husband of 13 years (her stepfather) and I. She's lazy and a slob. I can't get her to do anything and we have our 12 year old son whom she seems toMore love picking on. This is the second time in 2 months she's moved back in. She left the last time because she got physical with me.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Cyndidickerson84 I hear you.  Even under the best of circumstances, it can be really challenging for the entire family when an adult child moves back in.  It can be even more difficult if she is not following house rules around chores or treating others with respect.  If you have notMore already done so, I encourage you to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ with your daughter which outlines your expectations for her behavior while she is staying with you.  I also recommend including how you will hold her accountable if she is not following the rules.  I recognize how difficult this must be for you, and I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.
  • Mariems
    Am trying to help my sibling and partner with the adult child who is very content to be at home due to previously a very serious mental health condition. Can anyone advise me what is acceptable as regards asking for contributions to the upkeep etc of the hsehold, she has a sizableMore income from the govt., and cannot see any problem with being at home as an adult, any ideas welcome. I feel my sibling has sort of given up on the 'problem', yet his child does listen to me. I am concerned that my sibling and partner have no privacy.  Any ideas welcome, thank you.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and

      sharing your story.I hear how concerned

      you are for your sibling and his family. Because we are a website aimed at

      helping people become more effective parents, we are limited in the advice and

      suggestions we can give to those outside of a direct parenting role. It may be

      helpful to look into local resources to help you develop a plan for addressing

      your particular issues, such as http://www.familylives.org.uk/. They can give you information on the types of support services

      available in your area such as counselors, support groups, kinship services as

      well as various other resources. You can reach them by calling 0808 800 2222 or

      by visiting their website. We wish you the best going forward. Take care.

  • AmIaMeanMom

    My 25 year old son lives with me.  He was home from work for a week due to an on the job injury and his 24 year old girlfriend, who is not working and lives home with her own mom stayed with us for over a week until this morning, because her mother had gone to visit an older sister out of state.  I was really upset and disappointed with this girl's behavior and what I saw as her lack of good manners and said so to my son in her presence, which 'hurt her feelings' and caused her to cry and call her mother to pick her up this morning.  Now my son is upset with me, but i do not think I was wrong in the way I feel.  

    I was upset with what I thought was her complete lack of manners and houseguest etiquette.  She never once in 9 days offered to help prepare a meal while she was here or asked if she could help, never paid for any groceries or contributed in any way; and the first few nights even had the nerve to ask what time dinner would be served, without offering to help prepare it.  She started eating before every one was seated at the table and before I said Grace, which I do say before meals whether others join me or not.  She also left the table when she was done eating, even it others were still eating; left her dirty dishes and silverware on the table and never offered to help clean up or even put her own dishes in the dishwasher.  She had her cell phone at the table and was rude enough to be texting during meals until I said that was not allowed in my home.  She had my son do her laundry.  Any time there was any kind of household chores to be done, she would disappear into my son's bedroom with her cellphone and keep out of the way.  In general, I felt that she acted like a paying guest in a hotel with maid service, and not someone staying in the home of her boyfriend's family.  I told my son that she absolutely had to help with the regular Saturday vacuuming, mopping and cleaning the house, while I had errands to run, and apparently she did help do some of the vacuuming "until her back started to hurt and she had to stop" according to my son.  In the past 2 years, I had a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation and am feeling much better, but not yet 100%.  I also suffer from sciatica, which can be excruciating at times, but I try not to let it slow me down too much and I keep a clean house.  I also had to pick up after her dog pooped and peed in my house 3 times!  I have several dogs of my own and know that accidents happen, but she should certainly have cleaned up after her own dog.  In fact, the only thing she did do while she was here was to walk her dog occasionally.  He won't admit it, but I know her dog pooped on his bedroom rug as well.  Am I the 'bad guy' here for being outraged at this girl's behavior and having the nerve to say so in her presence?

    My son is very upset with me at the moment and says she will tell everyone he works with what a horrible person I am (she used to work there also and knows many of his friends).  I really don't care, but I do care that my son not be involved with the type of girl who gas such poor manners and can't or won't lift a finger to help out and expects to be waited on.  I love my son and don't want to see him waste his life with this type of woman.  Am I wrong?

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      I hear how frustrated you were with your son’s girlfriend, and the way she behaved

      while she was staying with you.As

      pointed out in https://www.empoweringparents.com/blog/i-really-dont-like-my-teens-boyfriend-girlfriend/, trying to make your

      son see his girlfriend from your perspective is unlikely to be effective, and

      could actually strengthen their relationship.Instead, I recommend focusing on what you do have control over, which

      are your own actions and responses.For

      example, you might be very clear at the outset what your house rules are, and

      what you expect from house guests when they are staying in your home.Take care.

  • Asianwoman
    My son is 28 years old, a college drop out, doesn't do anything just keeps talking about meditation which is new found passion. He did try to venture out in couple of business but gave it up as it did not work out for him. As of now heMore lives with us, behaves extremely badly to us, very rude when we ask him what he plans to do, tells us to mind our own business. I come from Asian community where it's ok for children to stay with parents hence he seems to be very comfortable living with us. He has absolutely no friends and doesn't go out at all. He only talks to his grandmother since they are old they listen to him. With me and my husband he's ready to pounce for anything infact he just doesn't have conversations with us how much ever we may try he just dismisses us. There are times I feel like telling him to get out of our house and take care of himself but I am very scared about him taking any drastic steps like committing suicide etc. Please help me!!!
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      I hear you.It can be

      so difficult when you are fully supporting your adult child, yet he treats you

      disrespectfully in return.Ultimately,

      your son is an adult, and so anything you decide to provide to him is

      considered a privilege, including a place to live.I hear your concern that your son might try

      to harm himself if you tell him to leave.You might find it useful to talk with a http://www.suicide.org/hotlines/international/india-suicide-hotlines.html to discuss your concerns, and help you develop a plan to

      keep your son safe.If you decide to

      allow your son to continue living with you, I encourage you to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ which outlines your expectations for his behavior

      while he is in your house.I recognize how

      challenging this must be for you, and I wish you all the best moving

      forward.Take care.

  • Lisa
    I have a 34 year old son who has been living at home after his divorce 8 years ago. He had a career as a pipe fitter but is lazy and didn't go to work regularly. He has one 10 year old that is his and another 12 year oldMore that belongs to his ex wife. The 12 yr old child's father shot himself before the kid was born. My son now has a job were he works for commission and it's not that great. He went months before finding it. I stay at home now after 20 yrs working and my husband still works. My husband doesn't try to make my son do anything. His room is a disaster I clean it occasionally but it never appreciated. I am expected to watch the children after school run their errands and on fall and spring and summer breaks free of charge. Feed them cloth them and help help with funds required for activities. I am at the breaking Pointe. Last night my son told me in front of his dad that I was not a respectable mom. I have been married to his dad for 35 years. Worked most my life. What am I to do now?
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      I hear your frustration with your son’s behavior, and the various

      responsibilities of his which you fulfill without much appreciation.At this point, it could be useful to

      determine your own boundaries, and what you are and are not willing to provide

      to your son at this point.In addition,

      you might find it helpful to sit down with your husband and your son during a

      calm time, and https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ which outlines your expectations for his behavior

      while he is living with you.I recognize

      how challenging this must be for you, and I wish you all the best.Take care.

