Adult daughter - not grown up

lindakimyJuly 26, 2008

I hesitate to post...dd is very internet savvy and I wouldn't want to embarrass her. But I am so concerned.

My dear daughter has had a run of bad luck - and she has added to it by being lazy and lacking in initiative. She was laid off in January and still doesn't have a job. She DOES have credit card debt...that I fear she isn't paying. She has lost two places to live and is now staying with me. I don't mind that IF she will use this opportunity to pay her debts and find a job.

I know this is a common problem - lots of kids hit rough spots. But I don't know what to do. Should I actively try to teach her how to deal with the problems? Has that train left the station? Will she resent my "information" so much that she will just resist? How much HELP should I try to give her in her job search? There are people at work willing to try because they like me but what if she doesn't live up to their recommendations (she didn't when dh found her a job a few years ago).

I dearly love this girl. And there are stresses in how she gets along with my husband (they don't like each other). I find myself in the middle a LOT. I am strong and I can take that IF I can feel sure that I am doing the right thing.

Just how much help - and what kind - should I be giving her?

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You don't say how old your daughter is, but my advice is to leave her alone to work her own way out of the mess.

Is she living at home? If so, perhaps it's time to suggest that she move on.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 7:58AM
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my mother's advice would be to find her a modest studio apartment, pay the rent for 3 months and move her. Tell her she can't come back home. Mom said it would save money in the long run and looking back I think she was right on.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 3:50PM
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How old is she ?

How many times have you helped her out ?

I just read on another forum about enabling, perhaps that is what you are doing, she knows you will rescue her.

What incentive, do you think, she has for getting a job, and taking control of her life ?

I think we can help our adult children a few times, and then that is it, they have to take the reigns and run their own lives.

Let us know what you do.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 7:04PM
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I am not trying to be critical, but I am going to ask some tough questions. It's a difficult situation and requires such. I hope this helps!

1) She was laid off in January and still doesn't have a job. Why not? I'd have two lower level jobs if I didn't have one good one. Or one lower level to leave time to look for a good job.

2) Have you discussed how you're "concerned for her and fear she isn't paying her debt"? Outloud, to her? You're not being harsh, you're being caring if you say it the right way.

3) She has lost two places to live and is now staying with me. Why? If I lost my home(s), I'd be frantic to find something suitable. If was lack of funds, I'd find funds.

4) While I realize she's your child and you'd do anything for her, who of us wouldn't?, if she didn't live up to your husband's recommendations why would she live up to yours? Are you willing to lose that part of you?

4) Just how much help - and what kind - should I be giving her? I have to agree with the enabling here. Quit helping her until she helps herself more. Help her write a good resume, acquire skills to get a better job, find her own place and be a strong woman. Just like you want her to be. You love her, it's obvious to us, and her, I'm sure. Being tough won't change that fact.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:59AM
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My MIL went through something similar with her daughter (now 37). About 2 years ago, MIL finally realized (with the urging of her other kids) that she was "crippling" her daughter by always being there for her and always offering her home for her to stay at. Whenever she would move back home, the less responsible she became. It was her "safety net". She had a drug and alcohol problem too. She was always self-pitying and verbally abusing her mom.

Now she's on her own (after MIL kicked her out) and lives down South. She still gets into trouble now and then, but that's her life and her decisions. MIL is now less stressed about her too.

Don't be an enabler. Giver her a "time line" of when she needs to move out. As long as she has her "safety net", the more she'll "slack off". Encourage her to get her motivated into helping herself. After all, she's not living. She's only existing! (My dad told me that once at age 20 and that got me going!)

Maybe she doesn't know where to start. You can help her in this regard by offering your opinions and maybe resources that can help her.

Is she depressed or IN a depression? There is a difference!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 9:24AM
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