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Old 08-11-2014, 07:41 AM
329 posts, read 298,035 times
Reputation: 477


He is 18. You have no longer any rights to his things, whether you bought them or not.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:14 AM
Location: In my skin
8,878 posts, read 13,841,131 times
Reputation: 8718
Foreverasnow, you seem to have the right idea; rules, boundaries and consequences. Does your husband work with you or against you? Do you believe ODD is the actual reason for this?

I read up on ODD. It sounds more like narcissism but I'm not a doc. Still, there's a disorder for just about everything these days and it doesn't take a PhD to know that how you raise a child can make the difference between being a pain in the azz and being "disordered".

"There's no known clear cause of oppositional defiant disorder. Contributing causes may be a combination of inherited and environmental factors, including:
  • A child's natural disposition
  • Limitations or developmental delays in a child's ability to process thoughts and feelings
  • Lack of supervision
  • Inconsistent or harsh discipline
  • Abuse or neglect
  • An imbalance of certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin"

Developmental delays and chemical imbalances are troublesome enough. But some parents are just lazy (that doesn't seem to be the case with the OP). Even those with legitimate disabilities are enabled more than they should be.

My son is PDD (high-functioning autism) and ADHD. He had/has significant challenges maneuvering through life because of it. There is a selfishness about him that comes from an inability to see beyond himself, initially. It's not intentional or malevolent. Nor is it something he was taught. But he is capable of doing so when he is made aware of it. And he is remorseful when he has offended. The key is to make them aware of it. They can often understand more than we give them credit for.

Still, I made it clear to him that he has to work harder than most to succeed in life. And I told him, when he was old enough to understand, that his free ride was over when he graduated high school. He was not going to ever become a burden on anyone on my watch. He had to contribute to any home he lived in, no matter who he lived with, including me. I would have had him work through high school except he was already struggling enough with his classes and I didn't want to pull focus.

In addition, chronological age doesn't matter. He is in his mid 20's but he is still very much a child mentally and emotionally. He is self sufficient, but he needs a lot of guidance on his finances. I give him a budget and if he overspends, I take his debit card from him. And if he screws up in any other way, I give him a talking to.

So, Foreverashow, I am behind your approach. Your son may be 18, but it is clear he lacks the maturity to be productive. When you act like a child, you get treated like one. Whether it is nature or nurture, it is a problem. I wouldn't worry about the law. Yeah, it was a gift, but really, is there any proof of this? I'd tell the cops that the deal was that he could keep the laptop once he moved out. But while he lives under your roof, you own it. If he wants it back, he can pack up and go.
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:08 PM
Location: Ohio
5,627 posts, read 4,633,030 times
Reputation: 6732
1) Help him get his license
2) set some clear, easy to follow rules. (you want him home by 12, if hes not, the least he can do is call)
3) set some clear, easy to follow goals. (go to college, keep a job)
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:55 PM
Location: My House
33,055 posts, read 26,861,279 times
Reputation: 24400
He's an adult now.

Yes, he needs to let you know if he's not coming home.

Other than that, you say he's got a job and is headed to college. He's obviously not a slacker.

You need to renegotiate your relationship now that he's an adult.

Obviously, he cannot do just ANY OLD THING he wants under your roof, but you also cannot treat him like he's not 18.

And give the man back his computer.
When in doubt, check it out: FAQ
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:02 PM
Location: Wherever life takes me.
5,944 posts, read 6,378,467 times
Reputation: 3018
Originally Posted by foreverasnow View Post
My son who turned 18 on July 26 says he is going to take me to court because I took his computer because he didn't come home at all one night.
When he took his computer to a friends house. He deleted all the files and reinstall the programs to get around our password.
How would you handle this?
By doing nothing. The more you treat him like a child the more he is going to act like one.
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