Sense of Entitlement

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Albatross, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    I don't know why it still amazes me. difficult child has been at his sober living house since February, a nice old house on the beach with a group of committed young men, reasonable rent and lots of support, working hard for a tree service but clearing around $600 a week for the effort. Not bad, considering he was homeless less than 6 months ago.

    I met him yesterday to drop off some stuff and got bombarded with a bunch of badmouthing about...basically having to WORK...at ANYTHING. His boss (the one who hired him when he was down and out and pays him that $600 a week) is a greedy jerk and difficult child wants to "quit making the guy rich."

    We have offered to lend him money to go back to school and I reminded him of that offer. He also has grants available. His response: "Yeah, like I have years and years to go to school to be a doctor or something so I can survive."

    His clothes were mismatched (a fashion forward ensemble of lime green and black patterned swim trunks, brown and white striped polo shirt, blue high tops with no socks) and filthy, his body was filthy, and I'm thinking I might have smelled alcohol on his breath (though to be fair it might have just been his bad breath because it looks like he hasn't brushed his teeth in days). And he was on his way to an interview for an electrician's apprentice program.

    And he was badmouthing how shallow women are, that none of them want to go out with him. I wanted to say, "Shallow is turning down a date because you don't drive a sports car, not because you smell bad and don't seem to care." But I didn't.

    I did tell him that he might want to reschedule the interview and dress in a nice shirt and slacks and prepare a resume. Then I gave him a quick hug and sent him on his way.

    I doubt if he did. He had already blown it off in his mind ("They pay their journeymen 17 bucks an hour! Like I'm gonna live on THAT for the next 4 years!").

    I guess I don't need to ask how the interview went.

    I don't know why it surprises me, but somehow it still does, every time. He just doesn't seem to grasp, or even comprehend, that people WORK IT, whatever IT is.
     
  2. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    Same here. Mine always thinks she works harder than everyone else and should get oh so much more. WHEN she is working that is. LOL

    Right now she thinks she should be able to sit around and complain about all she doesn't have and do very little to change it. We should just fix it for her. ARGH!
     
  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Yep. Mine always said he could not wait to get a job. He was so proud when he got a job at a car wash right around the corner. He lasted 6 hours. It was too hard. I would not drive him around the corner. I would not give him 10 dollars a day so he could buy his lunch........
     
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    I do, Alb. It's because it is 100% different from how we, and a large part of the rest of the world, thinks and behaves. It is not normal. I believe most people gain a sense of satisfaction and esteem from working hard, making a contribution, earning their own way and being good and tired at the end of the day.

    But not difficult children, particularly drug addicts.

    Really, it's the aberrant thinking---way more than the actual drug use, although it's awful and painful to be the presence of my difficult child when he is high----that I dislike the most.

    Actually, I can't stand the thinking and the attitude and the mouthing off and the blame game and the victimhood. I dislike it so much that I end up disgusted and having no respect for the person whose mouth that stuff is coming out of.

    I just plain don't like that kind of thinking----from anyone.

    But I must accept it. I can do that if I have a LOT of distance, time and space between me and that person.

    Way to go, Alb! That is exactly my goal and my aspiration. Listen, smile and then...."give him a quick hug and send him on his way."

    And then, let it all go, what I just heard. And go on about MY life.

    I hope you can let it go, Alb. I know what those kinds of visits can cost us all.

    We just can't change another person, as much as we love them and as much as we would like to. They have to do the work themselves.

    May we all have a growing strength to just....let them go.
     
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Does he realize that $600 a week is a darn good paycheck? Tony has been working for over 30 years and doesnt make that unless he works overtime. That is $30,000 a year! Tony actually doesnt clear that in a year because he gets laid off for weeks at a time in the construction field. And let me be clear, Tony has never been homeless, never been in rehab, never used hard drugs.
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Actually, the entitlement ends when the money is no longer given to the kid...along with the car, the internet, the other toys. It makes them LIVID, but they eventually stop expecting you to hand them these perks that they didn't work for and have no intention of working for and expect you to hand out to them just because they don't want to work but, like a little kid, still want to have "toys." The longer any parent keeps handing out free money, for any reason, to an adult difficult child, the more they continue the entitlement. Many parents do it because their adult kid threatens to leave them forever or to hurt them or cause damage to the house or (fill in the blanks) if it isn't handed out. The hard part is right after the commitment to make the adult woman or man make his own money without the endless excuses about not being able to find a job, not making enough money, etc. etc. etc.

    Alb, I have to wonder why you'd give your son any money for school right now. He isn't going to buckle down and get a career. He isn't on that path. I wouldn't even bring it up, if it were me. It may give him ideas about telling you he's going to school just to get money, then blow it on drugs or other things you didn't give it for. You can't know if he is really going to classes because of his age. He is not going to be serious in college now.

    Our 18-21 year old kids are sadly against the odds. Most adult children that age are in college seriously, or they work full time and often help out at home if they still live there or pay rent or get their own apartments, or many join the services and fight for our country. They don't have time to stamp a foot and ask for gas money to "have fun." If we want our entitled 18-21 year olds to ever grow up we have to cut off the money train. I'm convinced that is the most important step and the only reason why 36 actually has a nice house of his own, a good job, and pays his own bills because he'd gladly let us do it. But we refused very early on. And my daughter? She may have kept using drugs if we handed her money rather than making her life very hard and boring. 36, in particular, is a taker. But you can't take what somebody won't give.

