You put in the work: you raised your child, got them through school, and prepared them as best you could for living on their own as an adult. You were looking forward to having the house to yourselves again—finally, a little peace and quiet.
For many parents, the peace of a child-free home is short-lived, if it even happens at all. At Empowering Parents, we hear from many parents whose children either never left home or returned after a brief experiment with the adult world.
And we’ve written quite a bit about the challenges of living with adult children, including an Empowering Parents article about mutual living agreements and how clarifying rules and expectations can make things much more peaceful in the multi-generational home.
But, the truth is that it’s tough to transition from parenting a child to parenting an adult. The parameters have shifted from homework and curfew to new issues, running the gamut from how to handle overnight guests to finding a job. Not only are the logistics tricky, but you’re also worried about their future. What kind of life will they have? How will they make it on their own? What if they never find a good job?
Related: Free Downloadable Mutual Living Agreement to Use with Adult Children
As normal as these fears are—after all, no matter how old they are, they’re always your child—the truth is that adult children need to take responsibility for their future at some point. They need to find ways to build an independent, successful life outside of your home. A mutual living agreement can help make that happen.
But you know what? Most parents don’t have a mutual living agreement with their adult children, even though they think it’s a great idea. Let’s face it, the subject is awkward to bring up. And to be sure, you might have some concerns about why such an agreement wouldn’t work for your family.
So, let’s look at some of the most common concerns parents have when considering a mutual living agreement. We’ve taken these examples from the many comments the readers of Empowering Parents have sent us. See if you recognize yourself in any of these situations.
Yes, your child may be an adult and therefore legally able to make their own decisions. But your home is your home, and you have the right to enforce the rules of your home. If you’re not sure where their rights end and yours begin, an excellent guideline to follow is: “Would I allow a house guest to treat me this way?” In other words, it may be helpful to start thinking of your adult child as a house guest rather than family.
One reason your child won’t move out or find a job is that the current situation works for her: she has room and board, internet access, maybe a car.
And even though she complains about living with you, she still takes no action. Why? Because not only are all her needs being met, but the alternative—struggling to make it on her own—is uncomfortable and scary.
Indeed, being hassled by mom and dad is easier than the discomfort of moving out into the real world. That’s why your child stays and doesn’t take any concrete actions towards changing the situation. I’m not saying you should purposely make the situation uncomfortable for your child, just that it helps to understand why they’re avoiding taking those scary steps towards independence.
While it may be true that your child currently cannot live independently, you can still hold him accountable for following basic house rules. You can even help him learn skills to manage or improve his emotional or mental state by requiring therapy or other skill-building activities as part of your living agreement.
And you don’t have to put up with abusive behavior just because your child has depression or anxiety. As James Lehman tells us in The Total Transformation Program, “there’s no excuse for abuse.” That includes depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issue.
With more and more adult children moving back home, parents are faced not just with their own children, but their grandchildren too.
Even if you love having your grandchildren around, enforcing house rules can feel quite complicated. You don’t want to undermine your child’s parental authority, but your child has very different ways of enforcing—or not enforcing—the house rules.
Remember, you have the right to a calm and peaceful household. If your child is unwilling to enforce your rules with her children, talk with her about it. Discuss your expectations for the grandchildren’s behavior while living at your house.
It helps to acknowledge that you have different views so that it doesn’t become an argument about who is right. To that end, try to find a couple of behaviors that you agree on, such as no name-calling or cleaning up the common areas of the house. Get in the habit of working together on these one or two issues. That can be the start of more agreements and positive changes in the future.
If you and your partner aren’t on the same page, begin by finding one or two things you can agree on. Do you both agree your adult child should clean up after himself? That he shouldn’t use drugs or alcohol in your home?
If your partner is unwilling to tell your child that they must permanently move out, can you agree ahead of time on what the consequences will be if your child breaks a house rule?
By starting on common ground, even a tiny scrap of common ground, you and your partner can begin to present a united front to your adult child.
Look, we all know life is hard, and it’s painful watching our kids struggle. But just because it’s tough, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try.
For example, require that they take positive steps towards employment or education, such as submitting applications or scheduling informational interviews. Or require them to do volunteer work if finding a paying job proves difficult.
The point is to require consistent actions rather than focusing on a final outcome because the situation will not change without action. Wishing things were different does not change anything, but actions do. Actions change behavior and lead to lasting, positive change.
So, if you love the idea of a mutual living agreement but aren’t sure if it will make a difference, we at Empowering Parents encourage you to take one small step at a time.
Start by opening the Living Agreement for Adult Children. Take some time to read through it. Examine your concerns and fears. Acknowledge any feelings of helplessness, of being defeated before you’ve even begun—these are normal feelings.
Then, remember that the way to transform helplessness is through action: repeated, focused effort towards the life you want for yourself and your adult child. See if you can find something that seems doable, even something small, and take positive action in that direction.
Related content: Failure to Launch: Six Steps to Help Your Adult Child Move Out
While it’s true that you won’t be able to solve all of your family’s challenges with this one document, don’t give up on your dream of a more peaceful, orderly home. Don’t give up on encouraging your adult child to have a meaningful, productive life. You can do this, and we’re here to help.
Megan Devine is a licensed clinical therapist, former Empowering Parents Parent Coach, speaker and writer. She is also the bonus-parent to a successfully launched young man. You can find more of her work at refugeingrief.com, where she advocates for new ways to live with grief.
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Thank you for reaching out. I can understand your distress. It can be tough to feel like your caught between your child and your spouse. Your daughter is an adult, though, and it's OK to set limits and have expectations regarding behavior while she is living in your home. We have several articles that focus specifically on parenting an adult child you may find helpful: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article-categories/ages-and-stages/adult-children/.
I hope you find these articles helpful. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going. Take care.
I can identify with all single parents with difficult kids who become difficult adults. I’ve tried taking my daughter in 2 times, hoping she had matured. But she has borderline mental illness, brain injury from abusive boyfriends, chronic pain, and substance abuse issues. She cannot get or keep a job. The county only helps minimally and she can’t seem to get on disability.
The house rules only lasted a week. Then the drinking starts and all mayhem ensued.
This website is better than our 15 years of counseling back then. I can only say: Tackle this early and accept that your child will hate you, may retaliate, but better that than never getting better.
