NOT looking forward to 18th birthday

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mstang67chic, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    If what we've been getting lately is just the beginning of how things will be when difficult child turns 18.......I'm going to explode. He has always been one to argue or "disagree" with you about ANYTHING. (The stupider the better apparently) Lately though, he has gone extreme, even for him. ODD has gone beyond rearing it's head and gone straight to the full monty. Not five minutes ago I printed out his resume (such as it jobs just a volunteer position) and references so he could take them to school tomorrow to give to a lady that will be working with him in a kind of job training program. (More on that in a bit) I was pretty sure he didn't know how to "properly" fold something for an envelope so I started to tell/show him how to do it. I got about 3 1/4 words out of my mouth before he says "I know". I asked him if he knew how to fold a letter for an envelope and he said no. :hammer:

    Ok so that was a really stupid thing that shouldn't get to me but that just goes to show that he is oppositional about even the tiniest things. Tried to tell him which piece of meat to get last night for dinner because some of them were huge. "Moooom, I eat a lot" (In a very boy-are-you-really-dumb way) He can't just take my word for it when I say that the meat is big. Again, stupid, I know. I think that's what is getting to me so much though. I literally can't say anything to him, not a single thing, without being talked back to, talked down to or flat out told I don't know what I'm talking about. He's been doing this at school with his, for lack of a better word, aides. Everything that he has always done (talk back, attitude, refusal, etc.) has been ramped up soooo much lately. And almost every sentence out of his mouth is "I'm almost 18" I just have this awful feeling that the morning of his 18th birthday is going to be h-e-l-l and will proceed downhill from there. :faint: I honestly don't think I'll be able to handle it. I talked to his case manager today and asked her to check on the group homes that are run by their facility. (He gets counseling and case management through them) My original hope was to get him into one after he graduates next December. However, if things turn into how CM and I think they will, we're going to have to do something now. It's like he thinks once he turns 18 he's going to do anything and everything he wants and no one can stop him. Actually, to a point he's right. The boy is 6'2" and for someone built like a stick is strong as an ox. I'm 5'2" and there's just no way I can stop him if he gets something in his mind. husband works retail hours and wouldn't be able to help much. Anyone willing to rattle some big honkin' beads??? :please:

    But on a somewhat positive note...he was accepted into a type of job training program. They will work with him and teach him how to fill out applications, go on job interviews, do personality testing and things of that nature to help him figure out something that he would want to do. They will also help him/us apply for vocational rehab. We did the initial part of the intake today. He didn't really want to do it at first because he knows it all and everything is my fault as to why he doesn't have a job and no license. We were able to talk him down and get him to participate although I know he wasn't taking it serious. As part of the process he had to fill out a form that asks for diagnosis/disability and how that affects daily life. His response to the daily life part was (pretty much word for word but minus the spelling errors): I have mood swings, shiny things distract me and I have the attention span of a small rodent. :crazy2: I really hope he sticks with this and puts some honest effort into it but I'm not holding my breath.

    I soooo need :bath: :beach:
  2. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    In the weeks leading up to difficult child's 18th b'day she was very much like what you describe with yours. Very argumentative and confrontational. After her stay with her dad, that part of her behavior improved (we're dealing with other stuff now).

    difficult child always seemed less obnoxious, argumentative and confrontational when she was kept active and busy with either work or volunteering with my sister at her animal rehab clinic. Her mind was occupied and she other things to discuss so there was less idle time spent to think of all the ways in which I am always wrong.

    I hope the training is helpful for him (and you) and there is no immediate need to send him to a group home.

    Hugs -
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I can't give advice- or even relate- as my difficult child is younger. But I have to tell you, I am sympathetic as I can see it could be in my future and I'm sorry you are going through it. But in another way, it sounds so funny- the way you wrote parts of it-

    Please forgive me for laughing-
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I'm sorry, but I can't help but laugh. See it's not just him, it's you too!

    I say this with true respect AND as a parent who hasn't had her kids ANYWHERE near 18 years of age.

    One thing that I truly remember as I was growing up was how dense we were when it came to my parents as we got close to the "dreaded 18". Up until about 3 mos. before each of our 18th birthdays, we were fine. You got within the 3 mos. and we were 8 in my Dad's eyes. All of a sudden, old lessons were repeated 1000 times, we were unbelievably stupid, lacked common sense, "If you want something done, don't ask an 18 year old", curfews were given, lectures were delivered with a terse tone (keep in mind - lectures that were given for things we DIDN'T do!!!), etc.

    I decided he was handling those last 3 mos. as if he was cramming for a test! Squish in the rest of the parenting while there's even the slightest chance that they're still listening!!!! AAAAAGGGGHHHH, run screaming into the night, THEY'RE TURNING 18!!!!!


    As I look back, I love my Dad!!!

    Thanks for the memories!!! I needed that!

  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Very true's like you feel that time is running out and you suddenly start doing this thing called 'micromanaging' their every move as if the light bulb is going finally switch on! parents didn't do that with me - they kind of let me free fall once I hit 17.

