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How do I motivate my 19 year old daughter?

My daughter is funny, smart, pretty and sweet. She charms everyone around her by telling them anything that they want to hear--she is pretty good at reading people. But, I can't trust her. We have caught her in lies more times than I can count. Little things like where she was or big things like that she had a job. She went for a month or so with us thinking that she had a job when in reality she did not. She was going to the community college, but I'm not even sure if she had continued that, we can't trust her to tell us the truth. Out of desperation, we sent her to a five week program to become a CNA. She was all for it and finished well. (We have the certificate). Now she won't get a job. She says she has applied places, but nothing. She totaled her car, so she has no vehicle and I don't let her use mine often. She complains about chores. I want her to get a job, buy a car and move out. Help???

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Asked by mkmomto2 at 9:28 AM on Jun. 20, 2013 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Tell her she has X amount of days to get a job or she's out of the house. She's an adult now, start treating her like one. Once she gets a job start making her pay rent (but secretly put that money in a savings acct for her later). You need to be tough with her.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 9:34 AM on Jun. 20, 2013

  • "so she has no vehicle and I don't let her use mine often."

    Is there public transportation around you? If not, I have to ask how you expect her to get a job if she has no transportation to put in applications and then get to work.

    Other than that, she's 19. At this point, I'd say the only real motivation you'll be able to give her is to basically kick her out. Motivation really has to come from within. But if she's not doing it, then the only thing you can really do is tell her that she needs to find a job, any job, within two weeks or a month or whatever, and if she doesn't, then she'll have to find another place to live. The thought of potentially being homeless might be what it'll take to get her to realize that she needs to do something other than lie and sit around.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 9:56 AM on Jun. 20, 2013

  • Motivation has to start early, not when she is 19, she is set in her ways now. Parents wonder why their kids do not have the motivation but the fact of the matter is if you don't instill this as they are growing up, it just won't appear when they are adults....

    Answer by older at 10:11 AM on Jun. 20, 2013

  • Sound's like you have been living too much of her life for her now she doesn't know how to function and make her own choices... too much "we" in this explanation. You need to butt out and let her be an individual separate from you. Why does she need to lie to you?? If she feels you are asking her to be what you want her to be she will continue to lie. Let her be herself for a change and see where it takes her. Be patent & supportive. When you back off she will be able to find her own way, figure out who she wants to be - not what you want her to be.


    Answer by Crafty26 at 10:20 AM on Jun. 20, 2013

  • I could go on and on with this issue. But plain and simple, give her a time frame and stick to it.
    She's an adult, she has to start acting like one, and you have to start treating her like one.

    Its not your fault she wrecked her car, and doesn't have a job. You can still be mom by helping...without enabling. Give her rides to fill out apps, and to work etc. Help her find a job, use whatever connections you have. But once she starts getting checks, X amount gets put aside for a car, then for a place of her own. And she has X amount of time to do it, Period!

    Answer by toughluck08 at 10:25 AM on Jun. 20, 2013

  • My kids already know that after high school graduation, they're out unless they're enrolled in school. And then we'll still have rules and they have to start paying me rent.

    Answer by ABeaverhausen at 10:28 AM on Jun. 20, 2013

  • Give her a time limit and charge rent.

    If you think $200. month is a good rent for room and board (I would set it higher), Then draw up a contract and have her sign it and get it notarized. Be sure you have the clause in it about evicting her for lack of payment and / or for uncleanliness. She will hate it. But she is an adult who should stand on her own two feet.
    So let's use $200.
    Tell her she can earn wages.
    Keeping her room and (if she has a bath that she only uses) clean is just the right thing to do and she can be evicted for not doing so
    Mowing the lawn $20. each time with trimming.
    Making and cleaning an evening meal. Be specific what you mean by a meal. $10.00
    Vacuuming, living room dining room and hall $5.
    " overstuffed furniture and cushions $5.
    Add your own

    Laundry will cost her $1.50 per load to wash and $1.50 for her to dry ( this is what most Laundromats charge)

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:26 PM on Jun. 20, 2013

  • There is a charge for the cell phone she uses. That is added to her bills. Our daughter was carried on our plan for $10. more a month.
    There is a rental fee on the car. Do not forget to add in the cost of the gas. All places charge you if you do not return it full.

    I am sure you get the idea. Charge her for what she uses and credit her for the work she has done.
    If you are at some point willing to put a down payment on a car for her, have her work it off. Obviously you wll not do this unless she has a job.
    As soon as she has a job tell her that it great she has 3 months to move out.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:31 PM on Jun. 20, 2013

  • As an adult living in your house, is your daughter contributing to the family by doing chores such as cooking and cleaning? That's a start. Once she gets a job, charging rent (and saving it to help her get her own place if you choose to) is also a good step.

    Answer by Ballad at 6:14 PM on Jun. 20, 2013

  • Thank you for all the responses! I will definitely be using a lot of them. Having a time frame for her to get a job, get a car and move out is a good idea. As far as transportation, I have offered to take her to apply for jobs. She has always had a job, since she was 14, up until recently, so teaching her motivation is not a new thing. She was required to put half her money away. She blew all of her savings and her graduation money last summer/fall after she totaled her car and moved in with her boyfriend and his family. She messed up her college scholarship as well by not attending all of her classes. We got her to move back in and sign a contract of her expectations last fall. She has complied for the most part; however, this last stint with her lying about being employed and not actively looking for another job has killed that contract.. I'm going to set up some time frames and stick to my guns. Wish me luck!

    Comment by mkmomto2 (original poster) at 7:42 AM on Jun. 23, 2013

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