I can understand how stressful this situation is because you don't want your grandson to suffer for his mom's lack of responsibility. The unfortunate truth is, as long as you continue to take on the responsibility of financially supporting your grandson, your daughter doesn't have to. You can't make another adult get a job or be responsible. But, that does not mean you have to continue financially supporting your daughter and grandson. Doing so is a choice, not a requirement. We have a great article that talks about this specific situation: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/failure-to-launch-part-2-how-adult-children-work-the-parent-system/. I encourage you to also see what types of local supports may be available for you and your family. Taking a step back from this type of financial responsibility will be challenging. Finding support groups or community programs may make it a bit easier.
We appreciate you reaching out and wish you all the best moving forward. Take care.
We have a 22 year old daughter. She moved out for college and then back in with us when she finished summer last year. She does work, but it’s not for what she trained for, but that’s fine, she says she’s having a ‘year out’ so it’s an unskilled job. It’s like living back with a child. She rarely pays (the very small) amount of money we ask her to pay, however she expects to eat for free, have her washing done etc. She rarely does anything in the house despite being asked and asked. My husband and I are getting so tired - we both work full time. She takes things without asking, for example she’ll go into my bedroom and take toiletries, I’ll go to take a shower before work and things will be gone. She walks into our room without knocking. She takes food from the fridge without considering if it would be needed for a recipe or someone else’s lunch. My husband and I have been meal prepping to save time and money our work lunches - she’ll take these in the morning so we don’t have any lunch. We said it’s fine for you to have them but you need to pick a recipe and make enough for 4 lunches so that way there is enough for everyone. She never has. She invites friends round, they lie around all day at the weekend hungover ordering food for delivery. Or they are noisy at night, and we have to get up for work the next day. The bathroom she shares with her brothers is disgusting despite being renovated. Wet towels are always on the floor, cosmetics everywhere, toilet not flushed.
It’s been a year and it’s like living in a student house share but we are the caretakers. It feels like neverending parenting for us, with no time to relax and enjoy our home.
When we try and say something we get the silent treatment and told we are making her feel unwelcome in her own home. Help!
Hi, Alice. Thank you for reaching out. I can hear how frustrating it is having your adult daughter live at home. It may be helpful to develop a living agreement that outlines what your expectations are for her now that she's an adult. Something to keep in mind is that you are no longer required to continue supporting her and you can set expectations for her even though she is an adult. For more information on developing a living agreement, you can check out this article: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/ground-rules-for-living-with-an-adult-child-plus-free-living-agreement/.
We are glad your part of our Empowering Parents community. Be sure to check back and let us know how things are going. Take care.
My 19 year old did not get accepted into school and has continuously applied for jobs. He has slight Aspergers and he does not interview well but is capable of manual labour roles. He is emphatic about not working fast food again. He continues to apply on-line and in person without success. Our problem is that the rest of the day he is playing video games to occupy his time. He says he has looked for work, went to the gym, (with eyes rolling or grunts of annoyance) helps with any chores we need and that he is filling his time. We think the excessive game time is harmful psychologically and a waste of other activities he can do. We get the counter that he goes to church and spends time with his girlfriend and respects our rules.
I don't think it is uncomfortable enough for him to really just take any work (seems selective still), even part-time. The agreement was helpful but we are stuck that he is doing what we ask in word but we have no proof (applying for many jobs) and he spends forever on his technology.
I have a 27 year old daughter and 6 year old grandson living with me and I need her to move out for my sanity and her own growth. The problem is my grandson; she is not financially solvent and I worry about his life if I force her to leave but she is physically making me ill.
I had my daughter at 17 and had my own challenges raising her as a single mom. I did not get us our own place til I was 39 (lived with various siblings because couldnt afford it soley). She was very spoiled by family members and because they helped me their presence somewhat diluted the parenting I would have provided had we lived alone. Since 15, she has been a problem with grades, respect, responsibility, and group of friends, etc. Even though I've been in her shoes she will take everyones advice but mine while continually asking me to bail her out financially with these poor decisions. I admit i'm critical of her decisions and this is something she uses to blame me for her emotional state and actions. She refuses to take responsibility for anything she does usually because of this. She acts entitled to me supporting her and babysitting because "I'm her mother" and does nothing around the home except destroy it.
The moving into my own space was an occasion for us. A celebration. A month later my security was forfeit due to damages. She will not clean up after herself or son and, even though she does not pay rent, isnt respectful each time I approach her about it. She also does not like me setting rules for her son because she is his mom, however, I only set rules to protect my belongings or for his safety when she doesnt.
I have trouble controlling my temper but have been trying to communicate effectively with her by watching tone and approaching it differently. She has made improvements; finally a decent job (finances still problematic if she had own place), not evading my space nor stealing change jars (hundreds $) and stuff. However, her attitude and my quality of life with her here is so bad that I just cant anymore.
She is filthy...and im not a clean freak. Whats more is its a destructive filth. I personallly cannot entertain because of it or must spend hours cleaning it myself when having gatherings. The main bathroom is a pig sty continually. Her bedroom has two closets that are under utilized while her bed and floor are covered with garbage and clothes (her son stays in her room as I only have a 2-bedroom). The garbage is mixed with toiletries that marr every surface and used feminine products and important documents and bills. When I babysit, unless she leaves his things out, he cannot find pjs or anything he needs. I have had to replace most of my furniture twice within 5 years and each time I cook, I have to wash her dishes thats she leaves filled with clogging, solid foods. It is unhealthy for her son and her. She seems incapable of keeping it decent for more than 3-4 days.
I am in my tough love phase and dont fund her at all unless a real emergency and she has made progress as I've stated but its not soon enough. Each argument is destroying our relationship and is affecting my own health physically. I am unable to enjoy my own home spend most of my time in my Master suite when I am home. I can work with her on her other issues but cannot on the disrespect and filth. She was NOT raised like this.
A calm attempt to talk and say I will not be able to babysit her son if she cannot be more dutiful in their bedroom and the kitchen was what has me writing this. Her response "I wont be able to clean it by the time you babysit tomorrow because I'm tired. I got a lot on my mind and I hate that you talk to me like a little kid".
Any advice on what to do? I want out.
I have the exact same situation. My 28 yr old daughter moved back 7 months ago after a stint in a mental health facility following a split from her husband. She has 1 child with him and another son that she had in high school. All 3 of them are staying with us - with the boys going to her ex a few days a week.
Since she came out of the mental health facility, she has not worked a full week. Always finding a way or reason to not go in. Honestly have no idea how she is still employed with a Fortune 500 company! Her room is EXACTLY as you described as well as the kids. Crazy thing is the oldest grandson who is 11, is more responsible than her. Gets up by himself @ 6 everyday. Takes a bath. Makes his and his brothers lunch.