  • Aileen01
    I have 22 years old daughter in my previous marriage she ever get a job since when we arrived in Australia . She's been very active to church but the thing is she's so many bad habit like stealing, telling lies. Don't want to get a job . At theMore moment she's till in Uni . I don't know what I'm gonna do . I'm very tress at the moment pls help me
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      It can be very stressful when you witness your child

      engaging in inappropriate behavior, and I’m glad that you are here reaching out

      for support.  Something to keep in mind is that a parent’s role changes

      from a manager to a consultant when a child becomes an adult, as Debbie points

      out above.  In other words, instead of trying to “make” your daughter

      follow through on getting a job, or create better habits for herself, it tends

      to be more effective to set your boundaries, and communicate those clearly to your

      daughter.  One way to do that is to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ with her, which outlines your expectations for her

      behavior while she is living with you.  I recognize how difficult this

      situation must be for you, and I hope that you will write back and let us know

      how things are going for you.  Take care.

  • kim

    I'm writing this in hindsight. I was a single mom with an Higher Functioning Autistic Disorder son.

    My therapist, (who had seen a lot in her day), warned me that if I did not take advantage of the placement program, (to help him get his own apartment), offered by the School-to-Work program, I would never get him out. His teacher told me that help would still be available later to get him out on his own, so I allowed him to stay a couple years after graduation, so he could take classes at the community college.

    The classes never happened, and the two years that I had agreed to turned into nine, with my son dragging his feet the whole way.

    At one point, I broke up with my long-term boyfriend. Before my ex had even driven out of sight, my son smiled, puffed out his chest, and started in, "Now that I'm the man of the house..." He started trying to lay down the law, (even tried to impose a curfew on me), and it was clear that he had no intention of EVER leaving. It was as if a mask had come off. Over the next couple of years, he took up the habit of racing me to the phone, and if it was a man who called, he would tell him that he had the wrong number, and hang up. I was at the end of my rope, and had given serious thought to ending my life.

    A couple of years later, I was able to move him out into a spare room at my ex's new home. This was accompanied by his comments about how I was "kicking him out," and howls from my mother about how I was "throwing him to the wolves."

    He had known this man for 20 years.

    A few days layer, I went to take him grocery shopping. He came out of the house beaming, and said, "Mom, this is great. We should have done this years ago." I had suffered greatly over that 9 year period. Please don't let this be you.

    My son has had his own apartment for over ten years now. He loves his privacy and sovereignty. I don't believe that he would ever have developed this well as an independent adult if I had allowed him to stay longer.

    • jenniflower
      @kim it's nice to see that I am not alone. My sons is also high functioning, and his behavior sounds very familiar. My boyfriend of 17 years (who had basically been my son's father) and I are having problems... my son has animosity toward him and wishes he would leaveMore so he can play man of the house. My son will be 21 soon, and he won't follow the rules of the house. I only wish he had somewhere to go...living with his father isn't an option, and my son doesn't make enough to move out. I am so happy for you that your family has improved! Thanks for sharing your story, it gives me hope!
      • kim

        Thank you jenniflower. If he is about to turn 21, see if there is a program available to help him get his own place. They can lend support to help him make that change more smoothly. In my city, 21 was the cutoff age. I wasn't told until it was too late.

        Also, if he is trying to play "man of the house," there is a twist. I googled Oedipus Complex in autism, just on a hunch, and saw an article entitled, " The Oedipus Complex at the Autistic Level." I can't tell you much about it. I was not able to access and read it, because I am not a professional, but the fact that the article even exists answered my question. He was 26, but didn't want me to date anyone, (thus the sabotage).

        I am NOT a professional, but it is my feeling that this makes it even more important to get the process started in a timely fashion, and it also seemed to help mine with building his own, separate identity. He was very dependent.

  • susan
    really, get tough, your house your rules....if they dont, kick them out....simple...if they refuse to go then let them come home one day and all their stuff be in the driveway....dont let them walk all over you.....
  • A49ERSFAN62
    What do you call it when a daughter who is 24 tells her mom's boyfriend that this is her house when she don't pay the bills , cook , or clean it .  Also expect too get everything her way . And too top it all off she moves herMore boyfriend in as well . Is it fair for me and her mom too pay all bills , cook and clean house while both lazy asses lay around the house and do nothing , but they have money for vacation and other fun activities . And me and her mom haven't been on vacation for 2 years . What can I do about this ?
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      It sounds like you are in a pretty challenging living

      situation right now, and I’m glad that you are reaching out for support. 

      At this point, it could be helpful for you and her mom to talk privately about

      expectations for her daughter and her boyfriend while they are living with

      you.  You might consider https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ which outlines these expectations so everyone involved is

      on the same page.  In addition, it’s typically more effective when the

      biological parent takes the lead in setting and enforcing limits, so I

      encourage you to take on more of a supportive role for your girlfriend and have

      her talk directly to her daughter about the rules moving forward.  I

      recognize how frustrating this must be for you, and I wish you all the best

      moving forward.  Take care.

      • A49ERSFAN62
        Her own mom has talk too her , but it doesn't do any good . She don't bother too listen too her . Her mom even ask her too do things for her while she is working , and no won't instead I have to pick up her slack andMore here I,m Disabled . You see she thinks because her dad told her before he died of Cancer that she doesn't have too do anything so I guess she still believes that . But if it was up to me , I would throw her and her boyfriend out . Cause she don't care for herself or nobody else . Yea , she don't want to help nobody else out , instead she wants everyone too bow down too her like she thinks she is a Queen
        • Lisa
          I think you should get place of your own , invite your GF to live with you and let them have it!
  • jcromonic

    My wife and I have been married for just over a year. We just bought a new house as a couple and while we were going through settlement, my wife said that her son who was living off campus was going to move in with us until he graduates next June 2017. This way he can pay for his car payment which she has been paying for the past 3 years along with his insurance and cell bill. He works part time as an RN until he graduates then full time. He also brings his girlfriend for overnights and it makes me feel like I'm allowing this against my better judgement. My wife will not listen to me when I complain and it's very much affecting the way I feel about her and my house. I feel like I'm being pushed out and cannot even stand being home. Not sure what to do at this point and I'm becoming seriously depressed and angry.


    In PA

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      I hear you.  It sounds like you are in a very difficult

      situation with your wife, and I understand your feeling hurt and angry. 

      Parenting differences are quite common in most families, and they can be even https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/my-blended-family-wont-blend-help-part-i-how-you-and-your-spouse-can-get-on-the-same-page/.  A recommendation I often give is to talk

      privately with your wife during a calm time to try to find common ground. 

      Sometimes, it can be useful to involve a neutral third-party, such as a

      marriage/family counselor, to help you come to an agreement.  For

      assistance locating these and other supports in your community, try contacting

      the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222. 

      Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going.  Take


  • atwitsend
    My 24 year old daughter moved back home a few years ago, with boyfriend and pets. I'm not married and have a big house, so it seemed okay. I drive over the road truck for a living so am not home most of the time. The problem is when IMore return home the house is disgusting, the smell is so bad I can't take being in there. Recently they stopped taking the rubbish to the dump and now the front screened in porch is full of garbage, maybe 50 bags. Also their is a flea problem and with 9 cats and 2 dogs it's not getting better and very expensive to get under control. Her boyfriend works off and on in construction. The bedroom and bath downstairs is filthy with urine and feces.  I'm out of patience, when I try to talk to them they ignore me and the bedroom is like a cave all dark and closed off. I asked them about drug use but they deny any.
  • myrawlife
    My 22-year old son just graduated from college at the top of his class, and is a certified organic chemist/bio chemist. His plan was to take a gap year, maybe 2 and prepare to enter medical school. After his research project was completed after graduation, he was hoping to obtainMore full-time employment and work during his gap year. Unfortunately, the research project is done, he couldn't afford to live in his apartment off campus, and had to move in with us after 4 years, while he looks for a job. It's only been 1 month, and he has been working hard to try and find work. However, he is not having luck finding a decent chemist job, as they don't want to pay for non-PHD, even though his business major friends are doing great. Needless to say, it's hard for him to be back with us, but he's trying as far as I'm concern. And he is a very good person, who worked hard to achieve all that he did. His father is very stubborn, and set in his ways, and is not working. So they are together in our small place day in and day out these past few weeks. Every day his father asks me why hasn't he found a job, when is he moving out, what are we going to do if he doesn't find a job, and on and on and on...I'm so frustrated as I have asked my husband to be patient and supportive, and work on communicating better with our son. The two have similar stubborn personalities. But honestly, my son has not complained to me about his dad. His dad on the other hand complains to me daily. I don't find it fair. I had a long talk with my son, and he feels that his father is setting him up to fail - even if not intentionally, by not being more supportive. I'm so stressed, as I know my son is trying, but I know it's difficult having him here in our space after being alone for 4 years. It's temporary. Even if he's here for more than a few months. How do I convince my husband (which I know I can't change him), to be more supportive and sensitive to the situation. His son just came off of having a super successful academic run, and now he's down on his luck a bit. He needs our support. We aren't enabling him. There is no reason for him to have to be homeless, it takes a little time to transition. He's trying. Some of his chemist friends took 4 months or more to get a job. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to argue with my husband, but I'm pissed at his lack of support and cooperation. I have to work all day, and he's home. Any advice? Thanks for reading and letting me share.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and

      sharing your story. Because we are a website aimed at helping people become

      more effective parents, we are limited in the advice and suggestions we can

      give to you regarding your marriage. It may be helpful to look into local

      resources to help you develop a plan for addressing your issues with your

      husband. The 211 National Helpline is a referral service available 24 hours a

      day, nationwide. They can give you information on the types of support services

      available in your area such as counselors, therapists, support groups as well

      as various other resources. You can reach the Helpline by calling

      1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto http://www.211.org/. We

      wish you the best going forward. Take care.

  • Overwrought Mom
    My 22 yr old son still lives at home. He went to college for two years and decided not to continue. He also had worked every day since high school and makes his own money. He pays his own cell bill and auto insurance. The problem isMore his room has turned into a garage. He is constantly ordering motorcycle parts and works on things in his room. It smells like grease in there and I can't even vacuum the carpet. His dirty clothes are in the floor all the time. He works outside so he gets really dirty. When I ask him to clean up he already had plans to work on a bike, maybe for someone else, or go pick up a part. I've threatened to move those things to the basement. What can i do?
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      Overwrought Mom 

      I speak with a lot of parents who are frustrated with their

      young adult’s behavior in the home; you are not alone.  At this point, it

      might be helpful to talk with your son during a calm time, and set some

      expectations about cleanliness, as well as discuss where he can work on these

      mechanical projects.  You might find it useful to set these expectations

      in writing, such as https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/, after your conversation with him.  Please let us

      know if you have any additional questions.  Take care.

  • Over Wrought
    Our 35 yr old son is drug & alcohol addicted, seeing a Psychiatrist for drugs needed for anxiety disorder, does not work. He cannot be trusted To go to grocery for us. Give him $$ and he will just as likely get drunk as bring home the milk.More We cannot do this any longer as my husband is struggling with depression and heart condition. We pay for his meds, food, clothing, everything. Lately he is threatening violence toward us when he gets ahold of alcohol....what should we do & how can we do it??
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      Over Wrought 

      I am so sorry to hear about your situation with your

      son.  The fact is, you have the right to be safe, and free from abuse,

      violence and intimidation in your home.  Although I hear your son is

      struggling with addiction as well as psychiatric issues, there is no excuse for

      abuse, and it’s OK to set some boundaries with him.  For example, you

      might set up https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ which outlines your expectations for his behavior in

      return for the privilege of staying in your home, or having his financial needs

      met.  I also encourage you to develop a safety plan which you can

      implement if your son is under the influence of substances and starts to

      threaten you.  Sometimes, it can be helpful to involve local resources,

      such as https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-talk-to-police-when-your-child-is-physically-abusive/ or local crisis services, in writing up this plan.  The http://www.211.org/ can be a great place to start

      finding these and other services in your community which might be able to help

      you stay safe. You can contact them by calling 1-800-273-6222.  I

      recognize how difficult this must be for you and your family, and I wish you

      all the best as you continue to move forward.  Take care.

