Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

19 year old daughter refuses to grow up

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Joined: Nov 30, 2009
Posts: 1
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Posted Nov 30, 2009 at 10:19:56 AM
Subject: 19 year old daughter refuses to grow up

I have a 19 year old daughter who is LD and ADHD. She began to spiral downhill in middle school. During her senior year she realized she wouldn't have enough credits to graduate and dropped out. She managed to get her H.S. diploma through an online program.

That was last year and since then she's done nothing. No driver's license, no job and no plans to continue her education. Her dad and I have been understanding, but I'm wondering why she is struggling. I've always thought it was because she wasn't successful in the past, so she is afraid to try something new. We have two older daughters who have always done well, so I'm sure she feels pressure about not measuring up.

Now I'm wondering if we're being too easy on her. Should we demand that she either get a job or start school? We don't have much to use as leverage except her cell phone. Sorry this is so long but hope someone can help. Thanks, Marcia

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Joined May 05, 2008
Posts: 424

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Posted:Nov 30, 2009 7:21:18 PM

You have more than you think you do as leverage. You have the food in your fridge yes? You have the roof over her head no? She pays no rent?

Here are my thoughts, I have ADHD. I am married i am an archaeologist. Nothing came easy. It is really hard and you get reallyy bogged down and the suystems we have really don't work well for people with minds like mine. It isn't a disease we can do it. We must do it. My parents live in Boston MA. I am presently married to a PHD in theoretical physics and we live in Vienna. We take care of eachother and our pets. I have very rarely and only for short spans of time been medicated. Even though i am atleast a moderate case. So they tell me.

Highschool was incredibly hard and unjust. We wear out i think faster than most people do. We go so fast and our minds work at such a high speed and then we crash.

Still, if it is your house, you have the right to expect certain things burn out or no. This is a cycle it is a pattern we have we have our up more active times and our crashes. We have trouble keepuing level. We need help to regulate that. You are not wrong to ask for help.

My thoughts are, start small. Tell her she can't ;ive at home living off of you eating your food unless she is doing something. Start small. First get the list of courses offered locally for adult education in your area, non acredited. Let her pick anything she wants. Let her decide what of those she wants to go to. But tell her she needs to be taking atleast 3 doing something maybe something small but something. Otherwise she needs a job and in the current economy that is nearly impossible to get if you aren't ADD so if you are, you are double screwed. The reason i recommend adult ed rather than a college university program is, she has forgotten something critical and she does need a break of sorts, to remember there can joy in learning and learning can be fun. So atleast it is something... Maybe they offer jewelry making courses??? Or novel writing??? Or a cooking class??? SOMETHING ANYTHING to start with so she can find the joy in learning again and then let her have some time to enjoy herself learning at a low maintenance level and then maybe give a another little push when she is doing better.... To try some college courses for credit part time... and go from there. That is my advice.

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Joined Dec 04, 2009
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Posted:Dec 04, 2009 3:27:05 PM

If you read the book "myth of Laziness" by Mel Levine it might give you some insight on why she is stuck. I am guessing you have tried medications, going to a psychologist or social worker, checking her blood work for any physical issues, give her vitamins and fish oils, be sure she is sleeping okay, checked her for sensory issues, considered some of the alternative therapies out there.

I bet you have tried to get in her head to see what is going on and determine what is holding her back. Does she suffer with depression? or ADHD? I just learned last year that research shows that kiddo with ADHD are 3 years immature for her age. If this is her issue she may just need time to mature.

Most of the reading I have done says when you punish by taking things away it just puts up more walls and pushes them away. You don't need her to run away either or shack up with some guy.

My daughter is similar in a lot of ways but she is in school, she finally has done much better with Adderall. She is finally beginning to grow up little by little but I now realize she may have Asperger's Syndrome.

Wishing you well-Love her, Praise what she is doing right and go to professionals for help is my opinion. Step in her shoes,

As Ross says, "Children do well if they can" As I say, "I am only as happy as my saddest child"

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Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 88

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Posted:Dec 08, 2009 2:27:53 PM

I like Mandi's suggestions to start small. I picture a family discussion about planning for the new year. Your daughter may have some goals, such as studying for her drivers license, taking one class, getting a part time job. Ask her what help the family can be to help her achieve those goals. Then set a schedule and help her plan the steps she needs to take. If you are sitting on the sofa you don't get to the door in one step. There are a number of small steps you take to achieve your goal.

I have a 22 year old son with serious learning disabilities. He has done very well, but even now we provide support for him to be successful. As a family we have discussed a few possibilities for a class in January. We went to the local community to walk around and see what was available. Then we went to a community education site where the driving and parking would be easier. Which of these two places do you want to sign up for.

So, for many growing up is more of a challenge. It doesn't mean they can't, it just means that they need some extra guidance and support. Your expectation that they will do these things means that you have confidence in their ability. Sitting by watching them do nothing, translates sometimes to "they don't think I can do this."


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patrick & beth
Joined Jan 09, 2010
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Posted:Feb 08, 2010 10:58:21 AM

Angela, I am still a newbie here (my 11 yo son diagnosed this month). But I also do a lot of work with community outreach ministries and I am guessing getting your daughter involved as a volunteer...maybe at a Sr Center or a Soup Kitchen, would be a positive transition. Just a thought. pa

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