He’s an adult with a job, and he’s afraid to live on his own

Dear Amy: At the beginning of the pandemic, my husband and I moved across the country.

Our adult son was laid off because of the pandemic and struggled with depression. We decided to invite him to move with us to help him get on his feet again.

It took him a while to get a part-time job, and now he has finally been hired full time. We are very happy for him. However, he gets upset when the subject of having him move out and be on his own comes up.

He tells us that because of his depression he is afraid to live on his own and needs to have family around.

He is already on antidepressants but doesn’t follow through with seeking counseling.

We are getting close to retirement and don’t want to have children living with us when we do retire.

We also have a younger son who is living with us and attending a local university. We are fine with helping him out until he graduates.

We just don’t know how to help our oldest son get to a place where he can live independently. What would you suggest?

Concerned

Dear Concerned: You should take this in careful stages. The message to your elder son should be, “Our goal is for both of our sons to live independently and to develop rewarding pursuits and relationships. We’ll help you get there.”

Your elder son has already made great strides — he moved across the country and is now working full time. That’s huge. He is being honest regarding the impact of his depression, but he may also be using his depression as a crutch.

The pandemic has proved a serious setback for many young adults.


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