If you, like many parents, have an adult child living at home with you, you’re not alone. There’s an epidemic of young adults in our society who are struggling to get off the ground. In many families, this works out fine—the adult child is responsible and contributes to the household while they set themselves up to live independently.

But if your adult child has moved home—or never left—and expects you to take care of their needs, you’ve probably started to feel resentful and frustrated.

“An adult child can actually make a career out of earning income from his parents by working the emotional system.”

In part 2 of this series on adult children, Kim Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner explain why some kids choose to stay home instead of launching into the world. According to Kim and Marney:

“We didn’t write this series on young adult kids in order to judge parents. Just because your child may not have launched successfully yet, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. And it doesn’t mean they’ll be at home forever. There’s hope.”

Kim and Marney are experts in parenting, child behavior problems, Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), and substance abuse. They have worked with families for decades to help them resolve the most difficult child behavior problems. They are also the co-creators of The ODD Lifeline™ and Life Over the Influence™, two of the parenting programs available from EmpoweringParents.com.

Today’s Parents Expect Their Kids to Fulfill Their Emotional Needs

In part 1 of this series, we looked at how society has changed its views and approaches to parenting. Over the past few generations, our culture has increasingly encouraged parents to do things for their children that their kids should be doing for themselves. In other words, society has moved from caring for our children to caretaking. As a result, many parents find themselves solving problems for their children long into adulthood.

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How did this happen? In today’s world, children are usually born out of emotional wants or needs. Many couples want to share the bond of having a child and the joy they picture of becoming a family. Moreover, married couples with strong spiritual or religious beliefs may see having a child as part of God’s plan or as sharing a spiritual experience.

Sometimes, teens or young adults believe that having a child is a rite of passage into adulthood. In addition, there’s often the belief that a child will love us unconditionally. And for those who’ve never had that kind of love, a child is a perfect opportunity to experience it. Sure, there are still accidental pregnancies. But more often than not, the choice to become a parent is primarily based on emotion.

If you think about it, there’s nothing logical about having children. Yes, they can bring great joy, but they can also bring great pain and frustration. Children are messy, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise, and often require parents to make great sacrifices. So if the decision to have children isn’t logical, it must be emotional. And since we have children out of emotion, we tend to parent out of emotion as well.

As parents, we want our children to be happy, confident, and secure. We hate to see them suffer, and we will do anything we can to take that pain away. Indeed, we would rather go through something painful ourselves than watch our children experience it.

Many of us remember our own childhood pain as we watch our children struggle to find their way in this world. We empathize with our son when he comes home crying because no one would play with him at recess. We know his pain when other kids make fun of him or call him names, and his teacher just doesn’t seem to like him. We feel anger when our daughter is the victim of rumors spread by the “mean girls” in her middle school. And when she sobs for weeks because her boyfriend broke up with her, it’s heartbreaking for us too.

Our Kids Know How to Push Our Emotional Buttons

As their child grows, parents start to develop certain emotional buttons. When pressed, these buttons tend to move us into caretaking mode. These vulnerabilities aren’t right or wrong. They’re just emotions that we tend to feel strongly regarding our child.

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For example, if you find yourself worrying about your child quite a bit, you likely have a strong emotional fear button. You enter caretaking mode from fear of anything negative happening to your child. You fear that your child will fail in school. You fear your child will abuse substances or engage in other dangerous activities. Perhaps you fear your child will be hurt by others, either emotionally or physically. And, you might even fear your child will hurt someone else. To allay this fear, we tend to take too much care of our children.

Other common emotional buttons kids tend to push are related to hope (as in hoping our child will handle things better next time), exhaustion (as in becoming so exhausted that you give up), guilt (as in blaming yourself for your child’s problems), sympathy (as in feeling sorry for your child), and intimidation (as feeling physically threatened by your child).

Over time, children learn what our emotional buttons are and how to work them in certain situations. Most of us have more than one emotional button that our children learn to push. Indeed, there are lots of these buttons, and if we don’t become aware of which ones affect us, our children will continue to push them well into adulthood.

Emotional Buttons are the PINs to the Parent ATM

Many adult children who have difficulty launching have learned to rely on one or both parents as their source of financial support. The adult child still needs money for haircuts, clothes, a car, insurance, medical services, a roof over their head, and food to eat. They’ll also want cigarettes, make-up, movies, games, phones, and internet service.

Where does the money come from if they don’t have a job? It comes from us, The First National Parent Bank and Trust. Or, what we like to call the Parent ATM.

Getting parents to provide money for these things becomes that adult child’s full-time job. An adult child can make a career out of earning income from his parents by pushing their emotional buttons.

You can think of these emotional buttons as the PIN to the Parent ATM. Push the right buttons, and the cash starts flowing. These kids will visit the Parent ATM frequently, using whatever emotional PIN is able to spit money out of the cash slot.

Meet Slug: The Adult Child Who Pushes Our Hope Button

Slug is 32 years old. He’s never held a job for more than a few months. He’s broken multiple leases, which his parents had to pay for as co-signers. Slug has been living at home for the past few years because he can’t find a job. Part of the problem is that he won’t leave the house to put in any job applications. He looks online sometimes but never follows through by calling a potential employer.

He sleeps until the early afternoon, lays on the couch, eats his parents’ food, and smokes cigarettes and marijuana all day. Slug gets his Parent ATM to spit out money by using the Hope PIN. He says he needs gas money to get to a job interview that never materializes into employment. He always has an opportunity that’s about to pan out—a get-rich-quick scheme that never seems to work. Yet he continues to preach hope to his parents: he’ll be independent if they keep helping him a little longer.

When the Hope PIN stops working, Slug starts pushing all the buttons on the Parent ATM, eventually finding success with the Exhaustion PIN. He simply refuses to do anything until his parents are tired and frustrated enough to give Slug what he wants rather than argue anymore.

Meet Clueless: The Adult Child Who Pushes Our Fear Button

Clueless is a 24-year-old adult child living with his parents. He’s also a connoisseur of colleges. He has been to four different universities in the past six years but is still only a sophomore because he never completes his courses.

Clueless doesn’t know what he wants to do in life except for smoking marijuana, playing video games, and texting his friends. So far, his parents have shelled out thousands of dollars supporting his lifestyle.

When they try to shut down the Parent ATM, Clueless uses the Fear PIN. He threatens to sell drugs for a living or go live off the land if his parents stop supporting him. Or maybe he’ll crash his car into a tree to end his life. When his parents offer to take him to a therapist, he declines because he doesn’t have a problem—the world does. Why should he have to work at a job every day if he doesn’t love it?

Sometimes, he finds his Fear PIN isn’t working, so he uses the Hero PIN, which makes his parents feel like his savior. He tells his parents how much he appreciates all the support they give, how much he wants to be like them, and how badly he feels that he’s let them down. He convinces his parents that their continued help will soon enable him to succeed. The problem is, Clueless isn’t a bird who desires to soar above the clouds. In fact, he has no intention of ever leaving the nest.

Meet Carefree: The Adult Child Who Pushes Our Guilt Button

Carefree is a 20-year-old adult child who lives with her mother, along with her three-year-old baby. Carefree still acts like a teenager. She leaves her baby at home with her mother while she goes out with friends. Sometimes she parties and stays out all night. She has a part-time job but never seems to have enough money to pay for bills. She does, however, have money for clothes, cigarettes, and alcohol.

Her mother pays for all her haircuts, daycare, the car she drives, and the insurance. When Carefree’s mother tries to set boundaries or get her to take responsibility for her own life, Carefree uses the Guilt PIN. She reminds her mother how hard and lonely she had it growing up in a single-parent home, and how she never got to be a teenager because she had to care for her younger siblings.

When the Guilt PIN doesn’t work, she uses the Fear PIN. Carefree suggests that she should just give her baby up for adoption since she can’t take care of her. Or, better yet, she suggests letting her ex-boyfriend—the father—have custody. Carefree’s mother, who adores the baby, gives in for fear of what could happen to her grandchild.

Meet Clinger: The Adult Child Who Pushes Our Sympathy Button

Meet Clinger. Clinger never did well in school, never had many friends, and, in general, just doesn’t know how to cope and make it in life. He’s not particularly difficult to live with. He’s just extremely dependent at the age of 22.

Clinger’s parents respond to the Sympathy PIN because they believe Clinger doesn’t have the intellect or ability to live independently. His parents are terrified of what would happen to Clinger in the real world, which also engages their Fear PIN.

Clinger, unlike the others we’ve described, is so dependent that he doesn’t even really know how to work the Parent ATM. Instead, his parents, out of symathy, work it for him.

Meet TNT: The Adult Child Who Pushes Our Intimidation Button

Meet TNT. TNT is in his twenties and has never moved out of his parents’ home. As an oppositional and defiant teenager, TNT attacks his parents every day with the Intimidation PIN. He yells, breaks things, raises his fist, and is verbally abusive. His parents have had to call the police a few times, but because he never actually crossed the line into violence, no charges were ever filed.

Even though TNT is an adult, he uses anger and intimidation to get his parents to do what he wants. His parents walk on eggshells around him in their own home and worry that TNT will one day become violent with them. As a result, they’re afraid to stop supporting him financially or ask him to leave.

Conclusion

You are not alone. Almost all of us go into parenting with good intentions. We don’t mean to become caretakers for our children, and neither did the parents above. It may surprise some parents, but the adult children described above really do exist, and more and more join their ranks each day. What do these adult children all have in common? They are more comfortable relying on their parents than taking responsibility for themselves.

These parents aren’t terrible, and they’re not alone. They love their children. Unfortunately, caretaking behavior sneaks up on us over time. Emotional buttons can become so strong that some parents are held hostage by feelings of fear, exhaustion, or guilt. Many parents feel conflicting emotions. They feel anger and frustration at an adult child’s entitlement, but they fear what will happen if that child is cut off financially. It can leave anyone in this situation feeling paralyzed.

Parents need to recognize which emotional buttons their adult child is pushing and then make changes to begin a healthy separation from that child. It’s a process, and it can take some time. Our next article covers the steps parents can take to get past these emotions, set boundaries with their adult child, and make them uncomfortable enough in your home to become more independent. Remember, they can still launch—they just haven’t launched yet.

In our next article on Adult Children Living at Home, we’ll give you practical, concrete tips on how to help your child launch.

Failure to Launch, Part 3: Six Steps to Help Your Adult Child Move Out

About and

Kimberly Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner are the co-creators of The ODD Lifeline® for parents of Oppositional, Defiant kids, and Life Over the Influence™, a program that helps families struggling with substance abuse issues (both programs are included in The Total Transformation® Online Package). Kimberly Abraham, LMSW, has worked with children and families for more than 25 years. She specializes in working with teens with behavioral disorders, and has also raised a child with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Marney Studaker-Cordner, LMSW, is the mother of four and has been a therapist for 15 years. She works with children and families and has in-depth training in the area of substance abuse. Kim and Marney are also the co-creators of their first children's book, Daisy: The True Story of an Amazing 3-Legged Chinchilla, which teaches the value of embracing differences and was the winner of the 2014 National Indie Excellence Children's Storybook Cover Design Award.

Comments (123)
  • Rehead
    23 year old son has just been thrown out of our home and we are ridden with guilt. Son is adopted so even more guilt. Lies, swears, steals (even the most personal of keepsakes), threatens physical violence, intimidates his slightly older sister who is also adopted but notMore a birth sibling. In trouble with the police (two court cases pending). Has a low paid job but lost countless jobs prior to this one. Receives some state assistance but the money is never enough for him. Diagnosed as a child as having ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Never finished school and was expelled from every educational establishment he attended. Simply don't know what to do or where to turn.
  • Griselda
    My 21 year old daughter is just like Carefree. She still lives at home with her 3 year old child and only works here and there part time. She has always had difficulty starting in middle school with finishing school or just sticking with anything besides friends, dating and partying.More She loves her child as I also do very much but I am at wits end. She has wrecked her car a couple times and recently got a DUI. She doesn’t take much serious and the blame seems to fall on me. She struggled even graduating and never stays home at night. I dont mind watching my grandson as she worked or even if she went to school or got some sort of training. But she is still such a follower and would rather smoke or drink then stay home. It’s heartbreaking because she is a sweet girl most times but sometimes she can be hateful. I work full time and even went back and finished college in hopes of her seeing me as a good example and follow suit but she can’t seem to stop being so immature. It is jeopardizing my health, my job and sometimes my grandson isn’t her first priority as he should be. What can I do. Why does she say she wishes she was dead or wishes she would have crashed and died in her DUI? Please help!
  • Brian B
    I have a friend whose son is a lot like Slug. He only looks online here and there and probably wings whatever online application he comes upon to make it look like he's job hunting. If an adult child really wants to make an effort in finding a job, heMore should be out there networking, talking to people and making connections. The child has friends, he or she can start there to look for leads. The child can also contact people in the industry to schedule informational interviews, I find that many of these people online would be happy to help. Pounding the pavement still works. It just has to be done differently.
  • Child acting useless
    I live with my boyfriend and his 23 year old daughter who has set up camp at our house now for 18 months. After the first year out of college she was to go to school to be a nurse. Not happening. She has a job as a receptionist atMore a dental office and that is all she does. She does not help around the house, she leaves messes, has trashed her bedroom and bathroom. Has a dog we take care of most of the time. Deals with depression and is in her room 95% of the time she is home. Smokes pot constantly when she is home. Whenever her dad tries to confront her with doing more with her life and moving out she cries and uses the manipulation emotions and the discussion stops. I am at a loss as what to do, her dad doesn't know what to do. I am afraid this may ruin our relationship of 2 years now. What I have said is just the tip of the iceberg. So much more.....Anyone have any helpful suggestions???? Getting desperate.
  • No idea what to do
    My son is 21, dropped out of high school, won’t get his GED even with my support, refuses to get any sort of job because they are all “beneath” him, and believes he has no energy unless he takes adderall daily. He plays video games and surfs the internetMore when he is awake and lives full time with my ex wife who is happy to have him there. She also doesn’t work (not disabled), won’t finish the trade school I paid for upon her request (learning to be a pilot) and is fully supported by her current boyfriend. Is there any hope for my son?
  • Where does our daughter fit, and any advise?

