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Adult Daughter Won't Leave Nest

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: What do you do with a family member (30-years-old) who is still living with parents (70-years-old) and has just presented them with a second out-of-wedlock child? This person has a history of drug and alcohol abuse and other family members have tried to address this situation in the past. We are thinking of doing some kind of intervention session and somehow forcing this person into counseling, etc. We can't just throw them out with two kids and one a newborn. Help!

A: I am not going to go over how this woman has been enabled and not helped by being allowed to keep abusing and exploiting her family. She has never had to grow up and face the natural and logical consequences of her actions. I say all this, full well knowing that it appears totally inhumane to kick her out of the house with no plan for any alternative survival.

Your thoughts of an intervention are on target. This intervention needs to be well-orchestrated so that feasible options are presented to her. Support and understanding will be provided by the family if she acts responsibly; those are the conditions. She can utilize whatever state and federal programs are available to support her kids and herself. Family members can decide how or if they will fit into her climb back to maturity and responsibility. A timetable must be set and adhered to. Seeking the assistance of a skilled family therapist would certainly be helpful at this critical time. I wish everyone a good result from this effort.

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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


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