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ASK MERRILY/ Do We Put Him Out?

Merrily Preston
By Merrily Preston
Posted on Apr 29,2009
Filed Under Personal Development , Opinions,

I have a problem with my 23-year-old grandson -no job, GED, living with us.  
Although he helps us quite a bit, he has to be NAGGED, can't find a steady job, has been in prison, is on probation, and steals from us - used our credit card with BIG NUMBERS.  Do we put him out?  Where would he go?  (Parents not available)
We bought him an old car and insurance so he could get to and from a job without my driving him.  I am about to tell my husband about the big charges.  He would put him out today. I have too much empathy, forgiveness, love, caring...and HOPE!   SO WHAT now?  

Dear What Now,

Yes, you put him out.  He has shown no respect for you, your home, or your well-being.

Where would he go?   The question is his, not yours.  

A thread of not-being-empowered runs thru this entire situation.

If you cannot put him out, tell him the present living arrangement is not working for you. Give him the choice to move out or to live within a mutual agreement, which includes his household responsibilities, rent, car payment, no stealing, deadlines, and clear consequences.  If he chooses not to abide by the mutual agreement, then he has chosen to move out.  The structure would empower him to make healthy choices or to leave.  It would empower you to take your home back.

Why should he work when the essentials of his life are free?  

An appearance of “too much love” can be a disguise for enabling.  Enabling is love out of relationship with boundary, and structure.  Study enabling.  Give structure to your love and hope.  Give them bones, skeletons for support.  They are useless as rag dolls.  
Where is your anger?  A healthy anger should arise naturally when your boundaries are invaded.  Your grandson has to be nagged, can’t find a steady job, steals from you.  You withhold the truth from your husband.  You should be angry.

Take a long look at how you have neglected to teach others how to treat you, even in your own home.  Read an earlier column, “My Nineteen Year Old”.

Keep in touch.

Merrily Preston is an Intentional Life Facilitator, who lives in Woodbridge. Her column is exclusive to Local Kicks in Alexandria, VA. Email questions to, or use online form at

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