Many parents today are faced with a dilemma: How do I support my adult child in becoming independent? Do I let my adult child live in my home while they struggle to find a job? These parents think:

“The economy is bad…maybe there really are no jobs out there. Should I continue paying for things like my child’s vehicle, insurance, clothes, and phone? Maybe I should move them into an apartment just to get them out and pay the first few months of rent, but after that, it’s up to them. Or do I just kick them out of the nest and hope they learn to fly?”

Kim Abraham and Marney Studaker-Cordner understand and have helped countless families in this situation. In their popular series on adult children on EmpoweringParents.com, readers have learned why so many adult kids still live at home, and how adult children work “the parent system.” In this article, you’ll hear six specific steps that will help your adult child leave the nest.

First of all, we understand that many families share a household for financial or other reasons. If you’re in a situation where your adult child is living with you, and it’s mutually beneficial – or at the very least mutually respectful – that’s fine.

This article is intended to help parents whose adult child is dependent or lives at home in a situation that’s become uncomfortable or even intolerable.

In recent articles, we’ve looked at how, over time, our society has moved from caring for our children to caretaking for our children—sometimes long into their adulthood.

We also looked at how parents are held hostage by emotions, such as anger, frustration, sympathy, guilt, and fear of what will happen if they do throw their adult birdie out of the nest without a net. Today, we’re going to give you some concrete steps to help that birdie finally fly.

Step One: Know Where You Are

The first task in moving your adult child toward independence is to assess where you are right now. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Are you in a place where your boundaries are being crossed, and you need to establish some limits?
  2. Are you willing to allow your adult child to live in your home, within those limits, as he or she moves toward being more independent?
  3. Do you see your adult child as wanting to become independent or simply being more comfortable with allowing you to take care of all their responsibilities?
  4. Has the situation become so intolerable—perhaps even volatile—that your primary concern is getting your adult child out of your house, as quickly and safely as possible?

Where you are concerning your adult child will determine—in part—what steps you need to take next.

Step Two: Change Your View

Instead of picturing your adult child as a little bird whose wings won’t hold him up when he leaves the nest, think of him as fully capable of flying. Our emotions can cause us to be so afraid of what will happen to our kids that we think of them as children, rather than adults.

In reality, your adult child is an adult. They are equal to you and equally capable of making it in this world. Thinking of them as incapable is actually a disservice to them and keeps you in parental caretaking mode.

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Your adult child may be uncomfortable with the steps you’re taking to encourage more responsibility, but that’s okay. Discomfort is what he needs to experience to make changes within himself. Changing your viewpoint so that you see your child as capable will reduce the guilt, fear, and anxiety you may feel as you begin to let him struggle to survive on his own.

Step Three: Identify and Guard Your Emotional Buttons

Identify ahead of time your limits and boundaries, what you’re willing to follow through with, and which emotional buttons will most likely get you to give in.

One parent told us, “I’m okay with my adult child not having extras (phones, video games, internet, haircuts), but I can’t let him be on the street. I know myself. I’ll never stick to it.”

This parent knew they were capable of allowing their child to live in their home without giving them extras or entitlements, so those were the boundaries they established. As it turns out, that adult child decided those extras were important to him. So when the Parent ATM shut down, he was motivated to get a job and pay for things—including an apartment—himself.

Step Four: Make Your Boundaries Clear

Once you’ve guarded your emotional buttons, you should make it clear to your adult child what the new limits are. If your adult daughter lives in a separate residence but still depends on you as a source of income, make your boundaries clear: state what you will and will not pay for.

If you need to start small and work your way up, that’s okay. Some parents can’t stop buying groceries because they don’t want their daughter to eat at soup kitchens or wherever she can find food. If that’s the case, start with things like phones, haircuts, money for gas, cigarettes, internet, and other non-necessities.

It’s her responsibility to locate resources: friends, churches, and government assistance. Your adult child can always apply for assistance through government programs such as food stamps and rental assistance if she is truly unable to locate work and support herself.

If your adult child lives in your home, create a contract that specifies the terms of her living there. This is an agreement between two adults. Don’t think of her as your child—think of her as a tenant. If your neighbor gave you a sob story about how much she needed a cell phone, would you buy it? And would you pay the monthly bill? If you think of your adult child the same way you think of your neighbor, you’ll be less likely to have your emotional buttons pushed.

An adult child may decide he or she doesn’t like the contract and will decide to live elsewhere. More power to them. Your adult child is not entitled to live in your home past the age of eighteen, and they shouldn’t need to. It’s a privilege, and you have every right to set the parameters. That’s always been your right—and always will be.

Related content: Rules, Boundaries, and Older Children: How to Cope with an Adult Child Living at Home

Step Five: Shut Down the Parent ATM

The key to launching your adult birdie is to make depending on you more uncomfortable than to launch. And a huge part of making your adult child uncomfortable is to stop paying for all the extras—things they view as necessities that really aren’t.

In this world, one can live without phones, internet, computers, haircuts, make-up, clothes from the mall, video games, and any other leisure activity you can name. If he’s struggling, he can get clothes from Salvation Army or Goodwill. He can take the bus. He can eat cheap (think boxed macaroni & cheese and Ramen noodles—food we ate when we had no money).

If he doesn’t have the money for cigarettes or alcohol, he doesn’t get them. Many adult children make a career out of working their parents to provide things for them that they can’t afford themselves.

Most people aren’t going to provide these things to your adult child. There is no Neighbor ATM, Friend ATM (well, maybe a few times, but they’ll shut that down real quick), or Third-Cousin-Twice-Removed ATM. But there is a Parent ATM. Why? Because we’re typically the only ones with emotional buttons that, when pushed, will give them money.

Make sure you read Part 2 of this series, where we covered emotional buttons and how adult children use them to get money from us. Protecting those buttons and turning off the Parent ATM is probably the biggest step toward launching your adult son or daughter.

Look at it this way. Your adult son’s hair can get really, really long; he doesn’t need a haircut. He doesn’t need an expensive phone and an unlimited data plan. He can live without these things. Truly. He just doesn’t want to. It’s okay for your adult child to be uncomfortable; we’ve all been uncomfortable and survived. It’s actually a good thing and necessary for change.

This is the key: change in a person occurs when things feel uncomfortable, out of balance, or unsteady. It’s what motivates them to find their equilibrium again, through employment, returning to college, offering their services through odd jobs, or whatever it takes to get the things in life that they want.

Step Six: Enough is Enough

Some parents have adult children at home who are abusing them verbally or even physically. You have the right to live in your own home, free from abuse, intimidation or disrespect. Anytime someone treats you in this way, they are violating a boundary and sometimes violating the law. It’s your right to establish personal boundaries that keep you physically and emotionally safe.

In other situations, some adult children are not quite abusive, but they have worn out their welcome by taking and taking without giving in return. The bottom line is you do not have to feel guilty about moving your adult child into independence so you can have your own life back.

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You have the right to spend your money on things for yourself. You have the right to enjoy peaceful evenings in your own home, and you have the right to set the rules. You’ve raised your child. He’s an adult now. You are not expected to provide for him any more than your parents are expected to provide for you as an adult.

If you are in a situation that is intolerable with your adult child and have decided he needs to move out of your home, the following steps will help.

Remember to guard those emotional buttons. If your adult child typically pushes the guilt and sympathy buttons to stay dependent and comfortable, prepare yourself for what’s coming and plan how you’ll handle it.

You might even try making some note cards or adopt a slogan to remind yourself that you have the right to have your own home, free from negativity or meeting another adult’s needs.

Next, contact your local court to gather information about what legal steps you can take to move your adult child out. Many states require you to serve a “Notice to Quit” to any adult living in your home. If your adult child still refuses to leave, you may need to follow up with an eviction notice that gives a deadline for him to move out, typically thirty days.

If your adult child still refuses to leave, your local police department can enforce the eviction and will often notify the person that they will be escorted out of the home anywhere from 24 to 48 hours later. (Note: We aren’t able to address all legalities fully in this article due to the fact that each state differs in its laws regarding eviction.)

Eviction steps may sound harsh, but remember to think of your adult as a tenant. If you’re to the point of evicting your adult son or daughter out of your home, things have probably reached a point that is simply intolerable for you.

Your adult child may resist moving out at first, but again, the more uncomfortable he is, the more likely he is to leave on his own accord. If you fear violence or other repercussions from your child because of these steps, it’s beneficial to seek out local resources on domestic violence and/or contact the court regarding your right to a restraining order. Safety always comes first and if you’re in a domestic violence situation with your adult child, you’ll want to talk with someone knowledgeable about a safety plan.

Get on the Same Page as Your Parent Partner

If you’re living with a spouse or long-term partner who is not on the same page as you, it can make putting these steps into effect extremely difficult. You can only control yourself. If it’s causing serious conflict, you may want to seek counseling regarding how you can come to a mutual agreement.

The Bottom Line

Many young adults are struggling to become independent in today’s generation. Maybe the economy isn’t perfect, but that’s nothing new. We’ve gone through recessions and depressions in the past. Families used to have “leftover parties,” where they got together and turned their leftovers into a meal. They used to wait until the weekend to talk on the phone to long-distance relatives so the rates were lower. Sometimes there wasn’t a yearly vacation and kids brown-bagged it instead of buying hot lunches.

There’s nothing wrong with a family pulling together to make it in today’s world. What’s different about the young adults in today’s generation seems to be their sense of entitlement and their aversion to making sacrifices. Gone are the days of “If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it.”

Today, society is all about technology and instant gratification. But it’s not too late to teach our adult children the values of delayed gratification and working for things they desire. It’s okay for them to be uncomfortable and realize they have the ability to survive hard times through self reliance.

If your guilt or fear buttons start reacting, remember: we give our kids these lessons out of love.

Failure to Launch, Part 1: Why So Many Adult Kids Still Live with Their Parents

Failure to Launch, Part 2: How Adult Children Work the “Parent System”

Empowering Parents Podcast:
Apple, Spotify

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 (151)
  • Frightened

    I started dating my GF 7 years ago not long after my wife passed away. We'd known one another for many years before dating. When we started dating, her adult son (24 at the time) had been living with her for 2 years. We moved in together, then bought a home together and her son "followed" us on the move. He has his own space over the detached garage.

    He is now 31 and shows no signs of leaving home. He pays minimal rent, but "his" car is in his mom's name, she has given him a gas card that she pays (she may be using his money, as she has access to his accounts) and she pays his car insurance. She does his taxes every year, and any time there is some issue she either does it for him or sits him down and walks him through it.

    He presently works, at a job she arranged for him through a previous boyfriend.

    He spends all of his time either working or playing online video games. His social life is primarily online.

    He is now 31 years old.

    Right now, as I type, we have signed a contract to build a home in a different state. We are WEEKS away from listing our present home for sale. Her son has known since we moved into this house that our plan was to move South after retirement, and that he would need to find a place and move out when we sold. He says he has no desire to move to our new location, and our new home is not appropriate for him to move with us anyway.

    She is worried sick that he is going to be "homeless". She has said she feels like she is Kicking him out, putting him out on the street.

    When asked what he wants to do, or what his plans are he says "I don't know". At this point, whenever the topic of us moving, or what he is going to do or what steps he has taken comes up, he shuts down and leaves. He completely avoids the topic like if he ignores it, it just won't happen. It's almost petulant.

    My greatest fear at the moment is that when the time comes, his mother will decide he can't make it o his own, and opt to stay here to take care of him, leaving me to either move to our new house alone, or spend a ton of money to get out of the contract and stay here with her.

    I have no influence with him, and whenever I try to borach the subject he just gets angry and leaves.

    To be fair, my adult son (35) was suffering from a substance abuse problem (alcohol) and asked for my help to get back on his feet. He moved here from out of state, went through rehab and is now sober, has started school to learn a trade, is working, and plans to be out on of this house by mid-March. He's not as motivated as I would be, nor as motivated as I would like him to be, but he is definitely out of here within a year of arriving.

    I have no idea how to handle this situation other than to wait to see how she reacts when her son inevitably has failed to do anything toward getting out on his own.

    I welcome any advice.

  • MB

    I met my wife around 13 years ago after a few failed relationships. My wife has 2 sons and I have one. My Wifes sons are 28 and 22 and live at home with us, my son is 18 and lives with his mum.

    Whilst my wife's sons are both working (thankfully!) neither of them are showing any signs of planning an exit or launch.

    My wife does everything for them, has been through debt for them, does their cleaning, cooking, washing, everything.

    We have been married 7 years and everything seemed much easier when the kids were younger as it was easy to see them as kids, but now they are older and so are we.

    I try to talk to my wife about helping them plan to launch, but she doesn't want to hear it, when i speak to the boys they say the right words but i can honestly see they really have no plans other than staying at home indefinitely.

    Before we were married, i bought the house we live in, just in my name. At the moment i feel like the outsider with no real say and no way forward. Sadly i only see a way out, divorce and settlement with half the house.

    I don't want to lose contact with the boys, i would be happy if they lived in the same street, just not in the same house, i am worn out and my wife is falling apart but won't admit to it.

    I feel that me coming into their lives at a late stage has really enabled them. They have no real respect or love for me and therefore i wonder why i am bothering when i have my own son who loves and needs me at this time, who i am still lucky enough to have a great relationship with.

    If there was some way to get them to start planning for a future outside of the house and commit to it, whilst helping out much more at home than they do, i think i would be ok to stay.

  • Elda

    Hi everyone,

    This site is very helpful.

    In my case my son is still 16 years old but I am starting seeing the possibility of failure to lauch in the horizon. He is a good kid , doesn't not steal,is not a trouble maker but sometimes becomes aggressive when I touch some wounds. He is in grade 11 but has ADHD, anxiety and depression. He also developed a condition called BDD ( body dysmorphia disorder ) , a condition one perceives flaws especially in the face that doesn't really exist for others. My problem is he doesn't accept any treatment, he is paranoid and doesn't trust anybody, in part because a very difficult relationship with his dad. I would like to know your opinion: should I start to think about a contract right now. He is a good kid but doesn't believe that we love him and can get very belligerent when I mention he needs mental health treatment. Thank you

    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach

      Hi, Elda. Thank you for reaching out. At 16, your son is still a bit young for a Living Agreement type of contract. It would be more productive to develop what we call a culture of accountability in your home that outlines clear rules and expectations for family members. You can read more about that here: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/how-to-create-a-culture-of-accountability-in-your-home/. I would also see what types of support services are available for you and your family. If you are in the US or Canada, the 211 National Helpline is a referral service available 24 hours a day, nationwide. They can give you information on the types of support services available in your area such as counselors, therapists, support groups/kinship services as well as various other resources. You can reach the Helpline by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto 211.org (211.ca in Canada.)

      We appreciate you being part of our Empowering Parents community and wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.

