Seeking edits/advice on not-quite-eviction notice (long - sorry)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by pajamas, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. pajamas

    pajamas Member

    It's been quite awhile since I've posted and life has moved on. CeCe (now 20) moved out and in with her BM, or sometimes her boyfriend, or sometimes others, since she has no interest in anything but following her impulses and no one can take it for long. Tink is coming along fine. Huck is the main challenge now.

    He failed out of high school in May, turned 18 in June. In July, he was accepted to a county alternative school that he wanted to attend, which would allow him to recover courses (12) and graduate by March. It's a "school of choice," which means that they can ask him to leave if he doesn't follow their rules. A key one is not missing more than 3 classes in a 9-week term, and he's cut twice in 4 weeks. It's possible he's struggling and won't admit it. Equally possible that he's just staying up all night gaming and can't get up in time to catch the bus. I'm working from home now, but refusing to drive him to school - he has to take the city bus over an hour each way (although I did offer to drive him on each day he skipped). We're paying the fare.

    Little husband or I do seems to have an impact. He responds only to promise of immediate reward, as in "we are going out to dinner and leaving in 15 minutes, you can come with only if you clean the kitchen from your assigned chore 3 days ago." He was astonished that I wouldn't drive him to a game when his ride bailed on him and pick him up at midnight after he ignored everything I requested one day last week (literally pretended I didn't exist). He lies, steals, and bullies (me, Tink) at home. At school, he is an angel. Also very charming at home if there's a benefit.

    husband and I are ready to give him notice. We drafted the letter below and would like feedback or edits from those with been there done that. Also he thinks he's a really smart lawyer (as so many difficult children do), so precise language is a benefit. We intentionally didn't state a deadline (yet) because I saw online advice that suggested that give 30 or 60 days notice increased the chances that he'd be treated as a tenant and full Georgia tenant rights would kick in.

    Please give us your comments ... sorry about the length


    Dear Huck,

    Recent events have concerned us enough that we need to clarify where we all stand.

    We love you forever and you will always be a member of our family. As an adult family member, you need to understand that you are a guest in our house; we are the property owners. Guest is a legal status that is different from being a tenant or boarder.

    As a guest, we have the right to require you to follow certain household rules. We also have the right to ask you to leave at any time. If you stay after we ask you to leave, you would be considered to be trespassing and we can request the police to remove you from the premises. We are required to give you notice to depart, however there are no applicable time limits and the notice does not have to be in writing. (Here is the definition of trespassing for reference: http://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2010/title-16/chapter-7/article-2/part-1/16-7-21. This one puts it in simpler terms: http://bixonlaw.com/georgia-trespassing-101/.)

    In order to continue to live here, we require you to do five (5) things. These are not reciprocal (meaning that it’s not a case of “I’ll do it if you do”). Our failure to enforce a requirement at any time does not invalidate the requirement. Other people’s failure to follow the same rules does not make a difference to the need for you to follow them. These items are not negotiable except as specifically noted.

    1. Maintain full-time gainful activity outside the home. Gainful activity may be school or work. It may consist of going to school full-time (5 days/week at least 6 hours/day), working full time (40 hours/week), or a combination of the two equaling 40 hours per week.
    • If you choose to attend school full time, but fail to attend as scheduled or are asked to leave, you will have 10 days to enroll in a new school and/or obtain a job (school + part-time job or full-time job).
    • Acceptable alternatives include Georgia Youth Challenge (http://www.georgiayouthchallenge.org) or USA Job Corps (https://www.jobcorps.gov/) or other youth employment/education program that allows you to begin work/school before September 30, 2017.
    • Work-at-home jobs and/or online education are not an acceptable substitute.

    2. Contribute to your own maintenance. According to the USDA it cost $70.70 per week to feed an 18-year-old male in July 2017 (without considering meals outside the home). Your mobile phone line is a minimum of $40/month. You can pay $80 cash weekly or substitute 10 hours of household help of our choosing. This is to cover costs we incur on your behalf and is not to be construed as a household contribution in lieu of rent.

    3. Maintain your room and bathroom in good condition. Keep them clean, safe, and free from debris. Do laundry regularly and put it away. Ensure that the rooms do not smell bad.

    4. Treat others with respect. Do not touch others without their permission. Respond when spoken to. Avoid cursing, name calling, or mocking behavior. We will not tolerate bullying, or attempts at bullying, in any form, nor attempts at coercion, including attempts to coerce another to strike first (e.g., “I dare you to hit me”).

    5. Follow general household rules.

    • Respect others’ property. Don’t take things without asking. Return what you borrow. Don’t take more than your share of common items, including (not limited to) the television, wifi, and electronic devices. They are owned/paid by us and available for others’ use at our discretion. If asked to release a device for use by others or to use a different device, do so immediately. Avoid engaging in behavior that results in property damage or denial of use.
    • Respect others’ space. Do not enter others’ rooms without being invited or when they are absent. Do not invade others’ personal space or physically impede access to rooms, items, etc.
    • Clean up your own mess. Right away.
    • Go to your room upon request.
    • Respect the need for quiet time (10 PM – 7 AM)
    • Prohibited items: Firearms, drugs not prescribed or OTC, fire of any sort in bedrooms (including candles)
    If you have questions as to whether these requirements are reasonable, we encourage you to discuss them with counselors and staff at school, your doctors, or others whom you trust. You can also consult the Georgia Legal Aid for advice (www.georgialegalaid.org).

    Huck, our goal is to live peaceably in our home and help you on the path to becoming a responsible adult with the skills and tools to care for yourself. In that order. If you are having problems and come to talk with us, we are here to help you resolve them as best we can, whether you are living with us or not, just as we do for all of our kids.

    But while our love for you is unconditional, your ability to live at OUR ADDRESS is not. If you are unable to agree to these terms, you will need to find another place to live. As always, we will try to help.

    Please reply by DATE.

    Very truly yours,
     
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    My Dear P.J.
    I am shocked that you can not just ask him to leave after he is 18.
    That said we have a living conditions contract with our son as he can choose to leave at 16 but we can not make him leave until he is 18 (he is 17). We worded our living conditions contract to state that by not honoring the agreement he is choosing not to reside with us.

    To my eye all looks in order except the last line. Please define how you would intend to help or take it out.

    Best of luck.
     
  3. pajamas

    pajamas Member

    Thanks - that makes sense. I'll help him find options ... and pack his bag! (But maybe won't say that. Yet.)

    He went to school today - tag to the school social worker and graduation coach. I've prepped them and they plan to call him in to discuss his options.
     
  4. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    I have a difficult older son - 31. I started writing contracts when he was 16. I put a lot of careful thought into them and tried to be fair. He could care less. All of them were broken, usually pretty quickly. I kept wanting to give him another chance. Just visually looking at your contract, if he's anything like my son, he might not even bother to read it. It got bad enough that I told him he had to leave after high school when he was still 17. When it came to that, there was no more explaining, negotiating. It was just go. I told him I would pay for food and necessities. I've never let him move back in, and he's still just as difficult. It broke my heart, but I was sick and tired of being treated badly.
     
  5. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    PJ

    I guess it's shocking to me when those NOT using drugs are still not welcome in their parent's home because they don't respect the home or those in it. I have an extreme young adult with drug use - not in our home now and ever again since he's 22 - and the older two who were really good even when living at home. So I don't know of the place you are at.

    It's a shame you have to spell it out in such a detailed fashion but I get it - you know what you are dealing with. It was a LOT of information to take in!

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
     
  6. pajamas

    pajamas Member

    So far none of our kids have ventured into drugs that weren't prescribed (although they've been prescribed a full pharmacopoeia), which is certainly a blessing. Huck is addicted to online gaming, though, and it has all of the hallmarks including lashing out when he cannot get his fix, neglecting school/work to play, stealing to finance his GamePlay card habit, lack of attention to hygiene, you name it. But there's limited recognition of the perils of screen time for addictive personalities and few professional resources to help.

    We haven't given him the letter yet, but did cut off his phone. He came home from school and lashed out at me for that and for talking with the social worker, but I stayed cool and didn't budge. He stormed to his room, but emerged in a calmer place and we discussed the need for an agreement. Do I think he'll follow it? No. Will we follow through? I hope so... but it's not easy.
     
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  7. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Can we print straight from a comment? It would save me the word processing time.

    No joke. That's a great job. I can hear his eyes rolling already.
     
  8. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Be sure you are prepared to follow through, and make yourselves a plan on what you will do if he breaks the contract. Will he have a certain # of days to clear out his things? What will you do if he refuses to go?

    As for the wording, my only comment is.. it's long. I completely understand WHY you feel you need to say all that, but I'm wondering if he'll read the first couple of paragraphs and ignore the rest. I'm a big fan of short and sweet, bullet points: these are the rules, these are the consequences. You know your son -- try to read it from his perspective, not your own, and think about how he may react. Just something to think about!

    Best of luck -- I know this is tough. Keep us posted.
     
  9. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    CVA
    I have to make mine a Homer Simpson version of bullet points as well. The fog glazes over the eyes so quickly. Glad I am no the only one. I put his into three colums of bullet points. They are labeled start,stop,and continue.
    Given my lack of success I think he is still confusing the start and stop collums. Sigh.