I am starting to get calls from collection companies looking for her. Her car loan company calls. I'm waiting for the day I go outside and the car is repo'd.
She is so mentally detached - and uses it as an excuse all the time. It breaks my heart to see her at the dinner table with the kids as she sits there with her phone watching a tv show while they are eating.
We are moving into a new house in a few weeks. It's supposed to be our "last home". It's out a ways from most of our friends, but we bought it because of the space so our friends can come for a weekend and not have to worry about driving back so far. Now those rooms are filled with her and the grandkids. It sounds so selfish but I don't see an end in sight.
I hAve a 35 year old divorced daughter. She has struggle to pay student loan, apartment and car payment and meds. She either overeats or overspends on junk and constantly asks for money.
I don't know what to do with her anxiety, depression etc . I am trying very hard not to give her money. Trying to make her live on her income. She constantly calls me or comes over. All her friends are married or in relationships , I seem to be her only companion. I am nearing retirement and won't be able to help her then. Tried to get her into activities or exercise , but they cost money.my hubby and her sister constantly tell me she is making it all up, not depressed no anxiety but they are never around her. I am stressed because they won't support her or me . I am trying to help her battle this .
I'm one of these children. However, I follow the rules. I do not work for health reasons (depression, anxiety, underweight). I am working on getting my health taken care of. My husband and I pay rent, $200, as we are trying to get back on our feet. I am 27 and my husband is 43.
However, my brother, who is 31, is working. His wife, who also lives here as well as their 1 year old daughter, recently started working. She occasionally cleans peoples houses. My brother has been living with our parents his whole life. With a minor few months while he was chasing after a girl. He got married in 2014 and their daughter was born in 2015. They've been here the whole time. They constantly allow their child to run amok. Flipping over ash trays, pulling the cats and dogs around by their tails, pulling their ears. All the while her mom sits at the dining room table playing on her phone while the rest of us have to discipline her. Which she doesn't like because we don't discipline the same way she does. She just stands their near her daughter saying "no no", "you mean girl" or something along those lines. It is chaotic. My parents are fed up. They feel they have no control in their own house. They have to ask, repeatedly, to get any money from them. They eat food that both my parents and my husband and I buy. They never buy groceries for the house as the rest of us do. They buy things they like and that no one else eats, despite eating the kinds of food we like. They do not help out around the house unless it pertains to their room, their two dogs or their child. Often which everyone else is also cleaning up after. The dogs were suppose to be here for a few months tops. They have been here for 7 months. We already had two dogs and they would only eat canned food. Because of their two dogs however, we can not give our dogs the canned food because one of their two dogs will eat it all. My sister in law started out saying that they would only eat one specific food, which they bought the first bag of and ever since my parents have been having to buy it. Otherwise the dogs wouldn't eat because my brother and sister in law never get any food for them.
My brother constantly leaves his dishes on the counter, next to the sink. But somehow can't manage to put them IN the sink. He leaves soda cans on the counter. In our house we save the tabs and are recycling the cans. We take the tab off, empty the can and put it in a small plastic bag. He somehow can't manage to do that either. This happens on a regular basis. Normally for dinner we have hamburger helper (2 boxes), beans and biscuits. My mom usually does the cooking. My husband and I have told her she shouldn't cook, we are all grown and can cook for ourselves. But because of my brother and sister in law she feels she has to otherwise they wouldn't eat and would complain that she didn't cook. Anyways, one day my dad was home (he is usually only here for 2 and a half days due to work) and he decided to buy an $18 pot roast, potatoes, carrots, etc. My mom told everyone it was ready and my sister in law got to the kitchen first to make her and my brothers plates. My dad went to get some after her and realized she had gotten half of the pot roast for the two of them! Mean while 4 more adults hadn't gotten any yet. This happen regularly. Just the other night the two of them ended up sharing 2 boxes of hamburger helper. My mom and I got minuscule amounts in comparison, not even a small saucer would've been filled with what we got. And my husband was at work so when he got home there wasn't any left for him. These things I've mentioned happen a LOT. It is annoying, aggravating and it is getting old. It is at the point that my husband and I feel we have to stay in our room when we are here just to avoid dealing with these people.
Just another little story. My mom was in the hospital about 7 years ago, what we all thought was her death bed. We all thought we were going to lose her. My brother showed up once, he was there to introduce his new girlfriend to her... Then when she got out of the hospital. He was out of work and did nothing. My mom had to be given antibiotics through a line going to her heart, she had a tube going to her lung to drain fluid, it was really bad. My husband and I were the ones taking care of her and taking her to doctors appointments, as well as cleaning the house and taking care of all the animals. That's the kind of thing that happens all the time. When something needs to be done we do it. But my brother doesn't, he just avoids doing anything that shows any kind of common sense, common courtesy, respect or responsibility. He has a family and he can't even support them.
I have 3 step kids, 22, 20 ,19 and 2 are home still. I have major problems with them much of the above mentioned things, laziness, disrespect not doing chores or things requested such as stealing my young daughters school snacks but my question is what can I do as consequences for the adult kids not following rules? I printed the living arrangement form we are going to do which is great! Thank you for that resource, but is there a step or a few before we just say ok you have to get out now? Also one kid has no intention of getting a job or career that will support himself (he works 20hr/week @ Walmart), let alone a driver's license at 19! My husband works a lot and I'm stuck with this brat! He won't even take a shower when I tell him he stinks! I feel no end in sight and the movie step-brothers in my future! 40 years old in a bunkbed in my basement...
I am glad you found the living
agreement useful. Many families have found that is helps to get everyone on the
same page and clearly defines your expectations for living in your home. James
Lehman wrote a 3 part series on adult children living at home that you may also
find helpful. The first article in the series is https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/rules-boundaries-and-older-children-part-i/. In this series he talks about
how you can hold your children accountable in a gradual way, rather than just
kicking them out if they do not follow a house rule. Thank you for your
question. Take care.
I hear how concerned and worried you are about your son now
that he has moved in with his father, and I’m glad that you are reaching out
for support. When a child becomes an adult, the role of a parent changes
and becomes more about setting one’s own boundaries around a child’s
behavior. It sounds like you did that when you told him that he needed to
either work or attend college in order to remain in your home. The other
part of this is that your son is now an adult, and so he has the power to make
his own decisions, even those that you do not agree with or understand.
At this point, it will be most effective to focus on your own responses, rather
than trying to make your son change his mind or move back in with you.
