Rona Maynard Let's Talk

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When adult children move home: do you have a story to share?

RM
OCT
15

When our son moved back home in his mid-20s, we all thought he'd stay for a couple of months until he planned his next step into the adult world. Turned out we had him with us for a couple of years. And by the time he finally moved out (into a house we helped him buy), things had grown a bit tense between us and our beloved only child.

We were tired of repeating, as Ben headed out for a night on the town, "Call if you're not coming home" and then waking up at 4 a.m., knowing he was...where, exactly? Sometimes I'd plead, "Look, it's not because you're our son that we have to know where you are. We'd ask the same thing of a houseguest. We worry, for God's sake. We wonder if you're lying in a gutter somewhere." What can I tell you? We got nowhere. He had his pride, I guess. So we had parental jitters as we listened for the turn of his key in the lock. It was as if none of us could truly grow up while Ben lived under our roof.

With the economy headed for continuing turmoil and layoffs picking up steam, it stands to reason that more people will be bunking in with mom and dad---not because they want free laundry service (as disgruntled baby boomers have tended to think) but because they simply can't afford their own place.

My generation couldn't wait to leave home and find out how it feels to be a rolling stone. So of course we've been perplexed to see our children return to the nest without the least sign of embarrassment. Now in these days of dwindling retirement savings, I'm starting to contemplate the other side of this increasingly common family drama. Will more baby boomers be forced to move in with kids who still collect paycheques? (Please, please, not me.) Is this already starting to happen, or am I just overthinking?

Much as I crave a space of my own (which my husband gets to share, provided we have separate bathrooms), I think the plus side of this trend could go way beyond solving a financial emergency. Maybe we'll start enjoying one another's company in new and unexpected ways. Maybe we'll learn that we have more power to help one another than we knew. 

Okay, I've done enough musing about maybes. Now it's your turn. I'd like to know what you think. Do you have any experience with multi-generational living? Can you see it affecting your life anytime soon? If you're not comfortable posting a reply here (and I know some of you are rather private), just shoot an e-mail to rona@ronamaynard.com.

 

 

Posted by Rona October 15, 2008 @ 9:12 AM. File in On my mind, Family ties

 
 

Your comments

Number of Comments  101 responses to "When adult children move home: do you have a story to share?"

 
Comment
Pamela
January 22, 2009 at 3:03AM
 
Hi. My name is Pamela. My adult son (21) moved in with me last May. It has been an adjustment mainly financially. He works PT and is unable to pay what would be considered a regular rent if renting through a rental unit or personal landlord. Utilities have increased as well as food expenses. For the most part, we're able to manage - however - there are times it is draining. Recently, he broke an established house guideline which involved friends/guests. I am in the process of trying to decide how to implement changes as a result. We've had a lengthy discussion about what happened which went well. It has been difficult wearing dual hats - mom and landlord. My goal is to maintain a good relationship while expecting accountability for choices - that can be tricky. If there's anyone out there that has had to deal with something like this and could offer some suggestions as to what to do when household guidelines/rules are broken that would be great!

For the most part - it's a good learning experience for both of us - I have seen growth in myself as well as him during this time. I think if I can help during this transition in his life and it makes a difference in the long run - then it's worth it. One thing to remember is to continue to take good care of myself and not allow his stuff to become mine. He is his own person and I am mine - it's important to give each other that space and respect.

If parents are wavering over a decision to let their adult child move back in - I'd say - at the very least - give it a try. Make a contract, charge rent, assign household chores, establish household guidelines/rules. Basically treat it as you would if you were renting to a complete stranger. It's good for them as at some point in their life they most likely will be renting from someone and it's good training in terms of helping them understand what all is involved in having a contractual agreement.

In today's world - family is very important and if we can help each other along the way - we're all in a better place for it!
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
January 22, 2009 at 5:05 AM
 
Welcome, Pamela, and thank you for sharing your experience. I'm sure it will resonate with other parents in your situation---and I ought to know; I've just interviewed a few for my upcoming magazine piece. So, what to do when your adult son breaks the rules? By accepting his behaviour, you invite him to repeat it. Maybe it's not that serious. Maybe you can live with it. But if it's driving you nuts, then the only solution is to tell him, without recrimination, that this arrangement isn't working and he'll have to make other plans. After all, it's your home. (I got this advice from a therapist, just in case you're wondering.) True confession: when my adult son moved back to the nest, he often broke one of the few house rules we had (Phone if you're not coming home tonight). To him it just didn't seem important. To us it was a question of common courtesy. We chose to live with this behaviour because, for the most part, he was a responsible family member and great company, to boot. We had to ask ourselves, "What's the bottom line?" Not easy. And yet, in the end, sharing the house as adults was a huge growth experience for our family. We learned to see one another as three-dimensional adults, not simply as mom, dad and son.
 
Comment
lisa
March 22, 2009 at 2:02PM
 
I am a single mother and my adult son returned home again last year. He doesn't work, go to school, or regularly apply for jobs. I don't like this situation but his only alternative is the homeless shelter again, and then getting kicked out of there and having to (his words) sell drugs to live. I'm tired of the guilt, arguments over my rules, which he thinks are ridiculous and won't follow, and being used. I am resenting him again and this behavior causes a lot of problems in out relationship. I'm afraid if I kick him out this time it will be irreparable. So, no, I'm not having a good experience with this.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
March 22, 2009 at 3:03 PM
 
Lisa, I don't wonder that you're feeling used. Your son knows that by freeloading at mom's place, he can continue to duck responsibility for the mess he's making of his life. You can't change his behaviour (although I'm sure you've tried mightily) but you CAN change your response. It's time to stop enabling your son and tell him in no uncertain terms that if he can't live by your rules in your home, he must leave. Of course you'll feel conflicted about this--and guilty. And yes, tough love is a high-risk strategy. But no more risky than letting him drift along, a problem kid who can't grow up. Only when he faces the consequences of his own actions can he start to make progress. You're in a tough situation, Lisa. But you're not alone. There are lots of other parents who have stood where you're standing. You can learn from their stories. If there isn't a support group in your community, I'm sure you can find one online. I wish you well as you take on the biggest challenge in your life as a mother.
 
Comment
Susan
June 20, 2009 at 9:09AM
 
My 24-year-old daughter lost her job thousands of miles away. My husband (not her dad) and I agreed to take her in for a few months (until the weather got cold here in upstate NY). My daughter said she would get a job and save money so she could move back south, and agreed to do some things around the house to help out.

My husband and I flew in and drove with my daughter (and all her belongings and cat) in her cramped car, of course paying all expenses (hotel, food, etc.) enroute. We put her in a nice upstairs guest room with its own bathroom. She has been with us just over 2 months now.

During her time here, we asked her to watch the house and our cat while we went on a 2-week long-planned trip abroad. She'd agreed to stay home the entire time because our cat is diabetic and needs extra attention. Within 24 hours of our leaving, we found out she had arranged for someone else to care for the cat while she went out of town. When we returned from the trip (around midnight) we discovered the cat had thrown up all over the place over a period of time and she hadn't bothered to clean any of it up.

In the two months my daughter has been here, she has yet to even set the table or wash the dinner dishes. The room and bathroom she's been using are such a mess that she began using another bathroom. I put an immediate stop to that and asked her to clean up her space; she agreed, then didn't do it for several days, finally doing a half-hearted job this morning before leaving for the weekend.

She has had intermittent work, then finally hired on doing retail 30 hours a week for a month. She quit earlier this week saying she couldn't handle it, and began looking (one day only) for other employment. We are awaiting the results from 2 interviews. It would be great if she had steady work.

She has managed to delay her car payments for 2 months through an arrangement with a creditor, but continues to buy Starbucks. I am pretty sure she has saved virtually nothing. Her fixed expenses are pretty high, but she should still be able to save if she doesn't buy Starbucks or go out too often. I recognize that, at 24, she does need to have some amount of outside entertainment.

She talks back to me like she's a teenager again, uses profanity and says she can do as she wishes. I remind her that she's in my home and that there are rules to be followed. Primarily, I expect to be respectful of our property and values while she's here. I've suggested it'd be nice if she helped out as she'd previously agreed. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing this. She claims to be tired, busy, or anything else in order to avoid helping out.

Since she reacts so negatively whenever I try to discuss things with her, I wrote her an e-mail, reminding her of our agreement and suggesting that she needs to plan to move out if she can't abide by its terms.

I am concerned that all of this is wearing on the relationship with my husband. We've only been married a few years.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
June 20, 2009 at 12:12 PM
 
Dear Susan, I don't wonder that you're feeling so frustrated. Your daughter has been taking advantage of your patience---because she knows she can. She'll continue to do so until you lay down the law in no uncertain terms. It's time for her to move out, with no more handouts or concessions from you. Your e-mail sounds rather gentle to me. You've told her she needs to plan to move out if she can't abide by the terms of your agreement. If? She has broken that agreement time after time. She undoubtedly expects you'll continue to give her one more chance. She'll be horrified and angry when you lower the boom. But lower it you must, with a firm deadline, before your daughter unravels your marriage and what's left of your peace of mind. Do it face-to-face, with your husband present. Focus on the facts, not your emotions. You're in for a rough spell while you work this out. In similar situations, adult children have been known to tell their parents, "I'll have to live on the street if you kick me out" or "I'll have to start selling drugs again." Your daughter will do everything she can to make you feel guilty. And as a mother, you're bound to feel guilty: don't we all want to shield our children from harm? Don't we all want our kids to be happy? Trouble is, at this stage you cannot make your daughter happy. She will not be ready for adult life until she learns to solve adult problems. She won't be motivated to try until you stop rescuing her. The pressure on you will be so intense that you'll need support besides your husband. I highly recommend that you consult a therapist to coach you through this process (consider it an investment in your family's future and your own). You may also be able to find an online support group. I don't know of one but will put out feelers and share any leads that I find. Hang in there, Susan. Wishing you well, Rona
 
Comment
Pamela
June 22, 2009 at 5:05AM
 
Susan: It sounds like you have gone above and beyond putting things in place to help your daughter get back on her feet. She clearly is taking advantage of your hospitality. I agree with Rona, that it is time for her to leave. I would talk it over with your husband, agree on a reasonable date, and speak to your daughter together about her moving out. She needs to see that you both are unified and firm on your decision and at the same time will be there for her without enabling her to continue making excuses for her situation. She is the only one that can truly make her situation better by doing the necessary work to make it happen. I don't know where you live, however, they may be some assistance programs that would be beneficial to her - for example government housing, assistance with utilities, etc. while she is securing full-time employment. If you are aware of what your community offers and can share that with your daughter to explore, that is also a way of helping her. Ultimately, though, as we already mentioned, it is up to her to make a difference in her own life. If you continue to allow her to live in your home under the present circumstances, it will only cause more frustration, bitterness, and potentially interfere with your relationship with your husband - which at this stage in our lives, should be our main priority. Your daughter may feel like you're choosing your spouse over her, when it's not about that at all. You are being a good role model by demonstrating your desire and determination to have a strong marriage. Your daughter may balk at the idea of being told she has to move out - however - down the road - in the some near distant future - if she does the hard work - she will be the one that benefits the most from having to figure things out on her own. Keep in mind that you are helping her to be self-sufficient - a contributor to the greater community. Rona had good advice when she said to stick to the facts and not operate from emotions - easier said than done - however - you can do it! Hang tough - stay focused - and keep it simple. Once you've made your decision - stick to it - ask your husband or a good friend to help you stay accountable with your plan - best of luck!
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
June 22, 2009 at 6:06 AM
 
Well put, Pamela. I particularly like your suggestion of enlisting a friend to ensure that the plan sticks, and your forward-looking emphasis on the daughter as its major beneficiary down the road. This is not a contest: mother against daughter. It's about the family pulling together to secure the adult child's independence and the couple's marriage.
 
Comment
Susan
June 22, 2009 at 6:06AM
 
Pamela and Rona,
Thanks very much for your comments. I know you're right about setting a deadline; I've asked her to abide by the original agreement to move out when the weather gets cold here in upstate NY. Depending on one's definition of "cold," that could be anywhere from early October to early December, either of which would suit me fine. One complication in all of this is that she has no plans to stay in this area, so her leasing a place here (which is admittedly very inexpensive) makes no sense.

Do you both think that 2 months is already stretching it?

We do need a face-to-face meeting with my daughter that includes my husband but excludes emotion. He'll do a better job than I. My 2 biggest worries are damaging the relationships I have with both him and my daughter.

Thanks again. Susan
 
Comment
Rona Maynard
July 01, 2009 at 12:12PM
 
I\\\'ve been beating the bushes of cyberspace for an online support group I could recommend to parents like Susan, Pamela and Lisa. To my amazement, nothing turned up. Meanwhile, I keep encountering parents who are struggling to cope with adult kids in their home. Here\\\'s a link to my latest post on this subject: http://www.ronamaynard.com/index.php?wanted-the-online-support-group-for-parents-with-adult-kids-at-home Don\\\'t miss the comments.
 
Comment
Susan
July 14, 2009 at 7:07AM
 
Hello again. I'm back to let you know that the face-to-face meeting has yet to take place, probably because we're in a cycle of good behavior / bad behavior.

My daughter and I have had multiple discussions, usually centering around the need for her to take care of the space she occupies, to be considerate and respectful toward us and our belongings. Yesterday I couldn't stand the room any longer, closed her door and posted a somewhat tongue-in-cheek "dear tenant" note on it. In return, I found a diatribe shoved under my bedroom door this morning saying what an awful mother I am (and that I've always been awful). I also discovered that she actually did a bit of room clean-up, so she knows it needs to be done.

I know she needs to be elsewhere, as our lifestyles are totally incompatible, yet I find it difficult to push her out. She finally got a temp-too-hire job that began yesterday, so perhaps when the 2-week probation period is up (assuming she's actually hired), I can ask her to find a room elsewhere. (She'll probably be on her best behavior between now and then....).

I know on an intellectual level that nobody can take advantage of me without my permission, but I guess she knows which buttons to push for that permission.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
July 15, 2009 at 11:11 AM
 
You're right, Susan. She's pushing your buttons---because you let her. No "perhaps" about it, your daughter needs to go. You decide which is more difficult: letting her treat you with contempt or letting her face the consequences of her behavior. She's running your household and your life. Are you prepared to live with that?
 
Comment
Kathy
August 10, 2009 at 11:11AM
 
My husband and I took our daughter, her husband, and their baby daughter in at the end of May. They are both 23. Our son-in-law found a job within 2 weeks and today started a second job. Our daughter does not work and claims that she can not get a job because she is breast-feeding. They moved here when he lost his job. Well the baby is only nursing -when Mom wants her to because she is taking a bottle more and more often. My husband works full-time and I work about 30 hours a week and have a bad back and hip problems. Today I am home trying to get some rest because I am run down and the first thing she did was ask if I could watch the baby because she couldn't sleep last night. I feed the baby and tried to rock her to sleep, went into their room to find a pacifier and couldn't because it was a disaster zone. I am worn out. I know that I have to put my foot down to her and demand that she help around the house. It is easier said than done. My daughter has PMS but denies it. I am afraid she is going to walk out with the baby in a fit of anger. Also, they do not have a car because they could not aford the payments. He is working 2 jobs to save up for a car and is hoping to be able to move out by December. I don't know if I can handle this that long.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 11, 2009 at 11:11 AM
 
I hear you, Kathy. A middle-aged woman with health problems and a part-time job is in no position to be on call for child care. Now your daughter needs to get the message loud and clear. What she might do in a fit of anger is her problem, not yours---unless you have reason to believe she might harm her baby. From what you've said here, that doesn't seem to be your concern.
 
Comment
Susan
August 11, 2009 at 5:05AM
 
Hi Kathy. Welcome to the club. It sounds like you need to do what I need to do: learn to say "no," and make your daughter and son-in-law stick to their December deadline. Your daughter and mine are taking advantage of our hospitality and vulnerabilities. Importantly, and particularly since you have health issues, you need to take care of yourself, and tell your daughter you have too much to handle without caring for your granddaughter as well.

On my end, my daughter has said she's moving out this weekend (she doesn't like my rule that she can't have visitors after 10 p.m. weeknights). The bad side: she may be moving in with a guy she has known for only a couple of months. We'll see if she actually leaves. The grapevine says she will leave her cat with me (an idea my husband doesn't like...). Tomorrow marks 4 months that she's been with us.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 11, 2009 at 11:11 AM
 
Susan, I'll be crossing your fingers for you this weekend. Seems to me cat is a small price to pay for reclaiming your home. If your daughter is still around next week, it's time to set another rule--and keep talking deadlines.
 
Comment
Bridgie
August 19, 2009 at 6:06AM
 
Rona, It is odd there is not an on-line support group listed. Perhaps we should start one on yahoo groups?

Both my adult children have cycled in and out for periods of time. My daughter is 28 and my son is 25. Currently we have our home to ourselves! Our daughter moved into an apartment with a 1 year lease one week ago! It turns out our son will be moving home again at the end of the month. Our so called freedom has been hard won but is so quickly evaporating it's impossible to appreciate.

I'm worried about my son's return. He has this 'renaissance man' approach to career development. He appears headed no where. He claims he wants to become a physician. He's yet to actually complete his undergrad units. He perpetually has one more class. He signs up, we pay lots of money for books, tuition etc---and then he get distracted by other interests. ie a first girlfriend, various hobby type interests, so-called socially responsible volunteer projects, part time jobs that lead to additional responsibilities, etc. All good stuff but like I told him it's going to take until he's forty to become a physician. He says that it's OK. I'm telling him our resources are limited and its more prudent to get focused, finish his schooling if that's what he wants to do. Last year he was interested in wood working. Now he seems more interested in farming than medicine to me. He claims his goal is to have lots of skills and knowledge. Seems very noble and a luxury he really can't afford. We'd actually like our son to regress a little, allow us to support him for the short period of time it would take for him to focus on the necessary classes he needs to line himself up for whatever his next step is going to be. I've even considered a life coach or career counselor to aid him for a couple months. It might be worth it. As it is, I doubt he's interested in medicine for the sake of becoming a dedicated physician. It more seems like he's interested in making a career of his struggle to find himself!r

Frankly, I'm burnt out from dealing with this 'lost' generation. Not only do I deal with this in my own children, but over the past decade I've dealt with others' lost adult children at our business. I'm dealing with developmental issues and problems I've not yet had to face in our 20 years running our business.

My husband is more willing to take on the extra burden these kids present. The trouble is, our division of labor between us puts the day to day burdens on me. Unfortunately I'm not in a position to maintain this type of support over an extended period. I'm not physically well. I suffer from more than one chronic ailment. So I can sometimes appear the bad cop. Anyway, if we were to start a yahoo group support site, what would we call it?
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 19, 2009 at 10:10 AM
 
Welcome, Bridgie. What a wonderful idea to start a support group at Yahoo. As for what to call it, I like the spirit of Susan's idea, Enablers Anonymous, but suggest you add the word "Parent" to attract the community you're looking for, as opposed to enabling spouses of addicts. My thoughts on your son: tell him clearly and frankly that you are in no position to pay for one course of study after another. While you expect to cover the cost of his education, he needs to understand that growing up is about commitments. (If he can't commit to something as clear-cut as a degree program, what does this mean for the rest of his life?) I get the feeling that aside from his wavering on the matter of his career, your son is a pretty decent young person, not making accusations or constant messes for his parents to clean up. He might benefit from coaching or counseling for a limited time--just be sure you make it known you're not issuing a blank check for self-exploration. After the counseling and course, he's on his own.
 
