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At end of my tether with DD1 (sorry, long)(25 Posts)
DD1, 20, has quit her job which she has only been in for 3 months because of difficulties 1 day a week which meant her workload was extra heavy. She hasn't anything else lined up. (Prior to this she was off work for 7 months with back problems and before that doing an apprenticeship which she couldn't complete).
The job wasn't perfect, but she has a restricted skills set (dyspraxia, black and white thinking, limited initiative, poor organisation, poor team working skills, and some health issues) and it fitted really well and was relatively well paid (above min wage for 25yos).
She had been planning/promising to be moving in with her boyfriend and even went to see somewhere about a month ago. We were happy with this and had agreed in theory to act as rent guarantors for them.(Though as it transpires despite her telling us he had recently been given a FT job it has just come out that was a fabrication and it is still part time zero hours (2 years after leaving college)).
Up to now we haven't charged rent (preferring her to save, which she was doing), and I have put up with her not informing me when she will be in/out for meals etc etc as we haven't wanted to rock the boat, and want to keep some influence. She has no sensible friends (and no friends independent of BF as she dropped everything and everyone to spend all time with him.)
I'm posting here because elsewhere the advice will be chuck her out, or charge rent, make her move in with BF family. But because we adopted her age 8 and I feel some/lots of this is due to her background and me failing her emotionally I don't want her ever to be able to turn round and say we gave up on her.
However DD2, 15, is impacted by her swanning in and out and showing no consideration to the rest of us. And I feel like a mug who is totally being taken for granted. We have had 4 years of some crisis or other ~ every 3 months, most of which she has self induced. I can't talk to her as my stress levels go through the roof, so DH has to do it.
I have no idea what I really want from this post, apart from some understanding that because she is adopted it seems harder to just say 'you've made your bed now lie on it'. She has the opportunity with help to make herself a good life, but all the aspirations she had at 14/15 have gone as she has sunk to BF level, and she self sabotages whenever anything is going at all smoothly.
That sounds really tough on you. But is there a reason why you can't just keep on as you are? I know it's frustrating she's not holding down a job but it sounds like she has a lot of issues and does need your acceptance.
Can you seek support and counselling for yourself to help you deal with it?
Obviously making sure DD2 is getting some support too and some respite from the drama.
is there a reason why you can't just keep on as you are
I'm not sure I can cope much longer, each time just as I think there is hope she produces another crisis. I am tense the whole time wondering what will come up next.
DD2 is starting y10 and she needs and deserves the same level of focus for GCSEs that DD1 had. Pastoral support at her school is ace at least so that's good.
I really don't know what is for the best for DD1. Maybe she needs to be made to stand on her own 2 feet without us propping her up. Everything is always 'not her fault'. It is always the other people at school, on her course, at work who are unfriendly / unhelpful / etc.
It's the quitting the good job that suited her skill set for insufficient reasons, just 1 month after looking at flats that gets me. With nothing lined up. She wants to change jobs then fine, find something else first. She can't keep declaring she is an adult when it suits and then expecting us to pick up the pieces of her bad choices.
20 isn't that old though, especially if she has additional needs and is quite immature. It doesn't sound like moving in with her boyfriend would be the best idea.
I guess she has attachment issues which may cause a lot of her problems and self sabotaging. Does she know that you accept and love her as she is? .
You definitely sound like you need some support though. Do you get some time out of the house? Do you do anything fun? Have you seen a counsellor?
It sounds really tough.
Not sure if this would be an option but could you afford to support her financially by helping set her up in her own place but close by? This may ease some pressure? Or would the BF just move in?
Do you have extended family or a good friend who could try and talk to her or who know of any understanding employees eg maybe a small family business who would give her a job whilst understanding her needs?
Sorry maybe not much help but just some thoughts I had.
Hope it gets easier.
If we subsidised her to move out (which we could do easily) then BF would just move in with her, and we would be subsidising 2 of them. Then before we knew it there would be 3...
