My son just can't get right - this is so long!


New Member
I've been dealing with such difficult issues with my wonderful son and just decided to look online and see if there was some support out there and I found you. I hope you don't mind if I just begin sharing.

My son is going through such hard times. I blame myself because I divorced his Dad (an abusing drunk) when he was 3 and never remarried (until he was 23). He is my only child and he got alot of attention, we always went on vacations and spent alot of time together, he was very smart and well mannered. I got compliments on him all of the time. He was a really great kid. My mother and father doted on him as well as he was their only grandchild. His father quickly remarried this jealous woman who didn't let him see my son so I'm sure there are anger issues about that although I use to ask him occasionally if he was okay about that and he's say he didn't care - that alone sounds resentful....

He was very close to my mom and dad and both of them died in 98 and left their house to my son who was 19 at the time. He also inherited some money which he quickly went through with some trashy girl that he'd met. They had 2 kids and married a couple of years later. They are poison for one another. She goes out of her way to provoke him and he hits holes in the wall. He's so frustrated. They have been seperated for over a year now, but they still see one another almost every day and fight as much as ever. She calls him up late at night and keeps him up fighting. She use to hide his keys or leave him alone with the kids so he couldn't go to work and he lost several jobs that way. Horrible relationship.

Now he is broke all of the time, but he makes pretty good money and blows it on stupid stuff like rent a center wide screen tvs and extravagant appliances although his house is nearly a dump from 10 years of neglect. Now he's taken over payments on a 4 wheeler which I expect he'll lose soon. I don't even think he got the title for it so he's making someone else's payments. He is horrible at money management. I try to tell him to save money, but he never does. He didn't get any of this behavior from me. I've always held a job and been very responsible with money. I think I didn't teach him well that he had to be patient and work for what he got and he still hasn't figured it out yet.

Now he's lost his lisence (apparently he had an accident and was sued because he didn't have insurance so his liscense was suspended and he didn't know it - then he got caught driving with suspended liscense) so I have to pick him and my grandson up in the morning, take my son to work, then put my grandson on the bus, which makes me late for work every day then I have to get off early to get my grandson off of the bus. I can't make any money myself because of him. I know he thinks I'm going to bail him out of all of this and I just can't. I guess that's the problem. He's had too much handed to him and can't do for himself.

His mouth is atrocious! I love him but can hardly stand to be around him because he curses so badly. I'm not perfect and cuss sometimes too, but not in everyday conversation. And he says some of the most aweful language while my grandkids are right there in the room!

He is just an angry person and has let everything fall down around him until it seems impossibe to pick himself back up.

I just don't know what to do.......when I try to give him some advice he gets offended. One time he got mad at me and I didn't see him again for over a year. He's very very sensitive. I feel terrible and trapped.

Thank you for letting me spill my guts. If any of you have any advice to offer then I would greatly appreciate it.


Active Member
he is 23. let go some hun. his kids have a mother who should help them as well. your son is spoiled and is over coddled. help him be the man you wanted to raise but getting firmer with him. I still dont have it right with my son but I will not baby him at all.

bad language is a poison that will eek into your grandkids as well. you dont have to be trapped. he made is a whole year without you once, didnt he?
try this for starters


New Member
I'm sorry I didn't mention his age. He is 28 today.

I know you're right - he is spoiled. I really didn't think I was overly coddling him. When he left home at 18 I was never the kind of mother who called every day or tried to interfere with his marriage or try to run his life - maybe I should have been more involved instead of watching him make so many mistakes. I've always let him live his own life. I did tell him that his wife was no good (shortly after they met) and he got mad at me.....I was right.

It's just so hard for me to not try to help him because he's been abandoned by everyone else. His Dad lost interest in him so he lost contact with that whole side of the family. And then his grandparents both died. I'm sort of all he has.

He made it without me before his son was in school and he was still married and his wife had the kids. He has his son now and his wife has his daughter and he needs someone to put him on the bus. Of course when he was little I hired before and after school help. I would have never thought to ask my mom to miss work so she could sit with him. But since I'm self employed eveyone thinks that I don't really have a job and I can get my work done anytime.