  • Pam
    Our greatest obstacle in helping our daughter to fly is her access to credit. We have been her "ATM" so she doesn't run up debt elsewhere! It's the banks and government that are creating a system which is making fleeing the nest almost impossible for "workers". Whilst unemployed get helpMore with housing benefits, workers, most of whom are on minimum wage despite being well qualified, are finding living costs/rent/house buying are driving them into costly debt. She needs a bit of social life to keep sanity in tact, but even a minimal social life has become excessively expensive in today's world!
  • Duane
    Our 25 year old daughter moved out almost 3 years ago to alope to a guy she actually never met in another state. Turns out, he is a complete loser living with his mother and sister, he is a convicted drug dealer, deadbeat, no job. My daughter supportedMore all of the family for over a year by holding 2 fast food jobs but then got pregnant. Knowing that she could not keep up a condemned house, support all the dead beats and give her child a decent home, we convinced her to move back home to let us help her with our soon to be granddaughter. As it turned out, her baby is perfect but she had no idea how to care for a baby. She never thought it would require as much work as it does. The Department of Child Services (DCS) got involved right away because a nurse in the hospital reported that she didn't know what she was doing and probably couldn't be a proper mother to this baby. Now, my wife and I have volunteered to be the responsible people to raise the baby until our daughter gets her act together which she has not yet done nor appears to be working on. She has gotten and lost 3 jobs because she stays up all night and claims that she can't wake up for work. We have threatened to kick her out unless she starts helping around the house, gets a job, starts paying for her own car insurance and gas, AND most importantly helps to raise her own child. None of these threats have worked and she has gotten violent with her mother once where the police were called, and she was arrested. To this day if we try to force our home rules on her, she will threaten violence on us which doesn't scare me, but I am scared for my wife since my daughter is much bigger than her. She says that she will not leave the house without her child but doesn't really take care of her hardly at all. DCS pays for daycare. Grandma wakes the baby up and gets her breakfast and dressed and takes her to daycare. I pick her up after work and take her home and give her dinner and a bath and play with her until bedtime. This is our life now. Our daughter never actually says that she "wants" to spend time with her daughter. It is always us having to guilt her into watching her for a while. So, this is our dilemma. Our daughter can't support her own daughter or herself on her own and refuses to live in our house with our rules. Of course, we don't want to see her homeless, but we don't see any other option. We are just hoping that forcing her out will inspire her to get her act together, hold a job, and grow up. Our worry is that she might get pregnant again.... What to do then? Any advice would be appreciated.
  • Billy
    30yo stepson still living with mum and two young siblings,He's got a job but only pays 20% of the rent,Has money for smokes alcohol drugs Uber eats,Ubers,Never leaves his room,Has now brought home three cats,Turns his nose up at Mum's food,Mum even still does his laundry at times because he'sMore to lazy to pick it up,Mum drives him everywhere,Has no intention of moving out got confrontational when brought up with him twice almost led will did lead to a punch up,It drives me insane I just want a quite home live with my partner and two elementary aged kids,Instead a grown man child is living with us
  • Jake S.

    Any advice on moving a 23 yr old out of home that has other children in it. Child has failure to launch and is bi-polar and can't or won't work. Loosing our minds. Therapy and counseling has not worked.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • MomAtAllCosts
      My daughter has struggled with bipolar and schizo-effective symptoms since before she was 10. Since graduating, she has not had a job or looked for one, complains about everything we provide, started going out with strangers and partying, and speaking extremely disrespectfully to us. Trust me, he CAN support himself.More He CAN keep himself and his living space tidy. He CAN use the tools I'm sure you've provided through tons of therapy and counseling over the years. He CHOOSES not to do the work, and he will continue to choose the path of least effort as long as it meets his needs. We terminated our daughter's residency 10 days ago due to her attempting to start a physical altercation. We spoke with our marriage therapist about this (LPC, LISAC, and director of the company that was treating our daughter for years, so he is, without divulging confidential info, familiar with our daughter.) He said, "Do not feel guilty or remorseful about restoring peace and order to your home. Protecting safety and sanity are the foremost priority. We've all equipped her for adulthood with many tools, and it's her choice to use or not use them. She will either make better choices or she won't, but she is an adult, and those consequences are her responsibility. Mental illness does not mean helpless." Hope that helps you, Dad.
  • Nomusa Ndlovu
    Thank you for a valuable lesson
  • Elizabeth
    Thank you. This is a well written article with clearly defined actionable steps. I appreciate it.
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  • desperate for balance
    My daughter, her fiance, and child are living with me and my husband in a small home. I offered for them to live there while they get themselves straightened out to be able to get a place on their own. They have not honored any deal, but theMore biggest problem is that my daughter is a negligent parent in my eyes. She just sits in a chair watching videos on her phone instead of watching and interacting or teaching her child (child is 2). The fiance has learned a lot and come a long way and is a good parent. My daughter is too comfortable and takes all of us for granted and is disrespectful. I don't know how to get them out without losing my time with my granddaughter.
  • Kind mama
    I do my best to treat my children equally and fairly, we have a happy family, they are teenagers. I have always been independent. My parents told me to move out as a teenager, they have never given any financial support, I would never dream of asking. The strange thingMore is my younger sister just stayed at home,never had to move out, but did go travelling overseas, and came back moved back in and is still there, 38 years old with her husband and child, she does not work, and does very little around the house. My parents make excuses for her as she has a child(who goes to school all day). When I had my children I rennovated our house and went to work at whatever job I could get that fitted in their school hours. When we visit they will have a list of jobs or repairs for us to do. I cannot understand how parents can treat children so differently. They made me feel like an unwelcome burden, yet treat her like a Queen. I will not go to visit anymore as I dont like sleeping on the floor. I decided to have some self respect.
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  • Helpless

    My daughter will not leave stating “get a lawyer!” She has other relatives who’d rather see her in my house than theirs!

    I may be ostersized!!

    • Gothgirlphx
      Just curious, no judgement. How would she pay to sue you? If she can't, then I can't see needing to lawyer up 😉
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  • Marie anjole
    Hi denise,my 17 year old daughter just started university.while this article is targeted for adult children (18+) and she's obviously still underage i wanted to know if i should stop paying her rent and groceries when she hits 18. While i dont overindulge my daughter,food stamps are not a thingMore in our country. I also disagree on the part when you said "college students back then ate ramen and they turned out fine!" This is an actual problem that needs to be addresed because lots and lots of college students starve to death due to poor family income,low payment,etc. But after reading online i feel pressured to not pay for my daughters rent even though i am financially capable doing so,help? Thx xx
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      Hi, Hania. That's not a question I'm able to answer. Whether or not you stop paying your daughter's rent when she turns 18 is a judgment call only you can make. Thank you for reaching out. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going. TakeMore care.
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  • Struggling
    I'm recently engaged to a man with 4 adult children (the youngest is 20 and away at college). He's been divorced about 4 years. His kids are not inclusive and have on occasion completely ignored my presence. Not a single one has put forth any effort to get to knowMore me. Although he notices and says it's "not ideal" or "unfortunate," he's done nothing to express displeasure, let alone change their course. His kids have no reason to dislike me. When they spent time with my one (adult) child, they engaged in conversation that excluded him as well. None of them are self-supportive and two have completed four-year degrees but returned home to live with parents, rent-free. One of these returning "adults" works only part-time, while parents pay for room/board, health insurance, cell phones, cars and car insurance. I'm quickly losing respect for my fiancé and don't know if I should put effort forth to change the situation or simply move on. I've very honestly voiced my concerns and unhappiness with the situation, to no avail. He doesn't seem to acknowledge that a problem exists, let alone have the strength to confront his kids in any way. He seems completely powerless to challenge his kids in any way. Advice appreciated.
  • MotherofDisabledAdultChild

    My daughter (28) who lives with me struggles with PTSD, depression, ADHD, OCD and Chronic Pain Syndrome, which entitles her to SSDI/SSI payments. She currently has a Psychiatric Service Dog, to help her with her PTSD and Clinical Depression. She recently had a bone fusion and is wheelchair bound for the time being. She rents a room from me and helps around the house as much as she can to the point of causing herself injury (she cut her leg cast off after 10 days to help me around the house). Although, she is very considerate, extremely clean, and mostly keeps to herself.

    Do to her wheelchair, she is not able to help out as much as she used to. As the doctor forced her back into a cast.

    She also needs temporary transportation to get groceries and to 3-4 doctor’s appointments a week. As she cannot drive due to her recent surgery. However, my husband is getting older and we want to travel more, but we know our daughter would not be able to sustain more than a few days without my help.

    She is extremely intelligent and was a straight A, honor society student who studied Pre-Med and Biochemistry before dropping out due to her chronic pain. Therefore, I cannot get her to willingly to go to a nursing facility.

    What is the best way to evict my disabled daughter (and her service dog)? As, she obviously has a failure to launch and cannot attend school or work due to her medical treatments and disabilities.

    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach

      Thank you for writing in and sharing your story. Many parents have experienced similar struggles with their adult child, so you are not alone. We re not able to answer questions involving legal matters such as evictions. I encourage you to see what types of local supports are available to help you and your family.

      If you are located within the US or Canada, the 211 National Helpline is a great referral service. The 211 National Helpline is available 24 hours a day, nationwide. They can give you information on the types of support services available in your area such as counselors, therapists, support groups/kinship services as well as various other resources. In the US, you can reach the Helpline by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto 211.org. For Canada you would log into 211.ca.

      We appreciate you being part of our Empowering Parents community. Take care.

  • ExhaustedMother
    I want to be hopeful that my son will change and grow up but I’m starting to feel hopeless. My son is soon to be 23 years old and is hard to understand. One day he may seem normal but other days, I know he’s showing signs of mental illnessesMore (like his father who left when he was young). He can’t keep a job for long, he lives to play video games, he doesn’t pay for anything around the house, he expects me to support him, and is a loner but has manic episodes in which he verbally abuses and threatens me. I’m so exhausted but am not capable of throwing him on the street because I’m afraid what would happen to him with his mental health.
  • Exhausted yet hopeful


    I have a 36 year old son, still living as a teen ager. He hasn't grown up. I saw this because he went to art school after high school but flunked out because he was up all night playing video games. My wife and I divorced when he was 18, and has lived with on and off. He lived on his own but worked menial jobs making minimum incomes. He went back to living with me again. He does not shower regularly, keep himself clean, eat a healthy meal, and he does not clean his room. I sold my home in 2014, he was asked to leave, he was 29 years old. My mom took him in against my pleading, I felt he needed intense counseling, and help to get on the right path. Earlier this year he moved to South Carolina to live with his brother, but after 6 months he is ready to throw him out, because he still quits jobs, sleeps all day, plays video games all night, won't shower, and won't clean his room. He is a hermit, he rarely leaves his room. I need help, any suggestions?

    Thank you

  • Stressed
    My daughter is 25. She has only left home for a 6 month period last year to go and ‘find herself’ with friends she made in USA who belong to a Christian church and has always lived with me. Her father committed suicide when she was 20 months old butMore we have always had a close relationship with his family ever since. I remarried when she was 7 and from the time she started secondary school at 11 things have gone down hill with her relationship with my husband. He has high expectations regarding behaviour and I have always been her protector and enabler. I can see that now and could kick myself for not making her more self reliant. She hates my husband and has told me that she told her school teachers, college lecturer and close friends about his emotional abuse towards both her and me. I don’t think that he has emotionally abused me, but she has made me doubt him and has said she would go to the police about him but she won’t because she knows I wouldn’t want her. She hasn’t worked for 7 months. She cannot keep a job as she leaves if someone upsets her or criticises her. She will help around the house if I ask but won’t clean her bedroom or make her bed as it’s her room to do as she wants. When she works, we ask for 10% as rent, which she will eventually pay when she gets around to it. I don’t pay for her phone, car or extras anymore but I cook and wash her clothes. She tends to sit around reading, watching rubbish tv over and over and doing some kind of craft. She can’t keep a boyfriend for more than 3 months as she has told me that if they upset her she ends it so that she won’t end up like me with an abusive husband. She says she wants to move out away from my husband but won’t rent as it’s a waste of money and wants to buy a property. She has said she will move out next year (said that before). All she wants is to be a wife and mother and to have a job that just pays the bills...! I feel so angry and frustrated with her. She’s bright and talented and going absolutely nothing with her life. I feel so much guilt about how she feels regarding my husband as she has asked me to leave him in the past, but I haven’t because I didn’t want to. I just want her to move out and then hopefully we will all be able to get along better.
  • Frustrated

    My daughter will soon be 22 and moved back home a year and a half ago after a failed attempt at college. The rules of our house are that after high school you either need to be a full time student or employed full time if you are to live in our home. She has never held a job for more that three weeks and since she moved home a year ago she has only taken a total of three courses - all three of which she barely passed. She insists that she wants to be a full time student but we suspect that is because she does not want to get a full time job - or any job for that matter. (She attends college for free because her father was a college professor and the school established a scholarship for her). She is extremely difficult to live with - no respect for boundaries, stealing, temper tantrums. We are at a point where we want her to move out because it is affecting every member of the household (two younger siblings, myself and my husband).

    The complicating issue is that she inherited a substantial amount of money when her father tragically died four years ago that she refuses to spend on anything other than what she wants. (A trust was never established so she has full access to the money). We agreed at first that she would invest most of the money but would have some spending money every month. She is now spending $400-600/month for clothing, make-up, etc, while we pay for all of her needs. When we ask her to contribute to some of her living expenses she gets very upset and accuses us of trying to "steal her dead fathers money". While we see that she is pushing our emotional buttons we are having a hard time establishing boundaries and enforcing them because she can get so nasty it is easier to give in. We are living in a battlefield. She insists that she is not in an emotional state to live independently and she wants to wait until she graduates from college to move out - which seems like will never happen. I should mention that she has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and has been in a psychiatric hospital twice.

    How do we know if she is being manipulative or if she is truly incapable of living on her own? If she is incapable of living on her own, do we have the right to ask her to contribute to her living expenses with her inheritance?

    • A mom's heartbreak.
      To "Frustrated" . god I am so sorry to hear this. Mine is about to turn 30. I hope you find a way to move her out and soon because I didn't, and it has been my biggest regret. It has affected all of my other children and each ofMore them has had to go thru therapy because of the one who manipulated,stole,lied, screamed, and created chaos for over a decade. There are too many wonderful parents trying to figure out how to get their grown up kids out and enduring the stress and heartbreak and allowing that one manipulative person to destroy what otherwise should be a peaceful, joyful home. Someone told me the other day when i was crying and describing how I still remember holding my little girl's little chubby fingers when she was four and walking down the road after discovering the pre school was making the kids sleep for 3 hours a day and saying to her that she and I would hang out instead and just the look of relief in her little face. And trying to relate how that darling little one has turned in to the person who has been abusive to me and jealous of her siblings for over 2 decades, my friend said to me"that child is gone, she no longer exists except in your memory, so now you need to do whatever legal route there is to get her out of your house, move her stuff to storage, pay for two months rent somewhere for her and store it there, do whatever it takes to get peace back in your life and your children's lives" . So I started looking for an apartment but our town is short on places to live (tourist town that shuts down because of lack of staffing because staff cant find housing bec so many people turned their places in to air bnbs )and I hope you do move your daughter out, because your husband and your other children and you need peace. She has made her own decisions by choosing to live her life in an unkind and thoughtless way towards all of you and she has the money to live her life and if it is mental health issues then god I am so sorry but don't let her destroy your family the way my daughter has been trying to do for so long.and is very nearly succeeding. I am so grateful that my younger two live far enough away that they don't know this is still going on. I wish you happiness and peace .
    • Denise Rowden, Parent CoachEP Coach
      I am so sorry you are facing these challenges with your daughter. Because of your daughter's diagnosis, we would not be able to answer your questions. WE recommend finding a qualified mental health professional in your area who would be able to help. Thank you for reaching out. Take care.
  • M.L.
    There is no reason to force an adult child to move out as long as they are helping around the house and/or helping to pay expenses. It just does not make sense to me. Conversely, if the adult child is acting like a fool and not contributing toMore the household in any manner, then that is another issue.
  • Carolyn
    So reassuring. I have given my son notice to move out. Reading the last article, I am going to prepare myself for the legalities if he doesn't prepare for the move out date.
  • Louise
    I have my own daughter and 3 step children the oldest of which is 21 and just finished at college. She has come home and is setting about redoing her room. I am not happy. I don't expect her to move out instantly but she shows no sign of havingMore a plan that doesn't involve living here. Her dad is supportive but also a little defensive. I don't feel able to talk to her directly. Any advice? Thank you.
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      It’s not uncommon for different assumptions to occur when a young adult moves back home with parents, and this can be magnified within a blended family. At this point, it could be more effective to talk with your spouse privately during a calm time, and come to anMore agreement about expectations for your stepdaughter while she is living with you. If you are having difficulty finding common ground, it could be useful to involve a neutral third-party, such as a marriage-family counselor, who can help you to compromise and develop a plan to move forward. For assistance locating this type of support in your community, try contacting Family Lives at 0808 800 2222. Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • Ramona

    Thank you , reading this article makes me feel so much better about my situation.