Comment
Susan
August 19, 2009 at 10:10AM
 
Hi again. Just wanted to say the move-out did occur last Sunday! I've left a message with my daughter inviting her to dinner tomorrow (Thursday), but haven't heard back. I need to collect her house key!

I'm learning to again appreciate the peace and quiet of an empty-nester home. Hopefully my daughter is beginning to appreciate what she had here....and lost due to her own unwillingness to do her part.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 19, 2009 at 10:10 AM
 
Congratulations on two fronts, Susan! First for getting your daughter out of the house, second for inviting her to dinner so your family can move forward together in separate households.
 
Comment
Susan
August 19, 2009 at 10:10AM
 
What to call a support group for people like us? ENABLERS ANONYMOUS

Nobody can take advantage of us without our permission, and many of us boomers have made our kids into a bunch of spoiled brats who feel a sense of entitlement to everything they have. Our kids even got trophies merely for showing up at soccer games or whatever...

It's our fault for enabling our kids to move back home, take advantage of us after they're (physically) fully grown, endanger our own retirements.

Off the soap box for now...

Susan
(who's feeling virtuous at the moment after her daughter finally moved out)
 
Comment
Bridgie
August 19, 2009 at 3:03PM
 
Thanks for the warm welcome! Also thanks for the suggestions. Another idea for a support group name: FAILURE TO LAUNCH 'EM
 
Comment
Susan
August 20, 2009 at 2:02PM
 
I loved that movie, and the group name suggestion is appropriate! So, who will get the ball rolling and publicize the group? I suspect many of the postings will be a lot of grousing, but folks will learn that they're not alone in the problem of adult kids moving home and perhaps get some suggestions not available elsewhere.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 20, 2009 at 4:04 PM
 
Susan, since you've been the longest-standing contributor to this discussion (and the only one so far with a success story to share), I nominate you. I'd love to see a permanent, promotable home for this group and will do what I can to help spread the word. I'm ready to blog about it here and announce it on Twitter, where I'm pretty active. I'll also post a link on my Facebook page--just say when. And of course I'll tell anyone who might be interested that this group exists. Are you up for it?
 
Comment
Bridgie
August 21, 2009 at 5:05AM
 
If you need help setting up a group site let me know. It's really pretty easy and self explanatory.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 21, 2009 at 5:05 AM
 
Bridgie and Susan, I'd be happy to put you two in touch with each other if that's okay with both of you. Please let me know.
 
Comment
Bridgie
August 21, 2009 at 5:05AM
 
My son's story and my concern for him has a different spin that I would like to share here. I believe my son's medical condition has a lot to do with his seeming drifting today. I'm not trying to make excuses for him or myself.

When he was 17 years old he weighed 80 lbs and was 5' tall. He'd stopped growing and had not gone through puberty. Academically and in every other way he was high performing and a really great kid. He suffered headaches. My concern for him had been dismissed by his physicians. Finally I took him to an endocrinologist. Oddly at this point (junior in hs) he received early exceptance into a 4 year college! He was diagnosed with a rare pituitary condition that had made him stop growing and which caused the headaches. He was placed on growth hormones and other hormones and treatments. He grew and is now fully grown as he should have been. But this excellerated growth caused a scoliosis to increase to the point he needed surgery. Its been just over 18 months since he had this spine surgery and is beginning to feel well. But he's stopped seeing an endocrinologist on a regular basis. Now I'm concerned about his levels plus I'm thinking he IS hitting a discovery phase he skipped over while overcompensating for his small size and in effect losing his peer group back in high school years. Hence this is why his first girlfriend came so late! This is why I want to get him some guidance. He has a lot going for him and it is likely a shorter distance to finding his own calling than he is aware.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw this 'other' perspective out there. For example, when many mom's were concerned their children were having sex I was worried about my child even being able or missing the chace to have sex someday.
 
Comment
Susan
August 21, 2009 at 12:12PM
 
Bridgie, you might be surprised to learn that my daughters and your son have some things in common. My older daughter (and her younger sister as well) also expxerienced delayed puberty and growth spurts. The younger one, who was an excellent athlete in elementary school, fell behind her peers in growth and ended up dropping out of sports. As she grew, she also developed a mild case of scoliosis, and is still growing at the age of 21. She is 5'5" and maybe 95 lb.

At any rate, I hope you and Rona are OK with my starting a yahoo group for parents whose children have either "failed to launch" or moved back home as adults. I thought about setting this up as a blog, but I think there are more limitations and less organization with that format.

Please let me know if everyone's OK with this and I'll "launch" it as an unmediated site in the parenting category. I'll add mediation if I feel the need for censorship, of course. Rona, before publicizing this, give me some time to work out the kinks.... Thanks.

Susan
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 21, 2009 at 1:01 PM
 
Just let me know when you're ready, Susan. And what fascinating parallels between your family and Bridgie's.
 
Comment
Bridgie
August 21, 2009 at 12:12PM
 
Susan~
Go for it! You have my support!
Bridgie
 
Comment
Bridgie
August 22, 2009 at 6:06AM
 
Just curious, Susan, was your daughter diagnosed with idiopathic short stature and delayed puberty or was her growth problems attributed to another diagnosis/cause or simply ---as they say --- she/he is a "late bloomer?" Sometimes growth delay is simply that childs normal for them or it can be something more serious and needs investigation. The key is the growth charting so that childs normal or rate of growth is understood. This is where my son's pediatricians fell short and didn't understand he needed interventions much sooner. I'm glad your daughters scoliosis is being monitored. Before surgery my son's curvature was impacting his walk, posture of course, breathing, self image and outlook.

My son had a large pituitary tumor that at one point infarcted or bled. This pushed his pituitary gland out of the sella tursica where part of it where its now located is smashed down from spinal fluid and another part is not located on MRI imaging. Its easier to pick up these types of tumors in girls because they often do not get their period which raises a big red flag. In guys, they tend to grow pretty large and cause headaches due to size because they aren't picked up as readily.
 
Comment
Susan
August 22, 2009 at 8:08AM
 
Bridgie,

My family tends to have what I would call "delayed maturation." I was a skinny, late-developing child and my girls were as well. My parents took me to an endocrinologist because I weighed under 100 lb. at 5'7 when I was 17. They were told to feed me milkshakes nightly to fatten me up! I didn't have menstrual periods on a regular basis before then.

My girls always seemed to be in the 5th percentile for weight growing up, while in the 50th or above for height, so I figured they were just following my genetic trend and never thought much of it until you mentioned the scoliosis.

The maturation delays in my girls were not truly diagnosed as such, although the older daughter (the one who recently moved out again) was diagnosed with ADHD when in the 5th grade. It was this aspect of "delayed maturation" that impacted her most emotionally and made it difficult to maintain long-term friendships. It also makes for a difficult adulthood.

My younger daughter only got the scoliosis diagnosis 3 years ago after complaining of ongoing back pain. She was told it was too minor to consider operating, but that we needed to obtain regular x-rays to ensure no significant change.


 
Comment
Bridgie
August 22, 2009 at 11:11AM
 
Thanks for the response Susan. Whether the growth/maturing delay is a genetic predisposition or a pathology like my son--- to some degree there is an impact from our culture regarding their stature and delays and ourselves in how we respond. How it impact s is different for each child/adult , but it can be a very different can of worms between girls and boys too-- or not. I found my son's stature often negatively impacted how he was perceived not just by his peers but also by how I was perceived via other parents and even doctors. Like I had some unconscious need to hold them back, right? Frankly it was just the opposite. Its sort of a double whammy in terms of us supossedly spoiling and enabling on top of it all! For me I beleive its at this point that if I don't play my cards right I could be holding him back because this is the point he would have been at years ago. Does that make sense?

FYI: When my son was diagnosed there was a very stingent qualification process to have access to growth hormones legally. He easily qualified. But now growth hormone therapy is in wider use. It does not necessarily mean insurance companies will cover the expense however for certain deficits like idiopathic SS or other reaons a child or adult has low GH. There are many reasons adults continue to need GH therapy. GH aren't just for bone growth and staying young looking. Has a lot to do with keeping our heart and other muscles going etc. We just don't need GH at the levels growing kids do.

Another thing, my sons reason for the increase in scoliosis was due to mega dosages of GH and was not due to his stature alone. Just so you know and don't have to worry. We couldn't avoid the excellerated process. There was a short window of time before his bone plates would start to close by t he time they figured out he was in trouble.

For fun I'll tell you about entering him into the college dorm. He was still really small. We were in line behind a woman with a really tall daughter. She looked my son up and down and then my older (tall) daughter. She said something assuming my daughter was the one starting college and might be a potencial companion. Once she realized my son was in the same class as her daughter she moved a bit away from us in line as though she'd concluded her daughter should have nothing to do with my son. She'd said something like, "he sure doesn't look like he should be going to school here", and "how old is?" I said, "he's 18 and I'm 60." (I was actually 45) It was funny because this woman herself looked like an older Mom!
 
Comment
Deborah
August 24, 2009 at 12:12AM
 
Greetings, ladies.

My side of the story regarding grown children moving back home ...

My son (MEG) is 26, my daughter (SFG) is 28, and her son (BAG - my beloved grandson) is 5.

My son is a drifter and I finally came to terms with that about five years ago. He was in and out of our home several times before I turned him away, finally. Today, he is healthy and happy, clean and sober, and seldom asks anything of us anymore. He has grown up a lot since we cut him off completely and, though it was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life, I'm happy to say he did benefit greatley.

My daughter lives in our home with my grandson. SFG sits on a high horse and is sure that everything she knows is all there is to know and I'm just a worrier and a nag. She plays nice and pretends to try to find a job or adhere to the rules, but she bends and twists and has an excuse for EVERYTHING. She loves BAG, but has less face time with him than ANYONE else, and she is always eager to "let him" visit a friend or his pseudo-dad overnight. She goes out every chance she gets but, if she can't find anyone to party with and ends up staying in, she attributes it to trying to be responsible.

Until a year ago, she was living in her own apartment with BAG. Two years ago, she went through yet another bad boyfriend breakup ... where does she find these creeps? She lost job after job and was mooching off of friends for cell phone payments, rent and gasoline while letting her utilities add up to the point of shut off. Since my husband and I did not want our grandson to suffer any more than necessary, we constantly bailed her out on the utilities and groceries. I drove her to counseling sessions to get over the bad breakup and try to get herself on track. I also took her to doctor visits and spent long hours in the ER because she couldn't quit crying or wanted to harm herself. I paid for doctors and antidepressants. I encouraged her and cried with her. I stood strong for her and offered advice and assistance to every route out of the slump I could imagine.

Finally, she asked if my grandson could move in with us a few weeks while she figured out what she wanted to do with her life. For BAG's sake, I stalled on that and babysat at her apartment while she started going to a trade school. She started cutting classes and lying to me. She was sleeping all day and not taking care of BAG. I was spending so much time at her apartment with him, we finally decided to bring him home with us. That's been a year, now. By Thanksgiving last year, her friends had drawn the line and closed their pockets to her. So, we let her move into our guest room upstairs with her own bathroom. She begrudgingly agreed to help out around the house, go to classes, limit her partying to one night per week, stop lying, and take her antidepressants. She had already realized the amazing improvement in her abilities and attitudes when she took her meds, though she only took them on and off.

After moving in, she broke every rule time and again to the point that I just did not want to talk about it anymore and simply held on until she finished school. Surely she would get a job and back out on her own. NOPE! Soon as school was finished, she took off across country after some man she met online. She sold EVERYTHING she had in storage (storage for which my husband and I had paid). She sold her car and flew away. She left a terrible mess of everything on top of the lie she told us about moving to be with other family members to get a new start. The only smart thing about her move was leaving BAG with us until she got settled in. That was torturous for BAG, but SFG was back home inside of six weeks after the whole relationship cratered. She was again broken hearted and dismayed.

She understood, when she came home, we would not offer her any kind of support. She could stay in the room addition for a few weeks, but she would search diligently for a job and there would be no compromise this time. She had not ever offered any support for BAG, so my husband and I would continue to support BAG, but not her.

Well, my husband was laid off last Christmas ... about the time SFG moved in to begin with. He has not worked 100 hours since then. I lost my job in May, just before SFG took off across country. My husband had a surgery and was just recovered and starting to work side jobs (construction) when I lost my job. He went back to the doctor for more tests and by the time SFG returned home, we had driven across state several times for tests and surgeries before he was diagnosed with cancer.

SFG returned home in time to take over care of BAG while my husband and I moved across state for nearly three months of treatment. I told her we have no money. We cashed out my 401k to pay the mortgage and other debts until we get back and I can find a job. She agreed to pay the electric and water, take care of the lawn, and keep the house clean. She paid the utilities once, busted the lawn mower, and my friend said the house is certainly not clean. Still, she has no job ... probably because she only looks on craigslist and sleeps away most of the days. She was out of food for BAG last week. I told her any of the neighbors would feed BAG, but she needed to apply for State help until she found a job. She said that's such a hassle and refused. The neighbors brought groceries to her. They are kind and generous, but she is taking advantage again. She continues to find ways to buy cigarettes and fast food! Again, I told her we will take care of BAG, but she needs to make her own way. She said, "To support me is to support BAG."

That was more than I could process in my brain tonight. I am watching my husband struggle for his life through chemo and radiation and all of the horrifying side effects. We have no income, other than my unemployment. I don't know how we are going to make it ourselves, other than food stamps and, possibly bankruptcy. Of course, our faith sustains us and we know that God has never let us down. But we don't like to test Him.

So, my question is: Do I have to support her? I'm ready to put her on the streets, but my grandson deserves a fair chance. I don't want to see BAG suffer.
 
Comment
Susan
August 24, 2009 at 3:03AM
 
Hello Deborah. My first thoughts are that you must protect your grandson while giving your daughter the time to grow up. I don't know if you have the means to do this, but have you suggested to her the possibility of leaving BAG with you until she has a stable job and/or relationship?

Your daughter appears to lack the maturity to properly provide for your grandson, and is taking advantage of your feelings for BAG....so you are, in a sense, enabling her to continue her immature behavior. Until this stops, she will not be motivated to change. It's too easy for her now.
 
Comment
Bridgie
August 24, 2009 at 4:04AM
 
Deborah,
I'm wondering if you should get legal custudy of your grandson? For BAGs sake, take the ambiguity out of who his 'real' guardian is. Also, this way, your caring for BAG is then not part of enabling your daughter.

 
Comment
Rona Maynard
August 25, 2009 at 6:06AM
 
Hello, frustrated parents. It's been a privilege to connect you here and to watch you encourage one another. I've thought for some time that you could use an online support group created by and for parents facing your dilemmas. So I'm delighted to tell you that Susan, one of the most frequent and dedicated posters here, has created that group at Yahoo. I urge everyone here to check out Enabnlers Anonymous and make it your own. The url: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Enablers_Anonymous/
 
Comment
Bernie
August 26, 2009 at 6:06AM
 
My 24 y/o college educated daughter has been living on her own, working in her chosen field and self-supporting for the last yr recently advised us that she turned in her 2 wk notice at work and bought an airline ticket to Italy. She plans to backpack through Europe by herself, sleeping in hostels for 2 wks, then return to the family home, giving up her apt. When she returns home, she wants to continue searching for a job in her field in a big city (Chicago, NY, LA - we have lived in a small midwestern town her entire life). She has been trying to get a job in another city since graduation, to no avail and fails to recognize that the country is in a recession. I am completely frustrated and angry. She did not consult with us whatsoever re: her choice to return home. I recently spent numerous hours painting and redecorating to turn her childhood bedroom into my home office. This will now be returned to her bedroom when she arrives home again next week. To add insult to injury, we will be renting a trailer and moving her things from her apt to our home. My husband (her father) is distressed by her decisions, but won't talk about it with me. He says there's nothing that we can do, so why rehash the same thing over and over. I admit this doesn't solve anything (and he is a problem solver by nature), but not talking about it has become unbelievably depressing. He's not a man to share his feelings openly, but just yesterday he said sometimes he just wants to "curl up on a ball and die". I know he's very hurt by this and he's hurting because he knows she must be in pain and very unhappy with her life to do something as radical as this. He is very near retirement. I worry that if she doesn't find a job soon, this will postpone his retirement (because we will be supporting her again) and put a strain on his health. It has already put a strain on our relationship. We have always put our children first. This is supposed to be "our" time. He says he won't turn his back on her and I agree, I don't want her out on the streets without a job or home, but should it really be this easy for an "adult" to walk away from her responsibilities? I am embarassed by her behavior. I've always prided myself on being a good parent. I can't help but feel that this reflects on me and the job I did. My friends' children are getting engaged, married, etc. Mine is basically walking away from life to do what?
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 19, 2010 at 9:09 AM
 
Welcome, Bernie. Before we talk about your daughter, let's look at a more urgent concern: your husband. It sounds to me as if he's suffering from depression--a treatable but potentially devastating illness that men, in particular, tend to ignore or deny for fear that admitting the truth would be to brand themselves weak and pathetic. Your husband's personality appears to have changed (he used to be a problem solver but isn't any more) and he speaks of wanting to "curl up and die." The timing, so close to the major transition of his retirement, is probably no coincidence. I may not have medical training but I've read and written widely about depression, which runs in my family and shadowed 30 years of my life. I'm well today because I sought help. I urge you to get your husband to a doctor. Until he recovers his zest for life, he won't be able to help you get your daughter back on track. You need his support. You say your daughter is "walking away from life." Well, it seems to me your husband is, too. Okay, so what about your daughter? If you scroll through the other comments here, you'll see a fair bit about parental "enabling." This is just what you've been doing by moving your daughter's possessions and generally making it a snap for her to dodge grownup responsibilities. It's natural for a mother to want to protect her daughter from harm, but the point comes when kids need to learn from their mistakes. I encourage you to check out the new online support group, Enablers Anonymous, that Susan (of this thread) has started. Your best mentors will be parents like Susan, who have walked in your shoes and found the courage to choose a different path. Here's the url: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Enablers_Anonymous/ One more thing: don't compare yourself to other parents whose kids are thriving. As you can see from the comments here, you are not alone with your frustration, worry and disappointment. Remember, the measure of your gifts as a parent isn't just what you've done; it's also what you'll do tomorrow and the day after that.
 
Comment
Pamela
August 26, 2009 at 7:07AM
 
Susan: It's good you plan to have a sit-down face-to-face meeting. One suggestion would be to draw up a contract that makes sense to you and your husband regarding the house standards which you wish her to abide ny during the remaining time she may be in your home. I drew up one for my son prior to him moving in. He wasn't happy with the idea of house 'rules as he called them; however, after talking through them and explaining it would hold us both accountable for good living relations - he was cool with it. You of course know your daughter better than we do - sometimes when people see things in writing it has more of an impact.

