How do we get him out on his own?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Tezzie, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Tezzie

    Tezzie Member

    It's been a long time since I've been to the site but I'm checking all resources now. difficult child 1 seems to be more ODD now that he is "an adult". DVR is working with him to help him find a job -- HE is doing nothing on his own. He tried Americorps last fall but lasted 3 weeks before they asked us to come get him. He's been at home since then, doing house chores, playing video games & watching TV.

    We've stopped paying him an allowance for chores & told him his chores are instead of rent, that we don't HAVE to do anything for him now since he is an adult. He is permitted to sleep in the house, eat at home & get his laundry done here because we permit him to do so.

    He can't do a job right the first time, he feels put upon when asked to do it again correctly, every request is met with opposition (did I mention he is ODD poster boy?) & he refuses to move out.

    His current MO is to do his version of his assigned chores then take off on his bike to bum around with his friends, all of whom are 1-3 years younger than he. He gets home after dark & goes to his room. At least this gets him out of the house but he is putting nothing into finding jobs or positively helping with family activites.

    He feels we should get him an apartment if we want him to move out. He can't understand why he can't use the car to go out. He has no money to his name & feels $100 will be plenty for an apartment & food.

    We need to get him out of the house before he drives us all crazy. Do we dump him in a homeless shelter, find a group home that will take hime (good luck with that) or what?

    He's also been told he may not have weapons in the house. He used to have at least 2 pellet guns he got while living on his own last summer. They were to be in his storage locker but they have somehow found their way into our house. Now what? He'll deny he had them at home despite the fact that his brother saw at least one of them today in his room.

    I feel like a ninny. I want him out but I'm not sure what is the best route to take.

    Suggestions appreciated.
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hello. In regards to having contraband in your home, I think I would toss his room and confiscate any weapons, etc. As long as he is there he needs to realize that he is a guest.

    I am working on getting my easy child to move out. Sorry I don't have a tried and true solution for you!!! I think most responders would suggest giving him a deadline with a list of options available to him and sticking to it. Hugs, it's not easy. They will sponge off us g
    for as long as we allow them to.
  3. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    We had a similar situation up until a year ago, when our difficult child 1 moved out. You're absolutely right that your son is a guest at this point, although I gather that, depending on which state you reside in, you might have to take legal steps to formally evict him should you decide to show him the door.
    However, before you decide to drop him at a homeless shelter, you can try a couple of things if you feel so inclined. A contract that stipulates the rules and conditions under which he may live in your home is a useful thing, as long as you are prepared to back up the consequences you lay out. It can be helpful to draw up something like this with the help of a family therapist who will support both of you. Any rule you put down must have a consequence listed for breaking it, and you must be prepared to follow through. No drug or alcohol use, no weapons, payment of rent, a deadline for getting a job (and holding it), rules of behavior and courtesy, etc. are common. You can make it as brief or as detailed as you like. You sit down with your son, perhaps in the presence of the family counselor, and all of you sign the contract. Your son is likely to break at least some of the rules to test your resolve, so have Plan B ready. If it makes you more comfortable to have a list of local homeless shelters or social service agencies, you can hand that to him should he decide not to live with the contract.

    It doesn't guarantee happy endings or immediate peace, but many difficult children can tell when parents are serious about enforcing consequences. Sometimes it makes them pause and think; other times they carry on as they've been doing. When that happens, at least you know you've been clear about your expectations and boundaries and it's his choice to go. Of course, if he's doing anything illegal or dangerous that doesn't need a contract; your safety comes first. And violence (I know you didn't mention that he's violent, but should it happen) should never be tolerated - it requires a call to police and charges laid. Of course, this is general advice - take what you like, leave what you like.

    I'm sorry you're in this situation, but many here have been there too. We know how hard it is.
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    A contract is a legal and binding document, if signed by all parties. If you're up for it, you write up the contract and agree to do a weekly review. If he is sleeping, doing less than the entire job with his chores, hanging around with minors (OMG ARE YOU IN FOR SOME TROUBLE IF YOU DON'T MAKE HIM STOP OR GET HIM OUT OF YOUR HOUSE!), and locking himself in his room, he's not a very good house guest. But if those are the terms you are comfortable with, then you should let him stay.

    I do know how difficult it is to tell them to get their act together or leave. I know how ugly and even how violent that they can be. If you love him and want him to be anything other than a slug on your sofa, you'll have to be the bad guy and make him leave. That's how you become the good guy who made him a man.
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    A contract is a good idea; a "lease" so to speak. I would suggest you and your husband sit down and decide what the parameters will be, prepare yourselves, form a united front, and sit down with your difficult child to go over it all. Include in the contract that he is to apply for "x" jobs a week until he is employed. Set a deadline for finding employment, and for a first rent payment following employment, and be prepared to stick with it. If it looks like he is not going to follow through on his end, you'll need to have a plan in place for evicting him. I believe that unless physically incapable of working, most young adults will find a way to work and survive on their own once they are forced to. He has to know you mean it, though, and you have to be prepared to follow through, or it won't work.

