please help

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mentalyexhausted, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. mentalyexhausted

    mentalyexhausted New Member

    Hi, I am a mother of an 18 year old boy. we have been dealing with his ADHD, ODD since kindergarten. Our life is always filled with caos. There are very few days if any without arguments and yelling and screaming. He also tells outlandish stories but if you dont know him well he would have you beleaving. He's very manipulitive. It seems that he is always trying to be defient and push everyones buttons in the house including his 9 and 7 year old sisters. He fights with them as if there the same age. We cant go anywhere as a family because the end result is always bad. I have tried so many times and it never fails. He is now in his first semester at a community collage and not doing well. It's such a long story I dont know where to start. He turned 18 in May and he graduated from high school in June. He was involved in an auto accedent in May, now I beleave both drivers were at falt, but he was ticketed and we are waiting to go to court. He was on his way home from registering for collage. After the accedent my husband (his step-dad since age 3) took the car and sold it. We have argued about this because it was his only transportaion to collage since we live in the country. my husband just says its not his problem he needs to figure it out. HOW! he just turned 18 he cant work and he needs help. I work and am unable to get him there. So I had to send him to step-fathers house (my mom died at 54 about 3 years ago) he lives walking didstance from thr collage although as the weather gets colder its harder. There is no supervision or parenting there. I call all the time and ask questions but get the same answers. Yes im doing fine in school. and in the next breath he complains about his life and how he has nothing. wich is not true. I refuse to pay for a date or give him money that he will just blow. I have told him since the beginning he needs to get a job, even if its at the school and part time. I would help him get a car and his own insurence but not effort has been made. Just 2 days ago i got the cell phone bill it was $800 I was furious, but i also understood its his only phone where he is. He said sorry but he didnt care because "I llet him be there with no house line" so its my fault. anything he does wrong he will blame me or someone else and he will never take responsibility for his actions. Anyway I turned his phone off for a month. Well its been off for 2 adys and all of a sudden he cant get a job because they have been calling and unable to contact him. I told him to hsve them call the house and i would get the message to him, but nomthere is always an answer and a argument. Hes dropping another class on monday and now he hanging out with new freinds and a girl im afraid hes having and is going to find himself in trouble. Ther is so much more I cant seem to stay focused on one thing now. If someone has any ideas please help!! I want my son to succeed but i feel like we keep hitting a rock wall. :sad-very::faint: ( sorry about the spelling)
  2. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Sorry you're having to go through this. But welcome, you have found a good place here - lots of good people who have lots of experience to share and lots of support to offer.

    It sounds, from what you've written, as though your son is manipulating you with his claim of having lost a job opportunity due to not having a cell phone. His disrespectful attitude toward you and the $800 bill he ran up shows a need to take responsibility; you absolutely did the right thing in cutting him off. He'll have no trouble letting his friends know how to reach him, so he can figure out how to be accessible for jobs.

    I think the big issue now is that your son does need to 'figure it out for himself'. You say that he's constantly arguing and screaming at you; that he blames others and won't take responsibility for his actions; that he's dropping classes and hanging out with friends who may be trouble. As long as you try to solve things for him, take his verbal abuse, and take the blame for his choices, he will continue to do these things and the crises will get worse. If you can step back and let him take responsibility for his own actions, several things will happen. He will be angry with you for not being his scapegoat anymore. He may get into worse trouble (his choice) or he may decide to go to class, find a job, and get on with his life (also his choice). He will likely try to manipulate you into continuing to solve his problems and be his scapegoat because that's been his pattern for a considerable time.

    However he responds, it will be his choice and his responsibility. You have taught him everything he needs to know, but at 18, you can't do it for him. It's his turn.

    You can choose to step away from the chaos and get on with your life - your work, your husband, your activities. You can still care, but you can't control what your son chooses to do. If he makes bad choices, let him own them. If he makes good choices, you can support his efforts (as long as he's doing something, not just saying he wants to change). You can and will continue to love him and want him to succeed. It's just that success is up to him.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Get him a track phone. He can only use the amount put on it.

    At 18, he needs to get a job and start paying his own expenses. He can apply for a state health care program that will provide funding for rent, personal needs spending money, and medical coverage.

    Because of his sisters' young ages, it is good for him to be out of the house. My 18 year old does not get along with my 12 year old and we did have some rough times but now she is hardly home the same time he is awake and they have learned to stay out of each other's way. They even spent time in the game room tonight - that really did my heart good. Your daughters may not be feeling safe when he is around if this is his behavior. The girls my develop anxiety issues if their brother continues to fight with them. I believe a large part of my difficult child's anxiety is how his sister treated him over the years.

    My daughter has also gotten a nasty mouth and is disrespectful to me. I finally had it with her and told her not to ask me to give her anything until she can be nice to me for one month (not just no bad language but also respectful behavior). This started about 2 months ago. Right now she is up to November 25th before I will give her anything. It is working. The disrespect has gone way down and she has even started a few respectful conversations. As you can tell by the next date for the one month mark, she still has a little way to go, however, our home is much more peaceful and she slips every few days. She has gone up to 2 weeks of being nice.

