Do you have a young adult child??? HELP!!!

posted 3 years ago in 40 Something
Post # 3
482 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I don’t have children and I’m only 26, but my youngest sister totally fits the same situation as your daughter. She is 21 and still living at home with her mother. She dropped out of college a couple years ago but has been working. Her mother asks that she contribute $100/month, which I think is more than reasonable. However, my dear sister complains constantly about not having parents that support her and isn’t happy about paying her own bills, ie. car payment, insurance, food, $100 rent (even complains about buying her own clothes). Somehow, she thinks she is independent and should be praised for being so independent. Having moved out at 17, I paid for college by myself while working full time and going to school full time. I also took office jobs that I found to be completely pointless but they paid the bills. My sister won’t work in an office because she doesnt like the 9-5 hours so she is working retail – with no commission even. She just seems so unmotivated and way too comfortable with her situation. I’ve tried numerous time in many different ways to explain to her that while she is still living with her mother, she is not independent and the reason she isn’t praised for her ‘independence’ is because she is dependent on having that roof over her head and that it’s not a parents obligation to support their adult children. Also, her mother still feels as though she is helping her by allowing her to live at home still. 

I honestly don’t know what a parent can do to force their child into adulthood. For some reason, I think young adults these days are more dependent. I’ve actually had this discussion with some of my friends whose younger siblings (21-23) are still living at home. My friends and I couldn’t wait to move away to college and be on our own, and we are only a couple years older. 

Sorry I don’t have any advise, but as an outsider witnessing a similar situation, I can understand your frustration. The only thing I can think of to help with the push is to make things a bit less comfortable. Unfortunately, nagging sometimes works. If not, it will just take time for her to figure things out. =/ 

Post # 4
44 posts
  • Wedding: February 2014

@thumpurr:  I don’t have children of my own, might as well say I’m sort of a young adult. So, that being said, I’d like to ask you… Do you give her money? What does she currently do? How old is she? What do you provide aside from a roof and food?

Post # 5
6631 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I have a good friend who has two daughters, 1 is 20 and the other turns 18 in Dec.  The 20 year old graduated high school over a year ago. Her mom basically gave her a year and told her this summer by this fall she had two choices, get a job or go to school.  If she did neither she was out on her rear.  Her daughter chose to go to school. (and my friend is very soft hearted) but the 20 year old was lazy and wasn’t helping out.  She told she has to get her stuff together for the real world. 

You are probably going to have to do tough love, if that means booting her out then it means booting her out. 

Post # 6
1472 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

My brother is 30 and still living with my parents (though thankfully back in school). Nip this in the bud–now. You said you wouldn’t charge her if she was in school or working. She isn’t, so you need to charge her. You can do it in money or in chores, if necessary. Make the chores SUCKY. I know it seems childish, but if she can’t act like an adult, then she doesn’t need to be treated like one. Make her “work” for you if she won’t get a real job. 

It’s possible she’s intimidated by job hunting, and she’s unlikely to want you to help her. Maybe offer to take her to a job coach or employment service or something. But that’s it. Don’t find jobs for her, don’t submit apps, etc. She needs to grow it. (Check over her resume–sure. Write her resume–no.)

Post # 7
1112 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I am a young adult. I got married at 18, but before that I was planning to work my way through school (I still am, its just been delayed a little). My parents pretty much said the same thing when I graduated, and I took them seriously. I had to pay for my own insurance, phone etc. As long as I was going to school or working I didn’t have to pay any rent.

As someone the same age, I would suggest telling your daughter that if she doesn’t get a job or go to school, she will have to start paying her own bills and rent to you. If you actually show her how much it is, I’m sure it will motivate her!

Post # 8
7019 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@thumpurr:  It’s time to charge board (i.e. paying to live with you); on the condition that you will stop charging it if she attends college. Make it high enough that she’s pretty well forced to get a job. Also stop paying her bills (e.g. phone) if you are doing that.

Post # 9
2474 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I agree with PP about giving her really crappy chores. She’s gonna need to understand at some point that if she acts like a child, she gets treated like one.

I watched my younger brothers walk ALL OVER my mom until they completely sucked her dry and now she’s drowning in a sea of debt. The only thing that got through to them was kicking them out, and making them figure out their own shit. Family wasn’t allowed to help them (nor did any of us want to). They both now have jobs, places of their own, and one of them is about to graduate trade school. 

Oh, and yes – stop paying for things for her. No phone. Can’t drive the car because she has no car insurance because she’s not earning it. Things like that. 

