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Terrible life with adult daughter

(148 Posts)
sarah166 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:20:58

This is going to sound ridiculous but I am putting it out here in the hope that someone can help me. I am really at the end of my tether. Granted, it has taken me a long, long time to get there, but I am finally there and I need some help otherwise I really am going to go mad.

Me and DH have two daughters aged 17 and 24, both still living at home. The older one has always been very challenging from being a toddler. She went though the terrible teens phase, well, terribly. Looking back, I suppose she never did anything that bad- lying, drinking, smoking and mega-tantrums, possibly all normal for some teenagers, but believe me, if you were there at the time it was simply awful.

When she was about 17, it looked like she had turned a corner. She took her A Levels and got a place at college and settled down to do her degree. As she was still living at home (her choice, the option to go away to study was always there) it wasn't always easy to say the least but she graduated but since then, it has all gone downhill.

She hasn't been able to hold down a job since she graduated and although she has been made redundant a couple of times, she has mostly been sacked a few weeks (or even days) into the job for lateness, rudeness, laziness or similar. The longest she has ever held down a job was for six months. Her attitude towards work stinks, quite frankly. Now she is unemployed and although she is applying for jobs and does get a few interviews, I don't really expect her to get a job any time soon. She won't apply for jobs outside the local area as she says "it costs thousands to move towns" She has never made any financial contribution here, as even when she was working, she said she needed pretty much all of her money for her car, petrol etc and she would start paying board when she had paid of her (relatively modest) overdraft, which she never did. In hindsight we know we should have made her pay even a modest amount of board, but we were trying to help her on her way financially after uni. She has no intention of moving out as not only is she in no financial position to do so, she is mean beyond belief and would not pay rent on a house or for bills and groceries when she can live here for free.

Her opinions and views on life, which she has no qualms about expressing to pretty much anyone, are sometimes beyond belief. The other day she parked in a parent and child bay at the supermarket and when a member of the public took her to task over this she replied "I will park where I want".

She regularly has tantrums over nothing and the other week she trashed her sister's bedroom because someone had finished off a packet of biscuits. She shouts and screams every day over nothing and constantly rants about her life as soon as either me or her dad get in from work.

I am not saying me and my husband did everything right but I honestly do not know why she is like she is. My younger daughter certainly has her moments but she is a good kid, works hard at college and is well-liked. My two sisters and my nieces and nephews simply cannot stand my older daughter and find it difficult to spend any time with her. This is awkward as we have all been so close and do lots together as a family, but I can't say I blame them at all.

So what do we do? She's not going anywhere soon.

Please help.

K999 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:26:35

Gosh, this situation sounds awful. She is a grown woman and is behaving in an appalling manner. Have you tried speaking to her about this? smile

K999 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:30:38

If she's not working I would be making her do a lot of the housework etc. She is 24 and should be contributing in some way. I know it's hard but you may have to take a really hard line with her soon...for your sake and hers!

sarah166 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:33:17

Many, many times. At best, her response is along the lines of (shouting) "It's not my fault I can't get a job". At worst, it is a massive tantrum. There's never been any reasonable reaction from her, I can't help wondering if she might be mentally ill. I have tried to suggest that she goes to the doctors and one of her older cousins, who she sort of listens to has suggested the same and got the answer "I might" but nothing has ever come of it.

I never, ever thought we'd still be dealing with this when she was almost 25. In some of the darkest days when she was a teenager, sometimes the only consolation was that one day it would all be over.

K999 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:37:22

It sounds awful. I would perhaps think about making an appt at the doctors and going with her. Although, am not sure what good it would do if she's not receptive to the idea. Also, I would perhaps go down the route of suggesting she volunteer somewhere if she's not working. That way she is keeping busy and gaining some experience. If I was being brutal I would threaten to kick her out! At the moment it appears that whatever she does/behaves that there are no consequences....

sarah166 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:37:57

She does no housework, she is often still in her nightclothes when I come home from work. I know I back out of confronting her on this because when I get in, I would rather have a couple of hours' peace than a full on fight. When she was a teenager we did everything we could, no matter what the outcome, to try and make her do the right thing, and eventually it worked and life was alright for a few years. Now it is worse than ever.

I have no fight left in me, I think.

