Difficult Child sleeping until 3pm

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WiseChoices, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I think it is a habit. He said yesterday that he could change it if he wanted to . I am not prepared to make the ultimatum that he sleep like the rest of the family, or leave .I can't see kicking out my child with nowhere to go over the sleep schedule. So I just had a conversation with him and expressed what my specific issues are with it which he was willing to deal with: taking out the trash the night before, so I dont have it overflowing during the morning, getting up when I get back with groceries to help bring them in, and do extra chores when he does get up .I am ok with that for now . When he works , he will have to change schedule anyway. He is a good person overall, and had grown and changed over the past year. We are looking into turning the internet off at 11pm since we pay for it and have the right to do so. When they were teens , internet went off at 10 pm and they rarely stayed up late.
  2. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Great idea.
  3. B’smom

    B’smom Member

    When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I find making a list, putting them in order of importance and then making timeline really helps. A visual list of goals makes it easier to achieve.
    I have made a similar list (contract) with my eldest son regarding his cell phone usage. It worked well for everyone. He knew his expectations and how/when he needed to achieve them. And the visual ensures he doesn’t “forget”.

    Would that work perhaps? Even setting him back on a better sleep/awake routine. Maybe changing is slowly will make it look like it’s more achievable? Even to apply for jobs.

    Work: week one: apply to 5 jobs you can do and one job you want to do.
    Sleep: Week one: go to bed at 12am instead of 2am.
    Just an idea, he does sound depressed though and hopefully he can get some assistance for that. There’s only so much you can do though to help someone. They really have to want to help themselves in the end. Hopefully you guys can find middle ground.
  4. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    This is worth a try. Most of our kids won't follow contracts even if they sign.
  5. B’smom

    B’smom Member

    This is true. My eldest has ADHD which I think is why the visual contract helped him. He has memory/concentration issues, but we don’t really have behavioural issues with him so it worked. Other than the occasional eye roll and mumbling, he’s a good kid.

    This would not work with middle son B who has severe behavioural concerns and mental health diagnoses. He is not in control of himself at all. The paper would likely end up being torn to shreds in a fit of rage.
  6. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Thank you for that suggestion. He saw a therapist today that told him to set the alarm to 9 am and go to bed at midnight. He is willing to follow that suggestion, but not willing to follow any of mine that I have made. Haha...as long as he follows it, it's fine by me . I am backing out of the situation now since he has professional help . She does say he is depressed and needs medications asap
  7. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Update: Son has a job interview for a good position with the county on 9/10 . I cannot take him that day (as I am his current transportation), because I take my daughter to school 2 hours away that day.

    He had a job interview for a job that was driving intensive a few weeks ago, and I suggested he ask my Father whether he could use my Father's vehicle for a few months in exchange for paying the insurance payments and all operating costs until he had 2 months on the job and could get a car loan at that time to buy the car from my Dad (he has been wanting to sell it). I see now how I meddled there.

    That job fell through, however, and son has not wanted to take responsibility for insurance payments without an income. (He has some money he received for graduation presents. I am the one who sent the graduation announcements out to relatives after son refused to do that - again enabling and controlling on my part).

    So now that I am unavailable to take son to interview, I suggested that he start the insurance payments on my Dad's car and move into more of an independence because independence fosters self esteem etc with the 1st of the month. It was in a moment of feeling confident and wanting to move forward.

    In my stupidity of people pleasing, I told him he could pay on the 20th when the actual payment is due, but in retrospect it makes zero sense to let him drive the car without him paying anything for 20 days .So I have to rectify that situation. And I am afraid because he is going to be mad that I am changing what I said originally.

    Secondly, I also have to lay down some rules. We don't want him to take the car out of the local area . For one, his drug using friends are in the big city and for two, the car is still my Dad's until son gets the bank loan and actually purchased it from him. I will also have to insist that he keep the vehicle clean and free of debris which was an issue before when he drove one of our cars. I am scared to have this conversation and to have to reinforce these boundaries because son has gotten veryv angry at me in the past and tongue lashed me in the most hurtful way .

    I am enmeshing again by facilitating his use and purchase of my Dad's car when I could have stayed out of it, and let son find his own way to a new vehicle. I am scared he will eventually smoke pot again when he has access to car . And I also know that he needs to have independence and that by working , having his own car and being able to live his life will help with his depression and anxiety (hopefully).

    He is seeing a therapist now and has an appointment for psychiatrist to get medications (I will only allow anti depressants in the house NOT anti anxiety medications) and he has been more helpful and accommodating around here since seeing the therapist. He just changed out the A/C filters, mowed yesterday. He still sleeps late, but not as late - he gets up around noon now.

