Motivating pot addicted 18yr old son to get & hold a job + care about future

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by flasponge, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. flasponge

    flasponge New Member

    Im heartbroken, beyond words, my only son I have raised alone for past 10 years is making bad choices. He was a great student until 11th grade, always motivated always cared about work and the future it seemed. He has good relationship with his mother who left the state 10 years ago, he sees here twice a year and I have a stable wife for past 8 years + younger step son. Our home is very stable, and we always asked kids to do chores, be polite and helpful. Other parents always say we have polite kids,

    Then my son found pot at 17 + a new group of friends, his grades took a HUGE tumble from a 3.8 GPA + Dual Enrollment College to barely passing HS. After HS, he has had NO goals unless someone of authority asks him. We have given him since June 6 2019 to get & hold a job OR go to college FT. He doesnt want to go to college, so he started a "job search" that has been going on for past 2.5 months.

    He got 2 jobs in that time that lasted less than 2 weeks, both jobs let him go because he is too slow / lazy and this is certainly due to the POT. Some people can work and smoke, other people like my kid are so effected by pot that he becomes inattentive and unmotivated to the point where he can barely do BASIC tasks. I have given him 3 deadlines that have come and gone, and today he decided to refuse to go into a job to work just so he could go to an Open Mic & play music & hang with friends. He is an OK musician, he is now substituting his music + pot smoking for work and school. He uses our house as his studio + pot storage area & uses my wifes car to go to his freinds house and get high all day and night. He a particular friend a 19 yr old boy, who's mother is an enabling alcoholic who lets my son and 3-4 other boys hang out & smoke pot & deal pot. This 19 yr old has become my son's best friend, to the point that I don't know if my son is now dealing pot or helping to deal pot. He doesnt have a police record yet, but I suspect that may change one day. Today was the last straw for me, I told him he has to get and KEEP a FT job or move out. So he has decided to move out, with 32$ to his name, no car, no bank acct. He departed with a suit case.

    Im sure there are other details, please give me your opnion, what can I do to A) moticate my son to see the beenfit of work / school and B) should I help him with $ now that he has left home? and C) Should I add a rule to not smoke pot if I let him back in the house. Also: as a note I am not against pot, however I have seen first hand the effects of the addiction. Pot as a recreation + medical I understand, however I am FAR TO well aware from both my son & ex-wife of the dangers of pot addiction.

    My heart is broken, he is my only son and I am so deeply sad that I can barely type,

    This is the text message I sent him after he left offering him a way back home, please let me know idf this is OK or ?

    J.., To live in this house u will.need to follow these rules: 1) U have to get & keep a 30hr week job within a week by 8/17/19 2) U have to pay phone bill & car insurance by 9/1 $100.00. 3) Work will be the highest priority in life. If you don't want to live under those rules then you can move out to where ever you want to go. After you.move out, I will not be paying your phone bill past 9/1/2019. I am doing this because I love you, otherwise I am.enabling irresponsible and destructive behavior that will result in you being a homeless & destructive adult. EVERY ADULT HAS TO WORK. You can learn that now or later. Its your choice.
  2. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    What if your son doesn't ask to come home? I think you need to let him know that you are done financially including paying for the phone. Let him know you love and care for him, but he has to learn to support himself. If pot is illegal in your state, and you don't want it in your home, call the police if you find it or paraphernalia on your property.

    Kids are very adaptive. They will find free wifi from McDonald's or at friends houses. They can use messenger and free texting apps. You might make a list of community services and shelters.

    We have tried to do the rules...but it just drives you crazy and makes you police their behaviors. I would buy drug testing kits. Follow my child like a detective. It didn't work for us.

    Please find a support group like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon and attend weekly meetings.

    In the Parent Emeritus forum is a wonderful article on detachment. It's always one of the top four things you can read at the top of the page. Read it often.

    Your wife and stepson deserve a quiet home without the drama.

    Good luck! Ksm
  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    I had Al Anon last night because of my chronic pot smoking 33 year old who refuses to change.

    I have learned in Al Anon and by enabling and trying to push her that we are powerless over anyone but ourselves.

    This includes our kids. Yes, this breaks our hearts but all we can try to do .is to withdraw support and even housing if they don't follow our reasonable rules.

    Lets just lump it all together and say that I and my husband did everything that doesn't work to try to motivate and change Kay.

    We made sure she had nice housing, cars, our undying love/rescue and support. We begged for her to get therapy or rehab and college. We cried and begged at times. She cussed at us.

    She never listened and has a useless husband who barely works and my poor grandchild. And she wont work to better their situation.

    We now focus on our own lives, see our friends and relatives who are kind to us, and have given Kay over to God because the twelve steps are right. We can't control another person, not even a beloved child. All of us can only control one person in the world...ourselves.

    Your son is very young. He could decide to change. You can encourage it but you can't force it. All you can do is make it a condition of living with you, driving a car, getting money from you etc. You can tell him he needs to follow your rules on necessaries in life or get out, even if he has nowhere to go.

    Shock you? It shocked us too at first. We bought her a house, a mobile home, helped pay, rent and bought cars. They lost ALL of these things!

    Even those tough measures don't always work, they are better than allowing our kids to disobey society rules in our homes and on our dime. It is something I wish we had started at 18. We did the opposite.

