Enabling Self-Indulgent Adult Children Is Not Good Parenting

self indulgent children

About ten years ago, a woman I know gave up a high paying job in Connecticut because she felt that she could not handle the stress. She moved to rural Florida for a few years, lived with a guy she had met in high school in a house that her parents bought and basically became substantially unemployable – not that she was looking for a real job. She held various low level jobs until the economy started to slump.

Over the course of the past decade, she has broken off her relationship with her high school “friend” and grown increasingly dependent on her now seventy-year old parents. They started by paying for her home and then her health insurance. Finally, about six months ago, the parents sold the house and had their daughter move in with them. They now cover all of her insurance and living expenses, while she works to earn just enough money to go out with her friends.

The parents are not made of money. Indeed, the recent economic slump has made money a bit tight for them, as their investments have shrunk. Still, they do not stop paying for their daughter’s needs and many of her wants. (It is only recently that she gave up a $500 per month lease on a luxury car!) They even co-signed a loan for the daughter’s ex-boyfriend’s truck but, fortunately for them, he paid off the truck on his own.

If we look back at history, the idea of elderly parents taking care of the financial needs of adult children is quite new. Until quite recently, just the opposite was true, and parents could hope for at least a modicum of support from grown children when the parents reached a certain age. Now, it seems that the number of adult children who are relying on parental support is growing by leaps and bounds.

This needs to STOP!

Adult children who are not disabled should not be supported by their parents and parents should not support their adult children. Enabling such self-indulgent and selfish behavior in adult children is not even good parenting. When an adult who is capable of work chooses not to work just because it is not fun anymore, they can find a new job. An adult who finds a better paying job will enjoy a higher standard of living. An adult who takes a pay cut will need to make sacrifices. Just because an adult wants to take a pay cut, however, should never mean that his or her parents should be the ones to make sacrifices.

Given our current economic climate, there is no justification for an adult child to live off of a parent’s largesse. Parents will often make bad decisions to ease the discomfort of a child and supporting an adult child is a very bad decision, especially if the parents do not know if they have sufficient funds to support the child for the rest of his or her life as well as themselves for the rest of their own lives.

If you are a parent supporting an adult child, you cannot show junior to the door without a transition period, of course. Set up a plan so that you can wean your child off of your expense account. Give the child a period of time to find a job, to save some money and then to move out or to start paying their own rent. Offer emotional support and guidance, but cut off the ready flow of funds. Make being a dependent unpleasant, but don’t stop showing your love for the child.

Does this describe you? Are you supporting an adult child? Are you an adult child who is being supported? What do you think about parents supporting otherwise capable adult children? Where should the line be drawn?

(Photo courtesy of Ludovic Bertron)

This entry was posted in Housing, Personal Finance, Relationships, Work and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

100 Responses to Enabling Self-Indulgent Adult Children Is Not Good Parenting

  1. jai says:

    I have had it with my 24 yr old son. He finds money to drink and smoke weed. He borrows money that he never pays back. Throws tantrums when he does not get his way, I live off of a $715.00 disability check that supports me and my lazy 19 yr with 2 children of her own. She can’t keep a job. Is too good for Welfare. Spends all day on facebook and a cell phone that I pay for. ENOUGH! I no longer care if they never speak to me again any of them. He lives in Atlanta, but he is always hungry, homeless or both. Yet when he gets a job, he gets a case of selective amnesia. He never remembers to pay back any loans. They both have champagne taste with beer pockets. I am sick of these BUMS! yes I said it. I am going to let the chips fall where they may,

  2. Siena says:

    I have a 28 year-old family member that is currently living at home with his parents while finishing his last year of law school. A week before finals it was discovered/revealed that he had been stealing from his family, pathologically lying about a series of things, and basically involved in all sorts of self-destructive behavior for months. The whole family has been communicating about the situation and putting all of the pieces together, but has not yet confronted him so that he could get through his last finals before graduating. Law school is pretty much the only structured thing he has going on. He got straight A’s the first 2 years and it is unclear how he has been doing this last year. He has not seemed himself, has been disorganized, and going out a lot more than usual.

    How should the family confront him once finals are over? Should they pursue a formal/professional intervention? The student has a generally defensive personality and will be difficult to talk to, has been continuously lying and really needs help in order to proceed with a healthy and successful future. There is hope here, but the path will not be easy…he seems to have really lost himself and gotten involved with some bad characters, possibly drug addiction, and who knows what else.

    Though the parents are somewhat responsibly for enabling to an extent, they were only allowing him to live at home and helping with support in order to help this individual complete law school, not just to do nothing and enable him to take advantage of them. They really need support and help understanding that they are not to blame for these surprisingly revealed circumstances.

    Any advice on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

  3. Larry says:

    I am 62 years old and and I retired to Tennessee to live when I was forced to go on a disability pension from the railroad 20 years ago. I had to have both of my hips replaced at age 41 and the railroad wouldn’t let me continue working and helped me get on a disability pension. For the last four years I have been helping my 28 year old adult son financially. He is physically disabled and can’t keep a job because of his disabilities. He currently lives in Ohio with his brother and sister-in-law and I send $300 a month to pay for his rent there.