  • nisbet
    I am a mother of two and grandmother of two of the cutes babies ever.  My daughter went through a pretty ugly divorce and her and the two sweeties have been living with us for the past couple of years.  My daughter is a strong willed person and while sheMore does poses great leadership qualities she is easily offended when I ask her to clean up after her and the babies.  When she does her laundry it stays waddled up in her chair and I feel for my grand babies.  She doesn't really contribute to the household and I need strategy that will  healthy for everyone involved.  Out of frustration I told she had 30 days and I don't know that I should have done that either.  How do my husband and I support her in this very hard transition and will we it be when she finally moves that ur relationship can be restored?  What resources recommend?  I will be seeing a counselor and tying to acquire tools that way I just am frustrated and could use some sound advice.  I look forward to your input and thank you very much for y9ur time.
  • JburnstudiosJo
    @emie_kaye My mother was like this and my father had to step in and say no more spending and take away her finances, but my brother and sister have moved home.  My father felt that everyone was paying for my mothers addiction to shopping.  So he told everyone to payMore half when they lived there.  He and mom paid half and the other sibling paid half.  No matter how many kids were in tow... they paid half no more no less.  IT was just the rule set down,  In order for you to stay with us you pay half, but then he saw how he was unable to meet their half and sat down with my mom to tell her she had to limit her shopping to one hour a week where she would need to slow down.  She was being disrespectful to him and the kids living there, stop over spending.  With time my mother learned how to slow down.   He was able to work with a debt consolidation company pull it all together and start making payments and get things under control.  I hope this helped?
  • JburnstudiosJo
    JaneP I totally understand this one, I actually help people in dire situations get jobs.  Can you help her find a local employment office that might help her with how to have good self talk, classes for upping your self esteem? She sounds like she feels stuck in thatMore kind of a job, maybe also network with people you know in jobs she may enjoy maybe she can find a work experience or a working interview to show she can do the work and they would love to have her there?  Another thing is if we all waited for kids to wake up while they rest on their days off we would never clean house.  I especially clean during those hours when they come out they are like oh I should be helping or they just mutter around.  Sure we all like to rest, but working and finding ways to keep the house clean and safe is better than living in a dirty house that is not safe.  I remind my kids, clean up your mess or your germs are gonna grow and make us sick.  Get that kitchen cleaned up.  Offer ideas to them to help out with chores, Ill cook all week but Fridays I want you to make the meal.  I always start out slow.
  • JburnstudiosJo
    MindMeatMamma Im not really anything but a mom of a daughter who had this same issue.  I did something a bit hard for me but it worked.  I started taking all her stuff left on the floor and stuffing it in plastic or paper bags and putting it onMore her bed.  she would get so mad and throw a fit but she came to see if she left it out I was going to pick it up and put it where she sleeps.  She even once slept on the bed full of bags.  I then stated that if I had to continue to do this any more past that date in time I would bag her things up and it would be 2 dollars a bag to get it back.  My daughter thought I shot her...  well a few days later she was like where is this, where is that and I said OH I Have seven of your bags they might be in one of those... shes like what!!!  I told her YOU need to respect me and the rules of the house, I warned you before that it would cost you 2 bucks a bag to get that stuff back.  so you owe me $14 dollars to get it back.  SHe ranted raved screamed and yelled and I just sat there.  "Do you really think its okay to talk to me like that?"  I remained calm.  She left me sitting there for another few hours than came back and said Ha ha.. funny teach me a lesson.. I want my stuff back.  (Again I said nope)  She threw a fit again then came back a while later threw a twenty at me in which I went to get her bags and then gave her exact change... but this time they were in paper bags.   She didnt really speak to me for two days... she was lack of a better word leaving my house a pigstye...  now when I see her stuff laying around Ill hand her a paper bag I have stashed for that reason.   "Might want to put that stuff in order... here is a bag."  She snarls at me and picks up her stuff.. stomps and storms but she actually picks it up.
  • JburnstudiosJo

    Penny U  

    I'm sorry you are having much trouble I too had this issue with my two kids, one thing helped them understand that I was having problems with them staying out late and not coming back is I used some great words.   "I am having a hard time myself when you go out and stay out and not let me know whats going on. I have loved you since you were an infant and you grew up but I still see you as my child.  When you don't call or check in it gives me anxiety that I don't know where you are if anything happens to you or myself.  I want to be able to have a relationship where we can tell each other whats going on.  If I stay out late or I go away for a day or two you want to know where I am don't you?  What if you came home from one of your over nighter's and I was gone...not a word gone for another day would you worry?  Even if you didn't worry that is not how I am made up, I need to know you are safe.  I asked you to please understand and respect the rules of the house, keeping in touch and telling us where you are and when you will be home is just being respectful. Even if its just a text message it helps ease the concern, I care what your doing but you don't have to share it if you don't want to share it."  This pretty much what I did with both my kids, and we all now text and type and call and let each other know where we are and what we are doing.

  • very upset
    I have a 25 year old step sun that was in the service and divorce. He works a full time job has been here living with us for a year and a half. will not clean his room or any part of the rest of the house. i have seenMore it as far as not flushing toilet after use in the bathroom up stairs where he sleeps. how in Gods name can i keep my cool over that especially going number 2, really.. He also has a two year old daughter that thinks this is daddys house. he has no money saved at all because of buying what he wants when he want. I have had many talks with him and all he does is just sits there and listens he does not even comment.I have told him maney times to put dishes in dishwasher and if it has clean dishes in it put them away but no he puts them in sink for me to clean up because he knows i can not stand dirty dishes in sink. I could go on and on but all it does is spin me up and then i do not feel good. got any suggestions???
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      very upset 

      It can be very upsetting when you have an adult living in

      your house who does not appear to take responsibility for his own actions, or

      help out.  If you have not already done so, I encourage you to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/my-blended-family-wont-blend-help-part-i-how-you-and-your-spouse-can-get-on-the-same-page/ during a calm time about the expectations for your

      stepson while he is living with you.  Once you both come to an agreement,

      it could be useful to develop a https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ which outlines what your rules are.  Because this is your

      stepson, it could be more effective if his biological parent takes the lead in

      setting boundaries and enforcing rules for his behavior.  I recognize how

      frustrating this must be for you, and I hope that you will write back and let

      us know how things are going.  Take care.

      • Marie Williams
        I'm sorry to hear about what you are going through. I can empathize with you. Sometimes, adult kids get released after traumatic life experiences. His unkept room environment, sloth fulness and lethargic attitude is his current state of mind. One day he will snap out of it, when heMore hits rock bottom with no place to live. Trust me. As a parent, I unfortunately had to put out my 24 year old daughter because I had challenges with her disrepecting me and not being consistent in helping to clean the house, not saving her money, and staying out all night at times. After a few months of no change, I had to tell her to move out. She would not leave on her own, so I called the Sheriff to have her removed after she had gotten hostile. I had locks changed immediately. There is a happy ending. She learned a life lesson and she got her act together. She lives with other family members now and is doing quite well. She landed a great job and has much more respect for me. She understood that taking her mother for granted and being disrespectful had serious consequences. What I had to do was not an easy thing to do. It was my last resort, but it worked. It helped to change her life and focus and she now takes responsibility for her actions. Now, I am only a parent when I need to be, no longer her friend. I treat her as an adult. She now visits from time to time. My advice would be to let your stepson father set the boundaries. Tell your husband how you feel disrespected in your own home, by the way the house is not being kept clean and tidy and having to clean after your stepson messes. How can young adults expect to have a good work ethic and become successful in life if they do not learn how to do chores or clean up after themselves? Don't clean up after him anymore. If his dad tolerates his bad behavior, unfortunately there is not much for you to do, except to encourage volunteer work to help get stepson out of the house for at least a few hours daily. This may or may not work. But, be encouraged. I'm sure your husband will agree with you and stand by your side, if he wants his son to grow up and mature into a man and be able to provide financially for his own family now and in the future.
  • EmpoweredKindof

    Hi I have a son he is 26 but functions at 8-14 due to autism. We had carbon monoxide poisoning. He also had intermittent explosive disorder. I have been given guardianship papers they have him as incompetent.

    Today he had a doctor appointment with his psy doc, he refused to go. Had a massive outburst on the scale of getting in my face as well as my Mom's. Screaming at me calling me names. Kicked and punched jis bedroom door breaking it. When he had it locked i told him i would break it down. He still refused to come ouy and go. I went to the doctors appointment and he told me to put him back on his one med.

    When he woke me up at 1am he told me his door is broke. I told him we are taking the door off and putting a slider. He started yelling at me how dare I it is his door and he spoke to people that he is allowed privacy and it is his door. I told him our house our ruless. Apparently he isn't getting that. Am I allowed to remove the door? His friends are saying different. Does anyone know?

