How long should I support jobless adult child?


I have a 28 year old daughter who finished graduate school last summer and has not found a job in the last 10 months. she moved to texas to live with a friend but is so broke she applied for food stamps, can't pay her half of the rent or utilities etc.

we have been helping her with rent and very basic expenses since november. we all agree it's not a good idea for her to move home with us as she lived here for a whole year before (also unemployed)and it got pretty tense after awhile.

But how long should I support her? I know it is not normal times and we want to help her out, but it's costing us nearly $1,000 a month. she also has a credit card of mine that i let her use for prescriptions (she has no medical insurance either). Today i got the statement and i saw she's also now charging groceries and some other expenses she did not tell me about. I feel caught between being angry with her and being alarmed by her dire state. what should I do?

Comments (5)
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Is she working at all? I know she might not be able to find work in her "career" yet, but she is probably very capable of working some other job until she does. Also, plenty of graduate degrees really don't give someone a ticket into the workforce...if her degree is in "woman's studies" or something....she might be forced to start out at a very entry level position in some unrelated field, as opposed to having an accounting or engineering degree that really does set you up for a career.

My kids are 13 and 10....but I've been explaining to them for years already how it's gonna work...if you get good grades in school we will pay for your college and support you, when college is over, you are on your own. If you don't get good grades in school, we are not wasting our money on college and when you turn 18 you are on your own.

Not to say I would never help them out a little here or there, like help with a down payment on a first house or something...but I will not support my kid as an adult (assuming they are mentally/physically able to work of course). Supporting an adult child does not do them any good...I saw it first hand, my parents did it with my brother after college for a couple years, let him live home rent-free while he "looked" for work and worked part time. he bacame very depressed, drank a lot and it took him several years to put on his big boy underwear and get out there and on his own.

I on the other hand lived in a sh*t-hole apartment, worked nights in a nursing home as a security guard so I was free to interview during the days during the 9+ months it took me to find work after college. I would have worked 3 jobs rather than move back home as a college grad....nothing against my parents, I just knew it would be a bad move.

Guess who's had a better work ethic as an adult? He's bounced around from career to career, had long stretches where he did essentially nothing....while I've busted my butt and have been fairly successful in my profession. I would strongly advise against continuing to support her, and no way would I even think about letting her move back home.

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IMHO, this is nonsense. She can do something....wait tables, bag groceries....anything/something. You're getting snowed by an entitlement-minded brat.

I've done it. Countless others have done it. Actors and musicians, in particular are famous for it. She may be twenty-eight and masters-credentialed but she's acting like a spoiled little girl. By all means she should search for whatever her "bliss" or dream-job may be. In the mean time, she needs to support herself -- at whatever level. Period.

Giver a month and cut her off.

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At 28 she should definitely have her act together. What would happen to her if you were run over by a bus tomorrow? You're not doing her any long-term favours by not making her find her own way now, she's not a baby any more. Let her wait tables, clean motels, be a check-out chick, whatever it takes to pay the rent and put food on the table until her "dream job" comes along. They may not be glamorous jobs but the world would come to a grinding halt if someone wasn't doing the scut work.
Take back the credit card, she clearly can't be trusted with it and as well as ruining herself she could end up ruining you too.

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As long as you keep providing, she'll keep taking. Get the credit card back from her or put a "stop" on it. She needs to find out first hand that responsibility falls on her alone by getting a job - any job at this point.

$1100 per month is a awful lot of extra money to be putting out when you could be saving that for your own retirement which I'm assuming isn't too far away being that you have a 28 year old.

Unfortunately, sometimes these "kids" have to learn the hard way to grow up. I'd give her no more than 3/4 weeks notice, and cut her off financially. And put a stop on the credit card now because she may try to get a cash advance on it or spend like crazy before the 3 weeks are up. She needs to grow up and stop living off mom and dad. Don't feel bad about it; it's called Tough Love. Besides, you helped her for a long time already.

I remember when my sister was a 29 YO single mom, about to loose her home and business (which did happen), was 8 months pregnant with her 2nd, and was delivering Dominos pizza just to make ends meet. I really respect her for that all these years later. She did whatever she needed to to earn a fair living.

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i know times are tough but i think you might be making her a little too comfortable. when i was 21 i finished my bachelors degree and needed to find a job. finding a job in a publishing house art department is no small feat. i had to be close to the city so i found a cheap apartment. with no job, student loan payments looming and no possible way for my divorced (without alimony or child support) mom to help, i moved in to my new place. i woke up the next day scared to death -and stayed in bed and cried all day. and then the next day i came to my senses, bought a copy of the new york times and opened up the want ads section. knowing it would take a bit of networking to get a job in publishing i didn't even bother looking there. i had to eat and pay my rent. so after three days of calling around i got a job as a receptionist at the robert fiance hair institute. HA! i hated every minute of it, but i got paid and managed to pay my bills. two whole years after that i got into magazine publishing.

there was no one to help me except myself. no one to coddle me and pay my rent. i did my laundry at the corner laundry with a pocket full of quarters and my roommate and i ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches most of the week.

and several years later i was making a living, with real money and taking care of my mom ...and now many more years later i look back at those days and cry because i miss them so much. i did it by myself and although i don't begrudge your daughter a helping hand, there is such a thing as too much help. it's time for her to grow up.

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