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Old 01-11-2008, 06:12 PM
Location: NJ
9,164 posts, read 20,195,772 times
Reputation: 6215


Originally Posted by ksaunmt View Post
My son is 18, we have constantly been in battle with him, since he was 5. He hated school, but he did graduate. He is now a lazy, unmotivated slug. Over the holidays he got kicked out of our home, he came back after a week, promising to change, and for a couple of weeks, things went well. Last night he stayed out all night again. One of our rules is to find a job and come home Sunday through Thursday. He chose not to. I know the right thing is to throw him out and stick with it, but my heart is breaking and I feel like I am dying. I don't want to do it. My husband says if we don't, I am enabling his behavior, I know he is right. How do I be okay with myself after it is done? I know he has nowhere to go, we live in a very cold climate, he has no job, his cars heater doesn't work and people do freeze to death here. How can I do it? I love him, but I am sick of being treated like this by him. Please give me advice, I need strength. I know it needs to be done if I ever want him to be an adult. Although he is consistent in saying "I am 18 Mom, I can do what I want". Help me, I need advice on how to be strong and do the right thing.

The biggie is the job. My son started working at 14 or 15, Burger King on weekends. My son has never not had a job since then, he's 22.

Originally Posted by brokencrayola View Post
His is 18 but as long as he lives in YOUR home, he cannot do as he wants. I would not just kick him out as he has no place to go and it is winter. I would though give him a certain amount of time, like 2-3 mos. Make it REALLY clear to him he has this time to find a place to live, get a job, whatever, BUT when that date arrives he is gone and you will not be letting him come back to live. By then it will be spring and he will have had enough time to arrange things. IF HE chooses to not take advantage of that time and pack up, get a job, find a place to live etc., that was HIS CHOICE. He then will have to suffer the consequences, but you should feel no guit as you gave him time to prepare.
Similar answer but a little different.
I would also give the time limit, I usually say about 6 weeks. In this time they are allowed to shape up. Here in NJ it is expensive for someone his age to find somewhere to stay.

While he is living in my house I might either take away his key or replace the locks. He is to be in at a certain time.

At 18 I was not paying for my son's cell phone & if the OP is, she needs to deactivate it or take it away. I don't understand how he even has a car. Who is paying for it? If it was me (which it wouldn't be) it would get taken away, during the night if need be.

Internet access. If he has his own computer in his room, the internet would get unplugged and/or the computer pass worded.

If the OP asks that he come home from Sunday to Thursday it is not asking too much. Where does he stay on those other nights? If he is with his GF, let him go live there.

While my son is working, I ask that he be home at a reasonable time (10-11 pm) as he has a wake up problem. Usually he is good. If he won't be home for what ever reason I ask that he texts me so that I know he is safe & didn't hit another deer. If he wants to stay out during his days off it really doesn't bother me any more as he usually tells me he won't be home.

My son is a bit different, he pays for all of his stuff on his own.. he's even got rent, which is fairly cheap.

Kicking them out isn't easy but some times you have to. If the time away did no good then it wasn't long enough.
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:23 PM
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
8,734 posts, read 6,172,701 times
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I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be for you but you can't let him push you around. Stand by your husband and give him an ultimatum, if you and his dad stick with it, he'll come around. Right now he knows you'll go against his dad's wishes because of your soft spot. This doesn't make you a bad person, but he's turning your kindness into a weakness; He won't starve or freeze out there, he'll survive if you tell him to go. He has to learn to respect you and prove to himself he can pull his own weight.
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:56 PM
Location: Monterey Bay, California -- watching the sea lions, whales and otters! :D
1,906 posts, read 6,124,096 times
Reputation: 2601
It is so sad to see young people who are not motivated. It's really hard raising kids, so I empathize.

I have to agree with your husband about enabling your son. I used to be a therapist for delinquent teens in group homes – and guess what those kids really wanted the most?? Parents who set rules, called the kids on them, and then gave them a consequence. I've had teens say to me, "My parents don't care about me – they let me do whatever I want….." which is contrary to what we often think teens want. They're like wild stallions and need to be reined in, stroked, and loved.

I know it must be painful to think of letting him go, however, it also sounds like maybe you were overly protective of him before. My guess is that if you were "in a battle with him since he was 5," that those consequences may not have been there.

I think many posters have given you good advice. I'd add that in addition to setting a timetable, that you actually have that time table (calendar) in a very visible place and have him mark on it each day that goes by, so that he can't just ignore it and say, "Gee, I didn't know it was so soon…"

If he returned after being kicked out, and promised to change, my guess is that you already have that pattern established – he does something wrong, you tell him what to do, he doesn't do it, you get upset, and then he knows that he can buffer it by saying he will change, all the time knowing that you're not going to push him. Kids have a very good instinct for loopholes.

He has to know that you not only love him (which is apparent that you do), but that you also mean what you say, and are acting in his best interests. Sometimes kids drag their heels because they just don't know how to take that next step. If he's been somewhat sheltered by you, he may be fearful of change and knows he can go through some uncomfortable encounters with you, but still end up in a comfortable stage of knowing how things will play out -- thus, not doing it himself.

