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#1 TXMary2

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 01:45 PM

Does anyone out there have an adult child that makes decisions you totally disagree with? I am not talking about small things like wardrobe or hair - I mean really bad decisions - basically things that can screw up their life forever if they don't pull it together.

My oldest is almost 20 and he has not let go of foolish fantasies and is living in a way that is totally contrary to how he was raised. He still lives under our roof and I am thisclose to giving him the boot. I don't want to be an enabler, but I would never forgive myself if he was killed or something because he didn't have a pillow at home, kwim?

What ground rules do you have for adult children living in your home?

#2 Catherine

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 01:49 PM

I'd need to know more about what he actually did wrong before I could comment. My YA nephew lived with us for 2 1\2 years, so I have (maybe) some idea about what you are talking about.

#3 KidsHappen

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 01:54 PM

Yes, and it is so very hard. My 19 year old no longer lives at home but over the past six months she has made some horribly bad decisions that culminated in a life or death situation. The entire family is pulling together to help get her through this and it seems to be going well so far but I feel like I have been hit extremely hard in the chest and I can't catch my breath. Somehow, I was under the mistaken impression that once they were grown that you wouldn't have to worry about the so much and unfortunately I am finding that that is not true at all.

#4 Hen

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 02:36 PM

I'm not in that situation yet, my oldest is almost 16- but we are planning on having the same rules that my dh and I had when we were young adults in our parent's houses...they made sense and kept us responsible.

1) you are either in college taking 12 units or more or working. If you are in college, you do not pay us rent. If you are not in college, you pay us a low rent.

2) you have a reasonable curfew most nights..you can't be waking everybody up because you decide to come home at 2 a.m. -there are exceptions.

3) you pay for your own expenses, car, car insurance, gas, clothes. We may help out from time to time, but it would be a gift, not something you expect.

4) you clean up your stuff, help with dishes if you eat with us. Or you can eat out.

#5 TXMary2

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:01 PM

Rules. We need to enforce them. It is so different than when they are under age 18. I allowed my son to be involved in a culture I did not like, in the name of him pursuing his "dreams." At age 19.5 it is clear now those dreams aren't going to happen so now it is time to grow up. DH and I disagreed years ago about how to let the teen years happen. DH said he needed freedom, that I needed to "cut the apron strings" so we did and now I regret it.

DH is not ds biological father, but has raised him from age 3. Bio father hasn't seen him or talked to him since age 4, but ds is just like bio father!!! It is genetic. It has to be.

Anyway, it looks like I need to enforce rules or tell him to move. I can't have the stress of him being here when he isn't living right. There is NO excuse for his choices. He has no reason to choose this path - it has never been modeled for him and he has been taught and raised right. Of course we have made parenting mistakes and no huge ones as far as I know. I have no idea why he is going the way he is going - nothing good can come of it. Perhaps some of it is he is a 19 yo boy who thinks he in invincible, but he should know better. Really, he should.

#6 NicksMama-Zack's Mama Too

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:10 PM

I'm not in that situation yet, my oldest is almost 16- but we are planning on having the same rules that my dh and I had when we were young adults in our parent's houses...they made sense and kept us responsible.

1) you are either in college taking 12 units or more or working. If you are in college, you do not pay us rent. If you are not in college, you pay us a low rent.

2) you have a reasonable curfew most nights..you can't be waking everybody up because you decide to come home at 2 a.m. -there are exceptions.

3) you pay for your own expenses, car, car insurance, gas, clothes. We may help out from time to time, but it would be a gift, not something you expect.

4) you clean up your stuff, help with dishes if you eat with us. Or you can eat out.

:iagree:

My dh's parents had these rules and I think it worked out well for everyone. After we got married, his parents gave us some of his "rent" back to help us with a down payment on our first house.

#7 dakarimom5

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:13 PM

My ds has been out of my house since he was 18 and a senior in hs. I did not kick him out. He left because he would not follow the rules and got grounded. Since leaving home he has graduated, worked two jobs at once and lived with a buddy. He wasn't coming to visit for a long time but I think he finally realized that it was him not us. He knows he can't come back to live but he did stay the night for a few nights over Christmas.

While I know he isn't living his life like I would want, I have to respect the fact that he is surviving and his basic needs are being met. I can't be happy about the moral choices that he is making regarding women but I can't stop him either. I just pray...A LOT!!