    Our daughter is almost 20 years old. She is trouble free (no drugs,cursing, alcohol or similar) and a A+ student, now in college.

    But she is lazy. She does not do any tasks around the house, supported by my wife who claims she rather does the work on her own, because our daughter would not dot it the right way regardless.

    Now she is in college. She expects us to drive her to and from college, and then to and from work every week. Never did she talk to us about this setup, or asked any questions how to handle it. When told to learn how to use the bus (or offered to get a driver license), she has only excuses, and makes statements like 'then I wont go to work anymore'.

    Any advise?

  • Id

    My son is 44 years old. He has been in and out my home twice,married once now divorced had worked for more than 10 years,unemployed no working part-time and again living home.

    He is the type of person whose paycheck disappears the same day. Once with out money, I am his personal banker. "I will pay back"... Yeah right! I worked for 30 years, now retired. My income is monthly and I pay every bill and single thing. Once he doesn't get his way, he become verbally abuse screaming beautiful term of endearments from a to z. He doesn't help nor pay back whatever he needs to pay. He is a very disorganized and messy. I'm so frustrated since he is always saying he is tired of living at my place and can't wait to move out, that he hate and can't wait for me to drop dead. Meanwhile he doesn't saved a nickel, and spend his money on clothes, and whatever he wants. All my family wants me to move to Florida, but I don't like it because I has been living in up state NY. Sincerely, one of these days, I probably get a heart attack, and drop dead.

    • Rehead
      Id, I am so very sorry to learn of your dire situation. My son is 23 and it looks as though he's going much the same way as your 44 year old. Please try not to tolerate the situation any longer. Evict your son and speak withMore your doctor about your anxieties concerning your health. Think you need to prioritise yourself and not your son, even though you love him. You deserve the respect of being treated as his parent not his personal banker (and banks usually get their money back). Good luck with everything!
  • Failure to Launch
    I dearly love my 27 yo daughter - she has a full time job, doen't run a around and pays her share of the rent - what is the problem you ask - she never finished high school and has no motivation to do so. She refuses to getMore a drivers license and has absolutely no idea how to use a dishwasher. Its just the two of us so cooking for two is easier and less complicated than doing it for one. Same for laundry. She is OCD and a total germaphob. Makes me crazy - can't touch the laundry in the dryer or she has to disinfect it again. Don't brush up against her if she is in her pj's as she doesn't want germs in her bed. She pours isopropryl alcohol on her doorknobs, her legs (claims it gets the ich out of chigger bites- she works for a vet) and showers sometimes twice a day. She has no interest in anything except Supernatural and Pokémon. She has a respectable job, but has no benefits and the pay is only $12 hr. after being there 12 years. I worry and loose sleep at night what will become of her when I am no longer here. I've tried to motivate her to no avail I'm at my wits end
  • Karen
    I evicted my adult child. (Look up "Michael Rotondo" on Google.) A parent can only do so much.
  • Ramona
    Does this really work because I have a 26 year old son who just can't seem to keep a job, became a drug abuse addict and has a record of thievery. I really could use some help. He is a very nice quiet mostly happy man but makes awful choicesMore on who he chooses to hang out with and so much more. I just don't know what to do because I would feel awful kicking him out of my house with no where to go and living on the street with no food, phone or anything.
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach

      Hi, rkj.smile. We've worked with many parents of adult children who have shared similar stories, so, you're not alone. There are a couple things to keep in mind when parenting an adult child. First, your parental role changes when your child turns 18, from that of a manager to more of a consultant. Your son is free to make his own choices, good or bad, and is 100% responsible for the choices he makes. The second thing to keep in mind is that you are no longer responsible for your son financially, and anything you choose to provide is just that, a choice. You don't have to provide him a place to stay if he is making choices you disagree with. You may want to review out other adult child articles here: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article-categories/ages-and-stages/adult-children/.

      We appreciate you reaching out and wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.

  • Megan
    My oldest son is 20 and still lives at home. He is sweet and naive, but doesn't have any motivation. He feels it is his "job" to stay home and take care of us, even though we are doing most of the caring. He is afraid of gettingMore his permit, let alone his driver's license. He applies for jobs with no results. He is taking college courses on line, at our expense. He has 2 younger siblings that he is always fighting with. I love my son, but sometimes I dread coming home. My husband doesn't think there is anything wrong, and our son will grow up when he is ready. If feel that I am left with only 2 choices, of which I don't like either: Stay, or leave. HELP!!!!!
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      I hear you. We speak with many parents of adult children who find themselves in similar situations with no apparent desirable options, so you are not alone in feeling this way. As Debbie Pincus points out in Adult Children Living at Home? How to Manage without GoingMore Crazy, it can be useful to have a goal in mind when you have your young adult living with you. If there is not a clear plan in place, resentment and frustration are often the result. With this in mind, what is the goal for your son living with you? Is it to earn a certain number of college credits, or his degree? Is it to find a job, and save up for a place of his own? Something else? It can be useful to have a conversation with both your husband and your son about this, so everyone is on the same page regarding goals, and what you expect your son to be doing toward achieving those. 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 for you and your family. Take care.
  • John
    So I googled, "My ungrateful adult daughter has moved back in with me" and this was the 2nd entry. Thanks. My situation is a little different. My daughter is 39 and I have 2 grandsons (11 and 9). She actually has a job that she lovesMore in the medical industry. In fact, her work seems to be the only thing that affirms her. She has been through 2 marriages the results of which has devastated and depressed her. She lived with her mother for a few years and my ex-wife ended up selling her house and moving out of town because she couldn't stand being around my daughter. I guess my daughter could get a job as a real estate agent because I feel like doing the same thing. My health is starting to suffer.
  • Donna
    I'm also glad I found this website. I have a son, 26 years old, who has been in and out of college. He is now in his last year, with 16 credits to go, and wants to quit. He keeps using excuses now that he doesn't likeMore his major and because of that, wants to leave school. We have told him that it doesn't matter what your major is at this point, but that you graduate. We have shelled out over $100K in college expenses and want to see him finish. He's had therapy previously, for he claims he's depressed, but really doesn't want help. I'd love to tell him that he's not welcome back into this house if he quits, as he now lives in an apartment at school with rent paid for the year. I'm afraid he will do something desperate if I give him an ultimatum but at times I feel he is manipulating both me and my husband. I know that when he comes home, he will sit up in his room, play video games, text his friends, eat and sleep and although he claims he'll get a job, it won't happen. Help me!
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      I hear you. It can be so frustrating when you have tried to support your son in various ways, yet he doesn’t appear motivated to follow through on meeting his responsibilities. It’s pretty common for young adults to want all of the independence of being an adult, yetMore reject the responsibility that comes along with this stage of life. Something to keep in mind is that your son is an adult at this point, even if his behavior does not reflect that. As an adult, anything you choose to provide for your son is a choice on your part, and a privilege for him. This includes things like living expenses, housing, college expenses or other forms of financial support. You can set the limit with your son that he is not allowed home if he quits school, as you can set boundaries for yourself around who is, and is not, allowed in your house. I encourage you to keep in mind though, that if you set this limit with your son, it’s going to be important that you follow through on enforcing it if needed. You can find more information on setting boundaries with your son in the next article in this series, Failure to Launch, Part 3: Six Steps to Help Your Adult Child Move Out. I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
      • Donna
        I wanted to give you an update. My son stayed in school, thank God, but now will finish online at home. I have no problem with that...except...that he now says he's stressed about living home with us again. He says I'm overbearing with all the "cleaning" andMore coming and going into his room. Of course, if he didn't leave his dirty clothes and dishes that made the room smell awful, I wouldn't have to go in there. He now states that he wants a lock and key for his room to have more privacy. He needs an area that just his alone. My husband and I refuse to let him control how we live in our own home and not allowing him to have a lock on his door in my home that I can't have access to. He has only 2 courses left and I suggested he get a part time job at least so that he's not home to see me come and go. By the way, I have two part time jobs so I'm not home myself but I do expect that when I come home from work that I don't see dishes and pots piled in the sink. So when he comes home in December, we plan to sit down with him and let him know our wishes and how he needs to adhere to them, such as doing his own laundry, keeping his room reasonable clean, etc. Any other advice?
        • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent CoachEP Coach
          Thank you for providing this update, and it sounds like you are on the right track by sitting down with him when he moves back to discuss your rules and expectations, and his plans to follow them. It could be useful to write up a living agreement withMore your son when he moves back, or even before that. This way, you are all on the same page in terms of expectations, and consequences if these are not met. It’s also okay for your son to be stressed and uncomfortable with living back at home; after all, discomfort is a huge motivator for people to start making changes in their lives. If he doesn’t like the rules at your home, it could provide motivation for him to move out on his own. I hope that you will continue to write back and keep us updated; take care.
  • Drained and Confused
    I came across this article in a Google search because I am at my wits end with my 23 year old daughter. She has not held a job since high school and is suffering with mental illness (PTSD and anxiety disorders) and addiction that she refuses to go get helpMore for ("I'm fine," she often says). I make appointments for her and offer to go with her and she usually sleeps through them and/or makes up some excuse why she can't/doesn't want to go or conveniently disappears on the day of her appointments. She is constantly asking me for money for all of her needs, and because of untreated ADD is completely disorganized and leaves the house in a complete state of squalor that she refuses to clean up, usually saying she will or is about to, then it never happens. I usually end up cleaning up after her or it just won't get done. She doesn't take care of any of her belongings, and everything that she has ends up broken or lost or filthy, then she will take to taking my belongings (without asking) and doing the same thing to my stuff. She spends most of her day smoking weed and on social media or sleeping and thinks she is going to "make it" as a social media star or celebrity, even though she has made no attempt toward either. I suspect that she occasionally sells drugs, but not consistently. She refuses to get a job or go to school or do anything, claiming it is not necessary to be successful in the world, which I cannot completely argue with since I have a very successful online business, though I have a degree and have worked most of my adult life, whether an actual job or self employment. She refuses to try to get SSDI, which I recommended if her emotional illnesses are so debilitating and she claims she can't work, but she never follows through. She is so incredibly lazy (though she claims it is from her social anxiety disorder) that she will not even go to the corner store, which is literally a 3 minute walk, to get her cigarettes or bottled water and will not take public transportation anywhere, but insists she has to take an Uber everywhere she goes or she will not leave the house. Aside from these behaviors, we have a very good and close relationship, but it is becoming strained as I become more and more resentful and even disgusted with her. My boyfriend wants me to move in with him and we are talking about getting married, as I am pregnant, but refuses to have her live with us as he is quite disgusted with her as well, and it is a huge ongoing source of conflict between us. Since she has prostituted for money in the past, I am scared to death to just leave her hanging to return to that lifestyle. In fact when I do try to put my foot down with her and not give her money for things, she often threatens to return to prostituting. I also feel guilty sometimes because I was a single parent who was really struggling for many years, as I received no financial support from her father, and now that I have more than enough money, there's a part of me that wants to give to her because I couldn't 10 years ago. I feel so saddened because she was not raised like this. I busted my ass to pay for her private schools and teach her Christian values, and teach her self respect, respect for others, and the planet her entire life, and do not, nor have I ever lived any lifestyle remotely close to this. I don't know where this came from but I am so sick and tired of this. Help!
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      I hear you. It’s so difficult when your adult child is living her life very differently from how you raised her. You’re not alone in feeling this way. Something to keep in mind is that, because your daughter is an adult, anything you choose to provide toMore her is a choice, not a right. I hear your concern that if you set financial boundaries with your daughter, she might make risky or illegal choices. The truth is, your daughter has the power over the choices she makes, as well as the responsibility for the consequences of those choices. While you cannot make her act a certain way, you can control how you respond and the limits you set with her. You might find some helpful tips in another article one our site, Adult Children Living at Home? How to Manage without Going Crazy. I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • betty

    I hade to be caregiver to my mom Plus I was an unwed mother and worked 50 plus hours a week I had to learn how to juggle all three job and I feel all this made my son a better person In kindergarten, he had a disabled speech teacher When I would meet with her. she regaled me for having such a sweet thoughtful child Taking from my example he did what he could to help his teacher out. Sometimes I just wanted to throw in the towel but I'm glad

