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Oldest kid failed out of college!

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  • #16
    The kids get free room and board and tuition paid for from the 529 while they productively are going to school. The moment a kid isn't in school (or in an apprenticeship), we check Craigslist for the going rate to rent a room in this rather pricey neighborhood. For you, son, it's the extra-special rate of 10% more than market rates to rent a room. Unlike other roommates, your mom and I won't drink all your beer and steal your laptop or stereo.

    What were your daughter's ASVAB scores? Does she want to enlist, go to community college, go to a commuter four year school, or secure the best wage earner job she can with just a high school education? Those old job interview questions of "What motivates you? Where do you see yourself in a year? Where do you see yourself in five years?" might be appropriate. Perhaps it will take her a year (or two, or three) before she decides that minimum wage jobs do not a satisfying career make.

    Provide guidance and support, but don't enable bad behavior. Economic outpatient therapy has been the demise of retirement readiness for many high income parents.

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    • Drsan1
      Drsan1 commented
      Editing a comment
      She took the ASVAB about two years ago and I don’t remember what the result was but she always enjoyed working with children and developmentally delayed people. She may want to get back to that at some point. Military would be a great option for her if she would agree to it. She has to mature and figure some things out. My goal is not to enable bad behavior.

  • #17
    You mentioned that your daughter is not motivated and you had to push her. Once she arrived at college and you were out of the picture, she did not have the self motivation to follow through on her responsibilities. Just remember you cannot push a string. You will likely want to let her figure out what she wants in her life, but you may also have to remove the option of coming home and lazing about. You may have to make things very uncomfortable for her to step up. There is nothing like the need for food and shelter for clarifying life goals. Just remember to "play tennis on your side of the court". You control your home and your money, but she controls her own motivation and life direction.

    We had to use tough love with one of our kids. She came home after a semester at college, said she didn't like it, and she wasn't going back. Ok, so now what? She kind of locked herself in her room and wasn't coming out. We had to tighten the rules step by step until things got very uncomfortable. We gave her the ultimatum, you cannot sit around in this house with free internet, free food, and free cell phone. Either get a job, go back to school, or get out of our house because you are an able bodied adult.

    Our daughter did not like the tightening house rules, so she moved in with a friend. That only lasted a week until her friend's parents wouldn't have her any more. She then got a job and we allowed her to come back home once she was working. After a semester of low wage work, she decided to go back to school and she graduated. Now the years have passed and our daughter is a highly successful executive with a start up. She has a terrific job, a well developed career path, and most important, she is fully self supporting and has achieved an impressive net worth while still in her 20's.

    There is still hope for your daughter. Everyone's life path is different. Kids mature at different ages. But there are likely some very large, looming parenting challenges on the horizon. Work with your spouse to get on the same page with a plan. Are both of you ok with her living off your dime? Or are you willing to go the tough love route to make a carefree life at home not an option?

    Good luck, I remember those tough times all too well. But the best part of it came much later when our daughter told us, "I hated you at that moment, but when you kicked me out of the house it was the best thing that ever happened to me!" Kicking our daughter out but not telling her what to do with her life led to clarity for her. It was no longer Mom and Dad telling her what to do, it was up to her to figure it out. We simply applied the pressure by making the status quo quite uncomfortable.

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    • Drsan1
      Drsan1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you wise white beard! Yes we are ready to do tough love. I’ve been looking up adult kid living at home contracts and we have already forewarned her that she will have to work and pay rent. Even if it’s fast food she has to work 40 hours a week. I’m hoping she wakes up like your daughter did. She’s a doctors kid so never had to struggle but I’m hoping working and having to live in the real world will motivate her to make better choices.

  • #18
    None of us would ever want to be in the shoes of these parents who had to resort to the legal system to sue for eviction of their freeloading 30 year old son....

    https://nypost.com/2018/05/22/parent...f-their-house/

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    • SerrateAndDominate
      SerrateAndDominate commented
      Editing a comment
      His interviews are extremely frustrating to watch. The entitlement is so real with that guy

  • #19
    I've never understood partying. What exactly are all these kids celebrating? Flunking their futures?

    Comment


    • #20
      I'm sorry you are going through this and sorry she is also as I'm sure she didn't intend for it to end this way. Give her a few minutes to collect herself and then ask what she would like to do going forward. Remember it takes some of us longer.

      Comment


      • #21
        You mention a financial hit but I see the opposite; it looks to me like you’re saving 3.5 years (or more) in tuition! Silver lining?

        Sorry you’re going through this and hopefully I never do. Honestly though I would tell my my kid they have 3 months to get a job and move out of my house. Nobody learns life lessons by living in their parents’ basement rent-free.

        Comment


        • #22
          I have some personal experience with this with a kid that was no one ever expected to struggle in college. I agree that you should not feign a psych illness to get a free pass - but are you sure there is no issue? You might have her see a therapist or if she goes back to college try to find a good academic coach. She might have poor organizational skills. I also think the military could be a good option. The new GI bill is great. You get four years to mature, learn some skills, see the world, then go to school for free. There are also programs that help transition enlisted into some top colleges - tuition free! She is only 18 - you nipped this in the bud. There are so many things that could be worse. My story had some rocky chapters but he finally graduated from college after 7 years with a terrible GPA. He took off several semesters when he was put on probation. Yes - he goofed off but it he was a good kid at heart and we just kept encouraging him. He moved back home. Met a girl - got motivated - learned how to code and has a great job. There were times I thought he was going to be in our basement too. Looking back - not sure what I would have done differently.

