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#121 of 124 Old 03-16-2009, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Multimomma View Post
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.
Oh, I absolutely agree with you - and respect that you are raising your kids to their highest potential. I was responding to the idea that an adult child who was quadrapeligic or otherwise truly unable to live independently at the age of 19 wouldn't be forced to move out of the house like many of us are suggesting for the OP's son.

Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I would certainly state my (reasonable and achievable) boundaries: "you live here - you get to contribute financially and do some chores" - but I would not go all militant on him.

I am not completely anti-tough love. I tried to look up tough love to get some stats on how effective it was and got nowhere. What I did notice what that almost all references to tough love were in relation to drug addiction or serious (criminal) behavioural issues - none of which the OP's son has displayed.
I think you are taking the term tough love too literally. When I ask you for a kleenex, I don't care if you hand me a Target brand tissue or an actual Kleenex. I mean - and I assume most on this thread mean - tough love not Tough Love. I am not talking about camo pants and meal rations from bags and ten mile hikes. I am talking about the same thing you are - a 19 year old adult paying his way, pulling his weight.

Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
As far as I'm concerned, the consequence of not paying his rent now will be that when he DOES start working he'll owe every cent he makes to me till he's caught up. I think kicking him out would be tantamount to telling him I think he's not worth my time and that I don't really love him unconditionally. I honestly cannot think of any circumstances under which I would ever kick a kid of mine out onto the street with nowhere to live, unless they were putting the rest of the family in danger somehow. That is far, far from the case here. I don't see it as tough love, I see it as insulting and degrading.

He knows he has to get a job, he does want to, he just lacks the motivation. I want to help him get the motivation, I don't want to destroy my relationship with him.
Again, I can only speak for myself, but I'm not saying kick him out - on the street - today. I'm saying you have (insert reasonable amount of time here - anywhere from two to four weeks seems reasonable to me) to either enroll in college or get a full time job. Starting today, he helps the household run by doing chores like everyone else. If he doesn't WANT to get a job or go to school, then find an apartment or a friend to live with. No one thinks he should sleep on a park bench.

I understand you don't want to damage your relationship with him. I agree that that is certainly worth preserving. You said you want to help him get the motivation to get a job. The only thing you can do is hold him to reasonable ADULT expectations - helping around the house (no pay for this!) and having either a job or be in school. If he refuses to comply and you do nothing, then you are not helping him get motivated; you are enabling him to loaf around for another year or permanently. He will be an adult when you force his hand.
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#122 of 124 Old 03-17-2009, 12:00 PM
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I haven't read all the posts and I don't have any teens yet (duck) so sorry if this has been covered. However, Iwas a teen once, as were all my friends. Soneone mentioned a European perspective so here's one. In this country, you are an adult at 18, you can vote, you can work, you can own property, you can marry. You can drink or smoke if you want to. Well you can smoke at a younger age than that, and work part-time, have s*x, and make many of your own medical decisions from 16 onwards as 16 is considered a minor rather than a child.
When I was growing up when you left school at 17or 18, you went to college, got an apprenticeshp, or you worked. I dare say volunteering would have been acceptable too. When youb were workign you paid your way to bills etc at home and you took adult responsibilityfor chores. No my parents did not want to push me out the door at 18 to live on my own if I didn't feel ready to. For most Irish or English parents that is a truely foregn concept and many welcome their grown iup children back into the homeafter college if ther work means they can live with the parents. The 'policy' in other European countries seems to be "out the door by 24" As in, by the time you have graduated 18 months, from college you should be self supporting, But the fact that it is very difficult to afford a mortgage at that point is changing that mindset. Just as I wouldn't have pushed my LO out to sleep in her own bed at the magical age of one if they weren't ready for the transition, I wouldn't push an 18 year old to leave IF they really weren't ready. Personally, think that for many teen adults, they are SCARED. Yes, the world is a scary place if you are used to the safe confort and routine of school, the basement , friends, the Wow, internet etc. Doing interviews, getting a job, an unfamiliar enviroment, strange poeple, time keeping, negotiating with banks, taking financial responsibility etc. These are scary comcepts as is the thought that you might fail at them. I do agree tho that paying for his Wow and giving him money for smokes has got to stop. I don't smoke so maybe I ve a bias in that regard tho.
As for coasting, I think it depends entirely on the person. I know gyuyswho coasted at 19 who are still coasting at 50! And guys who coasted a little at 22, after college, who are senior excs and professors now.
I also wonder if yhe could be depressed. Does he have friends he could set up a rental arrangement for his own place with?
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#123 of 124 Old 03-19-2009, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
How can I make him need to get out the door and get a job?
I think you need to realise that you can't make him do anything. My advice to you is to stop doing things for him. I wouldn't call it tough love for you to stop enabling his behavior. He wants, WOW, he pays for it himself. He wants $$, he earns it from a job. He wants his room cleaned, laundry done, dinner cooked....I think you get the point. He is an adult and you are babying him. It doesn't have to be done in a mean way, just a simple you"re an adult now, I'm going to start treating you like one. Nobody likes nagging someone to do something, nobody likes being nagged. Tell him you love him and are there for him, but you won't enable him.
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#124 of 124 Old 03-20-2009, 04:06 AM
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I just thought I would chime in here with two different points of view.

When I turned about 16 or 17, I was constantly reminded by my family that when I turned 18 I would have to move out, take care of all my housing needs and bills all by myself, all the while never being taught those skills. I always had someone doing my laundry for me, cooking and cleaning for me, filling up my gas tank for me, so on and so on. I did move out after graduation (I was still 17) but to an Aunt's house. I was close enough to her that I could tell her I was terrified and didn't know what to do or how to do it, so she took me under her wing. I had expectations placed on me, such as I had to pay rent, help clean up after myself and the family, go to work, etc. But all of it was gradual for me. She gave me two months rent free, x amount of time to find a job, etc. That timeline was such a lifesaver for me. I didn't feel so rushed by everything. She also told me that she couldn't expect me to change overnight but that I was an adult and it was time to get my sh*t together, and that if I didn't meet the timelines then I would be needing to move out.

Now, I have my dad who is almost 50 years old, still living at home with my Grandma (his mom), living on her couch, no car no license, drives her car around, bums money off her for his smokes, she cooks for him, he refuses to work but complains about it 24/7. He is verbally abusive to my grandma, and just an all around miserable person to be around sometimes. I love my dad, but my sister and I have both had to promise each other that when my grams passes we will not take my dad in. My grams was such an enabler for him, it was/is infuriating. She didn't want to push him away, didn't want to place too many expectations on my dad, the list just goes on.

In hindsight, she should have told him either you need to do 'xyz' or see you later, and that allowing him to remain has helped turn him into perptual 16 year old boy stuck in a 50 year old mans body, but shoulda coulda woulda right?
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