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CVPeg
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:51 PM
My current main concern is my 24 yo son. Not surprising, he has needed a little work. But is bright, personable, and when he gets to it, can contribute a great deal.

Graduated with a computer science degree two years ago - so the field isn't the issue. He's been hovering about whether or not he should focus on CS, but has finally decided he'll stay in it.

Up until last month, had a very part-time job, often busy in seasonal times in programming. I was his backbone most of his life, until he went on to college. Took some doing, but he got up to speed, and did well with friends and classes for the most part. Then he moved in with his Dad after graduation...

My ex and I split 10 years ago. Daddy dearest is definitely all about himself, and the whole fam damily are the center of constant crises. He has not remarried, but has created a "castle of doom" (my words) where his married daughter, her spouse, and their huge brood of kids all live. NO ONE has a job. Ex used to work overseas and I lived there as much as could be tolerated, or as his work plans completed, were abandoned, renewed, etc. Supposedly a consultant with a DBA, but uses this business to write off everything, and take trips back to his old overseas stomping grounds. For the most part, though, is now almost always home, but a lousy parent. A huge child himself, but made enough money to keep all the dysfunctionals afloat just barely, and go to the big box stores several times a week.

Son had a great girlfriend who he just broke up with. Beautiful, motivated, perhaps a little quirky and shy. But it was his first real girlfriend, and as she got serious, he balked. Everyone thought they made a great pair. I liked her, but realize he needs some big-time growing up to do. Some years to be his own man, so although sad, am definitely behind him. He's young.

He has a truck half purchased with summer earnings from a job he did 4 years ago when he stayed with me. It's in my name - I've made the remaining payments, have paid truck insurance, and also his cell phone. And I am struggling to find work now and begin a new business. Not being taken advantage of entirely, as I've used it to motivate him more than his father knows how to motivate anyone.

Laid down the law to him last week, demanding that he look for legitimate work, giving him a timeline on the truck and phone. Under protest he accompanied me to counseling. I gave him two deadlines this week. He accomplished the first late. Has totally ignored the second. Of course I'm an hour away.

Yes, he's into gaming. The whole fam damily is, and if I told you all the recent tragic horrors this family has brought upon itself, you couldn't tolerate even hearing any more.

I am in the country - with slow internet service. We frankly get along great, but DS doesn't want to return and never play games again. Daddy's place that he bought is all refurbished and pretty in the inside, but the idiots (he and his daughter) chose this house in the gut of a nearby city. He will never move out of there because it is over-improved, taxes are atrocious, and lots of kids to watch out for.

DS does have plans to move to NYC with a buddy, who frankly, is a pretty hard worker and motivated. But those plans are continuing to be delayed. His friend is on his case about finding work. NYC is a bit scary in theory, but fine with me if he pays his way. I'm not contributing to that at all.

DS has no substance issues at all. He is diagnosed ADD (as am I), but I always worked from the age of 14. Never had my parents pay my way, except for help during 2 years of college.

For the most part, this is a rant. But I am puzzled about the following. - the resistance that Ex-DH's daughter, and son-in-law, and for the most part, ex-DH himself display in looking for work has always stymied me. My son had also fought some plans in the past that I insisted upon, even for fun plans when it involved a change or being thrown into the rest of the world (he and I moving to a better school district - month long computer camp out of state) -then was so thankful that he went through with them.

But the resistance has almost been like a phobia. And I've seen it in his father and sister - a resistance to do anything that generates terrible outbursts. I almost wonder if it's some kind of agoraphobia, although I don't know any of the traits first hand. (For example, she has had Christmas presents delivered to her, and so badly procrastinated that they were returned when not picked up at the post office...!) And they DO seem to be able to go outside and go where they need (Doctor appointments! HUGE hypochondriacs!) and buy food.

I am still trying to influence my son as much as possible by now placing these boundaries on him. He even just about gave me his truck last week. But you know what would happen next? Daddy would let him get around in one of his five cars. :(

I'll stay home often - especially now being "older", but at least have been pounding the pavement, seek out my friends, places to go, things to do, and my horse! ;) Just can't relate to their way of thinking. But will keep on doing the best I can with limits from me, and counseling if he chooses to go that route.

Thanks for plowing through all of this.

LauraKY
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:06 PM
Could it be depression?

seabreeze
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:06 PM
God bless ya. You're a kinder woman than I would be. College educated and 24? Uh, I'd wash my hands of it and continue on my merry way. DS wants to live with DH and do nothing? Have at it. If you enable in ANY way, you're merely setting the same example as your ex. In many ways, we people are just like dogs (or horses). You know when you make the dog stay off the couch "most of the time"? But then you give in and say, "just this once..."? Well, kids are no different. Set real boundaries with your kid stick to them. As for the rest of them? There's no figuring out some people. Don't waste your time thinking about it.

stolen virtue
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:09 PM
CVPeg, my son is only 12 but most of my friends and coworkers children are your son's age and I hate to say it but his behavior sounds totally normal. Boys in their 20's are typically not very motivated. We have a couple at work who are very motivated but they are the minority and they are late 20's. I'm sure your son's dad does not make things clearer for him but the other thing is that this is a tough economy and jobs are not easy to get. The motivated kids are being employed but the others are finding it pretty tough.

I think staying in a parenting role is good, and that is what I have said to my friends when their sons were not motivated and showing up at their doors looking for help. I will say my girlfriends sons who are now over 30 are doing quite well and have found their stride, even after some devastating mistakes.

Hugs....boys are different.

Alagirl
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:10 PM
there certainly seem to be some issues with stepping out into unknown territory. Alas, I am not a professional, I can only guess.

But:
I am a gamer. That I can intelligently discuss. :winkgrin:
being 'into gaming' seems to me often to be a symptom that things aren't fun in paradise.

I had my phases when I played much to much, stayed on too long and all that good stuff. A friend of mine (my facilitator ;)) had horrible issues at home with his parents, so he would play all hours of the day. (you notice when somebody who is 2 hours behind you is online when you get up at 7...that is EARLY - or late...)

In any case, the online world is fun. You do your thing, the things you kill will clean themselves, unlike that stack of dishes.
You can engage in social interaction - or not. (I spend a few hours fishing in the virtual world when the call came at 3AM that sister's cancer had returned...calming activity when you can't really do anything else)

Long story brief synopsis: you might gain some insights if you got to know his games and why he plays them. And I mean in a more broad sense, not so much why the game is cool.

having said (confessed) that I was in way too deep, I am also telling you that right now I am considering to let my subscription laps on my game. I found as life got busy and more enjoyable (again) I spend less and less time playing.

same for my friend: as his situation improved he dropped off the face of the earth for a couple of years, happy with girlfriend, school and job.

and in all fairness, at 24 I didn't know whether I was coming or going...

Give him a big hug :)
he sounds like a good kid, under the issues.

hb
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:13 PM
Hate to sound cold, but he's 24, lives with one parent, and the other parent pays his truck and cell phone bill? He has no reason to be motivated.

Also, the resistance to make positive changes? I've seen that, along with the drama, in several people with substance abuse problems. If your son is not drinking or using drugs yet, other people in that household likely are and it will affect him.

mvp
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:23 PM
^^ hb has it.

You should stop the kind of enabling you do for DS. Let him figure out what to do instead. If he sponges off his dad, that's between them. But don't pick up the pieces when he gets tired of that.

Simkie
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:27 PM
Sounds like depression +/- anxiety disorder. I can relate, as I definitely have the anxiety disorder portion of that. For me, it is very, very easy to slip into an agoraphobic state. It becomes very hard to leave the house. At it's worst, it becomes very difficult to leave certain *rooms* of the house. Don't know if I can even describe the feeling.

What I've found is that I have to be medicated. SSRIs, which are often prescribed for anxiety, do absolutely nothing and generally make things worse after a short period where I think they might be helping. What does work very well for me is Seroquel...but not the generic. The generic doesn't work for me at all. In all honesty, Seroquel changed my life.