    My 28 year old son has been chronically homeless for the last four years and he can’t keep a job because of his disabilties. He has no health insurance but he has been diagnosed with a herniated disc in his spine and he has also been told that he needs to have hip replacement surgery because he has bone rubbing against bone. I am currently in the process of helping him apply for SSI and Medicaid as his advocate because he can’t
    properly understand how to fill out the SSI forms himself. In the third grade he was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and had special classes all the way through graduating high school in 2001. Because of his physical disabilities with his spine and hip he has been unable to keep a job. Every employer that hires him eventually notices him wicing in pain from his hernieated disc and the pain in one of his hips, and then they let him go with the excuse that “because of your disabilty you may become a liability to us”. Paying $300 a month for his rent and sending money occasionally for a bus pass and cell phone and personal grooming items (soap, shampoo etc.) cost me and additional $100 a month. He does need the bus pass and cell phone in order to look for a job, but he can’t ever keep one because of his disabilities. Paying $400 a month is becoming a strain on me financially because I am on a fixed income. My wife and my son’s step-mother says that I should cut him off financially and this is causing a strain on our 18 year old marriage. In the last three weeks he has attempted suicide twice by trying to overdose on ibuprofen which takes for pain relief. He says he hates his life and he feels hopeless because of his disabilties and his chronic homelessness and his inability to support himself. Because of this he has tried to commit suicide twice in the last three weeks by taking large amounts of ibuprofen, which he uses for pain. The first time he took 100 ibuprofen and had his stomach pumped. On the fourth of July he took 150 ibuprofen and was taken to the hospital again. I am afraid he is going to keep trying to commit suicide until one day he succeeds. At the same time all of this going on with him (his disabilities, the sucicide attempts and paying his rent and sendig more money monthly for his necessities is draining me mentally and financially, not to mention putting a strain on my marriage. My wife and his step-mother will not allow him to live with us. I am at my wits end on what else I can do to help him become self sufficient and get his medical problems taken care of. Hopefully the SSI and Medicaid will go through. If he is denied SSI I will get an attorney for him and try to appeal that decision. If anyone has any suggestions for me on how to help him please respond. He will not live in a homeless shelter he has tried that several times and says he prefers to sleep on the streets insted of the homeless shelters. For now he is off the streets living with his brother and I pay his rent to stay there. Any helpful comments would be greatly appreciated. I don’t know what else to do for him. I am 62 years old and I won’t be around forever to help him. I don’t want to get a phone call that he was finally sucessfull and committed suicide, that would crush me.

  4. J SMITH says:

    have a 20 year old lives at home works part time gos back to school this fall for 2 class a day has a boy friend when she is home he wil come over and stay for hours 7to 10 hours dont. she donet pay anthing am getting tired of him what do you think?

  5. J SMITH says:

    has to decide who is more importan in his life an make the hard choise,to better her he needs to maker her a women not a kid sorry for my spelling.

  6. Jane says:

    I have a 29 year old daughter that is bipolar. She NEVER learns from her mistakes. She had had issues with drugs, she lies, she manipulates. I have raised her oldest child who is now 13. She has 2 younger sons. She has married and divorced and remarried…both times to drug addicts. She has about sucked my husband and I dry emotionally and financially. I have finally come to see that she holds me hostage by using my grandchildren as pawns. I told her yesterday that the time has come for it to end. We will no longer do for her, or rescue her, or give to her. She will have to face all consequences of her choices from now on. We are tired of her dishonesty and sneaking behaviors. I willo worry about my 2 grandsons, but I have to stop letting that keep us entrapped. She has been at our home AGAIN for a few weeks because she left husband for getting too far into drug abuse (needle), although she also abuses drugs! She thinks we are not aware she plans to go right back to him for the umpteenth time? She has been told the ride is over, if she is going…just go, but if we have to the phone numbers will be changed…we are DONE. Are we doing the correct thing?

  7. Katie says:

    Hello,I stumbled upon this sight and was reading with hopes to get advice.I thought my problems with my son were unsurmountable, then I read this and realized my issues are scarce compared to yours. I think your on the right track with getting a disability SS lawyer. I’m sure you’ll get help especially because of the suicide attempts. I remember when my husband was working with a lawyer for his disability, the lawyer said depression and mental health issues was a shoe in!In the event your not around he’ll probably have to go to a nursing home. God will provide! You will be in my prayers!

  8. Katie says:

    I just spent a half an hour responding to you but it wouldn’t take my response. Kept saying Error on the spam number! Now I have to go to work. I’m going through similar problems with my 27 year old son! Lets support each other through this! God knows I could use some support! Will respond when I get home from work! Katie

  9. Victoria T says:

    I am so relieved to see that I am NOT the only mother going through this, my daughter is now 27 years old, college educated (always book smart) and now unemployed. Making terrible choices and always needing $. Lost a lot of weight these past two years and she has become so narcissistic. She uses my grandson as a pawn to get money, her way etc. I am so sick of it. She would rather Party than work or parent anymore. Note: this behavior started about 2 years ago after she and boyfriend(grandson’s father) broke up and then she started dating a drug-dealer who broke her heart. OH I want my daughter back but can’t take it anymore and worry incessantly about my 5 year old grandson. I have to learn to cope!

  10. Karen says:

    I am considering leaving my home because my husband enables my 20 year old who lives with us because her license has been suspended for DUI and spends her money on tattoos and alcohol. She loses her temper and takes it out on me when he’s gone.

  11. Ginny says:

    My husband and I have only been married for 4 years, and in that time we have spent thousands of dollars on his children. Some of the time I am fine with helping if they really need it and don’t expect it. He has a 28 yr old who is a Alcoholic and comes or calls when he needs something usually money. They are things that are not necessities but wants. I have tried to talk to my husband about this but he won’t even discuss it. He feels guilty because he was not there when they were growing up. (Military) This is his way of making it up but it is dibilitating for this particular son. My husband has spent $270 in the last 2 weeks on taking the son and daughter and grandchild out to eat while I work the night shift long hard hours and I feel resentful. His son had a cell phone…a simple one because he wasn’t working at the time, and he talked his dad into buying him a Samsung Galaxy so he could have the internet and email. It was expensive and a want. There have been many other times we have given him money or bought plane tickets, train tickets or my husband even gave him money to buy his wife a anniversary present..(exwife now)We are making good money between the two of us but we have no retirement to speak of since we both had 6 children and I raised mine for 20 years alone. All my money went to raise them. My husband is a good man and very generous to everyone. I know he would give my children money too, if they asked, but they are all self sufficient and dont’ ask. I have occasionally given them a small amount when I knew things were tight, but they have never asked us for any. I get so frustrated because we could be using that money to pay off the bills we have together and getting ready for our retirement.