Thank you for the link. All help is greatly appreciated!!
Hi there

This is the hardest thing to hear, and even harder to do, but here it is, the good, bad, and ugly.

You have GOT to let go and let him do this alone. There are many reasons why. You are not abandoning him. You will always be there for him. But you do not have to be his taxi and be late for work because HE screwed up. Also, the more you do for him, the less he will do for himself. He needs to learn how to do this. If you keep bailing him out (and yes, driving him and his son is bailing him out), he will never get the hint that it is up to him. And he is 28?? Time for him to grow up. That is not even funny. As far as your grandson getting to school, let him figure out another way. His X can do it, or he can get a schoolmate's mom to do it or something. There is no way in the world why you should have to miss work. That is ridiculous.

So, there it is, out in the open. It feels like the complete opposite of what you should be doing, but he needs you to let go. The only reason I would step in is if one of the kids' safety was at stake.

Welcome to the board. Glad you found us, but sorry you had to!


Active Member
I dont think of it as abandoning, more like pushing out of the nest and making them fly because one day you will not be around to help.

I too have a lot of the care of my grandson who is three. his mom and he live 3 hrs away so he comes for long visits of a week or two at a time. I get him to the sitters and my son picks him up and walks him home. I see to his batha nd bedtime story and laundry and most meals. my son does the dinners but he cannot be sure he will be sober at night so I dont let kaleb sleep there anymore. I see no problem making sure a defenseless helpless child is tended to. however if your son cannot handle your grandson and it causes you hardship, perhaps getting him placed out of the home is a better option. he is a bad example for his son.

I do see a problem with a man of their age verbally abusing the mom while the kids watch. that starts a pattern. your son should kiss your behind. ant doesnt swear at me anymore. he knows I hang up, leave and will not argue back. he knows it means I cut off all communication. his dad said F you to me for 30 yrs, almost daily. I will never tolerate that again from anyone. ant's dad lost interest in him at birth, and now that side of the family is history for ant. oh well. people manage somehow even when they move to a foreign county, they make new people to be with.

you can help your son by helping him be stronger. make him stand on his own. do not continue to teach him to abuse women with his anger. heck, he still sees the wife daily and talks to her and they have you being his servant. get mad. it can help you stick up for yourself. stop feeling guilty about your son's childhood. that part sounds pretty good to me. it is his adulthood that is a pain for not only you but him...his fault for his bad choices, not yours.


New Member
Thank you for your help. You're right - that would be hard to do.

I sat with my grandson before and after school last year and it was hard, but I got throught it. I don't know.....I just pity my grandson so much that I hate to not be there for him. He's never gotten much attention and didn't even learn to talk until last year when I started watching him - and he was 6 then! Nobody every asked him any questions for him to learn how to answer and he practically behaved like a closet child! Very timid. Just pitiful. The daughter is spoiled rotten and is allowed to take everything away from my breaks my heart!

And my parents did watch my son for me - but not until he was almost a teenager so I guess I feel like I owe him. I probably need some therepy of my own to straighten me out. I just have a lot of guilt and pity that I need to get over.

Thanks again - so much! And please if anyone else has any advice - I'm listening.


New Member
Oh Ant'sMom - I didn't make myself clear again. My son doesn't curse AT me, he just curses around me. He curses about his wife and co-workers and boss. He NEVER has said anything foul directed at me. When he was a kid he never even would go into his room and slam the door. I would be WAY less sympathetic of his situation if he were abusing me verbally!

But I NEVER cursed around my mom! I just think it's disrespectful for him to use that language around me and it's just irresponsible for him to use it around his kids! At first I just took it as he was trying to exert his independance by cursing...but he's not independant, and the language is out of hand.

