"Parents cannot effectively communicate their love to a child unless they are also a source of effective authority. "

Can you change your adult child's destructive behavior?

Question

What is the order of priority to hold adult children (21 age) accountable to who live at home while attending college?

We have a 21 year old daughter who was kicked out of college for drugs. She went through a 3 month out patient program, successfully beat a drug addiction, is now going back to classes locally and holding a part time job. She is much better than she's been in years. However, she is still coming home drunk about once a week, has gotten in cars with intoxicated drivers and is difficult to control.

We have kicked her out repeatedly in past and each time she wound up in such a worse condition that we won't do that again until she is stronger. We let most every discipline go in the service of keeping her home and alive, which was questionable for a while. Now that she is stronger, but still drinking, what do we do without throwing her out? She refuses to go to AA or back to therapy and we can't tackle all issues at once.

Do we just focus on the big thing, staying sober, and then everything else or do we start with the less obvious things first, like staying away from boyfriend who she drinks with and other questionable friends? None of these are controllable with a 21 year old anyway.

We have other issues like family chores, respect, self-care, excellence in her work, curfews, etc. that need attention but it only will work, I think, with one thing at a time until she regains her strength.

Your best advice is appreciated. Loved your book. If I had read it when she was 3, it might have saved her all this heartache now.

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