Wayward 24 yr old daughter

Just wanting advice…
My 24 year old is a mess. She hates her job (they DO make her work 6 days a week, 12 to 14 hours per day 5:30pm - 5:30 am), hates her roomate, hates her life. If this was just a recent thing, I could deal but she has had issues since high school. She is very dramatic and wants to continue in her “lifestyle” . She wants to do things her way which is fine (not really but what control do I have) but she calls and texts me on a daily basis telling me how much she hates everything and sometimes in hysterics. I have tried to be supportive but the drama is escalating. I’ve offered that she could quit her job and come home to get herself back together but she refuses. (Of course it would be under house rules) She is trying to get a new job and change her situation but very hard with this economy and lack of sleep, etc. So I get the “I hate this” “I can’t do this anymore” daily calls. I have prayed for this one so hard for many years… things seem to get worse. I am having my own faith issues over this. Any suggestions out there???

It maybe that since she is living her life “her own way” and not “God’s way” of course she is struggling. We only make right use of our free will when we align our free will with His will for us. If she keeps doing the same old things she will keep getting what she always got - these are probably trials He has put to her in order to show her His way. Just give her time and love - not money and free rent.

Being not too far removed from 24, I can relate a bit. When I was 23, I had to work the night shift for a period of time, 12 hrs/day just like your daughter on a project I didn’t like while I was on business travel. I was pretty new to the company (great company by the way), so I stuck it out rather than making a big deal about not wanting to do it. It got stressful at times, but I tried to stay positive and eventually the project came to an end. I always worked hard and put forth a good effort which resulted in a good review from management and a lot of options going forward. Can your daughter switch shifts or transfer to a different position?

Anyway… How long has she been working nights? What exactly is her ‘lifestyle’ that she wants to continue? Working opposite schedules really can take a toll on you. It fatigues you and its very hard to get back to a normal schedule and can definitely make you irritable, so definitely keep that in mind when talking with her.

If she truly dislikes her job and can’t go on with it anymore, she should try continuously to find something new. I am not sure of the field she is in, but I know many people switch jobs for pay increases during this economic downturn we are having. It is all about the individual and their skills. If your daughter has a strong resume/skills she will be able to find something. Sometimes it takes a while though, it isn’t an easy process.

I would just try to be stable calming presence for her. She seems like she gets really worked up over things happening in her life and it probably helps to be able to vent to you, even if it makes you feel worried about her. I’m sure what you are doing now has helped and will continue to do so. Just be reassuring, calm, encouraging, and offer suggestions to her. Try to be positive at all times. Eventually this will come to an end and she will look back and be very grateful you were there for her to call and text at a moment’s notice. That kind of thing is important.

I agree with the above poster.

Also a few thoughts - first of all, I am 25 and recently quit a very trying job. The hours were long, and I was also on the road all the time. I was essentially (still am to some extent) isolated from any type of support group. That can make you literally go crazy. The longer this emotional isolation occurs, the more and more depressed you get.

As far as her roommate - if she is not being able to bond with the roommate, she will start to resent and hate her. My roommate is my best friend, but during that crazy time, I just was annoyed with everything I did, and I let my mom know because I didn’t want to risk the friendship by voicing silly concerns (they really were silly, I was just irritable).

Finally, girls just need to be heard. They need someone to just let all their frustration out to, and they need that person to listen. If you just listen and try not to judge, you will be helping your daughter relax in her difficult time. If your daughter is engaged in some dangerous path (you mentioned her chosen “lifestyle”) that is a different matter, of course. But if she is just frustrated with her job and roommate, let her vent. And, yes, I’m sure it makes her very emotional and angry, but she has to let it out.

Oh, and also, I found the time transitioning from college to real life very difficult. I was working the 16 hour days, but I was also depressed because, even 8 hour shifts would take up all of my time, when would I ever see the sun again, life is no fun, I want to be free, etc. I threw mental temper tantrums against organized worklife for three years (still do sometimes) because it was such a culture shock from public school (out by 3:00 every day and summers off) and college (last two years didn’t go to school at all on MWF and no school in the summers)…

I will be the first to admit that this generation is spoiled…

On the other hand, if you don’t want to hear it, just tell her you don’t want to hear her complain…she will find someone else to complain to, believe me.

why do you make this offer?
in what way would it make the situation different or better, either for her or you?

Thanks everyone for perspectives from your own situations. I guess I didn’t mention that my daughter graduated with a business degree and is working at a sub shop as a asst manager. It was a “stop gap” job until she could find a real job. She is putting applications in all over but wants to stay in the area (which limits her options). Her “lifestyle” is one in which the boyfriend stays over a lot … prob sleeping together but this is an assumption on my part. Not how she was brought up. I agree, she is not living Gods plan and He prob has her where He wants her but also know that she will have to come to that realization herself … even though I have gently reminded her many times about those things.
The offer to move home would be a short term thing to get her back on a normal schedule, eating right and taking time to find a better job. She knows though, that I would not tolerate the partying and immoral behaviors so… she hasn’t chose that option.
Anyway, again thanks for your comments.

