Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Paris, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. Paris

    Paris New Member

    I have a really hard time with sticking to consequences. I took my son's car away and was no longer giving him money because he will not go to school or get a job. He just turned 18 last week. He dropped out of school one year ago and has been in and out of schools ever since. He just got an IEP, so we start a new school on Monday. I'm sure he will quit that one too eventually.

    He is on Zyprexa, but just started a new medication yesterday (Effexor), because his doctor said he is more depressed than manic. That's because he just happens to only see him when he is in depression!

    Yesterday he finally got up, showered, and went to the mall with me! YAY!! I thought he'd never come out of it! : ( BUT I ended up letting him take the car to a friend of his and giving him money so they could see a movie! Argh
    I was just so happy that he wanted to be out and to see someone.

    My mom says I'm enabling him, but yet, it was my mother that always got my brother out of trouble when he was a teen and enabled the :censored2: out of him! Now he is a total square, college graduate, owns two business's, a wife and 2.5 kids. She spent all of her money getting him attorneys to keep him out of jail, and she's shocked at how I'm raising my son?????? What's that saying? The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree??

    What should I do????? I could hang in there and hope he turns out like my brother, but what if he doesn't and I made the wrong choice???????
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    To me, it seems useless to have consequences if you can't follow through with them. If you can't keep 'em, don't make 'em is my motto. No question keeping consequences is hard but when do kids start respecting us if we don't value our own word?

    As to your mother, it is much easier to be on the outside and see where you are enabling that it is to be the one enabling. And maybe she's trying to get you to not make the same mistakes she felt she made. Who knows?

    There is no way I would give a kid who uses pot or drinks the use of a car. It ultimately puts too many people at risk -- the driver, any passengers, anyone on the road with this person. Ditto giving them money. I'd never be sure it was going for the purpose intended or to get dope. Sorry, but there is no way I would take the risk of my child dying because I felt bad and let her use a car or have money. She'd have to get a car and money on her own.

    Now, having taken the hardline stance (mainly because I lost someone very close to me due to a kid high on pot), I will admit I do understand how hard it is to always stick with the consequences. Sometimes we discover the consequences are harder on us than our kids. Other times, we just love our kids too much to see them that miserable. If the consequence isn't working, do what you feel is right for you and yours.
  3. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Mothers always have opinions. But, my question to you is - are you enabling him? What do YOU think?

    in my opinion- hanging in there doesn't mean giving him your car and $$$$ so he can go to a movie with a friend. When my son was 18 - and was working part time and going to school full time - I would not have given him money to go to a movie. I may have let him borrow my car - so long as he put gas in it.

    I know it's hard to follow through with consequences. Like meowbunny said - you're better off not giving any consequences than giving them and then not following through.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Consequences are the small out of prison punishments we give our children in the hopes that they will start to obey and stay out of prison.

    At 16 in most states life becomes adult for most of our children. The law recognizes them that way, and after 15.11 years of seeing them as our babies, it's hard to look at someone almost twice our size and say "Okay kid, you're and adult now so I'm giving you adult consequences."

    I would say in most cases of parents of difficult child's with younger children the reason there is no "follow through" with our consequences is because we don't know how to give a proper consequence in the first place and we cave in before the time is served because the kid finds other things to do and maybe piles up more consequences rendering us the person who has to stand there and actually believe he is not grounded FOR LIFE, won't HAVE THE CAR until he's 64 (if you add up the time you just gave IN consequence world), and he will probably be grounded to his room until he's 109 years old.

    So the best thing I can tell you is if you say it - mean it. If you say "YOU can't have the car until you get a job." Then that is what you mean, you have to overlook how depressed he is, how much you wish he would just get out of the house because - you said it. It does MORE damage to take it back than it does to suffer it out and actually send your child the message you mean what you say.

    Like I said not knowing HOW to render a proper consequence is usually the first place you should self-examine yourself. Are your consequences something you both can live with? Are they consistent? Are you passing these consequences out when you are hot-headed or have you allowed yourself time to cool down and then speak your mind? difficult child's can get us so worked up - we say things we really don't mean and then back down from them in turn making everything that comes out of our mouth (actually) a half truth to a kid.