Skifit Wed 27-Apr-11 18:41:32

To be awfully blunt...Does she have ADHD or any other disorder?
Otherwise she sound to me like a very spoilt person...who has not been disciplined and is used to getting totally her own way.
She shouldnt be living at home at 24 yrs old !
Its not helping her or making her realise what life is all about.
She will not grow up and start behaving like an adult until she does leave home, pay bills, respect other people and realise that her spoilt childish behaviour will lose her friends and colleagues.
She needs a short sharp wake up call to reality....and not living at home with her parents is the first step.
Why do you deserve to put up with this immature behaviour (like a teenager) from a woman of 24 yrs? How much longer can you tolerate her discusting nonsense ???
As I say, unless there is some mental disorder which is not yet diagnosed.(?)
Sorry if i sound harsh.
I do know the kind of thing you are going through. My 20 yr old DD was a teen terror from hell, and I found it impossible to parent her.
She is better now in her 2nd year living away in London at University and Nursing. Had she still be living here at home she wouldnt not have matured as well and still be totally irresponsible.
Your DD needs to be told,, .....
Its shape up or ship out !!!!!!

jade80 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:41:44

Tell her you need either £x rent per week, or for her to pay her way by doing housework while she is unemployed. Maybe put a price on each task and require her to do £x worth per week. I don't suppose it'll go down well but I can't see it changing otherwise!

K999 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:41:57

You have to be strong and lay down your rules. She is living in your house and clearly lacks respect. I know it's hard but perhaps one last push? She is not a child. She is an adult.

Why is she so angry? Have you considered anger management sessions?

sarah166 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:42:03

K999, it is just so nice to have a reply and someone to talk to about this, so thank you. I am ashamed she is my daughter and I have never been able to say that before. I love her but I can find nothing at all to like about her.

She would not entertain the idea of volunteering, there is no way she would do anything without financial reward, no matter what the wider benefits.

jade80 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:42:57

Oh and the £x should be enough to make her own house and bills seem a more attractive proposition!

K999 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:45:11

Does she get any benefits? Ie JSA etc? If so, I would make her hand them over to you. Every last penny. And if she wants money she has to work for it....

K999 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:46:50

She may also be ashamed of how she is behaving but doesn't know how to change IYSWIM....I was a nightmare teen and was kicked out for a while....it did me the world of good....

sarah166 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:51:38

Skifit, the sad fact is I know all this.

If I tell her it is either pull her weight or she's out, she won't do anything. Nothing will change. If we threw her out, she literally wouldn't go anywhere, she'd sit in the street and shout and bawl.

Me and my husband offered to set her up in her own flat, pay the deposit and six month's rent (not a financial burden we are able to take on lightly) yet she still refused as she'd have to pay bills and groceries out of her own money, which she is not willing to do.

discobeaver Wed 27-Apr-11 18:53:48

When you say she is not going anywhere soon, what do you mean? My first reaction is to say make her move out, it's your home, your life and you should be able to be happy.

She is making everyone miserable, not just you but other members of your family. You sound as if you have been more than reasonable with her and she is treating you appallingly.

Is there any way she could move out? As K999 said, it might do her good, and make her face up to some responsibilities.

K999 Wed 27-Apr-11 18:54:42

Stop offering to do things for her. She doesn't deserve it. And if she bawls and shouts in the street, let her. She is only making a fool of herself. And if she causes that much fuss, then no doubt the police will be called. And then she will have to take the consequences. She is taking complete advantage of you all and you know this. Only you have the power to put a stop to this. Sorry to sound hard but it's true.....

discobeaver Wed 27-Apr-11 18:55:33

Oops, just seen your post. God, really? She would sit and shout in the street?

Perhaps you should let her do that then. Call her bluff.

GypsyMoth Wed 27-Apr-11 18:57:17

is she on jobseekers?

and how is she affording to run a car?

sarah166 Wed 27-Apr-11 19:00:11

I don't really care if she sits in the streets and shouts and bawls, I will let her do that. It wouldn't be the first time. It's not that that stops me from kicking her out, it's that she wouldn't go anywhere.

jade80 Wed 27-Apr-11 19:02:23

There is only so long she can sit outside the house for. Perhaps go for a weekend away so you don't have to see and hear.

GypsyMoth Wed 27-Apr-11 19:02:26

does she have mh problems maybe?

discobeaver Wed 27-Apr-11 19:02:32

She would eventually, she would have to wouldn't she? Perhaps rather than a whole flat you could rent a room or a bedsit for her, so she has somewhere to go, give her the key and say that's it. No more. Shout if you want but you're leaving.

It does sound tough, but she is basically holding you hostage, it must be awful.

K999 Wed 27-Apr-11 19:03:56

Has anyone from outside your family spoken to her about her behaviour? What are her friends like? Surely they must realise that this is not any way to treat parents?

Sorry to bring drugs up....but is this something she may be doing?

jade80 Wed 27-Apr-11 19:04:18

I think that's a good idea discobeaver.

GypsyMoth Wed 27-Apr-11 19:05:18

could she not apply for holiday rep jobs or seasonal work somewhere?

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