Ahhh, Jesus already told this story 2000 years ago . . (remember Prodigal Son?).
You are right; she has to make her own choices. Sleeping with BF? You can pray for her, but if she is living in (mortal) sin, you must do more than pray; yes, offer her to return home (following rules and stop mortal sinning). Also, when she ‘complains’ to you, let her know that she is probably just beginning to experiencing the ‘fruits’ of her mortal sinning, and that you don’t approve and no longer want to hear about the ‘fruits’ of her bad-decisions when you have already told her to stop- and tell her you would rather spend your talking time together PRAYING together (" . . .where 2 or more are gathered in my name, I shall be there with them . . . "). Not to be judgmental, but no-one should just sit by idle-ly while a love one slips away downward into the despairs of of living immorally, putting their soul at eternal risk. Help her by continuously offering a path to live a moral life; send her some good books, send a rosary; and offer to pray TOGETHER with her, even if only on the phone (if you are too far away). Rosary prayed together can lead to miracle of conversion, time and time again.:thumbsup:

I would suggest something a bit harder. “Sorry, honey, I am NOT going to listen to this anymore. I will support you when you make a decision to change. The door is open, the phone is on. But I will not let you drag me down into your misery.”

Your degree is only a small part of why you get hired. Even in “this economy” I got a job with a business degree right out of college. If she has been working 12 hrs 6 days a week and has been responsible she should have $$$, even if she was earning minimum wage. She needs to re-evaluate her priorities, period.

She may get mad that you will no longer listen to her ****, but without someone to listen she will figure out that whining gets her no where, not even sympathy.

I think that your daughter is reaching out to you for help. I would have done the exact same thing as you. Extended my hand and my home to my own daughter. I think she vents to you because she knows you will hear her. Mothers are the first people daughters come to when they are stressed. Mine had a issue and she came to me, we dealt with it and its better. The fact that you listen and are there for her likely means a great deal to her. I know it would to me if I was your daughter. :slight_smile: she does have to come to her own decisions, but she also has you for support that means alot. :thumbsup:

I would tell her to stop texting you and calling you all the time. That is a misuse of technology and sounds very pointless and annoying. I would also not invite her to return home. She is making choices that she is not happy with. If she wants to improve her life let her make better choices. She sounds very immature and spoiled to me.

Unless she has been homeless for six months, I would not bring her home. She has to learn to deal with life, and that means working long hours at a job you don’t really like.

Firstly, don’t doubt your faith in this process. Continue to pray for her daily and that God will lead her to a better situation. Secondly, there are more than 20% of the pop under 30 unemployed. It’s one of the stats the government likes to hide. My son-in-law is a graduating attorney from Penn this month, and out of 150 grads, only 5 had jobs as of 2 weeks ago! My daughter is a 27 year old newly minted attorney from George Washington (not a shabby school) who has a job, but at $30 per hour on a contract basis as an attorney. (The major firms are really taking advantage of the picks they have right now).

My point is, this is the worst job market in decades for grads, so your daughter doing the stop gap work is admirable. A couple of practical thoughts

*]Can she try and find a day job, where this will make her schedule better for her mental attitude
*]She’s not getting much better than minimum wage at this stage, so moving on to another firm might not be a bad idea.
*]Perhaps try and get a job where she has some time to write applications or research careers when she is working
*]Parking attendents, security desks in buildings sign in, etc

In the meantime, keep yourself available for her, even if it’s over text messaging. You are still her rock as she is leaning on you.

Saying a prayer for you both right now.

Your post is some food for thought even for more than the OP.:slight_smile: I have a daughter that is a little older than that, is married and has children of her own…but is a how shall I say “cafeteria” catholic. Her children go to Catholic school (an answer to prayer) but she is not serious about her faith. Her husband is not Catholic, so that doesn’t help matters either.:frowning: She chooses to go to Mass on Sunday “when she feels like it”. I have done a lot of praying and talking to her about the “real” Catholic faith, but when I do especially as of late, she calls me a “fanatic”. I have told her more than once that missing Mass on Sunday for no good reason is grievously sinful and she is cutting herself off from a relationship with the Lord! Again…I am a “sick fanatic”.:frowning: I have given her books, given her rosaries, pray the rosary for her constantly, etc, taken my grandchildren to Mass when she doesn’t feel like it, as they must be brought up in the faith! I have found, however, that I have to be very careful about the way I approach her. I go too far and she automatically tunes me out. As painful as this is for me, (it breaks my heart in two!) I have to constantly give her to the Lord and the Blessed Mother in the rosary. I have finally gotten to the point and said to the Blessed Mother…“You take her, I cannot do anything with her but You can!” I know in these cases St. Monica is also a huge help…I need to ask her daily to help her. (and me!) I cannot every Sunday take my grandchildren to Mass as my H and I are very active in our own Parish, and sometimes are EM’S at Mass, and because of time and logistics it’s impossible to get them over here. (and they are still little) I think that’s what pains me more than anything!

