Annie Lane: Should I evict my son?

Published 5:38 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Dear Annie: I have a 47-year-old son who lives with me. He pays no rent, and he does not help with the bills. He does help with some of the yard work and housecleaning, but he ignores it if I ask him to help with something that I would like. For instance, he failed to install a Dish network while I was away.

He lies in bed for weeks and months at a time. He returns home from work at around 4 p.m., and he stays in bed until it’s time to go to work the next day. He misses work an average of one day per week. Same for weekends; he frequently stays in bed the entire time. He even eats while lying in bed.

I asked him to move out, but he won’t. Is eviction my only resource? I just want him out of the room — and out of the bed. Do you have any suggestions?

Email newsletter signup

— Fed Up Mother

Dear Fed Up: The first rule is that he can’t eat in bed. That is unsanitary and does nothing for his self-esteem. Since your adult child is not paying rent, you could have him served with a 30-day notice to quit, which means he would be ordered to evacuate the premises.

As a mother, you want to help your son help himself. But he is being impossible. Staying in bed, missing work once a week and ignoring your wishes are all signs that something very serious could be going on with your son. Yes, he does need to know that he can’t continue mooching off you, but instead of running to legal action, why not run to a therapist’s office or speak with him yourself?

• • •

Dear Annie: This is in response to “Tired of Waiting,” whose husband will not stop procrastinating. One of the hallmark symptoms of ADHD is procrastination. Many people with ADHD struggle with planning and carrying things out (known as executive function), which forces them to make a decision at the very last minute when there is no other choice. It may be worth it for the husband who is a chronic procrastinator to consult with a clinician skilled in the diagnosis of ADHD. I hope her husband is able to get help, as it will benefit both of them.

— A Reader From Ohio

Dear Reader From Ohio: Thank you for this helpful suggestion. Chronic procrastination can indeed be a sign of something more serious.

If “Tired of Waiting” does in fact suffer from ADHD, consulting a clinician is a crucial first step. Your message is a good reminder for all readers that what appears to be laziness or insecurity can often be the sign of a deeper issue.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to