difficult child left after christmas breakfast


New Member
husband said he would just be home long enough to see what he could get and then he would disappear again. Looks as though he was right.

I don't really know what I will say to him when he shows back up.
We discussed what was expected of him if he was to stay at home, he listened and agreed. So far, he has done a very small portion.
When he showed up christmas eve I told him he had to live by the rules or find somewhere else to stay. he cleaned his room and stayed till breakfast christmas day.

He is supposed to let me know by a 10pm if he will be home or not. No call last night :mad: That is all I asked him to do!
He just doesn't care and I am to the point I don't want to deal with the show-up every 4-5 day thing. He will come in eat,shower, get clothes leave again. I think the only reason he is keeping touch at all is because of his courtdate the 20. You know mom is the most important thing in his life if he is in trouble..

Thanks for the vent! Just wondering how to handle him at this point. Any suggestions?


Well-Known Member
I don't know. Sometimes the kids make us so angry we want to say 'toss them out' and other times we just know in our hearts we have to wait it out until something else happens. Such as court - I think I would be tempted to just wait until that date to get to the next phase of planning in the difficult child world.

So sorry this is causing you to have stress.


(the future) MRS. GERE
HH, I think the best advice I can give you right now is to not say anything unless you are fully prepared to follow through. If you tell him that he has to check in or he's out....and he doesn't check in and you don't kick him out, your credibility is sunk.

It really helped us to have a written contract with Rob...with consequences spelled out in the contract with no "wiggle room." Rob participated in designing the contract and the consequences so he had no reason to squawk when we followed through. It also made it easier on us to be able to refer to the contract, "Well, son, as stated on the contract you agreed to X..."

Everyone signs and dates the contract....Mom, Dad, and difficult child.

If not checking in even one night will constitute eviction, it needs to say that, too. You need to be as specific as possible....you can't say "be respectful" because that is relative and our kids' definition of "respectful" is certainly different from ours. :hammer:

Talk to husband to find out what you really can't live with- what are the real deal breakers for you then address those. I would not make too many rules because they are too difficult to manage.



New Member
suz, the only things we asked of him are;
1. keep your room clean (not spotless, but dirty clothes up in hamper so we can tell you have a floor)
2. Be in by 10:00 p.m. weekdays (we are up at 4 am during the week, and must go to bed at decent hour to make it at work. easy child also goes to bed early)
3. if you are not coming home for the night, let me know.

I believe that this is not too much to ask for, The reason I got so strict about calling and curfews was he has called easy child on her cell in the middle of the night to unlock the door for him. easy child has school and volleyball practice afterwards-a full schedule. How thoughtless of her for him to do this? more than one time?

We have outside and inside dogs, if you come home in the middle of the night The entire family is woken up by the dogs barking. He knows this and he continued to just show up whenever. We all have to get up and leave for school and work and he slept all day. He would get up and be gone by the time we got home only to come home in the middle of the night again and repeat it.

Now he just stays gone, no idea where he is or when he will show back up. I think I am ready to say just stay gone. We are all weary of walking on eggshells when he is here. I guess I am angry too that he is not working, but The judge told him I could be responsible for restitution to the family he robbed. I feel like if there was any remorse or concern about what will happen he would be doing all he could to find a job and help pay that family back. He would be just as satisfied if I had to pay that family back


(the future) MRS. GERE
Those are absolutely reasonable expectations but even if they weren't it's still your house and your rules. Of course you are tired of dealing with this. I have to wonder sometimes if our kids ignore what we want just because "they can." /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif

So anyway............the next step (in my way of thinking) would be to write your rules down, agree on consequences and write them down too, then have everyone sign the contract....and put it in action. It's the putting the contract/consequence in action that is the hard part....and don't put consequences in the contract that you won't follow through on.

Like I said earlier, it really helped to have it in writing. Heck, I posted the darn thing on the refrigerator door. No way on earth could Rob miss it or say he *forgot*.



New Member
no witz, I have no backup plan.
short review~he brought drugs to our home-he was told to leave
he was sentenced to rehab instead of jail for other things he had done
we found out he had robbed his exgf's home (30,000) before he went to
charges were brought against him for the robbery
the judge said get a job and try to locate the stolen property to return
to exgf parents.
We went through the whole, Mom I've changed, mom I just want to come home and do right. I'll never even smoke cigs again, blah,blah,blah.
I felt we had to give him the benefit of the doubt, and give him a chance to get on his feet.

And here we are the same ole' song and dance

Suz~ what concequences can you impose on a 18 that considers himself an adult?
Our written agreement is on the fridge :crazy:that means nothing to him.
when asked about anything his reply is always "I got this mom, don't worry" :hammer:

What do you do with this difficult child?

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
what concequences can you impose on a 18 that considers himself an adult?

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At 18 he is an adult. Like it or not his life is now his to do with as he pleases. The only thing you can do is make certain you aren't being used and abused by him.