I would suggest setting a deadline and sticking to it. The duration I would imagine is what you and your husband feel is a reasonable amount of time that you both can live with. Again, I would encourge you both to be unified on this. It is vital that your relationship does not suffer as a result of trying to help your daughter. She is fortunate to have you both help her during this transition time and it's OK to remind her of that. rnrn I believe it is possible to stick to the original agreement of Oct./Dec. AS LONG AS there are signficiant changes from her - otherwise - if she's not interesting in changing and you clearly see by her response during your meeting that she's not interesting in working with you on this - I would say she has two weeks to figure something else out. This may seem harsh - however - allowing her to stay w/out speaking your expectations is only allowing her to continue taking advantage of your hospitality. She may be angry with you at first, however, with time, she will realize in the long run - it is best for her. Tough love includes truth and it's important to speak it. You can set the tone of the meeting by letting her know you care her, however, there are certain things that are not acceptable as it relates to living in your home.

Remember, our children, no matter how old they get, know how to pull our strings. Know those triggers prior to the meeting and be prepared with some great response statements if she tries to guilt you into something you don't feel comfortable with. r

This chapter in the lives of women is interesting/challenging to say the least - b/c we don't need us to ''parent our adult children anymore - however - it's hard to turn that off. Perhaps it would be helpful for your to think of how you would respond to helping out someone else non-related in the same situation. Would you have the same worries? Would your expectations be different? Would you charge for rent/utilities - ask them to help with chores, etc.? I would suggest trying to frame it differently as it may assit you in looking at it from a practical perspective instead of an emotional one - again - easier said than done.rnrnAgain, best wishes in your decision. It sounds like your husband is support which is great - kudos to him :) Take care! Pamela
 
Comment
Bernie
August 26, 2009 at 8:08AM
 
Susan - The fact that your daughter has indeed moved out gives the rest of us hope! It's definitely true our kids know which buttons to push. My daughter actually said if I was REALLY worried about her backing through Europe by herself sleeping in hostels I would go with her! Not happening. Have to say though I'm not sure which gives me more sleepless nights - her European "adventure" or when she returns to my house.
 
Comment
Susan
August 26, 2009 at 9:09AM
 
Hi Bernie.

I found your post very interesting and am torn in different directions. I can see both your daughter's side and yours / your husband's.

Many students these days (at least those who have the means) feel the desire to travel and see the world before settling down to the day-to-day grind, where they can't even take a vacation day before they've been on the job for 6 months. Personally, I think a backpacking trip through Europe is a good thing to do between college and the "real world" and I hope my younger daughter (now in college) saves her money and does just that. I'd suggest, for your peace of mind, that you make sure your daughter has a calling card and is in touch with you regularly either using that or from internet cafes, which are quite common.

Your daughter's case is a bit different in that she was actually working in her field before "dropping out." My interpretation is that she feels she missed out on something and may be trying to take the trip before getting a fresh start in her career. I don't think this is a bad thing.

The part I don't like about this is that your daughter apparently feels entitled to just move on in....and it sounds like you and your husband didn't openly object or set up terms for her doing so. If I were you, I would not do any redecoration on your daughter's behalf ... other than to set up a bed or cot for her. Why are *you* renting the trailer? Isn't it her job to move her stuff? If you don't have a basement or place to store her things, why not ask her to rent a storage locker? If you make it too easy for your daughter, you are enabling her to take advantage of you.

Above all, don't feel like you need to put your health or financial situation in jeopardy to support your daughter. And don't compare yourself with other parents and their children. It'll just make you crazy. (Trust me, with an ADHD daughter like mine, I've done this way too much and it solves nothing.)

I know Rona has provided a great place for us to talk here, but please also join the group I've set up on yahoo. It's here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Enablers_Anonymous/

Susan
p.s. on a really positive note, my daughter is moving into a new rented room on the 1st of September and will be taking her cat (who we will miss) with her.
 
Comment
Bernie
August 26, 2009 at 10:10AM
 
Rona - thank you so much for your VERY insightful words. You've given me much to think about. I was focusing on my daughter when in reality there is also a huge issue with my husband.
 
Comment
Bernie
August 26, 2009 at 10:10AM
 
Susan: Thank you for your post. When I initially read that you understood my daughter's position as well as my own, I thought WHAT??!!! Is this woman crazy? :) Thankfully, I read on. You sound like someone I could be friends with.

I would have completely understood if my daughter had travelled following her college graduation. In fact, we gave her a gift of money for her grad gift that would have allowed her to do so. Noooo, I really don't know what happened to that money!

I think you're right my daughter feels she has missed out on things. She thinks "everyone" her age is living a fabulous life except her. A friend of hers is living/working in Europe for 6 months and they speak frequently. I think this friend has been a huge influence in her recent decisions.

My husband & I did not discuss our daughter moving home. It's simply been a matter of fact sort of thing - kind of 'what else can we do?' - we don't want her on the streets. I wouldn't have a problem with her moving home if she had been laid off from her job as many people in our state (and country) have. It's the blatent disregard.

You're absolutely 100% right about making this too easy for her. I need to discuss this further with my husband. Why indeed are we renting the trailer. My husband even suggested we buy her sectional from her should she be unable to sell it!!! Definitely going overboard in the enabling dept. As a wise person once said, 'no one can take advantage of you unless you let them'.


 
Comment
VALERIE
September 03, 2009 at 7:07PM
 
MY THIRTY TWO YEAR OLD DAUGHTER , HER HUSBAND AND MY TWO GRANDSON MOVED BACK IN WITH ME AND HER STEPDAD OVER A YEAR AGO REASON BEING HER HUSBAND WILL NOT WORK FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME. ALTHOUGH I LOVE MY GRANDSONS DEARLY AND WOULD DO ANYTHING TO HELP MY DAUGHTER IT IS GETTING OLD QUICK. THEY DON'T PAY RENT BOTH NOW WORKING FULL TIME, WILL NOT HELP AROUND THE HOUSE OR WITH OUTSIDE WORK BOTH MY HUSBAND AND MYSELF WORK LONG HOURS SO WHEN I GET HOME I LIKE TO REST AND COME HOME TO A CLEAN HOUSE BUT OF COURSE THAT IS NOT HAPPENING NOW. I HAVE TIRED TO HELP HER WORK OUT A BUDGET SO THEY CAN GET ON THE RIGHT TRACK AND MAKE A LIFE OF THEIR OWN. QUITE FRANKLY IT HAS BEEN OVER A YEAR AND I AM FEELING USED AND NOT TO MENTION THE STRAIN IT HAS CAUSED ON MY MARRIAGE. HOW CAN I MAKE HER SEE THAT THEY NEED TO MOVE OUT AND BE A FAMILY ON THEIR OWN. SHE SAYS THAT IS WHAT SHE WANTS BUT THE WAY THEY SPEND MONEY I JUST CAN'T SEE THAT HAPPENING SOON. I AM AT MY WITS END. PLEASE HELP.
 
Comment
Susan
September 04, 2009 at 5:05AM
 
As they say, Valerie, nobody can take advantage of you without your permission.

They're earning a living, so it's time to give them a deadline to move out.
 
Comment
Susan
September 08, 2009 at 7:07AM
 
Just wanted to let everyone here know that I've changed the name and address of the support group set up for parents of "boomerang kids," those who've moved back in with mom & dad after living away.

There are a lot of helpful links available on the website, and I hope everyone will join, make use of the information there and exchange stories and ideas.

If I'm not mistaken, you do need a yahoo e-mail to join the group, but it's easy enough to obtain this.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BoomerangSupport/
 
Comment
Lin @Telling It Like It Is
September 09, 2009 at 1:01PM
 
Hello Rona, Susan, Bridgie, Pamela, Lisa, Kathy, Deborah, Valerie and Bernie.

It's been fascinating reading through all the comments about parents who are trying to help their grown children live independently and on their own, only to find that those same efforts (although well-intentioned) easily turn into enabling. Then the parents feel guilty, taken advantage of, used and abused by their own "kids", as the parents bend over backwards and open their homes and wallets to their children who refuse to grow up.

I hope you all realize that there are many many other parents going through much the same things that you are. You are NOT alone. The enabling has to stop. Enabling grown adult children actually CRIPPLES "children's" ability to become independent, move out and live on their own. Have you ever seen any of Dr. Phil's shows on television on the subject of Enabling parents?

These "kids" are commonly referred to as "moochers" - chronologically full-grown adult children who CLAIM to be doing everything within their ability to find a job, keep a job, pay their own bills etc.... but more often than not.....spend their money (where did they get the money, by the way?) on partying, sleeping late/all day, internet surfing, booze, drugs, cigarettes, nail salon treatments, video game playing, expensive luxuries.... ie their WANT list, rather than true NEEDS (like food, clothing and shelter).

Rescuing these "kids" time after time after time TEACHES these children that they don't really need to learn HOW TO BE AN ADULT - Because mom and/or dad (grandparents, step parents etc) will of course....... rush in and pick up the tab again and again and again. There is a term often used for this... it's called the "Bank of Mom and Dad".

Guess what else? These "kids" know how to manipulate your emotions and they know how to make you feel guilty to the point where they KNOW you will give in. Again. When parents put up a fuss and start taking steps to STOP the enabling....you know what happens? The moochers UP the anti! The kids get angry, hurl guilt-trips at parents, accuse the parents of not loving them etc etc etc. I love Dr. Phil's expression of the "tail wagging the dog" rather than the other way around, and it's oh so true in the case of enabling parents. These kids are controlling the parents by mental games and manipulations, and the parents fall for it....hook, line and sinker.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
September 09, 2009 at 2:02 PM
 
Well said, Lin. The challenge for so many enabling parents (a number of you have mentioned it) is the fear that to take a strong stand is to lose their child's love. Yet what stands out in most of these comments is how angry and contemptuous the children already are---as if, deep down, they sense they're stuck in an endless childhood. The point of childhood is to leave it behind and meet the ups and downs of grownup life with a grownup's emotional toolbox. One day, these overgrown children may see that for themselves, but only if parents put the first tool within reach by breaking the rescue cycle.
 
Comment
valerie
September 10, 2009 at 4:04AM
 
HELLO DEBORAH, FIRST OF ALL I AM SO SORRY TO HEAR OF YOUR HUSBANDS ILLNESS I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT IT IS DOING TO YOU TO SEE HIM GO THROUGH THIS AND TO HAVE ALL OF THE STRESS OF LOSING NOT ONLY BOTH YOUR JOBS BUT THE TASK OF RAISING A GRANDSON ON TOP OF THAT . BUT I CAN SAY I KNOW EXCATLY WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM WHEN YOU SAY YOU DON\'T WANT YOUR GRANDSON TO SUFFER BECAUSE HIS PARENTS ARE IRRESPONIABLE PEOPLE. I AM IN THE SAME BOAT WHEN IT COMES TO THAT PART ( TWO GRANDSONS THAT I WOULD DIE FOR ) AND OF COURSE THEIR PARENTS KNOW THAT AND ARE RIDING IT TO MAX. THEY MOVED BACK HOME BUT WITH HER DEAD BEAT HUSBAND AND LET ME TELL YOU IF IT WERE NOT FOR THE BOYS I WOULD NEVER HAVE LET THAT HAPPEN. MY DAUGHTER HAS A COLLEGE DEGREE AND WILL WORK BUT WHEN IT COMES TO HER HUSBAND HE HAS DONE NOTHING TO HELP HER OUT AND WILL NOT WORK EVERYTHING THEY HAVE IS WHAT I HAVE GIVEN THEM FROM FURNITURE TO CARS AND HE HAS TORN IT UP OR WRECKED IT AND WHEN THEY MOVED IN AND HAD TO STORE THEIR THING HE JUST THROW IT IN THE STORAGE BUILDING AND BROKE EVERYTHING I GET SO MAD I COULD SCREAM BUT I BLAME HER AS MUCH AS HIM BECAUSE SHE LETS HIM GET BUY WITH IT . BUT ALL YOU CAN DO IS TAKE CARE OF YOUR GRANDSON AND NO YOU DON\'T HAVE TO CONTINUE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR DAUGHTER , YOU CAN GIVE HER A PLACE TO STAY TO KEEP HER OFF THE STREETS. I KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO SEE HER LIKE SHE IS IT IS NOT EASY BEING A MOTHER . IF IT WERE EASY FATHERS WOULD DO IT. I HAVE CUT ALL MONEY OFF FROM MY DAUGHTER AND HER HUSBAND I TAKE CARE OF THE BOYS AND SEE THAT THEY HAVE WHAT THEY NEED BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THEM I GIVE THEM NOTHING AND I MAKE NO BONES ABOUT HOW I FEEL ABOUT HOW HE DOES HER AND I FIGURE IF SHE DON\'T WANT TO HEAR IT MOVE OUT. MY WELL WISHES BE WITH YOU. VALERIE.
 
Comment
Lisa Bennett
November 16, 2009 at 6:06AM
 
Hi, My name is Lisa and I hope I'm posting in the correct place. I really need some advice. My daughter is 23, seperated from her husband and has a precious 3(almost) year old girl, my grandaughter. She left her husband about 6 months ago and asked to move back home with my grandaughter. At the time, her dad and I were in the process of moving into a smaller home and settling into our empty nest. However, we welcomed her home with open arms. Her choices in dating and marriage have been very bad, she agrees sometimes and says it is caused by her low self-esteem and being overweight. She tends to just "settle" for anyone who shows interest in her. We were happy she was leaving this guy. She got pregnant in college and we also moved her and hubby into a home close to us, paid for everything until they got on their feet. Now she and my grandaughter are living with us. My daughter is working part time and in nursing school, which I'm very proud of. A few months ago she could no longer afford day-care and I was not working. I was on medical leave with a bad back and arthritis. My doctor had just released me when my daughter came to me and asked if I could stay home and babysit, as she could'nt afford daycare anymore. I said yes, however this placed a large financial burden on our household. My daughter has changed so much, she just expects me to take total responsibility of the daily tasks involved with raising a toddler. She does'nt get home until anywhere between 7 and 11 at night. She is not at work or school after 5. She works every saturday and sunday. I bath and feed my grandaughter everynight. If I don't make sure she is fed and bathed, my daughter sends her to bed like that. I'm the one who has taught her to brush her teeth and potty train. I'm with her 24/7. I do their laundry and cook their meals. She never even picks up dirty diapers to put in the trash. She contributes nothing financially She simply comes and goes as she pleases. I have not complained about anything and tried my best to let her make choices without voicing my opinion. She has one habit, that does'nt happen often but when it does, she knows it reallly bothers me. On the rare occassion that my grandaughter's father wants to see her, my daughter will go to pick her up late that night and then just "crash" at his house instead of coming home. My grandaughter is having a terribly tough time with this whole seperation. She was forced to leave her home and then at the same time her "nanny"(me) had moved into this smaller home, which has become her home. She is terribly confused and I feel that when her mother and her, just "crash" at her daddy's home(which is her old home ) that it confuses her even more. The only request I have made upon my daughter is that she not do this anymore. I agree my grandaughter should see her dad but I don't agree in her parents "playing house" as I call it, at their convenience. This past weekend my daughter deliberately did it again. When i confronted her she became very hostile and after some serious argument, told me it was her daughter and that I should just "but out" of her life and let her raise her child. She knows how dearly I love my little grandaughter and is basically threatening me with the fact that If I don't keep my opinions to myself, she will leave with her and not allow me to see her. Which opens another can of worms, i am positive she is seeing one of her old boyfriends again. He was one of the worst ones she had and suddenly his mother has entered the picture and volunteers to babysit all the time. I think this lady is wanting her son and my daughter together and is willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that. These people don't know my grandaughter but my daughter let her babysit a couple of times lately and now all of a sudden, this stranger, wants my grandaughter to spend the night with them. This seems weird to me. Basically I'm now afraid that if I don't keep my mouth shut, my grandaughter will end up living with these people and they are not good people. I don't know what to do. I hope I haven't confused you and please excuse my errors, I've just been wiriting away, lol. Sincerely Lisa
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
November 23, 2009 at 10:10 AM
 
Lisa, I echo Susan's comments: your daughter is using you because you've been allowing her to do so. The relationship you now have is all about exploiting (on her part) and enabling (on yours). Since she's not about to change the status quo, the responsibility is yours and taking it on could be the most important step you ever take as a parent. If you need another place to vent, I encourage you to join the yahoo group, Boomerang Support, that Susan has started. She's looking for parents who are in situations like yours and can share their learning with others. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BoomerangSupport
 
Comment
Susan
November 23, 2009 at 10:10AM
 
Hello Lisa.

I'm sure you know by now that your daughter is taking advantage of your generosity, your concern for her and your fear of losing both her and your granddaughter.

By allowing her to take advantage of you like this, you're enabling her to continue behaving like a child instead of assuming her responsibilities as an adult. I'm sure this isn't what you want.

You are: housing her, feeding her, picking up for her, caring for her daughter, sacrificing your health, jeopardizing yourself financially. She is emotionally blackmailing you and treating you disrespectfully. Does this sound like a healthy relationship between two adults?

It's time for you to help your daughter to make the decision to move her things out of your place and start taking responsibility for herself and her daughter. If at all possible, make the conditions of her living in your home strict, but reasonable to you. You already know that some of your conditions will be unacceptable to her. Stick to your guns, and (hopefully) she will make the difficult decision to move her things out. Having your daughter make the decision will lessen both the guilt you feel about asking her to move and the negative feelings she might have toward you for booting her out. After all, it will be her decision to leave! Try not to worry about who she's with or who's caring for your granddaughter, unless you feel either or both are in unsafe environments.

Once your daughter has moved, you should try to establish the adult mother-daughter relationship I'm sure you want. Invite her for dinner, offer to (occasionally) babysit, etc. It may take some time to get it all worked out, but you will be glad you did.

If you want another place to vent, please feel free to join the yahoo group dedicated to Boomerang Support. It's just getting started, and we're hoping to get more contributors who are in situations like yours and can help others.


 
Comment
Olivia
January 06, 2010 at 10:10AM
 
Hello everyone. So much of what I have read mimicks my life. My adult daughter (28) refuses to grow up and since her teen years has had a history of drug and alchohol abuse. She will get a job, then lose it (all the while blaming me) . Her son, our precious grandson, is almost 2 and lives part time with my husband and me and and his other grandparents.rnrnAfter much soul searching and denial, I realize my enabling has contributed to her inability to become an independent adult. Having said that, I am at a major crossroads. She had been been living in another city with her father for a year after going there to get off drugs for the second time. In that time she has done very little if anything to look for a job. She claims due to the economy, there are no jobs and if she did get a minimum wage job, she would not make enough to live on her own. Several month ago, her father gave her a deadline at which time she would have to move out. That time is approaching next month. She is, of course, panicking. She has been putting a major guilt trip on me with comments such as, "How can you stand by and let me be homeless?" Of course, she wants to move back in my home but , even when she visits, she breaks all the rules and is disrespectful. I know she will show up on my door step when she leaves her fathers house. Are we setting her up to fail by kicking her out or am I, yet again, being manipulated by guilt? My gut says do not let her move back in but emotionally it's tough to see her on the streets or living in her car. She really does not have any friends left as she has pulled away from all of them. Thanks for listening.
 
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Rona Maynard
January 07, 2010 at 2:02 AM
 
Listen to your gut, Olivia. Loving your daughter does not mean kowtowing to her demands. It means taking the tough stand required to ensure that she grows up. Your ex did the right thing by setting clear limits to her stay in his home. You need to back him up by making it plain that she has to show some self-reliance for the first time in her life. Don't forget that you're dealing with a substance abuser. Whether or not she's abusing right now, manipulating others is part of the syndrome.
 
