|Teenage WastelandPage 2 of 3 (1, 2, 3)|
|I am not sure if this will help or even be an option for you, but a friend had three girls all in their late teens and early twenties, all staying at home: no jobs, no school.|
He sold all the game machines, took the computer to work, cancelled the cable and internet and the home phone (he got cells for himself and his wife) and gave away the TV. I think he even got rid of all the radios.
After a few weeks of having no electronic baby-sitting, they all were searching for other things to do. I do not know if it directly resulted in jobs or school, but at least it got them out of the house.
Posted: 4/19/2006 6:28:25 AM
|I know this is long but read it anyway! |
What do I do? I’m at my wits’ end! My grown son still lives at home. He won’t respect any of our house rules. He doesn’t clean up after himself. He just lounges around the house and never lifts a finger to do anything. “And, worse yet, we can’t seem to motivate him to get a job. He isn’t even civil to us. When we try to tell him to treat us better and that he needs to get a job, he gets belligerent and tells us to get off his case.” You might be amazed at how often I hear about a situation such as this. Upon being asked about this problem, I usually inquire about who is subsidizing this irresponsible son’s easy lifestyle. Whose food is he eating? Whose car is he driving? Whose utilities is he using? The answer is usually, “Well, ours, but…” This is often followed with a list of explanations, excuses, and reasons related to, “Well, he doesn’t have the money to take care of himself,” or “He has to save his money because he wants to buy a car.”
Please tell me,would you put upwith this for one minute if it were anyone but your own child sucking off of your personal resources, while at the same time treating you with such disrespect? Of course not! You’d say, “Out! Get a life!”
The answer is easy to see when it doesn’t involve your own child. A surefire way to cripple a person is to allow him/her to sponge off you. People who are warm, comfortable, protected, and well fed usually have little motivation to change their lifestyles. The way to motivate a person to get off the couch, look for a job and become
personally responsible is to take away his free ride through life. The way to teach a child how to take care of himself is by taking care of yourself. This means telling him you no longer can provide room and board. This is scary for many parents, who say, “But that’s so mean. He will hate me if I make him move out, and I just feel so guilty asking him to pay room and board.” He will not hate you. In fact, normal humans hate to feel dependent upon others. Since this hate is so painful, it is usually transferred to the person who provides the support. Hostility/dependency takes the form of angry, hostile, hateful behavior. Many adult children who have been asked to leave the home are angry at first. They try using guilt on their parents. They often do their best to prove the parents made abig mistake. Many of these youngsters actually appear to hit “rock bottom” in their desperate attempts to get the parents to relent and allow them to return to the security of the parents’ home. Some of them try rejection. They leave home and don’t write or call for a period of time. The good news is that they eventually make overtures to come back into the relationship with the parents. And in most cases, they thank the parents for forcing them to grow up. I’ve heard many of them telling their parents: “Putting me out of the home was the best thing you ever did for me. Thanks for making a man out of me.”
A typical reaction to my advice about asking children to make a new home for themselves is, “ I can’t just throw him out! What will he do?” When a parent asks, “What will he do?” we now understand part of the problem. It’s a good guess the son never has worried about what he will do. He subconsciously knows he won’t have to be concerned about it. His parents have taken over that responsibility for him. It’s not his problem. It’s their problem. The first step toward a solution is for the parent to believe, “If I don’t concern myself with what he will do, he will have to take over that concern.”
Once that step is taken, that parent can take on the most important role of parenting,
that of teaching the child to take care of himself by demonstrating how it is done.
Solving the Problem
When parents don’t have a history of taking care of themselves and when the youngster
is hostile/dependent, the stage is set for very difficult communication. this is not a
good time to discuss the youngster’s leaving the nest.
I suggest it is better for the parents to provide the youngster with a “Good Neighbor Policy Letter.” Putting your thoughts into writing raises the odds that the young man can get the entire thoughts of the parents without being able to or feeling a need to become defensive or to start another argument. The following is a letter that was used very effectively by some loving parents:
We love you very much and want the best for you. So, we are writing to you instead
of talking with you in hopes that you willthink about this for a few days before feeling the need to respond. Our greatest dream for you is that we help you grow up to be independent, happy and able to take good care of yourself. In our enthusiasm to make this happen, we have made some mistakes.We thought our lectures and criticism would help you, but they have only damaged our relationships with you. For that, we are genuinely sorry. We didn’t realize we would first have to take care of ourselves or you would never be able to see how it was done.We wish to apologize for this and admit that we have a lot of catching up to do if we are really going to help you learn to take care of yourself.
The way we are going to do this is through what is known as the “Good Neighbor Policy.” From now on all of our decisions about you will be based on the Good Neighbor Policy.
For example, if a good neighbor came to us needing a place to stay, we would allow him/her to stay with us for a short time. We would provide room and board at a reduced rate, providing the neighbor paid in advance and was willing to live by our house rules. That way, he/she could continue to have self-respect and independence. As of the last day of this month you will have the opportunity. You may live here at a room-and-board rate of $400 per month—payable in advance on the first day of the month—if you are willing tolive by our house rules. Or, you have the option of living elsewhere by your own
house rules. If you choose to live elsewhere and are kind enough to let us visit you from time to time, we agree to live by your house rules while in your home. We know this is a difficult decision.We know that sometimes sons have difficulty telling their parents it is time for them to be on their own. In the event you can’t decide, we will assume that you have a hard time telling us you want to live elsewhere and have arranged for the movers to take your belongings to Acme Storage Rental, Unit #31, on the first day of the month. We have rented this storage space for you in your own name and have paid for two months rent as our way of helping with the transition.
Please know this is in no way a rejection of you on our part, but an expression of our deep love, confidence and concern for you, as well as our sincere desire to see you happy and independent.
Please accept our best wishes and love,
Mom and Dad
Yes the youngster who received this letter was angry. He said, “Fine, if that’s the way
you want it, I’m out of here!” His parents did not hear one word from or about him for six weeks. Then they heard through his friends that he had moved in with some of his buddies, but they kicked him out because he didn’t pay his share of the expenses. He then moved in with some other young men, but they also threw him out. During the eighth week he called. “Well, I guess you want my phone number.? His mom replied, “Sure if you want us to have it.” “And I suppose you want to know my address!” “Sure, if you want us to have it. Thanks for calling. We love you and hope you are doing well.”
The following week he called to say, “I suppose you want to know where I’m working.”
Needless to say, this young man and his parents have a much better relationship now. And, isn’t this why we raise children,to produce independent adults who can lead their own happy, independent lives?
Posted: 4/20/2006 10:17:43 AM
|I would say that he gets a job or you have to give him the boot. As long as someone else is footing the bill, than what motivation does he have for getting a job? I don't see any problem with letting him live there for a while, if he has a job. This could help him to save money to move out on his own.|
He might as well get a job and be prepared to move out. The sad reality is, as a high school dropout his job prospects will never be any better than they are now!
Posted: 6/1/2006 4:04:41 PM
|Great that your son took the initiative and hope he keeps it up. My father gave my eldest brother three options when he graduated high school: enroll in college, get a job or go into the service. He placed no deadline so eight months later he was still at home, making enough at the pool hall to pay for his beer and whatever else he needed. My mother gave him a different ultimatum on his birthday when he spent it playing pool with his girlfriend instead of looking for a job. She said get a job or get out. He walked out the back door with nothing and spent several months sleeping in friend's garages, etc. He resented her for more than twenty years but during his divorce sought counseling and realized that he was a little shit and that my mother had every right to do what she did and the results were his choices, not hers. I would not recommend joining the military because I personally would not want my child in a war zone, have a friend who does and do not envy him. The mom with the 8-4 job hunt gig had a good plan but not everything will work with each child. Glad he decided to do something before you had to give an ultimatum. Kids learn to be productive people when they make adult decisions like dropping out of school and are not allowed to behave as if they live in a hotel and are independently wealthy. Also advice about the electronics was good, if the kid has nothing to do even getting a job is a diversion.|
Posted: 6/3/2006 4:56:24 PM
|You have to develop balls and tell him what you want from him. He has to either go to school or look for work or leave the house at a deadline. But throwing him out on his butt is not going to solve your problem. Stick to the deadline but keep an eye out for him|
Posted: 4/18/2007 10:00:51 PM
|Well...he know's his friend's think his mom is hot n kool...so youhv to stop playing that role & inform him he needs to get his own place now...like move out,just like I did & you did...take on pressure & responsibility.|
Work a job...look for a friend or roomate to share expenses & wake up to the real world of having responsibility & concearn on how he is going to make his way in life "like a man."
He is playing you since he believes#1- you don't have the balls to tell him
#2-you would never stick with it,since poor jr. would strugle so much if he had to hold down a J.O.B. & pay his own bills.
#3-Truth is if you don't do it soon out of love for him you are just setting him up for failure as a manin life.
Good luck-I wish you well-it's tough LOVE!
Posted: 4/19/2007 1:29:33 PM
|I disagree with the Armed Forces enrollment. Not now, not ever! George has US in a war we cannot win and I would NEVER sacrifice my child to such an unworthy cause or for anything else for that matter. |
I'd get some drug screening kits and test his ass. If he tests positive maybe you can have a Cop show up and scare the shit out of him if you know any or live in a smaller town. My neighbor's son went through the same thing and he is still a lazy bum but with a job now! I'd change the locks while he is at the beach and make sure all windows are locked etc. Leave a note on the door and say until you either enroll back in school or get a full time job, I cannot give you the key! Sorry but my house my rules. His "buddies" may take him in for a few weeks, then they too will tire of his broke ass! He will get sick of being hungry, having dirty clothes, and no where he feels "at home". When you are staying with someone else you are never really comfortable like the old homestead.
Well I am dumb. Missed the whole post about the job. I would however ask if that is what he sees himself doing for the next 45 years as without an education life's opportunities are very limited these days!
Posted: 4/19/2007 5:30:02 PM
|I'd simply tell him your expectations and the rules in your house once more. If he chooses not to follow them, continues to laze around and in general is not respectful of you, I'd ask him to move out. I know it's a hard thing to do but by condoning his behaviour you are not helping him at all. Good luck!|
Posted: 4/30/2007 11:45:36 PM
|Wow, I've been going through this kinda thing with my son... since he was about 14 actually... 3 years of hell so far.|
He's barely 17 now, some success in an alternate school program... but attendence is still an issue sometimes.
HUGE problems when it comes to house rules and respecting other people in the household. Everything is a huge negotiation process.
The police have told me that his only fighting chance is if he's at home - that if I kick him out he's a write off for sure (Gangs/drugs).
GoFyger... what would you have done if you couldn't have sent your son to his dads?
My son's dad is deceased... I can't send him there... well I COULD ... but ... you know.
Posted: 3/21/2008 11:33:12 PM
Change the locks while he's out.
Move to a different town. Don't leave a forwarding address.
Check with your female acquaintances to see if any of them are willing to take him on as a boy-toy and support him for services rendered. Best if they live in a different city.
Or, give him 30 days notice to contribute or get out, then follow through. At 19 he needs a wakeup call.