What do I do?

[deleted account] ( 28 moms have responded )

My daughter is 20 and still at home, has finished studying (is a carpenter), but has no job or income, and is incredibly unmotivated.
How can I get her to move on with her life without having to kick her out of home? She doesn’t want to work or do more study, argues about looking for work and is incredibly stubborn.
She isn’t depressed or anything like that, just doesn’t want to do anything

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Tracy - posted on 07/17/2012

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I'm a tough mom. I love my kids and wouldn't mind if they probably lived with me forever - as long as they are contributing to the family AND to themselves in some way. My son (15 now) has heard from the time he was little: "I don't care if you go to college - it isn't for everyone. (for the record, he is dying to go to college and is super motivated) BUT, you will NOT sit on my couch instead of going to college. THAT isn't a plan. Have a plan that doesn't involve ANYONE'S couch because if you leave my house just to go crash on someone else's couch and do nothing, I will NOT hesitate to go over there and drag your a$$ off of THAT couch either." He knows how absolutely serious I am about this. I don't care if he chooses to travel the country and live out of his car, at least he is learning and growing while doing it. If he chooses to do something like that, then it's still an ACTIVE CHOICE, not a passive acceptance. The couch is NOT an option. He knows I will work three jobs if its needed to help him as long as he is doing everything he can to help himself. I will not lend/give even $1 to a couch man. My daughter is 2 and I hope to instill that same vehemence about the situation into her. On the flip side, my 21 year old stepson is a borderline couch man. He lives with his mommy (since him and his girlfriend broke up - he WAS living in HER dad's home for a while). He works temp jobs - sometimes not going to work for 3 weeks or more. He thinks if it's not MANLY work and paying $11+/hr that it's not worth his time. I keep pointing out that the 11/hr he earns for 10 hours but doesn't work the rest of the week is LESS money than $8/hr at 25 hours/wk or more. He doesn't agree. When he does get money, he spends it on a long time female friend that he loves but she doesn't love him. We recently had the option of paying his car insurance up for 3 months for him. I asked my husband, "what's the point? in three months he will just let it lapse AGAIN anyway." He couldn't argue that it wasn't the truth. We didn't pay.

I think it's time for you to tell your daughter that it's sink or swim time. Give her like 30 days notice to get a job and contribute or get the hell out. I'd bet at the end of 30 days she won't have a job. Guess what - she STILL has to get out. It's a kind of reverse of the idea "you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here".

Tina - posted on 07/17/2012

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This is a rather tough one, and I don't think you will like my answer. I say that you give her and ultimatum that she must have a job by a certain date, say 1 month away. If you have to, show her ads in the newspaper of jobs that would be appropriate for her. She may not be able to get a construction job right off, but she certainly might. Women working in construction are a rare breed and many companies are actively looking for females to round out their work force. If she cannot get a construction job right off, she can certainly do other jobs in the mean time. My daughter has been working at McDonalds for months now and she has finally gotten a job on campus at the college she attends. The things is, though, she was actively looking. You said a key point- "How can I get her to move on with her life without having to kick her out of home?" Sounds like you might be a tad of an enabler. If she knows that you will support her no matter what, there is no motivation for her to break out on her own. She needs to know how exciting it is to be working, living in your own place, doing your own thing and having no one telling you what to do. Maybe if you put it to her that way, telling her how exciting it is, she may just take the bait. Good luck, Mom. I will pray for you!

Sarah - posted on 07/16/2012

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I don't have this specific issue since my son is only two but my mother is dealing with this directly from my younger brother. Does she have access to computers, internet, video games etc? Cut her off from all the luxuries from living in your house. Also is she on ur car insurance? Maybe time to find her own. A lot of times parents are enablers (please don't take offense) and don't realize what they are actually giving their children.
I see it with my mom. Go figure cuz when I was a teen she made me find a job and pay rent...I didn't have a choice or I WOULD have been out on my ass

Ajanae - posted on 07/16/2012

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I told my mom to shutup and guess where she put me out the door and guess where i was banging on the door asking for forgivness. I dont know how its done in others ppl home but if my daughter ever got the heart to tell me to shutup she will be picking her teeth up off the floor and when the cops arrive i will personally handcuff myself. Thats only if i allow her to get to the phone

Tracie - posted on 07/16/2012

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If she's finished with her studies, then it's time for her to earn her keep, no matter where she lives. Since she can't contribute to the home financially, she'll have to earn her keep in other ways. The two of you can figure out what is needed. If she is unhappy with this arrangement, she knows where the door is.

