How to motivate a 21 year old?

Liz - posted on 06/08/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )




My son is 21. He studied for years and failed ALL his subjects in his second year. He got a job 3 months ago and was re-trenched at the end of his 2nd month of employment. He is so un-motivated. He will not look for a job and is quite content to stay at home. We have taken all privileges away from him and that has not made any difference to him at all. Any ideas? We are becoming desperate!


Leanne - posted on 07/24/2013




ok im in a similar situation with my 21 yr old son as this has caused my marriage from my husband ( stepdad ) to seperate how do i do it without feeling guilty as to tough love approach to my son.. i know it has to be done but the quilt over takes me. any answers would be appreciated..ta lea

Louise - posted on 06/08/2010




At 21 your son is an adult time for tough love. Tell him he has three months in which time he has to find a job and hold it down. After 3 months he is out of the house to find his own way in the world. He has to learn that there is nothing for free in this world. Mean what you say and get him some big boxes to pack his stuff in. If this is not enough motivation I don't know what is. There are jobs to be had out there not always ones that you want but enough to get your foot on the ladder. You do not have to throw him out after the three months but don't let on. Play hard ball. He should be shocked into action!

Allison - posted on 07/08/2012




Let me see...Does he play video games at all? Sounds like both of my sons who are also addicted to video games!

JuLeah - posted on 06/08/2010




Is there a reason he is at home? At 21, most are living on their own, or at least paying rent if still at home.
If he has free room and board, free meals, free TV .... then he has a good gig going. Why would he leave?
You speak about taking away his privileges as if he were ten.
I am not sure you are doing him good allowing him to remain ten years old.
There is an Osprey nest near our house and late in the summer, if the baby bird has not yet made an effort to fly, Mom pushes it out of the nest. They always fly.

Kaitlin - posted on 07/08/2012




he's an adult. Is he paying rent? If he's not contributing, and he's just being lazy, kick him out! He's an adult, and as much as you love him, you've already provided for him and now you are just coddling him. that will just hold him back.


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Linda - posted on 10/27/2013




My Son has moved out, but still needs money for food, rent, phone and car insurance. Can only hold down temp jobs that last a few months then.....jobless for a few months. Keeps hinting He wants to move back home where everything is easier. He moves slow, thinks slow and now will not apply for a job unless it is just the right job....I am going broke.

Jenn - posted on 06/08/2010




Yeah, I'd say it's time to kick him out or make him start paying rent and contributing to the household, no ifs ands or buts!

Angie - posted on 06/08/2010




He's 21, he needs to be out of your house and on his own. There are no "privileges" that a 21 year old should have. Be tough, Mom, he needs that!

Charlie - posted on 06/08/2010




Hes an adult time to start acting like one , get a job , pay rent and bills if he cant help you guys out then he needs to find his own place otherwise he will never find his feet and will always rely on his parents .

Tisha - posted on 06/08/2010




I'm 27 and I would never dream of loafing off my parents. I moved out at 18 and have been working and making my own way ever since. However, my 20 year old brother seems to be just like your son. My mother finally realized that the only way to get through to him was tough love. She gave him 30 days to find another place to live. He moved out and he's had no choice but to figure out how to make his own way. He's been on his own for over a year now.

Jen - posted on 06/08/2010




kiss his ass out of the house time to let him find his own feet he will soon see it very hard n cum running bk with lots of motviation

Danielle - posted on 06/08/2010




i am 22 and a LOT of my friends are 21 and STILL living at home..why?..because its easy! no bills and not having to clean after yourself. My parents had installed in me a work ethic since day 1...if i didnt go to uni then i was out of the house pretty much. i had to pay my own way as soon as i had a job or contribute financially in some way.

In my opinion i would tell him to start lookng for a job as of TODAY! if he hasnt sent an application away for jobs by the end of the week then he has 1 month to get a job or he is out! if that month passes then i would have the locks changed and everything he owned out on the front yard and have turned his room into a spare room.

OR make him your SLAVE. MAKE him study and go to tafe or uni MAKE him study for the exams. Have him to EVERYTHING for u and ur husband ( if you have one),,the washing, cleaning, mowing and cooking. DO NOT give him a cent. NO TV until he pays electricity..go out a LOT and make sure you dissconnect the electricity so he cant watch tv.

Make it CLEAR that it is no onger his home, but YOUR HOME. he is an adult and should be out of your place by now...

I think it is more then time to start the tough love approach.

Sharon - posted on 06/08/2010




I'm 40 still at home with my mum, partner and our son. However at 16 I was given 2 options carry on with futher education pass all exams or get a job and begin to pay my way. I chose the latter I did move out for 3 years and never struggled to pay my bills as I'd been paying my way for years. I moved back when I realised mum was lonely and I missed her too much. It's time he realised all the good things in life are worked for and although you'll help him you can't and won't support him.

Jodi - posted on 06/08/2010




So when you say you have taken away privileges, is he sleeping in the backyard? I assume he isn't paying rent? I assume he is getting a hot meal? A washing machine in which to do his washing (or are you still doing that too...)? A bathroom in which to shower?

What do you mean by taking away privileges?

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