When he did live with us he had basic rules that were similar to the ones already posted. Hugs mama, it will be okay.

#8 simka2

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:21 PM

I'm not in that situation yet, my oldest is almost 16- but we are planning on having the same rules that my dh and I had when we were young adults in our parent's houses...they made sense and kept us responsible.

1) you are either in college taking 12 units or more or working. If you are in college, you do not pay us rent. If you are not in college, you pay us a low rent.

2) you have a reasonable curfew most nights..you can't be waking everybody up because you decide to come home at 2 a.m. -there are exceptions.

3) you pay for your own expenses, car, car insurance, gas, clothes. We may help out from time to time, but it would be a gift, not something you expect.

4) you clean up your stuff, help with dishes if you eat with us. Or you can eat out.


:iagree:These are great rules. One of the things I appreciate about these rules is they are in place regardless of the "choices" you son could make. I heard you say "he was raised better" or something along those lines. It makes it sound ( and I could be totally wrong) that if he were making choices you approved of, maybe rules wouldn't be needed.

I don't know how much control you can have over his choices, but you can control what you will tolerate and expect at home. I know I'm doing a horrible job of explaining this, but I thought I would give it a try.

The rules listed above are great ones, but could he obey them and continue making choices you don't approve of?

#9 Sandy in Indy

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:26 PM


The rules listed above are great ones, but could he obey them and continue making choices you don't approve of?


Absolutely.

I'm in that same struggle with my ds, who will be 20 at the end of the month. He lives in my home (while attending school) and I think he still needs to respect the house rules. He seems to think he can just do anything he pleases. And he's made some life choices that are a slap in the face to me. It is hard, very hard.

I thought parenting was hard when the kids were little. That was nothing compared to parenting on this end!

#10 Spryte

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:29 PM

TXMary2, your post resonates so strongly with me. You are not alone.

DH and I have a 19.5 year old - he is DH's from a relationship prior to our marriage, and I have loved him and helped to raise him from the moment we all became a family - and before that as well. He always lived with us, and we tried hard to model good relationships and behavior for him. We have a long history and a lot of love between us.

He now (as an adult) lives with his bio-mom, who is a struggling, unmedicated bipolar. And he has simply gone off the deep end. He's been making terrible choices - and his therapist has made it clear to us that it is indeed genetic (he is now a diagnosed bipolar also). There is an addiction component as well, and that is also genetic - on biomom's side, unfortunately. DH and I have never had to deal with substance abuse before, so this is new for us.

We are walking a fine line trying to balance between helping and enabling.

If he lived in our home, I think (no, I know) we would enforce the rules listed by Hen Jen. And there would be clear consequences laid out in advance for breaking those rules. One of those consequences would absolutely be moving out if the rules were broken X number of times.

As it is - our kiddo is enjoying his freedom in a way we never pictured, and there isn't much we can do. It hurts, but maybe it's part of the process he needs to grow up. We have had to stop providing financial help, as the money is inappropriately spent more often than not. It has been one of the hardest things we've ever done.

I could write volumes about the experience at this point - it has been truly heart-wrenching. So I understand what you mean about wanting to help but not enable.

I think if our kiddo were living here... Maybe we could set up boundaries and a safety net for him, that he doesn't have now... and that might help. Not having him in our home has made us very helpless to facilitate his getting help. But then again - he's not ready.

I hope that your kiddo can sit down and talk with you about your concerns, and figure out a way for all of you to co-exist peacefully and respectfully.

Hugs to you.

#11 74Heaven

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:35 PM

When the child says some version of:

"I'm 18, I am old enough to live my own life and make my own decisions! Why won't you let me live my OWN life!"

(which I have no trouble with if said child is showing maturity in areas). My friend who told me this is one of those live-life-to-the-fullest and usually very, very fun and very, very straightforward!!!!

This is the quote from my friend:

"When a child tells me this... I look at them and LAUGH! Then I say, [B]"That is one of the STUPIDEST things
I have ever heard come out of your mouth! When you move OUT of this house and you pay ALL of your bills and clean up ALL YOUR OWN MESSES, that is when YOUR LIFE starts. Til then, your life is just an extension of mine & Dad's life...."

My dh & I said a more mild version of this to my 18.5yo daughter. It seemed to do WONDERS! Granted, this daughter did not rebel in a drugs/s*x etc. kind of way. But she was doing STUPID as an art form: academically, financially, relationship-wise, procrastination, impulsiveness.