    You can tell your son that he is old enough to get control of his life and stop pushing his problems into your lap. That is what the screaming is - he wants you to cater to him and make sure he has food/clothing/shelter. He doesn't want to grow up. He has built his world of comfort and does not want to grow up out of it.

    There is a book titled "The Manipulative Child". Your son is a little old to implement the suggestions to deal with manipulation (though I did use it on my daughter last Spring at one situation) but it may help. It would help if the girls start to pick up on that behavior.

    Welcome and I hope you can find peace with your decisions of detaching. Detaching means that while you still love and support your children's positive behaviors, you do not put up with or contribute to their poor choices. Sometimes we need to be very mean to get them to grow up and own their own challenges.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    At 18, he is a legal adult. Sorry, but when my daughter cracked up her car, she didn't have one and got healthy walking far. If your son really is motivated to go to college, he'll find a way. It doesn't sound like he's really into school. As for the cell phone, he can get a part-time job and pay the bill himself and get a cell lin his own name. Over my dead body would I pay an $800 phone bill for my kid. He doesn't need to talk on the phone that often. A tract phone should work fine until he can afford his own cell. As for Supervision, he's 18. If he screws up, he does. Nobody is going to babysit an eighteen year old, you can't expect that. I'm sure you gave him the tools, and that he knows right from wrong, but you can't force him to use what he knows. I know first hand, believe me, it's not fun, but it's true. He will and can do what he wants anyway at that age. Actually, he's lucky to have a roof over his head as he doesn't seem to be doing much to earn even that. Sounds like your son may be dabbling with drugs too. I would not treat him like he's still a chld. It's hard to let go, but if I hadn't let my daughter sink or swim, she would still be on a terrible path to destruction. I'm a big fan of Tough Love.
    Do you maybe have a tendency to make excuses for your son, as in "He got the ticket, but I think both drivers were at fault." Do you really believe that? Was your son intoxicated? Was he speeding?
    Welcome to the board :)
  5. missy44

    missy44 New Member

    I'm sorry you're going through this. Why do some kids seem to sail through and others seem to thrive on the difficult route?
    I just want to wish you all the best, I'm struggling with a difficult teenager myself right now. He just happens to be 18 too!
  6. Scooby

    Scooby New Member

    My son is just 17- but he cannot "stay within the lines" unless he is on probation, or waiting to get out of trouble.

    If he doesnt have some sort of legal pressure on him, he can not stay out of trouble.

    There is no sense to be made of it. I only know, that I don't think mine will make it to 18 in this house -he used to have a cell within our plan -it had limitations though -but no worries... it was confiscated when he was arrested for selling drugs... so... now he buys his own phones/minutes and Jimmy Cracks Corn.

    I waffle back and forth between wanting to hang on as long as I can and utilize every minute of his minor age to parent him and provide him with tools ....before he's gone -

    but the other part of me.. just wants out. It will feel like death...

    I'm not convinced I'll survive it... but

    I'm pretty sure -I can't live like this much longer either.

    If we want them to stan on their own -we have to let go.
  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    ME, I wanted to welcome you to the board and suggest that you add a signature. It really helps us recall each other's stories and prevents you from having to repeat your story every time you post.

  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome ME :)

    At the age of 18 your hands are now tied. It is completely on your sons shoulders to succeed or fail. He's an adult. The decisions are now his to make. It stinks, but that's the way it is.

    Honestly, I think your husband has the right attitude. Natural conscequences can be a powerful motivator to improve one's life/attitude ect. Much more powerful than we are.

    My daughter Nichole is in college. I don't ask what her grades are. If she passes or fails it's all on her. No skin off my nose. Her first year was rocky. College was a shock. Professors don't treat you like hs kids. It's all up to you to do the work/studying. Sounds like your son is getting a healthy dose of the real world. And as much as we as parents would like to protect them from the harshness, we do them a disservice when we do. Nichole knows she has to keep passing grades or get a full time job and pay rent. But paying rent is limited as she would be transitioned out of the home fairly quickly. I don't mind helping, but you'd better be doing something to be actively helping yourself before I'm going to bother.

    It hurts to watch them choosing the hard way over and over, most especially when they just don't seem to "get it".

    Your son is 18. He is an adult. You need to start thinking of him in those terms instead of just being your child. It will help you to decide what behaviors you believe are tolerable and those that aren't. Then you might want to make a plan as to what you are going to do if such and such were to happen. Because it's a lot easier to make those tough decisions with a clear head than in the thick of things.

