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Old 06-14-2007, 04:34 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 15,895,915 times
Reputation: 7531

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SandyCo...

There is a part 2 to our story...I waited to see if anyone else would mention it because I hate this part of our lives, but here goes...and please, I truly am only trying to help...

My son did not graduate high school until he was 19 - he started late, he had problems. He had horrible self-esteem. He tried a semester of college, bombed out in a big way, and said we were wasting our money and his time...and proceeded to sit down for the next year. He SAID he was looking for a job, and I will admit he made some half-hearted attempts, but he would inevitably come home saying the company wasn't hiring, it was boring, he couldn't live on that kind of money - and he played video games and slept, and we enabled him. Much like your son, he hung out with his friends. I figured his brother was slipping him money, or he was bumming from his friends, and sometimes that was true....but it seemed he had some pocket change all the time, wanted to stay out until all hours, and then slept a lot of the day away. He worked little odd jobs. Can you see where I'm headed with this? He was as stoned as they come; that's why he wasn't motivated to look for any kind of job in any of the traditional places - they wanted a pee test....and he sold a little weed on the side to his friends for his pocket change and to keep himself high. We never really had a clue - he's got some problems with learning, so we chalked up his inability to have any self-confidence at all to that...he was sleeping all day and stayed pretty secluded and went out at night - we were in bed....open your eyes. The answer may be right there. We didn't know until a couple of years ago and were SHOCKED - but part of it was that we were treating him like an adult when he wasn't - age-wise, yes - maturity-wise, no way. We "allowed" (and enabled) him to get by with so much, thinking if we treated him like an adult he would act like one and rise to the occasion. He didn't. I'm not saying all kids are like that - and maybe your child isn't.

Remember how your mother always said, "if you live under my roof, you'll play by my rules"....and that's the way it has to be. I totally agree with the other poster - your mission in life is not to be his best buddy, and you've mentored him now for 19 years. It's time for him to either be a little boy or be a man....and sometimes you have to push the issue a little bit to get the man to come out. In the meantime, be aware of what is going on in your own home....be very aware, and try to do the math if your son won't apply himself to school or to getting a "regular" part-time job. It's not a pretty picture, but it's all too common.
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:11 PM
 
9,124 posts, read 32,094,329 times
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Toss his azz to the curb with just the clothes on his back. It's amazing how "unmotivated" folks tend to suddenly get "motivated" to find a job when they suddenly find themselves cold and hungry........

Bob
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,632,316 times
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My bf's son is addicted to computer games. He hasn't been able to hold a job for more than a couple of weeks, scouls around, and blames everyone else for his lack of success. He still lives with his dad and is 30yrs old.

You don't want this. His father hates it but doesn't take a stand either.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Warwick, NY
1,173 posts, read 5,429,881 times
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I suggest there's something else going on in his life you're not aware of.

First off, how was he when he was younger? Was he like this through high school? Ask youself if this is the kid you've raised and if the answer is, "he isn't," then there's something else. It could be depression, drugs, a relationship, or some other trouble. Rather than just toss him on the street, this may be the time he needs you most though like most guys his age, he's convinced you will judge him harshly, cause him to be embarrassed, or won't understand what's happening in his life.

The very first thing I would suggest doing is to talk to his sister because siblings frequently have a clue when parents don't. She may have an idea. Don't ask her to snitch but ask her what she thinks of his situation and what you might do to help. Do you ever see or talk to his friends? What are they like and what are they doing with their lives? If you don't see them then he likely believes you won't approve of them and in that, he's probably right.

Then, when you've learned what you can, sit down with him, as a family, and talk to him. If your conversations with him frequently end in arguments then get a counselor and have the counselor act as a referee.

The sad fact is you may not be able to help him through whatever it is that's going on in his life to cause him such hesitation, but you can be supportive and help him get help. If you can, get him into counseling. Whether it's just a Prozac a day or something more complex, it could be way to help get him back on track.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:13 PM
 
2,775 posts, read 2,577,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason_Els View Post
I suggest there's something else going on in his life you're not aware of.
First off, how was he when he was younger? Was he like this through high school? Ask youself if this is the kid you've raised and if the answer is, "he isn't," then there's something else. It could be depression, drugs, a relationship, or some other trouble. Rather than just toss him on the street, this may be the time he needs you most though like most guys his age, he's convinced you will judge him harshly, cause him to be embarrassed, or won't understand what's happening in his life.
The very first thing I would suggest doing is to talk to his sister because siblings frequently have a clue when parents don't. She may have an idea. Don't ask her to snitch but ask her what she thinks of his situation and what you might do to help. Do you ever see or talk to his friends? What are they like and what are they doing with their lives? If you don't see them then he likely believes you won't approve of them and in that, he's probably right.
Then, when you've learned what you can, sit down with him, as a family, and talk to him. If your conversations with him frequently end in arguments then get a counselor and have the counselor act as a referee.
The sad fact is you may not be able to help him through whatever it is that's going on in his life to cause him such hesitation, but you can be supportive and help him get help. If you can, get him into counseling. Whether it's just a Prozac a day or something more complex, it could be way to help get him back on track.
Now there's an intelligent response ^^^ Even if you do as so many suggest which is to "kick your son to the curb" basically... you need to understand that will not solve the problem if there is an underlying issue at hand (and there probably is). An issue such as addiction (of any kind), or depression, or something else going on in his life affecting his focus. I know of a 30-something guy who even after moving out of his parent's house 8 years ago is still addicted to video games, and indeed he works for just a bit above minimum wage and lives like a hermit. I know another who was kicked out at 19, who does something similar because of other addictions.

