Not sure how to handle this, advice please!


New Member
I fear I have let difficult child slip right back into the same mom/child situation.
I am having the mom taking care of her child syndrome ~ not the my son is an adult and we are just providing shelter and food.
I am trying, it has just slipped up on me and I sat back and said "gee, what am I letting happen here?"

I need advice with this one....

This would have been my son's sr prom. this is my daughter's jr prom.

In the middle of making plans for daughter, my son asked if I was going to help him get a tux? I said "for what?" He said he was going to his senior prom.
I didn't know what to say

My difficult child that ran from home and school, has now returned home and wants to go to his sr prom.
He still goes to the school (against my advice) to see his friends.

Another school offers a cap and gown celebration for ged grads and I offered to pay for it but he had no interest.

My difficult child, as you know, has no limits on his partying and I can see a huge problem with him going.
I also see it being a problem for easy child that has waited since 9th grade to be able to go to her prom.

Just a note~ instead of difficult child acting like an adult he is still manipulating his sister.
ex.- she has exit exams this week. He was told this. he waits till 10pm and then decides to take a bath (they share the bathroom that is in her room)We get in a huge fuss cause it's not HIS fault she has exams and it's not HIS fault the bathroom is in her room.
We all have to get up early, he is not getting up cause he is not yet back working from his hand injury.

Same ole sameole difficult child, the world revolves around me and I could care less if she needs to go to bed early

I can not get him out of his thinking pattern (I guess I wouldn't be here if I could,lol)
I see him crashing the prom, that is what difficult child's do.

All the attention, doesn't matter if it is good or bad. and certainly no concern of how it will affect his sister.



(the future) MRS. GERE
HH- please refresh my memory. You said difficult child is going to school to see friends. Will he graduate in June? Sorry, I'm a bit confused.

Also- are we talking 2 different proms?



Well-Known Member
I have the same questions as Suz.

Why on earth would he be going to the prom if he isnt attending the school? Is he doing the GED program? Even then I cant really see him doing the prom. Is he dating someone from the high school exclusively?

Honestly with his current behaviors as far as the inconsiderate way he is treating the family, I wouldnt be in a hurry to treat him to the prom. He has court fines to pay. That is more important than a tux.


New Member
We saw this kind of behavior, and worse, from daughter when son was still easy child. I think you need to take the bull by the horns on this one, hearthope. Your power in this situation is that you are providing a place for difficult child to live. YOU GET TO SET THE RULES.

So do it.

No prom for difficult child this year. This is easy child's time. You will not allow her embarrassed by difficult child's baloney. If difficult child crashes the prom, he is out.

Set a time for bathroom use. Tell difficult child, right out loud, that his attempts to sabotage easy child's efforts are pretty transparent and not very attractive ~ and that you will not stand for it.

Unless concrete steps toward GED are taken THIS WEEK, he is out.

Use this time, hearthope.

Mean what you say, and make it stick. You DO have power.

difficult child gets to choose his response.

If he wants to leave?

Let him.

Stay strong, hearthope. I know it doesn't feel like it, but right now is when you may have the power to change the course difficult child's life will take.

Dont let it slip by.

Know how I know this?

Because I had that same chance to save my son and I never even knew it.



New Member
Suz and Janet ~ he was FORCED to complete his ged in jail. We sent him to a group home as a last ditch effort to make him get his ged. He ran from the group home and was jailed until he completed his ged. He is visting the school I believe because he is still in denial of doing anything wrong. In his eyes he is the "cool" kid that got out of having to go to school.

He has string of girlfriend's. No he has doesn't want a date, he wants to party with his old friends that are graduating and doing the right thing.

To me this is his last chance for everyone to remember what he did at the prom

Barbara ~ Do you use the "or else you can leave phrase with it all?"

I understand what you are saying, I can't seem to stay in that place though.
Every discussion is turned around to make him the victim.
Even the bathroom scene from the other night, he said he was just trying to take a bath and I was "picking on him"

How do you get out of the rut of the manipulation? It has gone on so long and as hard as I try I still get suckered into it.


(the future) MRS. GERE
Well, it might be a moot point anyway since he isn't a student at the school. I suppose he could qualify if he found a date who is a senior and who could buy the ticket, etc.