It sounds like your son definitely needs some counseling and perhaps some medication. I agree that withdrawing support is also probably a good idea, but I would work to get him seeing and talking to someone FIRST. If you took away his truck right now, I bet he'd just use it as an excuse to continue to not do anything.

kateh
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:55 PM
I don't know, I'm also 24 and I see the same deal with plenty of people my age who are physically and mentally healthy. It's too easy to sit back and let other people pay for things. Heck, I still get help from my parents. But there's giving someone a hand while they're getting on their feet, and then there's bankrolling them. He needs a wakeup call that you aren't a money tree, that childhood's over, and it's time to get a move on damnit. And as for going easy on his deadlines...why bother having them if there's no consequences?

Hony
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:31 PM
I think people are way too quick to blame things on depression or anxiety. He probably does have anxiety because people nag him to get off his duff and do something....AND HE SHOULD!
Sounds to me like Lazy A$$+ clever boy disorder. If he has no reason to work then why would he work.

As an example, I had horses and so worked my tail off to pay for my horses. I worked full time through university because it was important to me to be independent.
In contrast my mom gave my sister a credit card that my mom paid for. I was shocked because I had never been given a credit card. My sister used to tell me about her purchases and I was amazed by how much she would purchase at once. She told me "well, if it's the last purchase mom lets me make then it had better be good one!"
I love my sister but she has barely had a job in her life and is now a stay at home mom - a good one of course!

littleum
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:42 PM
Sounds to me like your son is spoiled.

The truck is yours? Take it back. Sell it. Drop the insurance.

You pay the cell? Stop.

Afraid your son will kick, scream and not talk to you? Probably he will throw a tantrum.

He is TWENTY FOUR years old. He is a MAN. He is a full grown MAN. Going to be blunt: STOP PARENTING HIM. He does not need his mommy cleaning up after him, and so long as you hand him various floaties like truck insurance and cell phones and a "back up plan place to crash" he will never NEED to stand on his own.

Some people have enough diginity (frankly) and drive and motivation to want to get out on their own and not (frankly) be mooches.

Your son is not one of these people. And as long as you are "there for him" financially he doesn't NEED to be one of these people. If his dad is going to take over the role, nothing you can do except be the "bad guy".

As for games? People are so quick to blame games. It's possible your son is gaming to escape, but it's also possible he's gaming because it's fun and nothing greater is demanded of him. Or it's both.

That CS degree might not be much help to him. You don't say what his special skills are, and unless he has some or a focus, finding a job is really rather hard. That, combined with mommy nursemaiding him and dad being his bacholer pad buddy, means he's probably got no sense of direction and no reason to really address the spinning wheels.

What he needs is a kick in the pants. If you aren't going to give it to him, you're just part of the problem.

paulaedwina
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:46 PM
Talking out of my ear here since I don't have human kids, but man, do him a favor and give him notice for eviction.

Paula

pal-o-mino
Mar. 30, 2013, 04:00 PM
Yeah, my landlold has the same problem. Son won't get a job, goofs off all day, constantly needs money, landlord can't figure out why he won't get it together.

Well, that's be cause the landlord pays for the car(s) - when the son wrecks one or it gets 'stolen', landlord buys him another one, insurance, the apt, the everything. Why in the world should he help himself?

Oh, the landlord's son is 42 YEARS OLD. Has two kids already, two different moms. He's a BUM. But the landlord has enabled him all these years. It's not going to stop until something changes and the bum has no reason to change.

Landlord's daughter has a PhD and is principal of a high school. Go figure.

CVPeg
Mar. 30, 2013, 04:04 PM
Well, several haven't read the details, so no need for the rants. But if it makes you feel good. ;)

Not under my roof. Have given him deadlines and they were just broken. I put things in my name to have some control. If not, his Dad, totally ineffective (where he has now lived for 2 yrs) will provide them with less requirements of him, and stir up more issues so they can all feel comfy. The crises! family, remember? Believe me, after being with him for 14 years, I know how he'll drive someone wacky.

So I'll continue to parent, but not coddle, so no worry there. But what I am not sure about is the instant and sudden reaction to do something different. To not go to camp, the sister not going to the post office, his not wanting to move to a new place. Almost a phobia...? Very much seen with his sister, in ex's family. Kind of a sudden reaction that is almost immediately redacted and apologized about. But the hypochondriacal ones will prefer to lament with. I've just never seen it in anyone other than ex's family, and now smatterings with my son. Which I don't tolerate. My ADD counseling/training has helped a great deal. Because it does require a lot of positiveness to keep 'em on track.

Just don't think it's all in the ADD basket. Lazy sure. Lots of other kids his age (my nephews) can be lazy, yes. But this is a little different.

Once he's in a routine, has confidence in what's expected of him, he's golden. His job hunting reactions, though, sometimes almost seem fear based. Even though he's smart, but...disorganized at times. On the other hand, sometimes brilliant.

But without knowing what's immediately ahead...

I just don't get the fear part myself.

paulaedwina
Mar. 30, 2013, 04:08 PM
Describe the dynamics under which the deadlines were broken. I don't want to speculate about what I don't know, but if you mean you tell him that he has to go by June 20th and June 20th he's in your house still, then that's on you. You would have to have the courage to stick to your ultimatums or they are doomed to fail. What are you afraid would happen if you kick him out?

He's a man living under his mama's skirts. Women don't find that sexy generally speaking.

Paula

hb
Mar. 30, 2013, 04:11 PM
How is paying a 24-year-old's bills not coddling?

Do not rule out substance abuse as a cause for the sudden, negative change in behavior.

CVPeg
Mar. 30, 2013, 04:12 PM
And thanks to those who have shared experiences. That does help. Trying to gather as much info as possible. Of course, you can't direct how it goes, but have always strived to learn, rather than be pounded on. That never did it for me, and I don't expect it does much for him.

Alternatively, siblings all in their 60's and 70's, and still love to argue and do the emotional blackmail routine... never liked getting to the bottom of it. :rolleyes:

What I love about COTH. Many of us been there. ;)

CVPeg
Mar. 30, 2013, 04:14 PM
Describe the dynamics under which the deadlines were broken. I don't want to speculate about what I don't know, but if you mean you tell him that he has to go by June 20th and June 20th he's in your house still, then that's on you. You would have to have the courage to stick to your ultimatums or they are doomed to fail. What are you afraid would happen if you kick him out?

He's a man living under his mama's skirts. Women don't find that sexy generally speaking.

Paula

Again, he's not in my house.
But he has stepped up when I stepped in. Nothing much changed until I got involved this week. X number of job apps expected last week. Another x by yesterday. The truck goes by x date if no job. Frankly DS has offered to turn it over.

But again, Daddy has 5 cars and very inconsistent in loads of ways. Son and I have had to be close without Dad around for much of the time. The past 2 years living with him to make up for it.

We'll see.

paulaedwina
Mar. 30, 2013, 04:19 PM
Sorry, I missed that. Let me go back and re-read your post.

Okay, I'm back. He's living with his daddy -your ex, not in your house. Sounds like it's no longer your problem unless you want to reach out for some more stress. Give him a financial deadline if you're still paying for things.


Paula

CVPeg
Mar. 30, 2013, 05:11 PM
Alagirl - We had a long talk about gaming during a trip this week. Am fine with it in moderation. Not in lieu of work. ;)

Just talked with him - his favorite is League of Legends, but he plays several. Earlier he told me how he has advanced to the top 15%, getting close to the top 10.

Was sitting around the house - they are doing nothing this weekend. He is coming with me to my family's gathering. Just told me he didn't want to go as they'll all judge him for not having a job. Didn't take no for an answer, and still has to do the work.

Sometimes holidays are good for what you don't expect them to be...

Alagirl
Mar. 30, 2013, 05:44 PM
Alagirl - We had a long talk about gaming during a trip this week. Am fine with it in moderation. Not in lieu of work. ;)

Just talked with him - his favorite is League of Legends, but he plays several. Earlier he told me how he has advanced to the top 15%, getting close to the top 10.

Was sitting around the house - they are doing nothing this weekend. He is coming with me to my family's gathering. Just told me he didn't want to go as they'll all judge him for not having a job. Didn't take no for an answer, and still has to do the work.

