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Old 09-08-2013, 01:54 PM
47,573 posts, read 60,625,005 times
Reputation: 22283


Originally Posted by mandln View Post
I need some advice. My son just turned 38 and he refuses to get a job and move out of the house. Since graduating from high school, he has done nothing but sit on the couch, watch television, and play Xbox. He is also very disrespectful to my husband and I, and he yells at us for little things like if we order him the wrong kind of food or if I ask him to do something around the house like make up his bed or wash the clothes. He sleeps until 3 in the afternoon every day and stays up all night. I have told him to get a job but he refuses and says he hates working and that he won't do it. I can't just kick him out because I know he will end up on the street or in a homeless shelter. My husband and I are in our mid 60s and what we are afraid of more than anything is that we will die at some point and he won't be able to take care of himself. He is an intelligent man and made mainly As in high school, so he isn't stupid but he just won't get a job. How can I motivate him to work and become independent? I would prefer something that pays enough for him to live on his own, so he can't just work at a McDonald's. He's probably too old for the military and I know he would refuse to sign up for it even if he could. I just really need some ideas as this has been going on too long.
At one time I would have said just kick him out but really there may be mental illness issues or you've let this be the habit so long that he is crippled in emotional ways.

If he's never held a job before, it's not going to matter one iota what his high scrhool grades were or that you want him to have a high paying job, at this point, he's going to have to take any kind of job that he can.

I would do what I do for an 18 year old that seems to just want to lay around playing x-box and getting fussy about my food that he's eating. End it.

I would not wash his clothes, I would not prepare him meals at all and I would definitely stop ordering meals for him. There would be peanut butter and bread available in the home but nothing more. No more new clothes, and I would seriously consider cutting the free internet service. If he drives, I'd put an end to that privilege also. No cash ever.

In this way you can begin to wean him. Cut off ALL non-essentials. If he wants anything that even hints of a non-necessity, he can start figuring out how he's going to earn money outside the home to get those things. Stop doing all parenting of him. He's still living in your home so you didn't kick him out onto the streets but it's going to become less and less pleasant for him.

Old 09-08-2013, 01:57 PM
47,573 posts, read 60,625,005 times
Reputation: 22283
Originally Posted by zentropa View Post
This is why the story is so unbelievable (first time poster). There is no mention of anything else that has gone on in that house for the past 20 years. No siblings? Straight As but no college? No diagnosed mental illness? No social life? No previous ultimatums? What was he doing 20 years ago before the Internet and Xbox were invented?

Many, many questions.
I considered that possibility --- except I actually know of a couple cases similar.

One woman I personally know retired but had to go back to work because her almost age 50 year old son has only worked for about a total of 3 years in his whole life and she can't afford to keep him in new clothes and video games on her social security checks.
Old 09-08-2013, 02:00 PM
13,161 posts, read 20,783,837 times
Reputation: 35417
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
This was the OP's first post.
Always suspect, especially when the post is as bizarre as this.

If, by any long chance this is a true scenario, I can assure you all the OP will not toss the son out for any myriad of excuses. Winter is coming! There are no jobs, he's tried! The shelter is full!

Best advice, make home life as unpleasant as you can, but be prepared to support him forever.
Old 09-08-2013, 02:04 PM
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,490 posts, read 62,120,010 times
Reputation: 32158
Originally Posted by mandln View Post
My son just turned 38 and he refuses to get a job and move out of the house. I need some advice.
1) stop feeding him
2) if that doesn't fix it... change the locks
Old 09-08-2013, 02:17 PM
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,909,466 times
Reputation: 3838
Wow! I thought I wrote the OP's statement except it isn't my son but my bf's who lives with us, same age. He doesn't play as many video games as he use to and does help out by doing all the yard work. He has had only a half dozen jobs over the yrs none for more than a month or two and I suspect most he was fired from.

He keeps suggesting he needs a master's degree and is upset his dad won't sign a loan for one. Blames his dad for buying him a new car instead. He uses the excuse that things aren't like they were when we started out (soon I will bring up the draft and war we encountered at 18). He 'dreams' of locating someplace else and would have us move there so he could. The latest is he wants his dad to sign a lease for him in a major city so he can move there. He wouldn't want to live in a nasty place like I did when I started out. His father has dropped enough money on him to get him started for a few months but he never goes and of course now it's spent, with the second round upcoming. He has every excuse in the book including screaming at the top of his lungs to back you off from pushing him or when he needs money, otherwise he is pleasant.

