How to deal with adult children who can not hold down a job

Janice - posted on 02/19/2013 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I am overwhelmed with sadness and guilt over my 2 sons ages 27 and 29. I have done everything I can to encourage them to get a job and live independently but have failed miserably as have they. The older one is ADHD with mild aspergers. The younger one is ADHD with bipolar disorder. Nothing has ever been easy with these two. One has a hs diploma the other a GED. What few jobs they have ever had they never made it beyond a few months without getting fired. Neither one has had a girlfriend in years as there are few girls who would want to date guys like them. They have few friends too same reason. We have paid for them to live in apts rather than with us because my husband can't stand to have them around. I feel hopeless that they will ever have a normal life- steady job, significant other, friends. They are both very depressed as am I. I feel like a failure as a mother and that they are doomed to a miserable sad life of nothingness.

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Sandi - posted on 02/03/2014

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After reading your stories I don't feel so alone in this unfair world.. My son is 29 and still lives at home.. He suffered a brain injury a few years ago and is on disability.. my other son has autism and is a lot easier to handle then my older son who is prone to rages and verbal abuse.. I am a single mom.. for 17 years now!!.. I feel very tied down and low on self esteem.. he is waring me down.. I have no idea what will become of him and I cannot continue this path much longer.. I have to admit that I do not like him much anymore. my emotional self has hardened towards him. He is mean and loud.. I cannot say 2 words to him before he starts raging.. I have asked him to leave repeatedly but he wont. He does not get enough income to support himself and I can barely support us all, so I cannot help him in that area.. I have counselors and work assistance helping him find something but there is nothing out there that he wants to do...Its never good enough.. .I wish I could offer you some advise to help your situation but....... However I do Thank you for sharing...

Elizabeth - posted on 11/26/2013

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I know just how you feel. I have a 27 yr old son who just got fired yesterday from a good job they said he tries hard but is hard to manage and can't seem to follow procedures. He lives at home and also has lost his license due to a second dui and it is so difficult to watch the heartache he experiences my husband and I are at wit's end as we have no idea how to deal with his issues we have taken him to therapists, psychiatrists, clergy, etc., no one seems to have an answer. he has been a known substance abuser and has some issues on his record. he has been fired repeatedy but this last job seemed to be something he liked very much and it is so embarrassing as well as depressing. going to support groups like aa and na just say to throw him out etc and though I do not give him money he has been paying rent, etc. to us,
once again with no license no girlfriend and all the repercussions of a dui looming I live in constant anxiety about his future. I am considering an in patient program that takes people with litte or no insurance to really get to the crux of what truly is going on. however, he is depressed and angry now and it is difficult to speak to him. Know that you are not out there alone.
hugs beth

Janis M - posted on 03/15/2013

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wow, I can really relate to you. My husband is threatening to move out because he can't stand being around my son. My son has ADHD and a drug problem. I believe there could be other problems undiagnosed as well. He looks normal and has a good social life but cannot keep a job. I have considered getting him his own place but feel guilty because my other son is succeeding without my funds. My son will be 26 this weekend. We also feel like failures. I do think alot has to do with the ADHD. It is so difficult to nail down the medicine and treatment that will help them succeed. Just know you are not alone.

Holly - posted on 02/21/2013

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for the psychotic melt downs you need to get him into a facility that will treat him... do not let him check himself in, you check him in. ALSO if he is destroying property and threatening you call the police. he needs to be treated as an adult, not a teenager. this is enabling him. I work for a psychiatrist/ addiction therapist, I have seen MANY people like this who have NEVER been held accountable for their actions.

Holly - posted on 02/21/2013

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kick them out. too many people label their children with disabilities to make excuses for them... my grandmother is bipolar, i am bi polar, the doctor i work for is bipolar. many people who are bipolar think they are ADHD because of their manic phases... when they are manic, they bounce around like they are ADHD... not the same thing... because when they are not in their manic phases they aren't bouncing around any more, they are seriously depressed. the reason that few girls want to date them is because they can't provide anything for them, nor do they have the motivation to. they live at home with their mother and almost 30yo... kick them out... give them 1 month to find a job and a place. I will tell you they will be very motivated to finding a place. make them pack all their crap into boxes and schedule apartment viewings. make sure that they are actively LOOKING. get a calendar and mark off days. if you need to go with them to look at apartments then fine. but make sure that they do.

Janice - posted on 02/21/2013

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I'm a nervous wreck. My husband blocked him from my phone but he won't know it. He will just think I'm not answering his texts which will make him even madder. I am not allowed to speak to him right now, my husband wants him to call him if he needs anything. As an enabler for all these years, I was in contact with my son every day. This is rough!

Dove - posted on 02/20/2013

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If he is threatening to kill himself... you get him committed to the hospital on a suicide watch. If he is a danger to himself or others you do no one any favors by blocking him and ignoring him. You can't force him to get help UNLESS he is making threats... then he's either locked in a hospital... or could wind up in jail.

Make the calls before someone ends up dead. Please.

Janice - posted on 02/20/2013

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And yes I am going to counseling and my husband is going with me. Te bipolar one will not take meds or go to therapy. We have tried many times. The other one takes meds for depression none of it really works. Hopefully now that he is unemployed and has time he will agree to counseling. He has so many issues causing his depression. He's obese and has trouble socially. He's addicted to computer games and stays up all night. He got fired for sleeping at his desk 3 times. It's all so sad. I'm trying to stop blaming myself for their failure but it's hard not to.

Janice - posted on 02/20/2013

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Had a rough morning with both of them. Older one won't answer phone. Younger one threatened to kill himself, then tried to get me to give him 2000 cash to fix truck. A lot of back and forth texting. Him getting belligerent. My husband took my cell phone away and blocked his number from calling or texting. Then my son came to our house and got violent smashed the mirror off truck cut up his arm but luckily I wasn't there. My husband said I am not to talk to him at all. I'm kind of scared and nervous about what he will do when he finds out we blocked him from my cell.

Shawnn - posted on 02/20/2013

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As Dove said, finding them resources to teach them to be responsible adults is your best option. As it stands...they know you're going to support them. This gives them no incentive to attempt to seek assistance to manage their problems.

Dove - posted on 02/19/2013

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Are they in counseling and receiving treatment for their disabilities? If not... urging them to go (as well as yourself) is a good first step. Especially for the depression that is coming out of all of this.

There are also job counselors and training programs that may be able to help them find jobs that they are well suited for. If they end up simply unable to hold ANY job.... trying to get SSI is an option.

They need to work towards their full potential and find happiness despite any limitations in ability. You can't MAKE that happen for them, but seeking out resources that may be available to them and informing them of those resources could help all of you.

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