Comment
Jamie
February 11, 2010 at 7:07PM
 
I have appreciated reading your comments and would like to hear everyone's comments on how to go about letting an adult child move in to begin with. Yesterday my husband came home and announced that his son and daughter-in-law want to move in with us. They had been separated for about four months and just moved back in together last week. They think that they need a fresh start by moving to our state 1200 miles away.

This same son and daugher-in-law spent a week with us last Christmas. It was one of the worst weeks of my life. They didn't lift a finger or offer to help in anyway. They wouldn't even take their own dishes off the table and left the rooms they used a mess without even offering to strip the sheets. The daughter-in-law wouldn't eat the food that we had bought and prepared and insisted on my husband taking her to the deli each day to get her something else. They also pressured him in to spending large sums on energy drinks each day. Power and water are quite pricey where we live and we asked them to be concientious of that fact. Their bathroom light never went off the entire week and they showered twice a day having noisy sex in the shower until they ran out of hot water!

The daughter-in-law asked me for forty dollars in cash and was quite put out with me when I didn't concede. His son is not that respectful of women and makes condesending remarks to me. I was exhausted from the non-stop cooking and cleaning after that week and did not enjoy Christmas at all, but endured it without comment for my husband since it was JUST ONE WEEK. I then endured Thanksgiving with his son this past year where he just talked crudely, dropped the F-Bomb every other word and chugged alchohol straight from the bottle (because he was depressed over his separation), just so my husband could have Thanksgiving with his kids. His son has no job lined up here,(he wants us to help find him one after he gets here) wants to bring his dog (a pit bull, we have a dog and cat all ready, one would kill the other), and has no definite ideas of how they could get on their own feet.

When I told my husband that I really didn't think it would work because our lifestyles are so different, I have a tense relationship with his son as it is because of his disrespect, and because we are just barely getting our own feet under ourselves financially, He became very angry with me. The problem is that we allowed my adult son to move in with us a couple of months ago. The difference is that my son is younger and has never been completely out on his own yet, has never been married and lives the same moral and religious lifestyle that we do. That doesn't seem to be enough reason for him. All he sees is it's not fair if we let in my son and not his son. I know that the situation would put unbearable stress on me and our relationship, possibly even destroying it. We have only been married for a few years too. I don't know how to approach this with him without him thinking that I am being unfair. We have not brought up the topic today and have both stayed in separate parts of the house staying out of each other's way so that we don't have to discuss it. It is all ready causing distance and damage to our relationship. Any suggestions???
 
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Rona Maynard
February 12, 2010 at 3:03 AM
 
Whoa! Two severely strained marriages under one roof? Talk about a recipe for craziness. This young couple needs to find some other place to get their act together---or face the fact that they need to call it quits. Your number one problem isn't the young couple, disrespectful as they are. It's the power struggle going on in your marriage. Your husband is so focused on what's "fair" that he apparently can't see the risk to your relationship. Whether or not you throw out the welcome mat to two young people who don't deserve it, you've got a huge problem on your hands. I doubt if you can solve it by yourself. Get some professional help, even if you have to drag your husband kicking and screaming.
 
Comment
Susan
February 12, 2010 at 5:05AM
 
Obviously, I agree with Rona. In your situation, I'd strongly recommend against allowing your husband's son and daughter-in-law to move in. Some professional help would be a good thing, regardless. Assuming your husband agrees, let him choose the therapist (so he can't say you're ganging up on him!)

What I don't understand here is why your husband isn't more supportive and sympathetic with respect to how his son & daughter-in-law treat you.

You didn't say if your son is contributing financially and doing things around the house. If not, it sets the stage for your husband to expect no less from his son and daughter-in-law. They will treat you as you allow yourselves to be treated.

One thing you might consider is either having your husband look at some online resources on how to prepare for kids moving back home or, perhaps better, bringing home a library book or two on the subject. He might have second thoughts after reading some of the "horror stories" and might agree to postpone their moving in until / unless terms are established for their responsibilities.

I have a large list of online resources in the links section in my group on yahoo....if you'd care to join in there. Go yahoo groups and search using the name "BoomerangSupport" to find the group.
 
Comment
Sandy
February 26, 2010 at 11:11PM
 
My problem with my 38 yo daughter is ever since she has married . her husbands family have come first with her and now after a little squabble she has not contacted us fo nearly two years and when i have tried to sms or text her she just ignores us. We have not seen our two grand daughters and we are very upset. I read all these stories about people with adult kids always asking for help and money and we wish she would need us for something. She seems to turn her back on everyone on my husbands side of the family including her pop who just had his 80th birthday. She had what i would call a privileged upbringing compared to ours and did not want for anything. She is a wonderful mother so i do not have to worry about our grand daughters but it hurts we can not share our lives together. My husband is and always was kind and gentle with her and i cannot understand how she can live without contacting him. We must have done something right with bringing her up as she has always worked is an excellent mum and has never had problems with drink or drugs and is a friendly happy person to al she meets, except her own family, I blame myself and my husband blames himself. I feel we can never be happy while this conflict is going on. I have always believed a girl would put her own family first. We believe she thinks she is better then us, We are so hurt. Can anyone give us advice. Thank You
 
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Rona Maynard
February 27, 2010 at 3:03 AM
 
Sandy, what a lonely position you and your husband are in, wishing your daughter would need you for something. My advice: keep reaching out to your daughter but keep it short and simple--cards and notes wishing her well and reminding her that the door is always open. Focus on your love for your daughter, not your own pain (no "You've broken our hearts; we did everything for you"). Guilt trips don't work in this situation. There are absolutely no guarantees but over time her position may soften. Meanwhile, you might want to check out estrangements.com, a website entirely dedicated to problems like yours. If nothing else, it will show you that you're not alone.
 
Comment
Kathy
March 19, 2010 at 11:11AM
 
My 29 year old daughter was laid off a number of months ago, and is living on unemployment checks and going back to school to get her MBA. She asked if she could move back home so she can save money for after her college graduation. We agreed with the only stipulations being that she has to be home by midnight. Last time she tried this she came in at all hours without calling, and being a worrying mom, I do need some sleep. Also that she provides any special food she wants and helps with the chores. And ever since then it seems like all she does is complain about how much of a failure she is to have to move back home at her age, how she'll have to give up her social life completely. She keeps putting the move off and whining about moving in to us to anyone who will listen. I'm frankly getting tired of it. I told her today that she needs to make up her mind and live with her decision. And if she does move back home I don't want to hear her complaining about it all the time. I feel bad, but she needs to grow up and I'm tired of babying her. I also told her that this is her last time to move back home. This is her third time, the first was when we all moved out of state together, so that was okay, but the last time only lasted a month, and this is getting disruptive to have to move furniture around all the time. As it is our garage is full of her furniture from 3 years ago that she hasn't had room to use. I used to think my girls would grow up and have a life of their own, now I'm not so sure.
 
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Rona Maynard
March 19, 2010 at 3:03 PM
 
Kathy, it struck me right away that you have at least one thing working in your favour: your daughter, unlike so many other adults now bunking in at home, knows enough to feel deeply uncomfortable with her dependence. She hasn't yet figured out how to live like a grownup but at least she wants to get there. I don't wonder that she's vacillating. She has a sound plan---another good sign. As her parents, you and your husband are well positioned to help her move forward without sacrificing your financial future or your peace of mind. You have some good house rules in place (the chores and the special foods) but I definitely think you should cut her some slack on the curfew. Honestly, Kathy, she's 29, with a college degree! This is pretty hurtful to her dignity. If you treat her like a high school kid, chances are she'll start to behave like one. I'm not saying it's okay for her to amble in whenever she wants with never a word to you. Far from it! The rule most parents apply with adult children is simply "Let us know if you're not coming home so we won't worry that you're lying in a gutter." This is exactly what you'd expect of a house guest your own age. I know many young adults (including my own son) are pretty reluctant to stick with this one. But if she won't abide by it, she should find somewhere else to stay while she saves money for grad school.
 
Comment
Denise
March 23, 2010 at 8:08PM
 
MY DAUGHTER AND THREE OLD GRANDSON MOVED BACK HOME LAST JUNE 09 BECAUSE OF DIVORCE. SHE IS 32 SHE REALLY HELPS OUT AT HOME, CLEANS, PICKS UP AFTER HER SON AND HAS A FULL TIME JOB. MY DILEMMA IS I STILL SEE HER AS MY CHILD AND WHEN SHE DISCIPLINES MY GRANDSON I SEE HER AS BEING TOO TOUGH. I SAY THINGS LIKE I'M NAGGING OR SHE THINKS I DON'T THINK SHE IS A GOOD PARENT WHICH IS NOT TRUE. IT'S HARD TO TALK TO HER BECAUSE SHE CLAMS UP AND THEN WE ARE BOTH MAD AT EACH OTHER. IT USUALLY RETURNS TO NORMAL. MOST TIMES I ENJOY HAVING THEM HERE. I JUST WISH I COULD NOT BE SO CRITICAL. MY HUSBAND SEEMS TO JUST BE ABLE TO IGNORE MOST OF HER BEHAVOUR BUT I REALLY AM UPSET WITH MYSELF FOR NOT BEING QUIET. I GUESS I FEEL FULL OF GUILT.
 
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Rona Maynard
March 24, 2010 at 3:03 AM
 
Congratulations, Denise. You and your husband have raised a responsible grownup whose commitment to her family and her job make her a worthy role model to her son. You've clearly done a lot of things right, so try not to beat yourself up over what you're doing wrong. I'd like to see you reframe your dilemma. Instead of trying to keep quiet (a negative), why not focus on showing your daughter your pride, loyalty and support (a positive)? Before we look at how you can do that, a little background: I'm the daughter of a woman who loved me deeply but criticized me often for being too tough on my son. In our 40 years together, it was the most painful thing she ever did. When my mother chewed me out, I always got defensive, even if I feared she had a point. And she, I think, took the way I was raising my child as a rejection of the way she'd raised me. (I'm speculating here because we never could have an honest conversation about this.) Through all our harsh words and angry silences, I was hungry for my mother's approval. I really needed her to say, "You're doing fine as a mom." And also "How can I support you in your role as a mother?" I'm betting your daughter feels pretty needy right now. She's divorced, she's working hard and although she's an adult she still has to live with her parents. She may be fighting a sense of failure. When you look at her life, try to cheer her on for her successes. This will make you less conscious of what you see as her shortcomings. Let her set the rules for your grandson's care (she's his mother, after all, and will be terribly sensitive if she thinks she's being undermined). Parenting experts say that kids can thrive with either strict or permissive parents; what matters is the consistency and the love. Your daughter's mothering style may be very different from yours but that doesn't mean she's pushing you away---far from it. In all the world, you're the person best positioned to help her believe in herself as a parent. Go for it, Denise! And good luck.
 
Comment
Marie
April 11, 2010 at 12:12AM
 
My 27yr old daughter, 5yr old grandson, and 2yr old granddaughter moved into our home 2 and a half months ago. My daughter then lost her job and hasn't worked for 2 months, so they have all been home all day since then. I work 2 days a week, and am used to having the other days as quiet time, which I need because of a chronic health condition. We all started off on the right foot, setting up "house rules" and talking through expectations, but the honeymoon is over.... I'm exhausted from cleaning up after 5 people (she doesn't do as much picking up as she did at the beginning). And I am drained from all the noise and psychic energy of 2 preschoolers. I'm someone who is used to a lot of quiet and having kids around is a big sacrifice. I told my daughter I would be taking "time outs" or leaving periodically (library, walks) to take time away from the kids (to give myself the quiet that I need for my health), but she said that, when I do this, it makes her feel guilty and mad. She just got a job, so I'm hoping that will help alleviate some of the stress and I know we need to go back to having weekly "house meetings" to decompress and keep ourselves headed in the right directions. For whatever reason, my husband just seems to be able to float along with no problem at all, getting along with my daughter and the kids, which irritates me considerably -- why can't I do that! And he doesn't really see the need of the house meetings, other than to keep the peace between my daughter and I -- but they are important to me!
 
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Rona Maynard
April 11, 2010 at 6:06 AM
 
I sympathize, Marie. While I don't have little grandkids in residence, I too am one of those people who need lots of quiet, solitary time in order to feel grounded. Despite the hearts-and-flowers myth, not all of us grandmothers feel restored and energized by the constant noisy presence of tiny children! My advice: explain to your daughter that this is part of your temperament, not something you can wish away and certainly nothing either she or you should feel guilty about. It's a good sign that she now has a job--and with it a place in the world beyond your home. This could be a huge confidence-booster for your daughter, and by extension a blessing for the entire household. Your husband can "float along," as you put it, because he's more gregarious by nature and probably also more adaptable to changes in routine. Stick to your guns on those meetings! If you need them, the whole family does.
 
Comment
Cyndi Morgan
April 18, 2010 at 6:06AM
 
Hi Love this site... My marriage is about to break up over these issues after 34 years.

I noticed that there are no posts on this by men or fathers of these adult children. My husband is playing heroics now and we are not on the same page with how to deal with this. My nerves are shot. I need solitude so much I have retreated to an old family cabin in the woods and am commuting 40 miles a day to work in the city. I feel like my soul has third degree burns on it. I am 57 and probably going through a mid life crisis as well and work is undergoing many changes and my mother is not doing well. I have been caregiving all year and should have been taking classes for my job instead. It turns out the more you do for people the worse they feel about you.
 
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Rona Maynard
April 18, 2010 at 10:10 AM
 
Welcome, Cyndi. Interesting point about the absence of male voices in this ongoing discussion! As one who has always needed islands of calm in her life, I can see what that isolated cabin must mean to you in the midst of turmoil on so many fronts. I hope you have a good friend close by to confide in, care for you and help you restock your depleted emotional larder. Oh, and kick your butt when it's warranted. That too! One more thing: I've found it's not necessarily true that being there for others will reduce your importance in their eyes. The key factor is drawing the line between offering necessary help and letting that person take advantage of you. When people know they can walk all over you, they're not comforted by anything you give them and contempt sets in.
 
Comment
Kim Robinson
June 06, 2010 at 3:03PM
 
Oh gee.. where do I start. Reading some of these stories makes me realize that I have to take a stand. My 32 year old son has lived at home his entire life with the excepiont of 1 year about 3 years ago. He moved his then girlfriend in about 10 years ago and went on to have 2 children. After never paying rent or helping in any way my husband and I said they had to leave about 3 years ago. When his wife went from bad to worse on drugs he asked if he could come back home until tax time. I thought 6 months isn't bad. They'll be gone before they can start getting on my nerves again. Well, that was about 2 years ago and they're still here. She's bi-polar so you never know when she's going to go off. She takes medication and I guess she's ok unless she over medicates. Which does happen. About 4 months ago it got so bad that she left and we told him she could not come back. It was fine for a couple of weeks then one day he left with the kids. He stayed gone for about 3 weeks and one day we came home and they were all here again. I'm to the point that from all the confrontations over the years the thought of confrontation now makes me feel sick. I guess that's anxiety. With only a few weeks left to this month and the approaching deadline that my husband set for them, I'm anxious to see what happens. I can not be responsible for what happens to them anymore. It's gotten to the point where I hate to come home and we can't afford anything. Then I have an 18 year old son who thinks he rules the whole house. He was displaced when my older son moved back which, I think, has caused him to have an attitude problem. Yes, I know, it was probably always there. Sometimes I just want to put a for sale sign on my lawn, grab my 14 year old and leave. He's like his sister, who doesn't live at home. I really don't think I'll have problems from him. I even think he may take care of me when I need some help. What I really want in my life right now is a life. I'm 50 years old and never have time to myself. Sure I went to a baby shower yesterday but how often does that happen? Almost never. If I go anyway my 18yo calls and wants to know when I'll be home or he'll tell me I have to come right home. It got to the point that I had to tell him to stop calling me at work. Thanks for listening.
 
Comment
Melody
June 13, 2010 at 10:10PM
 
I am sorry for all the abuse and manipulations that you all are just now going through. On a practical note, the advice to set boundaries and stick to them and to let the guilt go is all sound advice that will make the steps necessary easier. The situation changes after you remind yourself that you are HELPING your child by setting limits and boundaries.

Now to my problem. My daughter did move out and married her boyfriend and continues to live with her husband at his mothers home. They have several pieces of her furniture and many items of hers that were meant to be in their home in my closets. Since they do not have a home of their own they expect me to store these items indefinitely. I recently sorted the stuff so that she could store some of the items in her MIL's garage and only leave the items that would be ruined in a garage (photos and such). I contacted me daughter and told her that she needed to remove these boxes by the weekend. She said she would call with the day they would come get them (they live within 2 hours of my home). When she hadn't called a few days later I contacted her and asked when she would be by and she said "In a few weeks". I am a student and will be back in class in a few weeks and do not wish to host them on my only free days. When I told her that she had to come get the things on the weekend she told me to "throw them away then". I really wish I could do this as easily as she said that but I am having a difficult time taking these items to Goodwill. Any advice?
 
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Rona Maynard
June 14, 2010 at 2:02 AM
 
As you said, Melody, the key to these dilemmas is setting limits and boundaries. Your daughter has apparently assumed she could leave her belongings at your place for as long as she liked. When she told you to throw her stuff away, she almost certainly didn't think you would. What she meant was, "Mom, stop bugging me." As your daughter, she knows how you feel about items of sentimental value. She was calling your bluff. Unless you're willing to store this stuff forever (and set yourself up for future situations like this one), I'd say you have to throw it away---even though it pains you to do so.
 
Comment
Kathy
June 14, 2010 at 7:07AM
 
My daughter is 22, lives at home and is going to college. She's had a boyfriend for about 2 years. I've met the boyfriend's mom and dad, and they are pleasant people. My daughter does not want me to be able to communicate to them through phone or email for some unknown reason. When the mom lost her job last week, I facebook messaged her and told her I was sorry that she lost her job. The mom put me on her facebook and all hell broke loose at home. My daughter turned into a crazy person, screaming at me that if I didn't take the boyfriends mom off my facebook I'd never see my grandchildren. That I always got into her space and took her friends. Which means basically that I had a couple of "her" friends on my facebook, even though I knew them also. They're older than her and younger than me. I don't tell my daughter who to make friends with, I don't get into her personal life, I resent that she is doing this to me. To make peace I took the mom off my facebook, she is going to think me terribly rude now. My daughter apologized, but saying you're sorry does not erase the damage that has been done. I don't want to be around her now, I really need a break from her. I did nothing wrong, had no intention of comparing notes with the mom, which I told my daughter, and now I'm being verbally abused by my daughter.
 
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Rona Maynard
June 14, 2010 at 9:09 AM
 
You've got lots of company, Kathy. I hear that many teens and young adults bitterly resent their parents' presence on Facebook, which they regard as their turf. It's pretty common for kids to unfriend their parents. I've also read about situations not unlike yours. As for needing a break from your daughter, sounds like you need to set a limit for her time in the family home. She's hyper-sensitive about her boundaries on Facebook; now she needs to accept your boundaries for living under your roof.
 
