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support group for setting boundaries with adult children

I am a divorced mother of a 26 year son who currently lives with me. He is not an alcoholic or an abuser of drugs that I know of but is consistently losing jobs he gets. During his school years he would get suspended for days for one thing or another. He was not interested in obtaining an education. We decided to remove him from school @ age 17 and demanded he get his GED and a job. He worked at menial jobs and went to school @ nite . At age 18 he got his GED. He has not kept a job more than 6 mths at a time since obtaing the GED. He gets them but will not or is not motivated enought to do better for himself. I give him no money but I do offer suppoter for his 3 yr old daughter and pay his car insurance because where we live he needs a car for the times he does have a job . He lies and is a maipulator. I recently started collecting $25/week from him for room and board. I need help changing my enabling behaviors!

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Asked by befaye8 at 12:31 PM on Oct. 13, 2009 in Adult Children (18+)

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Answers (8)
  • Two words for you- tough love.

    My mother struggles with a similar situation. Not only does my sister still live at home, but so does her husband and daughter. My brother in law has no shame, not supporting his own family and living with my parents for 5 years. My mom has herself in so deep that she doesn't know how to get back out. God forbid anything happen to my mother, my niece would be screwed.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:36 PM on Oct. 13, 2009

  • im 22, my mom pays all of my bills - rent for my apartment, cell phone, cable, food, spending money, etc. - and helps me with my son, financially and physically. but its only as long as im in college until i get my degree so that i dont need her help anymore after that.

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 1:13 PM on Oct. 13, 2009

  • The $25 a week is a good start, but probably doesn't even cover his car insurance. Tell him that is his rent and he will have to make a deposit each week into an insurance fund so he has enough money set aside to cover the next bill. Tell him his rent is going up to $50 a week in six months. Then set up a fund for his daughter. With these funds you should make him give you cash and you should have the account in your name only. Reserve the right to up the rent again at 1 year. Eventually he will either move out or being paying you at a rate that he isn't actually costing you any money or stressing you out.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:34 AM on Oct. 14, 2009

  • Thanks everyone who answered. I really like the answere beginning with the "$25 a week is a good start". I will be using your ideas as I journey to make some changes in my life! If my son decides to move out I will be shocked because so far nothing I say or do has made him feel like he needs to leave home. He is just that kinda person. Very charrming and likable person. Is able to adapt to any situation. If he weren't my son I would like him too. lol!
    Thanks everyone!

    Answer by befaye8 at 10:57 AM on Oct. 16, 2009

  • Give him a time limit on getting a job and a place to live-remember he is a n adult!I had to do the same thing last year-we did our job-you can love and emotionally support them but they need a wake up call!

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:43 AM on Oct. 28, 2009

  • I am going through this with my 19yr.old step son.He live's on our property in our old house.He make's almost $ hr.And still expect's daddy to pay everything for him.Power bill's cell phone bill grocery's etc...Pay's no rent .Detroy's our yard leave's trash everywhere.Down right lazy and I am just fed up with him.My 18 yr.old daughter is in Mo. right now doing her MP training and she pay's her own bill's But I raised her better.He let's his son getaway with it that is why he does it.I wish I had some advice to give you.But when I try to talk about it with my husband it just goes in one ear and out the other.It has made me to where I can't stand my step son.For the simple fact he think's whatever he does is so funny...

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:57 AM on Nov. 2, 2009

  • Sad to say but sometimes I don't like my son either!! I have to remember that for the most part his father and I created some of his irresponsible behaviors!. I do like the following ideas:
    1.Setting a time frame for him to "Get It Together". Specifically getting a job and a place to live.
    2.Telling him to make a deposit each week into an insurance fund so he has enough money set aside to cover the next bill.
    3.Teling him his rent is going up to $50 a week in six months.
    4.Setting up a fund for his daughter( By The way he is mandated to pay Child support in our state).
    5.Reserving the right to up the rent again at 1 year.
    All good advice! Thanks!

    You and your hubby must sit down and have a real conversation about how to stop enabling your step-son. Sounds like some real conversations are needed btw you 2 first before you can address what's going on with your step-son. Best wishes!:-)

    Answer by befaye8 at 3:10 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • I have a similar situation with my 22 year old son. He can't keep a job except a daily paper route. He has mounted up so many bills, he'll never be able to pay them back. I am in debt up to my eyeballs trying to help him. He makes $30 a week and spends hundreds each week. He has maxed out his credit card. He won't do anything but play video games. He quit school, paid money to take online classes (with my monetary help), quit that as well. I set it up so he could buy a car but has only paid me once. He wants us to quit naggin him and worrying about him so he can sit in his room and play video games all day long. I am so mad, I can't see straight! I know I have enabled him to be this way. I haven't taught him to be responsible and I feel guilty about that. Now I'm stuck with him. He thinks since he's an adult now that he can do whatever he wants and not have to listen to us even though he lives under our roof and eats our food.

    Answer by McSally at 10:25 AM on Nov. 11, 2009

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