Like I mentioned earlier, I have to leave now to go pick up my grandson and then we're taking them out for dinner for my son's birthday today so I won't be around any more this evening. I will check in tomorrow and your help has really opened my eyes today. I appreciate it. I was feeling like I should be doing more when I should probably be doing less.

Any and all advice is still welcome. I'm looking forward to reading in the morning.

So bless you all and have a great evening.


Active Member
It's hard to let go, especially when it's been just the two of you for so very long.
My parents goal was always to raise their children to leave the house and be productive, law abiding citizens. Many of us here share that goal. Sounds like your difficult child can actually survive on his own.

It also sounds like you get sucked in easily to the daily drama of his life etc. You might try some answers like " I'm sure you'll do just fine, or I'm sure you'll figure it out" and then make a quick exit off the phone or out the door. That way you won't get sucked into the decision making and he'll start to stand on his own decisions. It's hard after you've been together so long to start to distance yourself.

If your grandson is just starting to talk, is his teacher concerned? Does the school have before and after care? if difficult child isn't making much, he should qualify for some subsidy.

Rather than coming to the rescue, why not try and find solutions that don't involve you.

by the way...glad you found us :smile:


Well-Known Member
Hon, he's 28--you shouldn't be helping him at all. Big deal if you divorced his abusive dad at three and he didn't see his dad. If it bothers him to this day, then he needs to get into therapy. in my opinion he's acting like a child because you're pampering him and not forcing him to grow up. I wouldn't drive him to and from work just because he was irresponsible. I wouldn't blame his wife for him putting holes in the wall. I don't care how frustrated he gets--he's 28 and that's inappropriate. I would actually focus on the grandchild. Whether or not he gets attention it's alarming that he didn't speak until he was five years old. I'd be wondering if he had some sort of disorder, like autistic spectrum--not trying to scare you, but I'd be more concerned about the child than the adult who is acting like a child. Is your grandson delayed in any other ways?
I don't think you should feel guilty about anything. He is half your ex's child and perhaps he inherited some of his traits or, if he has any, mental illnesses. He sounds like he has a bad anger problem. Lots of kids go through divorce. My kids did and they were also adopted. That's no excuse for his anger and irresponsibility at his age. My advice: Let him go and focus on the grandchild, but don't miss work again or put your life on hold for a grown man, even your son. I expect my grown kids to be independent. You can't force him to be responsible, but you can give him some incentive by not being there to bail him out when he screws up. Teach him to figure out answers to his own problems. You won't be around forever. Then what? (((Hugs))) Take care.


New Member
SunnyFlorida - you hit the nail on the head. It's been the two of us for so long and I want him to know he can count on someone in his life - but you all are right - he needs to learn to take care of things on his own. I guess I'm scared of losing him again too.

My grandson does not have any other kinds of disorders at all. Just a language delay. At 6 he could not communicate at all. He just smiled at you when you asked a question because he didn't know what to do. But while I was watching him during the school year last year I made him learn the words to ask for things and he has gotten much better at expressing himself. He is a different child now that he understands the world a little better. He use to be in a shell all of the time because he didn't understand what was going on around him or what people were saying. I hate to sound like I'm blaming the mom because I know everyone just thinks I'm trying to take the blame off of my son, but she was always very distant to my grandson. She never talked to him when he was a baby or any other time. Sounds weird - I know. And although child rearing should be a joint effort, I'm sure that the man usually takes his cues on communicating with a child from the mother. Whatever the case - nobody taught him to talk - and kids do not learn to talk from watching TV either or else he would have learned because he watches a lot of tv.

My grandson had to repeat kindergarden because of his lack of communication skills. He is improving and is in 1st grade this year. He's extremely artistic and loves to draw. His memory is amazing, he remembers details and colors of things instantly. I think he's a brilliant child who has been denied any training - but of course I am biased. :smile:

Midwestmom - I am starting to understand the relevance of genetics in our behavior. I always thought that environment was more a factor in our behavior than our genes, but my son rarely saw his dad and yet his temperment is SO much like his it's scary! My dad was also a volitile young man tho he mellowed out with age. My son looks alot like my dad and may have inherited some temper from him. Both my dad and my ex were very dependant on the women in their lives. My ex divorced again about 3 years ago and moved back in with his mom and he just turned 50!

