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#1 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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19 yo ds is living in the basement and does nothing but play WoW. He has done NOTHING for the past year. He had to start paying rent in Feb and still isn't working. He's also started smoking (takes the butts of cigars that dh and I sometimes smoke and uses them in a pipe) and does chores for me when he wants smoke money (now that I've caught on to that one it's stopping), but other than that he never moves his butt. His WoW subscription runs out in 14 days and I just know he's going to try and finagle a deal with me or dh to get $$ for it again.

Please, I need strength to deal with him. To say NO, to put up with his anger when I bug him to get his a$$ out of bed, to get him out the door and GET A JOB. The doc prescribed antidepressants but he isn't taking them - he actually doesn't seem unhappy (why would he be - he's doing what every one of us can only dream about - coasting through life with someone else paying for everything).

I also think he lies about going out to put applications in just to keep me off his back but I have no proof. He sleeps all day and is up all night. He says he wants me to bug him, and I do. I call him when I get up, then 4 or 5 more times before I leave for work. I turn the light on in his face (he freaks). Same thing when I'm home for lunch. I offer to drive him places after work to put resumes in. I buy him bis tickets so he can go and job hunt. I've always thought that providing kids with the opportunity and resources would be enough - well, not for him apparently.

How can I make him need to get out the door and get a job?
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#2 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 08:00 PM
 
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This may be extremely unpopular - but this was me at 19, simply replace WoW with drinking/partying... and my parents kicked me out. As in, literally packed my stuff in bags and boxes and put it in the front yard. Now, it was summer and I knew it was coming.

Talk about a wake up call. I slept on a friend's couch for a bit, got my act together, went back to school, etc.

Now I'm an RN, have two children, own my own home, etc. It was the best thing my parents could have done. My mother is my best friend in the whole world and we literally die laughing sometimes about what a wretch I was at that age... and that wasn't even ten years ago.

ETA - I too had no emotional/mental health issues. I was just lazy and enjoying the free ride... I could have lived at home indefinitely if I was working/going to school/volunteering/something...

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#3 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 08:03 PM
 
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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?
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#4 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 08:04 PM
 
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You can gain the strength by realizing you are enabling him. You have spent your whole life raising this young man to be the best man he can be and by allowing this behavior, you are undoing every ounce of mental and physical work you have put into raising him. YOU HAVE TO TELL YOURSELF THIS!
Take a step outside this situation and ask yourself what advice you would give a poster in this situation. He is going to keep freeloading as long as you let him. Be stern mom.....be stern because you love him. Make rules, give deadlines...etc. Sometime motivation is hard to come by at 19 lol, but you have to enforce the behavior that you wish him to have as a young man, a husband, a father. You think it's difficult to deal with his anger and grumpyness now...just think how it's going to be 5 years from now when the girl he meets on WoW moves in with him in your basement. Your firm boundaries in this situation will make him realize one day just how much you love him.

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#5 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 08:05 PM
 
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Don't pay for his WoW subscription. Remove internet access. Get rid of cable. Stop providing free food. Stop driving him around. Stop making it attractive to laze around at home.
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#6 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 08:10 PM
 
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Don't pay for his WoW subscription. Remove internet access. Get rid of cable. Stop providing free food. Stop driving him around. Stop making it attractive to laze around at home.

I'm thinking, if the only reason she wouldn't get a job and move out was my internet access, I'd cancel the internet AND the cable. I'd rather live without it than have my child become a freeloader.
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#7 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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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?
I'm intrigued by WoW and the other RPG - but I have an extremely addictive personallity and have been warned by many people (including some friends who play) to avoid it, for that very reason.

Still.resisting...

Seriously though, my parents did all that - cut cable, stopped driving me around, stopped giving me money. It made it much easier to make me move out - I wasn't happy at home anymore anyway!


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#8 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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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?
Yeah, my husband has a WoW addiction and has for 3 years when his boss introduced him to the game. It is a serious problem in our marriage. :

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#9 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 09:13 PM
 
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He doesn't sound that bad:

Seriously - he is not addicted to drugs, hanging out with criminals or being abusive. He is simply coasting a bit. He is 19, not 35. Coasting is OK.


I think early adulthood can be difficult for some people. There is a lot of pressure to get a job, go to school, do something - and it can be hard on people who do not know what they want (or - they do know what they want (WOW), but it is not acceptable to those who love them). My youngest sister struggled with coasting during early adulthood - she did come out of it - but not until she was about 23.