Sometimes holidays are good for what you don't expect them to be...

well, no, not in lieu of work. But I can see where the predictability of the environment has appeal to him:
he is in his comfort zone
he can excel and is well respected

and I have to say, I most often had the most fun at gatherings I wanted nothing to do with.

So go mom!

ellebeaux
Mar. 30, 2013, 05:53 PM
Just talked with him - his favorite is League of Legends, but he plays several. Earlier he told me how he has advanced to the top 15%, getting close to the top 10.


The thing is, this means nothing. It won't pay the bills, won't get him a girlfriend, won't get him a house or a car or anything he wants out of life. Or is this all he wants out of life?

He really needs to stand on his own two feet. Send him out in the world. Cut him loose! Tell him it's for his own good. How many hours a day is he spending on the computer?

littleum
Mar. 30, 2013, 05:53 PM
well, no, not in lieu of work. But I can see where the predictability of the environment has appeal to him:
he is in his comfort zone
he can excel and is well respected


Yep, exactly. Getting to the top % of a MMORPG is no easy feat and requires a lot of effort and dedication, and is very rewarding.

It's no surprise to me he'd rather do that than go through the horrible grind of finding a real job.

JanM
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:12 PM
What incentive does he have to grow up? Daddy pays for housing and food, and internet, you pay for the truck and cell, so he's living the good life. He has zero incentive to go to NYC or anywhere else. I don't think the others at the house are agoraphobic or anything else, but totally self-involved and don't have time to pick up packages or anything else that they don't feel like doing. Some people spend their entire lives just getting by, so I'm not surprised the entire household lives like this. You need to stop enabling him, or he'll be living in someone's basement the rest of his life.

Alagirl
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:21 PM
Yep, exactly. Getting to the top % of a MMORPG is no easy feat and requires a lot of effort and dedication, and is very rewarding.

It's no surprise to me he'd rather do that than go through the horrible grind of finding a real job.

but you don't want to be like this guy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZXNMs8D-Ow

Ok, side tracking this now.

I think the kid has some minor issues that prevent him from stepping out.

Does not help when he lives at the compound....

I hope you have a great weekend with him!

ezduzit
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:32 PM
I think some medical advice is needed here. Could be a mental disorder of some kind. Something in the autistic spectrum. The agitation is kind of a give away for me...DH has Asberger's syndrome and agitation when he doesn't understand things is common. He is easily directed and cooperative unless it's unfamiliar territory.

I think you need someone to have a few talks with your son and find out if something like this is going on. You can't know what is the right thing to do until you find out why he makes the choices he makes.

Canaqua
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:43 PM
You are in a really tough spot if your ex-husband won't work with you on this. If he is going to continue to enable your son, your hands are really tied as far as REALLY enforcing limits goes...he can always run to Daddy to get what he wants :(.

Ugh. Been there and done that with my stepson (also 24). I would not rule out mental health issues, though, sometimes the ONLY way to flush those out in someone over 18 is to play the tough love card to force the kid to hit bottom and be willing to accept that they need help (been there and done that too).

I've got way too many stories to tell here without boring everyone to tears and writing a novel. 24 year old stepson and 23 year old bio son. The latter is doing well, out on his own, but I had a supportive and cooperative ex-husband to work with. My husband's ex is the queen of all enablers, it's really crippled our ability to do the right thing by my stepson.

mswillie
Mar. 30, 2013, 07:01 PM
He's a 24 year old man. You shouldn't be "parenting" anymore. Sell the truck, and cancel the phone. I know you love him but it's sink or swim time.

saultgirl
Mar. 30, 2013, 07:16 PM
He's a 24 year old man. You shouldn't be "parenting" anymore. Sell the truck, and cancel the phone. I know you love him but it's sink or swim time.

Yup. Not only is what he's doing not your problem at this point, it's not really any of your business. Stop enabling and start enjoying your own life!

Ruth0552
Mar. 30, 2013, 07:21 PM
Uh... No. I think part of the OP's point is that she can take back the truck, cancel the insurance and phone, and DS's daddy will fill in the gaps.

You might need to have a frank conversation with him. What if Daddykins DOESN'T fill in the gaps? What if sister gets tired of having him around? What if something happens to Dad to sister inherits everything and throws his lazy ass out on the sidewalk?

He definitely sounds like he has some motivational issues. However, I'm 30, and I've definitely known more than a few 20-somethings with lazy-ass issues, including my ex-husband, who is a gamer.

Petstorejunkie
Mar. 30, 2013, 07:29 PM
there certainly seem to be some issues with stepping out into unknown territory. Alas, I am not a professional, I can only guess.

But:
I am a gamer. That I can intelligently discuss. :winkgrin:
being 'into gaming' seems to me often to be a symptom that things aren't fun in paradise.

I had my phases when I played much to much, stayed on too long and all that good stuff. A friend of mine (my facilitator ;)) had horrible issues at home with his parents, so he would play all hours of the day. (you notice when somebody who is 2 hours behind you is online when you get up at 7...that is EARLY - or late...)

In any case, the online world is fun. You do your thing, the things you kill will clean themselves, unlike that stack of dishes.
You can engage in social interaction - or not. (I spend a few hours fishing in the virtual world when the call came at 3AM that sister's cancer had returned...calming activity when you can't really do anything else)

Long story brief synopsis: you might gain some insights if you got to know his games and why he plays them. And I mean in a more broad sense, not so much why the game is cool.

having said (confessed) that I was in way too deep, I am also telling you that right now I am considering to let my subscription laps on my game. I found as life got busy and more enjoyable (again) I spend less and less time playing.

same for my friend: as his situation improved he dropped off the face of the earth for a couple of years, happy with girlfriend, school and job.

and in all fairness, at 24 I didn't know whether I was coming or going...

Give him a big hug :)
he sounds like a good kid, under the issues.

Yep
Gaming addiction is self medication and willful separation from reality. It needs to be explored as seriously as if it were hard drugs.

I had to walk away from an engagement due to his gaming addiction.

littleum
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:13 PM
Uh... No. I think part of the OP's point is that she can take back the truck, cancel the insurance and phone, and DS's daddy will fill in the gaps.


So what if daddykins does?

As long as daddy-kins does his share of enabling, Mom can't fix anything. Son will just run back to dad anyway when Mom "gets tough". So Mom might as well get REALLY tough and stop throwing good money after bad.

Acertainsmile
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:57 PM
Tough love is well tough...I have a son your age, still kind of floundering and trying to decide what to do with his life. I also have an ex that enabled, untill he financially couldn't.

My deal with my two adult kids (and I told them this early on), that I will help when they needed help, but only if they were trying to help themselves first. He worked while he lived at home, quit jobs, and even refused to get up one morning while employed with our company. That was the end of the line as far as the free ride.

My son is out of the house (has been for 4 years). He moved in with my oldest daughter and she kind of took over the role of Mom. She made sure he worked, etc. They live about 2 hours away from us. My son has had a steady serious gf for 4 years, she is a hard worker and very responsible, she wants to get married now, son knows he is still not ready. They did have their own apartment for 2 years, but it was finacially better for all to move back in with my daughter.

He does play the games, how much I'm not really sure, but he does have a life so I don't worry to much. I know boys mature a little slower, so I give him that. He's slowly coming along, but I make sure to not enable him. If he needs to borrow money, he knows he has to pay us back. It's working so far.

Mukluk
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:43 AM
Best of luck. Hope you and your son can find happiness.

suzyq
Mar. 31, 2013, 09:54 AM
Is he on medication? My son who is ADD was very anti-medication until he almost flunked out of college. On meds he is a very different person, much more self-motivation. He also quit gaming.

2bayboys
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:14 AM
Your son is an adult. He does not live with you.

Stop paying for the truck and the cell phone. He is not a child, so stop treating him like one.

Because he is an adult, whether or not he works is not your problem. Whether or not he has a girlfriend is not your problem. Whether or not he plays games all day is not your problem.

Forcing a 24 year old man to attend a family function with you (if he refuses, are you going to ground him?!!!) is simply ludicrous.

Stop being his mommy. Let. Him. Go.

I have two sons a few years younger than yours. I know of what I speak.