Seriously folks, this black & white quick quip response "kick the kid out" etc... it is not right for most people and although it may make parenting this child easier (you essentially give up and stop being responsible), it doesn't help them. Sure it shows them that you can take a stand... but a stand for what? This is your flesh and blood folks, you raised them from birth in most cases. Take some responsibility for how they turn out, and try to assist.

The situation outlined at the beginning of the thread doesn't illustrate a drastically horrible irreversible situation in my mind, just one where the mother and father need to get on the ball to find out what's really going on in their son's life. Sure things may turn for the worse and then there'll be no choice but to cut him off, but for now, try something a bit more sensible.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,203 posts, read 15,010,458 times
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I'd like to thank everyone for the responses. I really appreciate the time and effort!!!

So... (taking a deep breath here) First of all, he's not on drugs. I'm very conscious of his behavior, and he in no way acts as if he's under the influence of anything. He doesn't sleep too much, doesn't have mood swings, isn't selling his stuff, etc. Also, I know who his friends are, they come over all the time, and they're good guys whom he's known since high school.

Truthfully, he has always been a bit lazy. I had to really push him to finish high school, but once I laid down the law, he rose to the occasion. It's not that he's isn't smart enough; he just doesn't want to bother.

He has all kinds of excuses for failing Spanish. Whatever. As I told him, he needs to look at the results, and the results aren't pretty. He also said he's going to get a job this summer. Okay, and what about his education? He wants to keep going to school.

I'm going to give him one more semester to get his act together. If he doesn't have a "C" average after next semester, then he either needs to begin paying me rent (serious rent, not just a fraction of what I pay!) or he needs to move out. I'm having serious misgivings about paying for his next semester at community college, though. I think he should go beg his grandparents for money at this point! Or he should save up from his part time job.

I'd rather give him too much time than not enough. I think this time line is more than reasonable, and he will not be living at home with me when he's 30!

So, thank you again... I'll keep posting updates from time to time, if that's okay with you guys.

He knows he has to get a job this summer... But he's resisting doing things like fast food. Pride can't get in his way at this stage,
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,632,316 times
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I liked Jason's response too. The problem I see with my bf's 30yr old son is that his father basically just shrugs his shoulders at the situation. So far that hasn't worked.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:33 PM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 15,895,915 times
Reputation: 7531
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyCo View Post
I'd like to thank everyone for the responses. I really appreciate the time and effort!!!

So... (taking a deep breath here) First of all, he's not on drugs. I'm very conscious of his behavior, and he in no way acts as if he's under the influence of anything. He doesn't sleep too much, doesn't have mood swings, isn't selling his stuff, etc. Also, I know who his friends are, they come over all the time, and they're good guys whom he's known since high school.

Truthfully, he has always been a bit lazy. I had to really push him to finish high school, but once I laid down the law, he rose to the occasion. It's not that he's isn't smart enough; he just doesn't want to bother.

He has all kinds of excuses for failing Spanish. Whatever. As I told him, he needs to look at the results, and the results aren't pretty. He also said he's going to get a job this summer. Okay, and what about his education? He wants to keep going to school.

I'm going to give him one more semester to get his act together. If he doesn't have a "C" average after next semester, then he either needs to begin paying me rent (serious rent, not just a fraction of what I pay!) or he needs to move out. I'm having serious misgivings about paying for his next semester at community college, though. I think he should go beg his grandparents for money at this point! Or he should save up from his part time job.

I'd rather give him too much time than not enough. I think this time line is more than reasonable, and he will not be living at home with me when he's 30!

So, thank you again... I'll keep posting updates from time to time, if that's okay with you guys.

He knows he has to get a job this summer... But he's resisting doing things like fast food. Pride can't get in his way at this stage,

SandyCo...

I'm glad you are in touch with your son and I truly hesitated to bring up what was a touchy point in our lives. Mine was lazy from Day 1 of his life as well, so I know what that's like! We did give ours a period of time to pull it together - when he didn't, we felt like we did what was best for OUR son - but that was ours and this one is yours.

At the end of the day, you will have to do as you think best. That first year of college blows a lot of them away -- but don't let him blow it too far away. Give him a semester, but make it clear that this is the end of the financial road for college if he doesn't pull it together - and he can work part-time. Maybe not a whole lot, but he can - guys do it all the time. Perhaps with his love of the computer he could go to work at one of the big box stores - they hire teens all the time - but it will require some regimentation on his part and organization.

Good luck, and keep us posted!
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:16 PM
 
6,585 posts, read 22,378,491 times
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Oh, yes, do keep us posted. I'm sure I'll be facing this myself. My 12 year old lacks motivation and always has. He never even went through the "I'll do it" phase that toddlers go through.
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:15 AM
 
743 posts, read 2,038,087 times
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Wow....my son is only 11, but, I see where he's headed, and I'm petriefied:

1) He underachieves at school (we have tutors, private school, etc. He has dyslexia and adhd)

2) He wants to continually be w/ friends (of course, we limit that...he seems to prefer his friends to us, his family, even at this age, and always has)

3) He's addicted to video games/comp/tv/all electronics (we severly limit that, but he tries to get to that in EVERY spare moment....he even sneaks it at times when he can)

4) He's very self-centered and lazy (He sees everything from HIS perspectie and chronicall complains about doing homework, chores, etc)

5) We also have a "highly motivated golden girl" child who is his polar opposite (I try not to compare....but, come on....how could they be this different

6) He doesn't like to work or have a challenge (he asked me once what could he study in college where when he graduates he could make a lot of money but not really have to work hard)

I am worried already about his future and how he will get through HS and college and life, in general. Your posts here gave me even more cause for worry.

Does anyone have any practical advice or suggestions for addiction? I really have begun to think my son has an "addictive personality"....I see it w/ video games and also w/ junk food or sweets (even though he's very skinny, he can't seem to control himself when we have such food in the house).

I am trying to take "preventive" measures.

Any insights would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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