Anyone want to discuss...failing to thrive


Well-Known Member
Well, for a while I have been thinking that my step-son has been doing better. Maybe getting "it" a little. Then, it all comes crashing down.

He lost his job. For a really stupid reason. His roommate's girlfriend's birthday.

They--he and the roommate--refused to take work offered that day and the guy fired them. Son said he didn't have any choice, because the roommate was the one that talked to the boss on the phone, but I think SS could have tried to call the guy back and try to salvage his own employment (if he really wanted to).

Granted,it wasn't much of a job, but it was something.

And now they are selling plasma to buy cigarettes!

The roommate has a food assistance card, but SS hasn't even bothered to apply.

He told his dad a couple of weeks ago that he had a job making $20 per hour, working for a legitimate business, but so far that hasn't materialized.

And when dad encourages him to try a place that he knows has openings, and knows some people there, SS doesn't even try. At least not yet. Dad has mentioned this same place before, and he never even tried to apply.

Maybe drug-testing makes him reticent?

Dad has talked to him a few times recently offering to get him a car, and SS doesn't act at all interested! Dad has let that go, at this point. Dad really hoped that a car would give him the ability to get a job that isn't in walking distance of his apartment, or one that his roommate also shares. But he doesn't seem interested.

We did give him an old phone and some minutes.

Hubby was with them this weekend, and listened to the roommate complain that many jobs wouldn't even allow him to apply because of his lack of a diploma. Well, there is a way to fix that!

It may get desperate here soon.

So, why do they continue to follow the same pattern, do the same things, and keep getting the same results?

Even if he gets a job, the pattern just seems to repeat itself.

This is far from the first job he has lost or quit over the last couple of years. There have been many.

So, what is behind the "failure to thrive"? Not just with my SS, but with your young adults?

Wanna discuss?


Active Member
AppleCori, I don't have much to give I'm afraid. My daughter is in the beginning stages, at age 27, of trying to thrive, so the jury is out for another year.

Of course, if you counted the last four years of failing to thrive while in our household, you'd beg to differ that she is new at this failing to thrive thing.

In her case, I'd have to say she suffers from a lack of INSIGHT. She has no idea how much she suffers and makes others suffer. And she can't help it. What is behind the lack of insight? Mental health problems.

So how does one go about persuading someone that they are suffering when they can't see it?

in a daze

Well-Known Member
I would chalk it up to brain maturity. It's been shown that the brain doesn't fully mature until the late 20's or even to age 30. This seems to be more prevalent with the guys. A lot of these kids' behavior gets better as they get older.


Well-Known Member
But if that were true, why do most adult children thrive? Maybe the brain continues to mature however the brsin is mature enough for most eighteen to nineteen years olds to plan s good path for their lives.

I believe it is hidden issues such as undiagnosed high functioning autism, some mental illness including personality disorders
, Cognitive differences and learning disorders ,,(even with a high IQ) and addiction. Most older teens are willing, even eager to go to college, work full time, cut the cord and succeed. There is something very different about failure to thrive adults, yet they have many characteristics in common. One is their over representation in the restaurant business which often doesn't pay well or drug test.

Where I work (,a restaurant) there was a young 20s man who already had more jobs than most have in a lifetime and got fired from all or walked out. He was homeless for a stretch snd vocally bragged about his drug use. He just got fired from our restaurant for not showing up or calling in. He is a nice early 20s kid but is fine getting fired because then he can go back on welfare. He never works at one place for long and is dependent on the good will of others for a roof. His parents are done.

I think this twenty something young adult has something going on besides drug use. All and all, he is s typical non thriving 24 year old. I see them a lot st the restaurantI work at. They just don't share societal values. On the other hand are the many workers at the restaurant who work in the summer to make college money. So there you have a study in contrasts. They don't walk out or not show up.

My vote says they are different and since they don't succeed and many still live with Mom, they attract those who function at their own level so it becomes their norm in their world.

College and the military start at 18 and most young people do those things or choose a good full time job. They take responsibility for themselves usually and are kind to others. Those that choose another path due to personality or true disabilities just don't attract young adults who do well.

Thirty is a late start in life if you suddenly decide to thrive. By then many of your peers are married and successful at work. Employers look at a blank resume and wonder. It can be done, but it's harder. If it took until 30 for the brain to thrive enough for a person to get it, why are most men and women well on their way to s good life by at least 20? Even my autistic son was out of the house and working by 20 (before thst really,,,). You don't need a brain 100% matured to go to college, work, do military, follow societal rules, reject drugs etc. My daughter is 20. She has three years of college under her belt and will join The Police Academy soon. Did YOU wait until 25 to understand the rules of life or want to be independent?

Law of attraction. Look it up. It's true.
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100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Most of the parents on here have other children that DID get on the right path at the right age. We ourselves have two older boys who each had four years of college PLUS 18 months of trade school and they both came from divorced homes (my husband and I came into our marriage with one son each 24 years ago). My stepson's mother had many different boyfriends live with her during his formative years and she was not around much because of her job as a waitress.

The son we had together SAW these older boys as examples, they even lived with us for a few years as adults saving money and paying student loans. We did this to help our older sons out financially and have the family together but ALSO to let younger son SEE the examples of HOW it's done.

He didn't get it. He didn't want to get it. He is wired differently than any of us. He abused substances. He is still on shaky ground. He is 21 age wise but certainly not maturity wise. I honestly don't think it was anything we DID or DIDN'T do that made him this way. It's baffling.

My answer is that I don't think there is an answer. We're just the most unfortunate parents or step-parents that have to deal with these (mostly) boys and just keep taking it one day at a time and pray for a light at the end of the tunnel. It's not fun.


Well-Known Member
Oh...there are plenty of problematic girls, many who are both on drugs AND have babies. It is very sad to think about the babies of babies.

I don't think failure to thrive is the parents fault. For whatever reason, some young adults want to have it all, but can't or won't follow the rules and don't take responsibility for themselves or try to do better. They want to have it all but not work or stay sober or both.

My oldest is brilliant and he does have a good job and the illusion of success, but he is alone except for his dad and me because he is so mean to others. Why? Who knows. I sure don't and don't expect him to change at 39. I think he is a narcissist. I think my dad is too. Me, me, me.


We just don't know.


Active Member
Wow,, I agree with all these posts! its mental illness of some kind, or brain wiring, narcissism, whatever label you want to put on it. I will also throw in that if there is drug abuse that their brains stopped maturing when they started using drugs. In my sons case he started smoking pot at age 14. He is going to be 30 in 10 days.. If you ask me he still thinks like a young self indulgent teenager, and until he stops using he will never grow up! Even if he does, there are mental issues that he needs to address., but like many , he won't acknowledge he has a problem. Wont seek a doctor for medication, won't seek a counselor, he doesn't see the problem within himself, and no amount of trying to show him differently has any impact. Yes we are the lot that are misfortunate in having a child like that. Setting good examples never did anything. My daughter is 7 years younger than my son, in her senior year at college. She wants nothing to do with her brother. She considers him a messed up individual and it is so sad.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
It is sad. When we all lived together with older boys (everyone just moved out this year) our younger son stole from them too. It was like a nightmare. They were angry with him. I don't know if they'll ever have a good relationship. Maybe someday in a long time when they see he's changed for good and for real (hopefully that day will come). They do text him now but I don't think they trust him or would want him in their home.


Active Member
yes, the bridges they burn...If the day ever comes when they want to rebuild, I hope not to much water has passed under that bridge.