Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

5 Bumps

Why do I continue to enable my adult daughter?

My daughter is the youngest of three, age 22. She struggled with ADHD and a learning disability in school, so I think my enabling began there. Now I excuse her inability to find a job based on her dismal school experience. If school is the only "job" you've ever had and you sucked at it, how could a paying job be any different? That's what I always think to myself. Getting her to talk about it doesn't help because I've tried. My other two daughters had no problems in school and they eased into adulthood with no problems, but this last one has me stumped. Any suggestions please? I would so appreciate the help.

Answer Question

Asked by marciad5 at 12:43 PM on Jul. 24, 2012 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 2 (7 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • school = HS? or some community college, etc?

    Answer by hibbingmom at 12:47 PM on Jul. 24, 2012

  • Have her do some volunteer work to get experience.


    Answer by DJDNY at 12:53 PM on Jul. 24, 2012

  • Well, ADHD is never an excuse. It's an obstacle to overcome. My middle son has ADHD, & still managed to graduate 3rd in his class w/ a 4.4 GPA. My oldest son who has developmental & lang. delays, still managed to graduate w/ a "B" avg. & has had a part time job for over 2 yrs now. She is capable & you need to be her cheerleader & her supporter, but not her enabler. It's a difficult economy right now, but it can be done. She can go back to learn a trade, or get an assoc. or BA degree. She get do an internship, or volunteer to get her foot in the door. Start w/ a pt position if that's all that's available. She may need you to push her in the right direction tho. Get those protective arms of yours ready for the shove! GL! :)


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 1:02 PM on Jul. 24, 2012

  • I was a little lost around 19ish. I found something I didn't love but made tons of money (bar tending!) and then did something I loved that paid badly (photography in a studio) and built a resume and self confidence

    Answer by hibbingmom at 1:05 PM on Jul. 24, 2012

  • My boys are only 8 & 11, so I haven't experience adulthood with ADHD yet through them, but they do both have it. I think you have enabled her, in large part, by thinking yourself and letting her think, that it's an excuse. My boys are both smart as whips. Yes, schoolwork is harder for them because of the difficulty sitting still and focusing, but we work together to find ways to overcome that. In addition, if she needs it, convince her to take meds for her ADHD. In some cases, meds can help a person function as if they don't even have ADHD. The biggest thing you need to do though, is stop making excuses for her. Help her, sure. Circle some job ads in the paper, help her build a good resume with some volunteer work and your guidance on how to write it up. Encourage her to figure out where her interests lie and how she could turn those into a job. But don't continue to think that this is all due to her ADHD - it's not.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 1:12 PM on Jul. 24, 2012

  • How do you stop enabling her? You just do.
    You are treating her like a child and she is milking it for all it is worth. Tell her you expect her to get out and find a job NOW She HS xyz time to get a job and find other living arangements. You need to have some hard talks about how ADHA is not a free pass. If she lets it beat her it will because she is the one giving up. And you raised a stronger more confident woman than this.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:31 PM on Jul. 24, 2012

  • So she has been out of Highschool for 3-4 years? Time for you to stop babying her. Even if you don't make her move out . She needs to start paying you rent. So she can get use to the responsablity. Stop doing things for her.

    Answer by louise2 at 1:54 PM on Jul. 24, 2012

  • Everyone has given me good suggestions and I thank everyone for taking the time to help me out. You know when your kids are younger, you have something to threaten them with or a priviledge to take away. All I have to take away from her is her phone, which I have no problem doing, or our home, which I'm not comfortable with. So I guess I'll start with the phone and see what happens.

    Comment by marciad5 (original poster) at 5:51 PM on Jul. 24, 2012

  • I don't know if you want to start off by punishing her & taking her phone away. Unless she is not paying for her phone, in which case, earning her own money to pay for it may be motivation. But she will need a phone to contact potential employers. Obviously you know your dau best & what will motivate her, so all the best in pulling her out of her slump. :)


    Answer by mrsmom110 at 6:20 PM on Jul. 24, 2012

  • Have her do some volunteer work to get experience.

    Answer by GlitteribonMom at 3:53 PM on Jul. 27, 2012

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.