You all have been a tremendous help! Really! Thank you so much for the warm welcome and the excellent advice. I am still open to more comments so please do help me to change my ways!


New Member
Welcome to the board.

I agree with the others. Your son is almost 30 years old. He will not change and learn to do anything for himself until you stop do anything for him.

You deserve to live your life. He is choosing to screw up his. It is his choice not yours.


Well-Known Member
Back to grandson. He sounds very much like a child who is on the Spectrum, and, if he is, he needs help. That kind of communication delay doesn't happen just because a child gets little attention. I did foster care and ultra-abused kids came to us talking fluently. I think you should take him to a neuropsychologist. He may be getting bettr, but that's typical for forms of autism, but he won't get better ENOUGH without interventions and help. He needs to be completely evaluted and NeuroPsychs in my opinion do it best. Please don't be in denial. Your son is too wrapped up in his own self-pity to help his son--it's up to you. My son was a lot like your grandson--he is doing really well now at fourteen, but he still needs some help and always will. Perhaps your son has a disorder you don't know about. in my opinion he either has a mental illness or some sort of neurological disorder. "Normal" twenty-eight year olds don't act like him. I have a son who lived in an orphanage until he was six and got dragged to America. He can take care of himself without the drama. I think there's more going on. You can't do much for older son as he has long since become an adult (agewise, that is). The little guy needs your help. Something is up with him. Trust me, you'll be glad if you take him to a neuropsychologist. If you don't, in my opinion, you'll be very sorry down the road. Even if he has improved, that doesn't mean nothing is the matter. (((Hugs)))


New Member
I will check into that Midwestmom.

I've asked my son before if he had asked the doctor about other disorders and he said that the doctor told him there were none, but maybe he needs further evaluation. Someone from the school did come to son's home last year for an interview to see if further assistance was needed or if grandson was able to continue to 1st grade and he okayed grandson to advance to 1st grade and didn't suggest further treatment THAT I KNOW of, of course. So based on those two evaluations I just assumed that he was fine and just needed to be taught.

Grandson has no problem learning when he is shown something. He has just been infantized. He was fed and clothed in silence with no choices given. He was placed in the car and his seatbelt done for him. He just didn't have to learn to do anything. I showed him how to open the car door himself and put on his own seat belt and he has no problem at all. I ask him in the morning if he wants eggs or waffles and he has to talk to me and he enjoys having a choice.

I don't know. I have a friend who is a child phychologist and I was going to have her talk to him, but then he started improving so much that I was convinced that his mother was the culprit. He only started learning when she left home. I think there was so much fighting going on in the home before and he didn't get the attention he needed and was just stuck in front of the tv all the time. I'll go ahead and have my friend talk to him and see if he needs help.

Thank you for your advice!


Well-Known Member
My son improved too, by leaps and bounds, but he's fourteen now and obviously different. You don't want to wait until then. I'd take him to a neuropsychologist for an evaluation. A Psycologist who just looks at him and listens to you, just isn't enough.
As for your son, I can't believe that if he told any Psychiatrist the truth about his behavior they'd say he was fine. His father is an alcoholic, a big red flag for mood disorders. His son has a huge speech delay, a huge red flag for high functioning autism. I'll bet your son never saw anybody or, if he did, didn't tell him about his behavior. I've seen many psychiatrists in my life (I have bipolar) and there is no way he could have told them about the holes in the wall and have them say, "You're fine." As for the child, teachers and even school district evaluators often, if not usually, miss disorders. It's in their $$$ to say nothing is wrong. I'd go privately and not be sorry later on. Whatever is wrong may improve, but it won't go away, and will probably bite him in the butt later if it's not addressed now. I do feel (with only affection towards you) that you are in denial about both your son and grandson. Good luck.
(here is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/autism assessment test you can give to your grandchild to see where he scores on it. Even "mild" is a red flag) Developmental Disorder (PDD)+assessment+test&btnG=Google+Search


New Member
I think I may not have made myself clear again....but my son never saw anyone about himself. He should.

