Life Advice



Ask Amy: Parents worry about son’s unemployment

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy, I'm a 45-year-old woman, married to my wife for five years. My issue is my 21-year-old son, who lives with us. He's a good kid but he's now unemployed (for four months) and spends his days playing video games.

My son is very book smart, had a full ride to a prestigious university, but only stayed for a year and a half.

He recently applied for the police academy, but he never really follows through with anything. He also dropped out of the fire academy – because he was bored.

He was working as a forklift operator while in school. He's always done very well in school, but he's lazy.

I'm a nurse and his dad is an over-the-road truck driver who just had another son with his younger wife. I'm always trying to get my ex-husband to motivate him.

My wife and I have never lived alone our entire marriage, and she's getting frustrated. My wife has no children and feels like it's time to get mine out of our home. It's putting such a strain on me, as I feel like I have to choose my wife or my son. Honestly I'm torn and now they are starting to argue more with each other. I feel completely torn.


Please help.

– Torn in Wisconsin

Dear Torn: Your unemployed adult son living at home is not “your” issue. Overall, this is everyone’s issue, but mainly it is his – and his main task right now should be to solve his own problem.

Don’t count on his father to motivate him – he is not living in his father’s house.


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