Comment
Melody
June 14, 2010 at 10:10AM
 
Thanks Rona. I really do know that I need to throw her things out and I am gearing myself up to have a painful day sorting her stuff (again) and relieving myself and her of all her possessions. My sister keeps reminding me that my daughter really doesn't care about the stuff or she would have picked it up within the last three years. So, I am off to do the hardest thing in a long while by standing up for myself and my home.

In another vein: My other daughter is coming to stay for two months (she invited herself and her three daughters) and I need the space for them. With her I will also be setting a few boundaries that she won't like at all since she sees her trip here as a "vacation" and her goal is to "chill out" the whole time. Amazing how inconsiderate and "entitled" this generation is. What a wake up call these two girls/women are in for. I hope I can maintain the level for the duration. I know my ills are small in comparison to some of you but I have already been through the "failure to launch" syndrome when my oldest didn't leave home until she was 28. I hope all of you find the strength and happiness you DESERVE!
 
Comment
Sandra
July 18, 2010 at 9:09AM
 
Today, July 18 2010 after being given a move out deadline of July 2010 I told my 23 year old son that it was time to finish up his packing and leave and he did.

Chris was honestly an almost perfect kid--smart, athletic and good looking. He easily obtained good grades and usually followed our rules. When he was a junior in high school, my marine corps husband was transferred and we had to move. Chris was heartbroken but soon seemed to make new friends and began to thrive at our new duty station.

When he started his senior year of high school, things began to change radically. One day, my husband and I received a call from another parent saying that he'd come home to find his son and several other boys including Chris in his home drunk. A couple of months later, he totalled our car. Grades began to slip.

By some miracle, Chris managed to keep his grades up enough to get into college. He finished the first year but was dismissed for poor grades the second. He came home to live and began to make my life a living hell. He thought our alarm system was unnecessary so he disabled it. He began to come and go anytime of the day and night. He'd cook whenever he was hungry whether it was 3 o'clock in the afternoon or 2 in the morning. He'd bring his girlfriend in for sleepovers even after we asked him not to as we felt it was a bad precedent and example for our younger daughter.

Christopher began to show a total lack of regard for our home and would spill thing on the carpet creating stains which couldn't be removed and sloshing unrecognizable liquids on the walls. When I would walk past his room the odors would be unbearably foul and there were times when I couldn't set the table because he'd have so much of the silverware and dishes in his room--overflowing with leftover rotting food.

Worst, he began to abuse drugs and alcohol in our home and even began "cooking" drugs to inject into his body--my spoons would be charred on the back. He would steal my husband's prescription pain medication and began to lie chronically.

My son never contributed in any way--not financially, never lifted a hand to help clean--not even after himself. It got to where it gave me the ibbee jeebies to cook in my own kitchen.

After many talks, many tears, many broken promises and contracts, he agreed to go to rehab. While there, he called saying he was sober and didn't need to finish the program. We talked to his counselor and with his help talked chris into staying for the entire program. He came home and within 2 weeks, I began to see signs that he'd started using again.

By this time my husband and I had begun to have severe disagreements over what should be done with our son. I wanted him gone, my husband wanted him to have more time. Finally, my husband agreed that Chris had to go and gave him the July 1st deadline.

He's moving into a house with five other college students.

I thought I'd be overjoyed, but my stomach is in knots. Even though I know that the best thing for my son was to insist that he leave, I feel guilty. I won't change my mind, but it's among the hardest things I ever did.

Thanks for letting me vent.
 
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Rona Maynard
July 18, 2010 at 5:05 PM
 
Hi, Sandra. You've just taken a huge and painful step. But I don't wonder that you're so anxious. When a child has struggled with addiction, the fear of relapse is always with you. Ultimately, though, it's up to Chris how he chooses to live his life. You can't shield him from the consequences of his mistakes, and it's not your fault if he slips from the path of recovery. Congratulations on taking a stand. To help you make it stick, you might consider a 12-step group for families of the addicted. You'll be among people who understand what you're facing and can walk with you as you make the tough calls.
 
Comment
Christine
August 03, 2010 at 8:08PM
 
Hi Rona,

Okay, so I'm not a parent but an adult child with a lot of confusion as to what to do in my life at this point. So the story goes as this....I left home 3 years ago due to home stress and a breakdown that resulted from a fight with my now 35 year old sister. I am 29 and I have just recently moved back home for a few reasons: 1.) Financial and 2.) Emotional dependency. I have worked long and hard with a counsellor for 6 years and she has always wanted me to leave my family home. When i finally did, which wasn't planned but necessary, I felt I had been free of all the pain and energy drainage? that the first 26 years of my life I've endured.

Now i'm back and I feel stuck. I am paying down my debts which is great but my parents will give me rides to work, make my dinner and basically treat me like a child. I try and force myself to not take rides, and *depend* on them but it's so hard. My counsellor didn't want me to move back home because she felt that they would abuse me this way. They obviously have good intentions and I love them very much but sometimes I resent them for doing these very things that I was trying to keep away from. I have recently discovered that i am what is considered an 'adult child of a dysfunctional family' and am hoping that starting a 12 step study on this very topic will give me some more insight and maybe that push to move out myself (and to stay out) but right now i'm just feeling stuck.

I know that when I am home I don't feel good, I am quieter and have in some way lost myself by being back. I knew that emotionally my decision to come back home would take its toll but financially iw as too freaked out and called my life quits. I put it that way, so dramatically, because I do feel like it is very hard to be here (sometimes I don't know why i feel that this is so hard) but I just don't want to end up like my 35 year old sister who works only a few days a week and is always 'looking for work' so my parents let it slide and live at home forever. Man, this must sound very all over the place but hopefully you will have some words of wisdom to share.

Thanks a lot,

Sincerely,

Truly wanting to grow up but am sometimes very afraid (and equally enabled).
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 04, 2010 at 3:03 AM
 
Christine, your story is a fascinating counterpoint to the ones so many parents are telling. I'm sure you speak for many young adults who'd rather be anywhere but home yet find themselves hanging around because their parents can't bear to let them go, whether or not they'll admit it. As for words of wisdom, I think your therapist has said it all. You need to get out. You "feel stuck" at a stage in your life when you should be moving forward. It's going to be tough for you to cut the cord, but you need to get on with it or end up like your sister, who's even more stuck than you are. One more thing: see the new movie Cyrus if you haven't already. It's a timely and touching exploration of parents who can't let go and kids who are afraid to move on.
 
Comment
Crystal
August 08, 2010 at 12:12AM
 
Christine- I think that probably, most adult children that feel forced ,for one reason or another to move back home may feel back in their childhood skin, if you will. Im older now, but can feel like that vulnerable little child while discussing uncomfortable, or conflicting topics with my dad. I also have a son ,26,that has been back living with my husband and I on several occasions.

This last time, he moved back in with the understanding that he would work on getting a job to pay off some of his legal fines, then, he wanted to join the marines. After a few short weeks of "good behavior,"he hooked up with a girl, and all progress came to a screeching halt.Long story short... he started staying out at her house(her Aunts house), or, asking for her to stay here.When they are here, she wouldnt help with anything, and would even yell for him across the house, to get her a drink! Neither one could keep a job for very long,either ,nor did they seem to have any future goals for their lives. Next thing we knew, they announced that they were going to get married! We asked them where were they going to live, and how were they going to support themselves? We were totally against it, and told them both so, and why. I told them that it was like giving a two year old a handgun! You just wouldnt do it!

Her mother paid for this wedding ,which my husband and I refused to attend, right up to the last week before, hoping to get them both to think about what they were doing. They got married,and we drove them to the hotel for their honeymoon,as neither has a drivers liscense or car, either! When it came time to leave the hotel, they had no place to go,( her own mother wont even let her live at her house),so, back to our house they come.By now, a year has almost gone by, so, we set a date for them to be out of our house.We paid all the expenses for an appartment, just to get them out.. They both continued to look for jobs,to no avail.Six months,almost ,have gone by.There are several times that they get into fights, and my son threatens to leave, stating that she is violent and out of control.A couple of weeks ago,he calls to come home,stating that it is over. He comes back home. After approx. 1 week, he goes back to her, no phone call or anything to let us know.This time, both my husband and I, are finished with them.We have cut off ties with them,for now. I feel hurt and used, and angry.I,too, have been searching for a group support.We now have my daughter,28, back, due to some legal and emotional issues. They have drained us dry, between the two of them,emotionally, physically, and financially.
 
Comment
ReallySad2day
August 17, 2010 at 1:01PM
 
My 21 year old son, Bill moved out of the house today in anger. I feel a huge amount of guilt over it. Here is my story:

His father and I are divorced. My ex has been married twice and divorced twice both times due to multiple extra martial affairs. I believe that Bill has witnessed many "stories" from watching his dad. Bill has issues with lying. Not that all of the lies are bad but it has become so frequent that I do not trust him. He would move in with his dad for a while then back to my house. This was the pattern during high school. Bill lied about his grades and such. Bill lost his job when he graduated high school due to stealing money from the establishment. Luckily his boss did not press charges against him. Bill got another job and decided to move out of the house with some "pushing" from me and his step dad. That lasted about 10 months. Then Bill lost his job again and started doing drugs. Decided he wanted to join the military and we helped him get medical records and such to join. He destroyed his credit during that 10 months, too. Can't join the service due to a skin condition. This process to determine if he could join the service took about a year. Once it was final he could not join, we sat him down and told him he could live at home rent free if he was in school full time and he had to pass his classes. Bill agreed and acted excited to get started. He found a job in town that would work around school. Next, He lied about his grades. Claimed he was getting an "A" in a subject he loves but find out he failed. Reason was he forgot to turn in a paper. We set him down again and reminded him of his agreement. Said he was sorry and starts the next semester. Bill had to take a basic math class in order to take college Algebra. Bill complained constantly about this class. Then about 3 weeks before the end of the semester Bill annouces that the professor had him take a test and that he tested out of the course. Yea!!! Then Bill lost his job due to fighting with another employee over a girl. We offered to pay for the summer semester which Bill turned down. (We paid for first semester, he got a loan for the second). Bill said he paid for it. Grades were to be posted on a Tuesday with finals on Monday. Bill says he had his final for Wednesday. Then when I looked on line at his grades, it's showing that he wasn't even registered for the class or any class for the summer. Ask him about it and he said it was a computer glitch.

All the while, Bill has not been honest about little things which may not seem like much and I let them go without confronting him. He has been difficult to help out around the house. Complains when he has to do a chore that was assigned to him or will lie about why he couldn't do it. Or he half way does it. Yes, I have had numerous talks with him about his help around the house or lack of it. Also spends hours and hours playing video games. I think that is more important to him than anything else. So with all of the is he telling me the truth or not, I told him to go get an unofficial transcript showing his summer grades. He brings me a piece of paper that as expected looked as though it was run off the printer. Says he made a good grade for the summer. One problem, the logo for the school doesn't match the school's logo. My husband is willing to let it go since we didn't pay for the class but ask Bill why he is not signed up for the advanced math class as expected. Bill then claims that the person at the test center isn't available and he didn't have anything from his professor stating that he was given permission to test out. According to the online records it shows that he failed the basic math class and nothing about testing out. Asked Bill to go to the school and get the problem fixed. Husband told him to just go see whoever he needed to but that he wanted to see that Bill was enrolled in the algebra . That would be one way of knowing that Bill was telling the truth about the testing out issue.

Bill didn't do this. He got mad and said he was moving out. Got angry and started blaming me. As I explained to him last week, I thought it was pathetic that I had to resort to having him go get something from the school, to prove that he was telling me the truth. I honestly don't know anymore what is true and what isn't. When I do question him about his stories, he gets mad and starts yelling at me. We made it very clear how he could continue to live in our house free but he won't be honest. I found out that he's not paying his bills, has switch cell phone service three times with three outstanding bills, got a credit card charged it up then didn't pay the bill. There is always a reason why it's not his fault.

It seems like all he wants to do is play video games, drink and go out with his friends. He's 21 and I'm tired of having a teenager in the house that does nothing and acts like I run a hotel. That he's my son so I owe it to him. I feel guilty because he's not living with me but at the same time I feel some relief because it's a constant battle. My friend told me she had to do the same thing with her son but I'm afraid that my son won't have anything to do with me because of this.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 17, 2010 at 2:02 PM
 
As you said, Really Sad, there's always a reason why it's not his fault. Bill has to take responsibility for the mess he's making of his life. Yes, his anger may keep you apart for a while. But it's not as if he was treating you with respect while living under your roof. One day he may thank you for taking a stand and forcing him to give up his deadbeat ways. Your relationship with your son is like a sick plant that needs to be cut back to the root in order to grow again.
 
Comment
Libby
August 18, 2010 at 3:03AM
 
My 21 year old daughter wants to move back home. She moved out at age 18 because she did not like our rules. We have a very strained relationship with her and she is very resentful that she never went to college and that she "had such a hard life". She had the opportunity to go to college, but chose not to. She feels like we are responsible for paying for her college, but we have another child to take care of that is starting college this fall. She has been fired from the past 3 jobs she has had and now she just wants to come home. We have turned her bedroom into a office. She would have to sleep on the couch in the living room. I am willing to pay her rent while she looks for a job, but she does not want to do that. I have a feeling that she just wants to come home and let Mommy and Daddy take care of her and do nothing but sit on the couch and eat chips. That is not going to happen. I want to tell her no, but I feel obligated as her parent that I cannot tell her that. I am scared if she comes home that there will be alot of turmoil. We had a very unstable relationship in the past and fought alot, as did her dad and her sibling. I really need some advice.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 18, 2010 at 4:04 AM
 
Listen to your best instincts, Libby. You want to say no. Say it. Where does this idea come from that NOT saying no is a parental obligation? When your daughter was little, you said no to running in the traffic, no to playing with electrical sockets and so on. Now your obligation as a parent is to say no to the habit of presumed entitlement that could ruin your daughter's life, stalling her in childhood, if it's not checked.
 
Comment
Susan
August 18, 2010 at 4:04AM
 
Libby,

Your situation has some similarities with mine. My daughter chose not to go to college and lost her job in April 2009 at the age of nearly 25. Like you, I'd had an earlier strained relationship with her, and felt guilty about it. I thought, erroneously, that we'd start off fresh and I could repair the relationship between us if she moved in.

But once she moved in, the old patterns re-emerged and she behaved just like a teenager again. I set rules for her staying with me and when she didn't want to follow them, she was given a choice: follow the rules or move elsewhere. She moved out. Even now, after she's been out of my home for a year, she tells others that I kicked her out (vs. her making the decision to move because she didn't like the rules).

Don't let your daughter move in. Neither you nor your daughter will gain from the experience and you'll effectively delay her maturation.
 
Comment
ReallySad2today
August 18, 2010 at 6:06AM
 
As stated yesterday, my son moved out. He was gone when I got home from work. Husband said he didn't get all of his stuff so I went in there to see what was left. Found some fast food containers and papers sitting on the window sill. They were overdraft notices from his bank and one bill of $486 for his cell phone. This is the same cell phone that I gave him money to pay his July bill. Realized that once again he has not been honest with me. The cell phone bill was dated three weeks after he claimed to have made payment. I had asked him about his bank account two weeks ago after seeing the bank notice in the mail. He response "Oh they're trying to get me to sign up for a new savings plan". Yet, another lie.
Also found a letter from his former employer wanting compensation ($306) for mis use or damage of company property. He claims that he lost his job because he was got into an argument with another male employee who wanted to fight with him because my son is dating a girl that the other young man had a crush on. Now, I wonder what exactly happened. Couldn't sleep last night. Wondering if I really know my son at all. Seems that he hasn't been honest with me on just about everything and I'm worried that I won't see my son again. But at the same time, I know I'm doing the right thing by forcing him to take some responsibility. I feel so torn up inside.
 
Comment
Susan
August 18, 2010 at 6:06AM
 
ReallySad,

Give it time. Bill will mature best after he realizes he's responsible for his own actions and takes ownership for fixing his messes.

Importantly, keep yourself busy so you don't make yourself crazy, and give him time and space to grow up. Put away things that remind you of Bill's problems, but do stay in touch with him. Perhaps buy him lunch once in awhile and keep a positive focus on your conversations. Offer advice only when asked.

Don't enable him (financially and otherwise) to continue making the same mistakes.
 
Comment
ReallySad2day
August 18, 2010 at 1:01PM
 
I will try not to so much but needed some advice. Bill called and ask his step dad for some gas money. Step dad gave it some but told him he had to answer some questions first. Next Bill called me to say that the reason he moved out was he was tired of being forced into a corner. He asked me how I would feel in the same situation. Told him I would have to analyze why I felt that way. I'm at work at don't want to have everyone hear my conversation. Told him I would call him tonight. My question is how do I explain to him that he made this choice? He's feeling backed into a corner becuase He decided not to follow the rules for living in my house. I'm to the point where I'm getting upset when he tries the poor victim routine and I don't want to listen to it anymore. I think I could say it was his decision to not follow the rules for a million times and he still would think it was my fault.

 
Comment
Susan
August 19, 2010 at 5:05AM
 
ReallySad,

Tell your son you love him and want him to be a happy, independent and productive adult. That is, after all, what we as parents want for our children, right?

Tell him that you make the rules in your home and that he can make his own rules when he is independent and fully self-supporting.

Good luck....and don't feel guilty for doing the right thing for your son...which is to let him grow up!
 
Comment
Martha Dahlman
August 23, 2010 at 6:06PM
 
Hi Rona,

Did anyone ever start a support group? I would love to find parents to help me down my path. My 20 yr old son was just arrested for the 3rd time in 3 years, and he also had a suicide attempt last year and almost died. Of course we wanted him home with us after that because we were so worried about him, and he started working a couple months later and continues to work at the same job now, but he doesn't follow our rules and clearly has no respect for the law. This last charge may result in a felony and then I fear his future will be ruined. We have made up a contract for him to sign that is an agreement to follow the household rules, to be reviewed once a month, and if there are infractions then he will have 1 month to find another place to live. He may just leave when he reads the contract, and move in with a friend.

That would make our daily life easier but my husband and I will worry so much about him...he seems really incapable of taking care of himself on every level and we don't understand why. I really need to be in touch with parents who have been where I am. There are no such support groups in my community...ha! Everyone where I live is trying to have the most perfect kids who excel at everything...no one would admit to having problems.

Thanks for listening.
 
Comment
Susan
August 24, 2010 at 4:04AM
 
Hi Martha. I started a support group on Yahoo, called BoomerangSupport ... The intent was to have an interaction among parents whose kids moved home. There are few active participants over there at present and I doubt you'll get help for anything beyond the basics. Your problems go far beyond the intended scope of that group.

In your situation, I'd think some kind of family counseling (as well as an evaluation and perhaps individual counseling for your son) would be appropriate. It's possible your son is clinically depressed and needs medication and talk therapy. Let him know you care about him and want him to get to a happier place in life. Hopefully you can facilitate him being evaluated by a qualified psychiatrist.
 
Comment
Cindy
August 25, 2010 at 7:07AM
 
I have read most of these stories and the accompanying comments. So much sounds so familiar. My 25 year old daughter and her 2 and 4 yr old children live with my husband and I. She moved in when she was pregnant with my grandaughter (4 years now) along with her husband. He was older than her and was a mooch. Worked under the table to avoid paying support on another child. He wasn't nice to her on many levels, emotionally abusive, etc. I tried to get her to leave him while she was pregnant as the stress was taking a toll on her health. She wanted to give it a try. They were paying rent but then started making excuses why they couldn't this week or that week. They were breaking rules we had set up.

