Putting Wind under his Wings...

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MuM_of_OCD_kiddo, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    Alright - my turn to ask for help :groan:...

    My Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) kiddo is 18, was homeschooled since grade 3 and did well until he went into his major Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) phase 14-16. He's past the worst, recovered nicely Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and attitude wise, helps around the house and the business, is smart and mostly better on top of what is going on in the world than I am, but makes no effort to finish his "official" education or getting his GED. I am amazed at how much overall he knows; he reads well, is very computer literate, and writes fiction and hopes to be published some time. [Writes very, very well - in a genre that is not my cup of tea, but very well written + thought out and definitely comparable if not better than some of the stuff in print out there].

    I have been really struggling financially these past 3 yrs with our home based business due to the economy. I am not getting any younger, and I've taken major financial setbacks since the economy took a dive - I need to make a push for getting caught up again, so I can actually have a retirement and not become a Walmart greeter when I am in my 70ies. I'm in the early stages of phasing down my current business into a part time buz, so I can go to school this coming spring/summer and get a new, somewhat related business off the ground afterwards. It is doable, and I feel condident that I have the knowhow to pull it off [not sure about the energy, but I will give it my best].

    I need him to get up and get busy and have a life of his own. I want him to finish his education, get his GED, a job to either help pay the bills or get his own place and if he wants to - go to college. He is doing mostly a decent job helping out around here at home and with my buz - it is not that he is just lazing around and giving me grief, but I need him to get motivated to do more and get something going for his own self.

    I could drag him to our local tech college and sign him in and try my best to "make him go", and he most likely would without too much of a struggle when he realizes he has no other options [procrastinator]. I do not want to "make him go" - - - I want for him to learn how to do for himself. I don't want to manage, push, and prod him along for the rest of my life. How do I help him grow up, get more confidence and get "out there"? I know that once he gets the confidence and a bit of experience, he will be fine - but how do I jumpstart him without triggering another major Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) phase???

    Any suggestions are appreciated...
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well...this is sort of my situation with my oldest except my oldest is pretty darned lazy around the house. Mine could walk around a pile of trash and ignore it for weeks. The trash can piles up and up and up and the mere thought of taking it out never enters his mind!

    Your son is 18, doesnt have his GED yet. I think I would attempt to entice him into that first. Maybe offer some sort of small reward...carrot and stick method. Whatever his likes are, use those to your advantage. If he gets the GED, he gets something he wants...not grand but you know..maybe a video game or whatever. If he wont go, then cut his world down a bit. I dont think you need to bring in the big guns yet. Just gentle nudging for now.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    1. He needs to Identify his dreams/goals
    2. Identify steps to make that a reality
    3. Set a timeline
    4. He has to WANT this or *HAVE* to do this.

    I am an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) procrastinator type. I only do things when I really want to or *HAVE* to. Cleaning? It only gets done when I *HAVE* to do it like when company is coming. On occasion I choose to do some basic housekeeping tasks only to avoid doing other things that i find even more distasteful. Just last week I had to call in a friend to help me get inventory organized because as much as I know I needed to get it done, I just could not get myself to do it. IOW wanting to do something is simply not enough.

    IOW in my opinion your dream of
    is unrealistic. You still need to be poking, prodding and pushing him. Gently, but still. Can you find him a career counselor? That might help him to get more focused on what he WANTS to do with himself, and then go through the process of identifying the steps. You need to push him out of your biz and into a job of his own. Even if it's part time.

    If you are willing to help support (both emotionally and financially) he can explore non-traditional jobs like freelance journalism, blogging, writing his first book. this way he can get his 'feet wet' and learn of the potentials and pitfalls. And later on when it becomes NECESSARY (even if it's because of your deadline) he will be more equipped to persevere on his own.

    I have a home based business as well. It inadvertently grew due to necessity. I had done it a s a hobby for years, and always wondered how others managed to make a living at it. Well, when husband left, it became NECESSARY for me to earn a living and the whole thing just morphed and grew on me.

    I've probably not said much that is useful. I wish I had "better" information for you. I *hope* someone can come up with a magic formula, because I would like to use it on myself, I just haven't found it yet.

    by the way I only moved out of my Dad's house because the job I found was an hour and 10 minute drive away. I commuted until I decided to start college again and then it was just too much. Eventually moved back in with Dad when things didn't work out quite right and only moved out again when I met husband. It was all done out of NECESSITY.
  4. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    Janet - I have been nudging gently for the last 6 or 7 months to no avail.

    Keista - we have been working on all 4 points you mentioned. He gets stuck after point 1, LOL. I can talk until I am blue in the face with outlining for him what he needs to do in order to get there, he simply thinks he can wing it [as long as I keep a roof over his head and food in the fridge and don't push him too hard, he might actually get there in 10 or 20 years]. NOOOT!

