April 2, 2011 in Features

Tell adult son: Help or move out

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar
 

Dear Annie: I am ready for the loony farm. Both of my adult sons are back at home, one with his child. My husband retired last year. I am still working.

One son, “Matt,” contributes toward rent and household chores, but the other, “Joe,” sits like a bump on a log and does nothing. I’m sure that Joe has Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, but he won’t do anything about it. I don’t want to throw him out, but he leaves us no choice. He always claims we love his brother more, but it’s not true. Matt is simply more responsible, while Joe sits around looking for handouts.

I am a firm believer in tough love, but Joe always finds a way to make us feel guilty. Please help. I need my sanity. – Drowning in Denver

Dear Denver: Kids are great at playing on their parents’ guilt. Stiffen your backbone, and tell Joe he will not be permitted to become a freeloader simply because you love him. If he wants to remain in the house, he must contribute either rent money or household help, no excuses, and if that is too much to ask, he is welcome to find another place to live. We also recommend you contact CHADD (chadd.org) for information and suggestions about adult ADD.

Dear Readers: We are carrying on Ann Landers’ tradition that April 2 be set aside as Reconciliation Day, a time to make the first move toward mending broken relationships. It also would be the day on which we agree to accept the olive branch extended by a former friend or estranged family member and do our best to start over.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast. net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, in care ofCreators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.


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