She has the education and the skills to be successful in the workplace with the right job. She was actually doing absolutely fine in her job, but her black and white thinking (and we suspect unhelpful 'advice' from BF and his family) led her to just quit rather than work to resolve the problem. She just wouldn't see the benefits - one problem and it's all terrible and hopeless and she can't possibly stay...
My aim has always been to help her develop the skills to be an independent adult. She has the education, the qualifications, can more or less budget properly. She can drive (DH taught her) and runs a car. She can do it. She's been saying for 2 years she wants to move out. She says one thing, but her actions aren't consistent.
Does she know we love her? Who knows. She should do, but she has built up this whole Romeo & Juliet thing and excluded everyone else.
We saw a parenting person 3 years ago who was very helpful, maybe the time has come to go back.
Oh I do feel for you, it's so hard once they're technically adults but in nothing but age. Her issues are almost certainly going to stem from attachment issues. Are you on Facebook at all? There's a really helpful group called Therapeutic Parenting which I'm sure will have some great advice for you. The woman who runs it, is Sarah Naish and she adopted 5 siblings, the oldest I believe was around the age your daughter was when she came home, so she really knows her stuff. It would be worth checking out. There's a book called the A-Z of therapeutic parenting which might have some Immediate tips but I'd definitely ask for advice on the group to.
You posted about this a couple of years ago (or thereabouts) and got advice, which you felt you weren't able to take - it was mostly along the lines of - help her move out, maturity comes with experience, kids have to make their own mistakes to learn and so on.
And tbh I really think that that advice was good and is still pretty valid.
You also made the comment then that you wanted her at home so that you could have influence - but you yourself seem to think that the connection is not there between you, and so her being influenced by you in any meaningful way is therefore unlikely at the moment?
It is impossible to give advice based on what you have said as there are no specifics - what her qualifications are exactly, what the job was and its future prospects - and so I do think that you need to talk to someone in real life to get some decent objective advice, and I would recommend a clinical psychologist who is able to provide strategies, and to predict how she will react to things, and be helpful from the psychological point of view, maybe.
Also, you have posted here because you think elsewhere the advice will be "terf her out" - I think there is maybe a halfway house between that and the situation staying as it is.
An idea is to say to her that you think it is time for her to move out, but rather than be guarantee on a flat for her and BP, you will pay for her to move out into a shared house for young professionals or similar on the proviso that she looks for another job. It will be appropriate for her age, and as long as she is living with decent people it will broaden her horizons, give her ideas, give her problems to deal with and so on. And BF won't be living with her. You can find some really nice houses, well designed, nice to live in, all mod cons, with young people of her age and a bit older who are friendly and career focused. It might knock some corners off her in a good way, learning to live alongside others. Is that something to consider? You wouldn't be throwing her to the wolves by any means. You would be prodding her in the right direction.
And that would be "turf her out" not "terf her out" (<cough cough>)
Yup I did post a couple of years ago. I think it has been really beneficial for her to have continued to be with us over the last 2 years. She is more capable than she was. Us being around to guide her through her first employments helped her. (She quit this time while we were away on holiday and she was at home.)
I think her moving to shared housing is a great idea, but I think that she would just move in with BF at his Dad's house instead.
The biggest issue is that broadly speaking she doesn't learn from her mistakes. She has a 'helplessness' when things go wrong (that may well stem from her past), to her things just 'happen' her cause and effect thinking is poor. She doesn't have good reflection skills.
She has a full set of GCSE passes, a L3 BTEC Diploma in something customer focussed, good verbal confidence, polite, well spoken, confident in one MFL and able to attempt in 2 others. She could succeed well if she would give herself a chance.
As I said at the start, I'm not looking for careers advice, or even particularly advice on what to do. Just some understanding that with adoption in the mix it makes it seem that much more complicated, which is why I'm posting here not on the Parenting boards.
We committed to be her forever parents and I don't want her to turn round and say we gave up on her.