After my granddaughters birth in Dec he was better, but it soon dissapated. By Mother's Day she had enough and asked him to leave. That left my husband and I to support her and the baby. She did get assistance and once able looked for work (to no avail or lack of trying and being choosy).

My husband and I had to sell our house and move due to a new job for him. We had anticipated this and she had almost a year to plan for this. They ended up moving with us, but had hoped it was only temporary. She got a job during the holidays, but after the season was over she was back to unemployment. She started dating and ended up pregnant again. This father was also a non-working slacker with 2 previous children who he did not support. This pregnancy had her on a lot of bed rest so I had to provide more care for my granddaughter.

Social Services paid for a trade school for her and she is working but very low pay and not many hours. It is not easy for people to move out, costs are high and such. I have recently found out she is again messing around and lying to me about things all while asking me to watch her children evenings while she "works" extra hours. She never has the money to show for these hours either. My husband and I have cancelled our plans several times to assist with sitting so she can work.

I am getting ready to draw up a contract regarding rent and care for her children. I am a grandmother not mother and feel stressed all the time because I worry the kids are being put second. I tried to tell her that her children are her priority and even though she is young and still wants to have fun she needs to put the children first and get her life straight and move out.

I am tired, broke and ready for a break. We will be hitting the 5 yr mark soon.

I am will be taking some of the ideas here and hope they will work and even though I know I will get alienation I hope the children don't suffer. They do not understand that most children do not live with grandma and grandpa. I am sure it will be very hard when they move out as they look forward to seeing us daily and miss us bunches when we take weekend jaunts.
 
Comment
Mark
August 26, 2010 at 8:08AM
 
My 22 year old step daughter has lived with her biological father and step mother for the last 9 years and recently said she wanted to move back home with her biological mother and me and her four younger siblings (our other children). My wife and I are not concerned about our recent "empty nest" being reinhabited because we still have a house full of children ages 17, 15, 12, and 8. We never have had an "empty nest " and it is truly wonderful to have all our kids reunited at home again. But since our oldest daughter has been home, my wife says she is beginning to feel displaced as our oldest daughter is eager to contribute and help. The problem for my wife is that our wonderful girl who is home now has matured into a very lovely and capable person and, except for periodic visits during summer and at Christmas, the last 9 years are a mystery as to how our daughter evolved into the person she is. Now my wife says she feels displaced when our daughter assumes roles that my wife has forever done - such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. My wife says she feels like she wants to withdraw to places where she alone has standing - i.e. her crafting shed, her small business garden goods store, her exercise and bike riding routine, and her marital privilege - i.e. sex with me - her husband. All this precipitates a likely marriage between our daughter and her beau in the next year and we feel this is an opportune time to further train our daughter in the way that she should go, but it is not with out trepidation for us - and especially my wife - who feels displaced by the presence of another woman in the home. Nevertheless, we are all committed to working and spending quality time together - and it truly is a blessing to have your children around.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
September 08, 2010 at 8:08 AM
 
What a wonderful daughter you have-- family-oriented and eager to help. Other parents reading this are probably sighing with envy. As for your wife's sense of displacement, it could become the spur for a mid-life shift in focus from doing for others to developing herself. This is the great opportnity that middle age presents to women, and you can help her seize the moment by encouraging her to take a course, pursue a new hobby...or take more getaways with you. She's earned it.
 
Comment
unhappy second wife
September 28, 2010 at 12:12PM
 
My husband's daughter moved back to her mother's with her daughter, my husband's granddaughter. He has now babysits at his ex's house for his grandchildren and I feel that is inappropriate. His grown daughter should bring the baby us our house. But he said he would be too much of a ride for her and the baby (35 minutes). Am I wrong in my thinking?
 
Comment
Susan
October 13, 2010 at 10:10AM
 
To unhappy second wife: Why not compromise and have the grandkids to your home every other time? This assumes you don't have trust issues associated with your husband babysitting at his ex's home.
 
Comment
Stressed Grandma
October 21, 2010 at 6:06AM
 
My husband and I are in our early 60's and both work full-time. My son and daughter-in-law are about to lose their house due to foreclosure, and my daughter-in-law's 2 year unemployment. They also have my 11 year old grandaughter. Unemployment is done for my daughter-in-law, and she is looking for work, but cannot find a "good fit" for her education and qualifications. If they live on just what my son is earning, I'm afraid they won't be able to afford a decent place at all, and talked about getting a small apartment with all utilities paid...which I'm sure are dumps because they have terrible credit. I have talked to my husband about letting them move in for a few months, so my grandaughter doesn't suffer. It would be a limited time, and they would be using a living area and bedroom in our basement. My husband doesn't want to lose his privacy.
I told him that one of the rules would be that my daughter-in-law works full time...somewhere.


Am I crazy to do this? I don't want it to cause issues in our family.
Stressed out grandma
 
Comment
Susan
October 22, 2010 at 11:11AM
 
Dear Stressed out grandma,
To keep your husband's sanity and privacy, it'd obviously be best if your son and daughter-in-law did not move in. Your granddaughter won't "suffer." She'll learn some valuable lessons about making do with what you have!

However, if there's no other option, make sure you get them all to agree to terms that you and your husband can live with...including a set of rules and a defined move-out date, even if your daughter-in-law doesn't find work. The rules should include keeping things neat, helping with household chores and perhaps even contributing some money toward food and utilities....plus anything else important to you. They need to understand and honor your need for privacy for sure.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do!

Susan
 
Comment
Mike Sr.
November 20, 2010 at 5:05AM
 
I'm disgusted and can not find a recourse, for my problem 35 year old son. Through out his whole life to date, he has lived off and on at home. He quit school at the age of 16. I tryed to get him back into school, but his mother always stands by him when it comes to taking responsibilty for his life and jumps all over me if I get on him, when doing something about his life.

He got involved with a girl, whose family were drinkers, which got him into drinking and now has a drinking problem. Of course, their relationship ended as many do, but not until they had bought a house together, which I had discouraged from the beginning. She now lives in the house with a new boyfriend and my son's name is still on the house contract. He moved back home and I ended up kicking him out because of his drinking problem. He was qiuck in finding another girl at the local bar and moved in with her and her 16 year old son.

At the time, he had a Class A truck driveing lincense, I encouraged him to take a over the road driveing job. He didn't want to, but was the only way he good make any decent money, without a GED. It seemed to be working, as he was working for a friend as a private contractor and he had some type of future. However, this wasn't to last. 5 months into the job and he had a heartattack, due to a blood clot, on the road. The doctors don't relate it to drinking, but I believe it has some relationship to his drinking problem, as he seemed to have a blood pressure problem and his face would be beet- red from drinking, this before he even started the job.

After the heartattack is new girl friend dumped him and he ended up at home again. He applied for Social Security Disability and was denied, because of his age, they said, he can be retrained. He now has a lawyer appealing his case. This may take 2 years and he may be denied again. In the mean time, he still drinks and I can't get it through his head that he has to do something, encase he doesn't get SSD. He managed to get a drunk driving ticket, after the lose of job, and finally got his drivers lincense back this year 2010, he gets 230.00 a month from welfare and pays the state for the ticket out of it and uses the rest to buy cigerattes and gas for his truck. I support all the house bills and food, he pays nothing. He's on 9 different medications and still manages to drink, with the excuse it's not easy to quit, However, I've encouraged him to seek help and to go back to school, to at least get a GED. He says he will, if I give him the gas money to go. I don't trust him to where the money would really go and that he would attend classes, so I offered to drive him to school and pick him up, this he will have no part of. He complains of having no money, yet at the same time he manages to leave the house in his truck, almost everyday to visit friends. I put down a 11:00 PM curfew, but if he is drinking he sometimes comes in later, after we are in bed. I'm at a lost at what to do. I feel sorry as a parent, because of the heartattack, which he reminds me and his mother, he now has a heart of a 70 year old, at least that is what the doctor told him, and at the same time he has no future, because of education, drinking, and the heart, even though SSD says otherwise and I'm stuck in the middle, as what to do with him, if he is denied SSD and SSI again. Any ideas?????
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
November 20, 2010 at 7:07 AM
 
Dear Mike, Before you do anything else today, Google Al-Anon, AA's sister organization for anyone affected by someone else's drinking. Call the number on the screen. Don't wait for the chores to be done or for your wife to agree that your son's alcoholism is killing him and destroying your family. Act now. This call could change your life. As the 12 Steps put it, you are powerless over alcohol---along with your son---and your life has become unmanageable. You can't stop Mike Jr. from drinking but you can stop enabling his lethal addiction. Al-Anon will help you meet that terribly difficult challenge. There are often many Al-Anon groups in a community, each one with a different character shaped by the personalities of participating members. You may need to check out several before finding the right fit for you. Identify a wise, seasoned member of the group and ask that person to be your sponsor. He or she will take your most desperate phone calls and kick you in the pants when you start protecting your son instead of enforcing limits. You should be hoping your son is denied SSD and SSI. The system too has been enabling his addiction. Until he understands that he must take his future in his own hands, he will not go back to school, get a job, move out of your home or---most important of all--stop drinking. His disease is far advanced, and I'm not just referring to the shape his heart is in. As they say in AA, he needs to hit bottom. It's afflicting to watch this kind of slide. You didn't raise your son to be a bum. But if you don't let him face the consequences of his actions, he will die of his disease. I'm a huge believer in the 12 Steps. My father was an alcoholic and I didn't find Al-Anon until many years after his death. I wish I'd joined sooner. Okay, Mike, repeat after me: "I will call Al-Anon now." Crossing my fingers for you/ Rona
 
Comment
Jackie
January 28, 2011 at 7:07AM
 
My adult daughter lives with me with my 10 month old grandson. It has been tough because they have taken over my place. She pays rent but does not clean up after her or Kai my grandson and I am embarressed to have anyone over. I will not clean up after her anymore but find that we are starting to fight a lot. I get depressed when I go home.

I don't have the financial means to help her that much, I lost my job and just got back to work a few months ago, taking a major cut in pay. I am divorced livng no my own. She always says things about how much my ex-husband and his wife help her and will babysit when they can, which hurts me. I could go on and on but it just brings me down.

She has made a comment about maybe its time for us to seperate because we fight all the time about how dirty they house is. How baby food and bottles, toys and junk are all over the place. I mean dirty bottles sitting for days, I refuse to clean them anymore I was doing it for months.

She did not marry the father and his mother is buying all the diapers for my daughter. Also, his parents said I was wrong to charge my daughter rent, I have to otherwise I can not make it. Her step mom does her laundry for and watches my grandson a lot as she works for the school district and gets a lot of time off. My daughter always tells me how wonderful she is, which hurts and has put pictures of my ex and his family all over my computer which I don't need to see all the time. I don't know what to do, all I know is that I am getting resentful and feel it is hurting my relationship with my daughter and grandson alot. Any ideas would be helpful.

Thank you,



 
Reply
Rona Maynard
January 29, 2011 at 3:03 AM
 
Your daughter's right, Jackie. It's time for the two of you to end this. What are you waiting for?
 
Comment
Blane Mendiola
January 29, 2011 at 8:08AM
 
Hi, My name is Blane. Dont know how this all works, but thankful to be able to at least type my thoughts, its helpful. So, My wife and I married 9 years ago, we are both 50 now. We blended a family, she had 3 children and I 2. It has been very challangeing and we both rose to the challenge and did what we thought was best. We sacraficed our relationship, and made raising our children the priority. Well, you can probably predict the rest. We love eachother dearly and cant imagine life without eachother. The problem is the empty emotional gas tanks and lack of preparation for our retirement. In addition to that, we have not made out life and health a priority so we have health concerns for eachother. I tell that to say, at 50 we still have more and never seems to end. At this time, we cannot even see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have our 21 and 20 living at home. Some school some work but a focus on partying, playing, and themselves. Every conversation or expectation will always go the same and end poorly. We are both tired. Additionally, we have a 24 yr. daughter that left our home nearly 3 years ago because she couldnt exist with resonable guidelines. She went to my wife's parents home. This arrangement was to be for 18 months, while she saved her money and then bought a home. She is a full time employee at a great job, I would say pretty succsessful. She help financially sometimes, helps phyically sometimes, but the truth is, no money is saved, its been 3 years, and the focus is partying and spending, and traveling. So hears the rub, Grandparents allow it and although we can see it clearly, they cannot. She left our home to avoid guidelines and responsibility. She has none there. They complain now and again to my wife, but for the most part, they allow it and seem to be ok with it. My father in law even wakes her up and makes her lunch. t is another rift in our marriage because my wife wants me to get involved and speak the truth as a concerned parent. I feel that the conversation is useless because her life and choices are allowed and accepted by her grandparents in their home. So many years spent talking disgussing, guiding, crying, argueing, keep trying. At times I cant even think clearly.
 
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Rona Maynard
January 31, 2011 at 2:02 PM
 
Blane, I'm with you. If your in-laws don't like the way your daughter is behaving in their home (and I can certainly understand why!), it's up to them to deal with her and lay down the law. It's not up to you.
 
Comment
Redhead
February 19, 2011 at 6:06AM
 
We have a son, his not mine though I have raised him as my own since he was 18 months old, that since he turned 18 thinks we should not tell him what to do, remind him of what he needs to do, ask about his grades, he is still in high school his senior year. We have been having problems with him since he turned 16 and got bigger than his dad. He started puffing his chest out and trying to chest bump his dad when they were arguing which I found totally unappropiriate. We would tell him this was not proper for him and he would verbally assualt us. We have thrown him out before for this behavior , gotten him counseling, seen the doctor, and stared on anti depressants but to no avail. The most recent event was the kicker. He refused to help his fater and me shovel out so his dad could get to work and told us he would no longer do anything for us, pay us any room and board but was going to stay here. He dad asked he to do something the other morning and he refused and told him to f-off and go to hell. Dad told him to pack his stuff and get out, he is no longer welcome here. He was told the last time his behahior would not be tolerated and he would be made to move out. We packed his whole room and put it on the front porch and told him to come and get it. He will be 19 next month and just refuses to get that his behavior will not be tolerated any longer. Were we wrong?
 
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Rona Maynard
February 19, 2011 at 12:12 PM
 
Wrong? I'm cheering for you two. It must have been terribly difficult to put your stepson's gear on the porch and no doubt there are those who would call you heartless. But you had to draw the line, and you did. When there are no consequences for bad behaviour, nothing changes. This young man will continue to test you. Hold your ground, Redhead. Good luck.
 
Comment
Maggie
March 06, 2011 at 6:06PM
 
I have a 24 year old daughter who is a single mother of two children. Since she was 14 years old she has used Meth. After her first child was born she obviously was still using drugs and left me with her older child for three months and then coming back when pregnant with her second child. I was in denial that during and after her second child that she was continueing to use drugs. Today I found a pipe in her purse while looking for my car keys. I don't know what to do. Do I call Children Services? The police? My first thought was to throw her out but that will only help me, I want to help her. Any help would be appreciated.
 
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Rona Maynard
March 07, 2011 at 4:04 PM
 
Maggie, your first thought was bang-on. You aren't doing your daughter any favours by keeping her under your roof; you are only enabling her self-destructive ways. Drug abuse is a deal-breaker. You need to stand firm on that. As for your grandchildren, it's time to ask yourself whether you can take on the challenge of raising them since their mother is in no position to do so.
 
Comment
Cindy Halferty
March 28, 2011 at 7:07AM
 
I have a 24 year old daughter who in December 2010, returned from her final tour in Iraq. We discussed that she could live with me and my husband until she decided what her next move would be career wise etc. a few months. First first few months were well, she got a job, we had no monetary agreements but she contributed to the household, We keep a steno on the counter for shoping list. She also way picked up what ever was needed etc., One the first problems we encountered was the coming in at 4 am etc... or not coming home at all. We had a discussion and it was aggreed that she would call. It wasn't long and she broke the rules. Well a few weeks ago she took a second night time job. and now she shows up to grab a pair of shoes or dress twice a week. It as though she moved out but didn't and I am sitting home waiting for her to come home. I get half truths and excuses. It is wrong for me to question this behavoir - I feel its out of control and not a issue of privacy. I feel like she lives like a gypsy, and I am becoming angered by the situation because she avoid calls , texts etc... at this point. I think it is becuase she may feel I would disapprove of whatever the truth is. If she had "moved in with someone, Fine be honest and come get your belonging from our house. A week ago, I expressed to her being a grown up doesn't mean you can't call or communicate. I on't know what to do other then tell her to come and get her things.
 
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Rona Maynard
March 31, 2011 at 1:01 PM
 
Welcome, Cindy. Compared to most parents who've been posting here, you have it easy: your daughter's working (pretty hard, by the sound of things) and doesn't think night work is beneath her. But I do sympathize with your situation and have been there. When I had a 20-something son at home, the one significant bone of contention was his habit of staying out all night and never letting us know his plans. He seemed to feel it was belittling to share the most basic information with us, even though we never asked what he was doing all night or with whom. My husband and I made it clear that keeping us informed was a matter of common courtesy and safety. If we had houseguests who didn't return to our place after dinner, we'd wonder what had happened. But we never really got through to him. Luckily, he moved out before his night-time habits drove us to distraction. You have clearly passed that point. Your daughter is treating your home like a hotel. If she's going to be living under your roof, she must act like part of the family--or a good houseguest. If that's too much for her to stomach, she has to move out. Give her a deadline and stick to it. Good luck.
 
Comment
Susan
April 06, 2011 at 7:07AM
 
Your all's stories and advice have been SO helpful and have helped me in planning how to handle my situation. My older son (Karl) has always been a handful. He ran away from home at 15 and continued to get into trouble and disappear throughout his teenage years. At 18 he ran away and joined the Army (I found out when they sent me a letter). Since then he has been in trouble repeatedly and tells lies about virtually everything. I don't know what to believe him about anything!

He has been home for a few visits in the past seven years but never long term. The last time I talked to him--about 6 months ago--he was very angry at me. He had left guns under the bed at my house and although they were registered and legal I was appalled and angry that he had distinctly disrespected me this way. We have had discussions several times that I do not want guns or drugs in my house! When I called him after finding the guns under the bed he started screaming at me and calling me awful names that I had to hang up on him in shock and tears. He sent me one text message since then but has not responded to any voicemails or emails from me.

Last night he called me to say ?Hey?I?ll be home next week!? I was surprised and asked him what was going on. He said he had ?quit? the army (do they let you do that?) and decided to live at home and take care of me. (??? ? I am a healthy 53 year old woman with a good career surrounded by a wonderful group of family and friends.) He said that he was coming home and was going to go to school and would pay rent. I was totally taken aback?I did not see this coming at all. I told him I needed to think about it and would call him back today.

In reading your all?s comments I have decided that when I call him today I will discuss rules and expectations before I agree to anything. (I have a 19 year old son that still lives at home and the two boys fight a lot so I am concerned about his well-being also.) I have drafted up a list of rules and expectations for both boys which include rent and expenses, guests, chores, and respect. It also includes deadlines for moving out on their own (3 months for Karl) and the right to evict if any rules are broken or there is disrespect.

