So I finally heard from difficult child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by welcometowitsend, May 2, 2013.

  1. And guess what? He wants something.

    Since January when he called me to ask me for some of his belongings I have only heard from him one other time and he wanted money and his prescriptions filled.

    I call or text him every week. I would love to speak to him more but I'm trying to give him his space and he really wants nothing to do with us at all. Most of the time he is rude, cuts me off or doesn't even acknowledge my texts. So, I just try again the next week.

    This morning I got a text from him. This is his text "Could you maybe drop off a copy of my birth certificate? I need it for OW" (OW is Ontario Works - or Social Assistance)

    So, a couple of things.

    1) I think his text is rude given he promised to call me last week and didn't, then ignored my text message completely. (on the phone I pay for). No - hi mom, how are you? Nothing.
    2) He never contacts me unless he wants something
    3) I already gave him his birth certificate last year when he left the first time. He needed a copy of it to renew his health card last spring. I just got a new one a month ago and I'm not about to hand it over. It costs me money every time I have to order a replacement.

    I feel like just ignoring him but I know that's not very mature. Maybe I'll just ignore his request and say hello and how glad I am to hear from him.

    Sigh. Why do I feel like every interaction with difficult child is kind of like a chess match? I never know what move to make so I don't lose another man in this game. Scary analogy because I really really stink at chess. :)
  2. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Is he in the same city? You could go to OW yourself and have them photocopy and stamp the copy and retain the original. Or you could hand it over and tell him you are not replacing it since he is an adult and he needs his own birth certificate at this age and you do not. If you are feeling kind, you could let him know that OW does indeed pay for replacement ID upon request of applicants. He may not know that he can request funding for one.

    Other than that, I'd probably be nice but tell him that you won't respond to texts only requesting something of you. That contact simply for contact is important to you and you will ignore texts for help if they are the only texts you get.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    How 'bout telling him how *he* can get a copy of the BC on his own? That way, if he loses it again, it's his problem, not yours.

    I did that with thank you's social security card, and will do it with his BC if he ever needs another one - I originally ordered 3 copies with each of my kids and I'm down to my last one for thank you. He can request it just as easily as I can (though with a lot more complaining, LOL).

    Re: his lack of contact with- you.... sounds about par for the course. Went thru it with- thank you, and when I finally told him that I was tired of only hearing from him when he wanted something, he stopped contacting us at all. It got better as he got older.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well, given the other posters responses, which all are valid and reasonable, I might send a text back giving him exactly the same kind of response. "here is the #, (address, whatever the whereabouts are for him to order his new BC) for you to order your new BC. end of text. Geez. Their behavior is really obnoxious sometimes.........I wouldn't reward that kind of treatment with anything positive or kind, just point him in the right direction and go have a cup of tea and put your feet up and relax.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know how my mother would respond. I would most likely respond the same way. "it is lovely to hear from you dear. Of course your father and I are doing fine, so lovely of you to ask. You already have my copy of your birth certificate. You are a smart girl, I am sure you will find a solution. I read a new mystery the other day that was wonderful"

    The extra bits are to let us know, in NO uncertain terms, that she finds our behavior rude, crude and socially unacceptable. For my mom those are the buzzwords that mean "you are pushing your luck you little ingrate and it is high time you started treating us decently or there is NOT going to be anything you like going on". She would be more blunt about the issues with our behavior if this did not solve the problems. Even gfgbro got this more than a few times when he was 16-19.
  6. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    I like that, Susiestar. I like the words, and the attitude behind them. Good, strong response with no profanity. JUST what I have been looking for. :O)
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I too like Susie's idea, but I would be little more helpful because he is still so young and advise him where to find information about how to order a new copy for himself.

    He is being a total prat and it is high time for him to learn that when asking a favour, you better even pretend to be nice.
  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I find nothing abnormal about his lack of response or his text. Rude? Yes. Unfortunate? Yes. Annoying? For sure.

    But, i look at this parental responsibility as one we keep until the child is a responsible adult. Important papers are.....well, important! And should be left up to the responsible one until it is time to turn it over.

    It also helps to teach kids just how important they are.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think most of our kids have plenty of ideas of how important they are, usually an overinflated idea of how important they are. (LOL, I know what you meant Busy, of course it helps them learn how important the papers are)

    Since the difficult child has already asked for and taken the certificate, and I am sure that Welcome told him it was her only copy and not to lose it, it will help him more in the long run to have to figure out how to get one on his own. If he asks a few basic questions from whomever it is that is requiring one, they can help him find it. If Welcome tells him how to get a new copy, it will be another "she is so dumb/stupid/idiotic/lazy/expletive/slur/nasty comment why doesn't she just get one for me because isn't it her job not mine" issue because of course it is not his job to get these things, keep track of them, or otherwise have any responsibility for anything. Of course at his age Mom is the dumbest person in existence and how on earth does she not know that it is HER job to provide these and not his! This is how HE will see the issue. If she does not give him the solution and makes him figure it out for himself, he will still be unhappy but he will see how big a hassle it is, how he cannot get whatever it is with-o one, and he will then be far more likely to take care of it in the future.

    I think this would help him see how important it is far more than having mom take care of it will. Most difficult children, and even non-difficult children, don't realize how important things are or how big a hassle it is to deal with things until they must do it themselves.
  10. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Sorry, Busy, but I spewed my coffee at this one. :rofl: While "responsible adult" is absolutely the goal, I just gotta say.... I'm still waiting. I think it's far more practical to teach the irresponsible adult how to solve his problems rather than continue to mop up after him, waiting for that elusive "responsible adult" to arrive. I also think/hope that by making thank you be the one to jump thru hoops to replace whatever it is he lost, perhaps (flighty as he can be) he might hold onto the next one a little better.

    Just MHO.
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am just going on my mother's example. I was a great kid, a easy child. But, my mother held BC and SS card until I had a permanent stable home life. I am thankful she did. I keep my difficult children papers. She has gotten multiple copies from me over the years. Anytime she needed the original it left with STRICT instructions that it comes back to me immediately. I would even go get it if needed. Just the way I was raised I guess.
  12. Hi everyone,

    Sorry for not responding. for some reason I couldn't get on the site for a few days. It just wouldn't come up.

    Anyway, what I ended up doing was telling him that if the social worker at OW wanted a copy of his birth certificate then they could call me and I'd fax it over to them. Then difficult child can figure out how to replace the one he lost. I am keeping the BC that I have.

    I tried to be nice to him about it but once he figured he wasn't getting what he wanted he refused to talk to me again. I called him today to see how things went and he hung up on me. I texted him and let him know that hanging up on and refusing to talk to the person who pays your phone bill is a bad idea.

    He informed me that because of what I did to him he doesn't qualify for social services. He told the worker that I would allow him to come home and that's true - IF he will follow our rules. It never even got far enough for them to call me. Of course, that's my fault that he doesn't qualify and he wants me to commit welfare fraud and lie so he can collect welfare. Nope, not gonna happen.

    So, I guess he'll be mad at me for a while yet.
  13. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    A difficult child's anger at us generally means we have done the right thing.

    Very painful for us, but necessary lessons for our difficult children.

    Good job, Welcome. :O)

  14. Thanks again everyone for your responses and advice.

    I think overall I handled difficult child pretty well but he does not like to be 'handled'. :)

    I guess I will wait until my next weekly phone call to touch base with him and try to have a decent conversation with him.