Ever since we basically said (& repeated) with encouragement thrown in at times) what my friend told me she said, the turn around has been very encouraging.

Lisaj, mom to 5

#12 Ishki

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 03:42 PM

I'm not in that situation yet, my oldest is almost 16- but we are planning on having the same rules that my dh and I had when we were young adults in our parent's houses...they made sense and kept us responsible.

1) you are either in college taking 12 units or more or working. If you are in college, you do not pay us rent. If you are not in college, you pay us a low rent.

2) you have a reasonable curfew most nights..you can't be waking everybody up because you decide to come home at 2 a.m. -there are exceptions.

3) you pay for your own expenses, car, car insurance, gas, clothes. We may help out from time to time, but it would be a gift, not something you expect.

4) you clean up your stuff, help with dishes if you eat with us. Or you can eat out.


We have very similar rules, and our girls always followed them. Our oldest wasn't great about doing her dishes without a reminder, but she would finally get them done. That wasn't where we had problems. The problems were with choices she was making regarding moral behaviors; a situation not covered by the above rules. This will vary from family to family, but she was well aware of our stance in the matter, and well aware of the fact that we would not have that behavior presented as acceptable to her younger sisters. We had a very adult conversation with her, we told her where we stood (she already knew this), she explained where she stood, and together we agreed it was best if she moved out. She gave up a lot when she did (free rent, food, etc.), but for her, at that time, she valued her 'personal freedoms' more. And it cost her, too. She had to cut back on school to part-time because she had to work full-time to cover living costs.

There are family members/friends who think we were mean and unreasonable with her considering she was an adult, but her father and I believe we have to keep to our standards, even when the going gets tough. Anyway, she was never mad at us over it. She understood. We have a very close relationship; that wasn't damaged. Now, a couple of years later, she admits she was being foolish and stubborn. ;)

I wouldn't have kicked her out if she hadn't been able to financially take care of herself. I couldn't live with myself not knowing how my dd was getting along. If she hadn't been able to make it, I would have probably given her an ultimatum: change your behavior or get a full-time job and move (with a time limit).

#13 Danestress

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 04:06 PM

"That is one of the STUPIDEST things [/B]I have ever heard come out of your mouth! When you move OUT of this house and you pay ALL of your bills and clean up ALL YOUR OWN MESSES, that is when YOUR LIFE starts. Til then, your life is just an extension of mine & Dad's life...."


I didn't think of my four year olds as being merely extensions of myself, and I can't imagine saying that to a child and even half way believing it or wanting them to believe it. I remember looking at my twins in their sonogram and knowing that they had their own separate destinies, separate and apart from mine. I guess in a way, I don't pay my own bills - DH does. And DH doesn't clean his own messes - I clean some of them. I just hate the way that sounds.

I do tell my adult child that he is welcome to live here as long as (1) he wants to and (2) we want him to, but that we will only *want* him to if he's being kind, pleasant, cooperative, self supporting, and law abiding. He knows that living here is living in a family - not living as a single guy in our home. He helps me with things, I help him with things. I actually think that is *more* adult than a "everyone live on your own, handle your own stuff, rely on no one, and function as an individual rather than a family." Anyway, it works for us.

Mary, I don't know what is going on with your 20 year old, but it sounds very difficult. It is the normal order of things that young people move out and establish their own households at some point. Don't feel guilty for encouraging your son to do that. It doesn't have to be a moral judgment on him or his choices. If you believe it to be true, you can just tell him that you feel like allowing him to live with you is not best for him, that he needs to learn what it means to support himself, and that you are going to insist he do that. You have my sympathy. It sounds very hard.

#14 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 04:22 PM

Adults have to accept the consequences of their behavior. I don't mean consequences put on by you, though it may be the consequence of leaving your house. I primarily mean - if they get pregnant, they need to accept the consequences of that, no matter how they decide to deal with it. If they break the law, they need to accept the consequences of that. We've been dealing with this with my adult nephew who just got out from a year in prison. He felt that his family didn't show love by not protecting him from the consequences of what he did or at least pretending that he was innocent (he wasn't). We all love him very much but are praying that he will start to grow up and make better choices.

