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proexpert37
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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I have been supporting my 28-year-old daughter and her son

Customer Question

I have been supporting my 28-year-old daughter and her son for many years. She works sporadically, and blames health problems (self-diagnosed PCOS) for this. I pay for her housing (she lives in a second house I own), my grandson's preschool, her car, phone, student loans, etc. Until a few months ago she also used a credit card of mine supposedly for gas to get to work, but she ran it up to its limit in one month so I took it away and told her no more credit cards.

I realize the question is - why do I pay for all of these things? When her son was two years old she moved out of my house and into an apartment with a boyfriend (not the father). I was OK with that until I went to visit. The apartment was in a two-family house in another city in the worst section of town. The paint had all fallen off and the wood was rotting, including all of the stairs. There were huge mounds of garbage in the entranceway, and my first greeting was from a rat going from one garbage pile to another. The apartment was the same - falling down, inadequately heated and with a space heater that looked like it could start the tinderbox on fire in about two seconds.

In any case, I begged her to move from there for her son's sake. She stayed several more months until she and her boyfriend broke up. At that point she moved into a house I own, rent-free as she did not have a job. She was supposed to finish college - she's 36 credits away, but she failed to go to classes. She loses every job she gets because she either doesn't show up at all or she's late. She lasts about 4-5 months, gets fired, then takes another 6 months to find another job. Repeat pattern.

Almost three years after she moved into my other house, she has a new boyfriend who has also moved into the house. She just lost her latest job, then he did as well. He now claims to have a back problem that is preventing him from working for at least a few weeks. She is on food stamps, but has failed to get aid for her heating costs, so it's likely her utilities will get shut off (again). Oh - and she just announced that she's three months pregnant.

Any advice on what I should do from here? I realize I have enabled her. I can't stand the thought of her bad choices hurting my innocent grandson (or the new baby) but what's the best way - and how do I go about - weaning her off of my help and making her stand on her own two feet? Please help. I've messed this situation up so much already that I'm afraid to do anything different at this point.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 3 years ago.
Hello..Thank you for using the services of Just Answer. Do you know why your daughter has lost so many jobs? Is she your only child? Does she seem to be a good mother?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My daughter loses her jobs because she is not reliable and fails to go to work regularly, but I don't know why she's not reliable. I assume it's the same reason she has failed to finish school etc. She always has an excuse - a boss was unfair, didn't understand her health issues, etc.

 

I think she is generally a good mother, though there is no doubt that my grandson feels stressed at times when he is with her as she is very short with him, yells at him, etc. but does not physically abuse him. Sadly, he begs her to come to my house and when it's time to leave my house he cries, which breaks my heart, though I think he's reacting to the fact that he gets lots of attention from me and maybe not so much at home.

 

She is not my only child. She is my oldest. My other two (another daughter, 26, and son, 24) completed college and M.S. programs and both have good jobs and do not depend on me for support.

 

One thing that may be relevant - we went thru a nasty divorce when Amy was 13 and it took 5 years. My ex never thought Amy, who is strikingly pretty, should go to college and told her she should find a man and have him take care of her. He still tells her that. I finished my degree after the divorce, went on for further degrees and now have a high-paying job. He tells her I had to do that because I could not keep a man. I don't know how much of this she takes to heart.

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 3 years ago.
Your daughter may have always held on to the belief that everything should be done for her...as though she is a princess...due the statements made by your ex. She has become codependent on you as well as having any man in her life relationship wise. What could possible help her is therapy . She needs to seek intervention strategies in developing more responsibility and becoming more independent. You cannot change her. You can suggest that you would like to find a therapist to help her become a more successful in her life. See if she would be open to that idea.

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