The last I heard he wasn't working because he injured his hand in a fight with a drunk (not in the boxing ring). So that probably rules out him chipping in for the expense of a prom.

Nah. I wouldn't do it.

Like Janet said, he has fines to pay and a rotten attitude.

Do to get. He ain't doing.


Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Bare in mind I have a warped sense of humor.

If my difficult child had followed the path of yours and come to me with a question like that I'd have laughed in his face. It simply wouldn't occur to me to take him seriously. Except to be sure he wouldn't ruin the prom for your daughter.

Nope. I wouldn't do it.


New Member
I wouldn't do it, either. I made the same mistakes with my son for a long time. But I finally quit doing anything at all.


New Member
He will continue to manipulate you into feeling he is the victim, as long as you allow him to do it. He needs to be told point blank that he is lucky you are allowing him to live home, these are the rules, follow them or else get out. Your easy child daughter is suffering because of this. I have been there done that and when I had enough, it ended!! Even now when difficult child comes to visit, I will not allow him to disrupt easy child's life. If he wants to sleep home, he needs to come home when he's told too and do it quietly, because if he's going to keep easy child awake when she has to get up for school the next morning, then he's not welcome to stay. My easy child daughter follows the rules, goes to school and work everyday and is more of an adult at 17 then my son will probably ever be in his life, so she deserves to be rewarded for that, not suffer for it.

As far as the prom, will the school even allow him to go if he's no longer a student and doesn't have a date that goes to the school. I wouldn't give him a dime towards it and I would contact the school and tell them he shouldn't be allowed to go.

If this is the same prom your daughter is attending, then I would do everything in my power to make sure he doesn't ruin it for her. I know my daughter is going to her prom this year and she is looking so forward to it. She would be devestated if anything ruined it for her, and if it were ruined by my difficult child and I had in anyway allowed it, I would never forgive myself. This is your easy child's time to shine. It took me a long time to realize that my easy child daughter did not deserve the pain that difficult child was causing her, because she was choosing to live her life right and he wasn't.

God these difficult child's make me so angry. I can't stand the me me me attitude!!! It makes me sick.


Well-Known Member
He sure does play your guilt like a piano.

Who gives a hoot if he thinks he's the victim? No baths after whatever time you set. If he wants one, he had better darn well take one before that time.

He don't like?

Then, there's the door babe! (of course, while you rub your fingers together playing the worlds smallest violin)

No prom either. Your easy child deserves to enjoy her prom without the threat of difficult child ruining it.

You know, and I mean this in all due respect, no one can wipe their feet on you if you don't lay on the floor.


New Member
HH, I agree that you shuold not help your difficult child get to the prom. No money, no tux, no nothing. When he asks why just say "because it isn't your prom. You gave your rights to go to it up when you refused to go to school."

I would not bring easy child into the conversation because he will then have anamosity toward her and might try harder to spoil her good time. As far as the bathroom thing goes lay down a time schedule and if he cannot abide by it then out he goes. We all slip once in a while but it is imperative that we maintain a firm stance when dealing with our difficult children. -RM


No real answers to life..
<span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>If your public schools are like ours you have to have a ticket to get in or be a guest who is with someone who has a ticket. No ticket, no entrance. Also in our school system it was the rule too that if you left the prom you couldn't get back in. This was designed so that kids wouldn't leave to drink alcohol, then come back.

I'm with others on this one. If he wants to go, he can go back to work and pay for his own tux. :slap: </span>


If you think you will have trouble being manipulated, figure out what you are going to say ahead of time and stick to it. Don't deviate.

Also, contact the school about the rules for the prom. It may be that you are borrowing trouble. He may not be able to get in. Even if he was the date of a senior, he could still be on the "excluded" list. Talk to your school about this. At my daughter's prom, even some school students were excluded from the prom for infractions.

Think how your easy child would be crushed if he caused her some embarrassment. Also, can easy child's door be locked so that he cannot access the bathroom?


Well-Known Member
Our schools proms were that way too when both of my kids were in high school. Only the registered Juniors and Seniors and their dates were allowed in - anyone else wouldn't be allowed to attend. They had to buy tickets through the school to be able to go. I don't know if they still do it, but when my daughter was in school, even some of the "dates" had to be approved if they weren't students. Some of the girls were dating much older guys, and the school reserved the right to decide who they would let in and who they wouldn't.