    You mention that he can "get his laundry done" there.. if that means *you* are doing his laundry? I'd urge you to stop and make him responsible for his own clean clothes. Laundry service shouldn't be a perk of living at home for an adult child, in my opinion.

    I'd agree with searching his room ... put that in the contract, that you are entitled to search his room at any time... also put in writing that weapons are NOT allowed... and confiscate anything illegal or in violation of the contract.

    Tough love isn't for the faint hearted, I know it is extremely difficult and seems almost unnatural, but you can do it! We'll be here to help along the way.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I got stopped when I read he was adopted at one. What were the circumstances? Did his birth parents maybe have mental illnesses or did birthmom use drugs or drink while she was pregnant? He sounds like he may have some issues that make him slow to catch on or to understand life. At his age he should know that $100 won't get him an apartment. Was he was prenatally exposed to alcohol because if he has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, he isn't going to learn and you sort of have to look for long term assisted living for him. This would not be the same as a biological child who was nurtured in the womb and is perfectly capable of taking care of himself but is too busy using drugs to become an adult.

    Your son reminds me a bit of a child I adopted at two. He is almost seventeen, and a good kid, but he isn't ready to come close to moving out and he is going to need some assistance as an adult. He is on the autism spectrum, high functioning. His birthmother used drugs and drank and the poor start he got was not his fault. However, my son tries very hard at everything. That doesn't mean your son is all that different from mine. He really may not understand even simple job explanations and get very frustrated.

    Although he is of legal age, is he capable of taking care of himself if he applies himself? These are the hard questions parents of kids who were exposed to drugs and alcohol have to be realistsic about. Alcohol can cause permanent brain damage. It can cause Learning Disability (LD) issues, autistic spectrum, and other things. It doesn't matter how long YOU raised him. The genes and prenatal baggage never go away.

    The gun is scary. I'd take his door off and search his room often. I would not necessarily have the same expectations of him that I would have had of a child born to me that had good care in utero. But I WOULD insist that he try and would not give him money. Like you said, free rent is money. If you feel he is not capable of living on his own, contact a disabiities resource center (you can get the name of your local one from social services) to get him assessed for assisted living services. You would be doing him a favor. but, again, you know the pre-birth situation and his birthparent history better than us. Just remember, he didn't shed either when he came to live with you.

    Be sure to take care of yourself. That's first and foremost. "If momma ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy" I believe that, being the momma ;)
  7. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    I think the contract idea is a very good one--a contract that leads to his eventually being out on his own. You deserve the peace of having him out, and he deserves the chance (even if forced) to go out into the world and become a man. Over the LONG term, are you really doing him any favors by allowing him to continue in this way?

    The one part of your post that jumped out at me, though, was the going out all day to "bum" out with the friends. Doing exactly what? ALL day? That could be a BIG, BIG problem.

    Good luck figuring out what works best for you and your family.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    MWM has some good points but no handicap means that you must allow him to live at home. I would write up a contract and insist he agree and sign it or move out. I would insist that it is YOUR house and you can search it at will. I would NOT search when he is at home but would go in and remove any contraband items and any items that are not his.

    He is likely abusing drugs while he is out with friends. As he is a legal adult and his friends are not, you are in BIG trouble if he is arrested with them. If he is selling drugs and has them in your home at any time you CAN lose your home. It is not likely but it CAN happen. IF you search and notify the police if you find any drugs then you should be OK. The problem would be if he is dealing and the cops think you know about it and are not reporting him. It is a universal truth that if you do drugs you sell drugs. You either sell to pay for your own habit or you are getting them for a "friend" and the friend is paying you for them.

    The weapons would be a deal breaker for me. Any weapon in my home and you are out in less than 24 hours. Period. Find the guns and get rid of them. Same for any other weapon.

    Contact the DVR and ask them to help find housing for him. As a parent I would want to try to find housing for my child if he had problems that came from being exposed to drugs/alcohol before birth. Once an option is found I would let my child choose to either go and make the best of that option or to find some other place to live on his own. Either way he would be out. If you can afford first and last month's rent in a cheap apartment that would be an option. Let him have his bed (it may be too trashed to make a decent guest bed anyway) and maybe pick up some used furniture, give him some basics or money to buy them himself, and let him do what he will with it. Just make sure that he knows that he cannot come home and he has to pay the rent the next month by himself.

