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I am just at a loss. - Page 3

post #41 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
Except for the WoW addiction, and the fact that I don't have a basement.. I can totally see this happening to my daughter.

I have no wisdom. (obviously) But, I will watch this thread for ideas/advice.

On a side note, I have quite a few friends going through a divorce right now because of WoW. I'm amazed that a computer game can destroy lives. How does that happen?
no advice on the teen situation but wanted to second the issues with WOW... my DH at the time was addicted like 24/7, needless to say we are now almost officially divorced. not because of WOW but it was an contributing factor... its a big deal
post #42 of 124
Hi karina5,

I have deliberately avoided answering the question of "how long should a parent be Ok with coasting?" - as I genuinely do not know!

I know I would be Ok with over a year -but I get that everyone has their own limits. There would be would be multi-factors that come into play.

Is this person having difficulty transitioning from adolescents to adulthood - and in need of support and help (and perhaps time?*). Are they genuinely overwhelmed? Do they respect boundaries I have set?

or

Is the person treating me like a piggy-bank and developing an entitlement issue that should not exist in parent/adult-child relationship?

If it is the former, I am way more likely to let them ride it out- with offers of support and resources (counselling even - my sister probably could have used some)

If it is the latter - there would come a time (and it would not take long!) when I would state boundaries in a clear, firm way.


kathy

*I am also cognisant of the fact that outsiders often want people to "get over it" long before they are ready. I have an acquaintance who had twins - people were initially helpfull, but soon lost patience with her inability to deal. Grief is another area where this comes to mind. So I think we need to be aware as a society that we often ask people to transition from things before they are ready.
post #43 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Hi karina5,

I have deliberately avoided answering the question of "how long should a parent be Ok with coasting?" - as I genuinely do not know!

I know I would be Ok with over a year -but I get that everyone has their own limits. I think there would be would be multi-factors that come into play.

Is this person having difficulty transitioning from adolescents to adulthood - and in need of support and help (and perhaps time?). Are they genuinely overwhelmed? Do they respect boundaries I have set?

or

Is the person treating me like a piggy-bank and developing an entitlement issue that should not exist in parent/adult-child relationship?

If it is the former, I am way more likely to let them ride it out- with offers of support and resources (counselling even - my sister probably could have used some)

If it is the latter - there will come a time (and it would not take long!) when I would state boundaries in a clear, firm way.

kathy


Cool. I appreciate your viewpoint! I am right on board w/ everything you say in this post. :-) Well...except for one thing and that is the year timeline.
post #44 of 124
Thread Starter 
Oh my, thank you all so much for your input. It's very helpful, because all the different perspectives pretty much sum up exactly the things I've been struggling with myself, and reading everyone's input and experiences is like listening to my own brain in a lot of ways!!

I don't have any intention of paying for his next WoW subscription. I just know that he's going to ask to do chores to pay for it, and that's where I need strength because I have to say no to that. I work full time, and the temptation to just give in so that he does do something around the house is strong. But I'm not going to - I'm NOT. :

I could never bring myself to kick him out of the house. Not just for being lazy.

As for removing internet access - that isn't going to happen, much as I would love it to. Dh would never agree.

Ruthla, you asked if he has income - no he doesn't. He owes us $600 right now for rent, $300 for Feb and $300 for March.

I have kicked around the idea of telling him he can work off the rent by doing chores, but haven't discussed that with him yet. I haven't decided if that would be good or bad.

kathymuggle, you have brought up many of the things that have made me struggle. I am very aware of the deschooling process and how long it can take. He attended school for 13 1/2 years, plus preschool, and I am sure that he's still going through it. But at the same time, I am feeling used. I don't mind if all he does is gets a job that pays him $300 a month so he can pay his rent. If he only works 2 or 3 days a week. But I think he needs to be contributing, not just freeloading. I don't mean that he should be paying the mortgage and grocery bill and everything, just that he should be starting to support himself as a baby step toward being independent some day. But at the same time I don't want to push him into anything he isn't ready for. And yes, we're in Canada, Alberta actually. Any resources you have access to and can share would be much appreciated!

We've had many conversations over the course of the last year. It's been a hard year for him, but his head is in a good space now and he's ready to go to work. Unfortunately, he left it till the recession hit and jobs aren't falling into people's laps like they were a year ago. He's also picky about where he wants to work, which is limiting his choices. And he doesn't really apply himself to job hunting the way I think he should be at this stage of the game. I figure he should be out the door pounding the pavement every morning, but he thinks putting 5 resumes a week out should be enough. *sigh*

He does have goals and aspirations. He wants to travel, he wants to own a business selling and repairing martial arts equipment, he's very interested in woodworking. But he hasn't even gotten his butt to karate in the last 5 months (which I pay $60 a month for), not even once. It pisses me off when I see that money come out of my account each month and know that it's been totally wasted. I have to keep paying till July too. :
post #45 of 124
Bedhead, thanks for the update and I'm glad everyone's posts are good food for thought for you. One thing you said stands out -

Quote:
He wants to travel, he wants to own a business selling and repairing martial arts equipment, he's very interested in woodworking.
Here are my thougts on that...sometimes people have things they want to do and it's just very overwhelming. Take just the first one. "Travel." Well that is a huge, very generalized goal. What I have found helpful is to break it down. Figuring out WHERE do you want to travel? How will you get there? Will you go with anyone? WHEN should you go? Etc, etc..... helps make an overwhelming goal do-able.

With that goal is the $. Because to travel you need at least *some* money. So help him set a goal. "I would like to travel to ________ in the month(s) of _________ and will need $________ to do so."

And then with that goal is the job thing. I get that there are a lot of not-so-great jobs right now, but most 19 year olds have had to tolerate a job that they are not in love with. So break that down. "If I work 20-25 hours a week (even doing something I hate) that will still leave plenty of time for _____ and __________ and meanwhile I will be making $ towards my travel goal AND I can still send out 5 resumes/week looking for something better."


One thing I have noticed in my own life is that the busier I am, the more time I actually have. Sounds silly so let me explain....

I spent about 2 months when I was 25 doing nothing. No job, didn't want to look for a job, no responsibilities, really, not even housework....

Well I have no idea what I did w/ my time (nothing) but somehow the days would just disappear. And then I had a complete turnaround. Got a fulltime, 40-hour job, decided to take a French class AND a Yoga class. And I also worked 2 nights a week helping an elderly couple with dinner. Now almost every waking minute I had something to do. I was so busy! I really noticed when I had a span of time do "nothing" (such as Saturday mornings) and I appreciated it so much more. I don't know...I can't explain it...I'm not doing a job verbalizing it, but I know I just couldn't wrap my head around those 2 months of doing nothing and not feeling like I had any time, even though I had all the time in the world.

So...now that I've completely confused you I hope you get some good ideas from everyone's posts.
post #46 of 124
post #47 of 124
Last thought (maybe)

You could show him this thread (if you think he would be cool with it).
It may help to open the lines of communication.

Kathy
post #48 of 124
i never completely "freeloaded" on my parents at that age, but definitely spent months at a time jobless/depressed and partying all night/sleeping all day. i would think that giving him money for chores is a good idea, if you put it aside for travel/school/business start-up expenses. it might be the leg-up he needs to get out of the WoW hole. does he have social interactions outside of the computer? i would worry about that.
post #49 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
This is MDC, home of gentle discipline and attachment parenting. I do not think these things abruptly end simply because a child (young adult) has hit a certain age. I think we should wean our children from our financial support in much they same way we wean them from others things.
19 is not a child in my house. 19 is an adult and expected to be working, studying or both. Infantalizing our children does them no favours at all.
post #50 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
One last thought and then I am off to bed! (I may not have a Wow addiction, I do have an MDC one, lol)

There is an idea in US (or deschooling - more precisely) that it takes an average of one month of deschooling per year in school to regain oneself. I am sure not all of you are USers, but the OP is, so it might be worth her consideration.

This young man has probably been in school for 12 years. It is going to take a good while before he becomes self motivated.

Kathy
Interesting. I went from 12 years of school to full time work with a 2 week break. It didn't take me any time at all to be self motivated.
post #51 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Interesting. I went from 12 years of school to full time work with a 2 week break. It didn't take me any time at all to be self motivated.

I did too. This is relevant because...???

We all have things we struggle with. For some it is transition from adolescences to adulthood, and for some it is different things.
I struggle with things other find easy, and vice-versa.

The question with anyone going through a difficulty is how can we support them without getting our boundaries trampled on.
post #52 of 124
I went to college at 17 but was just as lost and clueless as could be. I wish that somebody had sat me down and asked me the following:

What is your values system?
What kind of responsibilties do you have to yourself? To your family? Community? The world?
What can you see in the world that needs to be done?
What can you do to make the world into the kind of place that you want it to be?
...I guess that whole "be the change you want to see in the world" ethos. It would have helped me get some clarity about what to study in school and what kind of skills I should be trying to acquire, to sort out the difference between what I like doing and what I could do that would give me a deep sense of satisfaction and feeling that my work is of value to other people.

If he doesn't have a paid job, maybe you could insist that he go out and volunteer his time and that you will credit him $8 dollars an hour so that he has to work off his rent outside the house doing something useful, even if it's not remunerative. He can also work off the $60/month karate fee if he isn't going to the dojo to use it anymore.

If he is interested in woodworking, see if he can find a person with whom he can intern or work for part-time to see if he's REALLY interested in it before he commits to going to school to learn it as a trade. Same for the martial arts equipment idea.

If he wants to travel, Habitat for Humanity and other NGOs have volunteer opportunities in foreign countries - maybe he would like to go to Haiti or Mexico and build houses for a month.

If he is playing video games and sitting around the house all day, it a recipe for angst, torpor, and depression (BTDT). I really think they do something bad to the brain.

Final thoughts - I had a boyfriend who was a somewhat aimless young man. His mother sent him on an Outward Bound trip that included a lot of hiking in rough terrain with no possibility of bathing, team- and trust-building activities, and a solo experience, where each person in the group was left in a wilderness location for 24 hours with no contact from anyone else in the group. Though it was not a panacea, I think this experience had a pretty profound effect on him and his confidence in his ability to rely on himself.

Re: getting him off his a$$, I think sitting him down to write up and sign a rental agreement, like he would have to sign if he had anyone else as a landlord, would be a way for you all to set out expectations about his responsibilities and the consequences for not holding up his end of whatever deal you strike. For awhile, that might include him getting up to go to work at the same time as you and DH, even if his work is helping little kids learn to read at the local elementary school or doing hospice home visits with 90 year olds. Then stick with it.

As for being picky about jobs, as my mean ol' grandma would say, "Beggars can't be choosers." In Grown-Up Town, sometimes we take a job that isn't our dream job so that we have the resources to eat and keep a roof over our heads while we search for a job that we would like better. He's 19 and has a high school diploma - what kind of hotshot job does he think he will be getting? There's no shame in retail, food service, physical labor, or custodial services, and whatever he finds is not his forever job. I think an unfulfilling job can also be a great motivator to find something you do want to do.
post #53 of 124
Check this out. What your son is experiencing is a major problem with lots of young men and boys today.
http://www.boysadrift.com/
post #54 of 124
I second the rental agreement. And make it about not just your needs/wants but his as well. This way he feels like he has some input and may be more receptive to it. For instance, he sleeps in on weekends or something..cant think of any good examples right now, sorry. (Dealing with a caffeine high lol)

I also think the volunteering idea is a good one. Do you think he'd go for it?

And have you talked to people you know about any jobs that they know about? Kinda one of those, "who ya know, not what you know" get your foot in the door jobs? This is how my ds found his f/t job. I wish he got it on his own, instead of a family member helping him with it, but I can only believe its what was meant to be for him.

I'll post more later when this coffee wears off......lol
post #55 of 124
I graduated in 1986. I spent a year at community college, learning something I could actually use in day-to-day life...finished that in June, 1987. I didn't get a job until April, 1988. I was three days away from being kicked out of the house (I did have a place to go, but I still didn't want to leave). I still needed a lot of help from a friend to get me off my butt. I wouldn't have done it without the ultimatum. That job wound up in December, and I got a new job in early February, '89. Except for 6 months of maternity leave when ds1 was born, I worked full-time until I had dd in 2003. Now, I'm a SAHM.

So, I've btdt, to some degree. I didn't seem unhappy, either. However, I was depressed - fairly seriously. Despite that, I don't think coasting to the extent that the OP's son is doing is acceptable at all - not for one week, let alone one year. He's not doing anything. When I was avoiding looking for a job, I was still making meals for the family sometimes and doing a certain amount of household cleaning and such. DD (5) pitches in around the house more than the OP describes her son as doing. DS1 (16 in 8 days) does a ton more than that, in addition to going to school. I really don't think this level of coasting is good for anyone, and it easily becomes a habit.

OP: Obviously, only you can decide what to do. I definitely agree with you and everybody else (I think?) that WoW should not be renewed unless he can come up with the money for it on his own. I honestly find it somewhat appalling that he's living at home, rent free (owing rent and paying it aren't the same thing, after all) and having internet and videogames provided free of charge. If your dh won't agree to discontinue the internet, is it possible to set it up so a password is necessary to log on? That way, your ds could access it for job/education research, but couldn't bum around on it (like I do ).

I'm a little more "tough love" oriented than some others here, because it worked for me. I'd probably set a deadline that he had to start paying his rent or get out...but I know that's not for everybody. I definitely think it's time to start cracking down on financing his pastimes, though.

Good luck. I know it can be hard to hang tough, and I'm sure you're right that he'll expect to just do some chores so he can keep playing WoW.
post #56 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
I work full time, and the temptation to just give in so that he does do something around the house is strong. But I'm not going to - I'm NOT.

Ruthla, you asked if he has income - no he doesn't. He owes us $600 right now for rent, $300 for Feb and $300 for March.

I think he needs to be contributing, not just freeloading. I don't mean that he should be paying the mortgage and grocery bill and everything, just that he should be starting to support himself as a baby step toward being independent some day. But at the same time I don't want to push him into anything he isn't ready for.

He's also picky about where he wants to work, which is limiting his choices.

But he hasn't even gotten his butt to karate in the last 5 months (which I pay $60 a month for), not even once. It pisses me off when I see that money come out of my account each month and know that it's been totally wasted. I have to keep paying till July too. :
One, everyone who lives in the house does chores WITH NO PAY because we all live here and it takes all of us to get done what needs to get done. He really does NOTHING to help the household run unless you pay him? My 5 year old (and 8 and 12 year olds) do chores and don't get paid. I don't get paid to do the laundry or buy the groceries. It is what we do as a family.

Two, he is NOT paying rent! Owing you two months rent with no job to make the money is not paying rent! You giving him money for household chores that he should do anyway, just so he can turn around and pay you rent is just silly IMO.

Three, I absolutely agree with you - of course he needs to be contributing. You are being way too easy on him. You don't want to push a 19 year old MAN into something (a job of his choice) that he isn't ready for? I don't understand that at all. He is NOT a child anymore. He is old enough to go to war for crying out loud!

I'd say to live in your house as an adult, he starts paying rent this pay period. McDonalds, gas station, video rental place, whatever. Get the nearest job and start pulling your weight. THEN take your sweet time looking for a "good" job. A job that gives you a paycheck every two weeks is a good job in his situation.

And he owes you for karate. I'd tack $60 a month to his rent bill. That is ridiculous!

Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
19 is not a child in my house. 19 is an adult and expected to be working, studying or both. Infantalizing our children does them no favours at all.
Thank you!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcparker View Post
If he wants to travel, Habitat for Humanity and other NGOs have volunteer opportunities in foreign countries - maybe he would like to go to Haiti or Mexico and build houses for a month.

As for being picky about jobs, as my mean ol' grandma would say, "Beggars can't be choosers." In Grown-Up Town, sometimes we take a job that isn't our dream job so that we have the resources to eat and keep a roof over our heads while we search for a job that we would like better. He's 19 and has a high school diploma - what kind of hotshot job does he think he will be getting? There's no shame in retail, food service, physical labor, or custodial services, and whatever he finds is not his forever job. I think an unfulfilling job can also be a great motivator to find something you do want to do.
Yes, yes, yes!

I can tell you that I've seen friends go through this. Adult children living the easy life while their parents slave away. It is just sad. And not a gift to the child in any way IMO.

I've made it crystal clear to my kids that when you turn 18 and graduate from high school, you will be off living at college that very next September. Happy to have you home to visit, eat, hell I'll even do your laundry if you bring it back! But there is no moving back in! It is the real world from that point out. And the real world is actually really cool and exciting if you just push them out there! Would they rather stay in our house and play WoW and eat our food for years - sure. Is it good for them - no.
post #57 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
And he owes you for karate. I'd tack $60 a month to his rent bill. That is ridiculous!
Yes - I was just thinking the same thing. I'd missed that the first time I read through.
post #58 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post

I've made it crystal clear to my kids that when you turn 18 and graduate from high school, you will be off living at college that very next September. Happy to have you home to visit, eat, hell I'll even do your laundry if you bring it back! But there is no moving back in! .
Wow. Harsh, IMNSHO. Not all kids (young adults) are ready to fly the coop at 18. It is highly unlikely I would push my kids out at 18 (I wanted to say "never" - but never is a bit absolute). I do think if my mother had pushed me out when I was 18 it would have done serious (perhaps irreparable) harm my relationship with my mother.

some stats for fun:

3/5 22 years have moved out of the family home
9/10 of 29 year olds have

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...22/ai_14995056

Here is another one:

http://www.transad.pop.upenn.edu/dow...%20in%20US.pdf

(it maintains 50% of people between 18-24 live at home)

I wonder if some of the more intense or "tough love" type responses are a cultural thing. I know the USA prides itself on its independance -I wonder if this has spilled over to family values. Would we get the same response on a European board? Not judging - just wonderring. There is more than one way to be.
post #59 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Wow. Harsh, IMNSHO. Not all kids (young adults) are ready to fly the coop at 18.
In my family, if my kids are not ready to fly the coop or at least be in full time work or full time education by 18 I will feel like I've failed at my job as a parent. It is my job to help them grow up and be able to function in the world as an adult.
post #60 of 124
My parents still helped me out when I was 19, and even into my early 20's, so I'm not all about "cut him off/chop!/immediately!" mindset. Many of my friends had some help, too

Yet my parents had expectations from me. In this situation, he isn't contributing AT ALL so I can see where people would be alarmed by that.
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