I'm actually going to send him to college??


So..he graduates HS with barely a D average in the classes that count and barely gets into the college he really wanted. Spent a month at the Summer semester offered at his college and received a B-,D- and an F (in PE!). Obviously screwing off and smoking pot. Total charmer, winning personality, but doesn't do squat for his academics and the grades show. Teachers, Coaches, and us consistently disappointed by his blowing off of commitments that should be important to him. He'd rather smoke dope and hang out, yukking it up. And its never his fault when a teacher F's him, or a coach benches him.

Took the car last month without permission and received a 90mph speeding ticket on the highway. had 3 friends in the car..that'll cost me about $1500 to work out..forged a check to himself for $60 from our checkbook..we know he's always buying pot...All of this is pretty much business as usual around here for the last 3 years.

That being said, the depression of a few years back is gone, there is less yelling and abuse from him when he doesn't get his way, and that's much improved. He wants to succeed in life, and his people skills will get him there (even if he graduates college with a D- average). But he consistently screws up his academics and personal choices. I don't think he's mature enough to survive a semester in college, but also feel that even if he tanks, it will be the best lesson he could learn (albeit costly to me). More of a life lesson than a year off gap year.


Many thanks! This board always has excellent perspective.


Well-Known Member
I have a few questions that you don't have to answer except to yourself.

Does he lie a lot? Lie to gain things from other people, especially you? Does he put on a charming act to get what he wants, since he knows how to do it? Is he a hard worker (this will tell you tons about how he wants to succeed. Some people want to succeed by working hard and making good and some want to do it off the good intentions and hard work of others, who are kindhearted and give it to him?) Are you sure he'd even go to college? Some of our difficult children have misused the money we have given for and during college and then we have found out they weren't even attending. This is not a young adult I'd pay anything for or send to college. In fact, in my opinion, he owes you $1500.

I have a charming, tricky son who is highly intelligent and many times I have thought "Things are better now" and sometimes they are. That doesn't mean he has changed. Often, as soon as stressors come into play, he is worse than ever, acting like he is six years old and having a tantrum. These young adults often use drugs and/or have personality disorders. I am reading about personality disorders because my son has many traits and although I iknow I can't change him, I have become interested in how personality disordered people act. Being charming is a prime trait in narcissism and antisocial, but that doesn't mean your son has either one...I mean, some people are just very pleasant and fun. The difference is when they use that charm to get things out of others. They don't want to work hard. They want YOU (or anyone) to work hard to support THEM. They often break the law as rules don't apply to them and they have no remorse about screwing up other people or getting stuff from them. This is for your knowledge only; not any attempt to diagnose a young adult I have never met. It's just kind of a "be careful" warning when you let yourself get too hopeful too soon and hand out too much because, just like me, you are so happy a few quirks seem to be under better control. We think we need to reward our adult children for acting halfway decent for periods of time...I learned the hard way to just go with the flow, be happy when it happens, don't give out rewards for normal good behavior, don't let my own thoughts become "magical"..."It's getting better, therefore I have to throw the kitchen sink at him to show him how much I appreciate the changes." In spite of all we gave to our now 36 year old son, plus signing him up for college, which he never completed, he is who he is. He's a little unique with our difficult children because he does have a great job, work, and own his own home but I'm convinced he never would have done this on his own if we would have done it for him. He STILL acts my ex husband for money all the time, although he has a good job. He claims he is always broke.

After his car escapade that will cost you so much, is he still driving YOUR car? Does he help pay for gas/insurance? If it were my son, the car would be gone if he didn't show remorse, try to work part time to repay me and paying for his own gas would not be negotiable. All of my kids had to pay for t heir own gas and help pay their part of the insurance and they all worked part time in high school, even the difficult children. That just wasn't an option not to. And, fortunately, even with their problems, they all do work now.

To LucyJ: If he is under eighteen, the parents are responsible for their mischief.


Well-Known Member
Ok. First let me apologize, doing this on my phone, may be typos. I advise against college. We sent our 18 year old last fall. He was a good, but lazy, student. Thru the school year and summer he screwed off, smoked pot, stole from us. The only reason we sent him was to get him away from his friends. Long story short, he didn't bother going to class, failed every class. Was suspended, appealed his suspension. They let him back in. He did it again. Wasted $5500 in student loans and $9500 of our money and had a lovely year-long holiday. The first thing he did, of course, was find the stoners at school. We'd have never let him back the second semester but we were stuck on paying the student housing regardless and at least he wasn't here.

Since coming home he's had ups and downs.

He spent a month lying to us and not looking for work. It seems to have resolved a bit. He's not looking as hard as I'd like, but he is looking. We'be now stopped giving him money, although we have let him earn a small amount by doing landscape and working on a remodel project we just haven't been able to get to...stuff outside of normal household chores.

We told him also that if ANYTHING goes missing from this house, we WILL call the police and if he did it, he goes to jail. Period. We'll do it too. I won't have that ever again. Id tell your son that too, although you may be willing to overlook stealing. We just aren't, not ever again. The check he wrote to himself, that is a Felony in most states.

I truly understand being confused about your next move and wanting him in college. I understand thinking he'll outgrow it. I'm not to the 'cut him off completely' phase with my son either, but in my opinion, if you don't make him deal with the serious consequences of his actions, I think it'll do more harm than good to send him to college. He needs to get a job and work off that ticket, clean up his act, or you may well find he just skates thru and has fun. Failing won't bother him.

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