    I am a procrastinator as well, I totally sympathize with it. I am pretty introvert and can do [and actually like to live] with-out much social interaction - but I have also been out there, had exposure, partied and gone on vacations - I know what I like and what I don't like. I can overcome my urge to procrastinate when it comes down to being responsible and earning a living to keep us all afloat.

    While I have no problem with him staying underfoot for another year or two while he works on achieveing some of his own goals, I need him to actually working on them and not putting it off because he is hesitant in leaving his comfort zone. I refuse to bribe him with games, or electro toys etc - he is old enough to earn money to buy them himself. I need him to come to realize that the end result is enough to "go get" and work towards a goal. I am not going to be around to micromanage him forever, and after near 20 years of single parenting, I should be allowed to do something for myself without having to do the same for him. He is no longer that deep in the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) trenches that he needs to be manipulated, bribed, cajoaled and coaxed to behave. He has been nicely maturing and growing up more than I have ever had hope for while we were going through the seriously rough times with him.

    It's time for the next step in growing up, and that is learning some independant thinking, planning and then following through. Baby steps and the first one for him should be his GED. How do I get him to go there without having to drag him there by his ear and "making" him do it? I need some way of motivating him that teaches and encourages him to do for himself without me needling and nagging him along...
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would get him motivated by starting to insist he make some grown up decisions, whether he likes it or not. Some kids do need that kick...and he's getting old enough where he should want some independence. First off, I'd give him a time limit for taking his GED. He will get exactly nowhere without one...not college, not a halfway decent job. My daughter homeschooled her last two years of high school (only it was a cirriculum with a diploma). Even so, she had to get her GED for Beauty School (which was at a tech college). I would also insist that he work part-time...doesn't matter where...to cover his own, say, cell phone/computer/driving bills. I am going to expect all of that from my now eighteen year old son when he graduates from high school, and he is on the autism spectrum. I still expect him to work...you can have DVR (Department of Vocational Rehab) work with your son to place him in a community job.

    Your son has been home with you for a long time so he missed out seeing his peers grow up and talk about what they'd do in the future. in my opinion it is time to start to help him along his way. You are right that it's time for YOU to have a life too. Since he is functioning well now and will go to college if you tell him to go, I would actually drive him myself to get his GED then take him to tech school so that he can look around. Then maybe give him two months to decide what he wants to do. I do believe in deadlines. in my opinion it's not good for him or his motivation to spend a few more years at home, with nothing going on outside the house. Although I understand that you want HIM to make the decisions that are good for himself, he may not...that's what parents are for then. Can't wait ten years for him to decide to take the GED test!

    Of course, this is JMO. Keep us posted!
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    You might need outside help to get him motivated. Therapist? Career counselor? College recruiter? Someone - not Mom - to help show him the next steps.

    Gotta say it WILL be tough. Son's been in therapy for almost 2 months now, specifically to help deal with his "procrastination", and even more specifically with his procrastination of his summer school algebra. The therapist is at the bottom of his "bag of tricks" Reality is that he hasn't really said, done analyzed, looked at, explained anything in a way I already hadn't. It was pretty much just an outsider, a man, re-affirming what I said. Hmmmm Don't know if the problem is with the therapist or what? But, my son is still only 15. He's got a few more years before he *HAS* to really start self-motivating, so we'll keep working.

    Needless to say, your son still needs nudging, prodding and cajoling. Yes, he's too old for "rewards", but he is not to old for deadlines. If he won't/can't set his own and stick to them, you're going to have to help him. And, yeah, just like the parents of the more difficult difficult children, you'll need to make ultimatums, and eventually start nudging him out of the nest instead of enabling him within it. It is a hard reality to deal with.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Okay, you have given me a much clearer picture of where your head is at.

    I know that at least here in my state, in order to take the GED test you have to take a pre-test and then invariably they make you take at least a few classes to get ready for the test. I have yet to hear of anyone that they just let take the test. Doesnt work that way in all states but it does here. Now you could tell him that you are requiring him to start in a GED prep course or take the GED pre-test by a certain date. Given todays date, I think you could probably call up the local place that administers the test and ask them for info and give him this date info. Always be prepared! You dont want to say December 1st if there isnt any class...lol.

    Looking for a part-time job right now would also probably be a good thing too. Xmas sales help will be hiring.

    Does he drive? Im thinking instead of restricting his world like we would encourage in most cases, you increase his world. Send him out for things. Let him be the one who goes to get the groceries for the week or whatever you think would be something that would stretch him just outside his comfort area.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    ... whatever stretches him outside his comfort area... AND teaches him skills he's going to need anyway.

    difficult child says... Mom, why do I have to do XXX (fill in chore here)?
    One day he said something like, "Its not my job to make your life easy."
    For some strange reason, I actually had an answer...

    "No, its not your job to make my life easy. Its MY job to teach YOU the skills you will need when I'm no longer around to look after you."

    <light bulb goes on>

    That doesn't work for everything, but its amazing the number of situations it covers...