#15 justamouse

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 04:24 PM

Rules. We need to enforce them. It is so different than when they are under age 18. I allowed my son to be involved in a culture I did not like, in the name of him pursuing his "dreams." At age 19.5 it is clear now those dreams aren't going to happen so now it is time to grow up. DH and I disagreed years ago about how to let the teen years happen. DH said he needed freedom, that I needed to "cut the apron strings" so we did and now I regret it.

DH is not ds biological father, but has raised him from age 3. Bio father hasn't seen him or talked to him since age 4, but ds is just like bio father!!! It is genetic. It has to be.

Anyway, it looks like I need to enforce rules or tell him to move. I can't have the stress of him being here when he isn't living right. There is NO excuse for his choices. He has no reason to choose this path - it has never been modeled for him and he has been taught and raised right. Of course we have made parenting mistakes and no huge ones as far as I know. I have no idea why he is going the way he is going - nothing good can come of it. Perhaps some of it is he is a 19 yo boy who thinks he in invincible, but he should know better. Really, he should.


I swear, this could have come out of my mouth word for word but for the not seeing his dad part. And, I actually think that aspect has made him WORSE, not better. His bio dad emotionally neglected him and I honestly think everything this kid does is to make his father take notice of him--meanwhile he's rejected my Dh who has raised him since he was 4.

I've thrown him out twice, called the cops once and this time I'm done. He can either join the military or move out but he's not staying here.

And *NONE* of my other kids are like this.

Absolutely.

I'm in that same struggle with my ds, who will be 20 at the end of the month. He lives in my home (while attending school) and I think he still needs to respect the house rules. He seems to think he can just do anything he pleases. And he's made some life choices that are a slap in the face to me. It is hard, very hard.

I thought parenting was hard when the kids were little. That was nothing compared to parenting on this end!



:grouphug: Another post I could have written.

TXMary2, your post resonates so strongly with me. You are not alone.

DH and I have a 19.5 year old - he is DH's from a relationship prior to our marriage, and I have loved him and helped to raise him from the moment we all became a family - and before that as well. He always lived with us, and we tried hard to model good relationships and behavior for him. We have a long history and a lot of love between us.

He now (as an adult) lives with his bio-mom, who is a struggling, unmedicated bipolar. And he has simply gone off the deep end. He's been making terrible choices - and his therapist has made it clear to us that it is indeed genetic (he is now a diagnosed bipolar also). There is an addiction component as well, and that is also genetic - on biomom's side, unfortunately. DH and I have never had to deal with substance abuse before, so this is new for us.

We are walking a fine line trying to balance between helping and enabling.

If he lived in our home, I think (no, I know) we would enforce the rules listed by Hen Jen. And there would be clear consequences laid out in advance for breaking those rules. One of those consequences would absolutely be moving out if the rules were broken X number of times.

As it is - our kiddo is enjoying his freedom in a way we never pictured, and there isn't much we can do. It hurts, but maybe it's part of the process he needs to grow up. We have had to stop providing financial help, as the money is inappropriately spent more often than not. It has been one of the hardest things we've ever done.

I could write volumes about the experience at this point - it has been truly heart-wrenching. So I understand what you mean about wanting to help but not enable.

I think if our kiddo were living here... Maybe we could set up boundaries and a safety net for him, that he doesn't have now... and that might help. Not having him in our home has made us very helpless to facilitate his getting help. But then again - he's not ready.

I hope that your kiddo can sit down and talk with you about your concerns, and figure out a way for all of you to co-exist peacefully and respectfully.

Hugs to you.


And another. I'm dealing with his addiction, too and though I have done everything within my power to get him help-he thinks there's nothing wrong with what he's doing and he can stop at any time. I've come to the hard realization hat he doesn't want to get better. At least not yet. And he can't be that way here-so that leaves him out *there*.

The pain is indescribable. I know how it feels, I really do. :grouphug::grouphug:

#16 MaMa2005

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 05:09 PM

As far as mistakes that can impact their life forever, our oldest DS is a prime example.

We adopted him at 14 and while we thought we had instilled good moral values, he had not accepted them. He left home and moved to another part of the state we were currently living in when he was 19 because he had gotten his girlfriend (12 years his senior) pregnant. (This action resulted in his withdrawal from pre-med university work, i.e., gave up his dream of becoming a doctor.) We didn't hear from him for 3 years. Finally, he sent us a picture of our grandson and we got back in touch. He was financially down and out. We took him, our DIL (pregnant again) and grandson into our home. Put DS through college. He finally gets a teaching job and they go and move in with the grandparents. :svengo: Eventually, they get their act together and buy a home, settle down, etc. Any offers of advice from us are declared 'stupid'. (Advice = try not to step in the same cow piles we did when we were your age!)

Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2009. DS has an affair, leaves his wife (of 17 years) and children, and begins to have a mid-life crisis. It is still going on today. No financial support for our DIL and grandchildren (ages 16 and 14). We are picking up the pieces and helping them. DS is financially ruined.

He won't listen to anyone, has pretty much estranged the entire extended family by his actions (which no one condones) and is still stepping in the cow piles left and right. Cannot seem to understand why his children hate him right now.

DS turns 39 in April. At this point, I'm not sure if he will ever learn from his mistakes.

#17 goldberry

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 05:34 PM

I am not in this position yet, but I don't think it is wrong to ask your adult child to move out if they are making choices and choosing a life path you don't approve of.

Living at home past the time they become an adult is an extra, not an obligation. When they are an adult, their choices become their own, and I don't have to agree with them. But I also don't have to go the extra step of allowing them the conveniences of living at home.

I agree with the rules others have mentioned obviously. But I'm talking about something that may not affect the home, but that goes directly against your life and value system. You are not in the wrong to ask them to leave. "If you are going to choose a life that is opposite of everything we value, that is your choice, but you need to do so on your own. We still love and care about you, but that is not what we want for our home."

#18 Spryte

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 05:55 PM

I'm dealing with his addiction, too and though I have done everything within my power to get him help-he thinks there's nothing wrong with what he's doing and he can stop at any time. I've come to the hard realization hat he doesn't want to get better. At least not yet. And he can't be that way here-so that leaves him out *there*.

The pain is indescribable. I know how it feels, I really do. :grouphug::grouphug:


That's it. The out *there* part is unbelievably painful. Waiting for them to be ready for help... It gives one a deep, deep ache in the chest... I'm so sorry that there are others in this place... Hugs to all going through this pain. May all our children come home (not literally, of course, only come back to making good, solid choices in life).

TXMary, I hope that your son's situation is not so extreme, and that it is resolved soon in the best way for all of you.

#19 TXMary2

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 07:45 PM

That's it. The out *there* part is unbelievably painful. Waiting for them to be ready for help... It gives one a deep, deep ache in the chest... I'm so sorry that there are others in this place... Hugs to all going through this pain. May all our children come home (not literally, of course, only come back to making good, solid choices in life).

TXMary, I hope that your son's situation is not so extreme, and that it is resolved soon in the best way for all of you.



Thank you.

DS moved out this summer and I didn't throw him out, he wanted out so he could be his own man. That was in June and I was very proud of him as he coordinated it all on his own. He moved back into our house mid-October because he and his roommate were tossed out of where they were living. It was no fault of theirs- the house they were renting was involved in a legal/family/estate dispute and they had to leave. He didn't have any money saved up and he did not have a vehicle. This house was close by his work and is actually the main thing he has going for himself right now. The job is a good job and they like him, but he is being denied a promotion because of the big ugly gauges in his ears.

I don't want to start ranting about his appearance and those kind of choices because they are easy fixes and something he can easily change if he wanted to. My concern is his choice of friends and the activities they partake in - none of these guys are "real" friends. None of them would lift a finger for him if he was in need, but they know he is generous to a fault and they take advantage of him. He is the only one with a good steady job and a vehicle - so that makes him the go to guy. I blame myself for this naivety he has about people. He doesn't really have a best friend and never has. He has had trouble getting along with people in the past and dumps them and moves on to someone else or they dump him first.

He is so opposite of my other children. He has always been a very social guy and he wants everyone to like him. He was never really academic although he is smart and had excellent grades and test scores. He doesn't know what he wants to do with his life (well he does but it is UNREALISTIC AND A FANTASY) and he doesn't want to go to college. So fine, work.

He complains about not being able to find a "nice" girl. Well honey, you aren't going to find a nice girl when you act the way you do - the nice girls are smart enough to say "no thanks."

Bottom line, he has gotten himself in to trouble and I am not going to enable him or help him, but my heart is breaking. The way he is living is not what I envisioned for my son, my first born, my baby. I could spit nails I am so mad, but I also just feel like crying and I just want to shake him. I feel silly for airing this here, but I am too embarassed to discuss this with my rl friends right now, it is too fresh and I feel raw.

