I got sucked into a conversation several days ago with two other women. They were discussing their two older teens/young adults, ages 18 and 19.
Both were complaining that their young adults were unmotivated, didn't care at about school or their future, got failing grades, refused to work, and basically didn't give a damn about anything but partying. They didn't know what to do. The one is probably not going to be graduating from high school this spring.
Both of these young people live at home, completely supported by their parents, and have little to nothing expected of them. There are no consequences for their actions. The moms had a million lame excuses for the bad behavior too. The one woman needed some serious car repair, but because she's paying her daughter's college expenses, there was no money for her car, and now her daughter is flunking out and doesn't care one bit. They both seemed completely baffled and clueless as to how they got where they are.
They asked me for my advice. That's a tough spot, for sure. Heck, I don't have an older teen/young adult, so who am I to tell them what to do? I ended up not saying anything, but I don't understand how they could be so befuddled about their kids' lack of motivation when they (the parents) demanded/expected so little and enabled so much. It seems SO clear to me. They have set the bar so low, and now they're surprised when their young people aren't interested in anything more than getting drunk and screwing around. It seemed to me that if the parents wanted to regain control, they had to make the decision to take it back.
Parenting is tough, but sometimes tough love is absolutely essential. Isn't that our job?
I bet I just pissed off a whole bunch of people with this post, but I had to put it out there.