24 answers

Help with 23 Year Old Still Living at Home and Not Working

I have two sons ages 23 and 21. The 21 year old has moved out and is in school. The 23 year old doesn't hold a job and currently unemployed. He stays up until 3 to 5 am and spends most of his time on the computer or games. He usually leaves the house around 3 pm to find a job and returns about 7 pm. He is a very strong willed child so does not receive instruction well at all. We have tried the tough love program to no avail. Just made me miserable. I would like to hear from other Moms who are in this situation or have dealt with this. He has only one friend local and lacks in social skills. He will not do counseling or talk with us about things. We worry that if we just let him live here we are not helping him grow up.

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I strongly suggest that, even it isn't full time work, encourage him to take a part-time job and charge him rent. $50.00 per month (something low) to start so that he can learn responsibilities.

1 mom found this helpful

By letting him live in your home, you are enabling his behavior. I can understand not wanting to kick him out, but I would cut off all "luxuries" that he does not pay for himself; that includes internet access, car insurance, gas money, etc. If you make it not fun to live there, maybe that will motivate him to get a job. Wal-Mart is almost always hiring.

1 mom found this helpful


It sounds like you have tried / or are willing to try just about anything. My kids are not as old as yours, but I would hate the "tough love" approach also if it didn't work the first time. That must be horrible having to do that when they are that age!

Since he is at home already, with no signs of moving out, I think it is time you help him realize that he does not have to have a crappy job. Obviously, he is a night owl. There MUST be something he can do - that will fit into his lifestyle and likes - that will turn him a profit.

It sounds like if he were to start a website, based around the things he loves (whatever he does online and/or gaming) he would be able to do what he loves, make money, and not have to change his "night owl" status...

I am more than willing to help him discover what this is - I only ask that you sit down and talk with him a bit about it. Tell him *why* I am doing this...

My email is ____@____.com him email me, then he won't need to worry about actually talking to me. Don't worry - I will do this free!


1 mom found this helpful

My son was diagnosed with depression at a young age, and he did not make it out of my home until he was 22. Those times were very hard, because I did not allow any luxuries for him,, he always had food and a place to sleep (and play cumputer / video games)but there was nothing else... no money, no new anything. I explained that I would not be around forever to care for him and it would break my heart to know that I did not teach him to live for himself.. the world will not hand him anything he does not work for..eventually he realized it was true. Today he is a functioning member of society and will be married next spring. I do think its kind of harsh to just put him out as so many have suggested. Care for him, but don't carry him.

1 mom found this helpful

I really have to agree with most everyone. But I was trying to put myself in your shoes. Your his mother and love him and you see he has social issues. So I was thinking since he likes to stay in his room on the computer maybe he could enroll in online college courses. Maybe he could find a career path that will make him feel good about himself and once he has a successful semester he may start breaking out of his shell! But you really do need to start setting some tough boundaries, you are doing him no favors by enabling him to continue to live this lazy, unproductive lifestyle! Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I hate to sound harsh, but why would he try harder? He is 23 and gets to act like he's 12 as far as responsibility and an adult as far as freedoms and privileges. He's got a great life! I watched my parents-in-law do this with a son and they had him on their couch until he was almost 30 and he found a woman to take care of him. Bottom line, he will likely live there w/o a job as long as you let him, period. If he HAD to, he would figure out a way to make a living on his own. Most of us would like to have someone take care of us while we did what we wanted but we don't have that luxury. My advice--give him a specific date that he needs to be out of the house. Make him accountable for specific steps in getting a job--just the like unemployment office. There may be information you are not saying, like mental health issues, but to me, he sounds unmotivated and just lazy. Sorry to be so direct but at this point it will continue because you allow it to continue. Good luck.

I have to agree with everyone else. I wouldn't buy this boy a thing. He would have no cell phone, no car. I might take all the computer games to the pawn shop unless they are actually his own. Don't even buy him a pair of socks. I don't know that I would kick him out, but he would live bare bones, with only the roof over his head and nothing but balogna and koolaid in the fridge until I saw some progress. He should be ashamed!

T. you are NOT letting him grow up. He has y'all right where he wants you, and he as no respect for his parents. By you & your husband not putting your foot down it will only get worse.

The best thing you can do is give him a deadline to move out of the house & stick to your guns. You will be doing him a favor & your younger son as well. Don't let this happen to the younger son by setting this example.

Good luck to you & be strong.

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