Jackie & Starlette
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:36 AM
I just read part of this...I was really concerned that my very intelligent son would end up just hanging when he got out of high school two years ago...and he surprised the crap out of me by asking permission to join the Navy when he was at the end of his junior year (I had to give permission as he was a minor). Best thing to ever happen; even boot camp was set up to break those addictions (no electronics at all for 8 weeks). Maybe that's a direction you can encourage him to go?

MMacallister
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:37 AM
I understad where you are coming from with the ex. My son is only 11 and I see this type of problem developing already. For example, my son needs new glasses, told my ex about them in January, told me in Feb. I have my son on my insurance and he gets FREE glasses. I will be taking him when he comes down with me this week. So I get the lazy household thing.
However, at 24 your son is a man. I know you want to be involved and protect him from lazy ex, but you can not control your ex. You can only control you. If you do whats right your son will have much more respect for you in the long run. Do what you can to motivate him. Stop paying for the truck, which since he said he would give it back sounds like he feels like its just a thing for you to hold over his head and doesn't care anymore. Stop paying for the phone and take the high road, as hard as it may be.

oldernewbie
Mar. 31, 2013, 10:56 AM
Your son is an adult. He does not live with you.

Stop paying for the truck and the cell phone. He is not a child, so stop treating him like one.

Because he is an adult, whether or not he works is not your problem. Whether or not he has a girlfriend is not your problem. Whether or not he plays games all day is not your problem.

Forcing a 24 year old man to attend a family function with you (if he refuses, are you going to ground him?!!!) is simply ludicrous.

Stop being his mommy. Let. Him. Go.

I have two sons a few years younger than yours. I know of what I speak.

This. Exactly.

I have twin 25 year olds. We have dealt with their own version of this but they are both launched or almost launched at this point. It's a pain in the rear to have to be the hard guy/gal, but it must be done.

For the extreme example of what can happen otherwise, my nephew is Exhibit A. Now in jail, has a big drug problem. His mom finally figured out that she was enabling but his dad is still doing it, even after much much evidence that it needs to stop.

Draw boundaries, put your foot down, treat him like he's a man, not a little boy.

Hugs!

WildBlue
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:17 PM
Have you thought about what is going to happen with the younger generation once dear daddy isn't there to support them? Are YOU in position, with a plan and financial ability, to deal with the aftermath? You're not going to be a spring chicken, yourself, and will need to worry about your own elder care.

We're dealing with a similar issue. My dad coddled the heck out of my brother, and now has a 32 year old deadbeat for a son. Dad's health if failing, he has almost no retirement savings, and he's still enabling. Brother is alcoholic, spends huge amounts of time playing an online game, refuses to hold down a job (because, among other things, they generally expect you to show up) and instead works casually for Dad's small company for big wads of cash under the table, and basically has nothing--he's currently staying in a friend's spare room. This, from a guy who's smarter than average, inherited enough money to either pay for school or pay a big chunk toward a nice house, and has been paid approximately twice the going trained, adult wage (in cash) since he was 16.

As long as he has three squares, a case of Bud Light, and an internet connection, he has absolutely no incentive to do anything differently.

CVPeg
Apr. 1, 2013, 09:57 AM
We had a nice time together yesterday with friends, and my side of the family.

But I now see that he's really gone backwards living with his Dad. Worse than I imagined. He really has no motivation whatsoever unless it's something he likes. Has gone from age 24 to 15 without any kind of structure for him to be guided in.

So, frankly, I am very upset this morning. Came back here and reread the thread. Will respond to a couple below, but have taken a lot of the advice here into consideration, including the negative. So I want to thank all of you again. Good stuff here. :yes:

But look out, because right now I don't feel like that "yes" face. Gotta roll up the sleeves.Time to get tough.

Am lucky he does not have a substance abuse issue. But he does have a big growing up issue.

Was feeling a bit lost this morning, but am buoyed by the contributions from here. We're going to have more talk. But we're also going to get some work done - now.

I'll still be checking to make sure there's nothing else he has that hasn't been ID'd.

He really was a good kid under my roof. Frustrating, but you could get him going again.
Dam* - thought I was done parenting. Hah!:rolleyes:


but you don't want to be like this guy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZXNMs8D-Ow



Alagirl, he loves this guy!:eek:



You might need to have a frank conversation with him. What if Daddykins DOESN'T fill in the gaps?

I posed this question to him on the way home yesterday, and you could see the thought begin to sit with him, then some panic. Yup, fear is good!

Alagirl
Apr. 1, 2013, 10:13 AM
Tell him from COTH Aunty Alagirl if he does not stop watching that fat loser guy stereotype of a loser gamer I will come and kick his butt! Gamer style ;)

Have some Bailey's!

You can deal with horses, you can whip that one in shape! :yes:


Oh, and no more Hot Pockets for him!

(This is a gamer he can look up to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqFWPUdBmw8 )

Trakehner
Apr. 1, 2013, 10:54 AM
Unless it becomes uncomfortable, he's not going anywhere...spoiled is spoiled.

Don't pay for anything for the man-child. No phone/truck/insurance/school/clothes/food/games/power/subscriptions etc.

Of course, I think the same things when I hear of adult women on COTH saying their parents are paying for their horse hobbies becuase it gives them joy! Gack! Be an adult if you're no longer a minor child.

I did love the comment where he didn't wish to be judged for being a leech and child. Good for the family for being willing to call a spade a spade (well, as long as they apply it equally to all the family leeches/adult children).

JanM
Apr. 1, 2013, 02:36 PM
Good for you Peg! It's so much easier if he grows up now, than if he grows up at 50 years old like a friend's brother had to.

cnvh
Apr. 1, 2013, 04:14 PM
Oh good lord. :no:

OP, please start reading up on codependency; you seem to match quite a few of the markers.

Re: the gaming thing: You say your son isn't a substance user... Start substituting the concept of "gaming" for "substance use" and the picture may begin to paint itself quite a bit differently. Gaming addiction is every bit as real as drug addiction; don't allow yourself to be fooled, and don't assume that because he's not putting a needle in his arm or leaving a trail of empty beer cans in his wake that he doesn't have an addiction. Many people drink alcohol and have NO problems, but some people have no control over it, and it can ruin their life-- the same is true for gaming.

He's 24. You are NOT doing him any favors by "controlling" him, in any way, shape, or form. No more deadlines, no more cell phone payments, no more insurance payments, no more checking up to see whether or not he's putting in job applications. HE'S TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OLD. Just stop.

Get the truck out of your name, cut the bills in your name, and do it NOW, whether or not he holds up his end of whatever bargain you have going on at the moment. It's not being mean, or punishing him-- it's just time for it to stop, period. Meet him for lunch every now and then, call each other on Sundays, give him a present for his birthday if you really want to, but for god's sake, CUT THE STRINGS.

if he wants to be a bum, hey, that's cool, it's his business. He's a grown-up-- he's allowed to be whoever he wants. But no matter WHAT he's up to, good or bad, YOU should not be financing it-- any of it.

I'm sorry, but there are really no excuses or justifications for this. Just stop.

RugBug
Apr. 1, 2013, 05:01 PM
As with others, I'm in the "he's a grown up" camp. Kids have been done no favors by parents that coddled them growing up and continue to do so past the age of adulthood.

It sounds like your son has a serious fear of failure. He's scared of being judged as a failure by family. He's scared of trying to get a job. Sounds like the only thing he isn't scared of are things he feels comfortable with. Well, you only get comfortable with new things once you get out there and do them.

Your son needs to get out there, try, fail and pick himself back up and try again. THAT is the only way to have any sort of success in this world. If you never try, you'll never fail, but you will also never really live.

Jealoushe
Apr. 1, 2013, 05:05 PM
UGH...this annoys me because I know exactly the hell his girlfriend will go through when he gets another one. There is NOTHING worse than a lazy, unemployed, guy who is addicted to online gaming. Does he do anything for himself? Cook, laundry, etc?? Does he have any friends?

It's time to sell the Playstation/computer/xbox whatever it is he uses.

The military would be an excellent career choice for this young man.