    It was a nightmsre day. The doctor told me what I need to do with his meds. So hopefully he will calm down. I told him the doctor said to call him when he is calmer but he started swearing again. Smh

    • Darlene EP


      I am sorry to hear you are

      struggling with your son’s behavior. Because of your son’s level of functioning

      and diagnosis, we would recommend continuing to check in with his local

      treatment team about any questions or concerns you may have. They are in a

      better position to guide you when it comes to managing his behavior because

      they have had a chance to evaluate him and work with him. Thank you for

      reaching out, and we wish you well as you continue to work through this.

  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

    Candace 78 

    I am so sorry to hear about your situation, and the numerous

    negative experiences you have endured over the past few years.  Because we

    are a website aimed at helping people become more effective parents, we are

    limited in the advice and suggestions we can give to those outside of a direct

    parenting role. It may be helpful to look into local resources to help you

    develop a plan and help you work through your options. The 211 National Helpline

    is a referral service available 24 hours a day, nationwide. They can give you

    information on the types of support services available in your area such as

    counselors, housing services, employment assistance as well as various other

    resources. You can reach the Helpline by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging

    onto 211.org. We wish you the best going forward. Take care.

  • Bothered
    My son is 24 and has never left home. Most of our disagreements are regarding his girlfriend, coming in at inappropriate times, and trying to have one foot in my home and one in the girlfriend's home. In the last year we have had several arguments and discussion about groundMore rules, but from time to time he finds a way to bend the rule. I feel coming in at 5am is disrespectful to my household. I also don't like that he will stay over with the girlfriend until late hours or spend all day at her home. I expressed that he can no longer play it safe by saying he lives here but spending all his available time there.
  • Sharon
    I'm looking for a support group for parents of adult children living at home.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      Thanks for writing in.  One resource you might find

      useful in your search is the 211 Helpline.  211 is a service which

      connects people with resources in their local community.  You can contact

      them by calling 1-800-273-6222, or by going to http://www.211.org/. 

      You might also consider searching for online support groups if that would be

      more convenient.  I hope this has been helpful.  Take care.

  • HAC
    My daughter came to live with me over an year ago. She is 21 and has a daughter who is almost 2. We can not seem to get along. I would have made her leave along time ago, however because of the grand baby I have hung in there. TheMore fights escalated and asked her to move out. I gave her about 90 days to find another place. It hasnt been ideal the past few months. The reason I finally asked her to move is because she became violent. Throwing things at me and breaking my possessions. She kicked me in the stomach. It was too much. She didnt really hurt me and I dont think it would get worse. She has never acted in that way before. However, I was overwhelmed and emotionally hurt. We have reach the end of the 90 days and she hasnt found a place of her own. She will have to quit her job and move back to her dads in another town if he will even have her because she doesnt really have another option. I am struggling with all of it because of the baby. I dont want to kick my sweet grand baby out. I feel it has to be done considering but I need help. Someone outside this mess to offer an opinion or advice. I am trying to be strong. I just dont have any support and want to make sure I am not being to harsh by making her leave. I am just a mess!
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      Many parents struggle with the decision to ask their adult

      child to leave, and it tends to be more complex when grandchildren are

      involved.  I encourage you to keep in mind that you have the right to be

      safe from abuse and intimidation in your home.  In the end, though, you

      are the only one who can determine whether this is the right choice for

      you.  As you mentioned that you do not have a lot of support, this might

      be a good next step to take.  For information about structured supports in

      your community, such as a parenting support group or counseling, try contacting

      the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222.  I

      recognize how difficult this situation must be for you, and I hope that you

      will check back and let us know how things are going for you.  Take care.

  • RioBella


    Our 34 year old son still lives at home, he has back issues,  bipolar and some other health problems.  He hasn't worked in 4 years,  says he's in too much pain to hold a job.  He sees a family doc once a month for his prescription meds including pain pills and he is on the state insurance which pretty much pays for that. He had back surgery 4 years ago and he was pretty good then but his job would not hire him back...??? So he rode the unemployment wave until that ran out.

    So now he is borrowing money from me, until he thinks he can get Social Security Disability, which I haven't seen anything come in the mail from them for about a year,  he also says he called one of those lawyers that advertise on TV that will help you with your claim but I have seen nothing from them.  To top it all off....his girlfriend moved in here too a year and a half ago,  temporarily,  because she was kicked out of her apartment and now she's on workman's comp. cause she was injured on the job 5 months ago from a minimum wage job!

    So I now have 2 bums living in our house,  they do absolutely nothing because they're both injured and in too much pain!  Everytime I try to talk to him about moving out he says I'm just trying to upset him, he can't move, he has no money and she doesn't get enough to support herself let alone him too!

    I'm at my wits end, I am trapped in my own home with these freeloaders and in a few years I will be old enough to retire but will not be able to afford it! I tip toe around the house as I'm in and out a lot with my job during the day and if I make noise I get yelled at cause they are trying to sleep. 

    Asking for advice please cause I don't know what I should do, please!

    • Fred G65
      Ma'am, my heart goes out to you as I read your blog. I have a son who is 28 and almost daily I have the internal expressions of my frustration when I see him here. He has a job and is not lazy. His reasons for still being here restsMore with his failure to listen to us when we tried to give him some wise counsel regarding his financials. We are not financial gurus ourselves but when it came to him doing his tax exemption paperwork, he did what he wanted to get more money but ended up being in debt with the IRS. Not to mention, his mother (in my opinion ) enables by allowing him to be a momma's boy! He always asks, "where's mommy.", and I feel urked when I hear it! I want so badly to see him live on his own. I feel that every male should have their own living space, even if it is a studio. Just the fact of having a key to their own domicile is a manly thing. Anyway, I was writing to you in effort to support what you feel. I pray that you as well as us are able to have our children launch. I must say, your situation is a bit much more complicated than mine. I pray for God to give you the wisdom you need.
    • Marissa EP


      Hi there! I am so sorry to hear about the struggles you are

      having with your son, and now his girlfriend, as well. It really isn’t fair

      that you feel like you are trapped in your own home.Because your son is an adult, and capable of

      providing for himself, you are not required to do so, including lending him

      money. As long as he continues to have

      his needs met, and is able to borrow money from you, it is unlikely he will

      change his current behaviors. I would encourage you to look into the housing

      laws in your state and find out what the eviction process is, as some states do

      require giving notice, even if it is your own child. Until they have reason to

      do so, it is unlikely your son and his girlfriend will be motivated to leave on

      their own. This can be a tough step for a parent to take, but it is important

      to think about your own well-being at this point. Best of luck to you as you

      continue to address this issue.

  • lakesha209
    I have only one son which is 19 yrs old...He's a great kid, I have really no problems out of him.My son hates school!!!...I try and try to make him understand how important education is..My son also has an disability and I find myself lost, sad, and depress because I'mMore at a point right now I don't know how to help him or to make him stay on a goal to better him self...
  • safety mats

    i am now happily re married, but now have three stepkids too. I have

    been through too much stress to even go into here.  I am a very giving,

    kind person who has been taken advantage of all my life. I am like you,

    not that person who walks away. BUT, reading your post, if I were not

    the perso I am, I would say RUN, not walk. just leave them too it!

  • Widow

    I'm so depressed and afraid. I have no family, but not by choice. An only child, my father re married 11 months after my mother died at 52. She's a bipolar woman with at least 3 former marriages who told him to cut off his family (so he cut off his siblings, nieces, and me, my husband, etc). Then we had our only son, which was the happiest I'd been because our son was a delight as a small child, but from his birth I got an autoimmune muscular dystrophy (and 20 yrs later still have disabilities). When our son was in 2nd grade, my husband got cancer. Doctors waited on diagnosis, so he had to battle it for years. He passed away when my son was 16,  years after he had changed into a very angry young man who fought us 

    Our son was already less loving by the cancer diagnosis. He used to have friends, but started acting "smarter," correcting others. He lost his friends by the time my husband's cancer was diagnosed during 2ND grade: telling me "I hate you!" over things I had no control over was the *opposite* of the way he was through grade 1, as was *lying* over both big and small things regularly. I got my son therapy immediately (!), but nothing helped. My husband's battle became hard with our son staying home fighting us over 8 years...He helped out during home hospice at the end, but not with a loving attitude and not consistantly. He would tell outsiders he was a "caregiver" for me too, but seldom did the chores asked, even down to not setting plastic ware to eat dinner (I knew he wouldn't wash dishes). The attitude grew more and more until he might be banging on our door at any hour of night... I was sick, scared, and lost 50 lbs. during the caregiving because I put my heart and soul into it *and still* had to argue on a near daily basis with our son! 

    The first time I called police, my husband was comatose on the hospice bed in our kitchen, and our son was mocking my illness, laughing at me, and refusing to let me go to bed at 2AM. (he'd offered to sleep on a floor matress by his father's bed to help with the urinal, but often kept me up late because he resented it). Another time I called police was when he took my cell phone and sprayed me with a hose from the sink... other times: banging on my door on and on- refusing to stop, arguing with me in my bedroom refusing to leave, opening the car door while I was driving... The court imposed upon *me* to drag him to therapy again and again until a home MST team saw how bad it was... They told him to leave, but he lied about the free (single),apartment they got for him, saying he'd have to room with "drug users." My husband had been the first to ask him to go (off and on, because he was dying). Now, I've asked him to leave, but I'm disabled. He knows I'm disabled and that I lost all my remaining friends while his father was dying from cancer. His father and I loved each other deeply, and my husband never *once* called me a b*tch, but my son has called me worse, at one point saying I "deserved to die a long, slow, painful death!" (I called police because it sounded awful, but he gave them a "I didn't know what I said" thing). When I kick out my son, I get sick physically but when he doesn't do chores (I can't have company because of the horrible state of the house now), when he tells me off, lies, and breaks his word I get sick too! 

    Basically, I don't see how I can live much longer in isolation with a son who refuses any regular chores besides giving food/water to a hermit crab (not getting new liner for the cage or cleaning it, though). I got worse after my husband died and now need oxygen. I can't even get up enough steam to sell my house and make new friends. It's been lose/lose and with the last police call (he wasn't going to move out unless I called them), he is back. He's almost 21 and already saying he will not do chores during the school year "not even 10 to 15 minutes" before leaving every day...


    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      You have a lot on your plate right now. I’m sure it would be

      beneficial if your son stepped up and helped out around the house more.

      Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to make him do chores, or help out

      in other ways if it isn’t something he’s willing to do. You also don’t have to

      continue to provide him a place to live or any other type of support. Your son

      is now an adult and you are no longer required to provide anything for him.

      This doesn’t mean you have to have him leave tomorrow. You could also develop a

      living agreement with him that clearly outlines expectations as well as what

      will happen if those expectations aren’t met. You can find more information on

      living agreements in the article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/. I would

      also encourage you to find out about local resources that may be able to offer

      you help and support. It sounds like you are facing many challenges. There may

      be services such as personal care attendants, companion services, and other

      in-home supports in your community to help you manage your day to day needs.

      The 211 Helpline would be able to give you information on these and other

      services. You can reach the Helpline 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222

      or by visiting them online at 211.org. We appreciate you writing in and sharing

      your story. Good luck to you and your son as you move forward through these

      challenges. Take care.

  • gweeks74mi

    Freaking out

    My 21 year old son called me a few days ago after 4 years. He had just been released from prison and was hungry and homeless. He asked for money. I went to get him. He has had some problems with drugs ( hence the just getting out of prison). He will be staying with my husband and I. He is on parole something I have never had to deal with. The parole officer gave me a list of all these rules, but I don't want my son to run off for me telling him what to do. It's a long sad story like most people I am sure have. I wasn't aloud in his life growing up. His mothers family didn't like my family. He came to live with me when he was 8. A couple of years later his mother wanted him back. I fought for him to stay with me. A DNA was done and at the age of 11 we found out he wasn't mine. I have always wanted to be there for him and now I have the chance without his mother and their crazy family drama in our life. HELP

    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      I understand where you’re coming from. After all of this

      time away from your son, you want to do what you can to help him and develop a

      strong relationship with him. Unfortunately, not holding him accountable for

      his choices won’t really help him in the long run and it may end up having a

      negative impact on your relationship as well. Your son is now an adult and with

      adulthood come certain responsibilities, including obeying laws and meeting

      specific expectations. It may be beneficial to sit down with your son and talk

      with him about the expectations you have for him while he is living in your

      home. You might also consider developing a mutual living agreement with your

      son, as outlined in the articles https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ & https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/parenting-your-adult-child-how-to-set-up-a-mutual-living-agreement/. This will help

      establish clear guidelines from the outset. We appreciate you writing in and

      wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.

  • Desperate dad

    I have a 20 year old son who I have not been able to have a relationship with his entire life. After all this time we have reunited and he wanted to move to be closer to me to build a relationship. Well we agreed to let him stay with us. We have a lease agreement with him and all is working out except for the fact that he carelessly spends money and his rent check bounced. I am at a loss as to how to deal with this relationship I love my son and am so glad he is finally in my life but I feel like I have made a mistake letting him move in. Nothing I read says or suggests how to deal with this delicate situation. He is the youngest of six children and my wife and I are really really ready for our empty nest. Please any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Hopeless in Florida

    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport

      @Desperate dad

      I can hear how distressing this situation is for you. Have

      you spoken to your son about the situation? That would probably be the best

      first step. Sitting down with your son at a calm time and coming up with a plan

      for reimbursement of the past due amount, as well as clarifying expectations

      going forward, could be helpful. You might also consider establishing a living

      agreement with your son that outlines these expectations, as well as possible

      consequences if these expectations aren’t met. For example, you might consider

      charging a returned check fee for any returned checks in the future. You could

      also let your son know that if

      more than 2 or 3 checks are returned for insufficient funds, then he will need

      to find another place to live. You can find more information on Living

      Agreements in the articles https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ & https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/parenting-your-adult-child-how-to-set-up-a-mutual-living-agreement/. I hope you find

      this information useful for your situation. Be sure to check back and let us

      know how things are going. Take care.

