How to Deal With Your Mooching Child

Is your kid still living at home or taking advantage of you financially? If you're struggling with an adult child that can't — or won't — become self-sufficient, Dr. Phil has advice:

  • Understand that over-indulgence is one of the most insidious forms of child abuse. Spoiling your children doesn't teach them how the world works. All you are teaching them is that if they ask enough, you'll give them what they want.
  • Your child is doing what he's doing because he can. Instead of asking why your kid isn't more productive, have a job or goals, ask yourself if you have created an environment in which your child doesn't have to. Can they maintain the standard of living you raised them in without any effort?
  • Learn how to say no. Your children need to learn that if they choose a behavior, they choose the consequences. Don't allow them to keep choosing behaviors that have negative consequences that you pick up the tab for!
  • Don't feel guilty for wanting your children to be out on their own. It does not mean you don't love them. It means that you don't want to rob them of the chance to be self-sufficient, productive adults who are able to have a sense of purpose and pride.
  • Remember that you don't solve money problems with money. You solve money problems with lifestyle, values and priorities. Come up with a plan that contains clear steps and a timeline that both of you can agree upon.
  • If you're frustrated because all of your help thus far hasn't been appreciated, remember that no good deed goes unpunished. Those you do the most for will resent you the most — because it becomes a bottomless pit. The most valuable gift that you can give your children in this situation is to start requiring more of them and allow them to be grownups.
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