She finished her education. She's not had a baby. She's not on drink or drugs. She's not violent. She has earned enough money up to now to run a car.
I was struck by your comment that you feel you have somehow failed her emotionally. I bet you haven’t, just she is somehow making you feel like that. Transferring her bad feelings to you. Also that you feel tense and find it hard to talk to her right now. Can you find an outlet for these feelings of your own? Offloading them might help you think more clearly about things and out of a negative mindset.
I totally agree that adoption makes it harder to know when to draw the boundaries and the whole thing is just a different dynamic.
Parenting help sounds good. You are essentially still parenting someone not ready to be an adult yet.
I just wanted to express solidarity with you because my dd (birth child) is almost certainly going to be living at home at 20 and will struggle with many things due to being on the spectrum.
And to express solidarity with her in that I am not adopted or on the spectrum and I went back and forward from home for years! Anxiety, for me (and maybe the fact I have OCD), made living at home a big benefit for me! My parents made it easy for me to (for which I am grateful).
I think I'd find a way to deal with the stress for you, widen her horizons for her if you can.
Maybe allow her a little longer to mature.
Adopted children can be (maybe) 4 years behind their peers (or more) and if she were 16 there'd be no rush.
Sorry, that is advice but really I am preparing myself for my dd!
Do what works for you,.
If money really is not an issue invest in top quality counselling for you too.
You have done a great job and given out so much for your child. Xxx Xxx
Have several young adults of age and older , from experience time will come , be realistic have too learn . all mine are different as are their issues. will learn with support and understanding. As DD has issues would contact Adult disability services , they will possibly offer advice and help with moving on can recommend types of housing after assessment which would be suitable for her needs. Have 3 young adults now settled this way and getting on fine. some other's with full FAS , now in full time employment, drive , and purchased their own homes. Was not easy most of free board until time was right. Seam's you are doing similar , wish you all the best
Thank you all.
Italian - Thank you for reminding me not to believe that DD is really emotionally 20 just because she says she is an adult. If I think that she is really 16/17 that might help a bit.
fas The trouble with DD is that she isn't bad enough for adult disability services. She is in that no-mans-land between clearly being in need and full functioning.
mamoosh Just writing here has helped a lot actually, but I think going back to the parenting coach will help.
If I had a 16 year old not turning up for meals I'd probably just freeze them and say cook it when you want it sort of thing.
Being s caring mum doesn't mean you need to be s doormat Sanders you and you dd2 should probably not expect too much of dd1. My son(adopted) loves spending time with dd but she can't committ to much! She is depressed, a pious, ASD etc so I have to manage dad's expectations. And I think you probably do that already with dd2.
It is very worrying when they quit jobs/college without a plan. I would advise her to make a UC claim ASAP, as there is likely to be a sanction period of approx. Twelve weeks for quitting her last job, might as well make it now, and get in place. Unless she has servere disabilities, ( and I don't know if her health issues are bad enough for her to have PIP), she will get a paltry £250.00 a month. But , however small this is, I feel it may ease tension in the household if she has some independant income.
I think it sounds like, however much of a cliche, she does need a lot of love and acceptance, ( I'm non-adopted, but am also likely dyspraxic, and behaved in a very similsr way at 20 because I really, really struggled with adjusting to the world of work). It was made quite plain that people, ( including family, including my younger sister), thought I was a loser and it really hurt. I see a lot of similarities between that and your Dad's situation, so go easy on her.
Additionally, would chatting to her openly about careers and taking an interest in what she wants to do be helpful ? Encourage her to use this period when she's not working anyway to get some work experience in an area that interests her.
From some of your posts, you come across very career orientated. That is a good thing, but I would be careful you don't make your DD feel a failiure if she doesn't feel the same. There is nothing intrinsically wrong, with settling down with a boyfriend and starting a family at 20, ( I say that as you indicated her having a baby would not be a
good thing).My cousin is 19, and has two little girls. She comes from a similarly career orientated family who weren't delighted by this. But now, we can see her little fsmily is thriving, she is happy and in her element and that is all we can want for our children.
