Help don't know what I'm doing with my 'adult' child!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by DramaQueenLucy, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. DramaQueenLucy

    DramaQueenLucy New Member

    So it's been about a year since I was last here, long story as to why so I'm not gonna get into it.

    Now on to the issue at hand DS19 is living at home wanting to have me take care of everything for him. He is a senior in High School graduating in May. Stopped taking medications and visiting the therapy doctor in January of this year.

    He doesn't want to grow up. Doesn't want to work for anything and behaves like it is just going to fall into his lap. An example he quit his job last May and has been looking since then. I asked him several times a week what he had done to look for a job and finally last June he looked at me and said "well it's the summer and I don't have school so I figured I would take the summer off like other kids." I told him " I don't think so find a job I'm not paying for your gas and insurance." So he claims that he went out looking but I found out later from my niece he was driving around and going over to her house! Now here it is 10 months later and he still hasn't 'found' a job. Well this is a bunch of **** I've taken his car away and threatened to sell it if he doesn't have a job in 10 days. He has had chance after chance. He claims he is going to look for a job but god only knows what he is really doing.

    It is the same thing with school stuff he wants to go to collage but didn't find out last year what his grades need to be to get into the program for free community collage. So now almost 2 years after he signed up he doesn't qualify because his grades are too low. He didn't do anything about his insurance expiring even though I told him what he needed to do and then when he finally did it he needed to ask me a million questions to finish it.

    I could go on and on with this but it comes down to the fact that he wants everything to fall into his lap and not have to work for it. I'm going to be forced into selling his car and he knows this but still puttered around the house playing video games, eating junk food and watching movies all weekend! I'm going to put a for sale sign on the car April 1st if he doesn't have a job.

    Now the question is do I really sell the car? I'm not going to be able to afford the car or at least him driving it. It costs me about $300.00 per month not including repairs. He would need it for school but who knows if he'll even make it to school if he never made it out job hunting? I just don't know what to do :(
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    If the car is in your name? Sell it.

    Heck, to be fair, your son could legally "buy" it from you if he really wanted it.

    Not sure where you live, but in so many places there is work within walking or bicycling distance. Gas stations, farms, fast food - there's got to be something. He can go there for a job.

    Maybe if you start making things difficult for him, he will decide to go live on a friend's couch or something...
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If you told him you'd sell the car, then yes, you really sell the car. Then give him notice that he needs to be medication compliant now and participating in therapy by the next available appointment date or you will pack him up and move him out. These are not unreasonable requirements. If he really wants to graduate high school, he'll either do it home under your rules, or he'll find someone's couch to surf on the next few months. But I promise you, if you go back on a threat he will never do anything you require of him and he'll never leave your home.
  4. DramaQueenLucy

    DramaQueenLucy New Member

    The car is in my name and there are plenty of jobs here we have a ton of little stores walmart, target, quicktrip, McD's, subway and sonic. Tons of places to find a job. The car is in my name and I wouldn't have a problem with selling him the car but he has no money and owes me $2,000 from paying his insurance, overdraft fees at the bank and phone.
  5. DramaQueenLucy

    DramaQueenLucy New Member

    And this is the problem because I opened my big mouth and said I was going to sell the car but he will need it for school. He doesn't want to do anything that he would have to work at like mowing the lawn but will fix the computer or fix the electronics stuff.

    Think I will put a sign on the car and park it at my work if he doesn't have a job by April 1st.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, since he wants to be like other kids and not work..........why can't he just ride the bus to school or walk like other kids who don't work? It won't hurt him to do these things. My kids walked 2 miles one way to the high school everyday in all weather. (we were right inside the bus line at the time so bus wouldn't pick them up)

    Bottom line, he's 19 and you can't force him to do a darn thing. The only thing you can do is decide what behavior you will/won't put up with in your home and follow through with it. You don't have control over him, but you do have control over your home and what happens there.

    Unfortunately your son has zero motivation. As long as life is all cushy, that isn't going to change because he sees no reason for it to change.

    I totally agree with Wtz, if you don't follow through with this threat, there will be no believing you about anything else.

    It would be a good idea to sit down and really think about what you would expect of an adult (any adult) living in your home. Then once you've done that, look it over and decide which things you can definitely stick to your guns on, because it's all about follow through with grown kids.

    Given his current attitude? If he were mine he'd not only have a deadline for a job, but a deadline for a place to live as well if that job was not found. Might be different if he helped you around the house and was working hard in school to get into college. But he's not. And the sooner he learns the world isn't going to let him be a perpetual child, the better for him.