For example, you might call, text or email him, and let him know that you are
thinking of him, and care for him. Even if he is not responding to you,
you are doing what you can to keep the lines of communication open between you.
I also encourage you to take steps to make sure that you are taking care of
yourself right now. Your self-care plan can include anything you like,
from engaging in an activity you enjoy to using more structured support, such
as a counselor or support group. For information on available supports in
your community, try contacting the http://www.211.org/
at 1-800-273-6222. I recognize how difficult this must be for you right
now, and I wish you and your family all the best moving forward. Take
I hear how conflicted you are about this decision regarding
your daughter, and I’m glad that you are reaching out for support.
Something we often recommend in this type of situation is to apply the
“neighbor test”; that is, what would you do if it were someone other than your
daughter asking to live with you? If you decide that you will allow her
to move in, I encourage you to write up a living agreement with her beforehand
which will outline your expectations, as well as how you will hold her
accountable if she is not following the rules. If you decide that you do
not want her to move in with you, you might refer her to the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222. 211 is a
service which refers people to available supports in their community, such as
housing assistance and employment services. I recognize what a tough
choice this is for you, and I wish you and your family all the best moving
forward. Take care.
Thank you for getting back to me. As I mentioned
previously, the 211 Helpline could be a great resource to help you get
started. If you call 1-800-273-6222, or if your daughter calls, you will
be connected with the phone bank closest to you, which will detail the
resources available in that community. If you visit their website, http://www.211.org/, you can look up resources by ZIP code,
or city and state, to see what might be available. Thank you for your
question; keep in touch!
I can hear how
upset you are with your son’s behavior, and I’m glad that you are reaching out
for support. It’s understandable that you might feel frustrated and
overwhelmed at this point with everything going on. While it’s normal to
want to address everything, it tends to be more effective if you instead https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/in-over-your-head-how-to-improve-your-childs-behavior-and-regain-control-as-a-parent/ at a time. Based on what you have
written, I encourage you to begin with the verbal and physical abuse, as well
as his destructive behavior. Here are some articles you might find
helpful to read next: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/my-odd-child-is-physically-abusive-to-siblings-and-parents-help/ and https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/is-your-defiant-child-damaging-or-destroying-property/ Please let us
know if you have any additional questions. Take care.
I can understand
your conflict in this situation. On one hand, your son displays some pretty
challenging behavior whenever he is around which makes you feel as though you
do not want him to live with you. On the other side, he is your son and
if you do not allow him to live with you, you do not know where he will go
after his dad finds another place to live. I encourage you to keep in
mind that your son is an adult, and so, anything you decide to provide to him
is a choice for you and a privilege for him, including a place to live.
Sometimes, it can be useful to think of your adult child as a house guest, as
James Lehman describes in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/rules-boundaries-and-older-children-part-i/. If someone else other than your
son was engaging in these behaviors (stealing from you, being disrespectful,
becoming violent) and asked to move in, would you allow it? If not, it’s
OK to set that limit with your son as well. If you do decide to let him
move in, I encourage you to discuss the rules and expectations beforehand, and
to write up a living agreement as noted in the article above. I recognize
how difficult this must be for you and I wish you all the best moving forward.
It can be very frustrating when you discover that a young
adult is not meeting the expectations laid out when he moved in. It’s
even more challenging when it is your partner’s child, and you and your partner
do not agree on what to do next. Ultimately, the choice of whether to
stay or to leave with your two small children is up to you. Something
that can be helpful is to bring in a neutral third-party, such a
marriage/family therapist with experience working with blended families, to
help you and your fiancée to develop a plan which both of you agree to
follow. For assistance locating this type of support, try contacting the http://www.211.org/ at 1-800-273-6222. I
recognize how difficult this must be for you, and I wish you and your family
all the best moving forward. Take care.
I can hear your frustration. It may help to know the
behavior you describe is quite normal for a 20 year old. The fact that she
takes the time to wash her own dishes and does her own laundry is actually a
plus. Blending two families can be tough, especially when you and the
biological parent don’t agree. Your situation is a little bit different,
however, because everyone involved is an adult, which needs to be taken into
consideration. I understand the three of you are living in the house you own
and it can be upsetting to see someone not take care of their room to the same
standards as you would. It is her space, though, at least as long as she is
living there. Unless there is some issue of safety, I would refrain from going
in her room to clean it or for any other reason. Moving forward, it would
probably be beneficial if the three of you sat down and talked about the
expectations you each have in regards to the current living arrangement. You could
then develop a living agreement, as suggested in the above
article and also https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/parenting-your-adult-child-how-to-set-up-a-mutual-living-agreement/. It would be helpful to clarify house rules
around underage drinking as well. Best of luck moving forward. Take care.
@scoobie doo DeniseR_ParentalSupport
That’s a great question. It would probably be most effective
if you and her dad sit down and talk about what stance you would like to take
on underage drinking in your home before having the conversation with her. It
is going to be easier to maintain expectations if you are both on the same page
in regards to her drinking. I hope this helps. Take care.
I understand where you’re coming from. On one hand, you want
your son to have the opportunity to get back on his feet and living with his
aunt could give him that opportunity. On the other hand, you don’t want to
enable him by continuing to allow him to make the choices he’s been making
without consequences. From what you have shared, it sounds like your son is an
adult. In this situation, you’ve set limits around what you will and will not
provide for your son. That’s really all you can do. If other people in his life
are making the choice to let him stay with them, there really isn’t anything
you can do about that. I know it’s hard to watch your adult child make poor
choices. You’ve done what you can to help him. Hopefully, he will take
advantage of the opportunities provided to him by getting a job and making
healthier decisions in the future. We appreciate you writing in and wish you
all the best of luck moving forward. Take care.
M J G
This sounds like a very challenging situation. I can only
imagine how distressing this must be for you. Unfortunately, we’re not able to
offer you any specific suggestions for how to move out on your own. Our website
is aimed at helping people who are in a direct parenting role learn more
effective ways of addressing problems they may face while raising their
children. It might be beneficial to talk with legal counsel to find out what
options are available for you. The 211 Helpline, a national non-profit referral
service, would be able to give you information on legal services in your area.
You can reach the Helpline 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by
visiting them online at http://www.211.org/. We wish you
the best of luck moving forward. Take care.
I am sorry your granddaughter is making such poor choices.
It can be tough to watch someone you love behave in ways that can have a
negative impact on her future. The unfortunate truth is there may not be much
you can do to influence the choices she is making. At 21, she is an adult. She
can make whatever choices she wants to, good or bad, whether you agree with
those choices or not. It’s going to be most effective to focus on things you do
have control over, namely how you respond to those choices. You don’t have to
accept her behavior and don’t have to offer support of any kind for her current
lifestyle. She, in turn, can decide how much, or how little, contact she will
have with you. I can hear how distressed you are about the current situation.