    If it helps you = sit down one night and make a list of VIOLATIONS - then make a list next to that of consequences. When your son does X - open up your list after you've had time to cool off and say BECAUSE YOU DID X THIS IS THE PUNISHMENT. Even at 18 - there have to be house rules. And EVERYONE has to abide by them. There are rules in school, rules at work, rules for riding the rollercoaster, rules for society - but most often we just assume our kids KNOW the rules at home. Write them down, post a copy on the fridge - there are a lot of archives here for that or you can ask for help - and then sit down with your son and go over the list of rules and consequences and then have him sign it - like a contract. That way when they are broken - no excuses - you know what the punishment is and for how long.

    You can even allow difficult child to have some input about the consequences by asking him what he thinks is fair. When you both have house rules you can live with - then there will be no questions, less stress and none of you beating yourself up about it. Do any of us here NOT look the other way or wipe the slate clean occasionally in an effort to boost our kids self-esteem? Nope - guilty as charged. I understand why you did it. Totally. Anything you can do sometimes to boost their spirits - seems like a fair trade doesn't it?

    As far as your Mom goes - in a way she's right, maybe after all her years raising kids - she learned a thing or two. Don't take offense to it. You're the Mom of your home. If she bailed your brother out and he turned out okay - hey good for him. Times are different, the world is different, the stakes seem higher now for our kids.

    And in closing - I've been hit by cars with drunk drivers 7 times in my life, the first time I got hit by a college kid on Christmas break, who was smoking pot with a friend. He let the friend drive, they hit me - they laughed all the time they were in the hospital while I had to have my head shaved for stitches and learning how to walk again took over a year. I got lucky that time - I lived.

    It's not your fault he drinks - but if you hand him the keys to the car when he may drink? It's something to think about for sure.
  5. Paris

    Paris New Member

    Great idea to write the rules down. I'm not consistent, I stick to the consequences until he goes into a depression and then I'm so happy that he's out of it I break the punishment! At least my mother was consistent, there were never consequences, so she never had to worry about going back on her word.

    My sister, my brother, and myself were horrible teens. We just one day got our act together. I have 19 years sober now, sober since 21 years old.

    I'm worried that he may take that long, or worse even longer...

    Times are different now. The kids here drive around in BMW's, Mercedes, Escalades, and have endless amounts of money. Whatever happened to working for it?
    They just live off their parents. And his friends think I'm mean because I bought my son a Nissan truck and not a BMW! The embarrassment! Their credit cards don't have limits, my son has a $20.00 limit. They can go anywhere on vacation all expenses paid (by parents). I let my kids travel, but I have to go with them and we travel coach.

    I'm rationalizing I know!! But I get SOME comfort in knowing I'm not as bad as the rest of my neighborhood. That has to count for something????
  6. Paris

    Paris New Member

    Oh and the using and driving thing, he has been sober for almost two weeks, so I thought it was safe. Although, he says he's going to start smoking weed again : (
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911


    You'll do fine - really. Just the fact that you were searching for help and suggestions, landed you here. And I think that the majority of households with teenagers in them suffer some type of drama now and then. You just don't get to be privy to it.

    You're a good Mom - heck if you bought ME a Nissan - I'd be your kid, but I do suffer from situational depression, but then again-if I was your kid I wouldn't have my kid and I'd have a Nissan and I wouldn't BE depressed.

    WEll there is our answer - you tell your kid he's got to come her and parent my kid - and he will forget all about what makes him depressed there and I will be cruising around in a Nissan with a pre paid visa - sssswwwweeeeeet!

    I even clean up after my self.

    In all seriousness - do the rules, write it down, get it signed like a contract - and go from there.

  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    It's the wee hours of the morning and I just have to ask :hammer: is your brothers .5 kid the top half or the bottom
    half?? :smile: DDD
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    In the daylight, lol, I don't want you to think I was being flip,
    Paris. I agree completely with the thoughtful responses you have
    gotten from experienced members. on the other hand...the 2.5 gave me a laugh
    in the middle of the night! Hugs. DDD
  10. Paris

    Paris New Member


    LOL! I guess it's all relative right? The parents in my neighborhood think I am waaaaay too strict. ha ha They say that's why my son is the way he is!! Now, if I would have just bought that darn BMW! I wouldn't have had these problems! Argh