  12. DIXIE says:

    Have been married to my husband for 3 1/2 years, I have a daughter (22) and a son (19). My daughter lives on her own with a roommate, works six days a week and all we do for her is pay her cell phone bill and the insurance on her car. I am talking to her about starting college and she is receptive to the idea. She does not have any children, no criminal record, and does not come to us for money. I usually ask her if she needs anything when we talk which is about once a week. My son is a cop in the Air Force and is stationed about 5 hours from our home, he is also self-sufficient, has no children and no arrest record (obviously – he’s a military cop.) My oldest stepson is 30, married with two stepsons of his own. He and I get along fine, he works, is a responsible adult and very rarely asks us for anything (mostly gas money as he is the only one working in their home – his wife is starting back to school this week.) My youngest stepson is and has always been the issue. He is 27 with a 3 yo son that we love very much. He has been in jail, had a DUI, been through drug rehab, and is overall, very emotionally immature and irresponsible for his age. He has ordered porn on our satellite and expected us to pay for it (he was unemployed – he has since started working because his son’s mom put him in jail for child support non-payment.) We have found drugs in his room, he has a pattern of irresponsible behavior and his father and I argue and have come close to divorcing because his father makes excuses for him and enables him by continuing to give him money and paying his fines/bills for him. Things have improved in the last year because my husband has realized that his son’s behavior is really taking away/affecting our grandson and will continue to if his son continues to make bad decisions. I love my stepsons and try very hard to not parent them, but be their friend and treat them fairly and as adults. My oldest stepson does not enable his brother; in fact it is just the opposite. He is usually brutally honest with him which leads to arguments and my youngest stepson won’t speak to him for months. My husband’s ex wife is also an enabler with a drinking/drug problem who is an expert at guilt and manipulation (she does it to both of the boys – the oldest has become pretty much immune to it and doesn’t seem to fall for her tactics much anymore.) It’s a different story with the youngest stepson and he often calls her complaining when my husband and I try to get him to do better in his decisions (typically after he does something wrong and gets found out/caught). She sides with him and talks bad about my husband and I even though we do the most for all of the kids. I love my husband very much but I don’t know how much love I can handle the disrespect/lies from my grown stepson. I would never allow my children to get away with tsome of the things that my stepson has (in our home.) They would have been out the door and my kids KNOW it……..Thanks for letting me vent.

  13. DIXIE says:

    Our situations are relatively similar. My husband would also do for my children but they are relatively self sufficent and don’t ask. I raised both of mine alone for 10 years where as his ex did the majority of the child rearing because she “couldn’t” work and he worked long hours to support hi family. I have told him that if he wants to continue financially supporting his son even though he knows he is doing wrong, I am getting a seperate checking account because I refuse to support his bad hoices/decisions.

  14. col says:

    She is on drugs.

  15. bill says:

    Sounds like he will make a great lawyer or politician

  16. Heather says:

    Most employers allow you to add a second direct deposit account. I would suggest opening a separate bank account to save your hard earned money. Keep depositing your living expenses into the joint account (bills, food, entertainments funds, miscellaneous for household items, etc.) but set aside a determined amount each month for your retirement. All financial planners say “pay yourself first”. You’re husband has every right to give away his last cent, however you have the right to plan for your retirement, as well. It sounds as if your husband would understand that you want to start saving for retirement. The monies he gives his children, doesn’t even have to be part of the conversation. I wish you success.

  17. Heather says:

    Oh…she not only relizes it, she depends on it. When they pass, the self sufficient children will get minimal and the sad lonely daughter will get everything. She may never have to work another day in her life. So sad, but true.

  18. Heather says:

    Over 18, rules are hard to enforce. Lifestyle is easy to enforce. I set clear expectations. In 30 days they had to have a job. They would give me their paycheck and get a $20 a week allowance (out of my pocket). They took the public bus to work and I would pay the $55 bus pass fee. After 90 days we open a bank account and deposit their checks (roughly $2,800). I matched the dollar amount and we bought a car. The same deal applied for the next 90 days. I got their checks, they got $20 a week for fun money, $20 for gas and $20 for their “pay-as-you-go” phone, deoterant, toilet paper and their other “needs”. After 210 days they had a car and enough money to pay first month rent and security deposit. I HEAR YOU SAYING…My kid would never get a job. I’ve threatened before. Within the job seeking 30 days I took the cable boxes, phone, internet cable and laptop to work with me. I only bought frozen food. They actually had to cook. Not ven frozen dinners. I meant business. If you didn’t remember to thaw it, your having the salad. I didn’t buy junk food, soda, or anything else for them. Not deodarant, razors, laundry detergent, clothes, lipstick, NOTHING. I would come home with McDonalds and eat in front of them. With every comment the response was “that costs money”. I love you but you need to learn how to buy it yourself. It’s tough love. You don’t have to mean or cruel in anyway. You just have to make them want to move, want to eat McDonalds, want a new shirt, want to go to the movies, want to have independence. Children who are “provided for” don’t want anything because it’s provided. It’s human nature to want. Use that to your advantage. 🙂 I wish you luck!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like you’re a b*tch. Your daughter is in college, furthering her education, and has a boyfriend. That’s your whole story. Your daughter is doing right for herself by going to school, and you should support her through that. She’s 20, that’s part of the time period when humans are at their sexual prime, and they SHOULD enjoy that while they’re young and able. So please do explain what you’re so fed up with?