I agree with Suz though, don't make consequences you're not prepared to follow thru with.



(the future) MRS. GERE
Like Lisa said, he IS an adult at 18 in the eyes of the law, even if he acts and has the resources of someone much younger.

This is where you have to decide what you can...and can't... live with.

If you can't live with him not reporting in when he will be out all night, the next time he doesn't call and is out all night pack his things and when he comes home the next time hand him his stuff and a list of shelters and/or his friends' addresses, and wish him well.

If you *don't want to live with it* but find that you are and won't kick him out, then don't have this as a "rule" and don't have kicking him out as a consequence- just suck it up that he's going to come and go until he either decides to become more considerate (unlikely) or he's told to leave or it's no longer an issue for you.

I know it's hard. Believe me.



Active Member
I do not think written contracts work with these kids at all. They hear you and know what you want. they do not want to stop drugging at that point. they only need to have you store their stuff while they are transient.

why waste time with writing a contract at all? just tell him if he is not in by 10, the door is locked and he is not to come in til morning. take his key and change the lock. been there done that.


New Member
My sisters 21 yo easy child child is doing pretty much the same thing. The difference is she is staying with my parents and it is very bothersome to them. They mentioned this to my sister and her reply was,"You got to get hip and go with the changes of today". How ironic for her to say that, because when my son was living with her, she wanted them all in by midnight, and no visitors, and no making noise because she would have to be at work at 5am. She called me when my difficult child wouldnt follow the rules, but I guess it is different for her easy child,at my parents house?


New Member
I do not think written contracts work with these kids at all. They hear you and know what you want. they do not want to stop drugging at that point. they only need to have you store their stuff while they are transient.

I believe that is exactly what he is doing. I am storing his things, and if he gets in a jam he thinks he can come home.
DL-yes he is an adult,just not behaving like one. When I was his age I had lived on my own and paid my own way for a year.
Suz-Yes it is hard, but it helps so much to be able to talk to been there done that moms.

He called last night to say he was staying with barbie, I just said I thought you were starting a job after Christmas. He mumbled some excuse and I said okay, bye.

easy child let me know today that she and him got into an arguement on the phone about what he is doing and how he is living. She met Barbie when she brought him home christmas eve and couldn't believe he was hanging around with her.

I have made up my mind (with the help of all you guys) to just give him his stuff when he shows back up. Maybe he will wake up a little if he thinks we are not going to be behind him in court.
He also checks in with po on the 12 jan. I have always been with him, maybe handing it all over to him to deal with will make a difference, who knows? Nothing I have done has changed the path HE has chosen to take.


Well-Known Member
Hi, I know this situation. Really once they know you'll let them in ,or givein- in some way -then they keep doing it. Your words mean nothing. Show him. When he comes home in the middle of the night and everyone wakes up; tell him he can't come in. Don't stand there arguing- be brief,go back to bed. Then he will take you seriously. He'll learn his lesson. I learned not to get into back and forth yelling. Say it once, stick by what you say. If you do give him all his stuff-be prepared to stick by your decision. When they see we go back on our word, then we have no credibility.


Well-Known Member
Well, in my humble opinion the first thing you need to do is sit down with your husband and decide between yourselves, what do you WANT to do and what can you REALISTICALLY EXPECT to accomplish. Then go for it.
Maybe I give up too easily but after banging my head against the wall with two difficult children for 22 years now my patience is gone. It is doubtful that you are going to change him at this point. He has shown you that he does not respect your rules. Writing them down or saying you are going to impose new consequences and then not following through is not going to get results. Your choices, as I see them, are (1) continue as you are, or (2) tell him to find another place to live. Your rules are reasonable. He is choosing not to follow them: that is his business. He is 18. He is no longer your legal responsibility. Our kids are experts at knowing when they can play on our sympathies and I am as guilty as everybody else at letting them play me when I shouldn't. It is incredibly hard to make the choices we need to make to get our difficult children to be responsible for themselves but do you really want to be 90 years old with a 65 yo difficult child making you a prisoner in your own home? The sooner they find out we (and everybody else) are going to hold them responsible for their actions, the better off they will be.
Good luck.


New Member
Nomad, I love The Dog Whisperer, too. I think your suggestion was a good one (about thinking about how the dog whisperer does it when we are confronted with something totally out of left field with our kids). What I see him doing is to always strive to maintain his own energy level at "calm dominance". Another thing he does is watch the animals he is working with to assess their moods immediately, and to defray the potential crisis before it happens. (When I am in the midst of a crisis with my difficult child, I always try to pretend that what I see happening is not happening, at all.) :tongue:

I thought alot about my own difficult child, and how rattled he gets me, as I watched the first few episodes of "The Dog Whisperer". When our kids are involved in things they shouldn't be, it is hard to know how to resond at all, let alone get control of the situation.

