Is it time to cut daughter loose?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Marciad5, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Marciad5

    Marciad5 New Member

    This is my first visit and I'm glad to have found some others to talk to. My husband and I have three daughters and our troubled one is the youngest, age 21. She is Learning Disability (LD) and ADHD and we probably enabled her throughout the years. After dropping out her senior year, she managed to finish through an alternative program. She has never had a job and shows no interest in becoming employed. My husband and I have noticed money missing during the last few years, but she always denied taking. Yesterday she spent the day with her oldest sister and husband who are getting ready to move into their first house and at the end of the day, $100 was missing.

    I'm ready to give her a deadline and when she doesn't follow through, pack up her stuff and kick her out. For others who have walked a path similar to ours, does this sound right?
    Thanks, Marcia
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board Marciad :)

    If you feel it's time to give her a deadline, then it's probably time. At age 21 she should at the very least be working if not in school full time.

    What is her Learning Disability (LD), if you don't mind my asking? Could this be some of what is holding her back as far as stepping over the hump into adult responsibility? Objectively how ready do you think she is for the adult world? Where would she go? How would she eat? Will you be able to give her the deadline and follow through when she doesn't live up to her end?

    I'm not trying to talk you out of telling her it's time to fly from the nest, just trying to help you to be realistic as you take this step.

    My youngest, Nichole, was reluctant to leave home and step into the adult world. Although by 18, she had already transitioned into doing everything for herself such as doctor appointments, school registration, getting her drivers license ect. At 20 when she made the off handed comment she would just live with me forever.........It was my wake up call. Nichole was easy to live with. She did her own things, helped around the house, followed house rules, took care of her daughter, ect. But that "I can live with you forever" uhhh no. About a week later she was given until September to find her own place to live. (I gave her about 5-6 months notice) As I recall she moved out the beginning of sept of that year, she'd rented the apartment in aug but had to wait for it to be cleaned up.

    When I first told her she was deeply hurt and thought she'd done something wrong. So I sat down and explained it to her. I told her she was already doing all the things an adult does, just not in her own house. The only things she had left to learn was about paying rent and utilities. That I realized that step could be scarey but I had all the faith in the world in her and she'd be much happier in her own place. So, scared to death but knowing when mom says something mom means it, she started apartment hunting.

    I don't know what level your daughter is functioning at. But if you can get her might want to sort of transition her into this deadline to move out thing by first having her handle her own affairs with you around to supervise and to give advice, like handling a checkbook, making appointments, getting a job, ect. Once she gains confidence from those things then comes the deadline to move and she takes that step.

    Now if she's uncooperative and refuses to follow house rules ect.......then that's not going to work and you'll probably have to use the sink or swim method.

  3. Marciad5

    Marciad5 New Member

    Thanks for replying so quickly to my message. I know that her difficulties in school have kept her back and it didn't help that her two older sisters sailed through school with relative ease. The only "job" she's had is school, and she sucked at it. Her disability didn't make it impossible for her to learn, just a little more difficult. I work as a paraprofessional in the same school district she attended, so I think I'm pretty aware of her difficulties. We discovered her learning differences in 2nd grade and by 5th she had progressed so well that we staffed her out. Middle school turned out to be a bit tougher than she anticipated, so rather than be the stupid kid, she became the problem kid. Periodically she and I will have conversations about her choices and she always says she'll try harder, but her promises so far have been empty. I don't want to have to kick her out, but I guess we're looking for something to shock her or just let her know her chances are pretty much run out.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Since you don't want to have to kick her out just yet..........

    You could try something along the lines of............... To Remain in the Family Home As An Adult.......Rules for her to have to follow. Once a child moves into adulthood with that 18th birthday, living at home becomes a privilege not a right, and the sooner they figure that out the better.

    My adult child rules went something like this:

    1. Have a full time job or be a full time student working toward a degree bringing home passing grades
    2. If not a full time student, rent must be paid at a certain sum each month. (at the time I first made the rule money was not the issue, it was to get them used to the idea they were no longer children......but then money was an issue and it sure helped us a lot)
    3. Cerfew is midnight. No sleepovers elsewhere, no one sleeping over at home. (if they can spend the night elsewhere they don't need the bed I provide that badly.....and bfs were still following high school rules)
    4. I provide room and board, you provide everything else. (I was a tad more lenient to those who were full time students because they didn't work but clothing ect were still up to them)

    The point was to help them continue to transition out of the home while making it not so cushy that they never wanted to leave. lol Which is why when Nichole said what she did I was like uhhhh no! Now Travis, even given his multiple disabilities has managed to stick to the adult rules. However during winter quarter he won't as school is becoming quite difficult.....but he IS waiting on disability then if he still wants to remain at home he has to pay rent again.

    You know your daughter best. The stealing money would be a major sore spot with me. I have a real issue with stealing, right up there with lying and I have a real time even considering living with it. If it's gone beyond working with her, then perhaps it's time to just draw that line in the sand and say the time has come and get it over with.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    i have a major issue with stealing because I let it go on so long that my son just thought that little amounts meant that he could take larger amounts and no one would do anything and that left me in the very difficult position of having to charge my son with 3 felonies for forging checks on my accounts. Not something I wanted to do but I had to finally put a stop to his antics.

    He certainly doesnt steal anymore. He is afraid of jail now. I had to kick him out after all that happened.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is is possible she is taking drugs? The stealing could be a red flag for that. Also, the apathy.

    I agree with Hound Dog as far as spelling out her Rules for Living in Parental Home. Stealing is off the table. She's lucky you didn't call the police. And, like Janet says, stealing is very serious. If she moves on from your family to somebody else, she can end up in jail.

    I believe that, disabilities or not (I have an eighteen year old autistic son) the young adult has to follow rules and pull his/her weight (as is realistic considering the disability) to live at home. My son has a chore list and has to contribute to the family pot. We are using a job placement center to help him (along with school) get him a job. Your daughter can work with a Dept. of Vocational Rehab as well to help place her. I don't think anyone feels very good about himself/herself if he/she does not have some sort of job...a job would probably greatly improve her self-esteem.

    Now, if she is using drugs, you have a whole different problem...good luck!!!! :)
  7. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Hi Marcia! Welcome to PE

    Of course you can kick her out - but sometimes that's like going from the frying pan to the fire. it seems to solve the initial problem yet often creates a worse crisis and more worry for YOU.

    I think I would work out a timeline with her moving out as the end result...that she needs to get a job or go back to school, be more responsible, etc. I imagine she has some sort of "allowance" if she is not working? I'd give her a 6 week grace period to get a job and then cut off of the "allowance". Once she starts to work, I would work toward the goal of her moving out. Set a target amount for her to save - maybe insist she pay "you" that amount first from each paycheck and once it equals "X" amount and she has employment security- she start looking for a place to live.

    Of course, she has to know that if she does none of this, you are giving her (4 weeks? 3 months?) before you insist she leave.

    Additionally, I would write out a standard of guidelines for her while she is living in your house and spell them out to her. And let her know that stealing is immediate grounds for moving out. I hate the term "kicking out". It's her choice when she moves out - with or without a job, with just the clothes on her back or with a savings account. Know what I mean?? Behaviors and consequences...

    Again, welcome to PE :)