  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    If he was doing what you wanted him to do (go to school, work, help around the house, follow the house rules...what I termed "behaving like a civilized person") then I would help in any way I could. Since he is not doing those things, I would offer him a choice and a deadline. And definitely stick the "for sale" sign on the car.

    Many hugs.
  8. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    If you don't sell the car, that leaves the door wide open for more conflict.
  9. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Sell the car.

    Why should he do anything so unpleasant as get a job when you are taking care of everything so well? A TV to watch, games to play, junk food to eat. He's got a nest and he isn't going to leave it until you either makes things a lot more uncomfortable for him at home or you actually throw him out.

    Do not make a threat you are not completely willing to carry out. You are deep in debt thanks to this bum and you, sadly, have a certain amount of responsibility for the situation you are in. If there really is all that much work available you knew he wasn't really looking for a job when he didn't find one after a month. Yet it sounds like you ignored the uncomfortable fact that he was lying to you for 10 months.

    I understand that you may have felt like it would be mean to get tough with him. But there isn't anyone out in the real world who would let him go without making car payments and buying insurance for 10 months. How is he going to know this if you let him get away with it now?

    Lately I have been feeling really guilty about the situation with my difficult child 2 because I feel like I made some big mistakes along the way. Well I can't go back and undo those mistakes. I can change the way I do things now. And I owe it to myself and to my son to do that. It is hard and embarrassing at times to admit you screwed up. But I believe it is much worse to betray your sacred duty as a parent because it's uncomfortable to admit you were wrong and painful to do the self-examination and hard work needed to change things.

    Hugs and sorry you are struggling right now.

  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Insofar as threats, if you really aren't ready to sell the car, today or tomorrow at the latest is the time to sit down and have a heart to heart. Tell him that you spoke in anger before and you'd prefer to discuss it rationally. You can't afford to make the payments on the insurance etc anymore, period. Does he want to get a job by 4/1, or should you be prepared to sell it? Make sure he knows it is his actions that make it his choice for your to sell the car. No drama, no engaging in fighting. If he wants to fight, go away. You're giving him a "yes" or "no" question, he needs to give a "yes" or "no" answer. Tell him this is how you deal with grown ups, and since he is 19 years old you are going to treat him like a grown up and expect him to deal with the consequences of his actions. I guarantee you, if he picks a fight with you or lies, you will be ready to sell the car and he'll know it wasn't an idle threat.

    I never learned to drive until I was 26 and married. I walked or took the bus. I lived 7 miles from my high school, and 2 miles from my elementary school.
  11. DramaQueenLucy

    DramaQueenLucy New Member

    He went out looking for a job today. I don't think that it is unreasonable for me to expect him to take out the trash twice a week and mow the lawn. Along with keeping his room restively neat and swapping bathroom duty with his brother.

    When he came home I told him that no job by April 1st have the car clean and ready that I would be taking it to my job and posting a for sale sign on it. As soon as I told him about the lawn he claimed to not see that it needed mowing with parts of the back yard a foot overgrown and him out there with past weekend there is no way he could've missed it...sheesh

    All and all I got a bit of a tude but he did 'look', I hope for a job, and is going to do his chores...once again I hope.
  12. DramaQueenLucy

    DramaQueenLucy New Member

    Ding ding ding and we have a winner. You're right I have a hard time transitioning from child difficult child to Adult difficult child.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I have to admit, my husband finds it virtually impossible to notice that any chore needs to be done - ever. We have agreed that I get to tell him about the chore, and he gets to do it without being asked again, or make arrangements - which he keeps - to do it later.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Seems like the ONLY one in your family worried about a job, school, college or even getting TO college, insurance and restitution on those checks ------is YOU. I don't see anything in your post that says "MY SON is concerned about ..."

    I'd sell that car, use the money to pay myself back, and MAYBE when Junior sees that Momma is serious as brass tacks about what SHE is doing for HERSELF? Then maybe, just MAYBE he'll pull himself up and get the bike out of the shed - and start mowing the lawn, and taking a job ANYWHERE, stop BLAMING YOU - for all his shortcomings - and get his butt in gear.

    AND IF HE DOES NOT?.......and still continues to blame you? Well then girl? You're about $2000.00 ahead the way I look at it - and not $2000.00 PLUS junk food in the hole - cause at this point it sure doesn't sound to me like he's gonna get off his cheeto-eatin', video game playin' hiney and do anything but make YOU more miserable.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im with the rest of them especially rlsnights.