    I have a 23 year old son , who is moved out several times and we paid for his apartment, car, groceries everyday needs . Only for him to come back home etc. He has not held a job for more then 2 months. Smokes and expects us to pay for everything. He stays in his room all day sleeping watching videos on his cell phone, not doing anything. Me and my husband both work. We talked to him several times . I told my son i can longer support him with everything simply we dont have the money. He akts like he has to ignore us. Iam soo tired.

    • Friendly advice

      You deserve happiness. And, you are hurting your son by allowing this to continue. Young men need to learn life skills and stand on their own two feet. Living at home hurts young people who are learning to be adults. KEEP REPEATING THAT STATEMENT TO YOURSELF -- AND HIM!!

      Write down on a piece of paper the DATE and TIME when he is moving out. You can give him 3 months notice, for example. Tell him to move in with a friend or look on Craigslist find a place to live since many people are looking to rent a room to someone. (Call a large church in your area, they might know of non-profit groups that help homeless adults. You could provide him with that info. OR, call a homeless shelter your county human services department for info.) You are being nice by providing the housing info, but you need to keep in mind that really, this is NOT your problem. On the day he moves out, he can decide where he wants to live.

      IF you want to do so, you can let him know that you are willing to pay the first month's rent (or the first 3 months, whatever) IF he moves out ahead of the deadline. Wow -- this is super generous of you. Keep reminding him about the move out date. Each week, put a paper on the refrigerator door -- THREE weeks until the move out date. TWO weeks until the move out date. Only TEN more days, until the move out date.

      Now for the reality. He will not move out, despite all your wonderful planning. You need to make a plan to evict him. Call ahead to the locksmith and figure out a plan. Learn how to change the code on the garage door opener. Then, after the deadline has passed -- say nothing to him. You wait for the right opportunity. Then you can pick any date that is convenient for you and decide when the time is right. Let's say a week after the deadline, he leaves the house one day. YOU JUMP ON IT! Lock the doors, call the emergency locksmith, who you have put on call ahead of time. Put his stuff in boxes and bags and put them on the front step with a note. It is a note that you wrote ahead of time. "You are no longer living here. I recommend you stay with a friend or call this phone number xyz for county services to find a place to stay. I love you and want you to succeed with life skills as an adult."

  • Best Practices
    What I am wondering is whatever happened to the desire for independence, privacy, adult relationships outside the nuclear family? I always thought those were natural, inherent, traits of the emerging adult. Even if the young adult could not afford today's lifestyle on their own, wouldn't they want to join togetherMore with peers who are at the same stage and wanting a young adult lifestyle? Are there concrete answers or do parents just have to wait and see how the individual develops and everyone is distinct?
  • Cindy
    I have had enough! My husband and I have told our two adult daughters (38 & 40) they have to move out by April 15th. Because they chose to buy crap instead of paying rent they asked to move back for maybe 6 months and that wasMore 4 years ago. We made them pay $100 a week and told them...no one can come over or stay at our house. This request was followed. Our 40 year old is a slob...her room looks like a pig sty and she still buys stuff......the 38 year old is a clean freak but is hard to get along with...she is like a Dr Jekyll mr Hyde personality. Sometimes sweet as pie and sometimes swearing at me and telling me to not "yell" at her when I am just speaking to her at a normal tone. They both stopped paying rent 15 weeks ago. My husband gave them both a written letter stating they have not complied with our rental agreement and they have until April 15th to move out. Let me tell you....we had told them they were to move out last June but we let them stay. What I have found is that as much as I love my children (we have 2 other responsible children...married and have children) I have now begun to resent them. I cringe when they come out of their rooms...I go into my closet/computer room when they are around because I don't want to see them. I know this time we will stick to our move out date because I feel that someday we will eventually have a normal relationship with them once again. I don't want to resent them.....I want a normal life with my husband. Love to all you parents living with this same dilemma.....we just need Tough Love!
  • Nervously Relieved

    Warning: Long story

    I have been married to my husband for 6 1/2 years. He has one son who was 13 when we met, now 20. Early on, I tried to help my stepson by teaching him to take care of himself, the house, and going out to earn money. I noticed his sense of entitlement and tried to nip it in the bud, but he saw this as a threat and lied constantly to undermine me; even lied to the police to have me arrested once (he was stealing from my business and I was disciplining him and he said I was hitting him when I just took his phone). His father took his side and it nearly destroyed our marriage, but I just decided to bide my time and let the boy undo himself since he openly had no respect for the law or other people. His father and I worked things out, but the boy refused to live with us, so he stayed at an apartment. He got caught by the cops with a bunch of marijuana and was forced to move home. At home he was not able to smoke his weed or do whatever he pleased, so he ran off to live with his mother. She moved to California from Honduras so that he could stay in the US (he is an immigrant, not a citizen), so she has to go back to Honduras every 6 months to renew her visitor's visa (yes, she is playing a game with our immigration laws). About a year and a half ago, she went back and wanted to stay in Honduras, so my stepson (18 then) moved back to my hometown, but we were leaving to move to another state. So, we left him with a car and he had plenty of friends who he could stay with while he worked to start his own life. He chose not to work and wound up in jail and lost his car. His father, not wanting his son to move back to Honduras, asked me to let him stay with us while he found a job. Of course I want to see my stepson succeed, so he moved in with us. We sat down, worked out a plan and a budget for him to pay rent, etc. My husband took him to get a job that he could walk to and things seemed like they were going to be on track. Until my son who shared a room with stepson(12 at the time), came to tell me there was a woman in the bed with my stepson. Now, I don't know how you are in your house, but I do NOT allow the boys to do things with girls in my home and I especially don't want those things done with my sleeping child in the room. Then he started back-sliding on our agreement and smoking marijuana again. I told my husband that I had enough and my husband found him a room to rent that my stepson was supposed to pay. Well, my husband always was complaining about being broke, but I never had an issue with my money and I made $1,000 less a month than him! I knew he was paying for his son, but I stayed quiet. Then my stepfather died and my mother was dealing with stage 4 cancer, so she moved to be near me. We decided to move in with her since she was needing more care and told my husband that he should just move his son into our apartment so he wasn't trying to support two places. A couple of months went by with my stepson not paying rent, smoking pot, and being lazy, so my husband told him to join the military or move back to Honduras with his mother. My stepson agreed to join the military and was going to give the car back to his father (since he cosigned for it and was paying the bills on it). My stepson went to Honduras over New Year's and quit his job here. When he came back, my husband asked him how he was going to pay his bills, to which my stepson said that he expected us to pay for all his living expenses. That was the last straw for my husband. He terminated the lease and told his son that he had 30 days to find a new place to live. On the last day of the lease, my stepson told my husband that he was a horrible father and he was not going to give back the car. This broke my husband's heart and he hasn't spoken to my stepson in a week and refuses to speak to him until he grows up and accepts responsibility. Now, we find out that my stepson is calling all of my husband's family that lives in the US (cousins he has never met) and lying to them saying that my husband kicked him out for no reason and wants him to be homeless. Well, we find out last night that my stepson is driving back to California and his mother is going to support him again there. The only issue is that this is her last game with the visa... she's got six months here and then either has to go back to Honduras for good or stay here illegally and never go back to her home. My husband says he is done with his son after seeing his true self, but I am not so sure... it is his son after all. I fear for my stepson since I believe his issues are likely rooted in an untreated personality disorder (he's been like this since a child according to my sister-in-law and his mother is the same way), but I am more worried that in 6 months he'll come crying to his father again and my husband will help him out to his detriment as usual... my husband isn't getting any younger and needs to plan for retirement, not support a capable, young adult who thinks it is the family's job to support him financially until he sees fit to take care of himself. I guess time will tell.

  • Kajari Guha
    A very interesting infotainment! The parents are in catch 22 situation.It all depends on the social milieu of the country where they belong to.However change comes gradua?ly!
  • mcdgvmcc

    I've read the books.  I know theoretically that she will need to hit rock bottom, perhaps be homeless, perhaps be in danger.  MAYBE she won't make it.  MAYBE she will finally get her act together.  Adult daughter age 37 has been unemployed, living off divorce settlement for many years.  Her dad (my ex) kicked her out a year ago.  Today I learn she's finally out of cash and living in a dangerous place and wants us to help financially.  I can afford to help a little, for a little while.. but I don't know that's the best thing.   I sincerely feel her dad (my ex) finally did the right thing to cut her off and kick her out...  Afterwards, I got her a mental health assessment and all that guy did was prescribe Prozac.  Apparently there isn't anything obviously wrong with her.. he didn't even say she was very depressed.  She didn't go back.  I've never been aware of any substance abuse problems and neither has her father or step father noticed anything.

    I do not want her to move in with me and my husband as I know it will be even harder to kick her out.  (Besides, she makes us uncomfortable in our own home, watching her lay around and sleep, play on her Ipad or watch TV).  IShe now has no money, no household furnishings and has 1 month left to live in a room rented from a friend of hers.  I expect she will burn that friendship and have to be evicted.  She's unemployable at this point and I don't see how she can make enough to live on a minimum wage job... assuming she could get one and would even stick with it..  

    Because she has a decent car, she still has enough assets to not qualify for social services (except Medi-cal).  I really wish I could find a support group or a counselor to help me say no. And to help me survive this pain.  She was just visiting for the weekend and I found she had not been doing what she said she was going to do so I had to buy a plane ticket after less than 24 hours to ship her back to her ghetto dangerous room in the worst part of one of the worst crime cities in the country with only a month of money left to live on.  I expect next month she will be living in her car.  

    I need help and don't just want to call a random counseler.  How do I find on that will help me.  I'm in Las Vegas.

  • Overwhelmedmom
    My son is 36. Addicted to meth. Has a job that I have to take him to and from daily. Even late at night. I don't like to drive at night bc of my vision. His job only serves to buy his drugs. He refuses to help.He's verbally abusive andMore threatening. He hallucinates when he's high and fights invisible people. Even writing this I feel so stupid. I tell him to leave. He refuses and says I have to give him eviction notice. The sheriff backs him up. I'm on a fixed income and can't afford the$375 cost.We put outdoor locks on my bedroom bc I'm scared he'll hurt me. He steals my jewelry. I'm tired of it. I never thought I would find myself like this
  • Pasha999
    Thank you so much for this straight to the point article(s).  My adult son hit me last night in a rage about trying to get one of the dogs to give up a toy.  He knows this dog has behavioral problems and the solution is to leave him alone.  HeMore has bullied me in to giving up 3 different cats over time.  I have written the Living Arrangement contract and will enforce it.  He likes having boundaries and hopefully will comply, and I will enforce the contract.  It is simple basic stuff like cleaning his room and looking for a job and walking the dogs.  I will write back soon to let you know how the contract went and if I can use some advice.  Again, thanks for helping with this, helps to clear my head and put in a plan of action.
  • Whipping post

    Im so glad to see there are other parents going through this dilemma.  As the mother of two adult sons, who both live home, I am wondering if I will ever have my home to myself again!  I love my boys, and they are now both working full time jobs, they are 22 and 26.  But I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel for them to move out on their own.  We live in a very nice home, and I have not asked for rent.  I've created my monsters .. I know that.  But how do you kindly direct them .. I certainly would never kick them out.. but, there are alot of boundaries that are being crossed as far as being entitled.  My older son has friends in and out all weekend, and my younger son has had a girl living with us for 3 yrs.  Sadly she has no place to go, no family , and she tries harder than they do .. to help me .. and she does pay me rent. I don't seem to be able to enforce very simple rules-like cleaning up after themselves, not smoking in the house, or leaving personal belongings laying all over the family room.  Their rooms are pig pens, and no matter how I try to look the other way..it drives me crazy. They are very messy, and just see no problem with it, even when I ask for a change.  I guess I am trying to transition from parenting children to living in a cooperative, respectful environment!.. To make it more complicated, they do not see their father at all, and I am remarried ( but have been since they were 4 and 8)   so that plays a role in the household dynamics.  My husband and I like things to be clean and neat, and to have our home look a certain way. They are so used to be nagging, that it is just a waste of energy!. My husbands daughter took her own life at 20 and I guess everytime I think of that, I feel like I should tolerate anything!.. 

    Not sure why I feel I have to sacrifice peace and happiness for them though... am I being unrealistic?

