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I need to stop enabling my adult son!

Posted by on Jun. 26, 2014 at 10:20 PM
  • 11 Replies

Hi everyone! I was directed to cm when I started looking for like-minded parents who are realising they have to cut back on the help they give to their adult children. I know it really doesn't help them in the long run, and it's certainly not making my life very pleasant. I hate saying no because of an inbuilt fear of people disliking me, and now my 20yr old has developed a sense of entitlement to whatever I have! Is anyone else embarking on this journey who wants to share the load?

by on Jun. 26, 2014 at 10:20 PM
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by Gold Member on Jun. 26, 2014 at 10:47 PM

My son, 21, lives at home. He lost his job about a month ago. Lately I've been leaning on him to look for work harder. I told him I could and would take away his TV, phone, games and car unless he does something every day to look for work and something every day to help the family or home.

He does appreciate living at home because he has friends who have been thrown out and literally lived on the streets.

He has two kinds of anxiety and it's not easy for him, any part of a job hunt. I've had to get specific as in, "look on these web sites for a job today." Another day, "Actually apply to at least one place today." Another day, "I want you to go to a place that a job open and get an application today." And yet another day. "I want you to fill out the form and go back and turn it in."

Plus I give him a to do list each day around the house.

If I don't do this he tends to get his schedule all turned around to where he is asleep when he should be looking for jobs and helping out, just hangs out with his friends, texts and plays games or watches TV. I know he will regret this wasted time someday. He already regrets all the time he has wasted to this point. So I hate having to push him but he needs it and in a way I think he appreciates that I care enough to do it.

by Lisa on Jun. 27, 2014 at 12:33 AM
1 mom liked this

Welcome to the group1 There are a lot of ladies here who have gone through, or are going through, the "tough love" phase with their adult children. They will have great advice!

by on Jun. 27, 2014 at 2:56 AM

It's time to do it & I'm saying from personal experience w/SS.  No it does NOT help them in the long run and it WILL make your life miserable as long as you do it.  It's called TOUGH LOVE and not just b/c it's tough on the kids.  I think it's harder on the PARENTS. 

YOU have to get OVER the fear of people disliking you.  Why do you CARE?  Those closest to you, including  a close circle of friends...that is ALL you need to be concerned with.  It's not your place to make DS OR DD like's your job to be a PARENT and ...NOT TO BE THEIR BEST BUDDY.  Yes they will hate you for a while, yet will thank you later.  

I WISH I'd had the "rope" to be harder on SS, but I didn't anywhere NEAR with my own son.  Yes, SS pulled the same with me...entitled to ANYthing of, food, you name it.  Oh the stories I could tell.  Now he's in jail for who knows HOW long, on multiple charges, 1 being a class D felony.

This group will be a great support to you.  They've certainly halped ME a lot in the past several months. 

Feel free to MESSAGE me any time you just want to talk, vent.  Also PLEASE scan this group and pick up on the advice they have to offer.  Many will share and TOGETHER, as a group, we can help one another.  

Search, in topics...several...YOU ADULT KIDS & RULES for 1.  There are many other great ones. I like a lot of  Bleachddecay's comments. 

by Bronze Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 8:26 AM

We are dealing with this same issue with our oldest daughter right now.  I made a post about this a few weeks ago and the ladies here were and still are a big help! 

My main problem was dealing with my husband and I not seeing eye to eye on how to deal with our 22 year old.  I can happily say that he has been listening to me a lot more and I to him also.  We are on the same page now!

If you want to talk just let me know.  We have been dealing with a self entitled 20 something for a while now. 

by Gold Member on Jun. 27, 2014 at 8:33 AM

I know it is hard to not enable our adult kids. I'm guilty of it, too. But, sometimes, if they need some extra help, don't be so hard on yourself for it. To me, there is a big difference between helping and enabling. Good luck! JMO!

by on Jun. 27, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Welcome to the group,
It is not easy but sounds like you are doing the right thing.
Hugs to you :)

by Becky on Jun. 27, 2014 at 1:20 PM
I'm one of those moms that started practicing tough love to an adult child, and SURVIVED it!!!! In short, let me just say that your son will respect you in the long run if you stop enabling him. He may not "like" you while you're doing it.... My daughter certainly didn't like me.... But it's now a few years later, she's 31 now, she's a wonderful mom and an amazing woman now. She's was just a self centered little snot back then.

One thing to remember.... Tough love is so much harder on the giver than it is on the receiver. Your son will just think you're "not nice", or as my daughter called me back then, a bitch....(let him think it).... Whereas you are changing an entire way of thinking and acting. It's hard, very hard, but so worth it later on!!!
by Jeanine on Jun. 27, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Welcome to the group :)   Don't have that problem but I'm sure you'll get a lot of advice and camaraderie here.

by Susie on Jun. 27, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Welcome.  Luckily not around here.  My 23 yo is getting a 2nd job now that she graduated massage school.  She plans to work 40 to 50 hours soon. 

You have to get a backbone.  I told my kids they don't have to like me.  Too bad.  They know I love them and always had their best interest as well as now.  Mine are starting to become as I say "normal" again and not teenagers.  My other dd is 20 who is in college. 

by on Jun. 27, 2014 at 3:41 PM

I have one daughter, Cassidy age 22, who is a really good kid and smart, but she can be lazy.  I take responsibility for the fact that she is an only child, and we have spoiled her, hence she doesn't do as much around the house as she should.  Many of you know that she lived with three different families abroad over a year, and so she has matured some, but once she has been at home, things have kind of reverted back as far as the messy room situation.  

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