I would probably pay for the next batch of WOW. After that I would ask him to come up with half the cost, and then, perhaps, the whole thing. I think it is often easier (and perhaps healthier) for children and young adults to be slowly weaned of financial "help". I say this as someone who's mommy did pay for her Cable TV at 19 - and yet I have been completely financially independant for many years now.
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#10 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 09:19 PM
 
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I was/ am a WoW addict. I have been "clean" for about a month now and was semi-clean for the year before that, and deeply addicted for two years before that. It didn't destroy my life but I can see how it could have... anyway I guarantee that if you can get WoW (and all other VG/ MMOs) out of his life he will wake up.
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#11 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 09:47 PM
 
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You just described my ex dh to the tee, down to fake applications, only he's 32. Heck, he went as far as to have his mom drive him to a fake job for weeks until she came home early one day and found him there. Unfortunately I think a situation like this is going to require tough love. Please don't allow him to continue to use you and the situation. I see how much it hurts my ex mil and here she's stuck with him home again and treated so poorly by him. I think it's ultimatum time for your ds and if he doesn't meet the requirements within a certain time limit then you need to move him out.

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#12 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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Stop making it attractive to laze around at home.
THAT.


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Coasting is OK.
I wholeheartedly disagree with the above.

Coasting with a NEAR future plan might be OK - like, kid graduates from HS, takes a break for a month, then gets a job/goes to college, whatever.

Just plain open-ended freeloading, though? Unh-uh.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#13 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 10:05 PM
 
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I don't think coasting for that long is a good idea AT ALL.

He's at an age where it would be best to help cut bad habits before they get even more ingrained. The more "normal" the sleeping all night, playing too much WoW (dang that game seems to be ruining families....it's really weird), and bumming smoke $ is, the more likely that he will want (and expect) things to be this way.

Sorry, but I highly doubt he will change on his own, and if there is a time to be firm it is now.

I'm a pretty laid-back parent who is leaning towards unschooling, but sometimes I do believe a kid can thrive best with a parent-imposed boundary.
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#14 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 10:10 PM
 
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I wholeheartedly disagree with the above.

Coasting with a NEAR future plan might be OK - like, kid graduates from HS, takes a break for a month, then gets a job/goes to college, whatever.

Just plain open-ended freeloading, though? Unh-uh.
Agreed - at sixteen, maybe. To me - nineteen is an adult.

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#15 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 10:40 PM
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I would just say this, before you start trying "tough love," consider reading "live through this" by debra gwartney. it's about a mother who becomes estranged from her daughters and they become more and more wild. she tries the tough love approach because people expect her to and it backfires in a really big way. it's a true story and she does a lot of thinking about why she reacted to things the way she did and how she might have reacted more helpfully to what her daughters were feeling. i'm not saying that cutting everything off would make your son wild or anything, i just think that people imagine tough love to be a panacea, where in some situations, with some kids, it can make things worse than a little forgiveness and love might.

and if you don't feel like reading the book, there is also a "this american life" episode that features this family. i think it's called "i didn't ask to be born." i found it heartbreakening but also enlightening. and it has a happy ending (as does the book)
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#16 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 10:42 PM
 
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I would just say this, before you start trying "tough love," consider reading "live through this" by debra gwartney. it's about a mother who becomes estranged from her daughters and they become more and more wild. she tries the tough love approach because people expect her to and it backfires in a really big way. it's a true story and she does a lot of thinking about why she reacted to things the way she did and how she might have reacted more helpfully to what her daughters were feeling. i'm not saying that cutting everything off would make your son wild or anything, i just think that people imagine tough love to be a panacea, where in some situations, with some kids, it can make things worse than a little forgiveness and love might.

and if you don't feel like reading the book, there is also a "this american life" episode that features this family. i think it's called "i didn't ask to be born." i found it heartbreakening but also enlightening. and it has a happy ending (as does the book)



I also know people that feel that they would have thrived more under "tough love" so keep the balance in mind.

BTW though...I hardly think that cutting off WoW is even in the category of "tough love." That seems more like just "love" to me, and I really don't see how it is on the "tough" side to make an adult pay for their own addiction.
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#17 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 10:44 PM
 
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I also know people that feel that they would have thrived more under "tough love" so keep the balance in mind.

BTW though...I hardly think that cutting off WoW is even in the category of "tough love." That seems more like just "love" to me, and I really don't see how it is on the "tough" side to make an adult pay for their own addiction.
Dead right!
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#18 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 10:48 PM
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BTW though...I hardly think that cutting off WoW is even in the category of "tough love." That seems more like just "love" to me, and I really don't see how it is on the "tough" side to make an adult pay for their own addiction.
i agree. i was referring to the references to throwing him out of the house not to cutting off WoW or the internet or cable.
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#19 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 10:52 PM
 
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i agree. i was referring to the references to throwing him out of the house not to cutting off WoW or the internet or cable.