  20. Cyndi says:

    in my early twenties I would move in with my parents for awhile then I would move back in with my husband. This happened several times. Then one day I asked my parents if I could move in again and to my surprise my dad said “No”. I Couldn’t believe it! I was crushed. My parents said they would help me get an apartment and pay my bills for two months, which was enough time for me to find a job and get my first pay check, but I was not allowed to move in with them. Long story short, they helped until my first paycheck and since then I have paid my own way, got out of the bad relationship for good, and the only time I stay at my parents house is when I’m there visiting (since I live out of state). What I thought was the end of the world, ended up being the best thing my dad could have done and being a parent now I know it wasn’t easy for him, but I’m so grateful he did! Thanks Dad, I love you

  21. JJ says:

    Remove them from your life, grandkids and all. You are enabling the whole situation by ‘helping’. Sheesh, wake up people! Perhaps her kids need to be taken away from her…

  22. JJ says:

    If she is bipolar, get her help. She needs meds. If she will not, then distance yourself. You don’t have a choice, it is called self-preservation. The children need to be removed from her custody until she is ‘straightened out’. Do you want the kids abused and in a bad environment? Of course not, so take action and stop enabling her. Stop being weak and put your foot down for crying out loud. SMH

  23. JJ says:

    Cut the cord on that one. He is a loser obviously.

  24. Carol Cook says:

    I think in your case, you will have to let him rely on government resources. Otherwise the enabler becomes the victim and you could end up penniless. I know this because I have given into my oldest’s manipulations and assumptions that wherever we go, I pay. Today, I have told her no more and I mean it. She has gotten over 50,000. out of me over time.. Some of it I charged. She left a good paying job for a less stressful one. I did not raise her like that. I had a stressful job and I kept it because I needed the money. She’s in hock to her credit cards and she is not paying on them and I refuse to help with that. She is married and refuses to tell him what is going on. She pays for his health insurance and it’s $$. They need to discuss things and I need to be looking out for myself. You need to look out for your future and if he has to go to the nursing home, then that’s what he’ll have to do. My brother tried to commit suicide several times and finally he is doing better. Not because anyone gave him money. You can’t make people not depressed. He will get medication in the nursing home. My brother got SS because of his suicide attempts. Stay true to yourself or you will get very resentful. I know I did and I am pleased that I put my foot down today. I know I will have to reinforce it over and over and I am ready for that. Prayers for you and your family.

  25. Carol Cook says:

    Leave if you have to but don’t take anymore abuse. Let them see what happens when you are not there, this does not make you a bad person. My kids would not abuse me, I would have kicked their ass and they know it. 20 is an adult so either you get respect or one of you leaves. Take no shit. I am older and I can tell you , it is not worth it.

  26. Carol Cook says:

    There is no reason to support that kid. When you enable him , it is agreeing with what he does. And therefore you are doing him and yourself a disservice. When he repeats his offenses, then leave him in the jail cell. He put himself there and therefore will have to learn lessons. We have laws to follow and even at my age, if broke the law more than once, nobody in my family would get me out. They have the money so they would probably put me in a mental institution. No way would there be enabling going on. I do understand, I have been enabling an adult child for years. I finally quit and I feel like it’s a weight off my shoulders. This way her husband and her can communicate. She has a shopping addiction and a food addiction. Me doling out money was making it worse. I will reiterate this to myself daily so I don’t start it up again. Good luck. Counseling might be good for the whole family together. But you have to stop, boths parent and his Mom. The leaves don’t fall too far from the tree sometimes. It’s never easy.

  27. Carol Cook says:

    We can’t depend solely on our SS in the future. Bills will have to be paid and put the most away for retirement. You may not work to the age you think, we older ones get sick sometimes. He can’t make up for not being home and he was doing an honorable job. They should respect that he served our country. Stop it before it gets worse, you may have to tell him what you expect and go from there, maybe counseling. I am not saying this because I am critical, I have walked in similar shoes. I doled out many thousands to my grown kids. I felt guilty because their father died at a young age. I am letting go of this guilt and reminding myself every day that I have to save for my future. If they see that we stop enabling, then we are setting a good example for when they have kids, they can think about how you handled it. and me too.

  28. Im the parent says:

    Your calling that person a bitch???? You must be the same type of person who doesn’t get along with your parents and of which asked and who expect you to help out around the house, and you having a fit act the same way. If your not that adult child then you must be one of those pussy bleeding heart parents who are imprisoned by their adult child. Young people have this entitlement thing they think they are owed.

  29. Im the parent says:

    Wow, I just want to thank all of you for your post here. I was thinking I had troubles (which I do) with my 19 yr.old of which I asked for him to start paying 150 monthly for rent a few months back which he agreed to but recently I asked him for 30.00 to help in paying for a plumber to come out to do a drain clearing (85.00 total)and he had a shit fit in short and by the way this would be the last time I asked for him contributing financially. Always gives excuses and a hard time in the past. So I kicked him out for tons of reasons but mainly being disrespectful this final time.
    I pay/paid for his medical/dental and vision not to mention food and bath/laundry supplies. I know he will be fine but he stated he never wants to speak with me again. That hurt but I will get over it. He’ll realize I was and am a great parent.
    About him: he works 40+ hours wkly, pays for his cell bill and his car insurance and of course his $150 mnth rent.
    Like many of you reading each story I can only pray and wish well for each of you, good outcomes and resolution.
    You all have helped me get through mine by your posts here like I said. Thank you again.

