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Communication Skills/adult child, frustration, communication


Hello..One of my adult children currently lives with me. She is 19.
Her other siblings including a faternal twin live out of town.
I am needing help with a positive way to communicate with her. She is emotionally immature. I am not clear on if it by choice or some other reason. She is employed part time. At a job she doesnt care for. However, she has not made any real efforts in moving forward including gettig her license to drive.
When she gets bad or frustrated which is frequent she acts out as if she is eleven years old.
For example, she was mad today because she felt I wasnt moving fast enough towards getti g ready to leqve the house so we can go to the grocery store. I have been ill with the flu and she has had to walk the few blocks for the past few days. She made the choice not. to eat what is available in the house so she. wane to go right away. I reaponded that she could wait till I was ready or walk immediately.
She immediatly responded with slamming her bedroom door and yelling.

I understand she is frustrated with her life. She is havi ng issues with her boyfriend. not happy with her job etc...but....many of those issues are of her own making.
I am tired of her childish behavior.
Do you have suggestions?

Hi Sonja - sorry for the slow response. The REAL issue is her lack of appropriate adult independence. Two possibilities are [1] she is neurologically impaired, and [2] she has inherited psychological wounds promoting childish behaviors. You and she would need to see a psychologist to evaluate the first of these, and a family (vs, an individual) therapist to evaluate the second. See this for perspective on the second possibility:

there are a number of ways you may improve communication with her: see these:  and

If you have further questions, please ask - Pete

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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about how to significantly improve your thinking and communication effectiveness, and your relations with adults and kids. I cannot answer legal, medical, grammar, punctuation, spelling, or spiritual questions.


I have studied and taught communication and relationship skills for 40 years, and have been a professional family-systems therapist (MSW) since 1981.


I am a past Board member of (a) a large suburban community mental-health center and (b) the Stepfamily Association of America, and I am a current member of the National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council

I have published 6 books, including one on communication skills: Satisfactions ( 2nd ed., 2010); and over 150 articles in the nonprofit educational Website Break the Cycle! -

I have also published articles for and over 150 educational YouTube videos.

BSME, Stanford University, 1959 MSW, George Williams College 1981 Clinical internship U. of Illinois Institute for Juvenile Reasearch (IJR) 1981 Over 100 post-grad courses on a wide range of human-relationship topics

Past/Present Clients
over 1,000 self-referred Midwestern-U.S. adults, kids, couples, and families

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