She can live on her own with even a part time job if she's willing to deal with roommates. (a fun proposition when you're only 20) It's time to live, girl!!

The best gift we can give our children is the gift of self-reliance. Best of luck to you both!

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[deleted account]

Thanks guys, all your suggestions have been a great help. So; I gave her the ultimatum that she had until Friday (20th) to have a plan in place, she did just that - telling her that it was that way or the highway seemed to help, along with a very stern talking to by her grandmother (what would we do without them?)
And she has made some plans: She's signed up for Limited Service Volunteers - Boot camp by any other name, with the view of joining the army. She's done the medical and passed (we were all very surprised about that, because of her Stidor she was born with). She has work experience/limited pay on a house renovation, and has started to pay board again... and best of all - she cleaned her room!
So once again thank you for your help; turns out it was me who needed the talking to, as I needed to get a backbone around her. She was willing to do the work once she realised I had set limits on what I was willing to put up with.
Cheers

Elizabeth - posted on 07/20/2012

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Basically tell her what I've told my own kids. If your not in school then you get a job and pay rent. Or go live some where else. My kids know its not right to be a bum. Do you buy her clothes, give her gas money, pay for car insurance, let her use your car or gave her one to drive? It's time to stop all that. She is not a baby and hasn't been one for a awhile. But she is definitely suffering from what I call baby syndrome. If you are still doing any of the above then you are still babying her. No wonder she is not motivated when every thing is done for her. That's haw she see's it. Why do anything when some else will do it for her.

Mommy - posted on 07/17/2012

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I would say sit down with her and figure out what her goals are, and help her figure out the steps to reaching those goals. Make them time limited and objective. If after this she does not step up and start to work towards her goals, she needs to move out. It may be difficult for you, but think of it like this- If you do this now and she fails miserably she will have you to fall back on if she absolutely needs it. If you wait and let her continue down this path, one day you will not be here to rely on and she will learn this lesson in a much harsher way. You are doing more for her by forcing her to be independent than supporting her financially. You will be surprised what people are capable of when they HAVE to do something.

Fatima - posted on 07/17/2012

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It is hard (cause im on your situattion too) . But a learn that responsabilities, GOALS , in life is going to be all her life. If they dont whant to face that , where they going to be??
Is Time, now or just said bye, cause they have to sorvive not matter what. They dont know how long we going to live , like us a parents , and llike or not, they have to keep going.

Make rules in a peace of papers , and payment plan (rent, phone wherever is) make her sign so that give her that idea that you are sirious and take it or Live it :} Good Luck .

My son is going to have a meeting with his father , me , step dad and step mom to have a the last call. by the way he live with me. Be Strong , Be Firm!!!

Diana - posted on 07/17/2012

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I'm not entirely sure what to do about it now that she's 20, but I would start with giving her a specific date of when her "benefits" end. "You have 45 days to find a job. After that you will be responsible for your car, gas, car insurance, cell phone, clothing, etc." My sister & I have been having a similar conversation about her 19 year-old step-son. He is a sweetheart & does have a job, but the discussion was about why would he move out if he has all the benefits without having to contribute. This includes not having a girl/girlfriend sleep overnight or enter the bedroom at all for that matter. What incentive do they have to grow up if they have all the benefits of playing house without having to pay? LOL.

While I was growing up I was encouraged to get a part-time job when I was 14. I lived with my grandparents & received no spending money from my mother at all (She had none to give after my father passed away & I had a younger brother & sister). If there was anything that I wanted (but didn't need) I bought it myself. When I was old enough to drive I had to buy my own car with my own money and pay for my own insurance. If I wanted a cell phone I had to buy it & pay for it myself. Any schooling that I wanted to pursue, I paid for on my own. While I received plenty of love and attention, my family just didn't have the money to pay for extras and I never asked because I didn't want to be a burden. I valued what I had more because I paid for things with my own hard-earned money. Now I'm a mom with 2 daughters. I've already started prepping them (they are 12 & 10 yrs) for what will be expected when they are teenagers. I do it nicely by saying "Maybe when you are 14 you can get your first part-time job. Then you can save up for a car or your first year of college." My biggest concern is that they are prepared to take care of themselves in the event something would happen to my husband or me. (My father passed away from cancer when I was 11 & my mother from a heart attack when I was 25.)