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Whipping post We are glad that you are here as well.  You are certainly not the only parent to be experiencing these issues with your sons!  As pointed out in the article above, it can be helpful to figure out your own boundaries with your sons, and what you areMore willing to do to enforce those limits, rather than trying to “make” your sons behave a certain way.  As James Lehman points out in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/rules-boundaries-and-older-children-part-i/, it can be useful to think about your sons as house guests or tenants in your home, rather than children, when you are thinking about boundaries.  Once you have determined your rules, it can be useful to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ with each of your sons outlining your expectations moving forward.  I recognize how difficult this situation can be, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
    • jdenroh
      - You have had the same problem with your sons, as I have with my son.  He is 26, works for a local grocer for the past four years, but treats the two of us as though we are the worst thing to have ever happened to him, yet he isMore so personable to everyone else.  He keeps his room in rough condition too, that I can live with because the door can be closed!  We do, however take 25% out of his check, because my son has a slight challenge, and so I am, on his account and can do that with no problem.  I suggest just from how you describe your situation that you start with a computer printed list of rules of the house, and come up with consequence if they don't follow the rules.  It is your house, and not only should they pay rent, they should buy their own food and cook their own meals.  I so hope you don't do their laundry because if you are, that's another charge.  Consider that list that someone came up with saying what a housewife should be paid. It is a six figure position!  You do not deserve to do anything for them, have them still living there, or not getting paid rent.  They should have moved into their own place after the job, and college was covered.  Do not feel guilty, you've raised them, and obviously are still paying out the pocket and slave labor.  It's nice of the girlfriend to pay something, but she ought to be ashamed of her boyfriend for taking such advantage of his parents.  Your local magistrate can give them 30 days notice of eviction, and they will take care of your problem.  If you want, you could always give them warning that you intend to hmve the law remove them if they don't find their own places within the 30 day period.  I know how hard it will be, but it's your time now with your husband, you deserve to have that.  My son, has a slight challenge,so unfortunately my problems are different. My son goes to work or out and about and treats others so wonderfully,  I get so many compliments about how I raised such a personable young man with such wonderful manners, etc.  I still deserve retirement time in my home without feeling like I am in the way in my own home.  I have had children since I married at 34, he had three and we had two of his boys living with us. Then after 4 years I had my son. We found out when he was 22 mos. old that he had a spontaneous mutant gene that didn't come from either of us, called Neurofibromatosis Type One.  As a new mother of my own child, I was devastated when the doctor told me the condition was like that of the Elephant's Man disease, and showed me the most horrid pictures of the growths that would happen to my baby.  It is not associated with that condition, thankfully.  They found out much later, but it was still wonderful news.  My son, luckily doesn't have the tumors on his face or neck, I made sure we had those removed.  But his behavior when he comes home is so stressful, and demeaning that it's made us so miserable, and I am afraid of what will happen to us if it causes one of us to have a stroke or heart attack due to the stressful situations that go on in our home.  I thought the natural things that go on, they go to school, then college, get a job, and find their own place,  Well, two out of three ain't bad, but this one is the one we need to have his own place. I really am at my wits end, and I only have one, I'm sorry for your situation, and I do hope you will dig into that deep down part of you to have the strength to make them find their own place.  You don't need to sugar coat anything, you do not need to find a perfect nice way to ask them to leave, you just gather up all the guts you have and tell them it's time for them to grow up and be out and on their own.  Do this one thing to help get your motor revved up:  add up all your grocery bills, your time preparing meals, or shopping, take account of the extra electricity to run for their hot water, and lights, not to mention music, and add in the lack of help, or the stress and punitive damages for all your pain and suffering putting up with all their nonsense.  Trust me, the list will add up to more than all of that, and I bet the amount you have paid out to have them still living there, just the rent you didn't charge them will astound you!!!  So mom, I feel extremely guilty wanting mine to move out, but I will definitely get it happening ASAP!!!  Good luck with your situation and leave the guilt in those messy rooms!!!
  • 44ChelleK
    I have a 22 almost 23 year old daughter who is a good kid, doesnt do drugs etc, and works 2 jobs. The trouble is, im afraid she is now stuck, and stuck with her boyfriend. When I say that I mean ..she has her associates degree, and stopped goingMore to school to work these 2 jobs to help her boyfriend pay bills etc, however, he is not motivated like she is, and works part time in security and doesn't do anything to help himself forward. He also still lives at home. My daughter is almost never home, and is always there, while he just sits around, and doesn't try to work more hours etc., Shes been working 7 days a week for awhile now, and im worried about her getting burned out between both jobs, taking care of him and doing nothing for herself, plus continuing to live home rent free, and continue in this limbo state. I feel like as much as I love her, that the situation I am allowing, is enabling for this to continue. Alone she makes enough money to afford her own place no problem. What should I do? I feel like having "the talk" with her but im afraid she will hate me, any advice is welcome, thank you in advance!!!!
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      44ChelleK I hear you.  Many parents of young adults struggle with figuring out what to do when they see their child “stuck”, and not making the most of their talents.  You’re not alone in feeling this way.  The truth is, your daughter is an adult, and although I hear yourMore concerns that she might be influenced by her boyfriend, and wanting to take care of him, she is ultimately the one making these choices around her relationship and her employment.  While you cannot “make” her make different decisions for her life, you can set boundaries for yourself as outlined in the article above.  For example, you might let her know that she needs to find a different place to live by a certain date.  You might find more helpful information on setting boundaries with your daughter in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/parental-roles-how-to-set-healthy-boundaries-with-your-child/.  I recognize how challenging this must be for you right now, and I wish you all the best moving forward.  Take care.
  • Diene
    I have a 21 year old daughter who is disrespectful, threatening and thinks she owns the home we reside in.  My children's father (soon to be ex-husband)  left about 5 1/2 years ago and began immediately having a relationship with a young woman.  She is only about 10 years olderMore then my daughter.  My daughter decided she would not spend time with him and his family while this young woman was around.  I definitely understood her and her feelings.  But now have regret.  He is still with this young woman and brings her to all his family functions.  Only sees my daughter when he comes to pick up my son or plans a meal together.  My daughter acts as though I am responsible for what has happened.  She is treating me like a piece of crap.  Bosses me around.  I am not allowed to have the man i have been dating for 3 years now in my home because of her.  If he does come over for dinner or just to sit and chat, she is slamming doors and mumbling under her breath. Making comments that are rude and disrespectful.   Makes it so uncomfortable.  My son loves the man I am with.  My boyfriend has never slept at my house or done anything to make her feel uncomfortable. I tried to respect my daughters feelings by not doing anything in my home.  YET her father lives with his girlfriend. She has threatened to cause a scene if my boyfriend and his family attend any family functions.  Caused a very big family fight on my elderly mothers birthday and made it a horrible time for my poor mother.  My boyfriend did not attend the function to keep as much peace as possible.  BTW... she has NEVER EVEN had a conversation with my boyfriend and has stated she hates him because of me.  She doesn't directly dislike him.   Too much to explain.  But I am so frustrated living with this 21 year old.  She was very depressed when her dad first left and took up residence on my couch refusing to go to school.  I didn't think she would graduate high school and surprised me when she made it to 12th grade.  At the very end i was literally writing her papers for her and pushing, screaming for her to go to school to graduate.  She has ALWAYS had social issues.  Doesn't have friends.  She hung out with my friends and I all the time.  At first when my husband was around I let it go.  But i was always telling him that I feared she had some issues and tried many times to get her help.  She refused.  We literally dragged her one day to a counselor who told us if she doesn't want to be there she would probably not open up and she would be unable to help her.  She was about 9.  I'm sorry jumping all over with my story.  Anyway, the other day she was at work and called home for me to make her soup because she didn't feel well.  I told her we didn't have what I needed to make it and if she stopped and got some i would make it for her.  She also wanted me to check her throat.  I am a nurse.  Before she came home my boyfriend  and a friend stopped by for a few minutes unexpectedly.  I had just made dinner.  I am a little tight with money and wanted to use up what i had in the freezer and cabinets.  I had pulled a pork in which i thought i bought a few weeks before.  Anyway I offered them some dinner and we sat down with my son and ate.  I had put some aside for my daughter but after they left I kept picking at the plate so there wasn't much left.  She came home with the stuff for the soup.  Saw their was food on the plate and asked who it was for and was angry because she stated that she bought the food and who the f@@k was I to feed my boyfriend (she didn't know my friend stopped by) and that i was a piece of sh## and followed me to my room and blocked me from leaving telling me i had to check her throat.  i refused to check her throat behaving that way. I finally got passed and she followed me to the living room where my son was putting his new tv together while watching tv.  I sat on the couch and she grabbed the remote and turned the tv off on us stating I needed to check her throat  .  My son got up and put tv back on.  She turned it off again and so on.  This went on a few times.  I finally got up and started yelling and screaming at her and I became enraged.  I didn't touch her but was extremely angry that she thinks she can treat me like that.  My son went into the bedroom and called the police.  This has been the 3 time we called the police on her.  I have lived with this behavior for so long now and I am tired of it.  The worst is that her father just helped her purchase a brand new audi.  She does pay the car payment, but has never once contributed money to the monthly bills in the house.  The child support money pays my mortgage and I have to pay everything else..  So to me its unfair that she pays nothing.  I need her out.  I am uncomfortable in my own home.  Cant relax.  She takes over the tv, washing machine, bathroom, yells if she thinks we are too loud leaves clothes dishes food tissues all over the place.  Sits in the living room if I have company with the tv blaring.  Has no respect for anyone.  As you can tell I am done.  This story is only 1 of too many to explain.  I just wanted to give you the full picture of what I am dealing with.  Help me please.
    • bridgeciaj

      Diene I agree with Done 2.  She stated it well.  I hear a very angry and hurt girl in your daughter's behavior but if she is unwilling to go to therapy and work those things out you have no choice.  SHE has to be willing to work on her issues.  She's obviously working if she can afford a car.    I would tell her it's time to leave.  Be oatmeal voice... you love her, you've done your best, you will not live with abuse any longer, she needs to leave.  There are eviction laws with time frames... I would look those up so you have the time frames in mind.  What applies to your situation specifically.  (What did we do without Google?)  You are truly teaching her and your son that this is acceptable behavior.  Stand strong.  Teach her she needs to work through her anger and come to a place of peace in her own life.  It's not healthy for any of you.

      Hang in there.

      • Done 2
        Bridgeciaj....love it???
    • Done 2
      Diene, hi I will encourage you to put her out of your house!!! Read some of my previous posts stating how I handled the situation with my sons. It's ridiculous for these young adults to behave this way under someone else's roof (You're not just someone else, you're mom) GoMore down to the court and tell them you want to evict someone from your home and what are the steps you should take. Then proceed...if you're going to feel sorry for her after you do it, then keep suffering the abuse at her hand. I only mean that as her mother, it will hurt you to have to take this route with your child, but they will thank you for it later and if not it's okay. You deserve respect from the children that you not only birthed, but that you raised and supported well into adulthood. You have to be firm and consistent with your daughter, she will not tell me what I can or cannot do in the house I'm paying rent in. She can try it, but I have the final say in my house and that's period!!! This type of behavior will drive people away from you, I'm glad you have an understanding boyfriend, but please get her from around your son disrespecting you this way. The last thing that you need is for him to grow up and feel that it's okay for him to do it because of the exchange between you two. You certainly don't want him to be verbally or physically abusive to any female, whether at school, home, or somewhere else in public. This needs to be nipped in the bud immediately. I wouldn't play around with it. When my sons knew of my decision to evict them out of my home, because I didn't hide it from them, they were hottt!!! They really started showing off, being verbally abusive!!! I told them all that talking would be over in a few more days. When they got those summons to appear before the court, you could hear a pin drop in my house lol. They started washing dishes, cleaning up, being all nice and kind, and I soaked it up too. I could hear them on the phone trying to make arrangements with some of their friends, it was funny to me. I didn't laugh in their faces but in my heart I did, because they had all that mouth...saying anything to me that they could fix their lips to say. I watched them scrambled to put things in perspective and I didn't lift a finger. I have raised them, taught them, loved them, fed them, and hundreds of other things. Rebelling was their choice, not mine so they are suffering the consequences. But guess what else, they are grown!!! Believe it or not, our relationship have actually gotten better!!! Are they back in my house, no!!! Do I run every time they need money, no!!! They call me for advice, I still give them that but I don't get involved in every little thing with them. They make their beds, they lie in them. I told them that whatever mess they choose to become involved with, don't drag me in it. Overall, it's good to see them finally getting it together and standing on their own. Hope this helps you.
  • realistic47

    What year was this written? In today's world no one has a land line in the home and a cell phone and internet is the only way to apply for most jobs. It's not like it was when my generation was moving out. Employers don't want to see you. They want everything to go through a website. So if a person doesn't have access to a cell phone to receive call back on an application, how is this helpful? I can see telling my kid to go to the local library to use Internet access but they are even cracking down on that too.

    My situation is there is absolutely no extended family. They are are all dead. He lost his job and is unskilled. I try to get him back to school but he needs income. He needs the phone to get to places. It's become a catch 22. I know he needs a hard line but it's winter and it's not like I can put his stuff on the porch and lock him out. He has no car, no driver's license. If he had no phone he'd be dead on my porch!

    • Done 2
      Hi realistic47...it is 2016 and people do still have landlines where I live. Yes the library is an option and most colleges have labs that the public can access for free, you just have to look for these things. We need to stop making excuses for these grown kids whichMore in turn is doing nothing but crippling them where they are unable to stand on their own. This may be a bit harsh ( but so) I had 2 grown sons living with me. When they start saying things like I don't like you and I never liked you or I ought to slap my daddy for laying down with you, my last concern will be where he sleeps or what he eats, if he finds a job, or if he has a phone!!! That's his problem!!! Yes it's winter but guess what....I took mine to court, evicted them out of my home with their ungrateful behinds, and I can tell you where they are right now because they texted me...they are at the library applying for jobs!!! I don't care where they sleep, they are grown!!! I'm not pacifying them any longer...they are now forced to be men and grow up!!! Hope this didn't sound too harsh but the level of disrespect that I've had to suffer from my kids while feeding them and providing them a place to stay was unimaginable!!! They will now see how good they actually had it and hopefully the next time I see them they will put some RESPECK (with a K) on my name!!! Oh they won't be coming back to my house to live...it's called tough love!!!
  • jordan0227
    I am in a horrible situation with my 18 year old son.  He doesn't work, he is verbally abusive and does nothing to positively impact our home life.  I am a single Mother and have a daughter (his sister) who is 15 and he treats both of us horribly.  Me,More moreso, than her which I would much prefer as I hate seeing him lose his temper with her.  I am at the end of my rope.  He smokes marijuana several times per day (I can smell it on him) and I feel as though he may be doing other things but can't prove it.  It's gotten to the point that I dread going home at night because I never have any idea what kind of mood he will be in.  I can't stand it any longer.  I have tried reasoning, I have tried tough love, I have tried being sweet and encouraging and nothing I ever do is enough.  I just need him to get out.  It's really taking a toll on my mental and physical help.  How can I push him out into the world so he can do things on his own?  I need to take drastic action but am unsure where to turn.  Help me PLEASE!!!
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      jordan0227 I’m so sorry to hear about the verbal abuse and other challenging behaviors you are experiencing with your son right now, and I’m glad that you are here reaching out for support.  I hear how frustrated you are with your son, and how much you want things to change.More  If you are ready to have your son leave your home, you might want to check with your local court about the required process in your area.  As pointed out in the article above, sometimes a formal eviction process is necessary to remove an adult child from your home.  If you are not quite ready to take this step, you might consider https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ which outlines your expectations for your son’s behavior while he is living in your home, such as sobriety, employment and treating others in the household respectfully, as well as how you will hold him accountable if he breaks these rules..  Please be sure to check back with us and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.
  • Nellie2
    My son went through a messy divorce and is now living with us. He has drinking and depression issues. His kids are far away and his wife was having an affair and got a restraining order. He had a job and quit and was going to leave. We encouraged himMore to stay and get on his feet. He just got a job so hopefully will be able to get his own place in a couple months. The biggest problem is he's drinking and driving. We don't allow drinking in the house because of his issues. We don't give him spending money but pay his car insurance so he could find a job. I fear he will get caught, hurt someone or himself and lose his license. We live in a rural location and a person needs a drivers license. I want him to get psychological and addiction help but he refuses. He's 34 and has been with us over a year. I am struggling with giving him an ultimatum about getting help. He can't afford to drink plus I'm insulted that we are supporting him and he's wasting his money. He's respectful and appreciative but doesn't do much around the house unless asked. My husband says very little because he's afraid he'll blow up. So, I deal with most interaction and I need a reasonable plan.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      Nellie2 I hear you, and I understand your concern for your son’s choices right now, as well as the fears of what might happen if he doesn’t change.  I also recognize your desire to help him, and to see him make healthier choices.  Ultimately, though, it’s really going to beMore your son’s choice about whether and when he changes his behavior.  This doesn’t mean that you cannot set limits with him or that you are powerless, however.  While you cannot make him change, you can set limits and boundaries for yourself.  For example, you might set a limit around not paying for his car insurance if he continues to drive while intoxicated.  You might also consider https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ with your son which outlines your expectations for his behavior as he continues to live with you.  I hope you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.
      • Nellie2

        Thanks for your response. I hesitate to give ultimatums as far as the insurance goes as now he does have a job and a girlfriend and is feeling a bit better. I find when he's successful he does better, as we all do. My biggest, recent issue is, I know he is concerned about drinking and driving and he understands the risks. So, now that he has money, he's drinking upstairs in his room. I don't usually hide things from his father but I know he'll blow up. So,I've kept it to myself and feel awful about it. I feel my son is at a crossroads and trying to decide if it's all to much and split or continue to try to stick to the job and clean up his life. I'm relieved he's not drinking and driving but my husband gave up drinking at our home to set a good example. He'd be really ticked about him drinking upstairs. I do think he expects but looks the other way. My son is an alcoholic so if he goes several days without alcohol, he feels pretty crappy and unfocused. His mind needs to be clear for work so he drinks. My hope is he will get some help if he can continue with positive changes. It's just not all going to happen all at once. I just really hate hiding the truth from my husband. My son has had a lot of chances but he might just be old enough now to no longer want to be on the street and straighten out his life.he has said he knows if he leaves he will die a drunk on the street and I believed him. This job feels like the first step. If he loses this job or quits all bets are off and I feel like its ultimatum time.

