That being said, been there done that and had mixed results. Let’s start with dd. She did much as your daughter did and eventually dropped out of college. While she was in college we told her we would assist her in her education as long as she attended classes and maintained a B average—she definitely has the intelligence for that. As long as she was in classes, and I could verify she was maintaining per our agreement our support would be that only of what it would have cost us if she was still in the dorm. All other requests for income would be denied.
She dropped out at the semester because her grades dropped hugely, and she was more interested in her living companion than going to school. She took off traveling for awhile, then settled in CA. At one point she boomeranged home amazingly enough alone, it seemed this wasn’t her one and only love after all. We ran into conflicts, basically she wanted to sleep all day and party all night. We paid the deposits on a rental house and moved her out on her own. The parting was not good, but my children are NOT allowed to speak to me the way she was doing. She was told it was up to her to get a job, or be kicked out of the rental house. Strange thing she got a job the very next day. She will now tell you that tough love saved her.
She ended up back in CA, back in college with a straight A average and she’s phi beta kappa. She has paid for every penny of that return to college, she had burned her bridges with us. She has an excellent career, a new love in her life—that we adore—and is the strong independent person I raised her to be. She and I are still not on the best of terms but that has nothing to do with the finances, but an emotional disagreement on entirely something else.
DS nearly made the same mistake as his sister, but decided that finishing to get his degree so he could support said love was a wiser alternative. It turned out to be far wiser since the two of them went their separate ways. It took him seven years to finish college because of the slowness due to the “love of his life” and he paid the consequences financially heavily. Let’s just say he spent a LOT of money on the girl before they split, plus we quit paying part of his college when his grades dipped.
As you know ds lives here. He basically rents the upstairs from us. He pays our utilities, buys his own detergent, hba, and part of the groceries. He also does MUCH (read most) of the farm labor. He cooks dinner at least once a week, and about twice a month takes dh and I out to eat at a “sit down” restaurant. We have a very good relationship, but his love life is not up to his standards right now. I am sorry about that, he wants a family and I’d like him to have one, but that has to be done on his own terms.
So what I’m telling you is we took the tough love approach with both our kids. One had to completely bottom out but came out so much the better off for it. The other got smart before he totally crashed, but just barely. We feel that with both kids we did what was best for them. We helped them as long as they met reasonable expectations. Ie: attend classes, good grades. We drew the line at how much we would help them though. We limited it to ONLY what we would have previously been paying and we made it VERY clear that while we didn’t approve of what they were doing we did love them deeply and they would always be our children. The only exception we made to this was when ds had been unemployed for six months (unknown to us) was out of cash for meds and ended up nearly dying due to an asthma attack. We purchased his meds to save his life. But that was also when we moved him home. We needed farm help and he needed a job. He moved home, got a job in Tulsa the next day and life has evolved from there.