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What do I do with the 22yo sleeping on my couch?

I don't know what to do with my oldest son. He moved back home 6 months ago is unemployed and has no real interest in finding a job or getting an education. He didn't go for any further schooling after high school so and he has no trade. He'll get a job as a laborer or a cook or something , move out, then invariably get fired for being late/missing work then ask to come home. We've let him come home with certain conditions such as going to the local day labor company every morning and this last time we added that he must get schooling for a trade or something. This past week we caught him packing his lunch like he was going to work but then he was going over his friends house and as for picking an education, he keeps getting information on something, then decides he doesn't like it and and looks for something else.
I know that kicking him out seems like the easy answer but I'm not ready to give up yet.

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:02 AM on Mar. 9, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

Answers (17)
  • you need to put your foot down, tell him to either get a job or go to school or get the hell out. my older brothers are like this and my parents allow it. if you dont be firm with them now they will always walk all over you and expect you to always take care of them. I'm the only sibling out of 7 that lives on my own and I'm second from the youngest. My sibling take advantage of their/my parents because they know they can get away with it. Dont let your oldet walkall over you, show him/her whos boss

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 12:06 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • Well, to be honest, you are not doing him any favors by babying him. Either tell him to get a job and support YOU or stand on his feet somewhere else and stop being a freeloader.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:20 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • thank you for responding. The younger kids aren't like him my 20yo is working and in the army reserves, my 17yo is in the national honor society, has a part-time job and is working on getting her scholarships together for college this fall and my 14 yo mows lawns for pocket money. I really don't know what's up with him. I'm afraid if I just put him out he'll never get an education or a trade and wind up a bum. I wish I knew how to light a fire under his ass.

    Answer by mariC67 at 12:22 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • I would tell him he needs to go to school or get a job if he is going to stay with you. Set clear expectations for him. For example, require that he complete and return at least four applications a day. And if he decides to go for the job instead of school, give him so much time after he gets work to save his money and move out (3-4 months at most). Your going to have to push him every day. You don't want a 35 year old man living with you, so now is the time to let him know he needs to be an adult and take care of himself.

    Answer by chocaholic888 at 12:27 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • I would tell him he has to do SOMETHING full-time to live with you. Either work full-time, go to school full-time, or go to school and work part-time (2 part-times = 1 full-time, IMO). If he complains that he can't find a job he likes, tell him to look for a different job while still employed- that's how life works, KWIM? Maybe you could give him a specific period of time, like 2 or 3 weeks, to find a job or find somewhere else to live...

    Just out of curiosity- Why is he late and/or missing work so much? Is it because he just doesn't want to, or is it possible that he's depressed? My work history was AWFUL for the same reasons until I began treatment for my depression. Just a thought :)

    Answer by emslala at 2:01 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • he needs to be doing something, school or job- if he can't do either at the moment then make him do all your housework for your or volunteer somewhere... basically let him know he's not getting a free ride anymore- we currently live with the inlaws right now but we do everything we can to be accommodating. I'm going to school and my husband works, we'll be moving out hopefully in november to go to school in another town. but my BIL doesn't do much, he goes to work but he requested less hours (WTF?) he doesn't go to school, he doesn't date- all he does is play xbox and wii all day. pathetic. oh and he's older than my husband might i add.

    Answer by Kalebs_mommy23 at 3:17 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • My sons are 23, 22, 19 and 18 and the house rule here is that if they are no longer attending school they have 3 mos. to get a job & get a new place to live. We only support students and even then they have to work as much as possible (even it's only 5 hours a week) from the 11th grade-until they finish college. So, at 22 with no job and not attending school there wouldn't be a 22yo on my couch. Our older 2 have both been out on their own since they were 19 & 18 and my younger 2 are currently students. Give your son a time frame to find a job or go to school and stick to it. If he's going to school then let him stay and if he just gets a job them give him a certain amount of time to save for an apartment.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:29 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • Have you thought of having him talk to a doctor about depression? Has he ever gone to the nearest college and done a meyers & briggs testing to find out what he may be good at? Talk to a College counselor with him and find out what tests he can take so that he can find his niche. He never will loafing on the couch as a potato. Sounds like a depression issue and confusion as to his next step in life. He needs to be part of the solution to his future. Communicate your concerns and why then go to lunch and talk over the testing issues and helping him with the counseling. College's also have great counselors for whatever needs you have. They have career ones, planning ones, they even have some that specialize in special needs and behavior problems. Hope this helps. He's too young to be so lethargic w/o direction. You'll be okay. He will too when he feels satisfied as a contributor to society.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:38 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • He'll treat you the way you allow him and it sounds like your not doing him any favors letting him lay around at 22. Why isn't he in the service, you can learn a trade there or at least out looking for any job. If he had to sleep in the cold he'd find a job fast. Don't allow him to do this to you and more importantly to himself........


    Answer by zbee at 6:08 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • Pack his bags and throw his crap out the door this afternoon, if not sooner. A 22 year old who doesn't have a job and isn't going to school and living on his parents' couch is a parasite, and you my dear, are his host. He'll get job when his belly starts growling. It's time for some tough love, Mom. If he ends up a bum, that will be a wake-up call for him.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:05 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

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