Sarah - posted on 07/17/2012

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I must add that throwing her out wont help anyone. I know ppl are offering their opinion and that is their opinion but telling a young 20ish year old to just get out wont help any. Times are different now and the better way is to push her in the right direction of finding work and enjoying herself again. I do still stand tho that not letting her have the luxuries will help. Who wants to live with their parents without internet, great smart phones, a constant car, o freedom of enjoying other ppl without their parents breathing down their neck

[deleted account]

Sorry, but sometimes tough love is the only answer. I'm tired of hearing about kids who are actually adults feeling so entitled and taking advantage of their parents or other family. My in-laws let their son (my brother-in-law) move back in with them after his divorce and he stayed there for more than 2 yrs, before he finally left and moved out which made him 28 when he finally left. Him actually leaving was probably only motivated by meeting a girl who lived out of state that he was interested in. Thing is sometimes, if you coddle and don't do anything about it, then they won't do anything, nothing will change. I would sit down with your daughter, discuss rules and what you actually expect from her. If she plans on living there, she should help contribute by doing chores, cooking meals, cleaning, etc. She should also plan on looking for work and when she does get a job if she plans on continuing to stay with you, then she should help pay bills. It makes me angry to see so many adult children take advantage of their parents by sitting around doing nothing while their parents take care of them. I would also discuss what her long term plans are. Does she expect to live with you forever? That can't be a life for her or you as the parent. It sounds like it's time to have a real talk and set some boundaries and expectations now that she's an adult. It also sounds like she has the education behind her to go get some job experience. That might seem scary to her so maybe that's why she's not actively pursuing a new career with her new skills, but the longer she waits the harder it will be to get her foot in the door. If she keeps putting it off, it will be all the more easier for her to not try and let you keep taking care of her, it's much safer for her that way. You need to be the tough parent, but supportive, after all I'm not saying kick her out on the street right now, but you deffinitely need to show that you're serious and set a firm timeline as to when you expect some things to be happening. Especially, being involved in sharing duties and helping out at home, that doesn't have to wait with the starting of a job, she can be productive right now at home while she makes future plans for a job. If she argues with you or gives you lip, remind her that she is technically an adult now and should act like one. If she can't respect you or your rules, then she doesn't deserve to stay under your roof. If she needs help finding a job there are plenty of organizations and resources to help her do that, including job placement I'm sure from wherever she did her schooling. If she still doesn't agree to do anything and is ugly about it and ungrateful, then maybe you do need to kick her out. Sometimes, unfortunately some people have to learn the hard way and don't get it until they realize you really mean business. Good luck!

Sandy - posted on 07/16/2012

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Being unmotivated to do anything for than a few days is a sign of depression. She needs to get some kind of work to help with the expenses of the household, like food and utilities. Even high school children get jobs and help out around the house. If she refuses to work outside the house, perhaps you can make her work inside the house. Have her clean the house, wash the laundry and dishes, do the yard work, wash the cars, do the grocery shopping, etc. She needs to feel as though she is useful and can accomplish things on her own. Hopefully, that will get her to move on with her life.

Ajanae - posted on 07/16/2012

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She takes you as an absolute joke i guess you can wait on her time but in the mean time you dont have to do anything for her.me as a mom i wouldnt let my child starve so i will feed her but thats it as far as clothes shoes i wouldnt buy. Also the phone i wouldnt pay the bill computer t.v and any other electrical product would be shut down because it cost money that she isnt paying. You might have to result to packing her stuff yourself. She obvisously knows or think you arent going to follow through with your demands.

Sabel - posted on 07/16/2012

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You do not deserve to be told to "Shut Up" in your own home for merely encouraging her to move ahead. Stand your ground so she knows you're serious, or she will just walk all over you. I have children of my own and I still wouldn't dare to tell my mom to shut up..........

[deleted account]

Like I said, she has the tools, just can't get her moving. I gave her until Friday to be on a course, have a job, be on benifit. She just told me to shut up???? I HATE being a mum sometimes

Ajanae - posted on 07/16/2012

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As long as you keep allowing her to do nothing thats exactly what she will do nothing. I know it hurts to have to kick her out but that is teaching her the real world. Noone not a friend or family member will let you live in their house without paying something. Consider the fact that if something ever happened to you she would be completely lost as an adult. Part of being a good parent is being hard in order to prepare them for the real world. I say this because my mother did the same things for me and i forever love her and appreciate her for it but i also blame her for not putting her foot down. Now i am out on my own with a family of my own and again she gave me alot of space even after having a baby she babysat for free let me go out anytime i wanted brought everything the baby need and everything i needed. Now that i have no babysitter unless i pay ,cant go out unless my child is with me and have to pay bills plus buy food n everything in between for me and my child and house i wish she wouldve gave me the tools to become a independant women living in a world that cost alot