When the timing is right, however, I might see if she would be willing to say the rosary with me.:newidea: Just another angle the Blessed Mother might help me with. The Rosary has been the instrument of many miracles in my own life, it is the WEAPON!

Thanks so much everyone… for your candid insights. Its so helpful to know I am not going through this alone. Teelynn, I will join you in prayer. When grandkids and husbands are involved, it must be even more heart wrenching. I, too, pray the rosary daily for my girls and it has been a source of powerful miracles in my own life as well. I hope I will remember to pray WITH her as some of you have suggested. Proverbs 22:6 says to “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
This verse was in my mind a long time but I had remembered it wrong. I had remembered it without the “…when he is old…” part. Then one day, I found the verse on a little mini poster and saw the whole thing (which is framed in my bedroom under my girls’ pictures now). I guess, in some instances, some of us will have to wait until the “until (s)he is old” part. Even though it is so frustrating, I too have given her to God but with the constant prayer that, no matter how long it takes, she will repent and return and be in heaven one day.
Onedayatatime… I can appreciate what you are saying too. In fact, my daughter always wanted to be a lawyer and only recently gave up on that idea as she too was told by former classmates that the market is saturated right now. She already has to pay back a bucket load of money for her undergrad degree so its probably best she didn’t go that route. She is trying to find a job with better hours. I appreciate your suggestions.
Again, I appreciate all the feedback.
God bless.

I will keep you and your girls in my rosary as well…there are a lot of parents going through the same thing with this generation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be an uncommon problem.

Praying with you Koani…:gopray2:

I’m not sure if this is what you want to hear. Bu I would not discuss the Church or religion with her at all. By all means apply your own house rules if she moves back in with you, but apart from that, let her be her own person. The reason I say this, is that I was raised a Catholic from birth, went to Catholic Primary and Secondary schools. I served as an Alter boy from between the ages of 9 - 15. But when I turned 16, I started to rebel, I went out drinking and lost interest in my religion. By the time I was 20 I was telling people that God did not exist and that the bible was a work of fiction. I met my wife when I was 24 and had premarital sex with her from the start, before buying a house together and living together for 4 months before we got married.

Throughout all this, my Mother who is a devout Catholic did not once chastise me about my lifestyle (apart from my drinking when I was 16). But the call by to the faith came to me all on my own. I was on a holiday to Wales with my friends after graduating from University, and we visited an island called Caldey Island where there is a Monastery. During this visit, I had the sudden feeling that this is my heritage that I had turned my back on. I bought a Sunday Missal from the gift shop and although I still wasn’t attending mass, I read from the Missal often. Since that point my faith has gradually grown to the point where I now take my faith very seriously.

The point I’m trying to make is that, if you let your daughter find her own path, that path could very well lead her back to God, and she will want you there to confide in, just as I have come to share a good deal with my mother.

Thank you SO MUCH PhilXavier!!! This is what my gut (otherwise known as the Holy Spirit) has been telling me all along. I DO pray for her every day, once in the morning with my husband and once in the afternoon as I walk (in addition to a million times during the day). Your story is so encouraging. I know her faith seed is there and I just get a little impatient sometimes waiting for her to turn back. Anyway, I appreciate your sharing.
Again, thanks and God bless:blessyou:

It is so hard to watch our twenty-somethings grow up and go through hardships. I personally try to just love them and pray for them, and I do try to really listen to what they are saying. You can’t really solve their problems at this age, though. Just be a good, compassionate listener - your daughter needs someone she can count on. You sound like a great mom.
I pray a rosary a day for all my children and grandchildren, and that is certainly a source of comfort. The rosary is a powerful tool!

Your daughter could very well be suffering from depression. What makes me think this, based on the limited information, is her emotional responses and the fact that it has been a continuous problem. It’s a serious issue and often times the individual suffering will not be able to think clearly and will make “odd” life choices, engage in risk behaviors (examples include smoking, drinking excessively, spending too much money, driving recklessly, multiple sexual partners), and some people display exaggerated emotions or emotional reactions that do not make sense in a certain context. It is very hard to deal with someone suffering from depression. I would talk to a doctor about your concerns and see what they suggest you do, or you could suggest to your daughter to see a therapist.

I’m very sorry that you are going through this. I have suffered from depression and was not able to see it until my Mother called me one night and had a little mini-intervention telling me she was concerned for my well-being and that she had spoken with a doctor (who suggest I go to therapy).

I do not recommend telling her to suck it up, pull up the bootstraps, deal with it, etc., that will only make her feel worse. The best you can do is continue to pray for her, and continue to be her supportive, loving mother who she know will always be there for her.

Good luck :slight_smile:

I do agree with this except for one exception. When she comes to visit or if she lives with you mass attendance is a must. And you should tell her that she is welcome to discuss with it you if she wants to you just don’t want to push it. Sometimes if we don’t discuss it all it can make almost seem like we are not welcome to bring it up. This is more how my grandmother handled me. I have gone from being raised in both Churches to now discerning a Third Order in the Catholic Faith as an adult.

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