    My daughter is mow a helpless and belligerent 33 year old on the verge of homelessness. Many relatives will hoise the baby. Nobody will house her and Lee. They burned all their family/friend bridges. We thought that Lee's parents may take them in but they told us only the grandchild. Period. I don't blame them.

    My daughter being homeless was once our biggest fear. But we are in our 60s now and plan a good retirement. What they do, they do. We are done. We learned. At least Kay is not interested in changing at all nor is Lee. This girl had it all. She didn't want to give up pot and would not work. Plus she is great at cussing out and leaving those who tried to help her. it is what it is.

    I recommend Al Anon and therapy for yourself.

    I recommend reading up both on Mindfulness and Radical Acceptance. They changed our lives for tje better. Read ALL you can on radical acceptance. Tara Brach is just one person with a book about it. Watch YouTube videos on Radical Acceptance. This changed our thinking about Kay. And life.

    God bless and be well.
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  4. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    I'm sorry for the pain you are going through. BusynMember and KSM both posted some very sage advice regarding acceptance and letting go.

    My daughter is also negatively affected by pot. I can tell when it's built up in her system because she gets mean and cares even less (she gets very cold - it numbs her feelings). I do my best to keep our time together structured and to a minimum (which is difficult because her child is in our care and she will use that for leverage).

    I'm sensing you'd like your son to come home. I think your idea of having him not use pot and hold a job sound quite fair. Keep us updated.
  5. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet


    We all love our children desperately and that is why we are here. To share ideas and offer support.

    I think that you need to stand firm for your son's sake. I would let him be out of the house for a while so he can see what the real world is like.

    I would be suspicious that there is other drug use going on also. I also am not against weed and smoked a lot myself when I was young but it took my son to very very bad places with other drugs. You can see by my signature that things got very very bad for us before they turned around. I would not wish what we went through on anyone. We did not get tough until I found this forum.

    Every situation is different. What works for some will not work for others.

    What does his mom say? Are there siblings in the picture?

    We were afraid to get our son "mad" which was a huge mistake on mostly my part.
  6. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    I would stay the course. The fact that he moved out is a big step in him owning his choices. I know its agonizing as I have been in your shoes. Do you think your son would follow the rules about getting a job and not smoking? In my case, my son would agree to anything to get his way. Then he'd sneak around.
  7. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    If he's using your house to store pot, the DA can seize your property. It doesn't matter if you own the house. You may never get it back. This has been happening in our town and in other states.
  8. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    Unfortunately nothing you do will make your son see the light and become a productive member of society. He is an adult now and has to travel his own path which sadly is not usually the path we would choose for our adult kids. You have to cut him off financially, not let him continue to use your vehicles and not let him use your house for anything. If he wants to stay in your house he must stay all the time and follow the rules you put forth. Let him know you are changing the locks and if he breaks in you will call the police. Remember that anything you tell him you will do you must follow through on. These kids will push and push to test limits, especially when you first start establishing boundaries. In my experience once you begin setting and maintaining boundaries these kids up the ante and behave even worse. My daughter went insane when I set and maintained boundaries. It was a real test for me to be able to hold my bottom line. That was years ago and she is better now but I take it day by day. I know it's incredibly difficult when you first set boundaries but it is best for everyone. You're going to have to learn to turn your focus where it belongs- to yourself. Sending you peace.
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  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. I'm glad you found us here.

    This is very concerning. If the cops were to come and search your house and find pot, you would be the one going to jail not your son. If your son was driving moms car and had an accident your son would have to deal with the issue of causing an accident but you and your wife would be responsible and possibly sued.

    This is very concerning. Your son is putting himself in a very dangerous situation where he could be arrested. Sadly, there is nothing you can do, he's an adult and is making his choices of how he wants to live.

    I think you made the best choice you could for you, your wife and the safety of your home and your sanity.

    Perfect!!! This is a loving but stern message to him. You are being honest with him and you have already shown that you will no longer enable him.

    It's not easy having an adult child who makes poor life choices but please know and understand that this is nothing you did or didn't do, it just is what it is. Many parents get stuck in what we call the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) I too was once stuck in it. It's very easy to go there as our adult children are quite proficient at using our emotions against us.
    You have set some very clear boundaries which is exactly what you needed to do. Now, you just have to stick to them. Once we "liberate" our adult children from our homes they can really ramp it up. Don't be surprised if you get calls or texts begging or demanding you help him. I've heard it all from my son, everything from "I'm going to starve to death, I'm going to freeze to death, I need medical attention, I might as well not be living" Hearing these kind of things can tear at your heart and mess with your mind. It's okay to tell them no. It's okay to direct them to a shelter. It's NOT okay to allow them to manipulate us.
    One strategy that worked well for me and has worked well for many here is to have some canned, standard answers at the ready. This way you don't get sucked into a debate or argument.
    Son: Dad, I really need some money for food.
    Dad: I'm sorry you are having a tough time but I cannot help you.
    Son: What do you mean you can't help me, I know you have money!!!
    Dad: I'm sorry you are having a tough time but I cannot help you.
    Son: If you loved me you would help me!! I'm going to die out here!!
    Dad: I'm sorry you are having a tough time but I cannot help you. I have to go now, I love you. Goodbye.

    You get the idea. Always remember, you do not owe your son an explanation for anything.

    You are on the right track!

    Hang in there. Keep posting and let us know how things are going.