A Dad called me about his high school educated, 38-year-old son who had a spotty work history, ending in a lay off three years ago. His son had exhausted his unemployment benefits, settled in rent-free with his mother, and given regular handouts of money from both parents. Dad felt it was time to find career help for his son to get back to work.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Most often, it’s quickly discovered that one or both parents are not requiring much, if anything, of their progeny. Often, I find parents enabling their kids to the point of stagnation, starting at a very young age, exposing a lifetime of stunting their self-esteem, ensuring the co-dependence the parent now seeks to end.
Parents, if you recognize you and your adult offspring, here are a few suggestions that might help:
- If you see signs of depression in your child, encourage them to be examined by a physician. Start at the core.
- If you find you are in a pattern of enabling and making excuses for your offspring, either recognize it and change your behavior or initiate personal and family counseling.
- If you see your child using the money you gave them for drugs, partying, buying video games, or anything else that is not essential, stop giving them money.
- Stop making phone calls for your child. As full-grown adults, they should be able to seek the resources they need to be successful. It’s not about whether you like me; it’s about whether your adult offspring is ready and has the desire to work.
Parents, if you are calling me for career help for your able-bodied, adult offspring; you are more than likely a big part of the problem.
Barbara Atzmiller, MS, NCC, MCC, DCC is an Executive Coach, leadership and talent development consultant, job search management expert, and a humorous educator and guest speaker. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook: Expert Career Solutions and twitter @workexpert.