She Has Unrealistic Life Expecations

Monica has a daughter she can't get motivated to work. She's encouraged her to deliver pizzas and other types of jobs, but Monica suspects her daughter thinks those jobs are beneath her.

QUESTION: Monica in Chicago has a 20-year-old daughter, and she can't get her motivated to work. She's encouraged her to deliver pizzas and other types of jobs, but Monica suspects her daughter thinks those jobs are beneath her. Dave recommends some tough love.

ANSWER: Tell her she's going to have to move out. She's 20 years old. She needs to get up off her butt and go do something. "Watching Oprah reruns is not a deal, so I don't know where you're going, but you're going to have to figure that out, because you're homeless."

If she's working toward a plan, I would give her a long time to move, but right now, we're not going to give her much at all. Here's how I would approach it. "Darling, I love you more than life itself, and I have come to the conclusion that I am not being a very good mom, and I owe you an apology because I have allowed you to sit here and watch Oprah reruns, and you are ruining your life. By making it too easy on you, I have harmed you, and I apologize for that. The good news is that I've figured out it was my fault, and the bad news for you is I'm going to fix it. You have to move out."

I'll do a lot of things if she's helping. I'm not going to hand anything else to this princess. I'm going to get all in her stuff on a daily basis, and we're going to unplug the television. I want to make her unbelievably uncomfortable for her own good. She's not developing habits or a life that is going to be a blessing to her when she's 30. If you die, this kid is a street person. You are not helping her. That's my point. I'm not just being tough or mean; I'm saying that as a loving parent, you've got to quit abusing your child. You've got to love her enough to do that. That's not mean. What you're doing right now is mean. She's got an unrealistic set of expectations about how life works.

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