  • tory
    I am the sister of a 35 year old college educated man who lives with my widowed mother.  He does nothing for her.  My siblings and I were told he was living there to help her with a plethora of different household chores.  He of course does literally zero ofMore them.  When he does complete one task after her multiple requests he storms around in a huff about it and makes her feel like dirt.  She works 12 hour shifts overnight at a hospital as a nurse manager.  One night he threw out all of the alcohol in the house a good 600-700 dollars worth (much of which he had purchased) top shelf with her credit card. He did that because he decided he was an alcoholic. Another time she went to the grocery store AFTER a 12 hour shift and among other things got herself some bagels.  He threw them out in the backyard because he doesn't want to eat the carbs.  Their are endless stories of his inconceivably selfish behaviors.  He has punch walls, kicked and slammed doors, threatened suicide, spends $1000's and $1000's of dollars on brand name EVERYTHING.  When she needs rides to hospital appointments she has to call my 62 year old aunt who drives from 40 minutes away and is blind in one eye.  I hadn't been home since last Christmas and when I saw her at her home earlier this month things felt worse then they have been.  He was angry from the moment I saw him throughout the few hours I was around him.  My younger brother and I have decided not to go home for Christmas this year because it is so uncomfortable and stressful to be around it.  I am devastated.  I feel like I am losing my mother while she is still alive.  I work as a victim advocate with a police department and I know the abuse wheel well and I know that she is likely to let this escalate and live in it for years and she's already older.  I lost my father 4 years ago and I just feel like this is leading towards a devastating end.  She took a gun that she had bought for protection and put it in a safe deposit box.  she says so he won't use it on himself but I wonder if its because he's acting out violently.  I see no signs of suicidal ideation.  I cry about this situation at least once a week.  Does anyone have any experience with abusive adult situations?  or any input on what steps I can take as a child who does not live in the house?  I am 2000 miles a way.
  • Brenlee
    Good day. I have a 24 yr old daughter who has lived with a non-accepted older man and recent!y moved back home.I am totally stresses hard working mother of2 - My son is @ the local Youthtown for treatment due to his using.45% was due to his sister years ago.She isMore in and out @ her timing and will not get a job. ADVICE PLEASE....
    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      Many parents of adult children express similar frustration,

      so, you’re not alone. One thing we find to be helpful when adult children move

      back home is developing a living agreement. A living agreement outlines for

      your child your expectations around things like paying rent, helping out around

      the house, and other day to day things. It can also include  a timeframe

      for things like finding a job and/or moving out. You can find more information

      on developing a living agreement with your daughter in the articles Parenting Your Adult Child: How to Set up a Mutual Living Agreement & Ground Rules for Living with an Adult Child (plus Free Living Agreement). The

      second article has a Living Agreement template that can be downloaded and

      printed out. We appreciate you reaching out to Empowering Parents for help with

      your situation. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going.

      Take care.

  • sue
    Hi Frank.  I have brought up three children alone after ex husband walked out. i am now happily re married, but now have three stepkids too. I have been through too much stress to even go into here.  I am a very giving, kind person who has been taken advantageMore of all my life. I am like you, not that person who walks away. BUT, reading your post, if I were not the perso I am, I would say RUN, not walk. just leave them too it!
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport



    you for writing in.  It is obvious that you care very much about your

    neighbor, and want the best for her.  Because we are a site that is

    focused on working directly with parents to address their child’s behavioral

    issues, I am limited in the advice I can provide.  If you are concerned

    that your neighbor is being subjected to elder abuse, I encourage you to

    contact your local police department and/or Adult Protective Services division

    and share your concerns.  You can find the contact information for these

    services in your local phonebook.  You can also let her know about the http://www.211.org/, which is an information and

    referral service that helps to connect people with resources in their

    community.  I hope that this information is helpful to you and your

    neighbor; take care.

  • adellmarie

    wow, my issues seem trivial compared to what I've read on this site!!!  I'm retired, my spouse works, my daughter is 24, a college grad, now working at Disneyland (nothing to do with her major), recently divorced.  They moved in with us 3 years ago to save money, but then 8 months ago her husband up and left her.    My son is 21. part time college student, has worked 2 jobs before (seasonal work).   My issue is my son has been hired as a bouncer for a Nude Strip Club.  We've talked to him about the negative possible situations that can and will happen there.  But he is set on "trying it out".   I can't stop him from making poor choices, but I do worry a lot about his safety.  I don't know how to accept it.  I want to be supportive, but my inner self just  can't find a positive feeling about this job.  He's a smart guy and I feel is wasting is life on these jobs he picks.  He says he wants to pursue Engineering but I don't see him making any effort in that direction.  And my daughter who comes and goes whenever, never helps me with the upkeep of our house.  Neither of them have ever paid rent.  She's always so arrogant and defensive when I ask her to help out.  At lest 4 days a week she stays with my niece in another city.  So when she comes home, she just washes her clothes, eats and stays in her room.   Once in awhile she'll be in a good mood, but mostly she's either tired or grumpy.     I feel like I've failed as a parent.  I know they are both adults and need their "space" but I don't interfere with their outside the home activities.  I feel like I get no respect, never a "thanks mom" for things I buy them or stuff like putting as in her car when its empty (we bought the car and pay her insurance and all maintenance).   I do wish they would move out, but then I like it that I have them around.   Sounds dumb, but I'm a mom.

    Any suggestions on how I can accept this new job my son has?  Any ideas how I can make my daughter more "friendly toward me"?   I try to show them I care about them and respect them.  I just feel used.  All I want is a little kindness, appreciation.   My friends give me extreme advise (kick them out) like a few have told me.  We do have our good times as a family once in awhile.   i guess i should just be grateful they are both healthy and not in trouble.

    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      The transition from teen to adult can be tough on parents.

      Newly minted adults can start to make choices a parent has difficulty

      accepting. Truth be told, young adults do tend to make choices that may not be

      in their best interest. Looking back, I believe we can all remember choices

      made, that, in hindsight, may not have been the best decisions. Hopefully, we

      learned something from those choices and were able to make better choices later

      on. The same holds true for your now adult children. It’s probable they are

      going to make choices you don’t like and they may not always behave the way you

      would want them to. As a parent, you may want to focus more on taking care of

      yourself  by developing a self care plan you can implement when you get

      upset with their choices. This can include doing an activity you enjoy, meeting

      a friend for coffee or perhaps more structured support in the form of a

      parenting group or counselor; whatever can help you take care of you while also

      allowing them the space to make their own way. I hope you will continue to

      check in and let us know how things are going. Take care.

  • frank639

    In need of GOOD advice.I am 50 yoa, my wife is bi-polar on many meds and abuses alcohol.She has made several suicide attempts in the

    past three years.She has been in/out of

    rehab for years. She refuses to work. She

    never takes responsibility for her actions and she is very confrontational.

    My 19 yoa son is a high school dropout and is also bi-polar

    and refuses to take meds.He self-medicates

    by smoking weed.He works but I do not

    fore see him moving out of my home.He spends

    all of his money on weed and is very confrontational / angry.

    My 24 step daughter, who is also a high school dropout abuses

    zanax and doesn’t work, tells me she is pregnant.She also lives at home.

    The bills are adding up.Paying out more than I bring home.

    Work also contributes many stressors that I cannot control.

    I am overwhelmed!I

    should walk away but that is not how I am.How should I cope with all these stressors and many others I have not listed?