        We told him he needs to set up a bank account to have automatic withdrawal of his insurance . That's the next step.

  • Nurse62

    I'm finding myself in many a similar situation. My daughter is 27, graduated from a prestigious university and decided to stay in her internship job paying much less than her worth. She stated then that she wished to stay at home for a couple of years to help her pay off her college debt. I had at this time started to put the house on the market but rescinded. I had already moved forward into town to take care of my parents at that time and have not returned back to live in my house. During this time she allowed several different bad roomies stopping with the final, a boyfriend who is an alcoholic, not driving but holding down a part time job and eventually took in two pit bulls. The dogs have torn up my floors. They pulled them up but even after I have offered to install floors and even bought equipment to complete the work, it hasn't been completed. My subfloors have been exposed for most of a year.

    My father has recently unexpectedly died leaving me at a point where I have had to commit to moving in with my mother to help her out financially and with living activities. I now feel I can no longer carry my daughter, promise after promise not completed. I believe I must now lay down the law demanding she move out of the house, while I post my house to the market to be sold as is. I don't have anymore to give. I am broke financially. And I feel emotionally.

    It breaks my heart to do this but I think it is the best gift I can give her. To grow up and take care of herself.

    I'm sorry I feel so weak. I've lost so much this year with two other deaths in my family including my first born son.

    I just wish to make sure I do this the right way if there is such a thing.

    • SerenaT

      Nurse62 I feel your pain and want to tell you that you are not weak.  I don't know what the right way is, but at this point you have to do what's right for you and not focus on what's right for her and her boyfriend and their animals.  

      I took care of myself from the time I was 18 (am now over 50) and never regretted it one bit.  I am proud of who I have become and what I have accomplished and your daughter will be too one day.  Take care of yourself and good luck.

  • freakingout
    We just found out our 23 year old didn't graduate from college like he said.  He refuses to finish the degree (he needs only two classes!), refuses to work, and refuses to get help -- he is clearly suffering from depression and anxiety.  He says he won't get a jobMore ever.  He has no problem living with us and playing video games and watching TV all day.  We've told him we're being negligent as parents by allowing him to freeload without taking any steps to become independent.  We've moved out all of his electronics, hoping for some agreement to move forward on his part.  I'm terrified of kicking him out and having him live on the streets, but it's looking like that's what we need to do.  We're worried that his job prospects are going to get worse the longer he stays home unemployed.
    • SerenaT
      freakingout I left college when I was about his age - worked in bars, slept on couches . . .   After a year of that, I went back and finished my degree and happily found a career.  I wouldn't have done that if I had a comfy home toMore live in.  Think of it this way - you are not "kicking him out"  you are setting him free.  Otherwise you are holding him back.
  • JamiePoe
    I have 4 kids-3 with the same dad and my almost 18 yr old son with another dad. My 17 yr old son is making our life HELL. He is on drugs and has drugs in my home, dropped out of high school and is doing nothing with his life.More He is very disrespectful and has assaulted my husband in front of my other 3 small children. He has been arrested and charged with assault along with 13 other charges from mostly dealing with drugs. We have tried to get him help and he refuses. He turns 18 on November 5, where we feel we need to kick him out. He has no money, but we cannot keep living like this. He has overdosed before and stays out all night and comes home when he feels like it. We have a 10:30pm curfew, but he never obeys it. He does not help with chores and sleeps in until 4pm. He got a job for a month, only to be suspended for 8 weeks because of his two most recent arrests with drugs. I feel bad about kicking him out, but I cannot live in hell anymore. I fear for my other children's safety and feel I cannot leave the house unless he is gone. What would any of you do if you were in my situation?
    • Done 2
      Put his butt out!!! Disrespecting you and your home, authority, and rules is reason enough. The life that he is choosing is HIS CHOICE!!! Like I said in a previous post about my son, if he can open his mouth to disrespect me after all I've sacrificed for him, thenMore he can provide for himself, he's already grown, I don't owe him anything. Then he had the nerve to go to social media and make a post about me!!! What he hasn't posted is how he is begging now to come back into my house, knocking on the door and tapping on my windows. I WILL NOT give in to his whining because he should have considered all that he risked losing before he disrespected me. If it comes down to it, I will call the cops on him again because enough is enough with these kids!!! My opinion ?
      • SerenaT
        Done 2 Good job!!  Stay strong and be well!
        • Done 2
          Thank you SerenaT???
      • Newvic
        I have a 38 year old son that i have tried to help far to long. He feels he can lay down all the rules in my house and i need to abide by them. He is on probation for drugs and when i tell him to move out heMore says he can't just up and move because of that. He does pay to stay here, but i have to fight him for it. I tell him before each payday, get a place lined up to go to come payday. If i dont make him give me money right when he gets paid he blows it and then says i refused it. I am laid off right now, but a few months back i was working long hours and while i was working he sold some of my things for drugs. On top of him my daughter is 37 and refuses to be responsible for her 5 boys.she is on drugs as well. I have triad multiple times to help her and the children ages 18yrs to 5yrs. Now she is sleeping in my driveway and her husband who is a heroin abuser is sleeping on my couch while the boys are all spread out at differant relatives but come here when they feel like it. I would love to keep the boys but they to are so disrespectful and just this morning the 15 yr. Old boy busted my front window out because he did not want to go to school. His dad did nothing while his mom continued sleeping in the van and my 38 yr old son blamed me for speaking to the boy in the wrong tone of voice. I am fed up! I am single and my kids have this idea i can do nothing about this situation. My grandsons have even told me i cant do anything. Well bull! Im done. Granny's getting down and dirty!! Everybody OUT. They all got one week to vacate.I am not above getting the law involved now.They have wrecked my home and my life long enough.
        • Done 2
          Yessssss get the law involved!!! Your home is supposed to be YOUR haven...a place where you can go to rest and relax. Just this morning I awoke at 4 in the morning to find that my other son who was staying with me until he found a place had snuckMore a female in the house. This was totally disrespectful and against my religion and everything that I stand for. Then he wanted to feed me some pitiful story about her not being able to get into her house. If that was the case, you let me know and you house her in the front room not the bedroom!!! The law will not make them leave if they have been staying so I have to go through the courts to have him removed. I told him that if he won't leave on his own then he leaves me no choice. I haven't even began to live my own life. Enough is enough...take power and control back over your house. The first son I put out I stood my ground with him. I didn't feed him or let him back in. He came by this morning to apologize because he never apologized to me. He told me that he wasn't trying to move back in but at the end of the day I am still his mom and he never should have disrespected me. I accepted his forgiveness and he went his way. All I've ever wanted was for him to be a man and take charge and control of his own life. Oh he starts back to school Monday so yessssss when I let go and let God, He's teaching me how to handle the situation and still show tough love in the process. He's working it!!!
  • fightinginsanity
    Im a single mom of 3. My oldest has very little respect, believes i owe him everything and somehow everything bad is my fault! Now his girlfriend lives with us, its torture to say the least. I have totally isolated myself other than work. DepressionMore is now my best friend! I realized one day that, even though i love him, i need to keep me healthy in every aspect. I am still human even tho im a mom! I've done my best since day one and will continue to do so but i have decided its time for him to learn thru experience. In a few months we are moving. He will be on his own, i don't want to hate my child, nor do i want to be in the pysh ward! Every day is a count down for me and i pray i make it. I hope he will understand when he is own place, paying his own billls how life is.......and i will be able to breath again!
  • redheadrage
    I am a thirty year old female who has been dating a 45 year old male for two years. Of those two years we have lived together for one. We have a two bedroom apartment and I have two kids who are close in age, same sex sharing a room.More My boyfriend has a 23 year old son who has a 28 year old girlfriend living in our home. As a result my boyfriend and I are sleeping on a pull out couch in the living room while his son and son's gf are in their own room. They do pay a small amount of rent that his father set forth but, I buy 90% of the food, help with the bills, and my boyfriend pays the majority of the bills. His son and son's gf never contribute to any of the food costs, eat everything insight, do not help around the house. Literally end up taking 95% of the dishes in their room so you never have a cup, fork, plate, etc to use. His son's gf will leave laundry in my washer for days at a time, causing the laundry room to smell sour and I always end up being the one to finish her laundry because it drives me insane. I cook all the dinners and the two of them never help, or buy their own food. Further more, they snuck two cats in and my boyfriend let them keep the cats but, the cats are tearing up the furniture, etc. They have no motivation. No car, do have a job they work together doing inventory but it has crazy hours so my boyfriend always has to drive them to the job sight at times like 3 am, etc. They were told to save for a car, which they saved 500 dollars and her parents agreed to put 1000 in and his grandad 1,000 in. Still they don't even do simple internet searches for used cars, or take a walk around the neighborhood to look (we live in a good sized city that is pretty accessible, so no excuse there). His gf is always using my car, which is old and a beater and needs tlc, yet she'll say she'll be back in an hour and it ends up being 5 hours. I am so fed up I just don't know what to do. I love my boyfriend so much, he's really the second best thing to ever happen to me (my babies being the first) but, I want them gone and don't know what to do.
    • bridgeciaj
      redheadrage I'm angry just reading that!  My husband is angry with me for allowing our 18 year old son to stay in the home to work out some issues and hubby would probably say he behaves similarly to your boyfriends kids.  I have my reasons for wanting our son toMore stay -- for a while.  So I ask, does your boyfriend think this is OK?  What are his standards of behavior for them?  I imagine they get away with this because they've always been able to.  If the boyfriend isn't willing to take a stand can YOU without his support?  I'll ask what everyone else is thinking, why did you give them a bedroom?!  You've made them too comfortable - which you already know.  If your boyfriend won't take a stand with you... maybe you need to keep the boyfriend but move out so you have some peace?  The contract and everything won't work if you won't stand behind it and kick them out.  Also... make them UBER to work.  Perhaps that will help motivate them.  So sorry you're going through this.  It's a push for me to push harder on my son to get him going forward again.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      I hear you.  It can be so frustrating when you are sharing

      living space with adults who are not taking responsibility for themselves, and

      contributing their fair share to the household.  At this point, it could

      be useful for you and your boyfriend to talk privately during a calm time, and

      come to an agreement about what the expectations are for his son and girlfriend

      while they are living with you.  You might consider https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ which outlines these expectations as well.  I

      recognize how challenging this must be for you, and I hope you will write back

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

  • Guest
    We have a 36 year old son living at home and he has been here for six years.  He had trouble maintaining a steady well paying job due to some anxiety issues and was quitting wherever he was every year or so.  He ultimately got into massive debt due toMore credit card, college loans and a car repo.  He is generally a well intentioned person, but he basically has always been extremely immature with finances and even in responsibilities in general.. His room was always a mess, there was no help with errands or chores and he complained constantly about his single life to us and was showing no signs of moving out.  We have found the idea of making things a lot more uncomfortable for him has worked much better for us.  We simply were never going to throw him on the street and the thought of him bringing his immaturity and laziness to a relatives house was not something we wanted to do.  We came up with the following house rules and have stuck to them.  We will continue to provide all the basics and beyond that he has a television and a computer in his room for internet use.  If the whining and complaining around the house didn't stop, we will pull the extensions for cable and internet from the bedroom.  These are privileges not rights or entitlements.  Same goes for keeping up with cleanliness in his bedroom and general chores around the house.  Behave in an adult manner and we are happy to continue to provide the things he is accustomed to while he works on his debts.  As for finances from his job and yes he does have a full time ok paying job, his money is to go to his substantial debts and honestly not much of anything else.  I mean yes we expect him to have a little fun now and then, however his concerns about dating and being stuck single or any constant unnecessary waste of money partying or whatever we don't want to see it right now.  You can't have a successful relationship anyway when you still live at home and can't support yourself.  He has got to work on his debt and quite honestly his behavior first and then these things can come.  If we see him wasting his money again he will lose those extra privileges.  While it might be impossible to enforce all these rules while he is out of the house we have taken measures to at least make things difficult including no women in the house/his room.  It was a tough decision for my husband and I to start enforcing these house rules with our son because honestly some of them seem more for teenagers than for adults, but then again we did a ton for him providing for all his needs growing up and he was choosing to not act like an adult.  If you want to stay dependent on your parents and act like a teenager, well you can still be treated like one.   I am happy to say his debts are coming down slowly, but surely, his mood around the house has improved a great deal and he seems to show a real desire to be on his own as soon as possible.  I think it really came down to making it difficult for him here.  The uncomfortable thing worked for us.  He is not violent and in our case we are fortunate that we didn't have to deal with that worry.  I know our situation is not the same as everyone's here and some have the need to ask their kids to leave for safety or other reasons and I respect that.  I also understand that what worked for us wouldn't work for everyone here.  Just thought I'd post our experiences in regard to the house rules/making things uncomfortable angle.  It can work in the right situations.  Best of luck to all here in your different challenges.
    • mcdgvmcc
      @Guest It sounds like something is working.  Am I wrong that I don't have any desire to live with my kid?  I don't know how you ar doing this and I wish I could want to do this because she needs my help but I honestly don't think I can.More  She makes me crazy within 24 hour overnight visit... always just hanging out sleeping..
  • Autumn
    I don't agree with step 4. Never enter any kind of tenant/landlord contract with your child if your intentions are to make them spread their wings and fly. Tenant/landlord type contracts empower the adult child to the point if you wanted them to leave, you would now needMore to follow the civil process of eviction which can be a financial burden to the parent if adult child refuses to leave. Better to leave the situation as adult children just living under parents roof with no contracts. That way theres no legal hassles when you tell your child to move out, gives parents the upper hand in their own home.
    • bridgeciaj
      @Autumn That is a really good point.  I imagine most of the adult children we talk about here aren't motivated enough to figure something like that out, but I guarantee some are!  Such a sad place to be!
    • DoneBeingUsed
      I understand this process. If your child looks as he is entitled to be there with no contribution you have to start some where to get them out. It Is a necessity for some, unfortunately I think I may be one of those PARENT ATM's
  • ChampagneToast

    It is the end of July 2016 and the last TEN YEARS of my  life has been spent in direct combat with my 24 year old son.