#20 astrid

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 10:47 PM

"When a child tells me this... I look at them and LAUGH! Then I say, "That is one of the STUPIDEST things I have ever heard come out of your mouth! When you move OUT of this house and you pay ALL of your bills and clean up ALL YOUR OWN MESSES, that is when YOUR LIFE starts. Til then, your life is just an extension of mine & Dad's life...."


Wow. How utterly dismissive and demeaning.

astrid

#21 katemary63

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 12:07 AM

These are our rules for adult kids: You have to be in school and passing your classes in order to stay and recieve any financial support. If not, you get 6 months to get a job and find a place to live. I'll be packing your things up and moving them out for you on day 180. If you are doing anything illegal and refuse to stop, you will have to leave immediately. If you are drinking heavily, doing drugs or have an addiction of some sort, you go to rehab now, or you are out. Absolutely no monetary support for an addict (except rehab).

We have one caveat. At age 18, our son went through a severe depression. Clinical depression runs in our family. We drank a lot to self medicate. He failed classes. He made terrible decisions. But we gave him a lot of "second" chances because we knew he was suffering from mental illness. He did slowly come out of it. We had a terrible time trying to decide exactly what to do and how harsh to deal with him but we prayed a lot and kept loving him. We were very close to giving him ultimatums, but we could tell he was making progress how ever slow it was. We insisted on medical help and drove him to the Dr. ourselves. He is now a senior in college and getting married this June. Yay!!

Anyway, anyone suffering from mental illness needs love and grace even though you may need to set some boundaries too. Young adults who are just lazy, irresponsible and immature get a great big hug and a kiss and an "I love you, see you for Sunday dinner." on their way out the door.

#22 miter

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 04:03 PM

This is very difficult.
Everyone hopes that the adult child follows the house rules. If they don't then this can cause stress.

Everyone hopes that the adult child can get on his own feet work and become independent. But what if they don't try as hard as you think they should?

One problem often encountered is good parent/bad parent situations.
I don't mean bad parent - maybe a parent that has higher expectations.
A passive parent will become the good parent. A parent with higher expectations of the adult child working towards independence can sometimes be more concerned, less diplomatic or has greater concern or urgency (sometimes you are not the POPULAR parent if you take on this role).
If this occurs, then sometimes parents that normally get along very good find that quarrels may occur causing stress for the entire household.

Of course I am speaking from experience.

When I think back - when my boy was - 4 or 5 years old I would have never dreamed that he would be 28 years old, 2 years unemployed, recently moved in to the guest house and sitting around doing nothing to fix his life.

As you see from my views, I feel greater urgency to resolve this on-going problem. I want him to get a job, a house, a car and maybe someday have a family.... he is like a boy waiting -- to grow up. He has none of the things I mentioned -- infact, he has little. We paid for school (and still are paying for vocational school). We really try to help, but help backfires. Of course the current trend of L O N G unemployment checks makes the problem worse.... he has lived 2 years on unemployment and is waiting to see if there is another extension - why work -- when you are paid to stay home?
I feel that this prolong period of unemployment insurance has made things worse.... he got out of his work routine

What can we do?
Should we set a time line?
Should we be patient AKA diplomatic or should we let him try it on his/her own?
How do we feel good about raising a child who can't or won't evolve into adulthood?
HOW... do you walk away from each day - not feeling crushed - because you are only able to enable the problem -- but you can't solve it.



I say the following words often -- to remind me that good intentions don't alway help.

Remember this:

YOU CAN NOT HELP SOMEONE - WHO IS UNWILLING TO HELP THEMSELF.

ANY ADVISE IS APPRECIATED.:confused:

Edited by miter, 31 March 2011 - 04:13 PM.


#23 Chris in VA

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 04:18 PM

:grouphug: to all that are dealing with adult children who just.don't.get.it.
Mine's a shining example.
Relapsed, making horrible choices, oh, it is so hard.
Even tho I don't wish it on anyone, I'm comforted to know I'm not alone.

Can't really say more at this point, but I wanted TxMary to know I understand.