Now I sound all firm and confident here but trust me I am quaking in my boots. I love my son dearly but he can push every button I have. On top of this, after eight years of dating my boyfriend and I are planning on moving in together this fall. We did not want to uproot either his daughter or my son (both 19 now and ready for college) so we had waited to move forward with our own plans. I already have feelings of resentment that my older son may interfere with these plans. I have not yet had the chance to discuss this with my bf but will when we go out tonight. In the last 12 hours (since Karl?s phone call) my stress level has gone up considerably. Any advice, suggestions, and ideas are very welcome!

 
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Rona Maynard
April 07, 2011 at 5:05 AM
 
Susan, it's normal for you to feel terribly anxious as your son prepares to return, but remember this: he can't interfere with your plans unless you let him. The rules you've prepared are a good start at protecting your peace of mind--provided everyone understands them and you stick to them.
 
Comment
Susan
April 07, 2011 at 6:06AM
 
Thanks, Rona! I talked to my friends last night and had them go over my written out plan. They provided some suggestions and offered support in reminding me to follow through. I talked to Karl this morning and he doesn't have money to come home so I am buying his bus ticket. I explained to him that he will have to pay me back and that there will be house rules when he arrives.
Luckily my bf is understanding of the situation and is being very supportive. He says regardless of Karl's plans it will not change our plans to move in together. We've been waiting a long time for this and have already put our own plans off way too long for the sake of the children. As selfish as it might sound, I need to move forward with my life now. I raised three children on my own (ex left when the youngest was 3) and like all parents always made them my priority. Now it is my turn and as my daughter told me, they learn more from watching me grow and be happy than from anything I can say or give them.
 
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Rona Maynard
April 07, 2011 at 7:07 AM
 
I like your daughter--and the way you've raised her. These are words any mother would cherish from a child.
 
Comment
Virginia
June 16, 2011 at 9:09PM
 
our daughter who is 42 and who has a terrible job record of quitting or being fired, even though she has a masters degree. She is almost to the point of being homeless. she has gone trough all her unemployment. she is asking or begging to come home. she has been applying for lots of jobs,but mostly for college jobs, etc. She has had a few interviews she says she can't live on minimum wage. several years ago we let her move in with us for much same reasons and it was terrible. litte respect for any rules, did not want to help out, etc. now we are retired, on fixed incomes and my husband is diabetic and recently had part of an arm amputated. so I am taking care of him and doing all the driving in our one vehicle as well as household chores. I told her i was saying no this time and several of her peers called us selfish and some other things. what do you suggest? maybe if she does have to go to a shelter she might learn some respect and responsibility
 
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Rona Maynard
June 17, 2011 at 5:05 AM
 
I get it, Virginia. At this stage in your married life, with fixed incomes and a disability, the last thing you need is a disrespectful layabout in the house. So you're right to say no UNLESS (note capital letters) you've seen persuasive signs that your daughter is ready to change her ways and follow your rules. If that's the case, then give her one last chance but make a written agreement (see previous comments in this thread) and give her the boot if she breaks it. What her friends think is beside the point. This is about you and the integrity of your household.
 
Comment
Susan
June 17, 2011 at 6:06AM
 
Virginia, You're NOT being selfish, and I agree with Rona that it would be a mistake to allow your daughter to move in without specific responsibilities spelled out in a written agreement. Your daughter's level of maturity does not match her age. I'd suggest you find an online lease agreement and modify it to include work around the house in lieu of some of the rent if you give the move-in the go-ahead. Any agreement should have clear consequences for failing to follow it.

When I saw your note, it occurred to me that your daughter probably has self-esteem/self-worth issues or she may be clinically depressed. It's probably why, despite her level of education, she continues to apply for jobs that are beneath her. If you allow her to move in, and she does help out, it wouldn't hurt to help her self-confidence by giving her more compliments for the good things she does, while (if possible) ignoring the bad. It seems a bit juvenile, but might work.
 
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Rona Maynard
June 17, 2011 at 7:07 AM
 
Wisely put, Susan. As always.
 
Comment
Phil B
July 05, 2011 at 11:11AM
 
My wife and I allowed my 20 year old daughter to move in with us in March, and unfortunately have decided today that we are giving her 1 month to leave.

My ex-wife left when my daughter was about 6 months old and, receiving physical custody as was the norm at the time. When my daughter was 12, my ex wound up creating some pretty severe issues, and twisted my daughter around emotionally. She created a situation (very long story) where my daughter and I were estranged until February of this year when she contacted me and asked if we could try again.

When my wife heard this, she almost immediately suggested that we ask her to move back home. She was essentially homeless (living by going from one boyfriend to the next, which in my opinion is essentially prostituting herself) had dropped out of high school in her senior year, but was deciding to go back for her GED, and hadn't been to a dentist in years.

We made it clear that, while we wanted not only to be with her and re-establish our family, we wanted to help her to set things on a good path in her own life as well. We also let her know that we asked for very little in return, simple common courtesy, respect for our home, for us and for herself. The only other stipulation was that she could live here for free if she would enroll in school. If not, we would expect her to get some kind of job and pay at least something for rent.

She moved home on March 19. On March 23 she totaled our car. Okay, accidents happen. Unfortunately the car she wrecked was in great condition and completely paid off. We wound up leasing a comparable vehicle and are now paying for that. We also got her to a dentist only to find that she has a condition that has become known among dentists as "Mountain Dew Mouth," which is common among gamers and people who spend hours on computers while drinking sugar loaded drinks. 20 teeth need filling and 5 need root canal with posts and crowns. The estimate? Since she has no insurance, we're paying about $10,000. In the time she's been here, between having to get another vehicle, the dental bills, clothes, doctor bills, cell phone, and a first semester of community college, we're in about $30,000 in expenses that are directly related to her actions or needs.

We could deal with that, except for the fact that she's now missed out on registering for the second semester, has fought getting a job at every turn, is completely disrespectful to me, my wife, and my (step) son and daughter (16 and 19) and our home. During appointments at the dentist and the doctor, both my wife and I have been embarrassed by the foul language and abusive tone she uses when berating the office staff. She refuses to abide by any of our rules about not staying out all night. We've recently found our that she has been taking pictures of herself having sex with some kid she met, and sending the pictures to another guy out of state that she wants to entice to visit her.

I've reached max saturation. I can't help but think that when you keep going up to the same dog, and you keep getting bitten, at some point it stops being the dog's fault. We're giving her a month to make arrangements. In the mean time, pretty much everything except food, clothing and shelter are being cut off. I hate doing this, but I cannot and will not destroy a loving family because one person doesn't know how to act. I'm sorry for what she went through with my ex, but that doesn't mean we have to just sit back and take it.
 
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Rona Maynard
July 05, 2011 at 1:01 PM
 
Well, Phil, the best and most truthful thing I can say about this mess is that you and your wife know what you must do and have given your daughter a firm ultimatum. You must have made your decision with the heaviest of hearts. When your daughter ups the pressure, as as typical in these situations, know that the only way out is standing firm. I do hear the occasional success story on this site. As you probably gather, this kind of "success" is not admission to Harvard or a management-track job; it's modest, hard-won progress that finally signifies some kind of plan. I hope that one day, you'll have such a story about your daughter.
 
Comment
Brenda L
October 10, 2011 at 9:09PM
 
Thanks so much for this site..how alone I have been feeling. My story is of a 38 yrold son, who at 18 was (wrongfully, but didn't understand seriousness of not appealing) convicted of a felony. He was actually guilty of wrong friends/wrong time/place. All went well, with sentence suspended..kept his good job for many yrs afterward. Problem started after 9/11, when employers started doing background checks. The felony has ruined his life, basically, since then. He never finished his education after HS, and I don't think that a great degree even would help.

There are simply no decent-paying jobs (contrary to what is publicized) that will hire a felon...even if the felony occurred 20 yrs ago with no trouble since. He has worked a series of temporary jobs since 2001..and you cannot get ahead on minimum wage when you have to pay rent and util., car payments, etc.

Consequently, he has had to move in with me, his divorced mom, several times. Every time he has lived with me, has ended in me having to pay deposits, rents, etc on apts for him, just to get rid of him to save my sanity. It always begins well with promises and I've even had him sign an 'agreement' as to his responsibilities and attitudes.

Once again, he is here...I am retired and barely surviving on meager amt. He is, I've finally realized bi-polar..fine one minute, a monster the next. Things weren't so bad until he lost the latest job and is making no effort to find another. He steals from me and threatens me..basically, he tells me he is in charge. I am at the end of my rope. He has told me that he will NOT leave until he wants..that I will regret it if I do as I've threatened..to phone police to force him to leave...holds it over my head that he will have another 'mark' on his record. Before, when I've had to force him out onto street, he will show up on my porch making scenes, demanding to be allowed back in.

I know the answers..I KNOW I have enabled him for years and just let myself feel sorry for his problems..just like all your comments. I do feel better having 'told' all this to (hopefully) someone who understands. (His father is out of state and tells me simply to give up on trying to help him and call 911 and have him escorted to a shelter...right, but hard)
 
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Rona Maynard
October 21, 2011 at 11:11 AM
 
Brenda, sometimes doing the right thing is terribly hard. This is one of those times. You know what to do. Delaying won't make it any easier.
 
Comment
Jessica
December 02, 2011 at 10:10AM
 
First off, the disclaimer is that this is a story about a parent living with their offspring. Where to start! I amm sorry about the lengthy back story, but it is a fairly important part of the history here and I have a problem with providing too many details. It helps me keep timelines straight. If it is overwhelming, feel free to skip and not read! :P

My mom had been living at her parent?s house taking care of her dad since late 2001 (on and off and then permanently when her and Dad could not reconcile). My grandmother (my mom's mom) had cancer and though my grandfather took care of her through that until she died, after she was gone, he lost his will to live and needed care himself. My aunt and my mom moved back into my grandparent?s house to take care of him. My grandparents had three children, two daughters and a son. The son wanted to sell the house. He paid off the last portion of the mortgage back in 1982 so his share of the house was bigger than theirs but neither my mom nor my aunt wanted to sell the house. Then, my aunt changed her mind and wanted to sell it. My mom resisted, saying God told her that she was to have the house, or it was to stay in the family. They went with the petition to sell option, it was granted, and the house was sold by court order. My mom still resisted and refused to pack any of her belongings or look for another place to live. She would not accept help packing from me or my boyfriend saying that God told her to do nothing. My boyfriend suggested that even if she was right and the house did not actually sell (even though that had already happened), would it not be a good idea if she was more prepared just in case? She did not agree. When I asked her what she thought they would do if the people that purchased the house came to move in and she was still living there, she replied that she supposed they would put her in jail. At that point, I stopped trying to help her, as it appeared she knew the consequences.

The time period for moving out came and went. She refused to leave. She even went so far as to board up some of the windows and to screw some of the windows shut with screws that require a special type of screw driver to undo. She ended up being taken to jail and was there for five days. They packed up all of her belongings that were left in the house. There were also still items belonging to my grandparents. These items were out in the yard to be picked up for someone for sale/auction, but Mom dragged them back in the house so they were packed up with her stuff. They filled two storage units, a large and a medium, and the court ordered the people doing the packing to be paid with Mom's share of the house sale after taxes. She received around $33k total (according to her, so who really knows) after taxes.

All of that happened in July 2010 when I was still living with my dad and going on house searches. I finally found a house, made an offer, and had my offer accepted in January 2011. In-between July and January, Mom had been living on the streets (she burned all bridges and was afraid of being mugged in the homeless shelter) until it got cold. Then she used her house sale money and stayed at a hotel from about October on. Even though I felt it was her fault she ended up in the position she was in, I thought it was the right thing to do to offer her a place to stay until she could find a job (she lost hers when she was in jail) and get back on her feet. She agreed that it would be a good arrangement only on a temporary basis and she would help pay for groceries or other bills.

The first night I spent in my house was February 4, 2011. I had one full week to enjoy my house with my boyfriend before she moved in on February 11, 2011. In the beginning, the agreement was she bought groceries and cooked dinner. She did not really buy what we wanted to eat and sometimes we were ready to eat dinner so late that eventually it did not work out for her to cook every night. Instead, I suggested we determine a set amount of money for her to pay every month, and my boyfriend and I would buy food and cook for ourselves. I let her choose an amount she felt was fair and that she could handle and she chose $100 a month. She started paying in October, I believe, and the prior month she had not provided food. I assumed she still had some money from the house, though I assumed that it would be getting low soon. When I got the money from her for November, she informed me that she had $250 in her account and was looking to God to provide her with a miracle or a job. Note: she has not actually looked for a job since July 2011 when she lost her job.

She is obviously unstable, and no one else in the family will help her. I cannot take it for much longer. She is completely focused on the storage and goes there every day she can get a ride and looks through the stuff determining what to throw away, sell, keep, and give to Goodwill. That is all she talks about, meanwhile there is still a bunch of her stuff in my house so I cannot use the third bedroom that no one is sleeping in. When I bring my concerns up, she just throws up the defense that she bought groceries for six months and that she took care of me for so many years. Maybe that means I should feel obligated to help her, and the thing is I did help her, but she is not helping herself and she seems to think that it is her God given right to call the shots and not work until she gets the storage situated. I wish I was happier to help her but I cannot help that it is going to send me away in a straight jacket if I continue this much longer.

I am thinking of picking a date at least 30 days in the future and telling her she needs to be actively looking for a job and in therapy with a doctor that can prescribe medications if necessary by that date, or she is out.

Does this sound like a decent approach or am I being unreasonable?
 
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Rona Maynard
December 02, 2011 at 4:04 PM
 
Jessica, yours is the first story I've received about an adult child making space in her home for a parent incapable of living like a grownup. Your mother is mentally ill, as you've already deduced. She urgently needs help and won't get it as long as she's under your roof, expecting you to provide. I suggest you get things moving by making an appointment with a therapist--she won't be able to do that on her own. Make your own expectations clear and make them stick. You're not being unreasonable; you have a life to live. I wish you well. And your mother too.
 
Comment
Eliza
December 09, 2011 at 6:06AM
 
I was led to this website today, and I have spent the past half hour reading the posts. I have two grown daughters. Both have college degrees, completely paid for. One found 'love' in her junior year - moved in with 'love' and less than 24 hours after taking her final for graduation she delivered our grandson, a true blessing, if ever there was one. 'love' lost his job, didn't look for another...money from this mom and dad helped, but when living in a van becaome a possibility daughter and son moved back in with Mom and Dad. Step back for a moment... Other daughter met and married a man she only knew for a few weeks....a difficult man with many challenges. This daughter lost her management job in a shut-down and her husband can't keep a job. They came to visit for the holidays two years ago and stayed for two months. Daughter found a job, they moved out, and the same afternoon sister and baby boy arrived. They've been with us now for almost two years. She works two jobs, but still does not make enough to be on her own with a young child. NO support comes from the father. Her sister is in a bad spot again, and we are wiling to help her out, but can not allow her husband to live with us again. He is more challenge than we can handle without professional help. We love our girls and we understand this economic situation is very hard on so many families. We feel blessed to be able to help them, but we are tired and resentment rears its ugly head. Thanks for 'listening". ~E
 
Comment
Pamela Browning
January 03, 2012 at 6:06AM
 
I have searched for 2 days for a support group, God Bless you Rona for this. My adult son, who is 21 lives with his father and I, we ask little from him, be respectful, help out, keep a job and pay your bills, he works pays his bills and for the most part is respectful, (looking at this now, I really wonder if I did the right thing) Here is the problem, he has been slowly showing signs of arrogance, as in, I am an adult and I can do as I please. All we ever asked was for him to be respectful of our home and rules and the rules weren't many. He wrecked his car because of drinking, (thank God nobody else was involved and no one got hurt) He used our vehicle only to go to work and back. On New Year's, he ditched work to go party with his friends in our vehicle and when confronted about it he blew up in a rage, I have seen him mad before but this was a full blown rage, used AWFUL language, his dad and I threw him out, I cannot abide disrespect, especially in the home we pay for, the groceries we buy and the utilities we pay; however, it is breaking my heart, I do not want to talk to him and I don't want to see him, I am afraid he has damaged our relationship beyond repair, my husband keeps telling my we did the only thing our son would allow us to do...I need help with this because I am afraid of hating my son. Thanks again Rona, for having this place to come to.
 
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Rona Maynard
January 04, 2012 at 12:12 PM
 
Hi, Pamela. I can't say this page is a support group but no doubt you'll recognize aspects of your situation here. You've taken an important first step by throwing him out. Now you have to deal with the maelstrom of emotions you face as the mother of an alcoholic. You say you need help because you're afraid of hating him--a perceptive comment that will strike a chord with anyone who has loved (and struggled with) an alcoholic family member. Wherever you live, you should be pretty close to an Al-Anon group. There you will find the insight and guidance you need. Good luck.
 
Comment
Terry Perry
February 16, 2012 at 7:07AM
 
I have read many of the comments and can so relate to most of them. My daughter, fiance and 3 children moved in with my husband and I in March of 2010. This was not the first time. The first time they moved in with us, my oldest grandson, who is now 6, was only 2 and my granddaughter was an infant. They moved in with us because my daughter's fiance had lost his job. At that point, they were with us for approximately two and a half years. He has been in and out of employment since the day I met him, and blames everyone else for his problems. He is also obssessed with politics and talks about it at, what I think, is a very unhealthy level. When he's not talking about it, he's getting updates on his phone and watching it on television, and sometimes, doing both. He has been laid off for the past three weeks and believes he will be called back at the same company in early March.

I have my doubts because of his attitude and his constant political rhetoric, which can be quite annoying. It certainly causes one to wonder if he continues with this rant while at work that perhaps that's the reason he can't keep a job. One thing I was always taught is never talk politics or religion, especially at work. I don't know, maybe times have changed. It's not that I don't know what to do. It's just that I can't imagine giving my daughter and my grandchildren an ultimatum. it breaks my heart to think of them as being homeless, but I honestly don't know how much more I can take of my daughter's fiance's nonsense. I know that if I ask him to leave, my daughter and grandchildren will leave as well. He dosen't respect me or my home and I'm at my wits end. Well, I could go on forever but thanks for giving me the opportunity to express my feelings. It's nice to know that there are so many out there in the same situation.
 
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Rona Maynard
February 17, 2012 at 5:05 AM
 
Terry, you obviouskt cannot continue sharing your home with this man. As long as you allow him to stay, you're protecting your daughter from the consequences of tying her life to his. There's no guarantee that she'll ever move on but the longer you shelter her deadbeat husband, the less likely that stay with him. I won't tell you what to do because it's clear you already know and are gathering the strength to face the pain of what's coming. As a grandmother, I know it's going to be rough.
 
Comment
Stressed Mother
March 18, 2012 at 7:07PM
 
My son, has been living with me and my husband for about 2yrs he moved out on his own but had some drugs problem, I showed tough love and allow him to be homless for about 3mos but he was shot and I felt compell to let him come home. Now he is off drugs got a min wage job trying to get on his feet ,but he is bipolar which allow him to be in a shell where he do not talk to us very much all he does is go to work and play viedo games. I dont want to stress him out, but I need to talk to him about moving out because him and my husband do not like each other the two of them have express it more than once. My husband get in his face yelling at him and he never says a word, I have let my husband know thats not expectable and never, do his like that again just because he is passive, I dont think that fair to his as a grown man what should I do?
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
April 09, 2012 at 5:05 AM
 
The main problem here is a severe illness--bipolar disorder--not a bad attitude. I'm not the person to advise you. Your family needs professional help dealing with it.
 