    I never did Today my son and his wife has to be my caretaker {I'm suffering from the results of a stroke} I feel guilty but they both assure me It's okay

  • Mr sick and Tired
    I'm leaving with a woman who has a 21 year old daughter who has been a master manipulator since her early teens(13). I'm glad to see other people feel the same way, I'm not the bad person that my GF seems to portray me as. Her daughter has been lyingMore to her mother all through high school, she would tell her mother she had to stay late at her BF house in order to do her homework. She would come home at midnight or 1 am 5 or more days out of the week, this went on from the age of 15 through 18. I would argue with my GF because I didn't want her to get pregnant and have another parasite. At 19 her BF dumped her and she went from staying out late with her BF to partying with her friends all night and sleeping all day. the parasite has a 16 hour a week job which she used for buying junk on line. she has taking intermittent college classes for the past 3 years and probably has freshman credits. She stays out until 1,2, 3 am and sleeps in until 4-5 pm, showers around 7 pm and leaves, she does this 4-5 nights a week. I'm sick and tires of this leach and want out of this madness. Any advice???
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      I hear you, and I understand your frustration with your current living situation. At this point, it could be useful to talk with your girlfriend privately during a calm time, and try to come to an agreement about her daughter. Sometimes, it can be helpful to includeMore a neutral third-party, such as a marriage/family counselor, who can help you to look at your situation, and explore your options for moving forward. For information about resources available in your area, try contacting the 211 Helpline at 1-800-273-6222. 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.
  • Lazy Mooch
    Meet me, a real person. A college graduate, who worked part time in high school (full time in summers, doing manual labor), did 3 internships in college and worked part time, took a "survival retail job" the day after college graduation then took the first thing I was offered remotelyMore resembling a "career job" 3 weeks later.. even though it was unglamorous. Then several years later took a "better opportunity" which was fine for a couple years, until being transferred to another group then bullied by 2 managers. Eventually left, and took another "survival" job while seeking the next good opportunity. Nothing like working 8 or 9 hours at your 3rd shift job, then going to a job interview, then one of your parents calling you to ask why you "don't have a job yet". And siding with the managers who had harassed you, who's never had a poor review at work before. nothing like being asked "did you get the job, why not" after every single interview. Especially when they even apply to retail or service jobs because they just want to work, and they end up with some cocky interviewer who starts telling them to apply to one of those "new jobs in clean energy"..: which are in a different state... don't ask- "Did you call the company?" really? The day after applying? Did I ever try a staffing agency? Oh, I have a college degree so I SHOULD get a good job automatically? Guess what? So does everyone else who's not getting hired this week... That episode of unemployment was nearly ten years ago. Things did eventually pan out for me. I do the hiring now...Being chastized by my family probably delayed my success by at least 2 years. The confident get the jobs. Not the self doubting. 95% of job applications are done online these days. So what you see as "laying around" may actually be filling out applications. If you are in a less urban area, there may not be a new job to apply to each day. They should NOT simply apply to everything. Applying when clearly unqualified is a great way to get "blacklisted" by a company. So is calling to "check in" more than once, and showing up in person uninvited.
  • Helen
    I speak as a repentant former "drain the parent" adult child into my 30's and now self-supporting adult in a steady job- put your foot down and make your offspring live independently- no hand-outs, bailouts, living in your basement etc. The best thing in the world is for your adultMore child to develop the strong-mindedness it takes to keep a job and navigate on-the-job politics, maintain a home- rental if they cannot handle the responsibility of a mortgage, balance a budget, use credit responsibly or not at all, and take the bus if they can't afford a car- it's called Life
  • Yolanda
    I am a single parent of an adult 29 year old male who has manipulate me in many ways and has the knack to be given the walking papers at each job he has be given. He has bipolar depression and refuses to take his meds. I am the parentMore who enables him with spending money, does his laundry and tries to motivate him to succeed. The boundary I set was no drugs and no women in my house. Well, he brought in a "girlfriend" to my home with the story that she had to leave her home (Still lives at home and unemployed.) because her brother was becoming sexually aggressive towards her. (A shady story. Missing parts to this story. Narrative is hard to believe.)I didn't want her in myhouse but felt obligated. They immediately procceeded to spoke illegal substances on my front porch at 2:00 in the A.M. I found out through my neighbor. My son then suddenly tried to convince me to move out of my home to a 55+ residential in Florida and said he and his girlfriend would meanwhile take care of the mortgage. I asked how they would pay and they had a plan to rent out the rooms for $1500 to "special" friends. I said absolutely not. My son then became beligerant to me , which I told him he had to leave. He immediately told me he would kill himself. I told him I will call the police. His girlfriend became confrontational with me and I told them I wanted them out now. My son then tells me moving out or not he will kill himself. I finally called the police to place him into crisis. His girlfriend convinced him to tell the nurses not to give me any information about him. I have no idea what he told the people in crisis thatthey let him go. He came back to my home around 12 midnight , with the police to get his things because according to him "I was unpredictable" and could hurt him. I was devastated. This was not the son I thought I knew. He brought out a whole side to him that I found appalling. But stupid me, we had a text message several weeks later and I paid a driving fine of $1800 and his phone bill. I am also paying the car note along with insurance which I am a cosigner. I know I did it because I worried about him struggling in the real world, but I also know that I did it in order to have some contact with him. He is adamant that he will not return home and I am the one who tries to reach out via text. His responses are just "I'm fine." I do not want hi home because I now know how far he can go. But why do I feel so lonely? I feel that one day I will die alone in my home, without my son even caring. He was so bullied as a child and many times I felt sorry for him because he had an absentee father who never searched for him. I know that I have overcompensated him for that loss. His depression did not help either. I just feel so devasted and alone.
  • Healthy start
    I have noticed this trend in our neighborhood. My question is -- what are your best tips / suggestions for parents that are preventative in nature, so that perhaps these situations never even start.
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      Thank you for your question. We have many articles available on our site which offer advice and techniques to help parents teach kids take responsibility for themselves, and learn how to solve life’s problems effectively and independently. One article which might be useful to help you start changingMore these patterns in your family is How to Create a Culture of Accountability in Your Home. Take care.
  • Nicole Boulding
    I am glad to find other people having the same struggle with their adult child as I do. I have been feeling like a failure as a parent. She is 23. She makes excuses of why she won't go to college, or the military and doesn't work for more thanMore a few months. I know I've given her everything and that is my problem. Just trying to let go and let God and try not to worry. Thanks for all the comments
  • Heather Strout
    My 24 year old daughter has made the choices to have two babies with no means of support. She has bounced them around for 6 years and is back on my doorstep AGAIN. My health mentally, emotionally and physically is deteriating and I am losing all hope. IMore can see my marriage is going to end and I am devastated.
    • Lazy Mooch
      Well where are the kids fathers? Not around, won't pay support I'd guess? Well SHE did not abandon the kids. Maybe didn't choose the best men but what's done is done. Help her apply for child support. help her get the kids in a head start program.
  • Paulina1
    I have a 24 yr old son that lives with his girlfriend but he doesn't want to work. His girlfriend called me just 2 days ago and asked me to lunch and she was telling me how she is sick and tired of taking care of him. His childhood wasMore awful as at 16 yrs old, he had to take care of his ill father that had 5 heart attacks and finally died after the 6th one. Father passed away Nov. 29, 2014 and was 45 yrs old. Its been 2 yrs now and I don't know if he is still greeving or not but this girl is going to throw him out one day soon if he doesn't get a job. If that happens, he will be back at my house again. Does anybody have an answer to this problem ?? I really like his girlfriend and I don't want him to lose her. Somebody PLEASE HELP !!!! Thank you.
    • Rob taylor
      Military if he's a felon the army will take him,, if not a felon I suggest the Air Force,,they will support him and wife and baby
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Paulina1 I hear your concern for your son, and how much you respect his girlfriend.  In the end, you are all adults here, and you can only control your own actions and behaviors.  You cannot make your son get a job or contribute to his living expenses while he isMore living with his girlfriend, and you also cannot control the boundaries which she chooses to enforce with your son.  Instead, you can focus on setting your own expectations, and enforcing your own limits.  For example, you might let your son know that if he moves back in with you, he would need to be employed and contributing a set amount toward living expenses each month.  Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and your son.   Take care.
  • Faithful01
    My 22 year old daughter, has been on the streets, going from friend to friend eventually burning bridges then patching them up months later. She is now in jail, for stealing a package of candy, and the bond is so high we can not get her out. This was theMore first time she has ever been to jail for anything and she has to wait Talking with one of her friends I find out she has been on drugs off and on for a few years. We don't have much money, but I have been helping her as much as I could in the past year. I don't know what to do now. Will I be enabling her if I try to post bail, should I give her an ultimatum, or let her sit and think about it? She needs help. But I just don't know ...
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Faithful01 It can be so heartbreaking to watch your adult child continue to make poor decisions which negatively impact her life.  It can be tough to figure out the next best move you can make as a parent.  I don’t recommend giving your daughter an ultimatum, as they don’t tendMore to be effective in generating long-term change.  Sometimes, the emotion involved in parenting can cloud our judgment, and it can be difficult to determine the best path forward.  In these instances, it can helpful to use the “neighbor test”; that is, what would you do if it were a neighbor or a friend who was sitting in jail instead of your daughter?  Would you try to find a way to post bail, or would you let them sit and think about their actions?  Whatever you decide for this scenario, you can also apply to the current situation with your daughter.  I recognize what a tough situation this must be for you, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • MargaretEllen

    Our 20 year old son repeatedly refused to obey the rules set out in order to live in the family home. Rules such as no drugs in the house, be home by midnight, reasonable considering we both work, need to get up early, that there are 3 much younger siblings etc

    He was arrested 3 times in the last year, for badly beating his girlfriend in a drunken and high rage, smashing his car in a neighbor's garden, high and drunk driving,

    Therapy was encouraged and offered, college paid for, which he dropped out of, he quit his part time job,

    On and on.

    Eventually I told him to not return home. Not in anger or as a punishment.

    But as an attempt to make our son take responsibility for himself, his future, his actions.

    He lived on the streets for months until it was too cold. The police keep moving him on, I gave him food but no money, yet he had money for drugs.

    I am devastated as he has been thrown out of 2 homeless shelters, continues to use people with no care for their welfare.

    Anyou one that can share any insights, ideas,

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      MargaretEllen I’m so sorry to hear about the troubles you have faced as a result of your son’s actions, and I hear how heartbroken you are about the choices he has made.  It sounds like you have given him opportunities to make different choices, and he has not taken advantageMore of these.  One of the challenges in parenting a young adult is that your son is an adult, and thus free to make his own choices, even those that you do not support.  The other side of making his own decisions is that he is also responsible for facing the consequences, legal and otherwise, of his actions.  While you cannot force your son to make certain choices, you can set boundaries for yourself in how you respond to him.  Letting him know that you will not give him money or allow him to stay with you if he is not willing to follow your rules are great examples of this.  I recognize how hard this must be for you, and I hope that you have some support for yourself during this time, whether here in our online parenting community, or in your local area.  If you might be interested in using local, in-person supports, such as counseling or a support group, try contacting the http://www.211.org at 1-800-273-6222.  211 is a service which connects people with resources in their community.  I wish you and your family all the best as you continue to move forward.  Take care.
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
    Christine12 I’m so sorry to hear about all the challenges you are facing right now with your daughter as well as your cancer and your husband’s unemployment.  I’m glad that you are here reaching out for support.  I understand your concern for your younger children’s safety, as well as theMore potentially risky situations in which she is putting all of you by bringing strangers into your home.  In the end, the decision of whether to get a restraining order against your daughter is going to be yours.  If you decide to allow her to remain in your home, 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 her behavior while she is staying with you, and how she will be held accountable if she isn’t following your rules.  I recognize how challenging this must be for you right now, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • Karla is tired
    I'm a mother of a 25 year old son he has never held a job he smokes all day he is violent very violent and mouthy he has broken many things in my house he made many holes in the walls he is just violent he claims he will beMore a millionaire one day and he puts me down and his little sister too. Daniel is just to much me and his father din t talk because of him there is a communication issue due to Daniels behavior Marijuana has a major factor in Daniels life he does it all day I dot know what to do we have called the cops and they want us to get an eviction notice  since he is 25 years old is just bad I wish I can move out of my home and now my 20 year old son is doing the same, I sad an ugly to live this way I pray daily for this to change but is just worse and worse .
  • pumkin head
    Us as parents got a house loan for our daughter as her and her husband got behind on their loan on the home and ruined their credit so we set the loan up so they could stay in the house as it was their home. Her and her husband gotMore a divorce later on and our daughter still lives in the house but for the last 9 years she has not paid hardly any payments leaving us as the parents paying the mortgage payments as it is in our name... She doesn't work and don't see any changes of her getting a job. Need to sell the home as it has a lot of equity in it and give her part of it and let her figure her own way...she is 45 years old..look forward to a reply.
    • Lazy Mooch
      It's very hard for a 45 year old woman with little career history to get hired at any sort of job much less one that will pay a mortgage. Even women with a good work history will earn less than a man. Even in 2017. Sad but true. You shouldn'tMore have paid on the house all this time. Should've told her to suck it up and move into an apartment or small condo after the divorce. That was what was affordable for her. Hell I have a solid work history and a master's degree and still can't afford a house on my own.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      pumkin head I’m so sorry to hear about this situation with your daughter.  It can be hard when you try to do everything you can to help your child get on her feet, yet she doesn’t appear willing to help herself.  The truth is, you cannot make your daughter doMore anything, such as make the mortgage payments or find a steady job.  You can only control your own responses to her behavior.  At this point, it might be useful to talk with your daughter about your plan to sell the house, and if she is willing, you might discuss possible next steps for her once the house is sold.  Please let us know if you have additional questions.  Take care.
      • Discussed
        One thing that is not being addressed here is tough love. By coodling your child, you are not helping them. You do not have to talk to them about selling the house, just sell it. They will figure it out once you put a for sale sign inMore the yard. If they ask why, then you explain that you are tired of making the house payment as they were not, and that you decided to save money and sell the house instead and to also get it out of your name. If they try to argue or compromise, just let them know that they should have worked out something with you long before and that this will be better for everyone in the long run, which it will, as now they will be responsible for themselves and can now become independent, and you will be free of this obligation.
  • More bitter by the day

    Reading all of these posts makes me feel a little bit better about my own situation. I have a total of 5 children (three biological and two step daughters) ranging in ages of 14 to 21.