Jealoushe
Apr. 1, 2013, 05:06 PM
double post:winkgrin:

CVPeg
Apr. 2, 2013, 08:23 AM
Yesterday definitely an improvement. But when I first got up in the morning, I was so upset with how he has stepped backwards - how his attitude had become more juvenile. It was as if what I had done before he moved in with his father had become unraveled.

Thought of the right stuff to say before he left, then remembered how it worked before when I was single parenting (even through so much of the marriage, while Dad was overseas). Rolled up the sleeves so there was a physical understanding of the work to be done (not just what I have to do for my business on this computer). The example was what had made the difference, rather than the ragging.

He was expecting to leave early, but by the time he got in the truck back to Dad's late in the afternoon, he had helped me with chores, and had applied for a dozen more jobs.

It will still be a work in progress, I know, but I'll also be requiring more assistance at my place this spring. And I can tell he's ready to get outta there. Been talking with friends for some time about getting a place. Of course the job has to come first. (No, not contributing, and always made it clear it's his to pay for.) Thank God his friends seem to be good guys. His best friend working on a Masters in IT had a serious illness in college, which changed his outlook considerably. They have at least been working on a couple of Apps they're inventing.

Am sorry his father only knows how to sit around and bark orders. Was told that his Dad had put some time parameters on his gaming - limited to the evenings. When did that happen? A couple of days after I had told him the truck was coming off the road by "x" date. Ya' think?

hastyreply
Apr. 2, 2013, 09:03 AM
Fear is a great motivator. And there is a fine line between fear and respect. I think that has been lost in today's popular culture. Some people are not self motivating. They have to hear the bear crashing through the brush behind them to start running. Telling them the bear is coming is meaningless. Of course this also means that the bear does get a few of them that don't get the message fast enough.

GucciJumper
Apr. 2, 2013, 09:20 AM
As much as the military would help this guy, I don't think he should do it. Men and women should only join because they WANT to. It requires a lot of sacrifice on them. Boot camp would help, and it would give him a job if he went active, but he has to WANT to do it. You could present the idea, but don't push on it. I love our military, I married one. It's not for everyone. It should not turn into a restoration project for young men and women. It should be for men and women who WANT to serve and sacrifice for the country.

Jealoushe
Apr. 2, 2013, 10:14 AM
As much as the military would help this guy, I don't think he should do it. Men and women should only join because they WANT to. It requires a lot of sacrifice on them. Boot camp would help, and it would give him a job if he went active, but he has to WANT to do it. You could present the idea, but don't push on it. I love our military, I married one. It's not for everyone. It should not turn into a restoration project for young men and women. It should be for men and women who WANT to serve and sacrifice for the country.

I agree...I am a milso too :) Sometimes a glimpse into the life does motivate them to want to do it, sometimes it does not. Definitely worth a look though.

halo
Apr. 2, 2013, 11:20 AM
He's 24...with a computer degree...and you're still mommying him? When will you decide enough is enough? When he's 25? 30? 40? What happens if you and/or your ex would die tomorrow? Have you given him the skills to take care of himself? Sometimes the only way to make someone learn to swim is to throw them in the water.

CVPeg
Apr. 2, 2013, 11:40 AM
I'm going to make one final retort to the constant negativism to those who haven't read the whole thread, or think it's worthless to spend that extra time with a son or daughter of your own, past the assumed time to be responsible...

Do you know how many miserable adults are out there because they had no relationship with their parents other than "get lost"? And how that bitterness carries down to their children, and on, and on.

Nope, if you wrap yourself up in what it is you want to do and expect to kick the kid to the curb, that's your business. I specifically asked for anyone's familiarity in a similar situation where there may be some clinical signs apparent I'm not familiar with. Not that I've ever just jumped in that path. But if they're there, I want to be familiar with them.

And if I should ignore, and not step in to right a not-good situation which developed out of my control, then I should be blasted? Go on and first give a hand at your animal shelter or horse rescue. I am stepping in and putting things straight at home first.

Alagirl
Apr. 2, 2013, 11:48 AM
I'm going to make one final retort to the constant negativism to those who haven't read the whole thread, or think it's worthless to spend that extra time with a son or daughter of your own, past the assumed time to be responsible...

Do you know how many miserable adults are out there because they had no relationship with their parents other than "get lost"? And how that bitterness carries down to their children, and on, and on.

Nope, if you wrap yourself up in what it is you want to do and expect to kick the kid to the curb, that's your business. I specifically asked for anyone's familiarity in a similar situation where there may be some clinical signs apparent I'm not familiar with. Not that I've ever just jumped in that path. But if they're there, I want to be familiar with them.

And if I should ignore, and not step in to right a not-good situation which developed out of my control, then I should be blasted? Go on and first give a hand at your animal shelter or horse rescue. I am stepping in and putting things straight at home first.

In the end, he is still your son! :yes:

and while we do think and hope we can cut apron strings as soon as they turn 18/graduate college they will still be our kids, no matter what or how old!

RugBug
Apr. 2, 2013, 12:30 PM
I'm going to make one final retort to the constant negativism to those who haven't read the whole thread, or think it's worthless to spend that extra time with a son or daughter of your own, past the assumed time to be responsible...

Do you know how many miserable adults are out there because they had no relationship with their parents other than "get lost"? And how that bitterness carries down to their children, and on, and on.

Nope, if you wrap yourself up in what it is you want to do and expect to kick the kid to the curb, that's your business. I specifically asked for anyone's familiarity in a similar situation where there may be some clinical signs apparent I'm not familiar with. Not that I've ever just jumped in that path. But if they're there, I want to be familiar with them.

And if I should ignore, and not step in to right a not-good situation which developed out of my control, then I should be blasted? Go on and first give a hand at your animal shelter or horse rescue. I am stepping in and putting things straight at home first.

People saying you need to cut him off, aren't suggesting you stop loving him or being his mother. They are suggesting you stop enabling him by paying for his life. There is a HUGE difference there. There is a point when you have to be tough and say "child, you are now an adult and I love you enough to stop taking care of you. You must learn to take care of yourself." Too many parents don't do that these days and there is a generation of kids still being supported by them. It's sad.

2ndyrgal
Apr. 2, 2013, 02:25 PM
Who was in the Marines, in Iraq at the begining of the war. 3 deployments, no injuries. Tons of money for college. Thinks that because my DH and I, who work 50+ hours per week at our business, should just, and I quote "let him run the place so we can enjoy our free time and he's also offered to handle our investment portfolio."

Uh, no. He has pursued nothing of value while in school, I mean glass blowing is nice, but he isn't good at it and it isn't exactly a high demand job. He wants to be at the top of the heap, with no effort, no sweat, no sacrifice. He whines that he "has to start at the bottom" . I point out, that had he started when he should have, he would no longer be at the bottom.

He followed his finance' to CA, she flew, he drove the truck with her stuff out. Once he'd unpacked, she told him she was tired of the slacking on his part and his services were no longer required. I suspect he is a bit bi polar (his father was and he shares those symptoms) and has anger issues. He has refused all offers for help or counseling, he feels that our financial support at a high level would solve all of his problems. He has had a substance abuse problem in the past, which nearly severed our relationship completely, I'm sure he still smokes weed, which while I don't have a moral problem with, certainly isn't lighting a fire under his ass to pursue, well, anything. He knows what the problem is, he knows he has failed to do anything productive, he knows he procrastinates, he knows that if he doesn't work this month, he won't have money next month. He is a HIGHLY intellectually intelligent human being, but has zero motivation and less common sense. My DH (not his father, who died being very absent from his son's life 15 yrs ago) has spent tens of thousands of dollars giving him every opportunity to get his sh*t in one sock, all for nothing. Every single time he calls now, he needs money.

Nearly everything he owns is in a storage shed in CA, he is in OH. I'm pretty certain his father's ashes are in the storage shed, so last month, I called the storage place and paid the bill thru Sept 2013. I paid his cell phone bill (hours from disconnect) thru the 15th of this month. Shortly before his trip to CA, my DH and I bought him a brand, new car with a 30K mile warranty. He's driven it 28K miles (how I have no idea) and it has a tick in the motor. He is staying (with friends) less than 5 minutes from the dealership and "will get around to taking it in at some point).