It may be helpful to develop a self care plan to help you deal with this
distress. A self care plan can include anything you’d like, from talking with a
friend, going for a walk, or do other activities you enjoy. You may also find
solace in more structured supports, such as a counselor, therapist, or support
group. I encourage you to look in your community to see what types of services
are available. You might consider contacting the 211 Helpline, a nationwide
referral service, for information. You can find them online at http://www.211.org/. You can also call them at
1-800-273-6222. Your granddaughter has been very lucky to have you in her life.
Hopefully she will learn from the mistakes she is making now and will be able
to turn things around for the better. Good luck to you and your family moving
forward. Take care.
Thank you for reaching out to Empowering Parents. I’m sorry
to hear about the argument you had with your adult son. It sounds like it was a
pretty emotional and heated argument. At 22, your son can make the choice to
leave and not tell you where he is staying, and you also have the right to
reach out to him. You might let him know you are thinking about him and
available if he wants to talk, but keep in mind, you can’t make him respond to
you. Good luck to you and your family. I hope you are able to work things out
with your son. Take care.
Marissa EP Thank you for your response. Was it wrong to give him a time limit to move out and to make him pay for the car he was using? My wife thinks that if I give him his money back he will be more likely to respond.
Read more: Ground Rules for Living with an Adult Child (plus Free Living Agreement)
There is nothing wrong with giving your son a time limit to
move out, and is often something we encourage parents to do. After all, the
goal with most adult child is to help them successfully transition to the adult
world, which includes living on their own and dealing with challenges that come
with it. I think that giving your son choices can also be helpful in a situation
like yours. For example, with the car, if you have allowed him to use your car
in the past without cost, I wouldn’t suggest having him pay for back-use,
however, you can let him know that going forward, if he wants to continue to
use the car, or take it with him when he leaves, he will need to pay for it. If
he chooses to do that, then he can pay you from his bank account. He might
choose to not take the car, in which case I wouldn’t recommend taking the money
out of his bank account. The same goes for rent. You certainly can have an
expectation that he pays rent monthly, and he can choose to not live with you.
I wouldn’t recommend taking out several month’s rent in advance, especially
since he is not currently living there. If your son does choose to return home,
I would recommend meeting with him and setting up a http://www.empoweringparents.com/Rules-Boundaries-and-Older-Children-Late-To-Set-Up-Living-Agreement.php before he comes back. This would be a list of rules and
expectations that he agrees to follow in order to return home, as well as what
will happen if he doesn’t follow them. We have a downloadable living agreement http://cdn.empoweringparents.com/EP/Living-Agreement-Adult-Children-Template.pdf,
that you can use as a guide with your own son. I hope this helps. Let us know
if you have anymore questions.
What a tough situation. Many parents of adult children
express similar concerns, so, you’re not alone. The important thing to keep in
mind is your daughter is an adult. You’re no longer required to continue
providing for her and, anything you do provide for her is a choice you are making.
If it’s no longer working for you, you can make a different choice. This
doesn’t mean you have to make your daughter move out tomorrow. As explained in
the above article, one thing you can do is set up a living agreement with
your daughter that includes a specific move out date as well as the necessary
steps she needs to make in order to move out by that date. From what you
describe, your daughter seems pretty comfortable with how things are. She
probably isn’t going to change on her own – most people don’t change until they
are uncomfortable with their current circumstances, as James Lehman explains in
his article Rules, Boundaries, and Older Children: Parents’ Top 25 Concerns Addressed. In order to help motivate your daughter to make
these changes, you will need to start establishing clear limits and boundaries
around what you will and won’t support and then stick to them. For example, you
might consider contacting the police the next time money or credit cards go
missing. I understand that isn’t an easy decision to make. However, stealing is
stealing, whether a person steals from a stranger or a family member. We
appreciate you writing in. Good luck to you and your family moving forward.
I am a single mother of my now nineteen year old son who seems to disregard or respond to all and every limit I have ever tried to and still try to enforce. At his age of 14, I needed to work full time therefore was no longer able to be the hands on parent he required In terms of getting him up and to school, fighting abut going to school, eat properly, take care of himself physically or mentally or remain in his sport activities. This was required the whole time, every single day which I did and he did ok. Since then he quit and got kicked out of almost every school, engages in antisocial behaviour and done nothing but isolate and do drugs, play video games and breaks many of our basic house rules. He has previous diagnosis of ADHD, ODD, anxiety and depression, learning disabilities among others which were exacerbated shortly after his father died requiring some phyciatric intervention and supports all in which his participation was superficial ang guarded. After more challenges, I reluctantly tried pharmaceuticals with some good effect however he does not follow through with anything including being medication compliant or therapy. He has zero motivation, is underweight, still does not feed himself sufficiently and refuses to job seek, exercise or seemingly anything that will impact his life positively. Often he does not even tend to his basic ADL's like showering or even brushing his teeth. Financially and mentally I am getting burned out. He lies, cheats and steals from me frequently and feel I have become an "enabler" despite my u respected limits and best intentions. When confronted he denies everything including the obvious. His temper is verbally abusive and often intimidating or violent. I have allowed myself to because socially isolated and live in shame for some of his behaviours that others have discovered. I love him dearly however he has no insight or accountability. I feel my situation is hopeless
I'm having some challenges with my 25 year old daughter. I posted about this a few months ago as well. I'll be a brief as possible. She left home at 18 to attend university and has not lived with us consistently since then. The most she has been home is 1-2 months. I'm divorced from her father whom I have a good relationship with and I remarried 4 years ago. She is polite to my husband, but it is obvious that she wishes he wasn't around. We decided to rent out her room via airbnb to provide an additional income and help us pay off our mortgage. We informed her of this more than 1 year ago and starting in July. She went back to school in July and has moved away again. She was very unclear about dates for her summer break. I explained to her that she could stay with us for a week and that we wanted to make the room available for airbnb because of the busy summer season. Her response: 'that's it". It turns out that her break is for 1 moth.
There was lots of back and forth emails with me trying to state my case and her stating that she felt shame and abandoned, not welcome and that she doesn't belong. We finally agreed to disagree and move forward. This last week she stayed with us and it was ok. We did a few things together, but mostly she was quite dismissive. I tried to remind her on Sunday that she had to leave yesterday because a guest was checking in. She snapped at me a few times and refused to talk to about it. I sent her an email to remind her when she had to be out and also mentioned in the email dates that were available to her at the end of her month off and that she can have the room for 3 weeks at X-mas.