  30. Mom and Stepmom says:

    I have a 19 year old daughter from my first marriage. She is a commuter student in college (2nd year). I don’t ask her for rent or to help with utilities because I do not pay her tuition. She pays it all herself. If she is ever in a bind, I will help but the bottom line is that’s her expense along with her car. She has a car note; she pays that and the maintenance of her car herself. So, I don’t think I’m being too light on her because she doesn’t contribute toward rent and utilities. I think I’m doing the right thing. My husband on the other hand, has 3 daughters from his first marriage…ages 19, 21 and 22. They live with their mother. None of them work. Every payday, they’re on the phone with him telling him what they need and it drives me nuts because he’s withdrawing the funds for them no sooner than it hits the account. The 21 year old has a 2 year-old daughter. The 22 year old has a arrest record and can’t get a job because she has a bench warrant for her arrest. His 19 year-old appears to be the only one of the three trying to do something with her life by attending medical assistant school. How do I get him to realize that he’s not helping them by giving them handouts?

  31. momof2greatkids says:

    I’ve had the same issues and have cut and pasted several very good articles and opinions for my boyfriend to read. They never take advice well from us and get all defensive! Sometimes I have to draw pictures! If my BF doesn’t want to realize he is hurting us by enabling his daughter, I’m out!

  32. mom of 4 says:

    I have been through this so many times and I am sick to death of it. My 28 year old daughter became addicted to oxy at 22. Year and years of bullshit. I enabled her, I kicked her out, I let her come back…blah blah blah. She is now clean and sober and the one thing she tells me is that everything I did and didn’t do had pretty much no effect on her when she was using. It was all about the drugs! Now my 21 year old daughter, my honor student, the homecoming queen, is off the rails. My ex-husband died in Feb of scorosis? of the liver and all 4 kids were left 20 grand each ( through their deceased grandparents, my ex died before he could get his hand on it) Anyway my 21 year old blew 20 grand in 2 months. She has nothing to show for it! She bought a crppy car for 2 grand and wrecked it, she stole and lied and abused all her friends and family in NY then decided to take the last of her cash ($300) and buy a plane ticket to Florida to come and dump on me and her stepfather. We moved to Florida two years ago. I paid for her to go to college in Florida, she dropped out because she wanted to go back to NY and be with her boyfriend. I paid for her to go to college in NY and she was living with her older brother. She dropped out of school in NY, her brother couldn”t put up with her anymore so we flew her to Florida to live with us. She couldn’t hold down a job and was miserable, so we paid for her to go back to NY. We knew the inheritence was weeks away and told her that once she got that money it was time to take care of herself. Two months later and she shows up in Florida, broke! I did not allow her to move back in with us. I actually couldn’t becasue the guy who runs our community did not want her back! She pulled a lot of crap and drama there. So now she is living with friends and I have not heard from her in a week. I am sure she is using drugs and not living right and she is always on my mind. I try not to worry, instead I pray for her. This is her path and she needs to figure out how to live right and be succesful. She is so smart and so pretty. I pray to God that she learns her lessons and stays safe. Thats all I can do. I told her that when she is ready to go to rehab I will help her do that, but until then I have nothing but love for her! It’s hard to do, but I spent years, doing for her and giving her money and flying her around and paying for cars and shipping cars back and forth between NY and Florida at her whim and now I am done. I know from experience with my older daughter that only she can make the change! I wish you all peace!

  33. Nicki Ro says:

    My husband is a good man. He has 3 children from a previous marriage two biological and one adoptive. He raised the children on his own when his ex wife abruptly left the marriage and family. The adoptive child is her cousin’s daughter that she brought home without discussing with him. The children were young when she left and they were scarred by her leaving and it carried over into their adulthood. My husband’s oldest was on drugs but has recovered. His second child was a teen mom now with 3 kids of her own but got married to the father of her children and is mostly independent. The youngest, adopted daughter is 20 years old and is a loaf. She has never worked and could care less about finding a job. She says she wants to be a vet tech but she failed her 4 general studies classes on purpose. Now she is on financial aid and academic suspension. She had an interview at Walmart and they didn’t hire her as a cashier I believe she failed the interview on purpose. She watches tv and searches the internet all day everyday. She doesn’t clean, she says she is depressed but she showers everyday and does her hair. She takes selfies and updates on social media all of the time. She says she can’t work because she has a stutter, that she doesn’t have. My husband is a big time enabler. All of the excuses she comes up with is ridiculous. I have 4 children and I would never let them do that. We gave her 2 years to move out because vet tech school is only 9 months long and there are plenty of jobs she could take. We agreed that as long as she was working and going to school she could save all of money for 2 years. Now she’s not in school…no job…no plans…and she is freeloading on us and he refuses to say anything to her. I’m upset and resent that he allows her to just sit at home everyday. Its like Groundhog Day the movie.

  34. Ymint says:

    My 25 year old step-son is a despicable person who has a long history of using other people for as long as he can and when they finally cotton on to the fact that they are being used and withdraw whatever it is he is using them for, he gets nasty and spiteful towards them. Unfortunately, my husband is an enabler who turns either turns a blind eye or downplays his son’s behaviour or apportions blame to the victims of the behaviour and it drives me crazy that he perpetuates this situation. I can’t tell you how many times he has let this lad cause problems in my husband’s personal life but when it comes to his son, he behaves lie a complete door mat.