I told him this. There are no more free passes for lazy or stupid. If these things are not important to you, then there is absolutely, no way on God's green earth that I'm going to spend money I bust my ass for everyday, while you sleep until noon, to support the way you are living any longer. Do it or don't do it. I love you and will always love you my son, but if you want to have an adult relationship with me, you're going to have to turn yourself into someone I have some respect for, not say "you treat me like a child", then turn around and say "but I'm your kid, you should take care of this for me". Once they get old enough to pull on a prophylactic device and act like a man, then they need to do the rest of it too, not just the fun stuff.

When he gets disqusted, cold and hungry, he will either change, or he won't. My son will spend 2 hours trying to get out of a twenty minute job. Offered work on the farm, that pays, really really well, he replies with "well, you think that's all I'm good for". Nope, that's just what I have that needs done, do it and get paid, or don't and go hungry. I care, but I don't cave any longer.

The best advice I can give is do nothing else for him. Take his truck back, and be there for moral support when the pieces eventually need picked up.

Do not equate his anger with lack of love. It is no different than a 3 yr old in a grocery store throwing a fit because they don't get a candy bar, you don't just give in to preserve the relationship, you bust their little bottom, hug them and teach them better. He already knows better, he's taking easy right now. His choice, but you don't have to make it easy for him. Let him see what the "easy life" really is, when he has to ride around in daddy's car and borrow his deadbeat sister's cell phone and computer.

Do not cave in, he'll be better in the long run.
Or I hope so, I keep waiting.

SGray
Apr. 2, 2013, 02:39 PM
My current main concern is my 24 yo son. Not surprising, he has needed a little work. But is bright, personable, and when he gets to it, can contribute a great deal.

Up until last month, had a very part-time job, often busy in seasonal times in programming. I was his backbone most of his life, until he went on to college. Took some doing, but he got up to speed, and did well with friends and classes for the most part. Then he moved in with his Dad after graduation...

He has a truck half purchased with summer earnings from a job he did 4 years ago when he stayed with me. It's in my name - I've made the remaining payments, have paid truck insurance, and also his cell phone. And I am struggling to find work now and begin a new business. Not being taken advantage of entirely, as I've used it to motivate him more than his father knows how to motivate anyone.

Laid down the law to him last week, demanding that he look for legitimate work, giving him a timeline on the truck and phone. Under protest he accompanied me to counseling. I gave him two deadlines this week. He accomplished the first late. Has totally ignored the second. Of course I'm an hour away........

take the truck - sell it - deduct what you've paid on truck, insurance, cell phone - give the remainng (if any) to son

if he comes to you for advice in the future feel free to give it, otherwise he really needs to learn to live his own life (and what ever goes on between he and his other relatives is strictly between them)

cnvh
Apr. 2, 2013, 02:50 PM
People saying you need to cut him off, aren't suggesting you stop loving him or being his mother. They are suggesting you stop enabling him by paying for his life. There is a HUGE difference there. There is a point when you have to be tough and say "child, you are now an adult and I love you enough to stop taking care of you. You must learn to take care of yourself." Too many parents don't do that these days and there is a generation of kids still being supported by them. It's sad.

CVPeg, please read this. And re-read this.

I'm one of those people saying "tough love," but that absolutely does not mean "stop loving him." Money doesn't equal love!

Paying his bills and financing his way and guilting him into job-hunting do NOT prove your love for your son. There are plenty of ways to "love" someone that don't involve having to pay for it.

SGray
Apr. 2, 2013, 03:19 PM
I'm going to make one final retort to the constant negativism to those who haven't read the whole thread, or think it's worthless to spend that extra time with a son or daughter of your own, past the assumed time to be responsible...

Do you know how many miserable adults are out there because they had no relationship with their parents other than "get lost"? And how that bitterness carries down to their children, and on, and on.......

when you run out of $ and can no longer pay for his truck, etc will that mean you no longer love him - of course not

you must take care of yourself first -- what if you can't find a job, run out of funds, lose your place,........how will you be able to help him then?

Trakehner
Apr. 2, 2013, 03:26 PM
The military would be an excellent career choice for this young man.

The military doesn't deserve him...it needs men and women, not spoiled boys and girls still living with mommy.

Just think of the lovely girl who'll get him in her life. And yes, I say the same thing about spoiled girls and how their parents sure aren't doing any unlucky male in their life further down the road. Adult children are really disgusting and pathetic.

Noms
Apr. 2, 2013, 06:26 PM
The military doesn't deserve him...it needs men and women, not spoiled boys and girls still living with mommy.

Just think of the lovely girl who'll get him in her life. And yes, I say the same thing about spoiled girls and how their parents sure aren't doing any unlucky male in their life further down the road. Adult children are really disgusting and pathetic.

I was thinking the same thing.

I bet the military will start getting a whole lot pickier about who they let in, with sequestration and the inevitable withdrawl from the middle east. Then where will the lazy un-motivated men children go?

clanter
Apr. 2, 2013, 11:59 PM
Then where will the lazy un-motivated men children go?

might go live with lazy woman child

I have been reading this topic since it started and really do not understand how this could have happened.

All four of our children were taught to take charge of their lives. We used the horses as safe way to teach them that they had a direct impute on how things turn out and they learned life is not always fair (some judges hated our horses)

Nevertheless, they learned how to deal with life before they were on their own. It is not because we as their parents were that great, but we gave them chances to fail in a controlled setting so that they could learn how to cope with failure.

CVPeg
Apr. 3, 2013, 08:29 AM
OK, one more time.

If you read my comments, and not all of the blasts making assumptions from the other misstated posts, would you all please then tell his FATHER to do all of that? Because my son doesn't live with me. And had slid backwards while staying there.

(wow, like the gossip game, interesting how facts in COTH threads take on a life of their own)

Frankly, I wouldn't have known what was going on if I didn't have a close relationship with my son, and he started confessing what was on his mind. And I started putting boundaries and deadlines on him. Which, so far frankly, he has kept for me.

My query was not what a good time everyone can have blasting on someone looking for some suggestions when they've done what they can, with what they have.

Does anyone have any kind of knowledge of sudden outbursts (frankly in fear) when being pushed forward to change. I've given the examples of ex's daughter not wanting to go out to the post office, or anywhere for that matter except the store, or all of them for Doctor's appointments. My ex, who dragged us to Saudi Arabia back and forth dozens of times over 14 years, would explode as he was getting ready to go on the plane, as his belongings, requirements were met ahead of everyone else.

As another example, ex's daughter loved riding. When picking her up for riding I had arranged, I was blasted for leaving her at the barn past her lesson, (so she could love on the horses and get to know the other kids). As much as I got sick of this from her, her father, and occasionally seeing examples with my son, it was obvious a lot of it was fear based, with contrite mumbled apologies afterwards - and I've just never experienced anything like it before. Not in my make-up.

My son, while trying to get him to go new places in his life - whether it be in elementary school (boy scout camp-outs), high school (out of state computer camp), college (horrid at the beginning), and now (job fears), has been stuck not wanting to move forward, then has found he really did get so much out of what he was pushed into.

We have, this week, regularly communicated about what has to happen. I've held my ground.

Ex has lots of upsetting stuff going on in that house with other family members. Remember, none of the adults there work. But they do have constant crises, and most recently a tragic accident that, frankly, if they had their sh*t together wouldn't have happened. So for my son, Ex sets wishy-washy goals/deadlines, doesn't hold them up. Then blows up. The two years my son has lived with him, is probably the longest consecutive time he has spent with him in his entire life, even though we were married 17 years.

You're all lecturing me about how your kids turned out well, or how mine won't. And you all have no idea how envious I am of all of you who have had a life where two parents are on the same page about rearing a child. But I can't rewind what our history is. Just do the best I can to try to be an example, and set the guidelines I require.

Let this be a guideline for further threads. If you get any kind of glance into someone's life on here, who is looking for some assistance, don't blast with non-responsive answers that are really meaningless. I haven't starved a horse and am looking to put weight on before the authorities get here. I'm just trying to do the best I can, and ask for information from those who are in similar situations.