After she received this email she has barely spoken to me and has been very rude. I sent her a text wishing her a good camping trip, no response.
I know she is acting out and that it is important for us to keep the boundary firm. I just don't know what else to do and I'm trying to understand what is going on with her? She is not interested in talking about this. I was planning on visiting her in October for a few days and was going to send her a bit of money each month to help with food. I now feel that both are a really bad idea since there is so much tension. My husband things that I will just be rewarding bad behaviour.
I'm so stressed out; can't sleep etc. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank-you!!
Thank you for writing back with this update, and I’m sorry
to hear that communication with your daughter continues to be strained.
The truth is, you cannot make your daughter talk with you or understand your
perspective; you can only control your responses and actions. I
understand the difficulty with trying to decide whether to send your daughter
money to help with living expenses and/or visit her in October.
Sometimes, it can be helpful to think about this in a different way, outside of
the parent-child relationship. What would you do if it were someone other
than your daughter treating you this way, such as a neighbor or a friend?
Would you send money to help out? Would you go ahead with plans to visit
and make arrangements to stay in other accommodations, wait to visit, or make
other plans during that time? Ultimately, this is going to be your
judgment call; there isn’t one right or wrong answer. I hope this has
been helpful to you. Please continue to check in and let us know how
things are going; take care!
When adult children move back home, it can put a strain on
relationships and cause issues even under the best of circumstances. When
the young adult is not meeting expectations or following the rules, it is
likely that there will be conflict. I understand your concern for your
son, and his ability to take care of himself and move forward due to his
diagnosis. It may be useful to think about what the goal is for your son
while he is living at home. Is it practicing life skills, such as
budgeting, cleaning and time management, in order to live independently?
Is it to find a job? Something else? Once you have some goals in
mind, then you can create an action plan to meet that goal. Using the
living agreement template can be a great step to make sure that all of you are
on the same page when it comes to the house rules and expectations. It’s
also going to be beneficial to make sure that you have a clear plan for how you
will hold your son accountable if he is not following the rules. After
all, it sounds like things are working out pretty well from your son’s
perspective, and in general, people don’t change if they are comfortable with
the way things are going. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you
have to kick him out of the house, it is helpful to keep in mind that as an
adult, anything that you choose to provide to your son is considered a
privilege for him, and is a choice you are making. For more guidance on
setting up this living agreement, you might find it helpful to review some of
our other articles on http://www.empoweringparents.com/category-Adult-Children.php, such as http://www.empoweringparents.com/parenting-your-adult-child-how-to-set-up-a-mutual-living-agreement.php. I
understand how frustrating this situation can be, and I hope that you will
check back and let us know how things are going. Take care.
Confused an concerned mom,
26 yr old child moved back in after 7 yr relationship went down. Since 4 weeks in she had been influence by agame called second life or something of sorts. She is on the game all the time into the night even work nights, she does work too. Just worried that this is her new life. An the old life is no more. These people are real but I know you can be what u want in this game world. just phase or what she is smart but not a go getter. Need ground rules or something.
It’s normal to feel concerned when you see your adult child
spending all of her free time on an online game. The unfortunate truth
is, she is an adult and is free to choose how she spends her time, whether or
not you agree with those choices. That doesn’t mean that you can’t set
ground rules, however. As discussed in the above article, it can be
useful to talk with your daughter about the expectations for living in your
house. Some of those might be paying a portion of the electric and/or
internet bill each month, or having a house rule of electronics being turned
off at a certain time each night. Ultimately, your daughter doesn’t have
to like or agree with the rules; she does need to follow them in order to
continue receiving the privilege of living in your house. Thank you for
writing in; please let us know if you have any additional questions.
At a loss mom
It sounds like this situation with your son is very
challenging for you and your husband right now, and I appreciate your writing
in to us for guidance and support. I think it’s helpful in this type of
situation to remember that http://www.empoweringparents.com/when-good-parents-have-difficult-children-its-not-your-fault.php for the decisions your son has made thus far. It’s
your responsibility to teach your son your values, and to let him know what your
expectations are. It’s up to your son whether he chooses to implement
those lessons. Your son is an adult, and as such, has the freedom to make
his own decisions, and the responsibility to experience the outcomes associated
with his actions. As discussed in the above article, we recommend being
clear and specific with your expectations for your son, and writing those down
in a living agreement. It’s also important to outline how you will hold
him accountable for meeting these requirements. In general, people become
motivated to change when they are uncomfortable with their current course of
behavior, and holding your son accountable is one way of making him
uncomfortable. I recognize how tough this is for you, and I hope that you will
check back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take
Thanks for writing in with your question! When it
comes to adult children who are living at home, we often talk about how
everything that you provide them now becomes a privilege, including, but not
limited to food, cell phone, internet, car usage or insurance. When
setting up a living agreement with your child, you can also look at what
privilege you are also providing. Should your daughter not meet the
expectations in the living agreement, it is reasonable to withhold a privilege.
For example, if your daughter is not completing the chores she agreed to do,
you might turn her cell phone off until she starts doing them. Or, if she is
coming home late at night, after your home is closed up for the night, you
might withhold the car privilege until she can be home on time for several days
in a row, or she has to find another place to stay that night. If her behavior
becomes intolerable, it is also not unreasonable to tell her she has to find
another place to live if she is not able to follow your house rules. I hope
this gives you some ideas of ways to hold her accountable to following your
living agreement. Best of luck as you continue to work on this with your
I had the same question and I think it is great to get more and more ideas. I have a hard time with not micromanaging my 22 yr old son. I want all the different ideas people have for “consequences” when he doesn’t do his part. He has been on trash duty for 5 years, there is no way he should need to be reminded and I need to break the habit of reminding him!! Some consequences I use are turning off data, no access to our internet and no use of the car. The issue came when he hadn’t worked all summer and missed the school sign up deadline. He had lost all these privileges and was left with “now what”? That is when my therapist reminded me "EVERYTHING, including a mattress, food, having a room and showers are privileges". They get way to comfortable and need to be reminded that all of these are not things they are intitled to anymore, they are privileges we are allowing them to have.
Now he gets kicked out of his room at 10am until 6pm every day until he starts school or gets a job. Plus, all chores for the day must be done before he can get access again. His other privileges until he is caught up on his payments. I was not about to watch him sleep in anymore each day and continue you nagging him! No roommate or spouse will ever put up with that, and to love him means to let him feel the pains of real life.
