I don't want to leave this board--he's almost 18!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    difficult child will be 18 this month. So exciting! But terrifying.
    Tomorrow, husband takes him out to lease a car. husband loves leases because he can walk away in 3yrs. He has a sportscar that is too close to the ground to drive in the snow, so this winter he will be using the shared car with-difficult child a few times. Other than that, it will be totally difficult child's.
    difficult child has to pay for gas, part of the insurance, keep up his grades and be respectful.
    I am writing a contract like a POA and will take it to our atty's office next week to have it notarized. One of the items in it will be that in order for us to keep the car for him, he must take his medications and must stay in school. We'll probably make it contingent upon his going to a 2-yr tech school, as well, since he doesn't want to go to college. (He doesn't get it that working at McDonald's for min wage isn't a smart career path.)

    I have been on this board since he was in elementary school. I will go to Parent Emeritus, but will toggle back and forth to this board. Breaking up is hard to do! It's sort of like graduation and a funeral at the same time.

    We are giving him his annual birthday party with-close family and friends at the local Japanese restaurant on Sunday. Plus use of the car. And then there's Christmas.

    The last time we were at the therapist's office, he said that he is excited about turning 18 but he is very worried about all the responsibilities. We've been trying to pile it on, so he doesn't stay out all night and that sort of thing. He'll be living at home for 2 more yrs. At least, that's the plan.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow, Terry, hard to believe your difficult child is turning 18 already! I hadn't even thought about the fact that in June difficult child will be 18 and then I'll be going to both boards! In some ways I feel like my difficult child acts so much younger that for him I might still be on general quite a bit.

    I like that you are making a contract with him about the car! Having him stay on his medications and stay in school is smart to have in the contract!! I hear you about the smart career path. difficult child told us at one point that next year he was going to just work full time (as a busboy/dishwasher which he does now). We told him that if he planned to continue to live at home then he would be going to school. Only my difficult child will not be going on to Tech school but back to high school. Due to his disabilities, he is eligible to be on the "out" team for 3 years. I'm hoping by the end of that point that difficult child will be able to be in a supported or independent living situation.

    Way to go on making it to 18 for both you and difficult child! I know it's been a challenge at times!
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you! Challenge isn't the half of it!
    Yes, I worry, like you do, about an independent living situation. difficult child falls for every marketing scam and scheme out there. He signs receipts without looking to see what they're for. I just know he's going to move out someday and rent the first apartment that comes along and end up with a mess, both financially and physically, since he seems to be allergic to cleaning (or brushing his teeth).
    Fingers crossed.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child is the same way when it comes to marketing scams and has absolutely no ability to save. I'm guessing we will need guardianship when he turns 18 if he qualifies for Social Security which we are told he will (we'll see).
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hey Terry, I don't start a lot of posts about difficult child anymore because he's pretty "even keel" at 19, but I still consider myself a General poster! I haven't really made the transition to PE...General was the life line when I arrived here 12 years ago and I can't cut the cord!

  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    LDM and TJ2... please don't quit General. You're the "old hands" who can help the rest of us...

    You're welcome to hang out on more than one board, though. ;)
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So, difficult child stayed out until almost 10 last night, when his school curfew is 8:30. We had dinner at his fave restaurant with his bmom and bgrandmother and a couple of friends, and then went home where two more friends were waiting. Had cake (more like fudge) and then difficult child took his friends home.
    When he finally got home, I told him he was very late. He said, "I got lost." He told me which neighborhood it was in. I said, "Next time, call and tell me you're lost."
    Then I thought ... "Wait, don't do that. It will make it worse. What I'm trying to tell you is that I was worried."
    He's stretching the limits ... but since he's only had the car 1-1/2 days, and the person he took home had moved, I'll let it go this one time.
    Otherwise, as husband says, difficult child is going to spend a lot of time *just looking* at that new car in the driveway ...