Oh, whew! Yeah, I don't think that would be right to do immediately. I'm not a big "tough love" person although I do feel that it can work in some cases. But not typically as the very first thing to try.
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#20 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 11:01 PM
 
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Agreed - at sixteen, maybe. To me - nineteen is an adult.
They are not even allowed to drink in the USA until they are 21.

So I guess the law does not see them as complete adults.

Kathy
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#21 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 11:07 PM
 
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They are not even allowed to drink in the USA until they are 21.

So I guess the law does not see them as complete adults.

Kathy



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?
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#22 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 11:22 PM
 
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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.

I do not think freeloading at 19 = being a freeloader for life. What is with the black and white thinking??????

If you are anti coasting, I do not think nagging or micromanaging will work. A person has to want it for themselves - you cannot organise them into it - and pushing may only make them dig in their heels. I know this from personal experience. Both my DH and Ds are much more likely to do something if I lay off

I am not sure what will work. My advice is patience for a little while longer. I know the OP is angst ridden and some posters seem to be too, but he will become motivated on his own scheduel - not yours. I think most people naturally want to do things (work, travel, relationships, etc) and he will want to as well - it just isn't today. I think tough love (which is what seems to be advocated by some) has too high a cost. I love my mom - but I do not think we would have such a great relationship if she had kicked me out or became all "tough love".

I am not anti making him pay for his own stuff - WoW -just give him enough notice and leave it at that.


Kathy
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#23 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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They are not even allowed to drink in the USA until they are 21.

So I guess the law does not see them as complete adults.

Kathy
Well, I think any age with the word teen in it means they're still teenagers.

You can drive at 16, or earlier, vote at 18, and drink at 21. I think the laws are a bit mixed up and if I was queen of the world... well, anyway...

My point is that I think being a teenager, young adult (early 20's) is a time of transition from childhood to adulthood and everyone develops at a different rate. I wouldn't call a 19 year old an adult (although legally they have adult rights, but then don't get me started on rights... ) and yes, many people are capable of raising children at that age or younger but I don't see how that is relevant to the OP.

I remember how stressed I was at 18-19 and lost and confused and had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up (I still don't) and how much pressure I felt, real or imagined, to figure it all out NOW. Then again, there was no internet when I was 18-19, yet I still found other outlets for procrastinating, delaying my education, not picking out my life goals and career choices in a timely manner, and all that. So are so many times throughout my adult life that I've said to myself, 'If only my parents hadn't put so many dang controls and rules on me and allowed me the time to figure myself out, and encouraged me to explore all possibilities other than the one path they thought I should take, then my life would be so different now....

So, I come from that perspective. I think it may be a good idea to sit down and discuss the amount of time he spends playing WoW because it truly can be an addiction, but I don't think his slump is cause to kick him out.

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#24 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 11:36 PM
 
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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.

I do not think freeloading at 19 = being a freeloader for life. What is with the black and white thinking??????

If you are anti coasting, I do not think nagging or micromanaging will work. A person has to want it for themselves - you cannot organise them into it - and pushing may only make them dig in their heels. I know this from personal experience. Both my DH and Ds are much more likely to do something if I lay off

I am not sure what will work. My advice is patience for a little while longer. I know the OP is angst ridden and some posters seem to be too, but he will become motivated on his own scheduel - not yours. I think most people naturally want to do things (work, travel, relationships, etc) and he will want to as well - it just isn't today. I think tough love (which is what seems to be advocated by some) has too high a cost. I love my mom - but I do not think we would have such a great relationship if she had kicked me out or became all "tough love".

I am not anti making him pay for his own stuff - WoW -just give him enough notice and leave it at that.


Kathy



I never suggested *not* giving him notice. And I don't see how it is black/white to cut off JUST WoW and have a higher expectation from a capable adult child. I practice AP and gentle discipline. I don't see how having (some actually small) expectations goes against that.

He very likely may not be a freeloader for life. : But it has been a year and to many people (who also practice GD and AP) that is long enough to be concerning.

ETA: In case I wasn't 100% clear, I do NOT advocate for kicking him out. And as mentioned, I am pretty much anti- tough-love in most situations as well. Just want to be clear! :-)
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#25 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 11:40 PM
 
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Well, I think any age with the word teen in it means they're still teenagers.

You can drive at 16, or earlier, vote at 18, and drink at 21. I think the laws are a bit mixed up and if I was queen of the world... well, anyway...

My point is that I think being a teenager, young adult (early 20's) is a time of transition from childhood to adulthood and everyone develops at a different rate. I wouldn't call a 19 year old an adult (although legally they have adult rights, but then don't get me started on rights... ) and yes, many people are capable of raising children at that age or younger but I don't see how that is relevant to the OP.