  9. mentalyexhausted

    mentalyexhausted New Member

    Thank you so much for your advice. I have kept to my guns and he seems to be realizing his situation. He hasnt gotten a job yet, but he did get the info. to apply for financial aid since i told him im not paying for the next semester since he didnt apply himself in the first. I always though it was going to be easier when my children got older, but boy was I wrong. Tough love is the hardest thing ive done. Sorry i didnt respond sooner, but things have been crazy. Thanks again for you help
  10. mentalyexhausted

    mentalyexhausted New Member

    How do I ad a signature? I'm not very good with computers. Do I just type my name?
  11. mentalyexhausted

    mentalyexhausted New Member

    I wish I had good advice for you, but given my situation I cant even figure this out myself. Just hang in there and your right we do need to let them stand on there own. I had to learn from my mistakes when I was a teenager, and I think ive become a better person for it. Its just so hard when its your own kid. Good luck to you and thank you
  12. mentalyexhausted

    mentalyexhausted New Member

    midwest mom, thank you for responing to my post. I do understand what your saying and im going to try and stay strong. I havent givin and I plan on sticking with it. as far as the car accedent he was coming hom efrom collage reg. He was a crossing a bridge closs to home that is very narror, as he was exiting the bridge the other car approched. We hired an attorney to find out if it was his falt. I actually blamed him right away untill I went down and saw. THe attorney and several other people in town who are familar with the bridge agree it wasnt his falt, but he did leave and drive a couple hundred feet to go home and call 911. thats why we think he got the ticket. as far as I know hes not on drugs and he dosent appear to be on them. But i guess we dont know. What do know is that I sent good strong morals in him and now its his time do the rest. Thanks again for your response
  13. mentalyexhausted

    mentalyexhausted New Member

    WOW! I gues I wasnt supposed to respond to each person, Like I said im not good with this stuff. But I want to thank you all for all the advice. You all have made it easier for me to get through another day. I still have alot of guilt, but i have let him know that . He seems to be doing better and not calling on me as much. The house is a quieter place although i hate hes not here the girls seem to be doing better and the yelling has left. im thnkfull for that. I cant wait for the day he comes home and we can have a nice family day together and get along. He has tried to call me and ask for things but I always say no, except for bringing him gloves and a jacket because he has to walk to school. I have to say he seems to be taking responsibility for himself right now I just hope it satys that way. I want so badly to be proud of him. He really is a bright young man and I know he just needs to bring it out on his own. I know now its not my job anymore to do do do. I will always love him and be here, but all of you have made me see it more clearly and I thank you. Sorry about any spelling mistakes i cant figure out this spell check, and I stink at spelling. Oh well thank again
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Hi and welcome to the group. You don't have a thing to be sorry about in spelling, IM's or learning how to navigate the board. We're here to help, not to criticize or critique your written hand. (Have to laugh as there are a lot of us that hate spelling errors, and punctuation errors, and typos) - some of those posts are just in fun and allow us a moment to breathe and laugh at ourselves. I figure if I were perfect? I'd be walking on water and I'm pretty sure after living with a difficult child for so long I'd have mastered making water into wine quicker than anything - but, alas...I'm not perfect.

    If you want to use the spell check then it's on the top right above the smilies. Says ABC with a check below it. Just FYI.

    As to your son? I wish I could tell you some magic story that would change his behavior from bad to good. That's on him. And at age 18 - your support should be there, but finding that thin line between supportive suggestions and living their lives is very hard. It's especially hard when you feel that he got cheated in life to begin with, or had it rough or you feel like you "should have" done things differently. Removing the words I should have from your language and vocabulary will help you more than anything at this point. Should is a six letter word that isn't any different than doubt. You did what you did when you did it - BECAUSE? You FELT it was the BEST thing to do for your son. You certainly didn't sit around and think - Now what would be the worst thing I could do for him? Nope - you did your best. Allow yourself that credit - and move on from where you are now.

    He's 18 and despite having problems, lables, mental disorders...the system makes it impossible for us as parents to stick up for them. That's hard when you know physically they are about 18 and mentally they are around a 13 year old. My son had very bad things happen to him at age 4-5 and in some respects he's still 4-5 years old. Therapy has helped him - despite his incessant denials. We allowed him his "18" and said "well you are on your own now." and the first thing he said was "Can't wait to tell the psychiatrist to stick it." Okay fine - whatever. Two months later? He's back with a new therapist just to show us HE could get his OWN therapist - but the fact remains - we made him go - and now he seeks it out. A small victory.

    The thing that is the hardest now? Allowing him to fall hard. No job? No money - NO money - NO place to live, or go to jail for not paying fines - and he's already a convicted felon at 16 - so WHO is going to hire him? And yet we still hear him say "I'm not mopping any floors." and we say nothing - because he has to go to GED school during the day - so he has to take whatever job comes his way - and that's NOT being the DJ of his own company, OR rapping into MTV cribs fame, OR some of the other ideals he has had as a younger man. Reality bites...and if allowed to? It will take a HUGE bite out of our kids.

    You may suggest that he gets some therapy - and maybe on something to help stablize his moods. You can help him set his goals, and dreams and take him care packages....that sort of thing. Tough love is a really good book to remember to are the detachment rules 101 posted here in the archives.

    Gald you found us - (yes I know glad is spelled wrong on purpose) lol