Have to say, some of the comments on here are really revealing about who I'd care to spend my time with from this thread. Good thing COTH is a big community! ;)

And finally in rereading this again, I know what I have to do. And, again, appreciate all the relevant advice - even if some of it had to be extracted from in between the lines. :winkgrin:

CVPeg
Apr. 3, 2013, 08:38 AM
take the truck - sell it - deduct what you've paid on truck, insurance, cell phone - give the remainng (if any) to son


This is part of the deal right now - unless he takes over the expenses - along with other stuff of his in the house.

CVPeg
Apr. 3, 2013, 08:44 AM
The best advice I can give is do nothing else for him. Take his truck back, and be there for moral support when the pieces eventually need picked up.

Do not equate his anger with lack of love. It is no different than a 3 yr old in a grocery store throwing a fit because they don't get a candy bar, you don't just give in to preserve the relationship, you bust their little bottom, hug them and teach them better. He already knows better, he's taking easy right now. His choice, but you don't have to make it easy for him. Let him see what the "easy life" really is, when he has to ride around in daddy's car and borrow his deadbeat sister's cell phone and computer.

Do not cave in, he'll be better in the long run.
Or I hope so, I keep waiting.

Thanks for sharing this, 2ndrygal. Let's hope the wait isn't too long for either of us.

mswillie
Apr. 3, 2013, 10:02 AM
My son, while trying to get him to go new places in his life - whether it be in elementary school (boy scout camp-outs), high school (out of state computer camp), college (horrid at the beginning), and now (job fears), has been stuck not wanting to move forward, then has found he really did get so much out of what he was pushed into.



Has he ever been evaluated for ADD? That paragraph alone is oh so familiar.

CVPeg
Apr. 3, 2013, 10:36 AM
Has he ever been evaluated for ADD? That paragraph alone is oh so familiar.

Yes, we both are. Disorganized, yes. But I've never been reluctant to seek out, move on, attack my own problems, or the melt down instead of doing so. So I don't get it in them.

nickers@dawn
Apr. 3, 2013, 10:44 AM
Has your son ever had counseling? Maybe he needs someone to talk to to help him with his fears, and lack of motivation. Not all people with this problem are just lazy bums. Some social anxiety fears are very debilitating.

mswillie
Apr. 3, 2013, 11:17 AM
Yes, we both are. Disorganized, yes. But I've never been reluctant to seek out, move on, attack my own problems, or the melt down instead of doing so. So I don't get it in them.

My son has ADD. He was diagnosed in 10th grade. Before that I could see him heading down the same path as your son. He got through school with my foot up his butt, but the diagnosis and subsequent treatment allowed him to know what his limitations were and most importantly how to work to overcome them. He’s now a solid, working, contributing husband and father.

My ex on the other hand has always been unable to care for himself, and was always afraid of trying anything new (especially work) to the point of making himself physically ill. Today, at the ripe old age of 58 he’s living in a long term care facility (3 years and counting) because he refuses to take care of his diabetes. Easier to have someone else take care of him I guess.

I still contend that your son is a man and should be taking care of himself. But I also know that untreated ADD can wreak havoc on a person’s life. If his ADD is as bad as my son’s is he needs to be encouraged to seek treatment for it. And if ADD is the issue, no amount of nagging, threats, or anything else is going to help. There are traits common to people with ADD that can be used to their advantage. They just need to learn how to use them.

Schune
Apr. 3, 2013, 11:18 AM
This hits me on a deep level, and it's because this is my younger brother, almost to a T; OP, my parents are in a similar boat and I know they are feeling the same as you - frustrated, angry, and a little bit guilty (I'll expand on the guilt part later).

My brother is 21. All his life he has been a bit of a momma's boy. He was not the most social as a kid and had trouble fitting in, and was bullied sometimes. He did half attempts at sports (soccer, lacrosse, middle and high school football) before always quitting. My parents let him. His only true interests have ever been video and computer games. My father has his own computer game addiction, and it's been the bane of my mother's life.

My brother has now really screwed up his life. He went to college wanting to major in video game animation/design, and the program accepted him. He got great grades his freshman year. Then something happened and he totally backslid. Failed a bunch of general requirement courses and had to realign to a 5th year senior track. Fine. He continued to fail classes, despite my parents' best attempts at getting him back on track. He is now dropped from the program but, through my parents' efforts, can possibly get back into the program if he retakes some courses through online universities.

He still doesn't get the big picture. He has never had a job through undergrad while at school (he lived at home every summer and worked at a local grocery store) - my sister and I worked PT/FT all through undergrad and graduate programs. Whenever he went home for holidays and over the summer, he'd be up playing video games until 3-4am, then sleep until his afternoon shift at work. Drove my mother nuts, but they still let him do it. He has also been smoking for the past few years, which is a knife in our familys' backs - my dearly loved Grandma and mother's mom died a horrible death of emphysema and COPD caused by smoking. He witnessed all this as it happened when he was in high school.

All of this has culminated in him being a poster man-child. He’s always had my parents to clean up his mistakes, and I would bet any amount of money that he won't get back into the college program because 1. he just doesn't care enough and 2. he thinks he can continue to loaf off my parents. They have paid for his apartment in college and give him money when he asks for it. He does NOTHING an adult should.

I don’t speak to him. He and I were both at my parents’ for Easter weekend and I said maybe 5 words to him total. He won’t make any effort to call my sister or me to talk or get updates, and I frankly don’t want him in my life when he’s treating the family this way. When he’s at school he’s only at little more than an hour’s drive away, but he doesn’t drive up to see me or me to him.

Now getting into the guilt I mentioned in the beginning – my mother is torn up. She has confessed to me that she wonders where they went wrong with raising him. I’m graduating with a master’s in May and moving to SC for work; my sister is graduating medical school in May and staying at Ohio State for a neurosurgery residency. We are both independent adults who function in society and are responsible for ourselves. Brother is a flea on a dog’s back. My mother feels GUILTY because she thinks he turned out wrong due to her or my dad. I told her that may be, but every person makes their own choices. Brother knows he is a loaf and a leech, and he has yet to make the choice to STOP.

All in all, I think you are still enabling your son, possibly out of guilt because of what he has become. He knows he is a loaf and a leech, but why should he make the choice to stop when that door is still open? Tough love doesn’t mean no love.



The military doesn't deserve him...it needs men and women, not spoiled boys and girls still living with mommy.

Just think of the lovely girl who'll get him in her life. And yes, I say the same thing about spoiled girls and how their parents sure aren't doing any unlucky male in their life further down the road. Adult children are really disgusting and pathetic.

I agree. Someone mentioned they thought the military would be a good choice for my brother. It would be a disaster, as my brother has a very deep-seated victim complex. He wouldn’t last a month because everyone would be out to get him, nothing would be his fault, his CO is a dick, etc.

Grasshopper
Apr. 3, 2013, 11:52 AM
CVPeg - I would encourage you to check out this book, and ask your son to do so as well:

http://www.amazon.com/Fast-Minds-Thrive-Think-Might/dp/0425252833/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365000312&sr=8-1&keywords=fast+minds

ADHD runs in my family, and while I haven't done a lot of research on it myself, this book has practical help for both the person with ADHD and his/her loved ones. There are exercises in there that you may be able to initiate with your son. Best of all, the book is extremely encouraging.

Hang in there--I'm no expert, but it sure sounds to me like you're doing the best you can. Also, for all the "cut him loose" people posting: of course coddling is counterproductive, but finding the line between "supportive" and "coddling" is going to be different in each situation. One thing I've learned about those with ADHD is that having a person or two to really hold them accountable can be the biggest "make-it-or-break-it" factor. OP needs to take care of herself, of course, but sounds to me like she also wants to be able to live with herself and know she's done everything she reasonably can, including getting some help thinking outside the box.

CVPeg
Apr. 3, 2013, 12:11 PM
I'm rather hoping that because I've just intervened - as more than someone to visit on holidays/weekends and discuss car repairs with, that it has shaken things up. My theory was to leave him and his father alone while under his father's roof. Don't think his father will change, so it's rattle the cage, which in turn has fueled his father to half-heartedly try to change up something.

He has had ADD counseling in the past. That's who we just saw last week. Told him it's up to him to seek counseling further.