    My son (who lives with his girlfriend) has not caused me any burdens. Even though he had a hard time finding a job, he never tried to free load off of me.

    Now, my adult daughters on the other hand are.... to be blunt... worthless. Two of then went and got pregnant, one of them twice by two seperate men, so now I have both of them in my house, with my grandchildren (2, 2, and 4). Both work, but because of no true skill set (or work ethic) they are in the minimum wage bracket. None of the fathers help out, and I'm busting my butt, working two full time jobs to try and stay afloat. My wife is aggravated (more with my daughter than hers... go figure) and I'm fed up with all of them. When told to do something around the house, they just talk about how "tired" they are and how hard they work. Whatever!

    I have hinted, out right told them, and once even blew my top; trying to get them to understand what a burden they are. They do not provide anything as far as rent, electric/utilities, gas, etc... when asked to chip in, they act like my wife and I are the burden and are being unfair.

    The AC or heat is running... well, let's open up the window and doors... let's turn all the lights on in the house, never sweep or wash a dish, have mom wash our clothes, etc...

    This crap has been going on for over two years. I cook, clean, repair, fund, purchase, blah, blah, blah. Then they want to sit and tell me about some friends BS drama or how someone's doing so good in life. Let me simply say "I don't care!" I have had to put my dreams and ambitions on hold because they are unable to provide and or sustain themselves or my grandchildren (yep, that's where they got me).

    I often times feel like a guest in my own home. Yes, I love them, but I am at the point that I do not like them. I have provided support to the best of my abilities when they were growing up, but all they want to do is point out the parental shortcomings of my wife and I when we try to get them to do better.

    So now let's talk about my other step daughter, who I just recently was able to get out of the house. She moved in with a friend of hers and her friends boyfriend. I told my wife that issues were going to come out of that arrangement and yep, they sure did.

    Seems that my wonderful daughter was able to inject herself into the friends relationship, resulting in the relationship ending between the two individuals. Now my wonderful step daughter is now living with and dating the same guy and none of them understand why I think she is in the wrong... wtf?!?... I tell you folks, you cant make this kind of crap up!

    None of these "joys of life" we're raised this way. They were taught the difference between right and wrong and taught to work in and at life (or so I thought... jokes on me I guess)

    I know that this post is rambling and I apologize for that. I am just so ticked off and angry that I needed to vent, and none of this even begins to truly cover how crappy my house has become both litteraly and figuratively.

    • Discussed
      Hey more bitter by the day. I'm no expert, but I had read an article once before about something similar happening. What keeps coming to mind is that fact that your a hostage in your own home. They use guilt and insufficient means to hold you hostage. What IMore recommend may seem extreme, but I think it would be the only way to set yourself free and force them to launch. SELL YOUR HOUSE. That will force change. It will free you to move on with your life and it will put a fire under their butts to figure something out instead of continuing to freeload. Then let them know you are downsizing for whatever reason you want to come up with and that you will be moving into a one or two bedroom apartment with your wife and that's it. They will grumble and complain most likely, but it will free you and your wife from your bondage. One other thing that I do want to mention is that your wife is very patient and must love you a lot, but with all human beings, they can only take so much and if you really really love your wife, don't put her through this anymore. Sell that house!
  • AdultCareRus
    What about adult children living at an elderly parent's home giving them full-time care?  Your articles do alot of damage to those situations where an adult child lives at their elderly parent's home taking care of all needs--cooking, cleaning, remodeling, giving medications, driving the parent to doctors, shopping, church, etc...MyMore mother, 81, recently bought a house.  I moved every last belonging she and I had into her new house physically by myself.  I also enjoy spending time with my mother in her last days.  We reminisce about the "old" days and get along wonderfully---neither of us smoke, do illegal drugs, or drink alcohol.  We go to church 3-4 times a week.  I feel your articles do alot of damage where the adult child is actually a help to an aged parent.  My mother does not pay me a salary.  And I moved back home after my divorce.  It seems my mother and I needed each other and it is a good situation for both.  You people seem to me to be propagandists for large retirement homes and communities.  Yes, get the adult child caregiver out of the way so we can fatten the bottom lines of our employers who would financially benefit from all the elderly parents who heretofore never needed us because of adult child caregivers. You wolves should be ashamed of yourselves.
    • Discussed
      Adultcarerus, I think you miss the point of the article. It's about adult children who are failing to launch. If you moved back in with your mother to care for her, this situation (failure to launch) does not apply to you. Now, if something in the article touched a nerve,More then you need to examine yourself and be honest with yourself about your own short comings. If there are things you need to work on with yourself, then take responsibility and do it. Don't lash out at other people because you have an issue you don't want to face or admit. If you have used any of these manipulation techniques, then first stop doing them and then see a councilor about some hidden resentments you may be caring around. Take care and God bless and thanks for caring enough to take care of your mother.
    • ParentofLostPotential
      AdultCareRus  These articles are for parents of children who have graduated high school, possibly college, but have never done anything with their lives and are still living OFF their parents.  It has nothing to do with older people who have moved back in with elderly parents to take care ofMore their parents.  I have a lot of respect for people willing to give up their independent life to be in-home caregivers for their parents or grandparents.  It is a lot of work and sometimes heartache.  Again, these articles have NOTHING to do with any of that so should not be misinterpreted to your situation.  God bless!
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
    Maryjane1010 I’m sorry to hear about the struggles you and your parents are facing with your son, and I’m glad you are here reaching out for support. You are not alone in facing these kinds of challenges.  I’m also sorry to hear that the police response was not what youMore might have hoped it would be.  At this point, I encourage you to take his threats of harm seriously, and create a safety plan you can follow if your son threatens to kill himself or your parents.  For assistance in creating this plan, try contacting the http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/# at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  You might also look into other local resources which could be helpful for you in addressing your son’s behavior by contacting the http://www.211.org at 1-800-273-6222.  211 is a service which connects people with resources in their area.  I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you and your family right now, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • mia63
    My common law spouse has his 24 yr old adult child living with us.  We purchased our house 28 months ago to have his daughter move in, work full time, doesn't do anything to contribute to the house or the bills.  This "adult child" does not pay rent because sheMore can't afford to but has lots of $$ for numerous trips this year and buys designer clothes.  She owns a brand new car (bank loan) and has people over continuously in MY house.  She helps herself to all of the food, alcohol, whatever she wants because she acts entitled.  omg...I want to move out of MY house as my spouse thinks that she isn't quite grown up and he needs to take care of his child....seriously wth?!  any suggestions?  This is damaging our relationship to no end.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      mia63 I hear you.  It can be so frustrating when you have an adult child living with you who wants all the freedom and independence of being an adult, yet doesn’t want any of the responsibility.  It can be even more so when 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 how to address this.  AtMore this point, I encourage you to speak with your spouse privately during a calm time to try to find some common ground, and https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ on expectations for his daughter while she is living with you.  Sometimes, it can be useful to involve a neutral third-party, such as a marriage/family therapist, to help you develop plan to move forward.  If you are interested in using this type of support, try contacting the http://www.211.ca at 1-800-836-3238.  Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.
  • Holly9944

    I'm sooo relieved after reading this article!!! I have many times rented homes for My 32 yo daughter who has 3 beautiful children who has many times messed it up. She is diagnosed bipolar and often stops her meds as well as drinks alcohol until drunk. I tried one last time to help only to have my daughter physically attack me as well as the police officer. She went

    To jail, only to have my sister Get her out.

    Now six months later I'm the object of the harassing emails and texts again from my sister who got her out of jail as well as my daughter who wants money again. I said no more this time and mean every word. I even moved out of state. Even though I've called police and DEFACS no one will help me stop to the harrassment. I'm 100% DONE !!!

    • Discussed
      Hello Holly, wow, I'm sorry for your situation. Talk about a messed up deal. First off, the police should be able to help you stop the harassment. Make sure you go to both the city Police and file a harassment complaint and if that doesn't work, see a ConstableMore or county Sheriff. They should be able to get them to stop or be arrested and put in jail. If for some reason that fails, you may have to go to the local Police where your daughter and sister live to file the complaint. If you have to talk to the chief of police, then do what you have to do to get it to stop. Cudos to you for moving away. Your removing yourself from a toxic situation and toxic relationships. You don't need this type of garbage.
  • Tired Soul
    I have a 21 year old daughter with a 2 yr old who has moved back home with my husband and me. She is the epitome of Carefree.She never graduated has worked part time at various places and will not work at a place that "disrespects" her. Her ex theMore father of her child- has not helped her financially even when they were living together- which was about 1 year. Her father and I have been paying for food diapers daycare etc. We are trying to collect support from her ex monetarily wise yet she seems to feel a sense of guilt about this. He has physically assaulted her in the past-police records show this- and is now living in a town home with a mortgage and girlfriend , sees his daughter twice a week and has her every other week end for about 2 days. Meanwhile, she is living in our downstairs with daughter and we are paying for full time daycare while she looks for a job. We have supplied her with a vehicle insurance gas and food and her and her childs' needs. We also pay her phone bill and credit debt. I have tried repeatedly to talk with her yet when she gets upset she throws a tantrum of yelling stomping swearing and slamming doors. I am at my wits end. She threatens moving back in with her ex and never letting us see our granddaughter. I just don't know what to do.
    • Discussed
      Hello Tired Soul. I feel your frustration. I see your daughter is definitely pushing many of the emotional buttons as she can to keep things as they are. The first thing is don't make your decisions based on emotions. The main emotion I'm talking about here is fear.More Fear of your daughter struggling, fear of not seeing your grand baby again, fear of an abusive relationship, etc. First off, you need to take control of the situation. Before I start, I need to mention one thing, you have been trying to do the loving thing with your daughter which she abuses. But, the loving thing to do is also the responsible thing. So, just keep that in mind. If you are trying to do something lovingly, is it also the responsible thing to do? I hope you understand what I'm taking about. At any rate, first things first. Have another talk with her, but this time let her know what you and your husband are going to do. If she won't take responsibility for herself, then your not going to pay anything of hers. Since she isn't, then stop paying all of her bills. Let her know that within X number of days, I would recommend giving one month, no more, to get her act together as that is when the parent ATM is being shutdown. Let her know you will stop paying all of her bills. And then stop at the time you and your husband decided to stop. Don't capitulate and don't give in to her demands, crying, temper tantrum, etc. be firm. And, she will push ever button there is to push. Just don't give in. It will be hard, but it will be worth it in the long run. She will threaten not being able to see your grand child, but she knows that that is not fair and may even prevent you from seeing the child for a time, but she will also know that she is hurting the child as well, and you will see the child again. Don't let that fear dictate your decisions. It's scary, hard and frustrating, but you are the parents after all and you have to help your daughter launch. As far as the car goes, I would buy her a very basic, inexpensive car that you can pay cash for, get her one or two months insurance on the car, also car title and insurance in her name only, give it to her and say there you go, and don't ever pay her car insurance again. Now if she gets stopped because she failed to pay the insurance that's on her. Do not pay anything for her. If you want to occasionally buy diapers or something for the baby, then that's ok, but let it be on your and your husbands time frame, not on your daughters. That is her responsibility. If she threatens to move back into an abusive relationship, just let her know that you don't want to see that, but that she is a big girl and that's her choice, but also let her know that it wouldn't be the best for the baby, but again she's a big girl and it's her life. She will most likely move out on her own as you have made it more uncomfortable for her and so she will move out to make it more comfortable for herself. It make take some time, but she remove as much comfort you can. If you have cable and she enjoys watching movies or shows etc, turn it off. Get my point?
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

    desperate983 

    I hear

    you.It can be quite difficult to set

    limits with your child when you are worried about how he might respond.If you have not already done so, I recommend reading

    the https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/failure-to-launch-part-3-six-steps-to-help-your-adult-child-move-out/, which outlines how you can start setting and

    enforcing your own boundaries with your son.In addition, if you are concerned that your son might be suicidal or try

    to harm himself, I encourage you to contact the http://www.samaritans.org/ at 116

    123, and develop a plan to keep your son safe.I recognize how challenging this situation

    must be for you, and I wish you and your family all the best moving forward.Take care.