    I just need some back bone from you all to have the courage for the conversation about the car rules and to talk me out of my fears. I fear he cannot handle having a car, yet, and I know that keeping him cooped up in the house is not the answer , either. Plus I am unable to take him to work every day.
  8. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Why can't your son ask to change the interview time? We own a company and would not hold that against a prospective employee if they gave us enough time. Or can he take a bus or bike or walk?
  9. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    If it's a really good job, he could justify paying for Uber everyday.
  10. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Where we live there is no public transport, no Uber .I guess he could have changed the interview time, but he didn't . My Dad has agreed to the car deal, so that is happening.
  11. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I will have to have the conversation with him today . He will drive around to some other jobs to see where he can work .I will collect the money from him today before I give the car keys .I am feeling less scared and more confident today .
  12. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I thought that in 2019 you went online to apply for jobs. Even McDs and lower end jobs want online applications. Where does he go to get a paper application? My guess is nowhere.
  13. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    It's to follow up at places he has already applied to. Our conversation went smoothly.
  14. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...


    I really appreciated reading on your issue to gain some insight. I’m going to piggy back on your topic a little.

    So without rehashing all details (they’re in older posts) older son and I haven’t spoken since a month ago. He has sent horrible mean emails that were threatening. I have not replied to any emails which have only stopped just in last few days because I believe he got his first paycheck Friday.

    Then at the same time, just last week younger adult son sent text looking for gas money. I blocked him too. He was not verbally abusive but I blocked him before he could reply to my no because he usually will not let up until he gets his way.

    I’m fearing that I’m not sure I’m doing this right.

    Right now as much as I want to communicate with them I am too anxious and fearful inside that I won’t be able to stay strong and honestly I’m not sure it’s the right thing to do yet.

    I’m wondering if I’m going to know when it’s the right time to open up communication. I’m wondering as well if my fear is something I should be listening to as well.
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Many years ago I learned the concept of "private conversation." This refers to the self-talk that goes on inside of all of us, that is mostly debilitating "noise." The debates back and forth within us that only deprive us of resolve, self-confidence and true information. I am the master of this.

    The quote above is a good example of what I talk about. You refer to a feeling state and a judgement. I would argue that neither one is useful to you or based in reality.

    The reality is you are doing something very brave, very difficult and very commendable. You are taking a stand to change yourself, your life, your relationships with your children, and potentially giving them the opportunity to do the same in their own lives.
    You are right now worrying about a future that does not yet exist. You know nothing about what will be at the time, who you will be, who your sons will be, what you will want or feel, or what you will be doing. How in the world could anybody know about future time?

    We can think about what we would want to be, what we would want in the future, to do and to have...and with these intentions, make decisions about now. Like if you decide you want to be a world traveler, you could right now begin arranging your life to make possible that goal.

    But specific thinks over which we have zero control, how could anybody know what they will want, should do, at some hypothetical time? This kind of thinking just brings us down. I for one cannot control it. I can't stop this thinking when it comes up. But I can detect it. When I do it. And I can try to distract myself and try to engage with something that is more constructive, productive or makes me feel good. Like walking. Or reading.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
  16. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    If you can open up a conversation that your sons will respect that do NOT in any way involve gas or money or what you must send them, then you can begin to have a loving, normal, evolving mother/son relationshipb with them. One in which they understand, accept your point of view and no longer ask for anything material of you.

    If not, any relationship will be only one of them getting from you and that is not a real relationship to me. I wonder how many of our kids never think about us except as their means to money without work. Would they call us at all if we offered them nothing but our unconditional love?

    Kay does not contact us at all since we cut off all money. Its been a while now. We may never hear from her again. Typing this causes sadness in my heart, but we have others to think about and will not go there again. It is up to her to ask for a relationship or not, and we won't pay to have a poor relationship with her. Not anymore.

    I have stood in your shoes and probably gave more to our child than most. It puzzles me now, but, as Copa said somewhere, I felt like I could not be whole if she was not, at least as far as basic needs.

    She was dead inside anyway. Nothing we ever gave her made her whole. We kept trying. It never worked.

    I can not see any reason why two grown unemployed boys need gas. Air conditioning? Way back when I was a kid with the dinosaurs :) we had no air conditioning in the hot weather and we lived in a scorching hot state. Starts with an A. I lived to talk about it.

    When we had to move to a hot/cold state my parents made little and in the winter we set the thermostat to 60 (I believe) and put on warm clothes and walked what seemed like forever to and from school. I am still alive. Your sons can find comfortable places to hang out with air conditioning like libraries and it gets cooler when the sun goes down for sleeping. They don't need all that gas to make things comfortable when they can at least work a pizza delivery job which would cover gas.

    I personally feel we did the right thind for Kay and for us and our many other loved ones who need US healthy and whole.

    You have to do what is best for ALL your loved ones and for you, whatever that is. I hope you can talk to somebody you trust in real life. I hope you find peace very soon. in my opinion you are doing great!

    God bless you.
  17. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I think that it's important to have courage and walk through our fears . I have not been able to figure out how to read other members' signature lines, so I am not 100 percent familiar with your story.

    My fears and anxieties belong to me. I tend to want people to change in order for my fears to be eleviated and that is not fair to anyone else . I think our adult children give us a training ground to practice our new skills (what I learn in Al-Anon). So for me, I would not cut my child off from my phone communication based on what I anticipate they might say. Because they may not. It's speculation on my part, and cutting off is akin to silent treatment which is the opposite of positive communication and boundary setting.

    I would wait and see what my children come back with. If it is abusive, or defining, I would then set a boundary and tell them that I don't accept that kind of communication, and therefore have to get off the phone now. I would then stop replying to texts after the boundary has been set. It's important for me to grow and learn and push myself into uncomfortable territory because that is where growth happens.

    I had a situation with my son in May where he started to verbally attack me and I set the boundary and did not allow myself to be verbally abused. I stayed firm about him not being able to use my car for a job and he finally ran outside to blow off steam (good way to process anger). He then apologized making an excuse, but did feel bad his demands and I let it go. But before I left for my meeting that night, I went into his room and told him I love him. I stayed calm throughout and never raised my voice , never attacked his character, and showed how to stay in control of my emotions . Whenever we leave the room during a conversation where unacceptable language or behavior happens , we suck the power right out of that room with us. This has worked extremely well with my son.

    It leaves the door open for honest communication, and allows us to stay connected . What I am trying to say is that cutting off is a tool for protecting yourself where you need to be protected but I would not want to use it out of fear . It's the wrong motivation. Again, I don't remember all tue particulars of your situation and whether there were threats to your life and well being .
    I believe that when we trust ourselves to stand up for ourselves consistently, that we can have conversations with our adult children that are neutral. If you stated clearly that you were no longer willing to contribute financially to your sons' lives, and then when they asked friendly and attached like a good cop reiterated your boundary , the requests would eventually stop. Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it meanly . No is a complete sentence and when there is a comeback after no, I can just ignore it. They will get the message .

    I think that in the past I abandoned myself over and over and over, but that is not my child's doing. It is mine and I have to fix it. Through that behavior I taught that when they bug me, I give in. So I have to undo that lesson now .It's more painful now for all involved but it teaches self respect for myself and others .I model self respect. I don't believe young adults respect themselves when they live off Mom and Dad and then turn that anger at self around and project it on parents .
    I may be looking at this too simplistically, but that is my opinion at this point .
  18. JayPee

    JayPee Sending good vibes...

    Copa and Busy. Thank you for the little kick in the pants. I needed that.

    I was slipping into the old “they’re feeling what I’m feeling”.

    You’re right... why am I’m worrying about how I’ll deal with the future? I don’t even have the certainty or even and inkling at this very moment that they wouldn’t try to suck the living daylights out of me again the minute I were to open communications with them.

    All that kind of thinking does bring me down. I will continue to get better and have more positive self talk in the forefront of my thoughts.

    So appreciate your words of advice and wisdom!
  19. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    In my conversation, I laid out the terms of the agreement. Son is to pay the insurance payment to me at the beginning of the month. He has to keep the car clean and free of debris. He pays for all operating and maintenance costs. He will only drive locally, not to big city or long distance as he does not own the car, yet, and is only borrowing it from Grandfather. He will obtain financing within 2 months to then buy the car from Grandpa. He agreed to all and we shook on it. He never got mad , so I learned how to set boundaries more effectively and walk through my fear .
  20. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    You have to know your kid.

    Our family does not yell. We are calm even when upset or at least we sound calm. We do not name call or scream even when insulted. So Kay gave out plenty abuse, but did not get much back.

    We are wired to be in control, husband and extended relatives as well. I do feel this is always preferable to striking out when we are emotional and feel anger. Our family members are big on taking 24 hour breaks before responding.

    Even so, you can not walk away from Kay, who won't cool off or let go. She follows you. She bombs our phones. She doesn't listen, sign contracts or shake hands. Our 24 hour response waits often included abuse blocks, which she understood. "I love you very much, but I need to think about this before I respond." Or "I need a break. I will contact you soon about this. Meanwhile, remember I love you."

    We have to deal with her differently than some. It is pretty much impossible to work with her if we don't give her money. No matter how calm we are.

    She could never live with us. We bought her places to live rather than having her stay with us. We don't do that anymore, but we did for years.

    We each need to deal with our disturbed person in a way that works best. Some of these kids are less pigheaded than Kay. I wish she would be reasonable. Time and time again only totally agreeing with her makes her lower her voice. All else and she will act out terribly.

    There is no right or wrong way to handle a kid like this as they are all different levels of defiant and some can be dangerous.

    Do what works for your kid and your family. Nobody here will fault you for anything. Even in my particular Al Anon group, we respond differently to similar challenges. We are a diverse group in Al Anon as we are here. And as we do here we hold hands and support one another and know that we are all doing the best we can for today. Just for today....

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    And the wisdom to do the difference.

    We all do this here, I believe, whether we believe in God or not.