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23 Year old daughter 'says' she is going back to college in January 2014, but we see NO indication

We have a 23 year old daughter living at home. She started off the year after she graduated to college (it lasted 2 weeks) and she moved back home. She enrolled for the January semester at a local college so she could live at home instead of in a dorm. She was more comfortable with that. Fine. She failed one of her classes (twice) and had to take summer classes to make up for it. She FINALLY attained her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts (whooo hooo) this past summer, and promised she would transfer to a 4 year school in January. My husband thinks this is just a delay tactic to remain at home (free) and feel comfortable having everything available to her. I rather agree, but keep encouraging her to continue on to actually get a degree OR she will now have to move out of our house come January 1 to begin working full-time and paying her own expenses. It is difficult to watch this, and very trying on our marriage because she helps very little around here and I find it more of a chore to continue to cook and clean up. Her room is a HUGE mess. Basically, I close the door now. She is responsible for ALL of her laundry, but it never is truly finished. There's ALWAYS stuff in the laundry room, and hanging up on the drying racks and laying on the floor behind the door in the bathroom. She no longer gets up on Sundays to attend church with the family (we have a younger daughter who does). She doesn't eat at the table with us (when she's not at work), as a family. To me, we are just being used. She has enough money to live on her own, but has a very low-pay job. I don't think it is OUR responsibility any longer to enable her lack of ambition (I guess that's really what it is...) How do any of you feel on this or is anybody dealing with a young adult living back home?


Asked by ItsaJOB at 9:15 AM on Oct. 11, 2013 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 3 (7 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • My 19 yo has her own place, works full time & goes to college.
    Your dd is taking advantage of you & your hospitality.
    Time to boot her.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 9:19 AM on Oct. 11, 2013

  • Charge her rent. She's working, so charge her rent. You can put the rent aside in a savings account for her (don't tell her you're doing it) and then give it to her when she does move out.

    Or do what luv suggested.

    Answer by gdiamante at 9:33 AM on Oct. 11, 2013

  • Sounds like you're worried about the potential abruptness of the cutoff. I don't think your plan is wrong or "too harsh" but I do think it makes sense to do something in response to your worries or the niggling feeling of unease you have about this. (I just mean communication.) She may well WANT to do as she said, but is having trouble getting the ball rolling. It can create a feeling of dread & consequent inertia (all of which triggers escape, avoidance, despair.)
    In your situation I probably would tell her that I know her intentions but that I've noticed that certain things aren't happening (the things you mentioned--contact with college advisor, transfer of credits) and I'm wondering if she's feeling at a loss as to how to proceed.
    Keep in mind that her expressed goal is likely one that you want as well, so if some support would help her gain some momentum then it's win-win. Not pushing, not taking over. Just speaking up.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:15 AM on Oct. 11, 2013

  • I would state what I've observed & state my OWN feelings/thoughts in response, owning them as such. This is in contrast to a lot of "you" statements ("you need to be....", "if you don't do X then you will miss...." etc.) I wouldn't speak AT her in that way, but rather share MYSELF.

    I probably would make a guess (in the context of what I might be feeling in that situation: I might be feeling overwhelmed or uncertain where to start, or scared that it won't work out & thus unABLE to start.) It would be about stating things like, I noticed that things just seem to be going along as normal this fall, and not seeing/hearing about certain things makes me wonder if maybe..... I know if I were in this situation I might be feeling......
    And just listen.
    She might be defensive & that's okay. (Expect her to assume she's being accused, targeted, criticized.)

    Your description of how she lives & behaves suggests immobilization (dread.)

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:25 AM on Oct. 11, 2013

  • My daughter did all of that, I gave her 1000.00 and said you have to go this will help get you started. Life is nice at home now, no stress really our grandchild is calmer without her mom here ( we have custody) and we have money left each pay period now imagine that!

    Do I miss her YES, do I worry about her YES is it more stress than her living here...NOPE

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 9:26 AM on Oct. 11, 2013

  • Time to cut the apron strings. You've given her until Jan 1 and I'd stick by it. You can help by starting to gather some basic supplies she will need and boxing them up for her. Extra pots & pans, bath towels, canned food, etc. She'll need everything to get her own place and she'll realize that you're serious about her moving on with her life. You can also start scouting out apartments and come November take her out to look at them. See what's available in her price range. If it's possible I'd also try to have the first months rent and deposit put back so she won't have to come up with them all at once. Don't give her a reason that she can stay.

    Answer by baconbits at 9:36 AM on Oct. 11, 2013

  • I don't think it was harsh. You set the rules and she has to abide by them and you have to follow through.

    Answer by DJDNY at 9:49 AM on Oct. 11, 2013

  • I saw your comments. It is hard. Just love her. Hold your limits & stay open to her feelings in response to them. Just love her & accept her in response. It is a good way to parent. She will begin to find her way.

    So much the better if that can happen now (this fall), but it may not.

    It's a long road and she will find her way. Keep listening & trying to hear her well, reflecting back what you hear from her. She does want something besides her low-paying job, she DOES want to "succeed" and wants to be competent and also seen as competent. She also has feelings & thoughts (internalized beliefs) that interfere with productive action to make that happen.

    It's a process.
    It sounds like you care.
    Hold your limits but stay warm to her.
    It's a good recipe for helping a child (of whatever age) start growing.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:30 AM on Oct. 11, 2013

  • i'd make her clean up her own mess and do her own laundry, as far as going to church with you, it's not a big deal....I would also tell her if she was eating the groceries I bought and cooked, she can sit at the table and help clean up afterward. if it didn't change, she'd have to move out

    Answer by josiesmommy00 at 9:39 AM on Oct. 11, 2013

  • Can I just say that I think it's odd she isn't totally excited to be at a four year college, with friends, enjoying this time in her life. I'm not sure how to handle it. My gut feeling is to send her to get her four year degree so she can get a better paying job. My niece is 21, in Boston and working three jobs after going to a four year college. These kids have to work their butts off. It's a fact. Life just isn't easy and I wish you and her, good luck.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 1:06 PM on Oct. 11, 2013