Time to kick lazy daughter to the curb

Our 21-year-old daughter came home from college and moved back into her old bedroom.

Question: Our 21-year-old daughter came home from college and moved back into her old bedroom.

Now, three years later, she’s still there. She doesn’t work, she has no ambition or direction, and she seems perfectly content to freeload on her dad and me. I know she ought to get on with her life, but what can I do? I can’t just force her out, can I?

Answer: Your daughter is not alone. Millions of young adults are living at home and loving it. They have no intention of growing up — and why should they?

The nest is just too comfortable there. Food is prepared. Clothes are laundered, and the bills are paid. There’s no incentive to face the cold world of reality, and they are determined not to budge. Some, like your daughter, even refuse to work.

I know it’s difficult to dislodge a homebound son or daughter. They’re like furry little puppies who hang around the back door waiting for a saucer of warm milk.

But to let them stay year after year, especially if they’re not pursuing career goals, is to cultivate irresponsibility and dependency.

That’s not love, even though it may feel like it. There comes the time when you must gently but forthrightly hand the reins over to your adult daughter and force her to stand on her own. I think it’s time to help her pack.

Giving a shove to a 24-year-old woman may seem cruel at the time, but I encourage you to consider emancipating her. The parental gravy train probably should go around the bend. If that never happens, lasting characteristics of dependency and immaturity may ensue.

I suggest you sit down and talk to your daughter, explaining why the time has come for her to make a life of her own. Set a deadline, perhaps two or three weeks ahead, and begin preparing for it. Then give her a big hug, a promise of prayers, and send her on her way.

Question: I am a single mom. Of all the things that frustrate me, I am bothered most by having to send my kids to visit their dad for three weeks in the summer. That will happen next month and I’m already uptight about putting them on the plane. Can you help me accept what I’m about to go through?

Answer: Maybe it will help to know that many other single parents have similar feelings. One of these mothers expressed her frustration this way:

“I stand in the terminal and I watch the kids’ airplane disappear into the clouds. I feel an incredible sense of loss. The loneliness immediately starts to set in. I worry constantly about their safety, but I resist the urge to call every hour to see how they’re doing. And when they do call me to tell me how much fun they’re having, I grieve over the fact that they’re living a life completely separate from my own. My only consolation is knowing that they’re returning soon. But I’m haunted by the fear that they won’t want to come home with me.”

Instead of seeing the next three weeks as a period of isolation, view them as an opportunity to recharge your batteries and reinvigorate the spirit. Single parenting is an exhausting responsibility that can cause burnout if it knows no relief.

You sound burned out.

James Dobson is founder and Chairman Emeritus of the nonprofit organization Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80995 (www.family.org).

Just Posted

Shale oil producer seeking long-term river water supply

A company behind what is billed as Canada’s first commercial shale oil… Continue reading

Red Deer’s crisis line workers are busy dealing with multiple emergencies

Callers need everything from mental health counselling to their basic needs met

Pleaded guilty: Ex-Red Deer teacher gets 3 years for sex offences against kids

SASKATOON — A former Saskatoon teacher who admitted to sexual offences involving… Continue reading

Rental market picking up in Red Deer

There are fewer “for rent” signs in Red Deer than there have… Continue reading

Alberta government to partially backstop new $2 billion dollar bitumen upgrader

CALGARY — The Alberta government is providing a $440 million loan guarantee… Continue reading

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Backlund scores OT winner for Calgary Flames in 3-2 win over Carolina Hurricanes

Flames 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT) CALGARY — Mikael Backlund scored 15 seconds… Continue reading

Glendening’s two-goal performance leads Red Wings past Oilers 3-2

Red Wings 3, Oilers 2 EDMONTON — Luke Glendening had a pair… Continue reading

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

OTTAWA — The Canada Food Guide’s familiar food rainbow has been replaced… Continue reading

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps may need to stock up on maple… Continue reading

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

Most Read