If boyfriend isn't abusive , ( and if he is, please completely disregard this advice), if you welcome him into the family and show your DD you like and appreciate him, she may be more responsive. You say this is becoming a Romeo and Juliet situation, but I can't help feeling your obvious dislike is radiating through and fuelling this.
But yeah, she's 20, she's quit a job she didn't like, but it's not the end of the world. In six months, no one will care.
Sooty Thank you for your perspective.
We aren't career oriented, but we are 'work for things, don't expect them to be handed to you' oriented. With that in mind we don't want her to be claiming UC, as we don't want her to just expect everything to be given to her. (If she is organised enough to find out about it, claim and is eligible that's another matter, but we certainly aren't going to encourage it.) Her health isn't anywhere nearly bad enough for PIP, but she does have hospital appointments and can't have a physically active job.
Her having a baby now wouldn't be as much of an issue as 3 years ago , but the two of them together do not yet show signs of being mature enough to look after themselves yet alone a baby.
We have actually been very supportive of her plans, careers, interests. We have helped discuss ways she can achieve things and supported where appropriate. The amount of effort we have spent boosting / supporting her through college, first apprenticeship, health, second job is immense. But no, we aren't just going to pay up for them to move in together and do sod all but watch Netflix all day.
I don't actively dislike her BF. I just dislike the effect that their relationship had had on her (and she is at least 50% responsible for that if not 80%). Had she met someone with a bit more drive, she would have continued to be more driven herself.
I do see your point, and whilst I think she should be shown genuine love and acceptance, at no point do I think you should pay for them to move in together. One thing to bear in mind about UC, is if she doesn't have young dependant children, caring responsibilities or very, very severe disabilities they will insist she evidence she is looking for work for 30 hours per week, ( and they do check up on this), as condition of payment. They will insist that a CV is prepared, she goes to courses, jobcentre organised work experience etc.
It may actually take the pressure off at home that it is an independent body, ( jobcentre), who is completely independent of Mum and Dad that is ramming the point home about needing to be in work, and an independent body, ( the jobcentre), that sanctions heer finances if she is not looking etc/ And believe me, they will not think twice about sanctioning her.
As she was previously earning relatively well, ( above NMW for 25+), the shock of what UC actually expect her to lvie on may spur her on to get a job. I can only speak from my own experiences, but at 20 and with similar emotional issues to your DD, I would have responded better to the jobcentre nagging than a parent. Simply because, whenever my parents nagged me, I saw was that proving what a disappointment they thought I was. I wasn't going to get nearly as overwrought by a jobcentre worker telling me I needed to look for a job.
Also The Prince's Trust is very good at helping 16-30 year old's with similar issues into work; you may want to contact them to see what is available in your area, ( I know unfortunately these things can vary enormously by area).
You mentioned she had GCSE's and a BTEC level three, which is great. What is the BTEC in ? If she does have a BTEC level three, would foundation level study at uni be appropriate, particularly if it is a course with industry links/ a sandwich year placement ?
Also OP, just a thought, and I could be completely barking up the wrong tree here, but my family thought I "walked out," of a perfectly good job at 19 without a back up plan and were furious. I had actually been sacked, not for bad behaviour or laziness but the manager had noted that my dyspraxia made it impossible for me to do the work involved.
It was easier to let everybody think I had walked out because I was lazy and entitled, than to admit I was utterly devastated that I couldn't do the job. Do you think something similar has happened here ? Either way, I do wish you and your DD all the best in getting it sorted.
And although, ( by the sounds of your post), I had very, very similar difficulties, I now do a job I love , am paid relatively well, and live independently. That is not a stealth boast at all, but I see a lot of similarities between your DD's situation at 20 and mine, and I wanted to say it does get better.
I can see why you dont want to turf her out but what is the problem with charging some rent and setting some reasonable, adult boundaries so she's not negatively impacting ds2?
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