Stick to your rules, make it all very, very clear to him, make sure he participates in the countdown, and once the date arrives, well, he had the choice to do something about it – and if he figured you'd just give in again, this time he will have a surprise and will have to start taking charge of his own life. Make sure you have a good plan as to what that consequence will be (where he will go, jobs he can get, etc.) if he does not follow through.

Basically, I'd just tell him, "You're now legally an adult, and as an adult, I can no longer treat you as a child, so although this may seem harsh to you, in reality, you are being treated as the adult that you are. You can do it -- now, go for it!"

Good luck to you and let us know what happens.
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:19 PM
Location: Northern VA (for now)
23,000 posts, read 31,942,334 times
Reputation: 30377
He is an adult. If he wants to act like he dont live at home then he should not be living at home. I'm 19 and my understanding with my mother is as long as i'm in school or have a job (i'm doing both) i have a bedroom, food, and hot water and that is it. Outside of birthday and Christmas, i dont get a dime from her. I will not lie, i dont necessarily like living at home and under her rules, but until i'm in a position to move out on my own, MAMA'S HOUSE MAMA'S RULES. I'm currently trying to arrange to move out next year. For me, it's moving to an area that has a cheaper standard-of-living (i live in the DC area, ok?). For this bum, he obeys or he's out in Spring.
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:02 PM
Location: Kingman AZ
15,371 posts, read 33,754,701 times
Reputation: 8976
Raising wifes 16 yr old g'son....told him long ago......
#1 A job
#2 School
#3 Military

Pick one....if none of the above...give us your address.....

PS....he HAS a job...A's & B's and is planning on the military in order to pay for college.
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:02 AM
203 posts, read 814,059 times
Reputation: 138
Default here's what i did........

mind you, it was my daughter's bf (she's 17 and i dont want her to get a job. Stay in School!). After listening to many excuses why he couldnt get a job and how it was everyone elses fault he was unemployed?!, i took matters into my own hands. Got him up, drove him to a temp agency and waited outside while he did the tests..........he got the job! Keep driving and waiting and encouraging. And yes i have a full time job. Dont give up! there's nothing worse than a parent that gives up on their own children..........just think of different strategies. GL!
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:27 AM
1,567 posts, read 2,690,960 times
Reputation: 1262
Originally Posted by dynimagelv View Post
Raising wifes 16 yr old g'son....told him long ago......
#1 A job
#2 School
#3 Military

Pick one....if none of the above...give us your address.....

PS....he HAS a job...A's & B's and is planning on the military in order to pay for college.

im with you on the first one , but id rather be homeless than be in the miliatary
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:40 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
24,717 posts, read 59,563,864 times
Reputation: 26822
We had some friends at church with a similar problem. their son was a slug and was failing at a community college. They told him that he had to get at least C grades or quit and get a job, or he was out. He continued failing and they needed to follow through, but they did nto thin that he was ready live on his own. They asked around the church for a family that might rent a room to him so that they could follow through, but he would still have supervision and loving encouragement. We agreed. It helped some. He lived with us a short time. We charged him minimal rent and babysitting time in exchange for his room.

We had only a few rules. In by 11; no tv on or other loud noise after 10 p.m.; no personal mess outside of your bedroom; do your own laundry and dishes; no smoking in or near the house. That was about it. We should have added no food in your room. We charged him lie $300/month but we gave him credit back for occasional babysitting.

He got a job at a grocery store and eventually moved up to grocery store management. He studied a little better in part because I think that he was embarrassed when our young children worked harder at their math than he did. If we saw him home when we knew he was supposed to be in school or at work we would ask him if he was ok. If he overslept, we woudl nock on his door and ask if there was a problem. It was very hard to oversleep in our household. It gets really really noisy at about 6:00-6:30 a.m.

He did mature a bit and eventually moved out to an apartment with a friend.

When he moved out, his room was disgusting. He removed six garbage bags of fast foor wrappings from his room. We were trapping mice in there for a week after he left.

I suppose that this plan worked out more or less. It was not a complete solution, but he did improve and got to the point where he could live in an apartment.
He got a job and got a promotion. He did nto finish college though. I do nto know if his parents felt they accomplished any goal. However they new that they had to follow through or loose all credibility with him and then they would not have any influence whatsoever.
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:26 AM
26 posts, read 250,691 times
Reputation: 46
Just think what would happen if both parents died suddenly. How would the 18 year old survive then? What skills have been taught to him? Regardless of what happened or didn't happen in the past, the future should be the focus.
From the little I have read so far, it seems this kid has the smarts to begin acting independently, and maybe the sooner the better?

Oh, by the way, if you do decide to throw the bum out, don't forget to call a locksmith to rekey your locks.
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:52 AM
Location: Minnesota
987 posts, read 3,390,921 times
Reputation: 356
Do not throw him out. The kid needs to be shown how and needs support. He also needs self confidence, eg., he needs to be emotionally OK when asked to do something that has no direct effect on his immediate happiness. Some kids never progress beyond the "I scratch my back you scratch my back" level of personal development, but sometimes it's not the kid's fault. Since you say you've been frustrated since he's been five and if you've tried everyhting in the book, I'd seriously look into some kind of psychological counseling to get to the root of the problem.

A good sign is that he keeps coming back to you. He's asking for help. You need to find a way to connect. It might take a lot of giving first on your part. Don't be a pushover. Like others have said, be firm, fair, and stick to your guns.
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