  • Gina71
    I have an 32 year old daughter, she's married with 5 kids. My daughter has a master degree in social work and phd in mulipulation and stress. They have Internet store, and hopeful a storefront. The business isn't always doing great and it seems they are constantly making decisions thatMore keeps. Heir accounts negative and paying employees has been a struggle, including me. I have been wait for two paychecks for 30 days, I would babysit all five kids, make product for the business, I have even launched new products my private collection which has become one of the company top sell and I clean their house. My daughter and her husband has taken 3 days trips andI kept my grandkids(ages 5months-12yrs old) taking them to school. I suffer from migraines however these people continue to bombard me, the last draw was when my daughter ask if I would take out a loan for her, I agreed however I asked after taking the loan out when I was getting paid and she said that is why I had you to take the loan out, well now payment of the loan is due and my daughter can't pay. I recently take a job and pull 99.9 % away from my daughter. My husband jobs takes him out of town so he's not aware of these situations.
  • Sue
    I have adult children that live with me and are in the category of all the above. It's so frustrating and when they can't afford to pay their bills I keep rescuing them. I try to stop bit there's always a need to pay the car payment or they can'tMore get to work. Pay the phone because you need a phone to get a job. My response is you need a job to have a phone. Now they are taking over more of our house and don't even pick up after themselves. How do I stop this madness. We tried to be helpful and was told it would be 3 months, it's been almost 3 yrs. Please help I am so fed uo and feel myself resenting having them here which will cause a problem in our relationships.
    • jcriley9
      In a way I'm glad I found this blog, I didn't realize how many people are in my same position. I have 2 sons living with me 43 and 34. How does this happen, oldest has health issues from a horrible accident in 95, but honestly long story short he'sMore doing good. He certainly can work, he says maybe part time, till he figures out stuff. He does own a home, which he rents out now near my home, several hours away. Financial he ok because he get enough rent to cover hus mtg. But mental I'm not sure if he's ready to leave because he was needing to move back in 8 months ago, I heard it in his voice. So we let him, he's become very compliance now. Than I have a 3 yrs son who dabbled into drugs in his younger years. He's moved out several times either from issues or not holding a job. He's currently not working and his roommate who's been very patient with him for not paying his share on rent. Roommate is now moving into girlfriend place, leaving my son with having to yet again move back in. I have a 4rd son who ironically is doing the best as far as he's working full time and helping her fiance finish up nursing school. BUT even tho he doesn't live at home he lives in our townhouse that we bought and made beautiful because she got pregnant and now have a son who is 4yrs old. F course being the good parents we are, they live in our town house almost rent free. And live pay check to paycheck till she graduates in a year. Plus I've been watching my grandson since he was 3 months old. We live him so much, and this is way we let them live there so they will make a good future for him. How tge Hell did we become the generation that constantly helps our grown up children way more than we should. Why do they feel so entitled and we seem to oblige. Here it is 3 AM and I'm so mad resentful but still live all my boys. I'm so stuck. I'm so resentful, I'm starting not to like my own children. Between drug use in there earlier years and now older years their dependency on myself and husband of 44yrs for continuing help. It has changed our whole retirement, we have not what we thought we would after working so hard for so ling. Throwing good mone after bad, now we will live pay check to paycheck on our society security because of the monies we've used on them. Either helping them get out of jam or pay bills or etc...Just this week along I'm going to give my youngest who lives outide our home over 1000 to help buy another car as his car is dine. Than my 43 yrs old helps himself to money I left on counter, mind you after catching him up on 3 car payments and gas money hair cut money, all this so he could look good hopefully find a job. That was almost tge last draw with him. OMG I can't believe how much I vented, I have know clue what to do, and my husband 65 now still working so hard doesn't either. I see him retreating into TV or projets because he has know answers either. I need help with this matter, I'm making a appointment first thing this morning. I also suffer from fibromyalgia because of the overwhelming stress. Any one have any answes, sorry for my sob story or bad spelling as 4am and have slept very little.
      • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
        jcriley9 I’m so sorry to hear about all the challenges you have faced with your sons over the years, and I’m glad that you are here reaching out for support.  Something to keep in mind is that since your children are all adults, anything you decide to provide to themMore is a choice for you and a privilege for them.  This includes things like a place to live, financial assistance, childcare and so on.  If you notice yourself becoming resentful or frustrated, this is usually a good indicator that your boundaries are being crossed, and might need to be reassessed.  You might find some helpful information in James Lehman’s article series on adult children.  Here is the first article in the series: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/rules-boundaries-and-older-children-part-i/.  I recognize how difficult this must be for you, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      @Sue 

      I hear you.It can be

      so frustrating when you are in a cycle of your adult children not meeting their

      responsibilities, and then you respond by paying their bills and rescuing

      them.Ultimately, you cannot make your

      adult children behave in a certain way; you can only control your responses and

      actions. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to read the https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/failure-to-launch-part-3-six-steps-to-help-your-adult-child-move-out/, which discusses setting and enforcing boundaries

      with your adult children.I also

      recommend https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ with each of your children which outlines your expectations

      for their behavior while they are living in your home.I recognize how difficult this situation must

      be for you, and I wish you all the best moving forward.Take care.

  • Guess

    Guess

    Son amd daughter-in-law think we are bank.she has been in and out of school.son is survice for emt service makes good money two boys 6 and 8.allways asking for bailouts.we give them 700.00 last month.i get 700.00 a month.i pay 150.00 school loan 70 a month for grandson med.ever month.she is bypolor. Im afraid she will not let me see boys. Now she needs 300 for lights or they will turn off momday.i fight with depression all the time.and this makes it worse. I hate to see grandkids do without.i have never said no.my husband and i fight all the time about this.but i feel guilty. I was raised without.from one home to other.and now to turn then down. But she buys cigarette. They get together with friends and party at each others home but that takes snacks and beer.boys need clothes i buy that i buy picture. Im at my ends.they said we do without for are kids. I dont feel they do..

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      @Guess 

      I’m sorry to hear about the struggles you are having with

      your son and his family.I speak with

      many parents who describe similar frequent financial bailouts for their adult

      children, so you are not alone.I

      encourage you to read the https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/failure-to-launch-part-3-six-steps-to-help-your-adult-child-move-out/, which discusses how you can reestablish some limits

      with your son and his family.I hear

      your concern for your grandchildren, and how setting firmer boundaries might

      affect them.Ultimately, you are the one

      who can best judge what you are, and are not willing to live with.I recognize how difficult this must be for

      you, and I wish you all the best moving forward.

  • gpink
    I have been with my fiance for 4 1/2 years . I moved in with him 3 years ago. His 20 year old son who is a clinger and a bit of a clueless lives with his mother  had nothing to do with him the first 3 years we wereMore together. After he turned 19 he came back into his life. My boyfriend expects me to worship the ground he walks on. Expects me to do his laundry cook and pick up after when he visits. He also gets upset when i don't want to converse with them.  Recently he gave him a key to the house just in case. His son was having issues with his mother and his son would leave his mothers home and come over crying and talking bad about his mother and her boyfriend. then he'd settled for a day or 2 and go back and everything would be fine. My fiance has even brought him and the younger son on vacations with us and they are very needy. I will never vacation with his boys again. I cannot say anything about his sons to him. Like asking him to please have his sons pick up or do their laundry. If i do he accuses me of hating his sons. I do believe that everything they see and hear in our home they run and tell their mother. Even if we have had a disagreement. A couple months ago his older son knocked on the back door. i was home alone and answered the door. He was up the street and had some issue with a friend. That same day his friend picked him up and he told his friend I answered the door half naked. A lie. I was on the couch with jeans and a sweatshirt on. I told my fiance and he told me his son said he didn't. I questioned the friend and he said yes he did. My fiance said I told him not to lie,  like it's not  that  big deal you know hes just trying to impress and act big in front of friend. That is not acceptable!!  He has made up dumb little pity lies but his father wont say anything.He laughs if off as hes just a kid. no he is 20 years old. I'm at my wits end. I never know when he is coming over. I don't know whether to leave this relationship as it is hard because I do love my fiance. I am afraid to make a life with him and have his son move in when his mother throws him out for lack of motivation and not doing anything with his life. He attends school maybe 2 or 3 hours 2 days a week. Not full time and  no job. Everything is paid for by mom and my fiance who pays child support and then some. He has no responsibilities. Please Help me decide. His son always runs to him and exaggerates whatever story is  if a cousin has said something to him and his father defends him and states that everyone hates his son. My fiance's family who owns a family business together with my fiance do not want the son around nor working in the business because of the lies and concerned that he will run to his mother and tell her everything like disagreements and so on which he has because his mother then threatens with court or more money or so on,  His mother backed him up the first 3 years he had nothing to do with his father when he turned 18 he needed a job and the family knew his mother would dump him on his father. At this time there is a lot of stress because my fiance's father does not want his grandson around also due to some disrespect the boy had with his grandfather. They are very old school and Italian. i feel very bad for my fiance but he does not nor wants to see that his son is manipulating him.  My fiance is upset and states that just because he made 1 mistake that they will make him pay for the rest of his life.  During the last year the son has failed to visit family or grandfather when he is in the states. He only comes around if his father is taking him to a family party, vacation dinner or something that includes spending money. The family and I see it but he doesn't want to. Please help. In fact he is already asking his father about going to Italy next summer!
    • gpink
      How do I bring the issue up that his son his manipulating him without him thinking I'm attacking him or that I hate his son.
      • ParentofLostPotential
        gpink  You are in a no-win situation.  Based on my experience, you should pack up and depart as amicably as possible, because it will not change and may even get worse.  My 2 cents.
      • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

        gpink 

        Thank you for your question.Parenting differences are quite common, and can be even greater in a

        blended family.Something that can be

        useful is to talk with your fiancée privately during a calm time about your

        concerns, as indicated in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/my-blended-family-wont-blend-help-part-i-how-you-and-your-spouse-can-get-on-the-same-page/.As I indicated in my

        previous comment, sometimes it can also be beneficial to involve a neutral

        third-party, such as a marriage/family therapist, to help you and your fiancée to

        work together to resolve this issue.Take care.

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      gpink 

      We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and

      sharing your story.I’m sorry to hear

      about the struggles you are experiencing in your relationship with your fiancée

      as a result of his son’s behavior. Because we are a website aimed at helping

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

      suggestions we can give regarding whether you should stay in your relationship.

      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, 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.

  • FlatBrokeNTiredOldMom

    I have a situation and need to know what to do without causing a lot more issues. I have four adult children and two of them are relying completely on me for financial and emotional support. The youngest one is 19 years old and a freshman in college. She has moved out into an apartment near the college, the agreement her and I have is that I am to pay to her rent and utilities. This has escalated into me paying her rent, utilities, cell phone, car insurance, food, gasoline, and anything that needs to come up for school that is needed. My portion went from $425.00 a month to $700 a month. I'm a single mom that makes less then $60,000 a year, I cant afford this. She likes to make me feel guilty if she is wanting money and I don't have it to give.

    Then we go to the 20 year old daughter with a 9 month old baby and another one due in January. She was living with her older boyfriend that after he found out she was pregnant with his second child a banded her three states away with nothing but a suitcase and a diaper bag. Everything that had been bought for the baby is totally gone along with all her belongings. I got her flown in to me and want to help her as much as I can. She of course is currently pregnant and I don't expect her to try to find a job at this time but do expect her to pull her weight around the house. I also expect her to get her GED. She dropped out of her last semester of high school. She plays the blaming game on that, she blames her dad and then she will be blames me.

    This girl doesn't do anything but watch TV all day. We live in a very safe apartment complex that right outside the door is a courtyard, she wont even step out with my grandson to get some fresh air unless I'm with her. She has lived with me for 5 months now and its like pulling teeth to get her to meet anyone her age or other single mothers just to talk to. I work 60 hours a week and when I get home am tired and at times will go straight to bed. She doesn't seem to get it that I cant be at work all day and come home to play host to her or babysit all night while she plays a game.

    I am physically and mentally drained. This was suppose to be the time in my life of living for myself, but instead find myself taking vacation days to take my daughter or grandson to the doctor because she doesn't drive and doesn't want to learn. When payday comes around after my youngest daughter's bills, my rent and car payment, there is verily enough to buy food.

    Their father lives in Alaska with his new wife and will sporadically send my youngest daughter money although she never tells me how much or when. I would hope she wouldn't lie to me but know she has lied to her father about situations and money. He will also send the other daughter a few things every once in a while like a t shirt or a new outfit for the baby. Every little bit helps.

    What do I do? How do I get these girls to take responsibility for themselves? How do I motivate the 20 year to help herself and her children?

    It's like I'm stuck with no end breaking free in site.

    Please help.