    A few years ago the son lost his job and got kicked out of the place he was living at with a friend. Against my better judgement, I agreed that he could come and live with us in my house (the house was mine long before I married my husband) for a few months until he got back on his feet. We made an agreement that in lieu of paying any rent or expenses towards his upkeep, while he was unemployed, he was expected to do a day’s worth of gardening each week as an exchange for all meals and board. But during the 5 months he lived with us he probably only did one day’s worth of garden work. I found out later that he had told my daughter that he had no intentions of only staying with us for 5 months, he was going to stay for as long as he could as he was living with us ‘for free’ and it was much cheaper than renting a place of his own).

    Shortly after he moved in, he found a full-time job but then not only was he not doing the gardening, he still wasn’t paying anything towards the household except for his weekly liquor. He drank heavily every evening and he even ‘propositioned’ my best friend’s daughter who was living with as the time (she boarded with us while she was at college as we lived close to the college and her parents lived in New Zealand. When my friend’s daughter told him ‘no’, he started acting nasty towards her and he went and slept with 2 of her friends whom he had met through her. On top of this, he had this one girl who kept coming over and they would disappear for hours into his bedroom with the door closed. I complained to my husband but the only time he ever did anything about his son’s behaviour was when I kicked up a huge fuss and even then, all he would say to me is ‘what do you want me to do about it?’ I finally got really mad one night and kicked the lad out. After this he went to live with a relative but he was eventually ‘asked to leave’ so then he managed to worm his way into my daughter’s and husband’s home (they had been friends with him while he was living at our home but took him in despite my warnings to them to avoid him). Of course, he took advantage of them too and when they kicked him out after he owed them over $100 which he refused to pay back, he accused them of stealing some of his belongings, sent them threatening text messages and a threatening Facebook message telling them he was going to come around with some thug-friends and beat my son in law up and shoot him. I knew that my step-son was all talk but I told my husband that if he didn’t ‘do something about his son’ we were going to call the police on him.
    Finally I told my husband that his son was never welcome in our home again and if he caused any problems any of us again, we will be going straight to the police. Since that time, the son has taken up with several different women, the last one he has had a child with but he has since ‘broken up’ with her and has moved on to the next woman and the poor baby is only 8 months old. I am willing to bet that he will try to avoid paying child support for the baby, given his history. Since he was homeless after breaking up with his baby’s Mother, my husband allowed him to move into the property that he owns with his brother (who is unemployed after being retrenched from his job) and I suspect that my husband is paying all of the bills over there for both his brother and his son and my step-son wouldn’t be paying a cent. I have set boundaries with my husband and said that his son is not to come near my property nor my family again nor do I want to hear about anything to do with his son. As a result, my kids and I are no longer affected by his son’s behaviour but it just makes me mad when I hear my husband talking to other people about his son and making excuses for or down-playing his behaviour or apportioning blame to the victims of his behaviour. My husband is enabling his son’s behaviour and no matter what things his son does, he just wipes the slate clean and behaves like nothing ever happened. How can my husband be in such denial, I just don’t get it.

  35. Alice says:

    I have a 30 year old son in prison for the forth time an he is always writing home for money I am a widow and on a small check my daughter says I need to stop writing him and sending him stuff but I feel guilty if I don’t do it what can I do

  36. InLaw Watching says:

    My brother-in-law is 28, a recent college grad, who has been financially dependent on his parents, my in-laws, for his entire life. Even the few times that he moved out of their home for short periods, they still subsidized his life, paying for his rent as ‘needed’, giving him gas money when asked, buying him groceries, paying his car payment when he bought the car without steady income or financial independence, then giving him their car when his was stolen, have always paid for his car insurance, etc. In this time, he’s been arrested for drug distribution, put in jail, they helped him get the charges deferred. Then he started stealing money and finally admitted to having an oxy addiction. They helped pay for his doctor visits and drugs to ‘ween him off the oxy’ but really he just used that and went back to pills after a while. He has gone through several girlfriends that had problems of their own, but he was an obvious toxic force in their lives, some of them he still is. The last one moved in with him and then their apartment burned down which created the new need to live with his parents.

    Some of his problems are legitimate: addiction, a house fire, bad job market. But most of his problems are irresponsibility, zero accountability, and his mother takes codependency to an extreme. He doesn’t even have access to his bank account, because she took control of it after he was using excuse after excuse on her and her husband in order to get money out of them. Now if he needs money, he asks her to let him get it out of his own bank account.

    Leading up to his graduation, my in-laws said he had to be out after graduating, that they wouldn’t help past that point. I knew that was empty talk. They are just as much of the problem as he is. They have to cut him loose.

    Last night, after reading through these stories and other articles online, I talked with my husband about the very real possibility that if they cripple him, handicap him to the point that he cannot function, we will feel responsible for taking up where ever it is they leave off. Be it a tragic event, illness, whatever, or they just grow old with him leeching off them, he will look to us for help and we will have to be strong enough to say ‘no.’ I know I can do it, but I don’t know if my husband can.

    It’s wrong for both parties to do this to themselves and their families. It’s wrong for the freeloader to do this. It’s wrong for the parents to allow it and enable it. It’s completely unhealthy.

  37. InLaw Watching says:

    I failed to mention that he does not pay rent while he stays in their house. He smokes marijuana in their house and cigarettes outside and has smelled up their house. He never has money for anything, yet he has no responsibilities. No one is expecting anything of him and I think that’s how he wants it.

  38. rodella says:

    If you are dealing with a step child even if they are over 40 your spouse will not take your side. Cut your losses and get out if you can!

  39. Kat says:

    Tough love for both hubby and son sounds like what is called for. What most people have to remember is this: You teach others how to treat you.

