Help with a plan of action...long

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mstang67chic, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I guess with difficult child being a couple of months from turning 18, I can technically post here now! LOL (Not sure if that reassures me or scares the he** out of me)

    difficult child won't graduate high school till Jan 09 at the earliest. I will do what I can to lay down the law and deal with things till then. (He's been getting increasingly mouthy, obstinate and oppositional the closer he gets to his 18th birthday) But unless he changes his tune considerably, once he graduates....he's out. He'll be of age then and I don't HAVE to put up with his attitude nor do I want to any longer than I legally have to.

    However, I don't just want to get up one day and say "Oh by the way difficult child, you're moving out today." and toss him out on his backside. husband and I have made comments to him about when he graduates, he better have a job because he's either going to be paying us rent or finding his own place. My preference is his own place because I know how it will be otherwise. Assuming he actually pays us his rent (and buys his own "extra" food, personal products, etc.) his behavior will be even worse. He's an adult and pays rent so he should be able to do what he wants.

    My first issue/question is what did you do to prepare your difficult child for this situation? I've heard people here talk about contracts and I'm curious about how they are worded and what is in them.

    Also, and I think this could be a bigger issue than difficult child's attitude, husband has a softer heart than I do when it comes to difficult child. We've talked about this and while he says he agrees with me when it comes to not having to put up with difficult child after 18 or graduation, he doesn't want him to end up on the street. My response is that we'll give him plenty of time to get ready. If he puts an effort into it and honestly tries, I will be willing to help him out some. If not.....he had his chance and he's still out. (Big talk now for someone not facing turning their child out onto the street, I know. We'll have to see how strong my follow through is) husband has been a lot better in the past year or so about realizing things more and seeing and truly understanding some of the things that I have been dealing with or telling him about in regards to difficult child. It's not that he actively avoids these types of things, but his work schedle is one that leaves me to deal with the majority of things. Also, he is guardian over his mentally ill mother and he takes care of the lionshare with her. Both of us have our hands full with difficult child's of differing ages, actually. But when it comes to kicking difficult child out (if it comes to that), I think husband is going to have a hard time doing it. Come to think about it, I think he'll have a bit of a hard time sticking to rules no matter how difficult child leaves. (Not helping him or only helping so much, not giving difficult child money or only restricted amounts...that type of thing) I've asked husband to start reading this board occasionally and he has. I think though that maybe he should really start reading the Parent Emeritus more than some of the others.

    I guess what I'm looking for on this part of it is suggestions, comments, advice, etc. I have a sneaking suspiscion that this will be difficult for all of us when the time comes and I welcome all the help we can get.
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    It is difficult having a difficult child overage live with you. I know--BTD(oing)T and have the wrinkles to prove it! You need a plan now. How is he going to finance his own living. My difficult child is not ready for that now. He can't even hold a part-time job! Does he qualify for assistance (SSI??SSDI?). Can he cook/clean/make appts. and keep them. Can you get him a social skills/living course to aid him?
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he doesn't have the skills to live on his own (a real consideration) can you look for an assisted living situation? Is he capable of being out on his own and just not trying or is he too disabled? I'd get social services involved if he is a disabled young adult so that he can get in a program and have an adult placement. Then you've killed two birds with one stone. From his medications and serious diagnosis., I'd try to find him a safe, assisted place to stay. He is probably WAY behind his years in maturity and may possibly need help for a long time, possibly all his life, but for now I'd just worry about next year. One day at a he capable of remembering to take his medications every day? Shower? Go to work? Be responsible? Not is he doing it, but is he capable of it? If he's not, I feel it's best to make an alternative plan for him since he can't live at home. He may not be able to go out in the world and deal with it either. There are in between options...good luck to you both!
  4. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I agree that it's important to recognize what he is - and isn't - capable of doing before you plan your next steps.

    He has some pretty complex diagnosis's- is he able to manage them in an appropriate fashion?

    Has he ever held a job? If yes, how did that go?

    What does he want to do? Is he getting any training for the future? Or career counseling?

    Does he drive? Have a car? Know how to get around on mass transportation? Can he read a bus schedule? A map?

    If the answer is no to the above, I would talk to him about using this next year as a preparation year for his next big step...being independent. Putting plans on paper and posting the results in an open place (refrig door?) helps everyone stay on track. It would be ideal if you could get together as a family and plan this informally together, and get his "buy-in" before you have to resort to a contract and consequences, etc.

  5. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Let's see if I can keep all of these questions straight.