User - posted on 07/16/2012

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By the way, my 21 yr old son works. I,had to give both he and his dad that most difficult talk. As a mom it breaks your heart to say it, but as a mom it would destroy me if I let him do nothing with himself. College was not for him, but work is a must if you want just the basic necessities not to mention the extras. I told them both my son had to get a job or move out! I'll never know if I would have been able to follow through because I didn't have to. I gave him a week to,do it his way, then it was my way. He is currently employed at a therapeutic day school for people with autism for 2 years now. I got him the job since I also,wor there. Now I would like him to go to college but that has to be his decision. At 21 he pays his share of the bills in the house and I pray he gets an education in the field we are in. If you've done all you can do, all is left is giving her that date of what you expect, if she can't fill the expectations then she must leave. They don't learn to survive by sitting on our couch watching our television and eating our food. The world doesn't work that way. Good luck!

User - posted on 07/16/2012

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All that is left is to give her a date to have something started, school or job, or she'll need to move out.

Paula - posted on 07/16/2012

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Start charging her rent. No, better yet have a lease contract written up for "her room". Include in it such items as groceries (three meals per day, snacks and drinks other than water not included), gas, electric, water, cable (if it is in her room), etc. Make sure to also include a monthly payment, payment schedule, and penalties for paying late. I would also state in the document that if the rent is more than 30 days late, you can and will evict her. She's a grown woman and I'm sure she likes to be treated as such in every other aspect of her life. Why should this one be any different?

Donna - posted on 07/16/2012

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I am wondering if you have taken her out away from the house and had a non threatening talk about her goals.
I also had what I call a "late bloomer"
Turns out he just liked living at home.
He even had and has a great job that afforded him the ability to move out.
He just did not want to be alone.
Time, love and patience helped him thru.
On his own now and doing as well as I knew he could
He just had to know he could too.

Sabel - posted on 07/16/2012

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Sounds like you're all set, except you did not mention making a written contract for giving a specific deadline. Something in writing can make it seem more concrete. Then follow through. Don't be hysterical/emotional. Hold your ground and don't be dragged into an arguement. Treat it like a business agreement.

[deleted account]

Thanks everyone, but I have a slight problem with your suggestions; all my kids have had to help around the house - cooking, cleaning, shopping etc. My mother told me that a parents job is to teach her children to leave home. So I made that a point so she will be ready to look after herself. She also has a CV and I can bully her to apply for jobs. I've even told her that if she dosn't start paying board and pulling her weight as an adult finacally then she can pack her bags and find someone who will leave her to lay around. So what do I do next?

Tracey - posted on 07/16/2012

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If she can't find paid work get her to do voluntary work, looks good on a cv and gets her off her butt.

Sabel - posted on 07/16/2012

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Set a date that she will have to have a job and start paying rent, food expenses, etc. Make these conditions for staying in your home. Write up a contract with the specifics and both of you sign it and STICK TO IT. Having a contract with my oldest son made it things very clear and pleasant for everyone involved. He functioned as an adult and it was a blessing for me to have another adult in the house. Boot her out if she doesn't comply. BTW, it would not be "kicking her out" really, if she doesn't follow through. It would be her making the choice to leave by not complying. You are being very nice and kind by a. putting up with her immaturity this long and b. giving her a chance to find work and start paying household expenses like the adult she is. Hopefully she follows through and can have the learning growth experience of paying rent and budgeting etc. while under your roof, but again you can't help it if she makes the choice to leave right away by choosing not to be responsible. Good parents allow their children to bear the consequences of their choices.

Sharlene - posted on 07/16/2012

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You need to tell your daughter to get a job. And if she wont then like you said kick her out of the house. She will learn the hard way to get of her butt and get a job and earn her own money like everyone else does . Does she pay you board for living under your roof

Louise - posted on 07/16/2012

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Yes if she has nothing to do put her to work around the house. Washing ironing cooking dinner. Bring home the job pages and go with them with her, or better still send her C.V off for some jobs and see if you get any interviews.

Set her a deadline. Tell her you will give her six weeks to find a job and then after that she has to pay some rent to you or move out. She is far to old to be sitting around the house. Any job is better than none. She may not get one in her chosen field but even flipping burgers would give her money in her pocket.

Michelle - posted on 07/15/2012

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If she's a stubborn person then telling her to do things is only going to make her dig her heels in more.

Maybe don't make so "nice" to be at home. Make her pull her weight around the house doing chores, cleaning etc. Send her on errands to pay bills or do grocery shopping. Make her cook a meal a couple of times a week for everyone.

Let her know that since she is home all day she can help out with the running of the house.

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