Adult son will not clean

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by rktman, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. rktman

    rktman New Member

    So after many years of dealing with our troubled son (now 24), we have a relatively stable condition (we know it won't last).
    He lives in an apartment area that we built inside our detached shop. He still has many issues (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)/ADHD, Tourettes, etc), but the one that drives me crazy is the inability to clean or organize anything (himself, his vehicle, and especially his apartment). He will not shave, showers intermittently, yada, yada. His truck(that we maintain) is a trash heap. His apartment is a mess. We check it and clean it every month or so. He constantly lies and makes excuses about cleaning the apartment says "he is working on it". Its getting to the point that we just cant do it anymore.
    We've tried the tough love (clean or leave), but he would just leave, get off his medications, and create a whole new cycle of chaos for us.
    There has to be something we can tell his therapist or neurologist that might help treat this particular problem?
    Any advice is appreciated.
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    My only advice is to not be so involved in his life. He is a man now, whether he is immature, sick, or not. He will do what he wants to do and if you push it he will leave, which may be best for all. But that is your call. Nobody can force an adult to clean up or groom well. If you try or even if his therapist's try, he may just ghost them and never return to see them again. It is best in my opinion to not talk to his therapists. That may enrage him and cause a bad tantrum against you if he knows you interfered.

    My suggestion is to focus on yourself, stop checking his hygiene and apartment and let him grow up himself. Or not grow up...his decision how he lives. You can not push it. It will do no good. The only thing you can do is pull all your financial support and let him leave. Many here have done this. Took us years, but we finally gave our daughter to God and we do not help her monetarily at all nor can she ever live with us. She is 33. We are in our 60s with illnesses and we will not be alive to take care of her forever. She has to learn to survive without us.

    I hope you find a way ro accept your son as he is and let go of him if he becomes hard for you to live with. His hygiene and grooming are in my opinion not your business. My daughter is very sloppy but we never get involved. It saves my husband and me a lot of useless grief. She has mental health problems too but wont go for help and uses pot for all that ails her. We are glad she doesn't live with us. She can't. She will kill us and we have other kids and family who love us and want us alive.

    I suggest if you are a believer, trust your son to God and enjoy your life. These adult kids who bring us here do not listen to us. It is very hard to let go. Very hard. But it is necessary in my opinion for us and for them too

    Be well. !
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  3. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    It needs to be determined what he is capable of doing, how much, etc. The idea of him going off his medications is problematic. What level is he capable of functioning with or without assistance from you?

    if it's a fire hazard or if mice become a problem, you will need to have it cleaned out. Your insurance company won't insure it anymore !f they think it's a fire hazard. What you are describing about the car reminds me of a similar scenario twenty years ago. The guy had mice in his car. It was full of trash, food, etc. If this goes on with his apartment, you will eventually have to call in a hazmat crew. Everything will have to be disposed of, etc.

    I admit this is a situation that would make me give up. I hate to admit it, but I would probably have it cleaned on a regular basis regardless of your son's ability to clean it. This type of behavior would drive me over the edge really fast. Rather than deal with my e.options regarding this problem, I would give in and hire the cleaning service or clean it myself once a week, continuing to slow him to live there. This is just a situation I've seen with friends and relatives. I truly would fall apart under these circumstances.

    I'm sorry I don't have better advice.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  4. Chasejazz

    Chasejazz “No story is a straight line... ".

    I always wondered about the cleanliness issue. I have a son that is the same way...bedroom, apartment car. Not showering regularly. I thought it was a passive/aggressive thing until he got his first apt.
    This is when I realized it was a much larger thing, beyond my control. You are not the only one. I just had to remember that it was not a reflection of me....
    It's hard, I know.
  5. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Its not fun to clean. If your son is lazy, he is. My daughter is married and neither clean. Their very small apartment stunk the last time I was there. They don't care and its not my business. We cant force it. Yes, we tried. Waste of time. Much abuse to us about how we want them to care about "traditional" issues. No more.
  6. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    My difficult child 1 (DC1) doesn't want to take care of his belongings/surroundings.

    He recently had to move back home after graduating with his Bachelor's.

    I take the attitude that the cleanliness of his room is his business (as long as it isn't an issue with bugs etc) to the extent of daily living. However, because he lives in my house, at the beginning of each month, I make him wash his sheets, remove all trash, dust, sweep the floor. Every other month mop the floor .Last month, the window. He balked at first, and was adamant he was not mopping. I explained that the floors have to be mopped once a month (I do mine once a week, but I am trying not to be too controlling and allow for other people's varying ideas of cleanliness) , so he could either do it himself or pay me to do it. Because he has not found work, yet, he opted to do it himself.

    This last time, he told me after he got his room done that he likes the structure . So maybe something is starting to sink in.

    At college, he never washed his sheets the whole semester, and the room was atrocious. He doesn't fold his clothes here at home, either, but I leave that alone , because it is him who walks around with wrinkled clothing.

    We gave him a car to use at school and the vehicle was completely trashed out .He blamed his friends. So last summer when he had gotten into a small accident but didn't tell us and didn't seem to think it should get fixed (it was OUR car!), We signed the car over to him, and told him all expenses regarding the car were now on him. He had a friend drive the car while they were both high , and friend totaled the car. Luckily, nobody was hurt. So DC1 had to move back home after graduation, because he had no car and no money. We refuse to help him with another car.