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Thread: What if my 'teen' is 21???????

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3

    What if my 'teen' is 21???????

    After reading ' Yes your Teen is crazy' I identified with many issues. But my problem is that my daughter is 21 and counting. She behaves like a 14 year old and doesn't seem to want to become responsible. Since she is an adult we have a much harder time laying down rules. Her answer to everything is "I'm 21, I can do what I want". She is seeing is a therapist, but my husband and I are in the dark, because the therapist doesn't have permission from her to talk to us. She hates her entire family, but doesn't have the motivation to finish college or get job paying enough money to enable her to pay for her own apartment or car. She does not appear to be depressed, just lazy, sloppy and ENTITLED. She is making the rest of us miserable. Can anyone help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Philladelphia, PA
    Posts
    807
    Dear Ann,
    I have some good news and some bad news for you: adolescence has been extended to age 25! This has ocurred due to a variety of reasons to include the incredible complexity of their world, the fact that so many of us parents have "entitled" them, and the rotten economy which whacks young folks worst of all. As a result (and knowing that brain wiring doesn't complete until age 25) we need to adjust our expectations of our kids a bit. But the game is the same as outlined in your book, meaning that you must slowly, lovingly and firmly start to nudge them out of the nest by offering incentives towards autonomy ("We'll match your savings towards your first apartment") and slowly making life tougher at home by withdrawing privileges ("At age 21 we think you'll feel better handling your own cell phone/car insurance/cable tv bills"). Get some coaching from someone who works with teens/young adults on how to put a plan together, and to perhaps moderate a family meeting on this. Most of all, stop seeing her in respect to who/where you were at age 21 since 25 is now the old "18".
    Take care.
    Dr. Mike Bradley

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3
    Thank you for the words of encouragement. I hope this child is the only one to become mature at the age of 25. She is the oldest of five. My youngest is 12 and by the time he is 25 I will be 66! I don't know if I can keep doing this that long. But I'll try.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    3

    Sitting with you in the boat

    You're not alone. Our oldest son is 23 and exhibits the EXACT same behaviour. He does have a job, but it is part time so he is managing a bit of rent payment here and his cell phone and gas for the car. When he is not at work, he is on his computer or asleep. He did have a relationship with a young woman and her two kids and moved in with them and her parents last year but moved back home (thankfully) when he realized the relationship was abusive. I know some of his troubles stem from lack of proper diet, sleep disturbances and lack of exercise and he knows this, too, but seems powerless to make positive changes.

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