    It sure hurts to learn you have made some major mistakes. I know I have. I could kick myself from here to CA and back several times. Whats bad is the first time I had him out, I had grown a backbone and learned that NO was a complete sentence. He came back and I slipped back into my old self. Stupid stupid me. I will never let him...or anyone...ever come home again. I will move into a nursing home first. My husband is all for us living with my middle son when we get old...over my dead body! Only way Im going there is as ashes. LOL.

    Animals have it right...they kick their young out of the nest.
  16. DramaQueenLucy

    DramaQueenLucy New Member

    I have made mistakes some pretty big ones, I have to admit. I'm having a hard time with the transition from child to adult. Both of my kiddos are difficult children and I was punishing him as I have always punished by taking something that he cares about away. No car for a week, no video games, etc. While these things still work as a motivator for my youngest they no longer work for the oldest. I also have to do something about my mother...yesterday he called her and manipulated her into thinking that this poor kid can't get a break...ggggrrrr When I tried to explain that he really hadn't been looking she proceeded to tell me that the whole country is like that now and people have been out of jobs for years...UGH! I just got off the phone because I didn't want to fight with her.

    He never did cut the grass yesterday the lawn mower needs to go in and get serviced it isn't starting :(
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Just FYI -

    These children are VERY smart. You are just starting to see that your old way of punishing isn't working. My hindsight? The same EXACT ways of punishment with Dude? Stopped working with him at age 10 - and I was still using those antiquated methods at age 15. HE knew they didn't work at age 11. (Talk about your slow learners - ME) So for about 4 years - he manipulated me into "OH NO MOMMY PLEASE DO NOT TAKE MY XXX." and I would think "AH HA!!!! I have him now - and he would play along with the 'game' making me think I was really doing something effective - when in reality? I was doing nothing more than making him sit back in his room while he played with the thing he REALLY wanted to play with - alone, uninterrupted, only to act disappointed when I popped my head in the door to see if my HARD CORE PUNITIVE methods were 'getting my point across'. ie: I GOT PLAYED TO THE MAX. - Don't be ashamed of this - I was told my kid was a master manipulator at a very very early age. (Probably took me a YEAR in therapy to get over just THAT)

    I think you did excellent with your Mother - by the way.

    As far as the grass, lawn mower and not starting? I will give you my thoughts - ALWAYS have a plan B - okay lawn doesnt' get cut - YOU CAN DO XX instead to help me today. NO ONE gets off SCOTT FREE. There should always be a house plan B, and possible a plan C - try to get at least 2 steps ahead. It's hard to think like that - but possible. And it freaks your kids out like you can't believe when you do. (it'll freak you out for a while when you start doing it just to see the look on their faces when you pop off with - "Oh and if you can't mow the lawn for some reason - then I want the driveway swept by broom, and if for some reason you can't get that done - call me I have another job for you, but you'll probably with you had swept the driveway, or mowed the lawn."

    Hugs Mom - you're doing great! - And get that for sale sign in the car window. Nothing motivates a teen - like selling his car. And no discussing it - after you've discussed it with him once? The sign goes in. FINI!
  18. DramaQueenLucy

    DramaQueenLucy New Member

    With my youngest I have a few things that I can take that always hit home. If he does something worthy of the big guns then he has to sit on his bed and read not allowed to have anything and can only come out for 1 snack and meals...a drink you say oh no there is a cup in the bathroom for water. He thinks I'm I guess this still works on him.

    The older one the only thing I can take away is his car. Anything else and he just finds something else to entertain him. This I've just figured out after looking back over the last 2 years...yes he has been playing me for that long. *sigh*

    I'm gonna go buy a sign for the car window today and just leave it in the kitchen.

    I want to thank everyone for their advice. I tend to get weak when being hit by my child and my mother.
  19. KFld

    KFld New Member

  20. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Lucy you're getting there.

    We didn't get it all figured out at once either. We've all had our Ah HA moments and our *just kick me in the bootie* moments too.

    My youngest will be 22 in June..........holy crud when did that happen, now I feel old!.........and although I had kids before her, I was still learning things with her that didn't apply to the other two and vice versa.

    I gave Nichole 3 months notice for her move out date when she was 20. There were no if, ands, or buts. When I gave it to her she didn't even have a job. Not my problem. My mom blew a gasket......I was mean, vicious, and my daughter was going to hate my guts for life. I just ignored her. lol Meanwhile Nichole got a job and moved out by her deadline.........and she talks to me nearly nonstop all day every day. Grandma is not in the trenches with this boy every day. And by the way katie used that same excuse over the jobs. Problem is, yes there is high unemployment out there and people have been looking for a long time.......but most of those people are professionals and the very jobs our difficult children can do are begging for people to fill them. lol