    If he is eligible for SSI or disability it may be the only way he can support himself. Is he capable of working or is he too disabled to hold a job?Either way he needs to be pushed out of the nest to find his own way. It is not going to be easy. If he is not impaired and chooses to not work, then he needs to feel ALL the consequences of that choice.

    If you do not force him out he will NEVER improve. NEVER. It is hard, but it is also a very loving thing to do. Even if he chooses to continue his way, it is still loving to push him to make the most of himself and his life. As long as it is easy he will NEVER leave and will NEVER keep a job.

    Make sure your husband is on the same page with the contract and/or the new apartment. It will be impossible to make this happen if you are not in some kind of agreement.

    I am sorry that it is necessary to do all of this, but it really is what is best for your son. It also sets a much better example for your other son.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Susie, didn't mean he should live at home. There are assisted living apartments that will also find him jobs. This kid, being adopted, could be disabled and may be unable to take care of himself. Not defiant or just ODD, but unable. He doesn't seem to understand simple things, like the cost of an apartment, which my fourteen year old knows. I seriously wonder if this child has fetal alcohol spectrum. If so, he will not be able to live on his own, but he CAN live in an assisted living apartment or, if he is more disabled than even that, a group home.

    Sus, you wouldn't believe the garbage kids from foster care and overseas adoption come here with...lots of it before they are even born. It's really sad. I don't know this child's history, but most birthparents, unfortunately, aren't very responsible during their pregnancies and the kids do tend to be exposed to stuff most kids are not...alcohol, drugs, cigarette smoke, you name it. Plus poor prenatal care. If this young man IS disabled, he will only fail if he is tossed out, and it won't be his fault. in my opinion best to explore other living options least you can say "I did what I could" if the young adult walks out.

    Have a great day ;)
  10. Tezzie

    Tezzie Member

    Thanks for all your suggestions. I am ~90% sure he isn't doing drugs or drinking when he is out. Shoplifting, maybe, but not the other. From all I've read on ADHD, his mental/intellectual age is ~ 2/3 of his chronological age, which makes him ~12 thinking-wise. That's pretty accurate for this kid. He may have some Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), I suspect he also has some attachment disorder issues since he was the less needy of 2 babies in another foster home before he came to us. Mix this in with ODD, lack of impulse control, a "swiss cheese" perception of the world & "that's my boy".

    He did actually come home last night & his mission today, so he says, is to hit all the local establishments & fill out job applications. He is meeting with his DVR job coach this evening, appointment. was changed from last evening.

    My husband & have have drawn up a list of expectations & a timeline for him to be out on his own. We plan to discuss it with him tomorrow since he says he won't be home until after dark again tonight because of going to a softball game with friends. We don't want to do it tonight because his medications will be wearing off by then & it would be an ineffective discussion. We'll see how that goes. Hopefully he will get some sort of job soon.
  11. I'm pretty much unfamiliar with ODD.

    Sadly I'm oh-too-familiar with attachment disorders.

    Sending hugs!!!!
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like a good plan. I am well aware of many of the problems that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) can provide, thanks to becoming involved with a few of Wiz' classmates and their families.
    Tezzie, that "swiss cheese" awareness is a good way to describe some of the problems that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) can cause. It is a sign that he may truly be incapable of living independently, that he may truly need supports all of his life.

    that makes it even more important to try to get him into a group home or assisted living situation. It doesn't mean he will accept it, sadly enough. If he refuses to accept it, it does NOT mean you have to allow him to live at home. It means that if he won't accept it you need to let him make his way as best he can for a while with the hope that he will realize he needs help. When he is ready to accept help, and to admit he needs it, THEN you try again to help him find a group home or assisted living situation. Many of our kids will not accept the group home/assisted living until they have tried to make it on their own and failed miserable at it.

    It is terribly hard to let them go enough to fail and realize it. I don't envy your position at all.
  13. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Tezzie, our difficult child can't function independently either. If you ask him how much a 1/2 gal of milk costs, he doesn't have a clue. A big mac? Can't even guess how much it costs or how much is too much for lunch.
    He can't fill out applications alone. He can work but he needs supports and job coaching. He is approved for services but there is no funds for assisted living or subsidized apartments. Certainly a single guy is low on the list of priorities.
    I'm trying to prod the process along by helping with applications but it hasn't been very effective yet.
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Like Fran I am aware that some young adults just can't move forward on their own. It is a trying circumstance and I keep hoping that an appropriate service or support system will become available. I've looked and looked. So far
    no results.

    Sending caring thoughts your way. It is not how any of us envisioned the future. DDD