          Comment


          • Drsan1
            Drsan1 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for the encouragement. I know this too shall pass. It’s hard to motivate her when at the moment she has no idea what she wants. My father and brother had great success with the military so I’m hoping for that. But I know at this point I have to set boundaries and minimum expectations but allow her to figure some things out...whatever that may look like.

        • #23
          Don't despair:-) This is the time for her to figure herself out. There's going to be mistakes and missteps. That's ok! She didn't even take the summer off after high school- that's pretty intense, you know? I think a gap year(s) is a good idea. She can get to know herself and what she wants. But she needs to decide on the next steps- maybe she does a volunteer experience here or abroad, finds an internship, looks into cosmetology school or just works at the grocery store and sees how she likes living on a small budget. As long as she doesn't develop a substance abuse disorder, I would not worry too much about her taking some time to figure out her place in life. Therapy might be helpful in that regard and in helping her to do some self reflecting.

          I'm glad I ended up where I did but I wish I'd taken a less intense path and had a little more fun/ more experiences along the way. So that's where I'm coming from.

          Comment


          • #24
            My 35 year old sister still lives at my parents house and has a $10/hr job she finally got 2 years ago. She successfully did lots of college with just an associates to show for it from 18 to 33. She had a few health problems but nothing like an extra decade. My parents wouldn't go tough love and now she is pretty much a permanent resident. They have funded her the whole time and she never has to worry. She's a nice person. My parents are nice people who are financially independent. I just don't know what will happen when my sister has to take care of herself. I'm still hoping she'll see the light and get on with extending her career some direction.

            Make her accountable and develop goals that she can get onboard with.

            Comment


            • Tim
              Tim commented
              Editing a comment
              Phase 2?
              Look at the sacrifices made taking care of Mom and Dad. Actually had that one thrown out on my in-laws side. The monetary request was denied.

          • #25
            I think the key is that the kid is not coming home to live in the basement. They can come live at home and pay rent, which goes up $100 a month. But it's time to get your own job, you own apartment, your own car etc. 6 months of that and all of a sudden college on daddy's dime starts looking a lot more appealing.
            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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            • #26
              Originally posted by The White Coat Investor View Post
              I think the key is that the kid is not coming home to live in the basement. They can come live at home and pay rent, which goes up $100 a month. But it's time to get your own job, you own apartment, your own car etc. 6 months of that and all of a sudden college on daddy's dime starts looking a lot more appealing.
              I told our five year old she had to move out when she turns 18 years old. But then she started crying saying she wanted to live with us forever...

              Comment


              • childay
                childay commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes somewhat of a parenting fail for sure..

              • Dicast
                Dicast commented
                Editing a comment
                My 5 year old tells me she is never leaving. She wants to be just like her aunt.

              • childay
                childay commented
                Editing a comment
                Yesterday she spontaneously tells me she will now be ok moving out at 18 as long as she can come visit every day

            • #27
              Originally posted by childay View Post

              I told our five year old she had to move out when she turns 18 years old. But then she started crying saying she wanted to live with us forever...
              Just wait until she asks if her boyfriend can move in, too ;-)
              Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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              • #28
                Originally posted by goatmom View Post
                I agree that you should not feign a psych illness to get a free pass - but are you sure there is no issue? You might have her see a therapist or if she goes back to college try to find a good academic coach. She might have poor organizational skills.
                I agree. I have a son who did just fine academically until things got just a little tougher, and then he was overwhelmed. We couldn't figure out what to do, and so sent him for neuropsych testing. He turned out to have ADHD, a diagnosis that made sense in retrospect, but not something we anticipated. Some therapy and coaching might do your kid a world of difference. No kid *wants* to fail out of college--I'd see if a therapist could help, and would make sure she knows that you love her no matter what. College suicide is very real thing, and while tough love has its place, she might be feeling pretty vulnerable right now. My son's strategy for dealing with being overwhelmed was to avoid his work--maybe her partying is a symptom of something else.

                Comment


                • Drsan1
                  Drsan1 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That's a good idea. She has had therapy in the past for difficulty with coping mechanisms and misbehaving. She probably would e up for it again she seemed to do well while in it.

              • #29
                I worry about this happening to my children as well. All I can advise is to try to take a step back and realize what you can control and not control. When people call Dave Ramsey and tell them about their 30 some year old adult children living in their basement, he usually yells at them and tells them that they have been harming their children by enabling their behavior. A bit harsh, but it is useful to remember that when you provide housing, money, etc to someone so that they can do nothing but play video games in the basement, you are participating in their mis-behavior by enabling them to do what they are doing. Although it seems nice to be providing for them, the end result is actually harming them by allowing them to do what they are doing (like giving a gambler money or an alcoholic more alcohol). You should definitely employ a my house/my rules when they move back and not allow them to become too comfortable. I think that it would be hard to kick my adult kids out of my house, but I think that sometimes, that is probably what some parents need to do and in the end, it would probably help the kids rather then harm them by doing so.

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                • #30
                  A co-resident failed out of 2 colleges, got a degree, taught for several years (pre-school, I believe), went back to school, got into med school and into a decent radiology residency. It was a long road, but he made it.

                  He is probably the exception. I also knew a lot of people who partied a lot and didn't graduate. Failing out of a private university is expensive...

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                  • Tim
                    Tim commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Failing out of a private university is expensive...

                    Especially if one pays a boatload to get the kid admitted. Who would have thought of that one?
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