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Old November 28th, 2014, 10:38 PM
bobkyle bobkyle is offline
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Grandparents enabling adult child

I've been living with my grandparents for the past two years now to finish my last two years of high school. My uncle hasn't worked in a career-type job his entire life (he's basically been a salesman his whole life and JUST finished college --in which his job was in the library--) and recently broke up with his on-and-off girlfriend of many years. So in order to finally make him actually leave her, my grandparents offered to take him in and have him leave the state he was in.

They have been supporting him financially for his entire life, even paying his rent on apartments when he was younger. Recently, my grandma has taken me to the bank with her... TO WITHDRAW MONEY TO GIVE TO HIM. It infuriates me to no end.

Whenever my dad, other uncle, or I try to say anything to my grandma, she gets upset and cries and tells us that he's her son and she's going to help him. But is supporting every single thing he does really help him?! My father told me that when I go off to college, he will not let me stay at his house unless I have an interview in the area or I am paying rent. This motivates me to work hard, but I'm getting the impression that that method would be too much too late for him.


This is the part that angers me the most. Well, first of all, he pays no rent. He came here to "find a better job" because he got a college degree (finally), but he has a job that he could get anywhere. Seriously, anywhere. He hasn't been looking for apartments because, as my grandma says, he doesn't have enough money to pay for it. The only problem with that claim is that he spends about $60 on a can of workout powder ****. He spends his time either at his job, working out, or sitting at the tv eating. But he doesn't make enough money to even pay my grandparents even a LITTLE bit..?

He doesn't do anything around the house to "make up" for the rent either; all he does SOMETIMES (and with much complaining) is the dishes. A lot of the time, my grandma is left doing them because he puts them off every day. She even does his laundry, cleans up after him, and even heats him up food if he comes home late. She acts like he's my age! It seems like I have a sibling who's the same age as me!!

Secondly, he brought his car over here, but hasn't used it the whole time he's been here. The excuses were endless: He hasn't gotten it fixed yet (after two months of it being broken...) or He needs to put the new license on (after a month of having it..!) or even It's raining outside so he should take my car. What?! He couldn't even be bothered to put his license on the car for at least a month. He also has a bike, but the brakes are broken. So, naturally, it should be left out of the way. But oh no, if it rains they have to bring it in from outside! My granddad even bought him an expensive bike lock. And the bike has been sitting in the dining room for months now. All he has to do is simply move it...

I know some of these things seem trivial and I'm rambling, but I truly do not know what to do, or if I should even try to help at all. My grandma is constantly making excuses for him, while he should be acting like a responsible 38 YEAR OLD adult. I just can't imagine being happy with myself if I was completely dependent upon my grandparents at over 30 years old.

Thanks for taking the time to read this... I'm just so ready to be out of here in 8 months! Sadly, I think I'll be out of this house before my uncle... I'm starting to doubt if he will actually ever leave or become more dependent upon them.
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Old November 28th, 2014, 11:13 PM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: Grandparents enabling adult child

bobkyle, I don't even know you and I'm fighting back tears of pride in your post.

You are an amazing "kid" (hate to tell you, but you're more of an adult than your uncle ever will be) and I am proud of both you and your parents who did such a great job raising you. Congratulations!

There are two pieces of good news in this story. (1) Your uncle is not and never will be your responsibility and (2) you are learning firsthand what you DON'T want to be and that will inspire you to succeed in whatever you choose to do.

There is nothing you can do about your uncle. The sad part is that your grandparents have a right to enable him and they are exercising that right. The only thing that is in your power is to behave how *you* think is right. Lead by example. (And tell them he can't take your car for whatever reason you can come up with, even if you have to fake going to the library for an important research paper.) Offer to do the dishes and help with laundry and tell your grandparents within earshot of your uncle how grateful you are to them for everything they do for you.

Maybe your uncle is going through some kind of depression or something. A little bit of kindness goes a long way. But kindness is not the same thing as enabling.

So do you have plans for next year already? Something tells me that you're one to watch.
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Old November 28th, 2014, 11:35 PM
bobkyle bobkyle is offline
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Re: Grandparents enabling adult child

Thank you so much KayKay, I completely agree with what you said. And I'll try to mention how grateful I am for them, especially during this time of year.

The sad part is that he's very kind and sweet. He's just dependent. I really love him and he's a really nice person, he just needs to get his life together.

Thank you for the advice!

Oh and I plan on studying developmental psychology (so my dad has been telling my to keep a journal about my uncle to use in essays haha) at the University of Texas at Austin.
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Old November 28th, 2014, 11:45 PM
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Re: Grandparents enabling adult child

Hook 'Em!! My daughter has been accepted there as well (probably won't be attending).

I hope your uncle does get his life together and you eventually have a great relationship. In the meantime, be as patient with him as you can, knowing that he is not your burden in the long run.
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 09:56 AM
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Re: Grandparents enabling adult child

((hugs)) you can't change your grandparents or uncle


feel free to vent here
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