    I have tried to be very concious of what and HOW I say things to difficult child these days. It's not my job to control her - I can still lead her and guide her, remind her, etc., but I can't control her. It is frustrating to see her go out without a coat on a 15F degree night after spending most of the day in bed followed by a DR appointment wherein antibiotics and an inhaler were prescribed and NOT SAY ANYTHING!! Do you know, my tongue is almost bleeding from biting it so long? When she came home near midnight and announced, "I'm not going anywhere or doing anything tomorrow because I feel like crud", again, it was hard not to say something, ANYthing!

    After all, at 18, they are old enough to learn on their own - even if it hurts. That's a hard pill to swallow after years of telling them what to do.
  6. Calista

    Calista New Member

    Okay, this might be a little off topic but it'll be close.

    A few weeks ago my 14 year old was in a huff, which is typical right now, she is 14. On the other hand, once she has processed her feelings out she will then, tearfully, talk to us about whatever is going on with her. Well, it turns out that on this occasion she was absolutely terrified that on her 18th birthday we are going to kick her out of the house and only let her return for visits. Now, I have to take responsibility for part of this because we always tease the kids about moving into a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom house after they are gone so that they can't move back in. Well, we finally got her calmed down and I think she is almost convinced that we will not kick her out on her 18th birthday.

    It just goes to show that, even for an NT kid, the thought of being "out there" on their own is not only freeing but also frightening. I'm sure that your difficult child has grown to be dependent on ya'll. He's probably scared to death at the same time he is trying out his new percieved "freedom." I would take some time and sit him down and talk to him about the mixed feelings of fear, relief, fear, freedom, excitement, fear, etc... He may not realize he has theses feeling and will alsways have ya'll no matter what.

    Rattling Beads!
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Honestly, BACK OFF!!! That's what I had to learn. No advice unless asked. If the letter is folded wrong, he'll either ask for you to print out another copy or stuff it in. His problem, not yours. Unless cost is an issue, let him order the big meal -- you can always get a doggy bag.

    He is almost 18, now is not the time to micro-manage. Imagine if you thought you were almost an adult and your mother was telling you how to do stuff. I know I'd be irritated to no end.

    At 18, the rules really do change. You can and should be giving him curfews if he's still living at home and going to school. If he's not in school but working, then it is time for him to be paying some nominal rent (enough to make him budget, not enough that there is nothing left for his own spending). He should be keeping his room clean and helping around the house as a contributing member of the family. Basically, the rules should be ones that would apply if he were sharing an apartment -- courtesy, consideration but the ability to make his own choices where possible.

    It's hard on us parents. They're still kids in our eyes and their behavior/attitude does nothing to change that viewpoint. However, now is the time we have to start teaching them the realities of adulthood, of living on their own or with friends, what an employer will expect. It is not the time to worry about the small stuff -- they've either learned it or will learn it on their own. Sometimes, if we're lucky, they'll even ask for help on how to do something.
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I agree pretty much with Meowbunny.

    Copper lived with my mom until she was 18. I watched my mom micromanage her right out of the house (the DAY she turned 18) and into her boyfriend's place.

    Come to think of it, the day I turned 18, I moved away from my mom and in with Copper's father for the same reason...
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I did forget to say that you have to keep in mind that YOU'RE only human too and that what you're doing is not only loving, but shows you to be a wonderful mom in the process.

    If you didn't care, worry and try to protect, you wouldn't be you!

    It's neat when you get to see the great works that you've produced and with only a "bloody tongue from biting it" to boot!

    You're great!


  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    This is one of the reasons I wish we could send all 18 year olds off to the

    The only one of mine that is a fully functioning, responsible adult is the one who went in the military. They grew him up mighty fast. He learned how to handle pretty much anything life threw at him with a stiff upper lip by the time he was 19 or 20.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911

    OMG I am your son - shiney things distract me and i too have the attention span of a small rodent! OMG :rofl: HE IS HYSTERICAL - he should be a writer for a comedy show. Lots of raw talent there.

    And as far as engaging in conversations that end with you being upset - stop talking to him. Just stop - and when he asks why you aren't talking to him SHRUG and go about your business. Honest.
    Make it a questions only from him answered by you thing. It works and it will drop your stress levels a bunch.

    As far as birthdays - ANY holiday sets my son off. And like Christmas past - when i said his behaviors just depressed me too much to celebrate I wasn't kidding. He told me that next Christmas he can't NOT be with us and he'll make the extra effort to behave. Well whatever - if I'm in the mood - we can deck the halls.
    If I'm not in the mood - thank yourself because it's your behaviors over and over that have led me to not want to attempt a celebration of anything. So far he's missed three biggies - and it depressed HIM - well there you go - if you want a holiday - behave.

    Just hugs - star
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I couldn't wait for my daughter to turn eighteen. I'm serious. It meant that anything she did was on her, not us. She'd already cost us a fortune. It also meant that, if necessary, we could ask her to leave. Oh, I loved Birthday #18!
  13. houseofcards

    houseofcards New Member

    Your son sounds so much like mine, knows everything and hides his fears/worries about life. I have gotten pretty good at just putting the information out there and backing off real quick. Like with the envelopes I'd of said "I fold it like this" and shown how quickly...I wouldn't follow up to see if he cared. Usually he would pick up on the info but not in front of me. They should all be lawyers and argue for a living.