:angel: :devil:

They also imposed an age requirement for the younger ones! My daughter was once asked to the prom by a Junior that she was acquainted with but didn't know very well ... she was TWELVE! She didn't look twelve, she looked about 15 or 16, but she was twelve! She was very young to be in the grade she was in, and I guess he had no idea she was that young. Of course, we didn't allow her to date at that age, but they wouldn't have let her go even if we did. Did her ego a lot of good though!


If your proms are anything like ours ... the parents spend a fortune on all those tuxes and formal gowns, hairdos, shoes and jewelry ... and the kids hardly stayed at the prom for an hour! They showed up long enough to have their pictures taken and to see who was with who and what everybody was wearing, then they'd take off somewhere and party all night! My son still hasn't explained the 350 miles he put on my car that night, and that was eight years ago! Maybe there are some things I'm better off NOT knowing!


Well-Known Member
Well I asked the authority figure on difficult child's...Cory...and he laughed and said...nope...the guy doesnt need to go to the prom. He only wants to hang out with his buddies, he isnt dating some girl exclusively, and it will ruin his sisters evening.

Many of us didnt go to the prom or have kids that went. I actually crashed Only one of my boys went. Like Donna, he spent a fortune and stayed for an hour.


New Member
<span style="color: #663366">wow! he sure has a lot of nerve.

not only would i inform the school of his prom plans i'd alert them to the fact that he's hanging out on campus. most HSs have rules banning non~students from being on campus during school hours.

i'm with-daisylover. i'd have laughed in his face when he asked about the tux.

as for setting a time for him to bathe by....i'd set a time he must be done BY.

i agree with-the others. set firm rules & he hits the road if he can't/won't abide by them.



New Member
Hearhope, you asked whether husband and I would use the "or you can leave" as a threat to back up our rules.


Focus on your goals in having taken your son home again.

There have been some problems (not unexpected). What you want is to reclaim your power as parents.

And what parents do best is help their children clarify and achieve their goals.

One of the most important things I ever said to my son is that I loved him too much to watch him destroy himsef. I told him that it hurt me to see where he was taking his life, and that I would never help him to do that. That was how I led into the "these are the things I expect while you are here at home with us".

Whatever age your son is, if he is living at home, it should be because home is the best place to prepare for a future filled with many good choices. Home is where you live while you take a degree, or save money for your first business, or whatever.

Home is not where you live while you destroy yourself.

See the difference?

If we go into it all thunder and rule making and anger, the difficult child has no choice but to respond the same way.

It isn't really a battle, though. Everyone wants the same thing.

When we see where the kids get themselves to when they go a wrong way, it is almost impossible not to blame, or at least, question ourselves and our parenting. Those questions make us weak. When the kids are in trouble though, we need to be as strong as we know how to be.

For me (and I think it was DDD who taught me this), our task as parents is to believe for the kids that they CAN turn things around. When you look at it that way, you always have a response, because your goals for them are so clear. Because your goals for them are so clear, you begin to feel the rightness in the things you have to do or say.

The thing is, if your son is determined to walk down that other path, he has no business trying to pretend he is walking the path you all understood he would be walking before he came home again.

Go ahead and call a spade a spade, but love him while you do it.

And believe he is capable of more.

About the bathroom thing, and the prom thing?

Tell him you know he knows better than to do stuff like that, and to stop acting like a jerk.

Because (yep, here it comes again!) he was raised better than that.

The other thing I would say is that it never feels right, it never feels clear or correct, when we are in these kinds of situations with our kids. Mostly it feels lost and lonely and pretty dark.

But that's okay.

This will pass.




Well-Known Member
I thought you had to have tickets to the prom. He can't just show up. And without proper attire and tickets, they won't let him in.

I think "no" is a perfectly fine answer for whether or not you are going to pay for his tux. Prom is a reward for sticking with school.

And when all else fails when they spring something insane on you, "I don't know, I'll have to think about it" works too.


New Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DazedandConfused</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

You know, and I mean this in all due respect, no one can wipe their feet on you if you don't lay on the floor. </div></div>

Too cool, Dazed. I am going to print that out and tape it to the fridge.

husband, who has been kind of gnarly lately, will never know what hit him!