    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      You do have a lot on your plate right now. I am so sorry to

      hear you are facing such struggles. I’m glad you have taken the time to reach

      out to Empowering Parents for help with what sounds like a very troubling time

      for you.  It can be tough to know what steps you can take to help you cope

      with  tough circumstances. One thing we often suggest to parents who are

      in similar situations is developing a self care plan. Truthfully speaking,

      you’re not going to be able to change your family members or the choices they

      make. You can however, control how you respond to them,

      which in turn can have a positive impact on how those choices affect you. Sometimes things as basic as taking

      time out of your day to talk with a friend or do an activity you enjoy can be

      very beneficial on your overall well being.  Another thing you might

      consider is finding out what types of local resources are available. Many

      people find talking to a support group or counselor to be a great way of

      managing life’s more difficult matters. The 211 Helpline can give you

      information on support services in your area. You can reach the Helpline 24

      hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222. You can also find them online at http://www.211.org/. In the meantime, you might consider

      reading the article Throwing It All Away: When Good Kids Make Bad Choices for more ideas for things you

      can do when you start to feel anxious or distressed about the choices the other

      members of your family are making. I hope this information is useful. Be sure

      to check back to let us know how things are going. Take care.

  • Sadmom

    My 30 year old daughter is living in a house we bought for her three years ago. She had some medical problems and was forced to leave her job. She is seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist for anxiety and depression. She says the therapist thinks she has PTSD from her former job. She has not even tried to get any type of employment because she has been too sick. In the last 3 months she is feeling better and talking about writing a resume and looking into part time work. I would like to see her do more now she's feeling better. Is it out of line to ask her to keep the house clean? I do not live there but it is my house. I would also like to see her do some volunteer work part time; whatever she can handle. I see her sitting around all day watching YouTube videos and Hulu as the dishes sit in the sink and the bathroom begins to resemble an outhouse.

    I am not sure what consequences to give her. Please help where you can. Thank you.

    • Gorka56
      @Sadmom There is a tiny issue here.. You bought a house FOR HER (a gift) yet claim it is yours, (not FOR her at all) and insinuates you are letting her reside there.. which is it? That will make a difference in how to handle the situation.. if it isMore HER'S you really can't say anything, you don't control her.
  • Ombez
    As one who is concerned about crime prevention and awareness,EP helps me understand the very root causes of crime in our families,society,workplace,churches,and maybe the natural or enviromental causes of crime.
  • tffnyjon
    @Hopeless the family meeting is a good idea but he may feel he is being attacked. My little sis did the same thing but instead was preg... and allowing the guy to come over and fall asleep. Again, just like your situation my dad didn't really put the hammer downMore so I started speaking to her saying "its disrespectful". She didn't like it but we chatted often and already had a relationship but it was tough. My mom complained to each of us separately. So, maybe you're right-the family intervention may work!
  • Fed up Mother

    I am at my limit! I need help! my son (step son) whom I've raised since he was 9 years old is now 26 and still living at home. He is my son though and I've never called him my step son. I am stuck - I lost my job 2 years ago, my husband of 19 years; his dad is or has been in this funk for few years... he goes to work and comes home. I have a hard time engagin him in backing me that our son should follow house rules in order for this to work while my son gets his life together and move! I recently moved out to try and make my point because it's just too hard. The reality is me trying to move after 19 years with no money, no job and no real place to live with my dog has brought me back home. there is so much to say to explain and this is only my side of the story - but bottom line I am the parent he is the kid and house rules APPLY! I don't agree he should be able to have friends and girls over. My reasoning behind that? he has taken it to extreme. His friends stay for days - his girlfriends stay..for days...weeks! I have no privacy or freedom because I'm worried about strangers walking through my home at all hours.

    I'm not even going to be reasonable at this point because he has taken too many liberities and far too much advantage of my niceness. I'm on high blood pressure pills for God sake at 44 yrs old! I say I'm stuck because I'm haveing difficulty expressing my needs through anger here. But also because we need what little rent he gives us right now. He supposed to pay 150 for rent, cook for himself, he does his own laundry and half ass cleans up after himself. My son has only ever held a job for almost a year and messed that up 2 months ago and is rarely working now.

    We have 2 roommates... that in itself is a nightmare! and another story. 

    Meanwhile - his father thinks it's ok for him to have company all the live long day...in and out, in and out. All in my kitchen, eating, cooking, showering, phone it's absurd! Each time I have made it very clear, I don't want company or girls and how it makes me feel. I'm told by my husband and my son, I'm the one that's being unfair and unreasonable. Then when the bills come in and I explain why everything is so high... oh it couldn't possibly be because we have extra people in our home ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY!

    I'm trying to be reasonable and adult while trying to explain but I'm so angry from a fight I just had with my son - I feel like if I don't get help I'm going to end up in a padded room or homeless from flat out leaving...again. So bare with me. Ask me questions, offer any advice.. I'm lost and I need help here. thanks

    • Marissa EP

      @Fed up Mother 

      I am very sorry to hear about all

      you are dealing with right now. It is all quite a weight to bear when it feels

      like you are doing it all on your own. If possible, it may be worth trying to find

      a common ground with dad, around one or 2 smaller behaviors you can focus on to

      start, and hold your son accountable to following the rules on those behaviors

      first. If it is not possible to come to an agreement with dad, then the focus can

      shift to self-care. In situations where you have little or no control, it is

      important to think about what you do have control of. Making sure you have what

      you need is very important. Do you have any local supports for yourself, such

      as close friends, family, or even a counselor to talk too? Another option might

      be the http://211.org/. You can access them

      online or by calling 1-800-273-6222, and they would be able to assist you in

      identifying local resources for help with housing, employment, legal services,

      and counselors. Thank you for reaching out, and please let us know if you have

      any more questions.

  • pkrjgoss
    My son, who is 19 right now, graduated high school last June, decided not to go on to college "for now," is working full time at a grocery store and is living at home.  We are charging him rent.  He's finally started looking for an apartment and came home veryMore excited about renting one with a female co-worker.  He's filled out the application and submitted it to the landlord and they are waiting to hear.  Meanwhile, we just found out that this co-worker is 36 years old!  Am I overreacting, but doesn't that seem really odd that a 36 yo female would want to rent an apt with a 19 yo male?  I have all sorts of red flags going up, but my son has finally got some ambition about something.  I don't want to "mother" the issue, but I'm concerned about this.  Any advice???
    • Darlene EP


      It is certainly understandable

      that you are concerned about your son’s plans to move out with a 36 year old

      women. I think it would raise some red flags for many parents. Unfortunately,

      you don’t have a lot of control over his choices anymore, especially, now that

      he is an adult. Like Debbie Pincus says in the above article, as a parent of an

      adult child, you take on more of the role of a consultant rather than a

      manager.  It is his choice to move out with whomever he chooses whether

      you think it is a good decision or not. Expressing to him your apprehension

      with his choice will most likely lead to a power struggle and defensive

      behavior on his part. You can let him know that you are there to support and

      guide him if he needs help solving a problem, but at this point, he needs to

      navigate the world for himself. Inevitably, he will make mistakes, but making mistakes

      is apart of the learning and growing process. Thank you for your question.

      Check back in with us if you have any further questions. Take care.

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