This particular kid does have mental problems. He doesn't do drugs but he has attention deficit disorder, forgets to close doors, leaves tools all over, etc. He is shy and has no friends. His scope of social knowledge is limited to a very few relatives. He also has a problem with separating himself mentally from home/parent even though the two of them don't get along much and his father doesn't pamper him nor do I. Neither of them follow through with counseling. This is all complicated by the fact that he knows he has a big inheritance coming.

When he was staying at my house I packed all his stuff into garbage bags and put them in his car and locked the door. He went to his uncles for a month till they kicked him out and was back when I was out of town with his father begging me to let him in (we were all at his father's house by then). The idea that you can get a room mate to start off especially if you have no money worries rolls off his brain though I told him that a million times. His lack of work history is a red flag even if he lies and says he was self employed there is virtually no one to recommend him, and he is a hard worker too. The prospect of starting a small electronics installation business which he's good at just doesn't compute.

It's not my home, my son, or my money so my influence is somewhat limited which is not the case with the OP. Actually if asked I would probably recommend dropping him off in the middle of a city with a suitcase and a couple hundred dollars and driving away.
Old 09-08-2013, 02:22 PM
Location: Beautiful hills
248 posts, read 401,224 times
Reputation: 506
Originally Posted by Sharks With Lasers View Post
The validity of this post raises numerous suspicions from me. Nobody would put up with their son ordering them around and refusing to work for 20 years. And even the laziest and least motivated of kids will help out around the house and stuff.
Whether you are right or wrong I do not know. But to state categorically what "nobody would" do this or that means that you've known every single parent with adult child still at home and none of them, except for OP, put up with their adult child's disrespectful behavior.

I've known families where parents just couldn't separate themselves from their overgrown "babies". I am guessing as long as both parents worked, the problem wasn't as visible and probably did not affect them financially as much; but now that one of both parents retired (I am guessing here), they see the effect their son's presence has on their lives, and, possibly, their fixed income does not stretch as far as regular earnings did. They are no longer able to support him.
Old 09-08-2013, 02:22 PM
Location: So Cal
40,438 posts, read 39,959,328 times
Reputation: 41907
I don't believe this thread at all.... sounds like complete trolling BS.......
Old 09-08-2013, 02:40 PM
Location: Beautiful hills
248 posts, read 401,224 times
Reputation: 506
In my humble opinion, this healthy man is simply using his parents because it is convenient and because they let him do it for so long; thus, I agree with those who suggest he must move out.

OP, you and your husband will need to be strong and learn to say "no". It will be very difficult in the beginning, but the more you say it the easier it will come to you next time, the more strong and assertive you will feel.

You've raised your child, you are no longer responsible for him. You've done far more than many other parents do; unfortunately, he did not appreciate it and that is not your problem.

If it is difficult for you to confront him, put your ultimatum in writing:
Dear son, we can no longer support you.
You are 38 y.o. and it is time you find a job and your own place to live.
You should start looking for a job immediately as we expect you to move out in 3 months.
Every day you do not go out and look for a job we are going to cut back on unnecessary expenses:
Day 1 - XBox (if he has account you are paying for);
Day 2 - cell phone;
Day 3 - order-in food;
etc., you get my point, your job right now is to make his life uncomfortable at your house.

Do you have any family members nearby to stage an intervention-type family meeting,
so your son doesn't think that you are on your own?
He needs to know you have support and people who back you up.
Make an agreement with your husband that you both on the same page and
do not let your son manipulate you into giving in (together or separate).

Be firm. No screaming, yelling, arguing, straight to the point with a calm voice and demeanor.

Expect temper tantrums from your overgrown "kid".
If he screams in response - turn around and leave.
Your house - your rules!
If he doesn't like it - the door is that way.
As soon as he moves out (he may leave surprising quickly thinking he is going to pretend to move out just to "punish you") - change locks.

Be strong. You do not owe him anything.
Old 09-08-2013, 02:41 PM
Location: Beautiful hills
248 posts, read 401,224 times
Reputation: 506
Originally Posted by Chowhound View Post
I don't believe this thread at all.... sounds like complete trolling BS.......
Oh, well, maybe so, but I gave it a benefit of a doubt
Old 09-08-2013, 02:44 PM
Location: So Cal
40,438 posts, read 39,959,328 times
Reputation: 41907
Originally Posted by Zen Dragonfly View Post
Oh, well, maybe so, but I gave it a benefit of a doubt

It might be real... doubtful though.... who waits 20 yrs to complain about their son not working... what decent parent on this earth would standby and let that happen?????

All this thread does is make that parent look like a complete fool..... never mind the kid... the parents are the dummies here.......
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