    Good luck getting the strength to cut off the money supply. And don't believe there are no jobs. In our little bitty town which is basically depressed still, almost all of my daughter's high school friends are working this summer, many full time, to help pay for college, useage of the car, and other bills. They do not have fancy jobs, most are fast food, but they are working their tails off. I see them all over since it is a small area. The job market is better. It is our adult kids who don't want to work who whine that they can't get jobs. If you really want one, you will get one. At the very least, you can babysit for neighbors or mow lawns for older people.

    Stopping the endless party and the money may not make our lazier adults get jobs, but they sure won't be entitled and eventually, they stop asking for money because they know the answer.
     
  7. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    The sense of entitlement and ingratitude for everything that is given to him may be the thing that makes me craziest. I think mine may have finally figured out he has to get a job. He does have an interview tomorrow and I guarantee he won't be getting paid $600 a week! That's $15.00 per hour! $31,200 per year! My state job starts lawyers at $37,000. That anyone without a college degree would think that is too low blows my mind.
     
  8. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Mine too! I would be THRILLED to be making this much $!

    MWM, my post may have been poorly worded. We do not supply any money to difficult child. He was couch surfing and homeless, took himself to detox and has been on his own since then. He bought his own car and pays his own bills.

    You would think having secured those things on his own would give him a more realistic viewpoint. Another reason for my amazement at his sense of entitlement.

    And Lordy NO, I would NOT give him $ to pay tuition! I know it would NOT go for tuition! In his more optimistic moments he had talked about chipping away at an associate's degree and we offered to cover a class a semester and have him pay it back when he got it back through the tuition tax credit. But you are right, he is not in the frame of mind to be a student right now.
     
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Good for you, Albatross! :) I misunderstood.

    It is for their own good to cut of our money to them.

    My daughter went back to school after the drug scene was over for her. Your son may choose to do that too. Keep the Faith :)
     
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am glad you are not supporting him. THis is where you learn to practice being a bobblehead doll - when he spouts off this nonsense, just smile and nod and in your head work on your grocery list or whatever. Nothing that you say will change ANYTHING other than for him to think he can 'borrow' money and 'go to school' meaning in his mind he will take your $$, party, pretend he is going to school and never intend to pay you back. This WILL be the result if you actually 'loan' him the school money you have offered. Take that offer off of the table.

    He may or may not ever change his tune, but you don't have to stress over that. Smile, nod, and let life teach him what he needs to know. Your time being responsible for paying his way is over. With some luck, in 10 or 15 yrs you and he will be able to laugh over this as he will have learned how wrong he is right now. Some people simply cannot learn ANYTHING unless they learn it the hard way. difficult children generally tend to be this way. let your difficult child be as entitled as he can afford to be on his own dime.
     
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  11. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    HAHA, yes, a bobblehead doll! That image is exactly what I am going to carry in my mind for future kvetching sessions. Another little (albeit frustrating) lesson in detachment.

    Oh, and for the record, he starts work at 7 A and usually stops about 8 P, 5 or 6 days a week. Not great hourly pay, obviously, but 21 year olds can do that (and hopefully be too tired to get into other kinds of trouble).

    Thanks for letting me vent, ladies, and for helping me put it in perspective.
     
  12. Echolette

    Echolette Well-Known Member

    Adopting this policy changed everything for me with my 4 kids and even my SO. I don't have to say "gee, that dumb idea won't work, you know that, right?" because....life will teach them that! I try to think before I open my mouth with any suggestions or corrections or reactions...do I need to teach this, or will life?

    It has been a huge relief.

    That being said, Alb, I totally get this. It so SOOO aggravating. I think I dealt better with failing out of school, lying, and stealing and doing drugs than I did with his weird self aggrandizement, as Child described it with her SO "working around the margins" convinced they can get away with stuff, outsmart people...I used to want to just smack him (but I didn't1!!!) . It made me so agitated...got right under my skin. so I get it!

    But saying "no, dummy, that is ridiculous" or "where do you get off with that attitude, mister? look how you've already messed up so much..." doesn't help.

    Deep breaths and maybe banging some nails in private might.

    Hugs and affection to you today

    Echo
     
  13. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Well I am very quick to assume and report the bad in difficult child and haven't been fair in this instance.

    It turns out difficult child's boss had been using again and checked himself into detox. difficult child was in panic mode about what would happen to the business and his job. Belligerence is his usual response when he feels cornered.

    He and a coworker have been bidding on jobs and dealing with customers while boss was in detox. A very nice thing for difficult child to do, especially considering he hates dealing with other humans in something like sales.

    I suppose I've earned a right to be skeptical, but I shouldn't have automatically slipped into condemnation.

    Guess I'm just putting this down here so I can feel I've been fair and remind myself to keep my mind open next time.
     
  14. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Ha!.. I know this is from an oldish post, but it just made me laugh, I've had this exact conversation with my son. :)

    ... I'm very glad your son was telling the truth on this occasion, it's understandable that you didn't believe him though, they don't really have a good track record in deserving belief or confidence from us do they?
     
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