Ask Kari: How can I motivate my adult daughter to move out?

Dear Kari,

My adult daughter lives with us, but she is driving me crazy. She graduated from college but is not motivated to use her degree for a career. She works two part-time jobs (she only works 20-25 hours a week), but mostly watches Netflix all day. What can I do to motivate her to move on and start her life?

--Frustrated Momma

Dear Frustrated Momma,

I am guessing that your daughter is in her early twenties, and you accepted her moving back home after college as a stepping point vs. a long-term situation. In order to get out of this dynamic, I recommend that you decide along with your partner what you most want to happen. Do you want her to move out now and attempt to survive on minimal income to just get her out of the family home? Or do you have more patience and want her to transfer into a professional career and are willing to help her launch that in the next few months? Either way, I suggest that you establish a firm timetable of action. Then, set-up a time to speak with her in person laying out your expectations and agreements moving forward. The hard part will be following up with your new established boundaries. But that is how you will get change and action in your home. Good luck!


As published in the February 2019 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

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