    Decide your boundaries in all relationships, discuss them with all who are or may be affected by them, and stick to them. Your loved ones may not like it, but they will respect you for it. If not now, eventually.

    Sometimes “huge rifts” are needed to bring people together. Conflict is a normal part of life in relationships, hopefully you will handle this conflict well.

  40. Kat says:

    I know my comment is years later, but perhaps others will benefit from the feedback, thank you.

  41. Kristine says:

    I took over as POA in 2010, when my(2) cousins quit. (I was then conservator and now trustee)
    They failed to report MAJOR over gifting to my sister, out of an EDUCATIONAL TRUST FUND for (3) grandchildren.
    I got stuck going back 5 years, through all the check books, to fix this mess for the accountant and probate.
    My sister berated our mother to sign a side agreement, to pay her rent for eternity out of this educational trust!
    To date, she has received over half a million in rent and then she was the sole beneficiary of a $350,000.00 insurance policy, after mom passed in 2012.
    In 2010 she had an attorney who actually set up a 529 account for my son, because by the time he got to college age, the fund would be depleted.
    That sounds like a fraudulent contract in so many ways. Even when I took this all to PROBATE, the judge said: “your sister is cut off”.
    Does this mean, that IF there is any tiny amount left, she gets none of it?
    My mother also slid $450,000.00 over to my brother, before he died of cancer in 2009. With per stirpes, this means, they still get A THIRD of any amount left over, if there is any.

    I am the youngest of three children, and I am keeping a journal of all my hours over the past 5 years. My attorney told me to do this and to pay myself.
    Its set up so we all are suppose to equally, get a third, AFTER all (3) grandchildren have been educated. (FAMILY TRUST kicks in)
    That is not going to happen, because the RED LOBSTER and living on the beach in FLORIDA, has eaten up the whole EDUCATIONAL TRUST FUND.
    I am so glad I did not sign her PROBATE accounting until all this was brought to light.
    My cousin is the vice president of a bank and she hid all of this from the IRS, and from me specifically.
    There is NO FAMILY TRUST, because ONE beneficiary demanded she get her third, before the grand sons got through college.
    How can that be and is that legal?
    SO many attorneys appointed for my mother and a GAL. NONE of them did a thing. They were too busy listening to everyone say I am the thief and I am the one who should not be appointed.
    They got that 100% wrong, and they slandered me real good in writing too, based on many devious family members, sad the “gravy train” was getting shut down.
    TRUSTS are not going to work if nobody follows the guidelines.

  42. laurenk says:

    Reading all these puts me at ease! The only difference in my situation is the age gap between my husband and i. He is much older than I and his daughter is my age. I did not marry for money as we are not considered wealthy. She is 30 years old and has lived with us for 6 months now. Not to mention off and on for the last 6 years(every time her relationship fails). She has 2 kids whom are not at the top of her priority list. She’s never had to work or pay for anything herself such as luxuries or bills. Although I don’t work now I have had to take care of myself before and know what it’s like to pay for things I want and even things that I didn’t want. It really made me learn to appreciate things and respect others property. She helps herself to whatever we have. And doesn’t respect or take care of our house. She leaves ciggarette burn holes in my couch cover and blankets. I lock my bedroom door everytime I leave so she won’t t go in and help herself. She constantly has overnight guests ( male & female ). I feel I can’t speak my mind to my husband because she knows it’s coming from me and I’m the “bad guy”. She recently started a job as a dancer at a top less bar but spends any money on herself (claims she it’s “job expenses” such as alcohol, ciggarettes, perfume and lingere) yet she won’t even spend a dollar on deodorant or toilet paper. I’m basically fed up with it all. He needs to let her fend for herself for a while. I feel uncomfortable in my own home. It’s time for her to grow up and take responsibility for her life!

  43. Mia says:

    I’m afraid that my 25 year old sister is along the way to becoming a dependent, self-indulgent adult child who will always rely on my parents to bail her out. She got kicked out of college recently after spending 7 years trying to pass. Now she’s living with my parents, who are quite comfortable and can easily afford to support her. However, she still relies on my mother to do her laundry, cook her meals, clean her room and even wake her up in the morning. She held a job for less than 3 months before calling it quits (obviously because her boss and colleagues were too irritating) and has no direction in life. Unfortunately, my parents want her so badly to get back to work that they are willing to put up with her irresponsibility and help cushion her way so she can fully concentrate on getting a job. Her reaction? Going off on a week-long vacation in a luxury villa costing $300/night. God knows how she got the money for that trip but I have a theory.. Throwing tantrums, giving the silent treatment and crying are sure-fire ways of getting my parents and her boyfriend to cave in and give her what she wants. I cannot believe that at 25 years old, she still needs to be reminded to shower, make her bed, and won’t wake up in time for a commitment unless my mother comes in to get her out of bed. Forget about chipping in for rent, doing groceries, helping out with housework. She emotionally blackmails her boyfriend into doing her bidding by posting passive-aggressive messages on social media for her whole network to see until her boyfriend caves and apologizes/buys a present/takes her out etc to keep the peace and his dignity! In the process, she has developed a strange mentality in which she seems to think of herself as eternally young (she’s been telling me I’m old since I was 21 – we are 2 years apart), resulting in her disliking children to the very extreme. As for my parents, unless they are able to see the harsh reality and go against their well-meaning intention to protect and support, they will probably end up housing her and paying for her endless manicures, island getaways, and shopping splurges. She used to say it wasn’t fair when I could reward myself to a vacation or a nice item and demanded the same from my parents even though she didn’t work. Now she’s stopped with that since she is definitely edging me out in the vacation/nice things category as I certainly cannot afford her lifestyle! She will be in for a shock the day she realizes that real life does not equal working 2.5 months and taking 3-4 vacations per year with eyelash extensions, endless shopping and fancy restaurants (her poor boyfriend is definitely the main sponsor of the last one!) Good luck to all those out there in similar situations, especially those who see the situation clearly but are unable to do much to help.

