launching and praise?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by greenstockings, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. Seems like my DS is making a real effort to comply with the expectations that have been laid out to him. He has been doing the chores that we ask (without being told) and has gotten a job. He started this past Monday.

    I have never been one of those "everybody gets a trophy" parents. I do and have praised my kids, but only when I feel that it's deserved. I don't believe in praise for doing the bare minimum.

    I feel like what my son is now doing at age almost-23 is the bare minimum, and he only began to do these things once he was given an ultimatum. So, despite the anxiety and depression, he's sort of proven that he's capable of doing these thing; he's just chosen not to until now.

    So, to praise or not to praise? I'm happy that he's finally doing something with himself, but I'm not exactly "proud." You shouldn't have to be threatened with homelessness to do your share.

  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Depression and anxiety are real problems. He likely wasn't really choosing NOT to do them... rather, didn't have the internal resources to DO them. The ultimatum may have changed the balance a bit, and he's had to dig deeper to try to fit in.

    Knowing a bit about depression... I'd say, acknowledge. Not "trophy" praise, but acknowledge that he is doing what is expected, and that it is appreciated. Put it in "me" terms... as in, tell him what it means to YOU. Not how well he is doing, but how much you appreciate not having to do X or having Y done....
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think it's best to expect him to act like a man. Just, "Of course you got a job. You're smart man (emphasis man).If he is antisocial, it may not even be safe for him to live with you.

    Once 18,then it is up to yourself, legally and maturity-wise, to take care of your own mental health. If a young man won't launch, you may want to consider a timetable:

    1. In two months I will get paid $200 rent.
    2. You will buy your own food.
    3. You wil pay your portion of car expenses, including insurance, gas and upkeep.
    4. You will move toward getting your own place, even if it is a room in a private home, one year from Jan. 1, 2015. That will be your goal for becoming self-sufficient.

    That sort of thing. That Is only if he is not dangerous. If he is, he may need out right now for your safety. You did not call him dangerous. I will assume he is just lazy and unpleasant, like most of our grown adult kid.

    I would not baby him. He has long ceased to be a child and should have done these things long ago.

    These are just my thoughts and suggestions. I wish you good luck and hope your son decides to act like the man that he is. Some young people just need the knowledge that Mom isn't taking care of them anymore to start moving ahead. You can slowly stop the money train and, In the meantime, he can certainly do his own laundry and cook and clean after himself.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  4. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    I think some type of praise or acknowledgement is in order. Its a basic psychlogical principle. You praise and reinforce the desired behavior. And the chores? Without being reminded? That's awesome! Definitely praiseworthy!

    I hope he is getting some therapy for the anxiety and depression.
  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I agree.

    Rather than praising his accomplishments, whatever they are and wherever he takes his life from here, I would model an "attitude of gratitude" for him. "So pleased for you that you have taken the first steps toward independence, toward real manhood."

    Though we often feel powerless, the expectations we hold of our children form the basis not only of their expectations of themselves, but of our expectations for them going forward. Whatever your child's problems, he will need to come to terms with them before he can live his life fully and well.

    And whatever his problems, you will need a place to stand, a set of expectations to parent from, as the years unfold.

    It was your insistence that he could do this that got him started down this positive path. I think it would be a mistake to praise him for his accomplishments. Though we all like to hear "Good job!", we also know very well when we deserve that or not.

    Let your praise come when you are truly impressed with some extraordinary thing he has accomplished.

  6. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Personally, I don't see anything wrong with, "Hey, thanks for taking out the trash." or "Oh! You put the dishes away! Thanks!" Or starting a conversation with, "How was work?" and ending the conversation with, "You know, I do think it's great you're working." It's not a trophy, just an acknowledgement, kind of like your husband saying, "Dinner was great, thanks." even though you cook dinner all the time. It's nice to hear sometimes.
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