'Grow Up!'

'Grow Up!'
Dr. Phil talks to a 22-year-old who still sleeps with a "Blankie
"My 23-year-old brother is so irresponsible I can honestly say he's the biggest slacker I know," says Jamie. Marq has mooched off of her for three years, and she fears that he'll drive her to financial ruin. "I'm always making sure he's fed, that he has gas in his car. He uses my electricity, my water, my cable."

Marq declares, "I just don't think I was born to work. I was born to be rich!" Instead of looking for work, he sleeps all day, surfs the Internet and watches TV.

Jamie recently got engaged, and now fears that Marq will be a third wheel in her marriage. Her fiancé, Clay, agrees. "It's difficult to take care of a 23-year-old kid," he says. "We love Marq, but we can't afford to keep him."

Despite their objections, Marq has no plans to be independent. "When Clay marries Jamie, he's going to marry both of us. He knows that Jamie and I are a pair," he says smugly. "I really don't have any intention of leaving."

Jamie is torn between helping her brother and kicking him to the curb. "I can't kick Marq out because I love him. I don't want him to live on the street," she says.
"Why is this your job?" Dr. Phil asks Jamie.

She explains, "Nobody else really wanted to help him. He kind of burned all his bridges."

"So you got him in and now you can't get him out?"

"Yeah," she says. "I want him to grow up so he can take care of himself. I wouldn't mind him as a roommate, just not as my son."

Turning to her fiancé, Clay, in the audience, Dr. Phil asks, "Do you want to marry both of them?"

"I love them both, but she's the one that I really want to share a bedroom with," he jokes.

Marq chimes in, "I don't want to share a bedroom with him either!"
Dr. Phil runs down a list of Marq's freeloading habits: "You've had 37 jobs since you were 16 ... You never offer to pay for anything. You're supposed to pay 1/7 of the rent and you've only done that once ... You wake up at 5:30 in the morning to watch 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' ... And then you go back to sleep and you sleep until the middle of the afternoon, and then play video games. Does that pay pretty good?"

"Not really," Marq admits.

"So what's your long-term plan? Just going to live with Sis for the rest of your life?" Dr. Phil questions.

Marq says that independence scares him. "I was on my own for a month. I was so lonely, and I was never home by myself because I can't be alone."

When Dr. Phil asks what Marq would do if Jamie told him to leave, he replies, "I don't know. I burned most of my bridges."

"Does it seem to be a pattern here where you recognize you are burning bridges that maybe you need to grow up and start contributing in some way?" Dr. Phil asks. "You need to pull your own weight so you don't alienate people that do love you."
Dr. Phil tells Jamie that she's hurting her brother by treating him like a child. "If you're going to play the mother role, you need to understand that being a parent is more than providing a roof over someone's head. Being a parent means you have to socialize the children and get them ready to break off from the family and have their own life, and their own friends, and their own career, and their own interests, and their own independent lifestyle. Not just let him lay back there and play video games and watch 'Buffy' at 5:30 in the morning," he says.

Marq also needs to own his behavior. "What you're doing as a 23-year-old intelligent, healthy guy is outrageous," Dr. Phil remarks. "But you are not a loser. You're intelligent. You're caring, you're loving — you just don't require anything of yourself."

Children build confidence and pride when they see themselves master things that are intimidating or scary at first. Because Jamie has allowed Marq to mooch for so long, he lacks confidence and the ability to handle adult situations. "Somehow or another, your development along the way stopped before you got to the point of self-reliance and independence," Dr. Phil says, noting that Marq has been this way since he was 17.
Dr. Phil tells Marq that life is broken up into phases. "You go to school and you prepare to get out and do things. And you never made that transition from preparing to performing," he explains. "And do you realize you're not doing him a favor?" he asks Jamie.

She defends herself. "If he could hold a job ... He can't hold a job," she explains.

Dr. Phil doesn't buy her argument. "How do you know? He's never needed to," he observes.

"He usually gets fired," Jamie reveals.

Dr. Phil tells Marq that he needs to step up to the plate. "Does anything ever move you to say, 'You know what? I need to go work, even a day job if necessary, to contribute something to these people that have opened their home to me and put a roof over my head'?"

Marq admits that's he's usually not motivated to find a job unless he loses something he values.
"I'm not suggesting that you go home, get all of his stuff and put him on the curb," Dr. Phil says. Instead, Jamie and Marq need to jointly come up with a plan for his independence. "If he doesn't cooperate, then you do need to put him on the street," he advises. "First, you have to get a job. If you don't have a job, you ought to spend at least that much time trying to get a job. I don't care if it's flipping burgers, mowing yards, whatever it is, you need to set some immediate goals," Dr. Phil tells Marq.

He instructs Jamie she needs to stick to the plan they create. "And if that means you have to change the locks on the house and put him on the front porch at 6:30 and lock the door until 6:30 at night, then that's what you need to do ... Are you willing to do that?"

"Yes," Jamie says.

Dr. Phil advises Marq to go to the community health center if he needs additional counseling. Because he is unemployed, he'll qualify to be seen based on his ability to pay. "I would do it for you, but I don't want to enable you further," Dr. Phil says.