Most of the time, I fall back on (and I think we all do this) whatever would work, or would be the appropriate response, in a normal situation. (Like the time I wound up making breakfast for the second time that day when difficult child stopped over with the strangest woman, and made our lives miserable for an hour or two while he waited for the money husband then ran into town to get for him. difficult child and his sister were fighting tooth and nail, the woman is telling me how wonderful my son is really and I...served coffee and made breakfast again. So weird....)

It sounds so strange now, even to write about it.

But I did not know what else to do.

I think many of us find ourselves in that position, where our difficult child kids are concerned.

We just have no idea how to react to situations we cannot believe are happening.

Calm dominance is an easy phrase to remember.

It's like a little mantra we can say to keep ourselves intact.

And not to offend anyone here, but watching how calm Ceasar stays in the face of whatever the dog is doing has helped me hold fast, too.

Part of the reason a difficult child child is so difficult is because while they are attacking us, some part of us is telling ourselves this is all our own fault ~ we MUST have been poor parents, or these things would not be happening.

That phrase "calm dominance" and remembering how The Dog Whisperer talks about the energy he is projecting and where he wants his energy to be has been very helpful to me in responding to the craziness of interacting with a difficult child child whom I love, but who is coming totally from left field.

So I think The Dog Whisperer is an excellent thing for all of us who are coping with difficult child children, whatever their ages.

My difficult child is 31. His behaviors are still so diametrically opposed to anything I envisioned myself dealing with that ~ I don't know. I get that deer in the headlights feeling alot to this day.

I am all for taking any help I can get. The only thing that has changed is that now, I am trying to help myself maintain some sense of my own integrity.

My difficult child seems almost determined to destroy that.



New Member

HH, Barbara: Don't forget to take care of yourself. in my humble opinion, self care is sooooo very important when you have a difficult child.

Perhaps in a certain kind of way...this also sends a message to our difficult children...

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I agree with you there, Nomad. Not only that, but I think our behaviors and responses, whatever they are, continue to teach our kids how to interact in the world. If raging shatters us and enables them to get what they want, that is what they will take into the world. If their rages, or their hard luck stories, have little effect on us beyond "What are you going to do?" or "I know you will do the right thing." then I think they may not try that baloney in the world outside the family, either. If we can be healthier ourselves, if we can have some separate place to go and be anything but somebody's mother ~ I think we model those kinds of healthier attitudes for our difficult children, too.

It's just that when we (or at least, when I am) are confronted with a child (even a grown up one) in pain and messing up every gift of intelligence or appearance or potential, we are devastated. We are so desperate to help them change, to help them recover.

But here is a thing that occurred to me not so long ago.

I am desperate to help difficult child recover who I believe he should be.

So, I have been trying to let go of that, too.

I do not get to say anymore, who he should be.

I am trying not to regret who he is not, or resent him for who he has chosen to become.

Which brings me back to striving for calm dominance, again.

It's better than the falling apart and the beating myself up looking for why this happened and how I could change it that I used to do. :tongue:

I think it is easier for me now though, because my difficult child is past the point that anything I can do could help or hinder him.

When we still think there is a chance to save them from themselves, how could we not try?

But having something, somewhere to go and someone to be which has nothing to do with the problem child is very good and healthy for us as we go through it, I think.

Wishing us all well, Nomad!


P.S. Maybe I should change my name to "Scent of Ceasar"?!?



New Member
Okay "Scent of Ceasar" and Nomad, it is very ironic that you both are talking about the dog whisper trainer. I handle 20+ different dogs on a daily basis, I also trained my 8 yr old Barrel horse and my 4 yr old colt with the horse whisper methods (most of them)

I too have compared training methods with dealing with my difficult child. I holehearted agree with you Barbara, that you just snap back into the mode of blaming yourself for what your difficult child is doing.
That is the difference, if the dog has been abused or neglected I tend to cut it alot more slack than the dogs I know that are just plain spoiled.
But, there lies the same problem. If my difficult child is spoiled...must be my fault for spoiling him.
I have that little demon pop into my head ALOT, but I am learning to call him by his name and shut him out.
My son's choices are my son's choices. If he was living as I chose for him to do, he would be graduating from high school this spring with his class. Not hooping it up with any difficult child he can find to hoop it up with.

As far as it goes, he has called each night this week to let me know he won't be coming home. I guess he did understand it when I said my way or out.
Had belated x-mas at sister in law's house tonight, no difficult child, questions answered.
we are to have belated x-mas (extended family) at my mom's tomorrow, no difficult child again
But, that's okay.
Thank you guys for all the ideas
Nomad, difficult child has never kept a job. At the time we couldn't understand why, now we know`~drugs got in his way
Barbara~thank you for your wisdom, I looked at your post and was shocked that you weren't a founding member. You have a wonderful grip on how to survive with a difficult child. So many things you share sound as though we have walked the very same emotional path.
I feel blessed to have this board to vent and get ideas, also to be able to share with others that understand.