    What he's CAPABLE of doing: Showering, laundry, cooking, cleaning, taking medications.

    What I think he COULD do with no problems: Showering, LIGHT cooking, some cleaning (he tends to throw things away rather than wash them and he misuses cleaning products), laundry (assuming he doesn't stuff the washer so full that everything doesn't get clean......or even WET for that matter), medications if he keeps them out and has a reminder (getting Rx's filled in a timely manner.....probably not).

    What he would DEFINATELY need help with: Money, bills, budgeting. He gets cash in hand and has to spend it IMMEDIATELY. Not just in a typical teen way either. It's almost like a compulsion for him. He got a gift card at Christmas.....literally FIVE MINUTES later was bugging us to take him to the store.

    He doesn't have a license or even a permit at this point. I truly believe he's not ready and I'm not going to be the one who puts him behind the wheel of a car. He has no idea on how to go about doing household things such as having utilities hooked up or even how to get an apartment. We try to tell him things that he will need to know but he completely blows us off as well as others who try to talk to him too. He's played the game for so long (knowing the right things to say but not following through) that he talks the talk but has no idea how to do the walk. All he sees is what's in a 3 foot circle around him. If it affets him at that moment, he pays attention somewhat. But if it's about others or even himself in the clue.

    It's hard to describe him. Physically he's capable of doing anything. But the combination of impulse issues, maturity level (far behind his age), attitude, attention span and basically all of the grandiose thinking that comes with his BiPolar (BP), is one that requires supervision and lots of training to safely do normal everyday things. (Example: the other day he made some scrambled eggs. We have a gas stove and he almost caught two different things on fire because he either wasn't paying attention or didn't think about it. He was using the front burner and there were a couple of hot pad laying on the counter next to the stove. There were actually part way on the stove and very close to the burner. There was also a pan on the back burner that was covered with one of those flat spatter screens. The handle of the screen was turned so that it was melting from the heat of the flame.) It really scares me to think of him cooking more than something in the microwave or just eggs. If he wants to do something he does it. Doesn't matter if he's never done it before, he knows how to do it and you can't tell him otherwise. He will not ask for help or instructions and gets mad if you try to correct him. I caught him cooking bacon one day. It was only a couple of pieces but he had cooked it in cooking oil. Scared me to death.

    I've heard of group homes for young adults that have issues like him and that is my ultimate goal for him. He, however, goes back and forth on the issue. One day he's fine with it, the next he is absolutely refusing to even consider it. He's not retarded and he's not crazy so he doesn't need that. (his words) He really wants the priveliges that come with his age but is not willing to accept any of the responsibility. He thinks he should be able to do anything he wants and not have to be an active participant in his life or treatment. Yes, he takes his medications and goes to counseling although he will balk at the counseling at times. Honestly I don't think it does anything for him because, as I said, he knows how to play the game. This kid has actually been over heard by his counselors givng good advice and basically counseling other kids. CORRECTLY! But for him to do it himself? Nope. Basically everyone on his team says that they've never came across a kid quite like him and that he's "challenging". Nothing we do makes an impact with him. Nothing. husband and I know we can't have him here for years and years but at the same time, we don't have the first clue about how to prepare him to do for himself. He won't listen, he won't participate, he won't learn. He just wants to sleep, eat, play video games and expects us to do for him, keep him entertained and not have expectations of him. (Not even normal "you live in this house, you help with the chores" stuff) It's all play time to him. If we set down with him and talk about his future, make up a contract, lay out what he needs to do to get out on his own......he'll say all the right things, sign whatever we ask him too, agree with everything we say. But when the deadline rolls around, his words will be "I didn't think you were serious". We've heard that phrase many many times and he doesn't get it each and every time.
  6. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    If I didn't know better, I'd swear that what you've written about your difficult child was one of my old posts from a few years ago about Rob.

    Well, here are a few links to get you started researching ILP (Independent Living Programs) in Indiana if you want to get a head's up to what is involved now. A similar program was offered to Rob when he got out of the group home but he turned it down and had a heck of a time for a few years.

    Is there anything you can use as a carrot for him to cooperate with learning some independent skills now? You might not want him to drive but would you be willing to let him get a learner's permit? If he was jazzed about that you could use driving time as a bribe for his cooperation in other areas.

    Can you rope him into "helping" you cook a meal a week? Exposing him to putting something together with you there for supervision might have some effect.

    Big sigh. I sure don't envy you these next few years.