  44. Stephanie says:

    My husbands brother has always been extremely lazy and everyone in the family treats him like he shouldn’t have to hold down such a thing as a job. His father gives him large sums of money so he doesn’t have to work. He bar hops nightly and basically does absolutely nothing with himself – he has created a self-made millionaire persona with his circle of friends so everyone outside the family thinks he has some sort of internet job where he makes millions – a lie. My husband is expected not only to work, but take care of everything family-related. He works large hours, is the CEO of a large corporation, and would never expect his father to pay our bills. And who is the one who gets spoiled and taken on free vacations? His lazy brother. I can’t begin to say how crazy the whole thing is. I will never ever do that to our children – my husband acts like it doesn’t bother him but OF COURSE it does! A horrible way to parent.

  45. Tracy says:

    I have been living with a boyfriend for over a year now who has a 22 year old daughter…Yes she works and pays the rent, but helping around the house she doesn’t…she has no idea what responsibilities are or nor how to cook ..I have to do her laundry, cook, clean up after her and do the dishes..If she leaves things laying around my boyfriend yells at me instead of his daughter…He says he feels bad for her because he wasn’t there for the first of her 11 years but back then she was a child and now shes an adult its time to show her and treat her like an adult and show her some responsibility …I get so angry and I tell him but he goes on ignoring me when I discuss these kind of things to him.

  46. Joseph says:

    The problem also with adult children (AKA Losers) is that they are so self entitled due to always being coddled by their parents that when they meet up with a responsible adult like myself (I am 25 and ben on my own 100% since 18…no funds from parents, no health ins from them, no nothing)

    Anyhow, when they meet up with someone like me they are so insecure and petty due to the fact they know they are just losers (they may not admit it, but when they see someone like me it reminds them of everything they aren’t and they start to get attitudes and start big mouthing.(something they learned from big mouthing their parents)

    I find people like this to be highly manipulative and pathetic. They hone their manipulation skills by manipulating their parents then they think someone like me or other REAL adults will believe them, and when we inevitably don’t because we can see right through them they get angry.

    So, not only are a adult children a burden to their parents they are a burden to REAL adults and society as a whole. They stifle progress with their childish attitudes and they are just an irritation. So parents cut your kid off from the milk already. Sink or swim!

  47. Deborah Avalos says:

    What have I done,my 25 yr old son has totally devastated & broken our mother and offspring bond. On 4/1/15 after 27 yrs his dad & I divorced. Suddenly he died @ only 52 in his sleep terribly our son was the one who found him. What a horific memory embedded forever in his mind.I’ve tried reaching out to no avail. The community property we owned is to be sold & split 50 / 50 as per decree. Within days I’ve lost two people that I love dearly & unconditionally, never thinking either would not be a part of my life. My son has turned very disrespectful,cold,rude and demanding of his dad’s 50% & has moved into the house I’m selling without asking me,has decided that he will handle the sale of our home. He’s not on the deed / title nor did his dad leave a will. He’s taken $$ out of an account used for over 7 yrs specifically for mortgage payments nothing else. Adding salt to the wounds has threatened to have me arrested if I go to my house to finish up what’s left before an open house. His father used to refer to our son as ” our little Frankenstein, we raised him & only have ourselves to blame” His dad wouldn’t let him live there when he was alive & I am torn between “let him mourn, keep disrespecting me, over stepping his bounds or have him paid a visit from deputy to let him know that he’s not going to stay & ask him to leave as I’ve asked. I’m trying to sell & it’s been empty for 4.5 yrs. Im assuming that I’m a cruel selfish bitch, no, I’m a mother enabling a self-indulgent adult child & his payback is pure d hell ……

  48. hanaria says:

    Seeing some of these comments of their entitled children made me see red. I left home at 18 and paid my way to college with summer jobs and scholarships and had 4 different jobs since I was 14 years old. Yet my brother is 20 now with no real job experience and my parents still treat him like a child. He’s not lazy but he’s not independent either. His communication and life skills are severely lacking. I for one will not put up with it. I told him to get a job while going to college while my mom is paying for his rent off campus. She expects me to drive him to school since my school is 15 minutes away. NO WAY. They need to realize he’s a man now and in no shape or form a child. For parents who are the enabler or know someone who is enabling, you either put your foot down and show tough love, or simply continue to live with the leeches. If it is the latter, I have no sympathy for you.

  49. Liz says:

    I am so down and frustrated. My 40 year old daughter was living with an abusive boyfriend and wanted to get away. I needed surgery and needed someone to watch my grandchild that i have custody of (from another daughter). I told her if she would paint I would pay her spending money. I want to get this house ready to resell and get my equity out of it.
    She did an awesome job the first 2 months. She took great care of me after the surgery, painted HER ROOM, washed the dishes and took good care of my grandson.
    Now it is 8 months later. RareIly washes dishes, has not painted since she got her room done. When I told her that I would not be buying her cigarettes after this month, she rudely said what about all the SWEETS that I buy? I mean honestly! I told her that I worked for 35 to 40 years and if I wanted sweets that I would buy sweets.
    This is such a drain on me emotionally not to mention financially.
    I needed to vent and even more so… I need to do something about this.

  50. Mema says:

    I am in the process of putting my foot down. it comes with consequences

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *