Do difficult child's ever respect the hands that feed them?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Wakegirl, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl Member

    difficult child (20) is home for the time being, while he is going through the process of enlisting in the National Guard. He had previously been kicked out of my house for substance abuse, etc, etc. I don't think he hit total rock bottom, but he became tired of his lifestyle enough to decide to join the military. I wrote up a very lengthy contract for him to sign before moving back in. Evidently, I forget to mention that I demand and deserve respect. I informed him last night that a repairman would be coming by between 8:00-12:00 to look at the washing machine, and I would need him to be awake so that he could listen for him. Before I left for work, I went upstairs to wake him and tell him to come on down...all I hear is moaning, groaning, and mumbling under his breath. It really bothered me the more I thought about it, so I sent him a text when I got to work that stated that I did not appreciate him moaning and groaning because I asked a favor of him. His reply? "Well it's early and I got up...that's all that matters." Really? That's all that matters? Smartellic!! EARLY?? It was 8:30. And what the heck does he have to do all day besides sit on his butt and wait for his recruiter that might call? Oh my, I was so agitated. Sounds so petty to get upset over, but darn it, I've done and done and done and done for that boy, the least he can do is have some respect!
  2. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Entitled much? Good gracious. I don't blame you for being upset ... he's being a surly, obnoxious, little twit. All I can say is that the National Guard (and his country) will be asking a heck of a lot more from him than that. Life at home will be a vacation compared to the discipline and training he's about to enjoy...
  3. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, you certainly have every right to feel the way you do. I imagine he will be singing a different tune once he is in the Armed Forces, you must be counting the days until he leaves. Hang in there, this too shall pass..............
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I had a short answer before I read the post, and that is - Heck no!

    Man, the NG is going to be a HUGE shock...
  5. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl Member

    Dashcat, I have been reminded a few times of his entitlement since he's been back home, and all I can say is that I hope that he survives the military without being kicked out due to his sense of entitlement and attitude. I pray he quickly learns to shut his mouth and to do what he's told.

    RE, I almost hate to admit it, and feel horrible for saying it, but his day of departure can't get here soon enough. I never thought I'd feel that way about my own child. And it makes me sad, because I love him so much. I'm ready for my home to be free of eggshells, but even more, I'm ready for him to start a new journey in life.
  6. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl Member

    Step, you are certainly correct! It's a shock that I'm almost scared of. I'll be able to rest a little more each day that I don't get a call saying he's been given a dishonorable discharge.

    I know I'm going to get home this evening, and he's going to act like nothing ever happened. He'll probably even have the gall to ask something of buying him a can of dip or what not. I must decide to either keep the peace by buying the dip, or moaning and groaning and telling him heck no!
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Has he been accepted into the NG? Im cringing here hoping he has because I dont know what diagnoses he has or what he has on his record. One thing I will advise you....make sure you both get all things promised like that everything is ok about his record or diagnosis's if in writing. Take it from a mom who has been there done that.

    My son almost got kicked out of the Marines because he has ADHD but had been off medication for 4 years but suddenly after being accepted into the Marines, assured by the recruiter, being in boot camp for 2 weeks, he was pulled out and sent to sick bay while they decided if they would keep him and give him a waiver. The recruiter should have gotten the waiver before they ever accepted him and they had a long time to do it. My son had been talking to the recruiter since he was 16 and did early enlistment at 17! He didnt leave for boot camp for 9 months after he did his early enlistment.
  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    WG, don't feel horrible saying his departure can't get here soon enough, I think you have quite a large tribe of other parents here who have felt or feel exactly the same way. We love them, but yikes, living with them is a whole different story. I completely understand that feeling, I think many if not most of us here do. Hang in there. I hope his enlistment process goes smoothly and quickly so you can have your home and your peace back.
  9. Winnielg

    Winnielg New Member

  10. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl Member

    DJ, he's still in the whole process, and there was one setback that has been addressed, and hopefully fixed. He had a DUI (driving while impaired by marijuana), and then of course a possession charge. While his recruiter said that the DUI was excused, it was the possession charge that may hurt him. As soon as difficult child got this news, he was immediately on the phone with the (small town) court clerk. She was EXTREMELY helpful. She spoke to the judge, and he agreed to expunge the charges on difficult child's record with only 2 small requests. difficult child had to write a letter explaining why the judge should do this for him, and he had to send in 50.00. We over-nighted that last week. His recruiter was very impressed with how quickly he addressed the issues, and said that it should all be fine now. As far as how long he waits until he leaves...I'm not 100% sure. It sounds like it could be by the middle/end of April. He still has his physical and a few more things to complete. He has a buddy that enlisted, and it only took him 1.5 months to depart for basic training from the time he went to enlist. difficult child hasn't been diagnosed with any type of mental illness, although at times I wonder about depression/bi-polar. I was hoping to get him into a Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but he has chosen the military instead. His main problem is drug use (spice), and that has had his moods and temper out of control at times. Not to mention his sense of entitlement, and laziness!!!!

    It took your son 9 months before he left for boot camp??? Did they say why it took so long? I may move out of my own house if it takes my son that long! :sigh:
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    only if it gets them more food
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Buddy? I think your difficult child and my difficult child are reading from the same manual.
  13. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl Member

    Well, it happened just as I suspected. As soon as I walked in from work, he hit me up for a favor. He wanted me to go buy him a can of dip. My reply? "No, I'm not gonna do it! I'm gonna act like a total ass like you did this morning". (I don't like buying him dip, but I figured I would allow his one vise as he detox's from his spice habit) He turned around and murmured "good God", and walked out the door to go somewhere with his girlfriend. And I'm left sitting here feeling like I'm the bad guy. Ugh. I hate this feeling. I hate how I let him control my moods. And I literally hate feeling so uneasy when he's here. I hate the the unhappy person I turn into when I walk in the door, not knowing if he's in a good mood or a bad mood. And when he's in a good mood, I still have a hard time being my normal jolly self around him.

    For the record, I highly dislike the word "hate". It's such a strong word. But it's the only word that accurately describes how I feel about this whole difficult child situation.

    P.S. In the living arrangement contract that I wrote for him, I specified him doing his own laundry. He did do a load today. But they're still sitting in the washing machine. Which puts a damper on me doing any laundry. I have the right mind to put the wet clothes in a garbage bag and take them upstairs to his bedroom. I'm not playing this game. Wait. I'm SICK of playing this game!!!!!!!!!
  14. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl Member

    ...I'm sitting here shaking my head at myself. I'm making a grocery list, and all that I keep thinking of is what I should buy my son to eat. Why do I put so much effort in this? Why should I care what HE wants. Shake it, Steph.
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You go girl, get all those feelings out in the open, don't hold it in anymore, he is being a giant NIMROD and you don't deserve it. Put those wet clothes in a hefty bag and place them on his bed, he can wear damp, wrinkled, smelly, mildew clothes or he can get with the program and finish the job.....let him get his own dip............good grief.
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We get used to putting all of our focus on 'them.' So every single day, practice putting the focus on YOU. What do YOU want at the store? Don't buy him anything.
  17. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    In answer to the question in your title? Yes, they can and many do learn to respect the hands that feed them............but usually only after real life smacks them upside the head a time or three and some maturity kicks in.

    Ehh, let him buy his own chew, he's a big boy. If it had been me? I'd have dumped those wet clothes onto the floor and he could deal with them while I washed mine. (I've done that a time or six)

    You're still adjusting to the fact he is your child, but not A CHILD. Know what I mean?? You'll get better.

    After the onset of menopause........well, we'll just say no one had trouble guessing what was on my mind and I found I tolerated next to no nonsense from anyone. I also had a very short fuse. Maybe nature timed it right? lol

    Hopefully the NG will do him some good and help him mature.

  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    May I suggest you try to get him to change branches? Tell him you really want him to go into the Guard and forbid the That would send him running and I guarantee they will make a different man out of him.

    My son early enlisted the day he graduated from HS but didnt actually go to boot camp until February 18,2003 because we had to time his graduation from boot camp and entry into his MOS school at the correct dates because he couldnt graduate his MOS school before he turned 19. He graduated HS at 17 in May and turned 19 while in MOS school in July. It was a timing
  19. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Like Step, I had a short answer to your title: "no", but I do agree with Lisa. difficult children can be taught, but you have to be rock-solid consistent in your expectations. AND, you can't let them see that their behaviour affects your mood.

    difficult child acts like a jerk because it gets to you. He knows that the more unpleasant he is, the sooner you will break. You've got to decide that you won't break no matter how much of a jerk he is. Jerky behaviour should be met with a neutral smile, and heavy-duty natural consequences.

    If he can't get out of bed when he's supposed to, a spray bottle filled with ice water and aimed at his face (from the doorway, give yourself time to get away before he fully wakes up), or an air horn, or John Phillip Sousa music or whatever other teen-torture you can come up with works wonders. For my difficult child, I used to sing the worst Calypso songs I could think of at the top of my lungs while standing over his bed. Trust me, no one can sleep through it.

    If he leaves his laundry in the washer, dump it out -- on top of the washer, in the middle of his bed, on the floor in a pile of dust -- wherever you think it'll have the most impact.

    If he wants something special to eat that isn't something you buy on a regular basis, he can earn the money and get himself to the store to buy it. You can provide healthy, nutritious food that he finds unpalatable, but that you love. With my difficult child, I started cooking everything (including breakfast) with spicy chili sauce, which I love and he hates. You can even "ruin" a grilled cheese sandwich by adding onions and garlic -- delicious if you like such things, horrendous if you don't -- and BOY does it ever send a messsage.

    In short, do the opposite of catering to his whims. Once he starts behaving better, DO NOT BREAK. He'll slip back into old habits quickly if you do. He has to earn back the privilege of being treated like something other than a roommate by toeing the line for enough time that you feel he can be trusted to keep up with the good behaviour.

    As I said, it can be hard work, especially if you're not typically a hard-case. But it's effective.
  20. Wakegirl

    Wakegirl Member

    Thank you , Hound dog! I like your style, and your post made me chuckle a time or 2! As far as letting him buy his own chew...I have taken his truck away, so he has no way to the store...long story short, he lost the keys to his truck while out with the boys one night. I was under the impression that it was parked at a friends house. That wasn't the case...he left it stranded at a gas station, and they eventually had it towed. It sat at the impound, unbeknownst to me, for 11 days. It cost me 455.00 to get it out of the impound, 40.00 for a new key, and 75.00 for the tow company to bring it to my house because the new key opened the door but wouldn't start the engine. 570.00 later, he's NOT getting it back any time soon. Also, when we went to pick it up from the impound, there was a bottle of Jim Beam sitting in the front seat, along with some drug paraphernalia. Yep, he doesn't deserve to drive it. And I don't need the worry that he's drinking and driving. He lost the keys a few days before I kicked him out, and we told him how to go about getting a new key made. Obviously, that never happened...

    You don't know how much I hope he follows through with the NG, and that it makes him a changed man!!!