Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Parent Frustrated by Daughter's Lack of Ambition

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My daughter was laid off last spring when the movie theatre where she worked shut down. She was working fulltime there, so she was able to collect unemployment, which was helpful. Now, that may be running out and the theatre has no immediate plans to reopen, but other places in our area are starting to hire. The trouble is, she shows no interest in applying anywhere. Her father and I have been helping with her car payments, and she is still under my car insurance, but my income is also down, and it is becoming a stretch to cover her too.

I get that she is probably a little depressed, like so many others who have lost their jobs, but I also think the cure is to get busy.

How do I push her in the right direction when she keeps pushing back? --- NEEDS MOTIVATION

DEAR NEEDS MOTIVATION: Your daughter is indeed far from alone in finding herself demoralized by the events of the last year.

If her health insurance situation allows, perhaps she could get into individual or group therapy with other young people facing similar challenges.

I also agree with you that being busy is generally good medicine. If she isn’t emotionally up to fulltime work, and the unemployment benefits are running out, it might help if you strongly encourage her to take on useful work of any kind, to segue her back into a regular routine. If her movie theatre isn’t going to reopen, she might find at least parttime work with a different employer that is either getting back on track or replacing staff that couldn’t wait out a partial or total temporary shutdown.

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