With that said, new creative ideas are always welcome!
I have a 19 year old son living at home. He graduated 1 year ago from high school, and has worked part time since he graduated. He was on hold for over 6 months waiting to hear the decision on his medical waiver for the USMC. When they denied his waiver he found another job that has better hours and pay. He is working hard and loves his new job and is working to get a full time job with the company. (as an aside - his father passed away tragically when my son was 13 years old.) He is also talking about starting college this fall.
He has been angry with me off and on since his father passed away. It is my lack of being strict enough at times that he got to the point he is at now.
Last week he verbally crossed some lines and found this website and took heart to what was said. We are working on the living agreement now - but I need advice on what consequences to give an adult child that doesn't adhere to the "quiet time" rules of the house. My boyfriend gets up at 4 every morning because he has to be at work so early. When my son comes home at midnight or later the dogs bark and it wakes my boyfriend up. I have narcolepsy - so I go right back to sleep easily. My boyfriend is a lite sleeper and it is hard for him to go back to sleep.
We sat down as a family and talked with my son about "quiet time", disrespectful behavior, money responsibilities, household responsibilities, and alcohol and drugs rule. We set "quiet time" hours for 10pm Sunday - Thursday night(unless he is working later than 10pm), and midnight on Friday and Saturday. He got off work at 11pm last night and didn't come home until after 1am. He is aware that if he is disrespectful to me again he will be told to leave the house for 24 hours. The 2nd time will be a week out of the house. The third will be his finally strike and he will be told to move out.
The "quiet time" rule is more of a respect the other people in the house rather than a "curfew" to control him. But I just don't know what to do to make him realize we mean business.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. I think we are on the right track with the living agreement, he has hugged me and told me "i love you" 3 times this past week. He stopped telling me he loved me after his father died.
Thank you for writing in. I’m so pleased to hear that
you have found our resources to be helpful with your relationship with your
son. Many parents struggle with appropriate consequences for young adults
being disrespectful, so you are not alone here. Something that can be
useful is to incorporate some http://www.empoweringparents.com/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior.php
with your son during a calm time about how he will respect the “quiet time”
hours on nights that he is scheduled to work late, or expects that he will be
late coming home. Effective communication and learning how to live with
others are skills that your son will need in the “real world”, so it can be
helpful to continue to practice these while he is still in your home. As
for consequences, it sounds like you have already outlined what he can expect
if he breaks the rules. We encourage you to stick with this plan, as that
will help to enforce that you “mean business” and expect him to follow the
rules. I understand that this can be a challenging situation to navigate,
and I hope that you will let us know if you have any additional
questions. Take care.
about to crack
I am sorry you are having to face such a tough decision. More
than a few parents with adult children living at home have found themselves in
similar circumstances, so, you’re not alone. Your son is an adult and it’s OK
for you as a parent to set boundaries around how much you are willing to
support him now that he is an adult. Considering the information you have
shared, it sounds like your son may be taking advantage of the situation by
stealing from you while he is living under your roof. It would be within your
rights to contact the police about the theft because, even though he is your
son, it is still illegal for him to take money from you without permission.
Having him leave the home seems like it may be a good alternative for you.
It’s normal for a parent to worry about how their adult child will
respond when asked to leave the home. I understand there may be some additional
concern due to his medical diagnosis. You may find it helpful to talk with
someone from the National Suicide Lifeline about your concerns. S/he may be
able to help you develop a plan for addressing your worries as well as figuring
out what steps you may be able to take to help your son stay safe. You can
reach the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. It may also be of benefit to take steps to
take care of yourself as well. I’m sure this is a difficult transition for you,
one that may cause you some distress and worry. Finding ways to recharge, like
spending time with friends or doing an activity you enjoy, could be one way of
dealing with that distress. Some people also find more structured help in the
form of a support group or counselor to be helpful as well. If this is
something that interests you, you could contact the 211 Helpline for
information on resources in your community. They are available 24 hours a day
and can be reached by calling 1-800-273-6222. We wish you and your son the best
of luck as you work through this transition. Take care.
You bring up a difficult dilemma
many parents with adult children face: what can you do to hold your adult child
responsible that isn’t also going to result in a possible negative impact for
her child? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer for this. Most of the time,
it comes down to you, the parent, making a judgment call on whether it’s more
important to have your adult child take accountability for her life or if it’s more important to ensure your
grandchild is safe and cared for. This is a question only you can answer. One
thing to keep in mind is even if you’re not in a position where you feel
comfortable having your daughter leave, you can still develop a living
agreement with her around what the expectations are while she is living in your
home. Granted, she may not always follow those expectations and you may be
limited in what you can do to hold her accountable if she doesn’t. What you
will be doing, however, is focusing on what you have the most control over,
namely, the limits and boundaries you put in place in relation to your daughter
and her choices. You can also start to outline steps she will need to take in
order to eventually move out on her own. You may find it helpful to look into
what types of community supports are available to help your daughter live
independently. To that end, the 211 Helpline can give you information on
services and supports for young adults, as well as single moms, such as job
placement services, housing services, as well as daycare, if that should be
needed. They may also be able to let you know if there are transportation
services available in your area. You can reach the Helpline 24 hours a day by
calling 1-800-273-6222. You can also find them online at http://www.211.org/. I hope you will
continue to check back and let us know how things are going for you and your
well today my spouse and I had "a talk" with my 21 yr old son & my 24yr old daughter. We told them we (mainly me the mom) were tired of being a "a motel manager""in my home. I do feel they are tenants and I am the manager. The oldest works part time and the younger goes to school 2x a week (for 2 hrs). Neither pay rent,contribute monetarily, or in any other way to help with the house expenses. I'm retired 3 yrs now and I never expected to be a full time maid. We assumed my kids would be out and on their way by now My daughter moved back home after living on her own for 3-4 yrs (dorm) then married, they both moved in to "save for a place". They divorced 6 months ago and now my daughter can't afford to live on her own. That's fine, but, I told her I would appreciate her help with the house hold chores. My son is a part time college student who spends 90% of his time playing games on his high tech PC. When ever we let him know about a job, he has an excuse for not "liking" it. He has worked part time off and on a couple of times. But now enough to make any difference. He's been saying he's gonna get a job for the last year. Ok.