I remember how stressed I was at 18-19 and lost and confused and had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up (I still don't) and how much pressure I felt, real or imagined, to figure it all out NOW. Then again, there was no internet when I was 18-19, yet I still found other outlets for procrastinating making my life goals and career choices. So many times I've said to myself, 'If only my parents hadn't put so many dang controls and rules on me and allowed me the time to figure myself out, and encouraged me to explore all possibilities other than the one path they thought I should take, then my life would be so different now....

So, I come from that perspective. I think it may be a good idea to sit down and discuss the amount of time he spends playing WoW because it truly can be an addiction, but I don't think his slump is cause to kick him out.
Nice post!

I probably should not have made the "drinking at 21" crack - the argument demon simply spewed out of me, lol

I do think it is a transitional age and some of us take longer to transition than others. It is about honouring their process (while not letting our boundaries be stepped on).

OP: are you in Canada? I seem to remember you are... If so there are some fantastic programs for youth he might enjoy (katimavik comes to mind but there are others). If he is Canadian and you think he may be interested in such things, let me know and I will get you some links....

Kathy

OP:
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#26 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 11:54 PM
 
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<snip>and have a higher expectation from a capable adult child.


<snip>
ETA: In case I wasn't 100% clear, I do NOT advocate for kicking him out. And as mentioned, I am pretty much anti- tough-love in most situations as well. Just want to be clear! :-)
The easy one first - I totally hear you on the last paragraph! You are clear.

The trickier one second - and I am thinking and writing at the same time, so this is not a fully formed hypothesis.....

I am not sure we should have expectations of adult children. I do not have expectations of my adult sister for example. I do not have expectations of my mother. I do have expectations of my husband - but that is because we both enterred into joint responsibilites (kids, house, pets, cars, etc)

I think it is reasonable to have boundaries. If the OP feels her boundaries are being crossed - then she should state them clearly, and fairly. I do think his age should be taken into account - what is freeloading in a 30 year old is not freeloading in a 19 year old. None-the-less that is my take. The OP has to figure out her own.
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#27 of 124 Old 03-10-2009, 11:59 PM
 
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Nice post!
Thanks

I think that's the first time anyone ever said that about one of my posts in the 4 years I've been a member here.

probably because I do this a lot:

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and I am thinking and writing at the same time, so this is not a fully formed hypothesis

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#28 of 124 Old 03-11-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
The easy one first - I totally hear you on the last paragraph! You are clear.

The trickier one second - and I am thinking and writing at the same time, so this is not a fully formed hypothesis.....

I am not sure we should have expectations of adult children. I do not have expectations of my adult sister for example. I do not have expectations of my mother. I do have expectations of my husband - but that is because we both enterred into joint responsibilites (kids, house, pets, cars, etc)

I think it is reasonable to have boundaries. If the OP feels her boundaries are being crossed - then she should state them clearly, and fairly. I do think his age should be taken into account - what is freeloading in a 30 year old is not freeloading in a 19 year old. None-the-less that is my take. The OP has to figure out her own.

Well that is the thing. And maybe that is where you and I are also just different. I do have expectations from most adults in my life. Including my siblings, my parents, my spouse, and even friends. They may not be complicated expectations, but they are expectations nonetheless. I'm not sure how it is bad....?

But even if expectations are not the way it should be...I do think the OP is looking for validation that she can have a boundary.

Nobody ever said, "don't communicate clearly with your son." (Not that I saw). I agree that an immediate kicking him out would be over-the-top but I imagine that even people that feel that way would expect a parent to continue stating their boundaries clearly and fairly.

And, yes, we should keep in mind that he is 19, and not 30. But again, it has been a YEAR. If it had been a month or even a few months...I would feel as if you do. But a year is a bit much.
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#29 of 124 Old 03-11-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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Has he actually been paying rent since Feb? How is he paying it if he doesn't have a job?

Either he does have some sort of income (or perhaps a bank account he's been tapping into?) or you've been letting the rent slide for the past couple of months. (Wait. It's March. He's only had to pay rent twice.)

I think you need to set some boundaries and let him know what they are ahead of time. I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect him to pay for his own WoW.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#30 of 124 Old 03-11-2009, 12:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
I do think the OP is looking for validation that she can have a boundary.
Yes. I agree. Validating the need for boundaries is really important, in all relationships.

I also think he may need a little help getting out of his WoW addiction.

The parent/child relationship changes as well, and it's really difficult to change from parent/child to parent/adultish child, different rules, different boundaries for both. It can just get a bit confusing sometimes. The OP clearly wants to help motivate her son, but on the other hand, she doesn't want to feel used.

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