    Flat broke and Tired Old Mom

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      @FlatBrokeNTiredOldMom 

      I hear how much you are struggling with your daughters’

      choices, and I’m glad that you are reaching out for support.On one hand, you want to help your daughters as

      much as you can; on the other, it sounds like the way things are going right

      now is not working for you.It’s

      important to keep in mind that your daughters are both adults, and so anything

      you decide to provide to them is considered a privilege for them, and a choice

      for you.This includes things like

      financial assistance, childcare and transportation.If you have not already done so, I encourage

      you to read https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/failure-to-launch-part-3-six-steps-to-help-your-adult-child-move-out/, which outlines setting and enforcing boundaries

      for yourself regarding your daughters’ behavior.In addition, you might also consider https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ for your older daughter, which outlines your

      expectations for her behavior while she is living with you.I recognize what a difficult situation this

      must be for you, and I wish you and your family all the best moving forward.Take care.

  • George2legit
    Hi I have a question? So I've been married for 7 years now and my step daughter with her daughter moved in a year ago. Within that year she's had about six different jobs. She finally has a job that she likes but before then she said oh I needMore a car I need a car I need a car so she went which I don't know how she was able to get it went and got a car with car payments that she can't make. There was some months back that she got some back past due child support and it was a large sum so she quit her job made one car payment and then left for 3 weeks. When she came back it took her 3 months to find a job but in the meantime we're stuck trying to make car payments that we can afford and do not ask for a car. Now it's she doesn't pay anything in the house she doesn't buy food she doesn't clean up after herself she doesn't clean up after her daughter she does no housework whatsoever. I've discussed this with my spouse and I said it's not fair that you have to work overtime to pay for everything that's in the house along with whatever I make from my job.. I said if it was my daughter which I do have a daughter and said if it was my daughter I would have kicked her out long time ago. How was she going to learn any kind of responsibility if you don't make her do anything. I mean she can't even put the dishes in the dishwasher you have to walk right by it. We also have 2 other people that live in the house and I said it's not fair that they have to pay and she doesn't have to pay so I am kind of stuck at I don't know what to do because it's my step daughter and I don't have that kind of relationship or I can just tell you you either need to start paying or you need to leave
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      George2legit 

      I hear you.It can be

      really difficult when you feel as though your stepdaughter is not meeting her

      responsibilities and feel powerless to change it.At this point, it can be helpful 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/ to come to an agreement about

      what the expectations are for your stepdaughter while she is living with

      you.After your conversation, 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 rules, and how she will be held

      accountable if she is not following them.I recognize how challenging this must be for you, and I wish you and

      your family all the best moving forward.Take care.

  • Hurtful mom
    Thank you. I have heard and felt all these excuses and threats. I am tired of it from my adult son and do not believe him, but a little afraid he will hurt me or try to use my name or get into one of my accounts. He has alreadyMore stated he knows my SS# and what bank I use. That's weird huh? We were estranged for years and I am trying to help him and make up time we missed, but a lot of loans and just loving help, he is still whining and manipulative. My other children are doing well, he never grew up and never listened and still isn't. Thinks he should leave a high life at home and have one at 29. Help! He plays all those angles, I was amazed at the article!!!!?
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      Hurtful mom 

      I’m so sorry to hear about the challenges you are facing with your son, and

      I’m glad that you have found this article helpful.If you have not already done so, I encourage

      you to read https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/failure-to-launch-part-3-six-steps-to-help-your-adult-child-move-out/, which outlines how you can set and enforce

      boundaries with your son.I also hear

      your concern that your son might try to hurt you, or access your bank accounts

      without your permission.It could be

      helpful to develop a plan you can follow to stay safe, as well as talking about

      your concerns with your bank to see what safeguards are in place to keep your

      accounts secure.Although you did not

      state that your son has become physically abusive toward you, you might find

      additional useful information in our article https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/signs-of-parental-abuse-what-to-do-when-your-child-or-teen-hits-you/.I wish you all the best moving forward.Take care.

      • Luisa hernandez
        Hello my 22 yr old son, want me n my husband accept his disrupting life style...in the pass yr we help him by taking him to and from work washed his cloths made him 3 meals a day..3 months to work make sure he got hired..well he did andMore tested positive for Marijuana and got fired on the spot..I was so disapointed..he knew I was hurt n mad..well his father did not tolerate his behavior..he was disrupting the home ..we felt being disrespect...he was not paying for anything in home wanted to sleep all day..we gave him rules and did not follow them...his father had him leave the house . He said he rather be carefree n not pay nobody just have fun..he slept in our car broke in our home..the list goes on blames us for his mistakes..I thought after the nervous breakdown he gave me..he would change ..nope ..to day I get a call he's in jail..I just dnt know anymore..we are older but me n his father just can't support him anymore...he needs to take responsibility for his own actions..Ther is nothing we can do for him...bail is out of the question..I just dnt know what to do..all I do is pray...he's my youngest of 4. Are we Wong or stick with tough love..
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

    Nojoy 

    I’m so sorry to hear about what you are experiencing with

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

    can understand the difficulty in setting firm limits with your son when he

    threatens to harm or kill himself in response.  At this point, I encourage

    you to take these statements seriously and develop a plan you can implement if

    he is talking about killing himself.  By following through on a safety

    plan, you are helping to keep him safe and getting him the help he needs if he

    is serious.  In addition, if he is making these statements as a form of

    manipulation, you are communicating that this is not an effective way to meet

    his needs by following through on a safety plan.  For assistance in

    developing this plan, I encourage you to contact the http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).  I also recommend contacting the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222 for information

    about additional resources available in your community to help you and your son

    at this time.  I recognize how challenging this must be for you, and I

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

  • BJJohn
    Wow! Reading the article above was like someone writing what my life is to the T. I can hardly wait to get help. Thank you. I am so lonely. No one can stand seeing what I have been allowing to go on in my home. No man would have meMore and all family members have separated from me and my 21 yr. Old son still at home. He pushes all those buttons. Yep, he's become a professional at home.
  • guest2ho

    I have 4 adult children. Two are managing independently but the two youngest, 24 and 27 are not. They have bouts of living on their own or with someone else. Both left home very early (16) because they didn't want to follow house rules. They have been in and out of the house ever since. Time periods range from several months to a few weeks. All of it at our expense.

    This last year we finally put our foot down. It was extremely hard. I feel like a really bad parent BUT after sacrificing most of our financial well being to keep these two young divas "comfortable" I said enough is enough. My husband is less tolerant. He sees they are being exploitative and manipulative. I feel because the left home so early, they never really matured in the right ways.

    The youngest has a child but never had a job longer than a few weeks. She has no husband or steady boyfriend. She lives off the system and has come very close to losing her child. We stepped in and cared for the baby for several months but it didn't help. Now we find out she's pregnant again under the same circumstances, so we have officially cut her off. 

    She's leaning on her new boyfriend and his parents to care for her and her child. We no longer allow her to manipulate us but we are sad about the baby. 

    She is spiteful and angry over our decision so rarely see her or our grandchild. As painful as this is, we have to accept it. She was a huge drain on us in many ways. After a 4 year cycle of this, we finally said: no more

    The older one 27, has a good job but lives in the basement of her boyfriend's parents. Neither of them contribute very much. Both have good jobs and enjoy many luxuries. Luxuries they wouldn't have if they had to pay rent and other expenses that come with independent adulthood.  The older one doesn't like to take the bus so she frequently wants to stay at our house so she can walk to work. She does buy her own food but often had to supplement her menus with food from our pantry. She enjoyed free room and board, internet, laundry and all the perks of a home without actually having to buy or rent a home. When she was in our home, she basically took over the house and treated us like we were invading her space. The last round of her freeloading ended very badly. We said she needed to grow up and either get her own apartment or take the bus to work like everyone else.

    She didn't really care what we had to say because she floats back to her boyfriend's house, where his parents enable their dependency. She shows very little appreciation or gratitude for staying with us free of charge. 

    All of this has created very bad feelings in the family because these two adult children have exploited their older siblings in the same way and their grandparents in the same way. They invade our homes, rarely pay their way or contribute when needed. When we try to draw clear boundaries, they blame us for being mean to them.  I'm actually ashamed at their behavior. It embarrasses me among my other family members. I feel partly responsible for raising two horribly selfish young women. 

    Yet no matter what anyone says to them, they feel like the injured party because no one wants to foot the bill for them or put up with their selfish behavior.

    I empathize with every parent going through similar situations with their adult children. It's very difficult to remain neutral and stand up for what we deserve as parents which is just a little respect and appreciation for all our years of dedication and hard work in raising our children. Certainly not perfect but definitely invested. I only hope one day they will both grow up and realize the damage they've created in their family. For now, we keep them at arms length.

  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

    Sargent1 

    It’s not uncommon to have parenting differences with your

    spouse, and these can be even greater within a blended family.  It can be

    useful to sit down with your wife during a calm time, and try 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/ when it comes to finances and your stepson.  In some

    situations, it can also be useful to involve a neutral third party, such as a

    marriage/family counselor, who can help you to develop a plan to move forward

    together.  For assistance locating this, and other supports, in your

    community, try contacting the http://www.211.org/ at

    1-800-273-6222.  I recognize what a difficult situation this must be for

    you, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.

  • Chantal
    My 24 year old son is 'Tnt Slugger and Clinger'.... it's a mix bag of emotions using a friend's death that ocuured 4 years ago for being depressed. However he also blames me his father and the world. Admits to being depressed but refuses to go talk toMore a professional. I've already begun the process of stepping back and attempting to empower myself. I no longer do his laundry. I no longer cook meals for him and have started talking about him moving out. He can't keep a job. Feeling of self entitlement runs deep. Has a temper tantrum with the flick of a switch. His father and him can't be in the same room for more than 5 minutes before they are at each other. He smokes marajuana mixed with tobacco daily. He is on social assistance. In he coming weeks I plan to tell him he needs to start buying his own food and help out with the rent. Something I don't want to do but I realize now it's about making him realize what the real world is like. Yesterday my boyfriend and I took my son and his 12 and 9 year to a baseball park to hit some balls. When my son didn't get his turn at bat because the 12 year old decided he wanted to go next my adult son walked off the field to pout. I told him he was worse than a 2-year old he gave me the finger. So now we can't have him around his kids teaching them that it's OK to do that!
  • amber19900
    My situation is much the same. Here's me thinking I'm the only one with an annoying adult child. My daughter is 20, never had a full time job. That's my argument with her. She says "I'm not working full time in a job I don't like" I say most ofMore the population don't like their job. She moans that she's got the smallest room in the house. She owes me money. "Can't pay this month cause I didn't get paid much" but she still finds money for tobacco, takeaways, fake tan. Etc. She's very good at vacuuming her room and the lounge, but then moans that the house always needs it, and she seems to think she's the only one who does it. Forgets about the 101 other jobs. I myself have always worked longer hours than her. She gives me £80 a month. Her brother gives me £200 a month.
  • Marigold23
    This is such a good article . It is so hard when adult children dump their problems on us the parents. My issue with adult daughter is complicated by the fact she has a chronic condition and cannot really work at the moment. However she is very manipulative and usesMore her illness to hide behind. She could work from home if she really wanted to but keeps on saying she is too tired. Every time I decide to be stronger and step back she develops more symptoms. I know that it is the guilt that I feel that makes me tread on eggshells with but really don't know what to do anymore. She avoids doing anything she finds uncomfortable like speak to a therapist etc . I have give up my par time work to care for but now feel that I am actually much - I have really become a prisoner !
  • Girliegirl
    I am afraid that I have enabled my 26 year old son.  As a single, professional,parent, I tried to give him as many opportunities as possible.  I tried to prepare him to be a giving member of society.  The day he graduated high school, I met his girlfriend.  She wasMore raised in foster care and was looking for some where to live.  I allowed her to move into my house for a period of time because I didn't want him out in the streets with her.  They were both supposed to be going to school.  Needless to say, those were 3 years wasted.  They moved out for a year, she couldn't stand my rules.  I knew that they would be reckless in an apartment.  They trashed it.  She sat and he did work.  At one point it she became violent, and he left.  She was arrested, he was not.  He came home.  He continued to work until that job laid off his whole shift.  The next girlfriend came.  She has been here for soon to be 4 years and neither of them work.  They both make excuses for not working.  His sinusitis is acting up.  She has government health care and can't work until her dental work is done.  She can't live with her mother because her mother is homeless too.  I am tired of paying bills and buying groceries when I am at work most of the time.  I don't know where to turn.  He believes that society  doesn't want to give young black men a chance, but when I had a good friend get him 2 interviews, 3 years apart, his  first excuse was that he had day time classes.  So he did not take the job.  This time, the same friend got him another interview, and his excuse is that I don't know if I can work full time because my allergies and sinusitis has been giving me problems.  What if I pass out on the job and die ???  His health care will be cut off at the end of this year.  His dental and vision coverage ended when he turned 25 and he has no plan. I don't know what to do.  Any ideas ?
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      Girliegirl 

      I hear you.  I speak with many parents who describe

      similar situations, so you are not alone.  Something to keep in mind is

      that, in general, people do not change if they are comfortable with their

      circumstances.  If your son currently has his needs met without working,

      then it’s not likely that he will be motivated to find a job and provide for

      himself.  While you cannot make him start working, you can start setting

      limits and making him uncomfortable using the privileges you provide to

      him.  Even if you have enabled your son in the past, it’s https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/its-never-too-late-7-ways-to-start-parenting-more-effectively/.  You might start by https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/, which outlines your expectations for his behavior,

      and how you will hold him accountable.  Please be sure to write back and

      let us know how things are going.  Take care.