I didn't retire to sweep, mop & clean after them. She says she "always ask's me if I need anything". Yes, and I tell her what I need. But it doest get done until the next day sometimes and I hate walking on a sick floor or cooking on a messy counter. And why should i have to "tell her what to do" when its not that difficult to do the basics, and not all the time. My son barelys helps out also and only when I ask him to do something. I kinda blew it the other night when I had asked him to was the car (he uses it too) and he said OK, but never did it. The next day I needed to use it so I washed it. I asked him to help me by taking out the kitchen trash because it was over full. Again he said ok, but 5 hours later it was still sitting there, smell and all. What put me over was when he came out to get some food and saw it, but went back to his room/video game. After I asked him what happen, why hasn't he done what I asked and he replied "whats the hurry"? I blew it. Yelled at him and went back to my TV and cried to myself. My spouse goes to sleep by 7pm because he has to get up by 4am. He does help when he can but doesn't see what I have to deal with daily. He also feels we "have to help them". So he's a big softy when it comes to enforcing anything. He does support me when I complain to him, but its hard because he's always working. I agree with the articles here that we are enabling our "kids" by letting them live off us. Anyway, after our talk, they seemed to agree with us. After I felt so guilty for asking what their plans were for the future (moving out, getting work). And because my spouse had told them that they 'needed to appreciate me more". I just felt awkward, like I was being too petty. After we had finished our "talk" I could hear them laughing. When I questioned my son what was funny,he said "that you feel like a manager". My daughter left to day to stay the week with her cousin, which she does every week for at least 5 days. My son left town to take a friend back to his dorm in another city and will be gone the weekend. My spouse feels "we got through' to them, but I know it won't last. We've been here before many times. Should I feel bad? Good? Guilty, for wanting them to "grow up"?
You bring up a grievance shared by quite a few parents with
adult children living at home, so, you’re not alone in your dismay, When
an adult child moves back in with parents, the situation can easily revert back
to how it was when s/he was a teen, with the parent bearing the brunt of both
the financial responsibility and work load around the house. A parent in your
situation shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting their adult child to move out on
his/her own. That really is the natural order of things in our society. It sounds
like you and your spouse may not be on the same page in regards to what you
expect from your children while they continue to live at home. A probable first
step might be for the two of you to sit down at a calm time and discuss what
your individual expectations are in regards to what and how long you believe
you should continue providing for your children. Each of you may need to
compromise a bit to find some common ground to start from. Once the two of you
are more or less on the same page, you could then work with your son and
daughter to develop a mutual living agreement, as discussed in the above
article. It may even be helpful to print off a copy of the included Living
Agreement to review beforehand. Of course, having a living agreement doesn’t
mean your kids are going to follow it. So, you might consider having a set time
when everyone comes back to the table to discuss whether or not things are
working for everyone involved. If things still haven’t changed by that point,
you could then develop a more specific timeline for steps your children would
need to take to move out on their own. Keep in mind, http://www.empoweringparents.com/In-Response-to-Questions-about-Older-Children-Living-at-Home-by-James-Lehman.php for your kids. And, they
may push back against moving out on their own by pointing out all the ways they
wouldn’t be able to make it. They are adults, however, and, ultimately
responsible for themselves. It may seem harsh, but, truthfully, if your current
living arrangements aren’t working for you, it’s OK to have your kids leave
your home. Wanting them to take responsibility for their own lives isn’t
anything a parent should feel guilty about. After all, having kids become
independent adults is one of the major goals of raising children. We appreciate
you writing in and wish you the best of luck moving forward. I hope you will
continue to check in to let us know how things are going. Take care.
@Frustrated in Florida
Thank you for writing in. I’m
glad to hear that your daughter is OK, and has almost fully recovered from her
stroke. You describe a situation which is not uncommon for many parents
of young adults-their child wants all of the freedom and independence of being
an adult, and none of the responsibilities, financial or otherwise. Given
your daughter’s health concerns, it’s understandable that you would not want
her to leave until she is ready. On the other hand, it’s important to
keep in mind that people generally don’t change if the current situation is
working for them in some way. If she is not feeling the consequences of
her actions, she is not likely to feel motivated to change. The fact is,
disappointment and setbacks occur all the time in the real world, and you will
be much more effective at helping your daughter to become an independent adult
by helping her learn to solve these problems, rather than fixing them for
her. Thus, it might be useful to think about what you can do to make your
daughter uncomfortable with the results of her choices, whether through
allowing http://www.empoweringparents.com/The-Benefits-of-Natural-Consequences.php to happen, or through developing and
enforcing consequences you can control. I understand that this
isn’t an easy issue to deal with, and I hope that you will write back and let
us know how things are going for you and your daughter. Take care.
It can be hard to know how to
respond when your child steals from you. It can leave a parent feeling hurt and
betrayed. It can be helpful to think about how you would respond if it were
someone other than your daughter stealing from you. Sometimes removing the
emotions from the situation can help you determine what steps you would like to
take. We would suggest calling the police and submitting a report every time
you realize something is missing. Not only will this provide written
documentation of missing items, it will also serve to show your daughter that
you are willing to involve the police if necessary. I hope this helps you
decide what to do. We wish you the best of luck moving forward. Take care.
My son is 18 and never comes home during daytime hours. He lies and has stolen from us in the past although money is now monitored carefully. I don't know where he is and my main worry is where he is getting his money from to eat.He earns a smallMore wage which just about covers his journey to work and back. This accounts for only a few hours of his day .What consequences can I put in place to get him to start coming in before 11 and stop lying about everything.While i dont want to know where he is every minute ,there are currently about 8 hrs per day unnacounted for. Only time he phones me is to swear at me if he has a car problem and so i hang up. Any advice??
Read more: Rules, Boundaries, and Older Children: How to Cope with an Adult Child Living at Home
This sounds like a really
difficult situation. I imagine you are probably concerned about where your son
is and what he’s doing with his
time. I talk with a lot of parents of adult children who share similar
worries, so, you’re not alone. The truth of the matter is, your son is an
adult. AsMore such, he can spend his time however he chooses. This does not mean,
however, that you can’t establish some expectations around him continuing to
live at home. When he became an adult, you no longer had a responsibility to
continue providing for him. Everything you choose to provide for him, up to and
including the roof over his head, is a privilege. If he’s not meeting the
expectations you have in place, then any of those privileges can be withheld.
We have several articles that offer useful tips for parents who have adult
children living at home. A couple you may find helpful are Adult Child Living at Home Driving You Crazy? & Rules, Boundaries, and Older Children: Parents’ Top 25 Concerns Addressed. Hang in there. I know this
is a tough time. Take care and keep in touch.