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If you feel compromised and taken advantage of by an older child, you need to realize this: the child is an adult now. I met many kids in my practice who refused to go to school and could only read and write at a seventh- or eighth-grade level at best. Consider the kid who says: “I’m not making it in school, but I’m gonna be a rap singer.They told me they were going to be video game programmers, basketball players, or rap singers. I wrote a few songs tonight.” That’s the way he deals with his anxiety about the future. When you have these different currents coming together in a home where parents are living with an older child, it can get very uncomfortable for everyone, if not hostile.Parents feel they have to take care of their kids, whether they are 9 or 19 years old.When they’re five, they’re climbing the monkey bars and you’re worried they’re going to break their arm.Kids between the ages of 17 and 25 still have a lot of thinking errors.Just like you can have a spelling error, and misspell a word, you can have a thinking error in which you misread life’s problems and come out with the wrong solutions.And when things come out wrong, these kids often view themselves as victims.
There should be no job too menial that they can’t take it until they find something better. When would you feel you have to call the police with a guest?
What he’s really saying is: “I’m so scared about the future, I have to make up this fantasy, and then I’m gonna cling to it.” Then, if you challenge that fantasy and say, the problem. The way to keep that hostility at bay is to have clarity beforehand.
Get the expectations and the consequences down on paper—literally.
If you want to better yourself, you’re going to have to start out in a junior college. I want you to think of your adult children as guests. Even if it doesn’t match up with what you had hoped for your child.
If we can’t pay for college full time, you’re going to have to work and go to school part-time.” The sooner your kid gets this reality check, the better—for you and for your kid. Many young adult children often have a false sense of entitlement.