    It is so bad that I told him I hate his gutts. He has built so much hate resentment and disappointment

      beyond that the long standing ten year history has caused me to lose everything and nearly take my own life.

    He has failed to thrive for near to ten years. I got him counselling with five therapists, put him into a psychiatric hospital but no one could properly diagnose him because he refused to speak. He was diagnosed as having oppositional defiance which has now turned into a full blown conduct disorder.

    He takes revenge on me for asking anything at all to be done. This started when he was a teenager such as asking him to do the dishes, he would break them or put them in the garbage or put them back into the cupboard dirty. He would scratch up the furniture then say I am seeing things and must be either stalked by someone or am a crazy person. The psychological warfare was serious with this kid and he had a poker face to boot and would never give in no matter what. Chased him with the broom and went bezerk to the point the neighbours thought I was crazy and then started taking his side due to the gaslighting. (gaslighting is altering someones perception to create self doubt) Well I sold the house because I honestly thought I was being stalked as all of my clothes and shoes and furniture were cut up and could not catch the carver as we called this unknown person. I became paranoid and nervous watching everyone who even smiled at me.

    This altered my entire psyche and trust and altered the way I interact with all human beings.

    This devil was threatened with the cops, sending to boot camp and so many times came so close to paying all the huge fees to get relief from him.

    His covert behavior became more aggressive the older he got to the point I call it a MOMMY DOMINATION problem.

    He is always trying to control me, even pulling me across the street by the arm nearly killing me being hit by a car. He will take things out of my shopping cart in the grocery store and tell me that I don't know how to shop, nor budget money (twenty five years as a single mom and cooked supremely) He would talk over me when I was trying to give my opinion to someone and say, Mom, this person doesn't care what you think, or roll his eyes and huff rudely to undermine me. if someone was in my way on the sidewalk, he would push me out of the way and yell loudly MOM watch out will ya?  He yells at me when I am in my bed trying to sleep at night starting an episode and trying to stress me out whenever I am trying to relax. When I am sick, he says, How come you aren't working you don't look sick to me.

    I have to answer how I am spending my money and if I buy one thing for myself he gets very upset and makes sure that he ruins my day or a nice retail therapy hissing in my ear as I try to browse and enjoy myself YOU HAVE BILLS TO PAY.

    I paid for four years of Universiity for him but refuse to do anything more for him due to the level of his disrespect. Also, he berates, demoralizes me and discourages me every chance he can get as I am in commissioned sales and life is hard enough for me financially let alone listening to him about what a loser I am. NOTE I used to have a Ferrari and four other vehicles a gorgeous home winning energy and gave to charity and was so nice and generous and loving and kind to him and was always there for him in all ways. I have lost everything over the last ten years and it seems he is trying to destroy me and likes it to upset me and actually gets personal pleasure when I am really down (mostly due to him)

    I see his crazy dark eyes, see that he has mental health issues and he will not get help. Instead, he says that he is getting the neighbor (another punk who is a mommy hater) to get me committed.

    Well, when I was really up and determined and got paid on a big deal and bought him new leather furniture for his new apartment to move out and got a job interview for him with a big fund in finance, he was the worst prickfaced asshole you could ever expect.

    I decided that it was either my life or his.

    I went to the court with the episodes of violence and attacks and breaking down doors and threats to me and got him formed.

    Because he wont listen to me and wont listen to anyone else, he now has to listen to a JUDGE.

    He can follow the rules within a court order including, getting counselling, restricting computer use for job search only, 11pm curfew, drug and alcohol test, no contact with me nor my neighbours and to live in a half way house.

    Because I pulled the mental illness card, I saved him from being criminally charged for assault and for elder abuse (because I am only 50, but it is the making of a nightmare if I ever am 80 in a wheelchair and his patient) YIKES

    I want to tell everyone not to be embarrassed nor ashamed to involve the judge at family court. Just say that they will not follow the household rules and fail to thrive and put themselves and you at risk of harm. The warrant of committal takes them to a doctor and you can also get orders in place where they have to live, how they have to live and other tailor made programs.


    • Newvic
      Aman girl i am 55 and im putting my kids and grandkids on the road this coming week and then going on vacation with my boy friend.I never would have thought it possible but i am to the I don't give a shit point
    • bridgeciaj
      @ChampagneToast OMG!  That gave me chills.  Maybe you need to move away and not let him know where you live.  That's scary!  Good for you taking a stand and working to get your sanity back!  Keep being strong!!
  • Worn down
    I have 2 daughters living at home - one is 19 and the other 21.  My 21 year old has bulimia, anxiety and depression, left her job in March this year and has become pretty much isolated from everyone.  Her world is our four walls and the three of us.More  Some days she is up and running, some are miserable and emotional.  She gets that she needs to help out around the house which she is reasonable at, but its always mood dependent.  She gets so lost in her own stuff that she forgets that there are other people in the house barely keeping their heads above water with the cumulative effects of her eating disorder and self loathing.  My other daughter left school when she was 14 to do correspondence school.  She has big dreams and ideas and we listen to them.  However, these have become repetitive monologues - she has only got one friend that she sees sometimes as she is away at University.  She works part time but other than that her world is just as small as her sister's.  Our home is open plan living so there is seldom any space to call my own.  My husband works from home and is in and out a bit.  My husband and I each have a parent who really wasn't there for us.  We've tried to make up for that by being acknowledging, empathic and taking their needs into account.  However, I realise that I am not wanting to continue to parent them as I did when they were younger.  As adults they need to step up - one is emotionally challenged and the other is downright lazy and loves to go under the radar.  I have had a couple of talks with them to say things need to change but not much has happened.  I guess I go back to just doing what I've always done and my husband and I just numb ourselves down to get through to the time they do leave home.  We are so keen to move onto life after kids and start getting to know each other again - and we feel so stuck!
    • CosmicTraveler

      Worn down  Dear Worn down ,  no, you don't have to numb yourselves until they leave home.  It is true, you love your daughters and you worry about all the "what if" scenarios if they are asked to leave home.  They may even be sweet to you once in a while. All that doesn't take away the fact that your life is as important as theirs. Your peace of mind is as important to you as theirs is to them.

      Reading your post, I can see that you (and your husband) have done a lot for your children, to the best of your ability. It's up to them now.  Tell them that they have to start living independently in their own apartment or home starting in two weeks. (Add another week if they request). They both can live together to share costs. By not asking them to leave, and by numbing yourself to a resigned life, you are doing two things:

      1. You are not letting them grow and be responsible to themselves.

      2. More importantly, you and your husband are not experiencing life as you should at this point. You are resigning yourself to a bad state of affairs that absolutely will not bear any benefits.

      Wishing you all the best.

  • Hopeful
    My son is 21. He does work full-time at a job that pays him more a year than I make. He refuses to help pay any bills. He has quit paying his car insurance because he knows I can't let the policy cancel since it's a shared policy. He occasionallyMore helps pay for a meal. He will help with younger siblings if he feels like he is needed. He will not do any work around the house unless I throw a fit and yell. He ignores most everything he is asked to do. He always says he will do it later, but later only comes when I yell or throw a fit. He is disrespectful to me and he curses at me. I don't pay for his phone, clothes, haircuts, etc. I don't do his laundry or clean his room. The things I do provide for him (cable, internet, lights, water, roof, food..) I can't take away because I have other children to care for. How do I make him feel uncomfortable enough to want to be on his own. He says he wants to move out, but he is not looking for a place and he never has any money because he spends it all on stuff he wants.
    • fightinginsanity
      Your son sounds how my son use to be. I put up with it, huge mistake! Its 10,000 times worse now. Its him or me! I can't take it anymore and refuse to feel guilty for doing my best! More For me in my situation, we will be moving, im going my way with other children and he is getting his own place! Its so hard, you are not alone, i wish u luck!
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


      We speak with a lot of parents who feel as though they are

      powerless to motivate their child to either comply with the house rules, or to

      move out on their own.  Something to keep in mind is that, in general,

      people do not change until they feel uncomfortable.  If your son is OK

      with the way things are going, he is not likely to be motivated to

      change.  I see that you are not providing him with any “extras” like

      clothes, haircuts, or a phone.  That’s great!  It’s helpful to keep

      in mind that anything you choose to provide to your son at this point is

      considered a privilege, including a roof over his head and use of a car. 

      At this point, it could be useful to https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ with your son which outline the expectations for his

      behavior while he is living in your house.  As part of this living agreement,

      you might require that he pay a certain amount to you, which you can use to pay

      bills, or you can set it aside so he can use it to pay for a security deposit

      and first month’s rent on an apartment of his own.  I also encourage you

      to think of how you will hold him accountable and make him uncomfortable if he

      is not following through.  As an example, in the “real world”, if you do

      not pay your rent and instead spend it on fun things for yourself, chances are

      you will be evicted.  I recognize how challenging this can be, and I hope

      that you will write back and let us know how things are going for you and your

      family.  Take care.

      • Shirleyrose
        RebeccaW_ParentalSupport This reply Write up a living agreement seems to be your answer to all the questions asked,  This does not work in certain circumstances. I do not mean to be so abrupt, but surely there must be another solution besides this. I have looked at the living agreement.More I would have to say, if I had a agreement written, it wouldn't be this slack, With generation, I wish all the parents in the world luck, even all the programs you have for the price( which could work) may not help.
  • Sad parent

    My daughter is afraid to move on. She doesn't feel like she is capable to do jobs that she could do. She went away to college for 4 yrs. She has a general education bachelor's degree with emphasis in psychology. She is gifted in communication.

    But her self esteem is terrible. We don't have an extra car. Even so she is afraid to drive. She is afraid of public transportation. She is 26 and has been home since sue was 24. She is capable I know she is.

  • Cathy

    As I read through all these comments, I am relieved and saddened to see that I am not alone in my struggle with my 32 yo son.  Almost 5 years ago he moved back home after a bad breakup with the girl he was living with.  I have been a single parent all his life, dealing with his (now dead) alcoholic and verbally abusive father...for the first 19 years.   I did EVERYthing I thought was right.  My son saw me work 2-3 jobs to support us, put myself through college to better us, take him to every little league game and boy scout meeting....11 years of that!  You name it.  And not in a spoiled way, but I was there, I was a good mother.  We had to go without a lot, but never felt deprived.  We made do and did less expensive stuff to have fun.

     But now, I feel like I'm living with a total stranger.  He is angry, volitle and verbally abusive.  He flys off at the slightest thing.  His stuff is everywhere in my house (a small house I bought after he first moved out....not big enough for the two of us).   He screams if I even touch anything to move it to get to my own things.   .....and yes I wonder if he is bipolar.....  I can't go there.   I have asked him to move out more times than I can count.    He screams telling he he is trying, but then continues same as usual.    He had a job, quit.   Is going to college, independent study, which he does but hates.  Works with friends and has money related to music/band  I don't know. ..he doesn't talk to me.  He never has given me a dime, does no chores unless I complain making me the B.   Blames his whole 'sorry existence' on me and threatens ME with a 'court notice' if I ever touch his things again.     I do not believe there are drugs involved, that has never been a problem (odd as it sounds, he is allergic to pot).   And he has a nice girlfriend.   He truly believes I owe him money for messing up his life.   He now claims squatters rights.......which he knows nothing of! 

       I hate coming home after work because I know he will scream at me for something.  I am depressed and some days just feeling like running away from it all.  Or moving out!  Yes of MY OWN HOME.   Just leaving it all.

      The completely baffling thing of all this is that he is a good soul, a kind friend to the underdogs, an animal lover, an artist and a poet.   But to me, the woman that raised him with all my heart, he is now unbearable.   Some days he screams so loud and hatefilled that I think he will have a stroke or a heart attack,  seriously.    And yes, I'm going to say this out  loud,  but I think if God forbid, he died, he would be in a better place.

       I know what needs to be done and I've tried, I am alone.  I pray every day for a miracle.  Thank you just for a place to share my thoughts and I will pray for all of you too.

    • BJJohn
      I'm right here with you. My son and yours sound like identicle twins. I too have considered moving out of my home. It won't do anything but make more financial struggles on us.They sure dnjoy having water and electricity. That is another thing I thought about. Shut it all off.More We don't deserve to have to live without. I am a Christian. My son has decided he is a Muslim and said terrible things about Jesus. I could not believe my ears.
  • studiomom
    Our situation seems a bit different than the other posts. We have a 27 year old son who moved back home almost two years ago after telling us he wasn't motivated to finish his Masters Degree in Geological Engineering. (He graduated with honors with his bachelor's degree from a veryMore prestigious engineering school). He is respectful at home, doesn't drink or do drugs, is working full-time right now for a landscaping service and is paying us monthly rent and car insurance. When he first moved home he seemed to make some half hearted attempt to look for a job but we haven't seen any evidence of it lately. He is gone almost every evening (playing Magic cards) and does use our car. I realize that his Dad and I are enabling his "failure to launch" by allowing him to stay at home but I am scared to "kick him out". I just wish I could hear some success stories about parents who have kicked grown kids out of the nest and they survived, even thrived!
  • Apathetic Parent
    OMG Today is July 4th ,2016....I woke up and typed in a few key words and is if "sent from heaven above the first article failure to launch part # 3 written by https://www.empoweringparents.com/blog/author/kimmarneyblog/ appeared!!  I wont bore you with all my parental downfalls as my son of 33 years old continuesMore to live at home !  This article has given me a new found sense I can do this....I can actually stick to my guns and get my son to begin surviving on his own without my support.....  so appropriate I found it on INDEPENDENCE DAY 2016. Thank you KIM and MARNEY you have saved our lives!
  • olemelo
    My daughter learned her perceived helplessness by having an overworked, stessed out single mother do everything for her. When grandma helped babysitting, same thing. Everything was done for her. Add anxiety, low self esteem, ADD and some mild learning disability to the mix, and now the said 25 yr oldMore daughter still has no degree, no job tangible job skills, and a part time job with unpredictable hours. Ive spent money on 7+ yrs of therapy, health insurance, rent, utilities, classes, transportation, food - and it's always, 'Im trying". The sadness I feel is overwhelming- Ive failed as a mother, I worked so hard to 'show her' that hard work and sacrifice can pay off. Instead, she grew up feeling entitled, and above certain jobs ie. fast food worker, store clerk. However, she did work at a dept store and her anxiety escalated to the point where she'd have to drink alcohol in order to cope, resulting in dependency. She detoxed, went to rehab, and consistently goes to AA and so far sober, but she's too comfortable, not motivated to delve full force into taking responsibility of her own life. Meanwhile, I feel Icant support her any more, tired of overnights, and sense of never having my own life. Im on verge of losing the best personal relationship of my life bc I cant move forward with my 25 yr old dependent adult child.
    • Saladini64
      olemelo I feel that I wrote this myself, it is so similar to my life.  I have two children though.  This is going to be the year I make some changes and take back my life!  (I hope!!!)
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


    Thank you for

    writing in.  I can hear how challenging it has been for you and your

    family over the past few years to address your son’s behavior, and to try to

    get him to change.  You make a great point that change and discomfort

    often go hand-in-hand, and that your influence lies in setting and enforcing

    appropriate boundaries with your son.  Ultimately, though, your son is an

    adult, even if he is not necessarily demonstrating the maturity and

    responsibility that typically comes with this stage in life.  As an adult,

    he has the power to make his own decisions, even those that you do not agree

    with or support.  As Debbie Pincus points out in her article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/adult-children-living-at-home-how-to-manage-without-going-crazy/, when a child

    becomes an adult, the parent’s role shifts from being fully involved, to being

    more of a consultant. Because he is living with your mom, it is really up to

    her to determine the rules he must follow in order to remain there, and the

    time frame he has to meet those expectations.  I recognize how difficult

    this process can be, and I wish you and your family all the best as you

    continue to move forward.  Take care.