  • toots86
    My adult daughter has moved back home out of necessity no money, I have given her the opportunity of working for me part-time which she has started, I have tried to have a family meeting to discuss guidelines, she never sleeps here just stores her clothes here, my question isMore I have asked her to sleep here the when she is working for me, the reason being she is always late and I am trying to get her back into a routine of working, the other nights I don't mind where she goes of course I am concerned for her safety too.  Do you think I am being unreasonable.  She is also says I will be back shortly and never comes back, there is a lot of talking but not much action any assistance greatly appreciated.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      toots86 

      It can be quite frustrating when you and your child have

      different expectations for her behavior while back in your home.  We hear

      from many parents who wonder if they have unreasonable expectations for an

      adult child, so you are not alone.  One helpful guideline to use is the

      “neighbor test”; that is, what would you expect if it were someone other than

      your child living in your home?  What would you expect from a tenant or a

      long-term houseguest?  Once you have determined your rules and boundaries,

      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 these expectations. 

      Please be sure to let us know if you have any additional questions; take care.

  • Less is
    I am married to a wonderful man who has had issues and kids that have made life hell and mine too is in the mix my husband can't stop allowing them to create drama and one son is violent towards me as I am black he Calls me names andMore directs all anger at me and still I am at crossroads as I have been very good to them and my man is falling back into catering and allowing him to get his way he is a ex vet and has post traumatic stress he scares me and keeps my man doing for him and refuses to take himself to get help so he uses his kids and it's just hell his mom is not a person. Who does anything but play games with her own kids my man won't stand up to her or them and makes me feel bad help
  • Anna
    My son is 23 years old and graduated from high school at 18.  He is unkind to me, mean to his grandmother and lives in an apartment that my mother and I pay the rent for.  It is $500 a month.  I have absolutely no idea what to do aboutMore him.  I love him very much, but he never talks to me unless it is to ask for money.  I pay his rent, $40 per month cell phone payment and he obtains $200 per month in food stamps.  I have set up job interviews for him online and he refuses to go.  He claims that he has OCD and I believe it because he spends about $20 a month on paper towels because he won't touch the faucet of his bathroom sink, even though he is the only one using the bathroom.  Every one in his apartment has their own bathroom.  He needs rubbing alcohol, disinfectant wipes and bleach to clean his bathroom.  Yesterday, I told him that he has one year to get a job because when his lease is up in August of 2017, I will not be paying for rent anymore.  He is very mean to me and tells me unkind things all the time.  He refuses to talk to his own grandmother.  We have done our best for him and I think part of the problem was that he had a very good childhood and I indulged him quite a bit.  He was a very sweet baby and child.  It was only when he reached 13 or 14 that I started to have problems with his attitude.  I had to change my home phone number and block his cell calls because it is a constant demand for money and everything is an emergency.  He refuses to work and I doubt that he looks for work.  I am 51 and I have a beautiful and sweet 7 year old daughter to raise and I cannot be harassed for money.  I don't see my son and it is very sad indeed, but I have to think about my daughter and MY life. I have made appointments for him to receive mental health counseling and and OCD help, which he SAYS he needs, but he will not go.  Any advice?  Thank you1
    • PRB77
      I can feel your hurt and pain. My son in so many ways is similar to your son, in that he has this sense of entitlement-feeling that he can do and say anything he wants to me. My son will be 23 this month and i too gave him aMore timeline to be out my home. I also have a daughter whom I must focus on. Keep your strength and know that you have done the best you could do. You are a person too that needs love and care. Also, there is nothing that says you have to be subjected to abuse by your own child.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      @Anna 

      I hear you.  It can be very frustrating when you

      continue to provide for a young adult, and in return you receive unkindness and

      ingratitude.  Something to keep in mind is that people do not tend to

      change until they are uncomfortable. It sounds like this is a pretty

      comfortable situation for your son to have his bills paid and needs met without

      working, so it makes sense that he would not be motivated to change at this point.

      You cannot “make” your son change, yet you can set boundaries with your son

      that can make him uncomfortable. The limits that you have set with

      your son about discontinuing your financial support after August 2017 sound

      reasonable.  At this point, you might also plan for how you can stay firm

      on your boundaries, even if your son chooses not to find a job or attend

      counseling, or if he cannot keep his apartment.  Sometimes, it can be

      helpful to work directly with someone, like a counselor, who can help you

      develop this plan.  For assistance finding these resources in your

      community, 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 write back and let us know how things are going for

      you and your family.  Take care.

  • Baby sitting grown men
    I am a mother of 2 sons, oldest is 34 & youngest is 25..They both live at home which was agreement while they competed IT degree from WGU an online self paced school no fail system..The problem is they got into video games long ago & even as adults itMore seems to have become an addiction & priority over school..My youngest made decision at 16-18 that he did not want to drive..I didn't push the issue even though I knew he would need special needs & provisions..School has been a snail pace & the chores around the house has to be a pd duty..The oldest works for church on ther computer Dept..Now it has become they set pace & I am not to hav a spouse & my own life until ther ready..I've asked them to do things & have been told NO..& caught myself asking my friend how do you get adult men to do something? His response you have to make it clear you will do what I ask or move out on your own..Then I catch myself saying: but they can't make it on ther own..My friend advised by that very saying is disabling them..Ther capable of making it just as anyone else..Ther are plans for the youngest to get his degree by year end but he has no drivers lic or a car..They aren't making any plans or saving for it..Buying video games & continuous gaming puts everything else on back burner..Please advise what I can do to get a life of my own & not baby sitting grown adult men that act as boys..thanks......s.w.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      Baby sitting grown men 

      Many parents feel overwhelmed and frustrated with their

      adult children who are not acting like adults, so you are not alone.  It

      sounds like you are unhappy with your sons’ actions, and the impact it is

      having on you and your life.  I often remind parents that change typically

      comes as a result of feeling uncomfortable with the ways things are going, and

      this goes for you as well as your sons.  If they are okay with what is

      currently happening in their lives, it is not likely that they will be

      motivated to make any changes.  While you cannot make them change, you do

      have control over how you respond to their actions.  Something else to

      keep in mind is that, even though your sons might not be acting like

      responsible, capable adults, they are still adults.  As such, anything you

      decide to provide to them is considered a privilege for them and a choice for

      you.  This includes things like a place to live, spending money,

      transportation, internet access, money for tuition, and so on.  At this

      point, you might find it useful to write up a 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 for them

      while they are living in your home, and what you are willing to provide in

      return.  In the meantime, I encourage you to focus on yourself, and your

      interests.  Self-care is an often overlooked, yet important part of

      effective parenting, and can also be a way to set boundaries for yourself with

      your sons.  Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are

      going for you and your family.  Take care.

  • Jac

    What about a married 38 yr old with 2 teen stepchildren and has been sick mostof her life now she is having seizures? We feel the need to help and we want to, however we are exhausted and my husband is afraid to retire. Please advise as to how we can let her and her

    Husband assume debt and how can I get rid of guilt. We have another child who died at 26 and we are so afraid fou remaining child.

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      @Jac 

      I’m so sorry to

      hear about the loss of your child, as well as the health issues of your

      remaining daughter.  It’s understandable that you would feel exhausted,

      guilty and afraid to take a step back from the assistance you are

      providing.  It’s also understandable that you might be concerned about

      your own financial stability as you look toward possible retirement.  As

      pointed out in the next article in this series, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/failure-to-launch-part-3-six-steps-to-help-your-adult-child-move-out/, one next

      step could be to assess what your boundaries are, and what you are (or are not)

      willing to continue to provide to your daughter and her family.  You might

      also consider doing some research with your daughter about possible community

      resources which might be able to assist her and her family if you are no longer

      providing the current level of financial support.  One place to start

      might be the http://www.211.org/.  211 is a

      service which connects people with local resources, and you can reach them by

      calling 1-800-273-6222.  I recognize how difficult this must be for you,

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

  • Lost in Kentucky
    My step daughter who is 24 about to be 25 and her 2 youngest kids live with me, her dad and my 4 kids (minors). I have told her many times that it's time to grow up and pull her head out of her ass and take care of herMore own responsibilities. I kicked her out one other time, which caused her dad and I to become distant. I do not understand why her dad feels the need to save her all the time other than because of her babies. I was once a single parent and had to hit rock bottom without any kind of family help. I have been there before. She always seems to get her way and we are flat ass broke. I am feeling like my marriage is going to hell in a handbasket full of thorns because of her. What can I do To change this situation? Someone please help.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      @Lost in Kentucky 

      It can be pretty frustrating

      when you and your spouse are not on the same page when it comes to parenting,

      and it can become even more challenging when you are in a blended family. 

      As James Lehman points out in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/my-blended-family-wont-blend-help-part-i-how-you-and-your-spouse-can-get-on-the-same-page/, the people who really have to come together are you and your

      husband.  Sometimes, it’s useful to involve a neutral third-party, such as

      a marriage/family counselor with experience working with blended families, in

      order to help you develop a plan which you and your husband can both

      follow.  For assistance locating counselors, 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 for you and your family.  Take care.

  • Apathetic Parent

    To the people who had the courage to acknowledge they suffer from one of the unfortunate adjectives to describe how your life is currently projecting I say BRAVO. 

    I found all 3 articles today on this subject and feel it's MY FIRST STEP to gaining my INDEPENDENCE.  My son is  33 year old , college grad ,  father not married of our only precious grandson, who smokes too much Cannabis and use our emotional buttons to live and feast on us as a parasite!  I now realize my fear that his wings are to brittle to leave the NEST .....for fear of winding up in Jail,or homeless on the streets.....is simply my FEAR and not Reality.

    I will Pray tonight for all of your Parents they somehow stumble on these "Failure to Launch" articles quickly before their own lives sink into a dark ABYSS !

  • Poor father
    My problem is even far bigger than any of these stories. My wife, too, does not want to work but she also does not want to do anything for the adult son, now 26. She uses my money to support the lazy son who never works more than 3 weeksMore for any employer. I am old, over 60 but I do not have a house. I rent a house to support these 2 lazy persons for years ! I told her that I could not out live the son. He had to be independent. I want him out of the house and live on his own but she fiercely objected. I have supported her for 30 years, 26 year for him, I cannot see the end of the problem !
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

    riderofthestorms 

    We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and

    sharing your story.  It sounds like you are really hurt by both your

    brother’s and your parents’ actions over the years, and I’m very sorry to hear

    about the death of your fiancée. Even though it sounds as though you feel your

    options are limited at this point, I hope that you are getting some support and

    finding ways to take care of yourself.  If you are interested in finding

    local support 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 therapists, career

    counseling, 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.

  • ALEXIS917
    Unfortunately I am Clinger, possibly combined with a bit of Clueless sans the marijuana usage. Oh and in my case, I am in my early 30s & it's not just parents but school financial aid and government benefits covering it. True boomerang kid, too (moved out and had to moveMore back 2 years later). I, like most people when younger, didn't actively decide this. I bet most people when they are 6, 8, 10, 12 don't think they are going to still be living home at 32 with only a few small jobs in their life, still working on the degrees, and being totally loveless with the same half a dozen friends they had since half a lifetime ago as their only friends. :-(
  • Slug_92

    I am a 24 year old slug. most likely clueless slug, ironically i am (or wasnt until starting to write this sentence) sure about that. But it seems to fit. 

    I live with my mother. 

    on the plus side i DO go to a therapist, and have been to psychological clinics. I find it hard working on myself, and I hit metaphorical walls all the time, even at times i am at a standstill already. 

    as mentioned somewhere (i forget things but i think it was mentioned) many of us slugs lack "motivation". 

    at some point, a few years back, i got a really really close friend (didnt have that till then), and he proved to be quite motivating, we spend a lot of time and had a lot in common, that and the therapy seemed to be enough to somehow get me back on track. 

    now that this friendship is over (for good unfortunately) I am back at feeling unmotivated. 