    His actual birthday is tomorrow. I'll make a boxed, gluten free cake and steak for him. And he'll stay home. :)
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Terry, wherever you decide to post you will be an inspiration and help to other parents. You have stood firm when others have not. Your hard work has helped your son become a decent young man with a good heart. Not saying he's perfect or will never try to get away with something, but I am amazed at just how far he has come. So post where you feel comfortable or on both forums. Any forum would be lucky to have your wisdom. Can't argue with success. Your son KNOWS that you will do what you say, no matter how he tries to con you. And I believe he loves and respects you and your husband very much. Amazing parenting here ;)
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ohhhh thank you, MWM. Our wisdom is certainly hard-earned. I cannot believe we've come this far. I am sitting here at my computer just as though he's kicking the door in like it was today. Sheesh.

    Boy, am I stressed out. His birthday is Wed, not tomorrow. haha
    I just finished 10 watercolors for a guy who is self-publishing a children's book. I have two more commissions this week. And just got a phone call that there is an opening for my cousin in a convalescent center. She is going to have a fit. But at least difficult child is not raging. I can't deal with-both of them at the same time.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Wow! He has come a long way! So nice to hear (read) :) I agree, you are an inspiration!!!
  11. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Terry, are you looking forward to having the freedom that comes with 18??? At least the legal freedom lol
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Guideme, actually, husband and I are creating a POA that includes items such as taking medications, curfews, staying in school, and respectfulness. If I weren't up to my eyeballs in alligators, moving my cousin from assisted living to a convalescent center (and re-homing her cat) and dealing with-her histrionics, I would have had the contract typed by now.
    So ... yes, I like the freedom as long as my son texts me where he is.
    We're trying to decide on weekend curfews. Of course, he'll want to stay out late, but when I have to sleep with one eye open until I hear that door click, I get sleep deprivation and it's not a pretty sight. We'll figure something out.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    My parents had a pretty good rule for us as adult kids living at home... keep in mind, all of us had "pretty good friends" (even GFGbro who was into the drug scene back then), which is why it worked so well.

    The rule was: home by midnight, OR plan ahead (i.e. before 11 pm) and tell them where we would be spending the night.
  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, problem solved for the time being. difficult child skipped classes and went to the park with-friends. No car, and he's grounded. :)
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Ohh 18! A whole new step! Mine is trying the, "I am 18 so I get to make my own decisions now." Ugh. I love how you put a smile after the sentence about being grounded so you know he is safe and you can get your sleep. I didn't sleep much while Diva was going through her teen years of running late with an older crowd.

    I called my difficult child at 9:45 tonight to ask where he was. "Mom, I work until midnight!" Oh shoot but at least I know where he is and what he is doing.

    What a challenge to find that balance of keeping the boundaries in place yet recognizing that at 18 some things do change. You are always prepared as with the POA. Your difficult child is blessed to have you watching out for him even if he may not understand why his boundaries have been set a certain way.

    It is a huge disappointment that he has lost his first privilege of being 18. I can hear my son saying, "I am 18 so rules no longer apply." They continue to learn the hard way don't they? I hope that your difficult child realizes that rules are still in place and testing them is not the way to go. After 18 years why can't our guys figure that out? Would be wonderful if the kids would grab onto the responsibilities as fast and proud as they claim the privileges! ~Sigh~
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    "When I am 18, I get to do what I want to do. You can't tell me what to do."

    "When you are living on your own and supporting yourself, independent of us, you can do that. Not until. Legally, though, you are now responsible if you break the law. It will stay on your record. Nobody can do what they want to do without consequences, not at any age."

    That's what I told my kids.
  17. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Hugs TerryJ2, time flies by so fast doesn't it? I wish you the best and I also thank you for everything see you here and in 4 years at PE :) Hugs and Happy Birthday to your difficult child!!!!
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I called the guidance counselor at school and asked him to check with-difficult child about an entire day that was missed in Nov.
    Also, last week, difficult child put 360 miles on his new car.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You were expecting something different? difficult child + license + car = go driving... anywhere, just drive.

    Of course he'd put that much on in one week. That's "only" 36 hours of highway driving, or about 5 hours a day.
  20. Origami

    Origami Active Member

    My "almost 18" difficult child says he doesn't want to turn 18 because then he can't get away with half the things he does. Like when he told some policemen that they should go eat some doughnuts before they arrested him a few weeks ago. (the case was dropped)