  • AdrianeReddonGriffin
    So I have 2 disrespecting, mean, condescending,augmentative,  loud mouth, cursing, telling me I a bad parent. they don't clean up . the only thing they do is chip in $100 a month each for cable and water and we both know that is not enough money ,we have to putMore more money to both bills. They want to control everything. They both moved out but came back the boy 4 years since he moved back he is going on 27 years old who also was diagnose the  HEART FAILURE just like me he also had a HEART TRANSPLANT a year ago , that;s so hard for my to see him acting up drinking and acting fool in our house.He says i'm kicking him out and he is disable ( shaking my head) he has a bad way of showing GOD has blessed him. My husband and I did everything for these kids we have six all together. I'm waiting for a HEART, I was on the HEART TRANSPLANT list but I have no extra insurance so the doctors took me off the TRANSPLANT LIST. I wear a LVAD MACHINE that's keeping me alive the wear is attached to my HEART come out through my side of my stomach and I carry the machine with two batteries. There are to much stress in my home I don't want to live like this anymore, we are a unhappy family 2 parents, 2 grown kids 1 teenager and 3 grand kids most of the time. My house is crowded I live in a small tree bedroom apt. We love our children very much, we have been together 32 years married 24 years. We are still so much in love and happy , our grown kids not happy with there self so I think that's where there unhappiness comes from.We cant even sit them down to talk because it will turn to a argument. My husband has a short temper. He just think living together is bad they will not listen and it's just keeping disrespecting us.I also have a pacemaker . I just lost for words with these grown kids. The only time it's quite is when they mad at us sometimes. They have a bad way of talking about my husband and I OUT LOUD THROUGH THE HOUSE. that MAKES my husband mad, they say mean things. WHAT TO DO?
    • Done 2
      AdrianeReddonGriffin  Adriane, I understand where you are or were, but I will tell you what I did. Your situation is similar to mine and I thank God that I found this article because it has allowed me to be released from any kind of guilt that the devil tried toMore make me feel for putting my adult son out of my house. I am a Christian and of course it amazes me that after all I have sacrificed and given up for my kids that they have grown up to be so disrespectful and nasty. I raised 4 boys by myself with help from my Pastor and First Lady of my church. As a matter of fact, my children were raised in church. I am 46 years old and all of them are GROWN!!! Somewhere along the way, they ran into some unfortunate situations due to their own choices in some areas that resulted in me taking them in to help them get on their feet. Currently I have a 29 year old and a 24 year old living with me. My 29 year old is working and at this point, I have not asked him for anything to help me out because I have given him until November 1 to be out of my house. My 24 year old was given the same timeframe to be out of my house until he decided that he wanted to continue to say what he wanted to say out of his mouth to me and I actually had to call the cops to have him put out of my house. This happened today. I will tell you that I do not feel sorry for him and he  is not welcomed in my house anymore. I have been not only patient with them but tolerate of their lack of respect for me as a mother. I gave up having a life to help them get on their feet and this is the thanks I get. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but sometimes you have to love them from a distance and show them tough love. Anyway love has nothing to do with the fact that I go to work for 12 hour shifts and come home and you can't even wash a dish and then tell me to my face that you're not going to wash them...enough is enough!!! I do not feel sorry for the decision that I made to have him removed. Then he goes to social media and speak on it...oh no!!! I have been dealing with his attitude since he was in grade school. When he got to the high school he continued to be disrespectful to the teachers until he got put out of the school for his behavior. In an effort to still get him an education, I moved from my hometown to another area just so he could go to school. He got put out of that school. Then I found an Alternative School and had him placed there and he did the same thing. Just refusing to listen and follow instructions from the teachers. Then he would always tell me the teachers were treating him some kind of way. I spent my life trying to defend him to the teachers and begging for people to give him chances which they did but he never appreciated anything and always took advantage of everyone who tried to help him. Yes he eventually got put out of the alternative school so now he's sitting at home looking in my face everyday, can't go to school. I got him put into Job Corps and he couldn't even stay there so now I'm frustrated with him, but even after all of this, still feeling obligated to help him, brought him into my home and fed him, clothed him, paid his phone bills, etc and helped him find jobs that he lost because he couldn't keep his mouth shut. The talking back and being disrespectful I tolerated because I said that he thinks he has all the sense and don't even realize that I'm not obligated to do anything for him at this point because he is grown!!! But again, today was the last draw for me. I told him that if he comes back to my house I will call the police and have him locked up and I will not send one dime to bail him out or help feed him. Some children have become so disrespectful like we parents owe them something. My son crossed the lines many times with me and I tolerated it because I realized that he needed help. But if you can fix your mouth to be disrespectful to me then surely you can get out of my house and provide for yourself. It is what it is. I can say that I am at peace in my house and no, I am not worried about him. This article gave me life. There are resources that are available to assist him and I pray that he finds them, but I couldn't even have a conversation with him because he knew more than me and I'm HIS mother. Experience will definitely be his teacher. Before he left my house, he told me that he would go in the streets and get himself killed. I told him that if he did that, then that was a choice that he was making for himself and not one that I wanted to see him make. I refuse to allow him to lay anymore guilt on me and I pray that you do the same. I don't have all of the health issues that you are dealing with, but I have started to have trouble with my blood pressure. I'm Done!!!
      • Apathetic Parent

        Done 2 AdrianeReddonGriffin

        Done 2 your response to Adriane Griffin I feel word for word I could have written....the only exception being I raised 2 boys not 4.  This morning represents the first morning in which my youngest son 33 years old did not spend the night.  To Adriane  make a thorough list of all the ugly disrespectful things your grown child and said and done.....everything!  Then every time you begin to feel overwhelmed with guilt not having the courage to toss him/her out to begin living "as they should" own their own......pull this list out of a drawer and READ IT SLOWLY.   I would also add Praying to GOD ever night for the wisdom and words needed to deal with your child and the "situation" has helped me a great deal.!

        • Done 2
          Apathetic Parent, I am rejoicing with you as I read your post!!! So thankful to God that your son did not spend the night, hope you got some rest and hope this is the first of many nights that he spends somewhere else!!! I pray also for AdrianeReddonGriffin that sheMore is able to make her list and stand firm as I am doing. I tell you the truth that as a mother it hurts me deeply but if I want to see my son change and become a man, then I have to be strong enough to stand on my decision and let him figure life out. He's been coming back knocking on my door and my window, but I refuse to budge. He has asked to come in the house to take a shower....Nope!!! He should have thought about all these luxuries he had before he disrespected me and went to social media to talk about me like a dog!!! Since he wanted to "Go live" on Facebook to make me look like I was somehow mistreating him, I told him to "Go live" after all he said and show people how you knocking on my door and windows begging for a place to stay!!! Kids don't think, and feel justified when they speak, because they're grown...but mine gon learn today...when he do come back in my house TO VISIT, I bet he knows what to say and what not!!! Stedfast and unmovable!!!
    • DesignaBear
      AdrianeReddonGriffin Be thankful they work, and pitch in $100! I have two 30 year old's who think they know it all, allow me to pay all of their bills ($280,000 since becoming adults by thir own admission) and treat me like crap with zero respect. My wife totally ignoresMore the problem, believing it;s LOVE... HAH!  I am at the point of calling the police to evict them, which is within my rights since they have no renter protection (pay nothing toward bills, rent, food... right?) so I'll lose what?  My depression for sure, and, sadly, my wife.  At this point things will not get better, so maybe that;s the only way to fix things, at least for myself.
    • bridgeciaj
      AdrianeReddonGriffin Honestly... go back and read the article and follow the steps.  There are several other articles on the same topic that walk you through how to live with adult children.  The biggest issue you have is standing firm on the decisions you make.  I have the exact same issueMore myself so I completely understand.  If you are going through so much stress and have been taken off the transplant list, seems to me that you need to protect your health.  You son with the new heart is responsible for his own health.  If he CHOOSES to make bad decisions he should be the one living with those decisions, not your family.  So go back, print this article out, sit down with your husband and read it over.  Then start making a list.  YOU are the ones in charge, perhaps you don't really believe that?  Make your list... read more articles (the one on the PATM is good), so is the series on living with adult children, making contracts, and following through on consequences.  The following through on consequences is probably the weakest link in most of us who end up on this site.  It's so hard!  Saying a prayer for you!!
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport


    Thank you for reaching out.  It sounds like you have a

    lot going on with your sons, and I hear how overwhelmed you are feeling right

    now.  Death is not the answer, though.  There is support available to

    you, and I encourage you to get the help you need to work through this time and

    stay safe.  Some organizations which might be local to you include the http://www.samaritans.org/, which offers services to

    those who are feeling suicidal or are in crisis.  You can reach them 24/7

    by calling 116 123.  Another local resource is  http://www.familylives.org.uk/, which offers parenting

    and family support.  You can reach them by calling 0808 800 2222.  I

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

  • jdenroh
    i have an almost 26 yr old that has a slight challenge, but most wouldn't know it.  He is disrespectful, berates me constantly when he is in the house, and when he is out with me at times.  When we get along, he thinks that is great and that IMore should reward him like a 5 yr old learning a new chore or something.  I love my son, but he makes being in the same household with him, unbearable.  I married into a family with children, then had three of my own,.  Unfortunately, my dear husband and I have never really been totally alone with either his or our kids and it has really made things difficult.  We have managed well for the past 29 years, even with me being a new parent and him having experience,  I am just at me wits end, since my son has basically turned on me, claims he is all that and a bag of chips, can cook better than me, drive better, etc.  His cooking is mostly browning meat for sloppy joes or naxhos, and he still doesn't have a driver's license, Guess who has to transport him to and from his bagging job at a local grocery store!?  He argues about every little thing, makes me out to be the worst parent in the world, although I went to every IEP meeting at his schools, any teacher meetings, or principal ones throughout his educational periods,.  He chose the tech school trac since he didn't want to take the SAT OR ACT.  Yet, now, blames me since he couldn't go to college like his sister and brother,.  However, trying to get him to go online to take any courses is like pulling teeth.  He does work, but at the grocer, he is not allowed to get more than 25 hours most of the time.  So, moving out seems to be out of reach, since he really couldn't afford it by himself.  I am trying to make him find a roommate, so he could find a place they both could afford.  In the small town we live in, there are no real apartments other than some new duplexes, that are $825 each.  He has to be able to drive first, then find a possible roommate.  We live in SC, and there are no programs for slightly challenged individuals. Any ideas?  JD
    • bridgeciaj
      jdenroh  I have a somewhat similar situation.  I loves James Lehman's comment "There is no excuse for abuse."  You should start saying that regularly.  If you do a living agreement, it only works if you're willing to follow through and actually kick him out should he fail to comply.  RightMore now, he has no reason to make any changes because he still gets everything he needs/wants from you.  When you needed to move out on your own, what did you do?  I worked.  I worked 2 to 3 jobs at all times.  Still do because that's what it takes to keep our heads above water.  Don't buy his "oh poor me, I'd work more hours, but they will only give me 25 hours/week" schtick.  He's taking advantage of you and you are letting him.  Nothing stops him from doing school, getting a 2nd and 3rd job, buying a car, etc.  I know teenagers who have purchased their own cars out of high school because they worked their butts off working and saving.  He's just not motivated.  What's more, you're teaching your son it's OK to abuse you, and others.  It's not your fault HE CHOSE not to complete school.  It's HIS FAULT.  If you want him to have any chance at success, you need to stand firm.  Go back up on this posting and make your list of emotional buttons.  Find a friend to help you stand firm in decisions.  YOU CAN DO THIS!!!  (Note... I'm so in the same boat right now.  My husband and I have been at odds for months because I wouldn't abide by the contract we made with our son.  We are moving forward on consequences this weekend and I'm a little freaked out.  But I know it's the right thing to do.)
    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      I hear you. It can be difficult to think about asking your

      adult child to move out on his own when it doesn’t seem as though he is capable

      of taking care of himself. What may be helpful here is developing a living

      agreement with your son that focuses on him taking steps towards that greater

      independence. We have a couple of articles that focus on ways of developing a

      living agreement you may find helpful: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/parenting-your-adult-child-how-to-set-up-a-mutual-living-agreement/ & https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/. When

      trying to deal with situations where your son’s behavior is pushing your

      buttons, it’s probably going to be best to walk away. Calling him out on it

      will probably only serve to either escalate the situation or reinforce the

      behavior in such a way that it becomes even more frequent. Best of luck to you

      and your family moving forward. Take care.

  • lost

    I have an 18 year old that called me a b!@#$ this morning because I called him out for not paying his tuition on time with the money that I put in his account. I also reminded him of the laundry that he promised to do 4 days ago... Meanwhile, I was up at 3 am wondering where he was and when he would be home.. I wake up to 3 girls and 2 boys sleeping in my basement!!! He says I am a terrible parent and I need counseling... He said that we have to pay for his food and give him gas money if he is going to college.. Which we do, however he does not do anything we ask as far as responsibility. He had a job that he worked at twice a week for four hours at a time. He quit two weeks ago and has not looked for another job. He hangs out with kids his same age that are in rehab for smoking pot and getting a dui and the other goes to online college and does not work and lives at home. My son said that he has ADD for which I am getting him tested for. He has struggled his whole life with school and socially. I thought it was immaturity and I tried counseling. I am not sure how to go about this any more. I have started drinking glasses of wine in the evenings just to relax in my own home! It is not the way to handle this stress. We are at a turning point. During this argument this morning my son started screaming and threatening to punch something. He already punched the refrigerator and put dents in it.

    I am giving him the contract today when he gets home. What do i do if he wont sign it? Do i call the cops and kick him out?? What do i do if he bullies me and turns it around on me? I love him but he is a spoiled brat and is so confused and disrespectful. Do i still go through with the ADD testing?? Help!!