    Oh what i mean with motivation is, the energy to do things, everything from washing and shaving yourself regulary to going to work or go for a walk etc. 

    that extremely close friendship gave me that energy. 

    family or something as vague like a "potential future" never seemed to do the trick, if anything they (the latter) got me motivated and energized for a few hours, and very rarely so. 

    what i am trying to say: I think many slugs lack "propper" happiness. there is "distractions" from how much of a slug I am, like the internet or (not for me-) drugs and stuff, but somehow, ways to archive "healthy motivating" happiness seem to be rare and hidden to me. 

    one way that I am wanting to try out (again with the help of my therapist and a clinic) is to pick one thing that i always (emotionaly) wanted to be/have/do and with the help (and aproval) of the therapists in the clinic pursue only that, and only after archiving this emotional goal (that in theory keeps giving once i have it) will i concentrate on work, my own flat etc. 

    its a theory, not yet talked through with my therapist, however in recent years its always been about "talking about whats bad" and "making me able to work/function again" and THAT never worked for long. I think you need some "base" to operate from, and logically, that might be my family, but emotionally i dont have that. 

    i am writing that because I think there should be some slugs-point of views in here, and maybe also to check if my thoughts make any sense, if maybe someone can even relate to it, understand it, or write a critical yet cleverish comment about why "my logic is (maybe) flawed"

    cheers

    slug92

  • u2treasure
    I have a 27 year old clinger-slug type personality.  My son takes food into his bedroom, yet you never see anything coming back out until we are down to 1 spoon and a couple of bowls left in the cupboard. I won't buy nice silverware sets, so I buy themMore at thrift stores. He will do anything I ask of him, but most always takes a few times of asking before it gets done.  He has always had ADD issues, so I still have to make a short list of what I want him to complete and due dates.  He also suffers from cluster migraines and can be laid up in the dark for as long as 5 days in his room.  He's losing weight and looks like crap.  My sluggo son got into some trouble with drugs and because of the place he worked, Taco Bell from age 21-24, rumour had it they were selling drugs from the back door.  Probably so, but that's not the reason they closed the doors for good.  I know he's not using right now, because I take him to his doctors appointments for his addictions to pain meds and they test him.  No on probation and hasn't been for 2 years.  He has applied for so many jobs and I see the rejection letters come in the mail (and have read them), but he still can't get a job.  I want to boot him out, but I'm not booting him out in the snow.  I am his mother, for God's sake and I wouldn't do that.   I also have a 21 year old daughter that is paralyzed from a spinal cord injury at the age of 13 years.  We got her through high school graduation, she moved out of the home in December, only to have a very crappy roommate that never paid her portion of the rent, but the 2nd month, so I am moving her back home this week because she can't afford to live on her own with a social security income.  We live in a small town of over 5000 and very little jobs for young people. Our community college is small and has such a hill that my daughter's wheelchair just slides on the icy road and as for my son...they just don't have that many choices for classes and he didn't graduate high school, so there's another roadblock.    My husband is not the father of either child and he puts up with it.  The missing tools, lack of silverware, diminishing glassware.  And I'm the middleman of everything that goes on in this house.  My son only talks to me, my husband only goes through me and my daughter only talks to me.  I'm the go between for everything.  My husband and I don't get the lack of motivation, for I was sooo eager to move out when I was 18 and start a life of my own.  Ya know, it's just not that easy to pay bills on your own nowadays and to pack up with an aging disabled husband, a son that has more aches and pains than my 66 yr old hubby and a disabled daughter in a wheelchair.   Sell the house, I'd have to get a new job and start all over again (do they even hire 52 yr old social workers? I guess they do.) , I'd lose all my vested time and the coziness of having the same job for 10 years, finding a new house, one that has wheelchair accessibility or argue with a landlord about ADA and putting in a ramp...and I think I'd be packing all this crap up on my own.  I am fortunate to have a loving good man by my side, a son that talks to me about everything and daughter that just loves me and a good cuddler.  Yes...I know I am a big-time enabler, but I just don't know what else to do.  I do know that I'm ready to try somewhere else and give my adult children a chance to better their lives by moving...preferably to a sunnier climate!!
    • Stacy

      @u2treasure,

      I feel like you were writing this on my behalf. I can so relate to on on so many levels and I feel for you. Please know your not a lone and unfortunately there arw parents out there who are dealing with the same issues. Our son moved our a week ago because the proverbial crap hit the fan and he said some things that were unexceptable. He's now living with a friend and his parents. The thing that bothers me the most is he will take advantage of them like he did us.

      Best of luck to you and don't let this destroy your life.

  • Emzie

    After reading this article I am angry, frustrated and choked up. My son is 18 and avoids everything. He finished high school because I made him go to adult ed. He declared he didn't want to go to college right away, he dosn't know what to study, what to do with his life, he doesn't want to be part of the capitalist 'machine', a 'government drone'. While I understand the normal rebellion of a teenager, at some point I figured he'd want to be independant, autonomous, have his own spending money... He was going to get a job to put money aside for an education. But, he only wants a job he will 'like'. Nothing boring or demanding or aggravating. *SIGH*.

    he's been sitting in his room for months, watching TV, smoking up, texting, being moody, defensive....While we buy 300$ groceries every week... (we are 3, my son, my husband and I..and the dog)

    I guess I need to learn more on how to teach him to "launch".

    Thanks for posting this Kim Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner.

    • Lazy Mooch
      How does he pay for the smoke and the cell phone? Stop giving him money. He will find a job then.
  • gracebee59
    I have been helping my mentally ill drug addict son "get back on his feet" for several years. I have kicked him out, he wound up homeless in another state, in full psyco mode, and nearly died.  He spent 90 days in a mental hospital, and has been back withMore me for about 80 days.   Here are his behaviors:   manipulation(turned my daughter's friends against her by telling them he's a good christian and God is changing him}   Lying, using me to take him places, pitting my self against any one of my other children, playing the innocent, or sick one. Constantly borowing money and never paying back. Today I found Pot in my home.   He's out.   I'm done.   He gets disability and can easily get a car, apartment, etc.     I'm not afraid anymore because I know I have simply kept my boundary, and even if he is angry, it really doesn't matter.   Either he will get help, and someday realize I was using tough love, or he will continue in his addictive behaviors and self destruct.   I cannot control the outcome, but it will be off my hands.   NO MORE ENABLING!!!
  • RAVEONATABU

    I'm disabled with my hubby in Afghanistan.my son who's bipolar .I've once thought was just the only reason he was this way.but he's demanding.self entitlement issues have brought me to a point where I don't know now how to stop enabling him. I've paid rent when he quits jobs.I've paid his classes on probabtion when I know he's smoking.

    I don't want him homeless.he's23.I don't want him I prison.soo what do I do.

    it's ! nearly a yr I'm still helping him financially.

    I don't want to be angry or resentful.but he doesn't get it or does he.

    I'm sad.most of the time our now relationship is terrible.We were close once. Now I try to help him and he takes advantage saying I owe him.

    what do I owe him? I'm a good mother.

    I'm tired of resenting him for not getting his life together.yes.it's hard.he's made a lot of mistakes but I can't fix it. I certainly can't control it.I don't want to.

    • patty A
      I am so sorry u are going thru all this. I too have a 21 yr old and he has depression and anxiety disorder. I am a single mom so I am doing it alone like you. I know that hopeless feeling of loving your child and beingMore treated like your a bad mom. we are not bad moms. Its true mental illnesses or not these kids are taking advantage of us. we are giving them too much. the other day my son refused his meds because he didnt have his favorite drink even though I had 8 different beverages in the fridge. He said sooner or later I would go buy what he wanted. He wouldnt walk the 1 block to get it himself. Its absurd! You hang in there. I just found this site and I believe that the answer is here. It wont be easy but Im not happy living this way. are you? good luck to you and know you are not alone
  • patty A
    when i put my foot down just a tiny bit. ie: regarding my refusal to go buy soda...mind u now. i am willing to give my 20 yr old money to walk 1 block to buy his own soda...i just dont want to go out and get it for him.More ...im 58 with colon cancer. he flipped out. refused to take his anti depressants because theres NOTHING TO DRINK i have water juice ice tea and 3 types of koolade in fridge. He really cant handle it.. what the heck kind of monster did i raise???
    • MonicaJones1
      It's not a monster. He's manipulating you. Don't give in. Let him know that it's his choice to refuse meds. But also let him know that there are consequences for his actions. That if he's refusing meds and is in his symptoms, you will have to call the PERT teamMore to come. I wouldn't even give him the money to go to the site because you're enabling him. There is help out there. I work with people like this all the time. Empower him by giving him choices but set boundaries. If he wants that soda he has to come up with a way to earn and get the soda on his own.
  • peace in steel town
    Really good article. When my wife gets home from work, I'll show it to her. I think that kids from broken homes are really good at getting the PATM to pay out, as they have grown up playing one parent against the other to get what they want. I haveMore a 21 year old step daughter who knows how to play her parents, and many other people as well to get what she wants. There seems to be no end to the number of people who sign up to help. Few stay around for long, as one by one they learn what they are dealing with. We bounce from being shut out of her life to being begged for help. Last time we refused to cosign for an apartment for her, so that was 2 months of silence. Now she wants her mom to move out of our home and get an apartment so the kid and her mom can live together. It never seems to end. Oh, and our only grand child lives a thousand miles away, as she got in the way of my step daughters' partying lifestyle
    • guest2ho
      @peace in steel town Sounds very familiar. Glad I'm not the only one with similar story, It sucks though.
    • MonicaJones1
      I have a stepdaughter like that. My husband refuses to make her leave the home. She started drama with my son . She steals from me and she's very manipulative. She barely works and failed the majority of her classes.. I really don't want her here but he does ...More it's really hard.
  • confused1969
    I have 22 year old daughter who won't work or go to school and claims she suffers from anxiety but she can do everything else,now she's mad because I won't throw her a dinner party for her birthday,Help
    • MonicaJones1
      Let her be mad. If you keep enabling her she will not get help. Empower her to get help for herself. If she's not willing, let it go but let her know that when she's ready , you will be there waiting .
  • hopeless

    I am sadly the significant other of a 32 yr old man who fits the "slug" profile. I am embarrassed to say that we share a place and it is currently being paid for by his mother.

    I have really allowed myself to become someone I dislike in the past year and it's hard to even look at myself in the mirror. I am so ashamed of the lack of responsibility I show in my adult life, and it's really hard to get myself back in gear.

    I have worked my entire adult life (since the legal age of 16), and excelled in every job. In fact, I am happiest when I am working and supporting myself. I have been out of work now for 1.5 years due to being laid off after the company I worked for closed. I collected unemployment for a while and when that stopped his mother started paying our rent /bills. I've really allowed myself to hide behind him, knowing that one way or another things will be paid. I know that sounds terrible, but it's really the truth. I believe this type of parenting has been the norm for my partner; he has always had a hard time making it to work on time and hasn't ever had a consistent job in the 4 years I've known him. He makes comments mocking his mother and has laughed at her willingness to do anything for him as if she's somehow less intelligent than him because of her enabling.

    Anyhow, I have decided that I cannot take it anymore and I need to move in with my family and get back on my feet again. I can't continue to live this way, and I feel extremely depressed and lack motivation in that environment.

    I would love to be able to tell his mother thank you but she really needs to know how much her help is hurting his development into a Man. She is sick of paying, this I know, but every time she says she won't pay, he ends up manipulating her and she does it anyway (He has a way of blaming everyone and she falls for it everytime).

    How do I wake her from the insane behavior without looking like an ungrateful person who is trying to hurt her son?

    • Dawn12345
      I really appreciate your honesty. I have a son who doesn't live at home but I have been manipulated by him into paying his rent every month for the last 7 years. He manages to make me think he is sorting himself out and I keep trying to help himMore support himself while he does this. I found out today he hasn't worked for months.his tales from work are so believable. This isn't the first time he's done this. He won't sign in for benefits and I did once put him on the street for a summer hoping it would shock him into being responsible. I don't know what to do. I worry about his future constantly but I don't want to pay one more months rent for him to sit on his backside doing nothing. It's hard being the reason your on is on the street. I can't have him at home as my husband won't have him here. Truthfully it would destroy our marriage and at 27 he shouldn't be at home anyway. He blames everyone else for his rubbish life. I really need some help and advice.
      • Marissa EP

        Dawn12345 

        Thanks for checking in with your question, and I’m sorry to

        hear about the challenges you are having with your son. It can be painful for a

        parent to watch their adult child struggle, however, only you can control

        whether or not you pay for his rent. It may be time to set a firm deadline for

        your son, and then follow through, otherwise, his current pattern will

        continue, as it sounds like he is comfortable with you paying his rent for him.

        The reality is, people don’t often change when they are comfortable. You may

        choose to provide him with a list of local resources and phone numbers for

        housing or job-search assistance,  and you might also look into some local

        support for yourself, as it certainly will not be easy to watch your child try

        to make it on his own. I wish you the best of luck with this going forward.

        • TracyG72

          I have a 20 year old son that depends on me for everything but recently I was reconnected with my first love and my daughters biological father after 27 yrs. Anyways I have mentioned to my son that I want to move to surrey bc and he told me that I would be abandoning him and expet to never see or hear from him again that really hurts that's not my intention I've been single for 8 years now very lonely and want to live the life I want to. So I have decided in 4 months I'm going to move but in the meantime how do I tell my son I just want to be happy again

          Lost and confused

          • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
            TracyG72 I hear how difficult this situation with your son must be for you right now, and I’m glad that you are reaching out for support.  The truth is, you and your son are both adults at this point, and are allowed to each have your own perspectives on yourMore upcoming move.  While you do have the right to decide to move away, you cannot control how your son chooses to view this, or how he feels about it.  Even though I recognize that you want your son to be happy for you, this is not something you can choose for him.  It’s also pretty normal for most young adults to be self-centered, and to only consider how others’ actions might impact them.  This recognition of the move benefitting you and your happiness might not come until later when he has had a chance to mature more.  I recognize what a tough spot you are in right now, and I hope that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.
    • john2point0

      Call her every week. Be her friend. After a particularly frustrating week with the man you have in common, she will open up to vent.

      Tell her that you have found other parents in the same situation with their adult children. Point her to this website and insist that she read the comments section of any article she finishes.

      Listen and pay attention. It's your que again when she second guesses herself. Tell her that her critical inner voice is lying, having been trained by her son for three decades.

      Steer her to local professionals like Kim and Marney.

      Also, be on the lookout for your own inner voice. You should let it alert you to bad behavior, not berate you from inside your head.

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