Post # 10
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@thumpurr:  if you won’t put her out of the house than stop supporting her except for absolute necessities.  If she has a car, insurance, phone, cable tv, internet, computer, etc. that you pay for then STOP. don’t give her money either.  Also stop waiting for her to volunteer to grow up and insist that she step up. 

Post # 12
1826 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Change the password on your wifi and computers so she can’t go online at all. Do NOT pay for anything for her…she gets a bed and food…period! No phone, no internet, no car, etc.

My other suggestion would be to make her leave the house every day just like she has a job. Tell her to use the time to find a job. Being winter she should probably figure it out fast!

And yes I have teenagers. One is already on her own and the younger ones know that they attend school, work or get out.

I love them but I am not going to babysit them for their entire lives.

Post # 13
1666 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

@PetuniaPie:  I know a lot of people who lived at home until their mid-twenties; myself and BF included. All of these people, however, have some sort of jobs or are continuing their education. I feel like if people are doing something to help work towards independence, then it’s ok for them to continue living with their parents (so long as their parents are ok with it), especially with how much the job market sucks right now.

@thumpurr:  1. I say change the wifi password and refuse to tell her what it is until she agrees to start searching the classifieds in the newspaper (the one you can actually hold in your hands, not read on a screen). If she can do that, then allow her internet access, but ONLY if she searches for jobs or schools for a set period of time. If she breaks that promise then the internet goes off for good until she gets a job or enrolls in school.

2. Sit her down and tell her you will no longer be paying her bills for her. She will be responsible for her own expenses, such as: gas, insurance, phone bill, and anything fun she wants to do with friends. Do not loan or advance her any money (unless it is a true emergency).

3. Start charging her rent. Make it high enough where she understands how difficult it will be to try and get through life without a job or education (say $500 or so). Charge her this for each month she goes without a job or enrolling in college.

4. If she doesn’t want to do any of this then you need to tell her that she will have to leave. I know you said it’s winter and she has no where to go, but she will never learn unless you hold firm and show her you are serious. Maybe you could give her a set date: for instance, if you don’t have a job or are in school by January 1st I will start charging rent and if you still haven’t done what we discussed by May 1st then you can find somewhere else to live.

FWIW, I’m only 25 and I just moved in with my BF this past summer. Our parents were ok with us living at home for so long because we paid for our own expenses, were responsible with our money, had a firm plan for ourselves, were always employed / in school, and I was busy paying twice the amount I needed to on my student loans. Big difference between what we were doing and what your daughter is doing though. I hope everything works out!

Post # 14
4134 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Stop paying for non-essentials like makeup, shampoo, conditioner, clothing etc. Tell her it’s her responsibility to pay for those things now. She will either get at least a part time job, or deal with the consequences. Just like out in the real world. 

Eventually the reality of a low paying job will get her thinking and she’ll likely show interest in college or university. 

If telling her outright is not getting to her, showing her is the only option left. 

Post # 15
1258 posts
Bumble bee

Charge her rent – give her 30 or 60 (which is way too much time IMO) days to get a job and be able to pay you X amount for rent on the 1st of Decemeber/January. Sit her down today and let her know that since she has not taken the initiative to look into college or seriously start looking for a job, this is what is going to happen. There is no way that stores in malls are NOT hiring right now with the holidays coming closer and closer. 

The consequence of not finding a job and paying you rent by Dec or Jan 1st? By Feb 1st, you will need to find a new place to live. End of story. 

I have asked very little of her, and have put few expectations on her as she goes from a child to an adult.  However, she lives in my home, and I feel that she should contribute.

I feel for you. I do. I agree she should contribute in one way or another. 


Post # 16
896 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I do not have a child, and I am 25.  I will tell you what worked for my parents.  I have always been an A student, yet from the moment i got my first job (at 16) i was required to pay “rent.”  I put it between quotation marks because I only paid 200/month.  I was also required to pay for my own cell phone (in fact I did not have one until I bought one myself), was required to pay for my transportation to high school, and I bought my car with the money I saved for 2 years.  This upbringing, although I wish my parents had not been as hard on me, made me a very independent person, and I bought my first home at age 20 and have been completely self-sufficient for many years. 

My brother failed 11th grade.  My parents gave him a shot, and he retook it and passed.  Then he failed 12th grade.  My parents told him he had to get a GED at night and work full time during the day and pay $600/month if he wanted to continue living at home (this covered roof, food, and laundry).  My brother has been self sufficient ever since. 

Sometimes the only option is giving an ultimatum and letting your children struggle for a while so that they become self-sufficient adults instead of slobs. 

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