    • bridgeciaj

      @lost Honestly, the best thing you can do for your son is to stop letting him get away with this behavior!!!  Stand strong!  I've had to call the police on my son multiple times -- HIS BEHAVIOR caused that call, not mine!  Denise is right about the contract, he doesn't have to sign it.  Those are the rules for living in your home.  If he doesn't want to live with those rules, he's welcome to leave.  If he refuses to live with those rules, he must leave.

      You can set up your own list of things you will or won't do for him.

      In our case, our son is 18.  We will continue to pay for his health insurance (he also has some emotional and ADD issues), we will drive him to Dr. appointments -- if he sets them up and asks us for a ride, we will pay for prescriptions should he need them, we will pay for his cell phone for the rest of the year, (mainly because we have to because we are in a contract).  He doesn't have a license or a car -- both his choice and he quit his only job yesterday because he was "too stressed" to go in.  (So he left with his friends to go drink and smoke pot.)  I'm done.  It's the hardest thing I'll ever do kicking him out this coming Sat.  But I know it's the right thing to do.  Hang in there.  You don't have to be abused.  He needs to grow up and learn how the world works.

    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      These are all great, and important, questions to be asking

      yourself. Now that your son is an adult, you are no longer required to provide

      anything for him. What you do provide for him is a choice you make. If he’s not

      meeting house rules and expectations, then it’s reasonable to consider making

      different choices. Developing a living agreement is a great idea. We have an

      article that has a downloadable template - https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/ It

      wouldn’t make the agreement null and void if he refuses to sign it. Putting the

      agreement in writing is simply a way of formalizing what the house rules and

      expectations are. What you might consider doing is adding something that

      outlines what will happen if those expectations aren’t met. It may be necessary

      to call the police or even go through a formal eviction process in order to

      have him leave. Some areas do require this.  You could call your local

      police department for more information on that. Whether or not you go ahead

      with the ADD testing is a decision only you and your son can make. Since he’s

      18, he would need to sign off on it in order for it to happen. Best of luck

      moving forward. Take care.

  • Cmswanson1
    I have a 24 year old son who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder a few years ago. I have been a single parent his entire life. I have struggled with trying to determine what's the disorder and what's behavioral. I'm seeing more and more that he has learned to manipulateMore me and has become more verbally abusive and exhibiting bullying behavior especially now that I've started saying "no." He refuses to work, rarely leaves the house and tells me he can't get a job without a car. He's been through 5 cars by the way - the last one (which is a second car I bought) was stolen because he was drunk - he has wrecked other ones from drinking or being high. The car is being fixed but I refuse to put him behind the wheel of another car and he is constantly on me about giving him the car back. I sleep with my door locked and feel like a prisoner in my own home. Now because of where I live I actually have to evict him to get him out. He keeps telling me he has nowhere to go yet won't do anything to help himself - I have spent thousands of dollars trying to get him help and he refuses to participate - I am tired and feel alone in this situation but feel like I have no choice but to go through the eviction process and deal with the wrath.
  • Claudia
    Never thought this would be me but here I am!  An enabler to the nth degree!   At 62 and an RN for 43 years, I too face this challenge with my willful, disrespectful, angry daughter who refuses to take any responsibility for herself.  Aggressive, at times threatening to harmMore herself to get her way, I have felt trapped for years now.  She is 30 years old and is a part timer at Target.  Dropped out of 2 colleges, majoring in lunch.  Today,  I called the police to the house  because of her threats of suicide if I didn't comply with her demands.  I can't live like this anymore.  I feel defeated and so confused. But after educating myself on what I can do now as a proactive parent, I am going to move forward and get this kid out on her own to GROW UP!  I was alone and on my own at 17.  Went hungry during college.  Struggled in life but learned that no one will lift you up but yourself and God.  This is harder than divorce or putting my own parents in the ground. I am wracked with guilt and fear for her...but have to let go and let her learn, for her own self.  Claudia
    • cindy_b
      @Claudia how did you get her out?  i have a 21 year old boy who is destructive rude and wont work.  i have called the cops but all they say is do an eviction order or protection order.  it is my house why do i have to pay to takeMore him to court to get him to move out.  he has more excuses than i can count.  He has been to psych hospitals but plays them like no other.  he says i have the issue.  well i guess i do === i have issue with him out all night, sleeping all day, hanging with less than desireable friends, no job.  i dont give him money but somehow (yes i probably know) he has money for alcohol and cigerettes. my mom let her use her car and now he refuses to give it back.  says he will be he dont.  it is awful here.  i am so unhappy i have anxiety attacks - between my awful job with the anxiety of that and my supervisor and the anxiety here.  there are days i want to run away
  • Diane
    Well as I read all of this, I just threw my 25 year out ... I just found out yesterday she dropped out of college for he third time.  I had it.  I'm not feeling guilty anymore. I did my time, I raised her, and all she is a spoiledMore brat who thinks everyone owes her and she knows it all.  It was hard, and I my heart hurts, but I'm done.  I had to do it in order for her to grow up.  She has two choices now, make it or not.  I know I sound like I have a cold heart, but really....I'm just burnt out.  for the past ten years, it's been a struggle.  I was trying to help her, but no more. .....
    • bridgeciaj
      @Diane My husband and I met with a pastor last night and are kicking our 18 year old son out on Sat.  THANK YOU for sharing.  I needed to hear this.  I'm pre-freaking out about doing this.  Tears are threatening but I too firmly believe it's time to grow up.More  You do not have a cold heart!  You care more about the actual health (emotional, social, physical) of your child than those of us who are too afraid to take that stand!!  I'll be standing with you this weekend!  GO DIANE!  And seriously... Go Diane's daughter!  Go show the world what you're made of and figure out that you can't be an uneducated diva and expect the world to serve you.  I hope she knocks it out of the park!
    • AdrianeReddonGriffin
      @Diane You get a hands clap from me I look forward to my day when these two get out. I understand the feeling you have,about loving and being there.This is heart drenching and draining. Best of luck thank you.
    • Phoenix16
      I fully back you on your decision. I too have a daughter who is almost 23 years old, I have done all I can to help prepare her for her own independence. Yet she has lied time and time again about her college classes even so far as to flunkMore out of one her junior year only to enroll in online classes for her senior year and end up on academic probation for her grades. All the wile living in my home yelling and screaming at me about how I never do anything for her and that she pays her own bills etc. yet she has never contributed financially to the household. I finally told her is she was not going to finish her schooling then she had to pay rent. Thankfully she has a full time job but that changed when I enlighten her about paying rent I even went so far as to lower what I was asking for from 400.00 to 250.00 per month. Things just got worse over the corse of the next month and when she started washing her boyfriends clothes I had had it. I told her I am a single parent with a low income and can not afford for her to be doing additional laundry causing my utilities to rise. She got so mad at me and told me it's always about the money with me and that I didn't care one bit about her and that there was something really wrong with me that I needed therapy or something. To which I got mad and told her she was totally out of line and she would count her self lucky to have a good home with comforts like she does and for so little of her money to be asked for. She then went on to call me a money hungry whore and that all I wanted was to take her money so she would have nothing. Keep in mind she was making more than me per hour before she went to part time. Even at part time she is making 750.00 a month bring home. I felt 250.00 was very fair for rent. At the point she called me that I was done!!!!! I told her to get out of my house. Thankfully she packed her clothes and got in the car I bought and gave her and left. I immediately changed the locks on the house. That was 3 weeks ago she now wants her gloves and a few other of her items. I am currently packing ALL her belongings and have planned to give her a date and time she can come get them. What she does not take will be sold, donated or trashed. I know this may cause her to never speak with me again but that will be her choice. What relationship we have now is not a healthy one for either of us and I will not tolerate her verbal abuse any longer. So if this is all we can ever have then I choose to salvage my sanity and try to be happy with what life I have left. I gave her 22 years and all she has become is selfish and hateful.... It's my time to live my life and find happiness... As you should do for yourself too. Hang in there we are doing the right thing for our kids they may never realize that but hopefully someday they will.
      • bridgeciaj
        Phoenix16 You go girl!!!!  (cue applause)
  • Betty

    This article is about "normal" adult children living at home, but what about mentally ill adult children?

    My husband and I have two adult sons living at home who are in their early 30s. We've asked them repeatedly to move out, but it never happens. We are facing poverty in our old age. We'd like to sell our home and buy something smaller that's easier and more economical to take care of, especially since I have a lot of health problems.

    Our youngest has a good job, and he's paying his own way through college, but he rarely pays rent. He's disrespectful, especially to me. For the past few months, he has ignored me. He goes in and out without speaking to me. He's extremely self-absorbed and volatile. He didn't even bother to wish me a happy birthday this year. I would love for him to move out, but he suffers from borderline personality disorder and has extreme mood swings. We're afraid to get tough with him, feeling that it might throw him over the edge. I also fear violence as his moods seem to take extremes.

    Our oldest son also suffers from a mental illness. I'm not sure what it is--perhaps mild autism. He's not social, has depression, and is addicted to computer gaming. He's living his life in his room. He graduated with a programming degree in 2003 and only worked a few months since. He claims that his degree is no longer any good, which may be true. Unlike our other sons, he's always there for us, always willing to help wherever he can. His psyche also seems fragile, and we're afraid that getting tough could throw him over the edge.

    Our third son has mild autism and, amazingly, he has a degree, holds a managerial position, and lives on his own. We always thought he was the most "disabled" of the three, but he seems to be the most functional and has moved on with his life.

    Anyway, my husband and I are at a complete loss about what to do to get the other two to grow up and move out. Any suggestions?

    • bridgeciaj
      @Betty What are they going to do when you are gone?  How will they survive if they can't survive now?  I really think they need to be looking for something else to help them.  They all sound intelligent enough to understand school, video games etc.  It's a choice not toMore push themselves to do more because they don't have to.  I know several kids with autism, Aspergers, suicidal depression -- they have to learn to cope with these things and push through them.  That's where survival is.  That's where life is lived. :D
    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      You bring up a tough issue. It’s something many parents

      struggle with so, you’re not alone. I know it can be quite distressing to watch

      your child struggle and the concern about how they will manage to live

      independently is very real.  However, regardless of the diagnoses they may

      have, your children are still adults. You’re not required to continue providing

      for them even though they don’t seem to be taking steps towards independent

      living. It may be beneficial to look into possible community programs that

      could help your sons learn to live independently. The 211 Helpline would be

      able to give you information on programs that could help your sons find

      housing, employment, or mental health services. You can reach the Helpline 24

      hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by going online to http://www.211.org/. In the meantime, you might consider

      developing a living agreement with each of your sons, as explained in the

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

       Good luck to you and your family moving forward. Take care.

  • Guest

    Hypothetical kid has nothing but high-calorie "cheap eats" like ramen noodles and mac & cheese, and fast food; then is struggling to pay for medical care when he develops health problems due to his poor diet.

    And how does anyone in 2016 hold a job (or even maintain their relationships with others) without access to a cell phone or the Internet? I'd hardly call those things "extras" in this day and age. Is his employer going to send him a letter via carrier pigeon if they need to call him into work all of a sudden? (Many restaurants and retail establishments use "on call" scheduling these days.)

    Technically, as far as the Internet goes, he could go to a local library, but a lot of libraries impose time limits on their computers, and depending on his work schedule and the bus schedule (since this hypothetical kid takes the bus everywhere), he may not even be able to drop by when they're open.

    I don't like freeloaders but I also don't like this "bootstraps" ideology.

    • Both Sides mom
      @Guest  We are strapped for cash and I hate paying for my daughter's cell/data but I understand.  I I know I will sound like an enabler -  but I agree with you about the internet and phone, clothes, and haircuts NOT being an extra these days.  We live in theMore country (without bus service)  my 22 yr. old daughter is still not licensed (her 3rd test is next week, fingers crossed), so I drive her.   But besides the in town Job Bank, because of our location and technology today, her main method of job hunting is online.  So, she needs internet and a phone.  And if I don't get her clothes and a hair cut, how will she appear at a job interview?  Around here, it is nearly impossible to walk in and get a job, especially if she is in old clothes without a haircut.  You need them to be independent but you can't cripple them, making a difficult thing, even more unlikely.
      • Sandy

        Both Sides mom @ Guest

        If cell phones, haircuts and other things are considered essentials to you, then they will also be considered essentials to your children and they WILL work for them if they know you aren't going to provide them for free. You could have your children work around the home to pay for these things. Or they could do without them. I am a single mom who did without these things for years while raising my children, and I still managed to make it through university, find a great job, and end up with a great career. It's called being creative and learning how to make due. It actually creates a higher self-esteem and a greater ability to 'make it' in this world when one has to actually put in effort of their own, and then realizes that they can do this all by themselves! :)

    • PB

      @Guest Ramen noodles and mac & cheese for a few months won't send a young person into the hospital.  Otherwise, most college kids would inundate our system in droves.  The idea is that they would have to tighten the belt and sustain themselves for a while as they figure out how to feed themselves economically - they won't starve.

      Since you bring up a valid query with regards to getting a job in 2016, I would like to address that the article didn't specifically say that a phone wasn't necessary, but that pricey data plans are.  I am an HR Manager for a high-tech company and we have several folks that are able to apply and get a job without the use of the internet.  It will mean some extra leg-work on your part, but it is possible.  A simple pay-as-you go phone with just talk/text is going to be much cheaper than a high priced cell with data plan.  You could also get a land-line for an affordable option.  There are also plenty of jobs available where you can go in and fill out an application in person, meet the boss, and make the introduction.  Might not be the job you want, but it would pay the bills.

      Just because we live in an age of technology doesn't mean that you are entitled/required to have access.  Learning to be resourceful is yet another part of growing up!

  • Guest
    Thank you for this article. I am at the stage where I recognize how my anxiety has impacted the messages to my son about my concerns re: his ability to cope. I have been doing him a disservice and am now, with help from your post, ready toMore structure the rules of the nest so he can stay for six months while he readies himself for college, or get out now.
    • bridgeciaj
      @Guest Keep telling him HE CAN DO THIS!  How exciting it will be for him to be an actual adult and live on his own!  It will help you to say those things too.  :D
  • LoriS1954
    Mu 30-year-old grandson still lives at home. His sister enables him by purchasing all his needs (and wants) He refuses to get a job and gets confrontational when the subject of him moving out comes up. How do we broach the subject with his sister and with this 30-year-old, withoutMore causing a family blowup?
    • bridgeciaj
      LoriS1954 Yeah, you are always free to voice an opinion but if the sister isn't willing to take a stand, nothing will change.  Hang in there.
    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport


      It can be so tough to watch a loved one enable another

      family member by doing so much for him. I can understand your concern. Doing

      something for another that he can clearly do for himself can set up a sense of

      learned helplessness for that person. Unfortunately, both your granddaughter

      and your grandson are adults. While you may not agree with the choices your

      granddaughter is making by supporting her brother, as an adult, how she spends

      her money is up to her. If your grandson lives with you, you don’t have to

      continue providing him a roof over his head, even if he may not be able to support

      himself because he doesn’t have a job . If your grandson doesn’t live with you,

      there may not be much you can do about the choices his parents and sister make

      in terms of what they choose to provide for him. We appreciate you writing in

      and wish you all the best of luck moving forward. Take care.

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