19 year old son refuses to get a job

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by tripletmom, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. tripletmom

    tripletmom New Member

    I am so needing advice... my son graduated from high school in 2016. He picked up a couple of odd jobs in the summer (mostly when pushed by my husband or myself) and refused to take classes at the local community college in the fall. He spent his fall months "researching jobs'... mostly 'on-line' type jobs. He tried two of them and found that they only gave a couple of hours a day or the job was beyond his ability. He still insists on finding an on-line job and also wants to take on-line classes. He is not anti social ... but is not extremely social either. He has a friend a couple of years younger than himself and they like to hike and just hang out. No drugs involved (very good son in that way). He just seems afraid to move on with his life. The problem is that although he applied to some local stores (like hardware and garden center). He is very negative about actually getting a job there. He has become verbally abusive when pushed to pursue other job options. He is stressing the whole family out. His twin brother has gone through a time of depression due to the death of a close friend (this was not a friend of son #1) and is needing for his brother to be busy/productive during the day so he can have a time of healing. Triplet sister is taking a full load of classes... I'll start there... any suggestions?
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi tripletmom.

    I would suggest either Job Corps or the military (not combat), but both will require his consent. The other possibility, gap year programs, many of which are international, if finances allow.

    All of the behaviors you mention my son manifested, except there were other things going on, too. (I do not think that being a triplet would be easy, so I would not discount this factor.)

    My son went to Job Corps at 19 (I pushed him.) I have only good things to say about the program. Great supervision. Great trainings. Free. They are housed and fed. My son attended at Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay but there are sites all over the country.

    My son is now 28. He is much improved. But still he has issues.

    The way parents do this is they give the child a move out date to work towards, as a means of motivating them. And then they actually hold them to account, even if it means homelessness.

    In our case when my son turned 23, I kicked him out. I had talked myself into believing it would help. It did not. It made things worse for a long time, until my son began maturing.

    There are no easy answers for most of us. My son did not use drugs either, but when I kicked him out, he began heavy dependence on marijuana (which I hate). But at the time I kicked him out, I felt I had to do something. (I remember I hired a pastor-type guy to work with him, to hang out. My son blew it off. He refused therapy. It is painful to remember how desperate I felt in those years.)

    I could think of no other option to kicking him out at 23. I had tried them all. The verbal abuse, hostility, absolute intractability, and unwillingness to do anything to conform to a family environment, to seek help for himself, had me cornered. *I had pushed college (he did a year, barely; 2 job trainings, and had worked at his longest job for 15 months.) Pretty good for 22, but we reached an impasse. I could not bear more of the conflict. He was increasingly depressed and indolent. It was not getting better.

    Other parents will respond tomorrow morning. I wish I had answers for you but ten years later I am still flummoxed about what to do. This is a process, that is all I can say.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    There is NEVER a guarantee that once in the miiitary your son will not be sent into combat. When you sign up, you are offering to fight. You cant bargain on this. My hub is a ten year vet snd maintains friendships with vets and those in the military now. When there us a war, anyone is fair game. Many shocked kids in tje National Guard were sent to Iraq. I would not go thrre with your son. Evrn just bring near combat could destroy his life and he would have no control over what the military telos him to do. My hub mever went into combat, but he knew it could happen and was willing to fight. As it was, he lost a great deal of his hearing by working on airline flight lines. The military is for mentally strong young people and even they tend to break if sent into combat, always a good possibilty.

    Now...I have yet to see a way to force our failure to launch kids to launch. If they dont want to, they dont. We can take steps and hope they motivate them, such as cutting off the money for allowance, toys, cars. Some give a deadline for a job or make their adult child leave. At your sons young age, id try motivation first. No job, no money.

    More importantly I think your son needs to be evaluated for certain disorders or mental illness and you can insist he helps hiimself in this way or he has six months to get ready to move out. Or you can just refuse to pay for anything unless he cooperates.If you support him while he doesnt help himself, he may never launch into adulthood and independence.

    At 19, try not to let fear of a job become his way of life. If he is mentally ill, now is the time for him to get help, before he falls into helplessness and starts to think he is hopeless. He is not hopeless or becomes eternally dependent on you.He needs help though. Professionals can diagnose him and treat him and offer therapy. If he qualifies as disabled he can receive social security. More importantly, he qualifies for Thr Dept. Of Workforce Development and they eork feverishly to get thieir clients appropriate jobs. Tjey have connections and even offer on-the-job coaches, as needed.

    My son is autistic. He has always worked because of them. He gets only a little social security to supplement him. All of his friends, most mildly disabled, also have part time jobs with some social security. My son pays his own bills and lives in an apartment he pays for. Its not fancy or big, but its clean and cozy and he does for himself. Without these services, which he barely needs anymore, he would never have reached this point. He is 23 and quite confident and happy. We live near him but I csnt think of the last time he called for help. We ARE his payees and pay his bills for him, but it is out of his own money, not ours.

    The earlier you gently encourage your son to get help, the easier it is. Sounds like he has issues and as his mom you are too emotionally involved to objectively figure out what they are and you dont have the resources to help him. Its not your fault.

    Reach out. Teach your son where to go to reach out. He needs these skills. Do this while he is still young.

    In the end, you need his cooperation. And if he wont help himself and wont work, you have to decide how long you wish to support him while he does nothing.

    Your son not being on drugs is a big positive. But something is obviously different about him as most older teens are eager to launch and be independent. He may have mild autism or some other invisible disability.

    It all starts with knowing what is different about him and taking action before not working becomes a habit. Do not be acraid to find out. This sets you both back.

    Lots and lots of love and luck.
  4. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    Take him to a homeless shelter and have lunch there with all the homeless people. Inform him that he will be living there unless he gets a job. Give him a set period of time to either sign up for local college, get a job, or move out.

    Teach him about the "Golden Rule" (He who has the gold/money rules! [you].)
  5. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Why is he resistant to community college? If he takes online classes, do you think he would be serious enough to complete them and do well? He might need to be evaluated for anxiety disorder.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    This is a long shot...but perhaps something to consider. I understand there are coaches that help young people move forward in life. And, there are even ADD coaches. He may or may not have ADD, but someone with added training might be particularly good with young people who are easily distracted, have mild depression or a variety of issues. It might be something to look into to help develop goals, an action plan and get some accountability.

    Our son went through about 12-18 months of madness. Thank goodness, this passed with some tough love techniques and he is actually mega responsible today. Anyway, if he used curse words while living in our home, we charged him $1. His other option was to move out.
    We also provided / paid for therapy for him (short term).