And I only meant that I would have my psycologist friend talk to him so she could refer me to a neurophysc because I don't know any and I looked in the phone book and didn't see any listed like that.

I didn't mean to be in denial....I was only reacting to what I was told (that grandson didn't have disorders) . It's hard to know when to stick my nose into my son's business and when to but out. I will look into it for my grandson's sake.

Thanks for the links to the tests. I did the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) assessment as honestly as I could. He scored quite a few milds and resolved but the score suggests no Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) so that's a relief, but I know I should still have him checked.

Off to check out the other link. THANK YOU!


Well-Known Member
Sorry, if you were upset. I didn't mean anything in a mean way, just trying to help and thought it would be helpful to have your grandson assessed, but you're right--it's not your child, and whether you think there may or may not be a problem, it's not your decision. As for your son, I apologize if you felt I was out of line. Take care!


New Member
Oh no no! I didn't feel like you were out of line at all! I asked for help and you were helping. I was just trying to clear up a thing or two that I thought I might not have explained well.

I appreciate your time and your advice so much! I don't have anyone to talk to, so sometimes I just can't see if I'm doing too much or not enough! I work alone and the only person I have to confide in is my husband who is fabulous, but bias so it's very very nice to have the opinion of someone unattached to the situation and especially another woman.

I didn't mean to offend you.
Hi and welcome to the board, you will find lots of helpful advise here.

I can totally identify with over indulging your son because I was guilty of the same thing myself for many years, due to guilt at my divorce from their dad and their dad's total lack of interest in them. I did my 2 kids NO favors, believe me, and a total disservice to myself. They took me for granted, were verbally abusive and their behavior was totally out of line. I thought it was me and it was, I was letting them walk all over me and my guilt about them was overwhelming.

I did the trips thing and the lots of quality time thing. Family doted on them and they had all the perks that mommy could give them in love, time and money. I had no life outside of my kids, my whole world revolved around them and I couldn't see what I had done wrong.

This group helped me detach.

You are not doing your son any favors by enabling him. I don't mean to sound harsh, but he is 28, an adult, not even a "young adult" but well on his way. He is responsible for his behavior, not you, not his wife, no matter how trashy she is, cursing and making holes in the wall is his behavior, his problem, not acceptable under any circumstances.

I agree with MidwestMom about your grandson, he needs to be evaluated to see why he wasn't speaking until 6. Many of the behaviors you describe raise red flags and I think he really needs an evaluation. From what you describe it sounds as if the adults in his life, including your son, have not interacted with him in a meaningful way. I mean you usually talk to your kid, even baby talk as you go about your daily tasks, putting him in the car seat, bathing him, ect. And you describe him as having been in a closet. Not good. I do agree he needs to be evaluated, and as soon as possible. The earlier the intervention, the more chance of there being positive results. As you have said yourself, he is responding very positively to the interactions he has with you and in school. Check out the early childhood forum for more info and the links as well. more on the early childhood board.

However, getting back to your son, you did the best you could raising him and it sounds like you provided him with the best childhood you could and then some. It is time to cut the ropes. You aren't responsible for making sure he gets to work on time, or even getting him to work, he is. If he has to walk or take the bus, then so be it.

I agree with you that you should be doing LESS with your son, rather than more, step back, when he comes up with a problem or a reason why he needs you to do something for him tell him that you are sure he can figure it out himself. He will likely be angry with you at first but too bad, he needs to stand on his own two feet and get his life in order and you can't do that for him.

Take deep breaths and detach, baby steps, you can do it.

Glad you are here and welcome. This board saved my life.


Well-Known Member
OH, hon, you did NOT offend me. I thought I was too harsh!!!! (((Hugs))) and I really hope you can detach enough to get on with YOUR life. YOU are important too.