#24 foxbridgeacademy

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 05:48 PM

I was that "adult" child. I moved out of my parents house due to their own issues (ended in divorce) and ultra conservative restrictions on myself. I didn't think I wanted much, to be able to hang out with friends, stay out overnight with only a phone call to let them know where I was. I worked full time, paid them rent, and still wasn't allowed any freedom. If they had not let me go, I don't think I would have made the horrible choices I did in my 20's. I got married and divorced way to young, did drugs, drank until I had a bleeding ulcer, and had way to many relationships. I want to make the point that this all happened AFTER I moved out. If I had been behaving that badly at home, I wouldn't have blamed them for kicking my rear out the door. So my advice is to take a step back and think about what they're doing that you disagree with. Can they adjust their behavior enough to satisfy you, yet retain their independance?

#25 TXMary2

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 05:53 PM

I just saw my thread has resurfaced. I am glad to say that the kid I was speaking of in my OP, has pulled himself together before he made any drastic mistakes. I keep praying he stays on track. He just recently decided he "wants more" from life and is finally planning on starting college in the fall.

#26 May

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 05:59 PM

Thank you for posting this. Dh and I are having issues with oldest dd. It's comforting to know, it's not just us.:grouphug: to all who are dealing with this.

#27 Amy1k

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 06:00 PM

I'm glad things are going better. It gives me hope. I never could have imagined how difficult it could be to parent an "adult." My oldest is about to turn 18...and he's a mess. :( It's difficult as a parent because I don't even know what the rules should BE! I mean, I want to treat him like an adult, but holy smokes, he doesn't act like one.

#28 KristinaBreece

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 06:13 PM

I guess in a way, I don't pay my own bills - DH does. And DH doesn't clean his own messes - I clean some of them. I just hate the way that sounds.


I agree. I don't want my kids to think that they're just accessories in my life. Even at 2 & 4, they are so obviously living their own lives... in a supportive, family setting. We all work together to help each other meet our individual goals.

I do tell my adult child that he is welcome to live here as long as (1) he wants to and (2) we want him to, but that we will only *want* him to if he's being kind, pleasant, cooperative, self supporting, and law abiding. He knows that living here is living in a family - not living as a single guy in our home. He helps me with things, I help him with things. I actually think that is *more* adult than a "everyone live on your own, handle your own stuff, rely on no one, and function as an individual rather than a family." Anyway, it works for us.


:iagree: again. My little brother (he's 23 now) thought that being a legal adult meant doing whatever he wanted, regardless of how it would affect the household. He ended up with us for a couple of months-- it just couldn't work. He wanted to stay here, eat our food, sleep all day & party all night. I made it very clear to him that he was welcome here if he could be part of the family-- we all contribute. (DH told him that if he wouldn't work, he wouldn't be allowed to eat.) He didn't like that & left. He drifted around for a while, staying with various friends. He still calls once in a while, asking to stay here or if we'll give him some money... I invite him to dinner whenever he calls (as I would any of my 5 brothers-- I have family dinners a couple of times a month, and think nothing of inviting my brothers for dinner whenever we are in touch), but since he's unwilling to contribute to our community, he's not welcome to stay here.

#29 elegantlion

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 06:21 PM

:grouphug: to all of you dealing with adult children.

My dh was a troubled youth and young adult. His family wasn't sure he'd live to see adulthood, part of the time he didn't want to either. He was in his late 20s when we met. Something changed in him, it wasn't merely my influence either. At 32 he started to look at life differently. At 37 he became a father. Now at 50 you wouldn't see the rebellious youth. He's an awesome father and determined not to have ds repeat the mistakes he did.

People can and do change. I know sometimes it's tough to keep the relationship in tact, but I'm glad his family didn't completely give up on him. I'm sure he broke their hearts a few times along the way.
:grouphug::grouphug:

#30 Peela

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 06:24 PM

Yes- my step dd22 lived with us for a while after she left highschool and it was horrible. Dh did eventually kick her out in big dramatic exit and I was glad because it affected our lives so much. It was sad though. She now has her own home and after doing housecleaning for a couple of years, and learning to support herself AND her boyfriend (who has a foot problem so for some reason she feels the need to completely support him) she applied for university and got into teaching this year. Yay. SHe is 22. Her relationship with her dad is rocky and I feel unhealthy on both sides but what to do- I am the step mum and I just had to step way back.
So in her case- neither of her parents could live with her as a young adult but forcing her to be independent has been a good thing- she got her act together.


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