When it rains it pours... (adult children returning home)

by John
(Monroe, MI)

I've had a long career in presenting live arts events in both academic and non-profit theater venues.

I eventually rose to my level of incompetence, fundraising, and was laid off at the age of 58. Was able to find part time retail jobs which kept the wolves away until turned 62 and decided to join my wife in retirement (she's 75).

Her daughter was going through a long drawn out divorce and we decided to move closer to help out. It turned out to be a good thing in that her daughter and two kids (one with autism) would be living in the new car she just bought. But as it turns out the daughter has a number of financial and personal issues that we're enabling by letting them live with us. No progress is being made to getting out on her own (she's 48).

The increased costs of food and utilities has required dipping into the retirement accounts which can't go on. Not sure what to do.

I'm bored to death in retirement, long walks and music help but I need to find something productive to do.

Would like to help the stepdaughter become independent, but discussions of budgeting, being frugal and applying for assistance don't last long.

Afraid nothing will change until forced, which my wife is very uncomfortable with and I understand.

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4 years later, nothings changed
by: John

Still enabling.

Wendy: It's likely never going to change, it's been allowed far too long already.

The problem is: when mom dies, the kids aren't ready to face the real world. Sad. They are lazy now, think this is a good life -- but it will end at some point.

Right now would be a good time to find a job as employers need people. They would likely forgive the application with little employment shown... which indicates an issue to most.

Lastly, if no employment and no 10-yr marriage on the books -- no Social Security for their later years. Yikes!

Need to do something!
by: Anonymous

Step-daughter and kids still living with us. Step-daughter not working or even looking. The topic has become undiscussible. Very frustrated and need to do something!

Greatest gift
by: Michigan


The greatest gift you can give her is love. What I worry about is the example you all are giving to the grandchildren. They are seeing their mother not work, not take responsibility, and grandma and grandpa doing everything.

'Tough Love' was a program that was around years ago and I used it with my daughter when she was floating at the age of 20 ~ she was living at home, quit school, quit jobs but had a nice new red truck ~ at first I tried just talking but it wasn't until I wrote up the rules and conditions according to the program ~ a list of things she had to do and a timeline.

At first she thought I was joking but 2 weeks later I stood my ground and told her the free ride was over. well that was really tough on me. She got mad, yelled, and packed ~ as she left I told her I loved her and if she wanted to back she was welcome.

She was gone for three weeks, no word nothing and it was heartbreaking but when she came back well things were different. She got a part time job, went into a training school, and I helped her plan how to get out of debt.

When she brought her house, I gave her all the rent money as a down payment. Now she is in her 40's. married, a good mom, hard worker, and pretty good with her money.

I couldn't find the program but basically it was like goal setting with a timeline and the guts to follow through.

She needs your love to get her life together but giving her a free ride is not doing that. What will happen to her and your grandchildren if something happened to you?

Best of luck

Adult children
by: Wee-zer

John, Your wife and you did a kind thing to allow the daughter and kids to come live with you. Now it is time to create an action plan.

1. The daughter may be depressed with all that is going on. She should see a doctor to rule out depression.

2. Daughter has to get a job.

3. Once she has the job, she has to save to get an apartment. Possibly you could 'charge' her rent then give it back to her in a lump sum to put down on the apartment.

4. She needs to get rid of the new car and get a used one that is in good shape. I don't think a welfare program would approve of a car payment on a new car.

5. Daughter needs to visit social services to find out what she is eligible for. Maybe help with rent (section 8 housing), food stamps, Medicaid, job skills help.

6. No mention of the father of her kids. Is he paying? If not, perhaps taking him to court and having his pay garnished.

7. Don't let this go on for years. It is best to nip it in the bud now. Tell your wife you both need to turn this around now or all of you will be living in a tent in the woods. The daughter is 48 and needs to get her act together.

It might be best to go to social services to find out if they can help at all with anything. Living with you could add to the problem of her getting assistance.

This is definitely a problem and it has to start with your daughter making grown up decisions.

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