Reply To: Son 22, never had a job and living with enabling mom

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Penny Williams
Keymaster

What a tough situation. You clearly care a great deal about him, but he is drawn to what he sees as an “Easier” life which is really just avoidant behavior with no oversight.

All you can do is keep showing him that you care and keep offering to help. I would caution you about just being the heavy. In this situation, that is pushing him further and further away from you. Instead, step back a bit and just ask to see him sometimes or hang out with him on occasion or even talk on the phone to catch up on what he’s up to. No advice, no judgement, no reprimands. Just interactions that say, “We’re here for you and we care about you, and we are available to help when you ask.” This is to repair your relationship and make him feel like he can come to you without always being made to feel bad or inept (I know that’s not your intent, but that’s the consequence of focusing on what’s wrong all the time).

Stop Fighting with Your Teen: 5 Transformative Strategies

It’s important too to remember that ADHD is a developmental disorder. While he’s 22, he’s really more like 18 or 19, at best, in a lot of developmental areas, including day-to-day functioning.

Penny
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism