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I am just at a loss. - Page 5

post #81 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
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.
This is exactly how I feel too! It is our job to get them ready; we have 18 years to do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
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".
My parents died when I was in junior high, and I had no contact with the aunt and uncle who got custody of us once I moved out at 17. But I did get some financial help doled out in tiny bits by the accountant who managed my parents' accounts.

I'm not saying nor have I heard anyone say that you don't help him AT ALL. I think a good many of us think he shouldn't live with you for free with no job and no schooling. WHEN he has a job or is in full time college, and has someplace to live that isn't under your roof, I'd certainly feel good about helping him financially - like paying for college tuition for example. Of course if he was going on my money, I'd expect a B average. I'm not paying for getting drunk and pulling Ds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
offer help: resources, job finding, whatever. Hope they want it. I like this option the best - but the young adult has to want it.

-go all tough love-y. Risk ruining your relationship or sending a young perosn who is ill-equipped to handle the world out into it.
I like the idea of offering help too. BUT what are the chances he will want it if his other option is to live for free at your house, sleep in til noon, have a grilled cheese, play WoW til dinner, go out with friends. That is going to sound better to him than "hey, what do you think about getting up at the crack of dawn to file papers or make Egg McMuffins?" The gig at your house is too cushy! Why would he look hard for a job?

And tough love is almost always tougher on the parents than the child (in this case an adult child). It is in the child's best interest - the parent is trying to HELP her son to grow, mature, pull his weight, make his way in the world. If done with love, it will not ruin your relationship! And again, if a 19 year old is TRULY not equipped to handle the real world then some big errors have occured.

The time to think about if your child is appropriately moving down the maturity road isn't the day before they graduate from high school! I once read "is your 9 year old halfway ready to be an adult?" and it really made me stop and think. We need to be making tiny steps towards their independence ALL through their childhood, not just at the very tail end of it. It is our JOB to put ourselves out of a job!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteHorse View Post
He is perfectly capable of doing it, you have to believe in him.
WH, I liked everything you had to say, but most especially this!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteHorse View Post
A lot of teenagers are AFRAID of the real world and just avoid it. It's easier to sit there. Once they get both feet wet, it's much easier.
Exactly!! I grew up in a small (1500 people) town, knowing all the same people all my life. Never being in a new situation or having to make new friends once I got through kindergarten. When it was time to go to college, I was petrified. I decided not to go. The most loving thing my best friend's mom ever did for me (and she has done A LOT for me over the last 27 years!!) was to put my stuff in a box, put it in my car, hug me, and send me crying off to the four hour drive to college - where I had the absolute best four years of my life, learned so much, grew so much, made so many new friends, BECAME AN ADULT! It most certainly didn't damage our relationship; I adore her for it. She was willing to put up with my sadness and/or anger because growing up was what was best FOR ME.

I say kids/young adults get one summer to coast - at the very most. I actually took a week vacation with a best girl friend then went to work for the summer. A job, an internship, a volunteer position, traveling would all be acceptable ways to spend that summer between high school graduation and college. But lounging around mom and dad's house playing WoW - no.
post #82 of 124
I disagree with the idea that "tough love" is "harded on the parents than the child."

We "had it out" with my adult stepkids (my dh's children) a few years ago and they act like they've never recovered. And we did it gently but firmly. We still help them out financially. And they STILL act like they've never recovered.

Good luck, OP. This stuff is so hard to navigate.
post #83 of 124
Thread Starter 
Well, maybe something is stirring in his brain. He was actually up BEFORE ME this morning talking about his plans for the day, which are to apply to a bunch of places on line, since he emailed me his resume yesterday to put into Word format (he can't on his Mac) since that's the format he wants to email it out in. I have been very adamant the last couple of days that he DO SOMETHING, so maybe he's just doing it to get me off his back, but that's fine.
post #84 of 124
My thinking, is that the WOW addiction is probably most of his problems. Gamers of all ages get into these "bum" situations. I've seen it in many cases. If you didn't charge rent, I would tell you that it was your house and that you didn't have to allow the game playing in YOUR house. However, if he actually starts paying rent, that would be a harder rule to enforce.
post #85 of 124
I am so glad he is showing some motivation today ... I read this whole thread last night and it made me so sad.

There are quite a few things that bothered me but first and foremost is the dismissive attitude. I wondered if I was really on MDC. No matter how old somebody is, if you love them you do everything you can to help them be happy and successful, especially your own child. I have never understood the “tough love” body of thought and that is exactly what brought me to MDC in the first place. My suggestion is to spend some time with him, get the communication rolling. You will be able to tell if he is still decompressing from 13 ½ years of school, or if he is having some sort of trouble (depression or addiction). Then you can go from there with love and compassion.

Respect your boundaries and he will too.
post #86 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
They may not be complicated expectations, but they are expectations nonetheless. I'm not sure how it is bad....?
Have your read The 4 Agreements? Some very interesting things about expectations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by veganone View Post
There is nothing wrong with BIL other than parents who have no expectations of him. It's really very sad to watch him throw his life away.
How do you know what is wrong with him? Normally people want to do things and experience things and grow. For some reason this is not happening with him. Has anybody taken the time to find out what that might be? or are we just parent blaming?

Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
My question for you was how long should a parent be okay with this?
Can I answer? As long as it takes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
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.
Exactly, thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
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 feel you … oh have I been through it. Tell him these things. I know he will listen and he will care … I think a real heart to heart is in order. Especially if it’s presented in an empowering way vs. a shaming way. (that is my struggle).

Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandgarbage View Post
does he have social interactions outside of the computer? i would worry about that.
That could be a concern.


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.
What if he had a brain injury? Or mental retardation? Or was a quadriplegic? Not saying the op’s son has anything this extreme, but you don’t know what blocks this kid has and what support he needs to get past them.

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.
Everybody is not the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Well, I hope to avoid that situation by equiping my kids to handle the world BEFORE they get to 18. They already do their share of household maintenance, cooking, cleaning etc. My older daughter already has a couple of paying jobs (freelance database work) my younger earns money as a mother's helper. The older one also handles her own money from what she earns plus clothing allowance and knows how to budget and handle a bank account. These are very basic things, but it means that they already know that life is not a free ride, that you have to put in as well as take. I doubt that at 19 they will suddenly decide that it's cool to do absolutely nothing to contribute to the family or their own upkeep.
The op's son was like this as a younger teen ... you never know what will happen ... things happen ... and if they ever happen in your family I hope you treat yourself with a little more compassion than you are displaying here.
post #87 of 124
I agree with Cherie2's responses in the previous post. I also like (and somehow missed) kathymuggle's post that Cherie quoted :

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle
I am also cognizant 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 helpful, 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.

.....and would like to say I agree with kathymuggle (again).
post #88 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
.....and would like to say I agree with kathymuggle (again).
lol again, she's a smart one huh?
post #89 of 124
Thread Starter 
Thank guys I can't deal with him harshly. Finding the best way is hard, but the input here is really helping.

Regarding interactions outside the home - he rarely goes out or has friends over, but he does do it on occasion. And he does yap on the phone with them too.
post #90 of 124
how is your communication? can you go for a walk or a drive and talk about some things? if your not there yet maybe just have some fun bonding time together?
post #91 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
There are quite a few things that bothered me but first and foremost is the dismissive attitude. I wondered if I was really on MDC. No matter how old somebody is, if you love them you do everything you can to help them be happy and successful, especially your own child. I have never understood the “tough love” body of thought
Some of us believe that sometimes "tough love" is doing what you can to help them be happy and successful. I've never understood the idea that if you just keep "helping", even though it's not working, then one day it will.

I put in my two bits before, and the OP has to find what works for her family, but I had to respond to this. I've known parents who have used tough love, with very good results. They did it because they felt it was needed for their child's well being, whether they liked doing it or not. (Some of them didn't find it difficult, but some of them did.)

Quote:
My suggestion is to spend some time with him, get the communication rolling. You will be able to tell if he is still decompressing from 13 ½ years of school, or if he is having some sort of trouble (depression or addiction). Then you can go from there with love and compassion.
Maybe. Maybe not. Trying to communicate with me when I was young and depressed never worked, because I invariably felt that my privacy and right to my own thoughts was being violated. My mom had a good sense of when to back off, but some people didn't. My relationship with a couple of them never recovered.

There is no one size fits all approach to this stuff. If tough love doesn't work for a lot of people, that's fine...but I really dislike the attitude that seems to crop up in these discussions that those who do find it effective just don't care about their children or "dismiss" them. They're walking a different path, is all.
post #92 of 124
My kids are not that age yet. However, they'd have to be chronically ill to be "excused" from contributing either with chores or with money if they were still living at home at that age.

Even my breadwinning dh helps with chores. It's what you do... everyone who lives in a house contributes to its care.
post #93 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
You know what's funny? Is if it was that her son (or hypothetical daughter) was going to be a parent then there would be lots of support that a teenage kid/adult can be a great parent, they are capable, and so forth.

But suggest that that same teenage kid/adult stop laying around all day while mom/dad supports a kid lazing around for months non-stop then they are being mean...? Actually, I'm not sure what it is that a parent that would have higher expectations for their teenage kid/adult would be.

So...is it mean to have higher expectations? What is the objection?
: WELL SAID!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
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. <snip>

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. :

He's known for years that once he was done grade 12, he had one free year at home - no rent - if he wasn't in school. He took one semester - two classes - after grade 12, which I gave him a break on so his year didn't start till he was done that, which was a year ago Feb 1. The idea was that he get a job and save money for that year, which he obviously hasn't done.

He's held jobs in the past - he started working at 15 - but has quit every one for one reason or another. He actually worked pretty steadily through high school. It's only since then he's become a bum.

He seems to be lacking something that I certainly had as a teen - the desire to be independent and not relying on others for everything.
Ok mama I'm going to be pretty honest here. Why should he have any desire to be independent??? He's got it AWFULLY easy right now! You say you don't want to push him into anything he's not ready for, but he's faithfully held a job since he was 15 and only started to be a bum (your wording) in the last year or so. What exactly would setting a boundary and enforcing it do to push him into anything he's not ready for? In the 'real world', he would have been evicted by now. What do you want him to learn from this experience of living (freeloading) in your basement???

I don't see ANY harm in saying "Son, we love you and we are fine if you live here until we feel otherwise. However, you are freeloading and you have until the last day of March to have a job or you need to live somewhere else on April first. If you do have a job by the end of March, you have until the end of April to have your April and February rent paid. If you do this, you have until the end of May to have your May and March rent paid. After that, all rent must be paid by the 15th of the month. If you don't do each of these things then you need to find somewhere else to be. Period.

And, you'll have to MEAN IT. He might not like it, he might threaten to never speak to you again, but c'mon now...He isn't going to take you seriously because, honestly, you arn't enforcing any personal boundaries...hence the reason you feel used. Of course you feel used, he's using you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annapooh View Post
But they can enter into legal contracts, open checking accounts, credit cards, get a lease for an apt. etc at 19. There is a WOW addiction in my home also, but the addict, gets up, goes to work and pays all of our family's bills. Ds plays wow with dad, and he has to pay for half of it with his allowance$, and he is 13. At 19, they aren't mentally ready for all the responsibilities of a 36y/o, but they sure as heck can get off their butt and work/go to school, and pay for their own stuff.
Very well said!
post #94 of 124
Concerning the money he owes you....

Even if he lands a job soon - he is not looking at bringing in money til April, by which time he will owe you $900.

Given his age, there is a very good possibility his first job will be low pay and part time. Most people I know start out in low wage, part time service industry jobs. Part time can turn into full time, but it takes time.

If he makes 10$ for 15 hours a week - thats 150 per week gross, 600$ a month - or about $500 net. After paying for his bus pass and monthly rent he is not going to have much money left.

It is entirely possible that the debt, while not necessarily much to you and I, could be overwhelming to him.

Once upon a time, many years ago, I owed the gov't student loan money. They wanted $200 monthly payments and I just could not see myself carving out another $200. I defaulted. (I have since paid them - but I was AWOL for a number of years). Had they asked for a smaller amount or a % geared to income - I would have never defaulted.

As long as he is paying you back (even if it is small amounts) I would be quite flexible in how long he takes to pay you back. Baby steps, right?

Kathy
post #95 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
There are quite a few things that bothered me but first and foremost is the dismissive attitude. I wondered if I was really on MDC. No matter how old somebody is, if you love them you do everything you can to help them be happy and successful, especially your own child. I have never understood the “tough love” body of thought and that is exactly what brought me to MDC in the first place.

Respect your boundaries and he will too.
I am one of the "tough love" ones on this thread. How is it dismissive? And I think it is offensive to infer that those of us who wouldn't let our kids use and disrespect us AND THEMSELVES this way don't love them. I think it takes an awful lot of love to put your foot down and deal with the aftermath. We would only do it BECAUSE we love them so much and want them to continue to grow and mature. It is good for them and it is good for us. Some kids do it on their own; some kids need a nudge to get there. You can nudge lovingly.

Not everyone on MDC does GD. Just like not everyone here extended nurses or homebirths or homeschools. Even here on MDC, we don't all agree. And that is ok.

How is allowing an adult child to live in your house without a job or school or any way to pay his way respecting your boundaries? To me, it seems just the opposite. Expecting - and enforcing - that he pulls his weight (household chores, putting money towards household expenses, holding a job or going to school) seems to respect the parents' boundaries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
What if he had a brain injury? Or mental retardation? Or was a quadriplegic? Not saying the op’s son has anything this extreme, but you don’t know what blocks this kid has and what support he needs to get past them.
In cases where any of the above was true, I bet you'd get damn near 100% of posts supporting the mom to let her son live with her as long as was necessary. That isn't the case here. Sounds like the OP's son is perfectly capable but enjoys the good life of sleeping in and playing WoW. If he had some issues that would preclude him from going out into the real world, I'd assume the OP would have mentioned them before.

OP, I'm glad things look better today. That is a good start.
post #96 of 124
I haven't read all the posts, but when I was a teen/young adult, we had to either work or be in school. Period. There was no discussion.

When my brother graduated college, and suggested that he take a few weeks off before he started looking for a job, my mother said, "You've been on vacation for four years. Get a job." He did.

My parents are incredibly generous, and we were always welcome to live at home, and they helped us financially, but "Dad helps those who help themselves," as he said.
post #97 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
In cases where any of the above was true, I bet you'd get damn near 100% of posts supporting the mom to let her son live with her as long as was necessary. That isn't the case here. Sounds like the OP's son is perfectly capable but enjoys the good life of sleeping in and playing WoW. If he had some issues that would preclude him from going out into the real world, I'd assume the OP would have mentioned them before.
I'm enjoying the discussion, mostly lurking. However, I totally want to discuss this, because I have TWO kids with autism, one of whom will never be able to live on her own, the other, eh, maybe with lots of support. We still expect them, at ages 14 and 11, to help with chores. They need support, they need reminders, they need assistance, but the idea that any disabled child should be treated as incapable, is just.....blech. They work to their ability, so we DON'T have adult disabled people who can't even help care for themselves. They are capable. They can choose to help. And it's kind of offensive to use disability as an 'oh well, they can't help it' excuse for not helping around the house.
post #98 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
Concerning the money he owes you....

Even if he lands a job soon - he is not looking at bringing in money til April, by which time he will owe you $900.

Given his age, there is a very good possibility his first job will be low pay and part time. Most people I know start out in low wage, part time service industry jobs. Part time can turn into full time, but it takes time.

If he makes 10$ for 15 hours a week - thats 150 per week gross, 600$ a month - or about $500 net. After paying for his bus pass and monthly rent he is not going to have much money left.

It is entirely possible that the debt, while not necessarily much to you and I, could be overwhelming to him.

Once upon a time, many years ago, I owed the gov't student loan money. They wanted $200 monthly payments and I just could not see myself carving out another $200. I defaulted. (I have since paid them - but I was AWOL for a number of years). Had they asked for a smaller amount or a % geared to income - I would have never defaulted.

As long as he is paying you back (even if it is small amounts) I would be quite flexible in how long he takes to pay you back. Baby steps, right?

Kathy
I don't know where the OP lives exactly, but just about everywhere there's day labor, grocery store stocking, newspaper delivery, burger flipping, sidewalk sign holding, day care worker, processing plants, factory work and much more that would add up to 40 hours a week making about $7/hr. We are in a pretty hard hit zone for the economy and my teens have found jobs paying that and more. Easily.

In fact, at $7 an hour for only 30 hours a week he'd be making 200 a week, or 800 a month. That's a few hundred left over after rent to catch up on bills and have some spending money. Make it 40 a week and he'd bring in another 320 a month.

Grown adults are raising their families on that kind of income. I'm sure a 19yo can manage to survive on it and pay a VERY MINIMAL amount of rent. Where else is he going to find rent, chores, food, internet, karate, and WOW for only 660 a month?

Really now.
post #99 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToastyToes View Post

When my brother graduated college, and suggested that he take a few weeks off before he started looking for a job, my mother said, "You've been on vacation for four years. Get a job." He did.

.
Ack. Had my father said that 4 years of college had been a vacation I would have been totally offended.


There is a lot of "my parents insisted I get a job" on this thread. Just because our parents did it does not mean it was right.

It may have worked - but being patient may have worked as well. Most adults eventually act like adults - and do so because they want to - and many do it without being dealt with in a tough love sort of way.
post #100 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theoretica View Post
I don't know where the OP lives exactly, but just about everywhere there's day labor, grocery store stocking, newspaper delivery, burger flipping, sidewalk sign holding, day care worker, processing plants, factory work and much more that would add up to 40 hours a week making about $7/hr. We are in a pretty hard hit zone for the economy and my teens have found jobs paying that and more. Easily.

In fact, at $7 an hour for only 30 hours a week he'd be making 200 a week, or 800 a month. That's a few hundred left over after rent to catch up on bills and have some spending money. Make it 40 a week and he'd bring in another 320 a month.

Grown adults are raising their families on that kind of income. I'm sure a 19yo can manage to survive on it and pay a VERY MINIMAL amount of rent. Where else is he going to find rent, chores, food, internet, karate, and WOW for only 660 a month?

Really now.
Snort. Really now yourself.

I will say it plainly: there is a possibility that if the OP's son owes oodles of money to her - it might be too disheartenning and add to his lack of desire to get a job.

Moreover, I think him seeing that working= spending money (and he won't have to beg or bug mom for his WoW) could be very empowering for the OP's son.

I think the way to help him get and keep a job is to lay off the debt repayments for awhile, or go at it gently.

PS. The fact that familes can survive on meager wages is irrelevant. The 19 year old does not have children to support - does he? Apples to oranges.
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