Newbie seeking advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by redl8ebug, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. redl8ebug

    redl8ebug New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I have an 18 y/o son who was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 8, but in the past several years his anger has been growing and turning him into a person I don't much care for. He got his girlfriend pregnant and I am basically supporting them by paying 90% of their rent, bills, buying him a car, etc. His father left us after my son was born and hasn't had much to do with him his whole life. Lately he has been treating me horribly - swearing at me, acting like my sole purpose in life is to make his life miserable. I have done everything for him and he doesn't seem to care one little bit. His girlfriend even said he needed help with his anger, but he refuses help. He is downright rude to adults, his bosses, random people, etc. and I am afraid he is going to be a jerk to the wrong person and get hurt or end up in jail - or God forbid hurt his girlfriend or the baby once it comes. When he isn't angry he is a very caring person....but lately the anger has been taking over.

    How do I help him if he doesn't want help????

    Thanks in advance for any advice you guys have.
     
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to the board. Sorry you have to be here.

    Im going to ask a question that is going to sound really bad I know...but why are you buying him a car and other niceties if he is being a jerk to you?

    I also have a son who is a real jerk to me at times and he gets zilch from me. He has a wonderful baby who is the love of my life and I do buy her stuff but it stays at my house. Sometimes you have to withdraw the gravy train to show them you arent going to be taken advantage of anymore. You are so correct in saying if he is a jerk to the wrong person it will end up in a bad way.
     
  3. IMSnoopee

    IMSnoopee New Member

    Oh my gosh... I'm sorry, but you're enabling your son. As guilty as you may feel for him not having his father around, having to go through life with disabilities, etc. -- you gotta know that it's not all your fault.

    And you know what? I bet ya he's pissed! I'd be pissed. I'd be really pissed knowing my dad walked out and I've been dealt a cruddy hand. But that doesn't excuse his anger toward you or anyone.

    My oldest son's father hasn't even tried to meet his son. The two younger boy's dad is an blankety blank blank. Clueless! And I feel guilty -- used to feel a lot more guilty, but now? What can I do? I know I instill good morals, self respect, manners, and good work ethic. But the days of mom killing herself over things she had no control over are gone. And I suggest you do the same.

    And there's no forcing your son into counseling, etc. if he doesn't want it. I do suggest you get your own counseling to make you stronger in your decision to tell your son he's old enough and capable to support his own car habit, etc.


    :wink:
     
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You sound like my sister - she handed everything to her problem son, often at the expense of her other children, in an attempt to make up for all his problems (he was badly neglected as a baby before my sister adopted him, he had learning problems, his adoptive father was openly cruel to him, etc). But all he ever gave my sister in return was heartache. Any material possessions she gave him, he pawned for drugs. He certainly didn't value what came so easily. Late with rent? Ask Mum. Threatening to quit the job because he's too tired to walk there? Ask Mum for a car. Quit the job anyway, the boss is a jerk. He always nags when I make a mistake.

    There is this thing called tough love. Janet could tell you all about it. So could many others here.

    Think about what you're doing - he's being a jerk, aggressive, violent - and you are rewarding this with material things, money and doing things to make his life easier. So why would he start being nice to you? Being a ratbag is bearing enough fruit, what more would he get from you if he started being nice?

    OK, he's had a raw deal with a father who walked out. Look at it another way - if he hadn't walked out, what sort of positive role model would that father have been? He probably did the boy a favour.

    It's not too late but you have your work cut out for you and there is now a grandchild involved. Things are now much more complicated.

    What do you do? Focus on the girlfriend and your grandchild. Support them. Like Janet said, anything you buy the baby stays with the baby, or with you.

    But stop being a doormat. You're teaching him to treat you (and others) like dirt. And you're not enjoying it either.

    Read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. I know he's legally an adult, but in that brain of his, he's far from it. The techniques will work on him too, but with 18 years of bad habits to break it's going to be tough for a while.

    You say he won't do anger management? Make it conditional. He's a child, he needs your parental guidance and a firm hand. But with things as they are now, you can't suddenly turn into a controlling parent, you need to find a way to set things up a piece at a time. Serious suggestion - girlfriend sounds like she's on side, she must see something in him that she loves, so involve her. Find a psychologist or counsellor you can go to with her, talk things through and work out a plan. You and she need to be a combined force. Don't ask this of her if she can't stand up to him enough, but also don't confront him too much just yet. Get a feel, work out patterns, find a :censored2: which will let you begin small change then work up to larger change.

    But certainly, stop bailing him out like this or he will never learn.

    My sister has lost everything she ever had, because she spent it all on her children. They use her as a free babysitter, then when they want more from her they use the kids as a bargaining chip - "give me what I want or you'll never see your grandchildren again."

    You don't want this.

    Meanwhile, support girlfriend through the pregnancy. You can help in practical ways of course, and they both do need it. he probably is an idiot with managing his affairs and I know husband & I will be helping our Aspie kids with this for much longer than would be expected. difficult child 1 is determined to manage independently, but still needs to be reminded to take his very bad cold/bronchitis to a doctor (in Australia, each one of us has public health insurance from birth). difficult child 1 also needs new prescriptions for some of his medications, but can't organise himself to see a doctor and ask for them. In the last month he actually bought his own medication from the pharmacy - a first. And this is a 23 year old Aspie who is being cooperative!

    Yes, your son needs support. We help our kids with balancing their bank accounts, setting up direct debits, chasing up support and paperwork, talking them through it all. And yes, during those stressful times they can get abusive and we have screaming matches. But we recognise that this is coming from panic and frustration so we ignore it. We don't reward it and we will walk away until they calm down, but we don't punish it. We do ask for apology and these days it often comes unprompted. We continue to provide this sort of support. But not financial, and certainly not unconditional under these circumstances. But he now has bad habits which will take time and pain to unlearn.

    We're here for you through this process. Get girlfriend to read here as well, it might help her cope.

    Marg
     
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    This site censor has me completely confused. I haven't got a clue what word just got censored - I think it was "t e c h n i q u e". It had a similar meaning, anyway!

    Marg
     
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