Comment
Marie Strobel
March 28, 2012 at 9:09AM
 
I forgot to mention in my last remark that I absolutely adore my grandson and to think that he is being affected by this situation makes me very concerned. He looks okay so far, but I can't stand to think of him in a homeless shelter...
 
Comment
Kerri J
April 08, 2012 at 3:03PM
 
I live with my fiance and my daughter who is 4 years old. We all get along fine and my fiance has a son who is 21 years of age. He was for a while bouncing back and forth living between his mother(who he didnt like the rules of her house so then moved.) into his grandmothers house, who constantly had issues with him living there not respecting her rules im guessing.

Now he lives here, my fiance has set rules where he is to pick up after himself, his room and his bathroom, which is our guest bathroom. he has trashed his bedroom, doesnt do ANY chores around the house, and his father is constantly needing to work on his sons car.(so that way he can go to work, working a part time job.) he contributes nothing to this house, encluding food which he was to buy weekly for himself.

I am getting rather upset by this whole deal, my fiance i know is upset as well but sees his son, as his son, and doesnt want to get down on his adult child, and hopes to keep a "good standing relationship" with him. Overall he is using his father, taking advantage of this entire situation, he pays nothing here, eats up everything, and trashes the bathroom and his bedroom. Then if that isnt enough, our livingroom has turned into a rock concert of late night band playing with drums and guitars, and his friends that come over mostly on the weekends until very late. There is no consideration for the fact i am a mom of a 4 year old, and at the end of the day which is by atleast 8pm to 9pm, i want ME time, i get none of that anymore since he has moved back. my fiance and i do not spend time together much anymore because of this. Mostly due to his son always wanting his dad to do this that or the other thing. I do not understand why he will not tell his adult child to simply respect this house. My fiance is the biggest clean freak, and this is his first home he has ever had, wishes that this house stay clean and upkept outside as well as inside. We are doing it, and his son has no respect whatsoever. It is as if he just doesnt care. I am sure he doesnt see it this way, as he is more focused on what he wants to do at his age. But i do not know how much longer i can withstand his son ruining things.. not real sure what to do about this since it isnt my son, and talking to my fiance about this gets us in to somewhat of a heated discussion.
 
Comment
Brenda L
April 10, 2012 at 6:06PM
 
Hi..I am back for an update. I finally had enough with my 38 yr old son who has mental problems. I had talked with our magistrate to find out if I could get him committed against his will..he refuses to face that he has problems. I was told that it's near impossible if the person can act fine and convincing..my son could get an Oscar. Common with bipolar dis.

Last week was my final straw..enough threatening me and his brother, enough breaking things, enough major screaming fits, refusing to work, etc. My only recourse was to have him arrested and charged with threats and destruction of property when he refused to leave here and even when escorted by police he returned. The hardest thing I have ever done.

He is in jail now with no one to bail him out as he has done the same things as done to me to every friend he has ever had, including a brother and ex girlfriends. He was addicted to (prescribed) painkillers (part of problem) and is now in withdrawal since they allow no drugs there.

I have not answered one collect call and have made a promise to everyone that I will not ever be in this situation again. I am not sure when he will be released but he will never come here again. I am not breathing easy yet. He has promised many bad things would happen to me if he was ever arrested..and I may even have to sell my house and move to be safe...remember, this is threats he makes against the only person in the world who gives a darn about him and have sacrificed half my life and loads of money for.

So, please learn from my mistakes: Enabling on my part, though with good intentions, has caused most of this. I take responsibility but perhaps too late. I am 65 yrs old and have heart problems and this stress has almost killed me. Any prayers and good thoughts are much appreciated.
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
April 14, 2012 at 7:07 PM
 
Brenda, it's a tough stand you've taken and I don't doubt that you've never done anything harder. You've done the right thing and made the right promise to yourself: you will never be in this bind again. Thank you for sharing your story with other parents who can learn from it.
 
Comment
Christina
April 30, 2012 at 4:04PM
 
Hello, I have a 27 year old son who recently lost his job and his roommates. I have been paying for his student loan, car loan as well as his cell phone bill. He barely gets by with the minimum wage job as customer service. I have recently sold some of my gold jewelry to help him out but I am at a lost of why he is cannot financially support himself. By the way I have twins that are 16 years old. What should I do?
 
Comment
jenny k
May 05, 2012 at 6:06AM
 
I don't know where to start. My son moved back into our home after flunking out of college. It has been 2 1/2 years now. He works part time, pays his own bills. He is sweet and good natured but a slob, never cleaning his room or doing a load of laundry (though he will do anything I ask him to, I still have to ask). He was diagnosed with clinical depression after leaving school, though he no longer takes medication or sees a therapist. He is very smart but did not do as well as he could have in school. His teachers liked him but were frustrated by him. He had lots of friends in high school and college but most of the people he knew have moved on in their lives. I feel he covers his unhappiness with me because he does not want me to worry. I know he is lonely. He has put on alot of weight since coming home. My husband says we cannot "fix" him but as a mother I have so much guilt that I cannot feel happy. I should mention that I have two other children that thrived as adults. What did I do wrong raising him? He was always very sweet, funny and sensitive, I tried too hard to protect him from lifes hurts and now I ended up hurting him by not giving him the tools to handle things. Is it too late? I not only want him to move on with his life, I want him to have a happy life. I know I can probably help him with the first if I knew how, the second is out of my hands. I wake up thinking about this and go to bed praying about it.
 
Comment
Patty
May 05, 2012 at 6:06PM
 
My husband's daughter, her husband and 4 children ranging from 18 yrs old to 2 yrs old and their dog moved into our home last July because they lost their home in FL. They were supposed to help with utilities etc but haven't been able to do so. He has a job but pays so much child support for his oldest son which he should pay. She gets child support but didn't tell us until she moved here that she promised her ex send it back to him so he can come to see the children. She is attending nursing school to get her degree hopefully to get a better paying job when finished. The problem is they are lazy. They don't clean up anything. No matter what I say or do nothing changes. The children are not made to mind anyone. Crap the parents don't follow any rules so there's no way the children will.

We finally had a meeting with everyone and things were better for a few weeks and everything is back to the way it was. I am at my witts end. It is my husbands daughter and family and he has come to the place that he says nothing any more. He fusses about things to me, but when I say anything he is mad at me. We are on social security and made it clear before they came here not to come if they couldn't help because we barely make it ourselves. Hubby had a little bit of money put back but almost all of it is gone. I'm afraid that I am going to have to leave because I cannot stand the disrespect. I can appreciate the fact that they can't pay anything. The economy is the cause of not enough work on a job and the loss of their home. Husband even told them we should never have done this. He told me he wished we had never done it, but we felt we had to because of the children especially the baby.

I just need a place to vent where maybe others are going through the same thing because if I can't vent somewhere, I'm going to have to leave my husband. I\'m that desperate. I feel like I don't even belong in my own home. Nothing I say or ask to be done is acknowledged. I just wonder how others are handling these situations.

Thanks for letting me vent. If there is a support group for those of us going through these type of situations, I sure would love to be part of it. Oh and by the way the daughter and son-in-law are in their mid-thirties. Time for them to grow up and take responsibility for some things in my opinion. And if they can't pay, then help around here. Patty
 
Comment
Susan
May 14, 2012 at 6:06AM
 
This message is for Kerri J. Your soon-to-be stepson is (chronologically) an adult and needs to have expectations set for his behavior, along with consequences for not behaving.rnrnYour situation isn't unlike the one I faced with my daughter when she moved into our home about 3 years ago. We ended up challenging her to either obey the rules or move out. She made the decision (by failing to comply) to move out. I am proud to say she is completely self-supporting, recently moved into her own studio apartment and is doing well in her job.rnrnFrom the outside, it appears as if you and your fiance need to again discuss the rules originally laid down for his son...and also agree to enforceable consequences. Then, most importantly, you need to follow through if the rules aren't followed.

Good luck!
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
May 14, 2012 at 6:06 AM
 
Inspiring news, Susan. And great advice, too. Progress really is possible when parents take a firm stand.
 
Comment
Franci
May 31, 2012 at 5:05AM
 
I am reading posts here because I refused my daughter to move into my home after she asked to stay and I am feeling a bit guilty about it. She is married with a 4 year old and a 2 month old. They have had financial issues for a while now and I have given them money on occasion. Both of their vehicles are not running, my husband offered to fix a vehicle if her husband would help him fix it. I recently shut my own cable TV off because I could not afford it anymore. When I suggested they turn their cable and internet off she told me her husband refuses to do so because he deserves the right to play video games and watch cable because he works all day. It's a good thing that I don't have an entitlement issue. Anyway, I have summed it up to being just that - the kids think they are entitled to things vs. having to be responsible. I refuse to be an enabler of my kids poor financial choices. It may be that they need to move to a homeless shelter before learning the hard way. Except I am not quite sure if they have wifi at the homeless shelter.
 
Comment
Lina
August 01, 2012 at 6:06AM
 
My heart goes out to all of you who are in these difficult situations with their adult children.

The biggest problem is my husband, who I feel is enabling.

Here is the situation:

My son is almost 26. He has bounced back home three times, each time with a girlfriend in tow. He begs my husband to let them stay; that he will help out around the house and give us something for the utilities until they can get back on their feet.

The first time it was with the Girlfriend From Hell. They stayed here exactly two months, and I gave them the boot. They moved in with Girlfriend From Hell's mother. Better her than me.

The second time my son brought another girlfriend. They had lost their apartment because the other tenants moved out and they couldn't afford the rent by themselves; they were looking to regroup and find another place. At the time both were working; and after three months they found an apartment. This girlfriend was a decent young woman, and she wanted out as soon as possible.

This time he bounced back bringing another "girlfriend from Hell" she has psychological issues from abuse from her parents and she just had his baby in February. They were staying at her mother's. My son abused the girlfriend, and the baby was taken into foster care. The girlfriend blew the whistle on her mom (who uses illegal substances). To make a long story short Mom kicked them out for telling and they are now staying in our basement.

My son lost his job in December and has not made any effort to find work. The girlfriend works. Both are slobs, and piss me off, their living quarters look like a disaster area. My husband won't kick them out because he's afraid for them living in a shelter or on the street; I am fed up with the situation and it's ruining my relationship with my husband. He feels sorry for them; I feel they are taking advantage.

The situation has become unbearable and I am ready to explode. Any suggestions on how to get my husband to see things for what they are?

 
Reply
Rona Maynard
August 06, 2012 at 2:02 PM
 
You're right, Lina. He's enabling. What to do about this? If money permits (perhaps a very big "if"), I recommend therapy with someone practical, compassionate and firm who will focus on your here-and-now issues. Family therapy would be the ideal choice but seeing someone on your own could bring the kind of clarity that will ultimately impact other people's behaviour. If you're up against the financial wall, ask yourself if Al-Anon might be helpful. You qualify if anyone in your life, past or present, had an alcohol problem that became your problem, too. I've seen Al-Anon bring a sense of purpose, confidence and community to people who'd been flailing. It won't change your family but it can give you new tools for dealing constructively with them.
 
Comment
Sally
August 06, 2012 at 1:01PM
 
It seams to me that everyone just allows their kids to move back in????? The response should always be NO and if you need to then change the locks so that they don't move in. It seems that they all know that you can be taken advantage of and that you are believe that you are helping your children, when you ARE NOT. What it does do is lets the adult believe that they can get away with this behavior in the real world. Just don't let it happen.....reclaim your life and tell them that life is hard sometimes and they need to be accountable for their own actions and let them live their own lives regardless of the outcome. They choose this path and KNEW the outcome! They know that they can be irresponsible with their life choices and expect you to pick up the pieces over and over again. Just tell them no and that's the end of it.....regardless of their circumstances. Let someone else pick up the pieces and stand tall that you are helping them deal with disappointments that will always happen with everyone at some point of their lives. Not giving in teaches them how to live in the real world sooner than later.
 
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Rona Maynard
October 08, 2012 at 6:06 AM
 
Someone had to say it! Kudos to you, Sally.
 
Comment
Lynn
March 25, 2013 at 5:05PM
 
We just went through this too. We recently let my 21-yo (almost 22) goddaughter move in with us after she and her fiancee broke up and she needed a place to stay. We had agreed to help her with the tuition for her 6 months of tech school. Our arrangement was that as long as she was passing her classes, we would pay for school, and she could clean house each week for a couple of hours (my husband recently had surgery, but we both work full time plus, sometimes 6 days a week) in exchange for rent. Well, what a mess. When she first arrived at our house, she started staying out partying with her friends 5 nights a week - leaving us with her adult dog, who we discovered was NOT potty trained. Then I discover she's only working 15 hours a week, and is turning down hours at work - and she had 6 weeks to go before school started. Once school started (one day a week) she refused to work more than 24 hours a week, and her cleaning "help" was lackadasial to say the least. Well, this week we found out that she didn't pass half her tests at school, and didn't even bring home her books for 3 weeks (left them in the classroom) and was asked to withdraw from the program by the school because she is so far behind the rest of the class. I had repeatedly asked her about her grades, and she always told me things were fine. Apparently this is the 2nd time she'd been talked to by the school as well. On top of it, we had given her an iPhone and a practically new netbook, plus paid for all of her food, toiletries, and dog food these entire 4 months as well. We found out that she wasn't passing her classes the day the school suggested she leave - she knew then that the jig was up. We told her how disappointed we were that she hadn't told us about it sooner, and that since free rent was conditional upon her being in school, AND we'd had several talks with her about working more hours, that she could stay with us until the end of next month - but next month she would also be charged rent. In advance. (She had our entire basement - bedroom, her own bath, fireplace, and computer at her disposal.) Not only did she not want to do that (which is OK with us), but when we came home from work the next day, she and 90% of her stuff were gone - she just packed up and left without telling us. Plus she left us a mess to clean. She then wanted to come over and pick up more stuff while we were at work this week, and we told her um, no. After all of that plus moving out with no notice, you no longer have free access to our home to come and go as you please. The alarm code has been changed; you can make arrangements with us to come and get your things when we are home. We didn't feel that after everything we did for her, plus we probably lost thousands in tuition we paid out of our pocket, that letting her get off scot-free and be able to skulk away and avoid us would be teaching her the wrong thing about honesty. I am so mad at her right now it's not even funny. She knew she was flunking half of her classes, yet continued to happily take the free room and board and expensive electronics gifts, and allow us to take her out to dinner. I was so hurt and angry that I was in tears the other night. Her plan now is to go live with her sister in another state - she just gave notice at her job. Sigh.
 
Comment
Kathryn
June 02, 2013 at 3:03PM
 
Hello,
My daughter is 25 years old and the mother of a 4 year old and a 3 year old. She had to drop out of college because of failing grades and a pregnancy. After an out-pouring of family support, both emotionally and financially from both my family and my husbands family, she managed to get pregnant again within the next 5 months. Oh I forgot to mention that when she left college, she came home and got a full time job and a part time job. Even though I questioned her repeatedly about it she continued to deny and hide the pregnancy and would not admit it until she was far into labor and had to be taken to the hospital. I think she thought she was going to have the baby and hide it, or give it away. Not sure what was going through her head, but we got through the situation with open and loving arms.
Next dilemma, she is pregnant again, but once again does not reveal until she is 3 months along. I was so embarrassed, I didn't know how I was going to face my family. She ended up marrying the father of both of her children. We had a beautiful but modest wedding. Most of the family attended and made it a joyous occasion. My daughter cried.
Once again we were able to make the most of the situation. When the wedding was over, we let our family know that they were expecting again.
The marriage: started out seemingly picture perfect only to be overcome with frequent partying - husband out with his friends several times a week, my daughter out with her friends several times a week. After a year or so, my daughter is complaining of depression. I let her move back home and we get her some counceling. She also gets on some ADD meds because she has a hard time focusing on housework and the kids (this has been suspected for many years) She wants to try to save some money, get caught up on bills, get est. in job, be a better mom.
5 months later- she does not pick up her clothes, food, dishes, kids toys, she can't wait to get out with her friends and many times comes home at 3 or 4 in the am. She is CONSTANTLY on her smart phone, even when she is supposedly watching the kids. She doesn't pay her bills, had her car repossessed, and I suspect she is having an extra-marital affair. She also stopped taking her meds. My husband is ready to kick her out. We're worried about her and the kids. I'm at my wits end, please help!

 
Comment
Sarah Rachel Photography
June 17, 2013 at 9:09AM
 
As a parent when our kids turns an adult. It's very difficult for us to think differently when it comes handling them. Sometime we still look them as our little kids.
 
Comment
Terry
July 24, 2013 at 9:09AM
 
I am willing to start a support group in Northern VA. How do I get the word out?
 
Reply
Rona Maynard
July 24, 2013 at 9:09 AM
 
Terry, let's see if anyone responds to your query here. In the meantime, I suggest you blitz the bulletin boards in your area: supermarkets, community centers, laundromats, the works. There are lots of parents looking for a support group. Good luck.
 
Comment
Lynertte
September 10, 2013 at 7:07PM
 
Hi I am 35. I moved back home when I was 33. I lived in another city and took a job that required a fast move. So my mom said, "move in here. You better not come home and not stay for a while" Well that was almost 3 years ago. I has not even seemed like it. We have a good time I love coming home to someone. But I am ready to spread my wings. Now that I am leaving I feel like I am leaving her again. I do not know what it feels like to have my own place in the same city as my mom. I initially moved when I was 17 for college came back at 19 left at twenty to only return at 33 for what was suppose to be passing through. My younger brother has however been here since birth and left when I cam back...Ironic right? He has since returned and I am exiting. I really believe we will leave at the same time. Now the concern is will she have empty nest syndrome? My step father is deceased and she will be alone. Oh,wait thats right, my 85 year old grandmother maybe moving in. Talk about multi generational. I am so excited to leave but I feel I will not be able to pay my bills. I think those thoughts are warped. I now make twice as much as I did before.....I do not understand my emotions...lol!!
 
Comment
Patricia
October 28, 2013 at 1:01PM
 
Just as I was beginning to feel as if my husband and I were the only one going through this, I come across this website. Thank you . Our story is rather long so I will make it as condensed as possible. our son, who married rather young came to live with us after his marriage failed. I can still remember the day as if it were yesterday. that was 2 and a half years ago. In the beginning it was just him. We helped him pack and clean an apartment that him, his wife and children lived in. he was to stay with us just long enough for him to get back on his feet. He now has custody of his children so that also live with us.rnrnour hope was that they would get back together but that didn't happen so here we are living in our home adjusting and trying to make things work. It has been a struggle but now I'm starting to feel taken advantage of. He is lazy rude and does nothing but spent time with a girlfriend that I think wants nothing to do with our grandchildren. We have laid some ground rules from the very beginning. I will say that he does do for his children but I think that the quality fo time could be better. He does help with homework, baths, and supper those things he does do. There is more to the story but for now tthank you for having this.
 
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