I also hate labeling the ADD, or any possible disorders, as I've never thought them an excuse, but something to be cognizant of. The meds haven't done it for us - they've set off more swings in the past - quirky family physiology. Plus there are so many kinds of life style adjustments you can make to facilitate the difference. Even think of it as positive for so many occupations or life choices, and yes, even for the military. I don't think for my son, though, unless he really has a change of heart - especially about getting himself strong physically.

He is really on the ball when things are going well. Even described for me a computer adjustment he made for this last employer that saved $9000 in overtime costs by programming the machines correctly. But was put out that they didn't give him the credit. He was the part-time kid, and the computers run by an independent contractor. Son brought them up to speed on the latest technology for their industry, which they're now implementing.

So instead, he's fallen back to the fun world of games.

He might have something extra that requires meds - I don't know.

Good thing is, things are about to change. Hopefully upward, or at least in that general direction.

Grasshopper - thanks for the suggestion. Haven't seen that one! I have Driven to Distraction sitting right next to me (er - ah - sitting under my laptop to raise it up!:lol:). Dog-eared and awaiting a phone call from the counselor about a couple of passages he wants my son to think on. Anything more to the point is always helpful. Son given a Kindle at Christmas, so this could be a good tool to have on it. ;)

cranky
Apr. 3, 2013, 01:36 PM
I can't offer any parenting advice (not a parent) but I can relate to the resistance to trying new things, lack of desire to get out and about.

I suffer a bit from this myself, although, not to the degree that you have illustrated. For me, I think it's a few different things: I'm an introvert and I have absolutely no problem spending time alone. I am socially awkward. I have issues with confidence and self-esteem. I am afraid of failure. I have trouble pushing myself out of my comfort-zone. I have some anxiety issues. I can push myself out of my inertia when I make an effort, and part of being able to give myself that push is just really my self-awareness that this is a part of my nature. I have found, however, that I have gotten worse as I have gotten older. Although, going on Lexapro last October has helped me feel more positive about myself and a little more willing to venture out of my comfort-zone generally.

I believe my brother has much the same temperament, although, I think it is much more severe for him. He has a very high IQ, but has never had the confidence to try and push himself into anything that might have some career potential. He is a hard worker, always been employed and is movitated in that regard, but he seems to lack any real drive to try something that has some future (he is in his mid-40s and works in a bagel shop). I think he also gets stuck in a comfortable rut and doesn't feel compelled to do anything to get himself out of it. Not sure how much of his nature (or mine) can be blamed on nature or nuture, I think most of it is nature. Although, my brother was very coddled by my mother as a kid, so who knows?

Anyway, no advice, but just a note that I can relate to the lack of desire to try new stuff sometimes. I don't freak out, but there is definitely a level of anxiety and fear of failure contributing to this (for me).

Snowflake
Apr. 3, 2013, 01:48 PM
This is my brother - but he is 33.

My brother and I are night and day opposites. I sailed through high school and continued onto university. He struggled to finish his senior year (he got his diploma - but barely.) He went onto a technical college but dropped out with two classes left. And it's not that my brother isn't smart. He is very intelligent. He just won't put any effort into anything he doesn't want to do.

I bought my first house when I was 22. My second by the time I was 25, my third before I was 30. I work hard and pay my bills. I hold down a full time job and often take on a second while getting my advanced degree from an Ivy League school. I don't expect handouts from anyone.

My brother on the other hand, married a girl with much the same drive & motivation as him (read: none). They lived in the basement of her parent's house for years. My brother had a decent job doing microelectronics for a implanted medical device company. He lost it after he decided he "didn't feel up to working" and attempted to get disability for some undiagnosed illness he equated to being like chronic fatigue but not. Doctor's said there was absolutely nothing wrong with him. And it's true. He's totally fine for things he wants to do: going hunting/fishing with dad, playing on the computer, helping me remodel my house. But he's stayed home for the last several years and played video games and has done some computer repairs and website design on the side instead of working at a full time job with benefits.

My parents - mom specifically - have coddled him saying he didn't have life as easy as I did. To which I give her the "I think you have two heads" look and say "We were raised in the exact same household and were given the same opportunities. I just took those opportunities and ran with them." They recently bought a house for my brother and his wife. They also recently bought them a new car. Mom actually looked at me not too long ago and said "It's not fair because you have so much more than they do." I nearly fell over in my chair. I was shocked. I curtly replied that "I worked HARD for everything I have and I work hard to keep it too. I set goals for myself and I work towards them. Is it fair to give them what they're unwilling to work for themselves?" That's one thing about my brother and their wife. They never talk about goals and what they want out of life. They live each day as it runs into the other doing the same thing day after day and not generating any change. I cannot ever imagine living my life like that.

My SIL wants to have kids and has suffered multiple miscarriages and an etopic pregnancy. But, she never talks about going to a fertility doctor or improving her lifestyle so that she can improve her chances of carrying a child to term. (She's morbidly obese and her diet is full of unhealthy processed foods and take out.) I don't get the mentality of wanting something *that bad* then not doing anything to make it happen.

Personally I'm in the camp of creating a situation where they have no choice but to support themselves. That is the only way to create any motivation in some of these types of people. Their "fight" or motivation will come out when they don't have the saftey net of parents to clean up after them or do the hard work for them. Being a responsible adult is hard and I'm sorry - kid just needs to suck it up.

bambam
Apr. 3, 2013, 03:47 PM
Let me start with- yes I have read all your posts OP :)
I think the enabling you are doing goes beyond the monetary enabling (which I agree with what has been said- needs to stop now).
The setting up this structure that will "get him" to succeed because you set him up to do it and walk him methodically through each step will not work in the long run. You have said you have showed him this path before- so he knows what the tools are and that he can do it, he just needs to get to the point where he takes the initiative and takes the steps himself and not because you made him.
If you continue to do it for him (not with him, for him), he will not get to that point. He needs to do it himself and it seems he has to hit a lower point than the one he is at before he will.
You can only do what you have done which is show him the tools succeed and that new things can be great and, if you keep doing it, he will need that kind of life direction micro-manager his whole life.
I cannot imagine how hard it would be to stand back and watch your kid fail or slip further from the person you think he can be but I don't see how continuing down the same path you have before is going to do anything but continue to reinforce that someone will do all this for him when he has a problem or fails. At some point, no one will. 24 seems like a good point (or even a late one) for him to learn to do it himself- it won't be long before it is too late IMO
I am not saying drop contact or stop being supportive- but being supportive does not mean micro-managing the recovery or doing it for him IMO.
I am not denying this is a crappy position to be in, but nothing you can do about that part.

casper324
Apr. 3, 2013, 03:55 PM
My son, while trying to get him to go new places in his life - whether it be in elementary school (boy scout camp-outs), high school (out of state computer camp), college (horrid at the beginning), and now (job fears), has been stuck not wanting to move forward, then has found he really did get so much out of what he was pushed into.

My son is exactly the same and it breaks my heart............I wish I had an answer but I'm still searching too. It took me a while to realize the DH seemed to constantly set my son up to fail often before he ever tried.

JanM
Apr. 3, 2013, 05:58 PM
Peg-It's so sad that the entire ex-husband group is so dysfunctional and unmotivated. It's going to be rough for all of them to grow up, because someday, maybe years from now, they all will have to.

My parents have coddled my two brothers forever, and both are totally dependent, as well as the wives. Someday when the money runs out, they'll all be sitting there wondering what happened, and where it all went wrong. Just like Snowflake, I've watched the parents give both of the boys everything, to the tune of three houses between them, but when the money wagon stops, they'll be in a very bad place.

I'm hoping your son will see that the others around him at the dad's place aren't doing the best they can, and realizes it's not a life for him. I think he can do better, and is probably going to decide to change and improve. The early twenties are rough for a lot of people, and many flounder through it until they decide what their own path is going to be. I think he can do it, when he decides exactly what he wants to do, that he'll be more motivated.

Foxtrot's
Apr. 3, 2013, 06:13 PM
I can't read all this - but I am of the school that believes in supporting (emotionally) my family and not at all of the opinion that he should be thrown out. Encouragement and advice goes a long way...so hope it works out for you.

Alagirl
Apr. 3, 2013, 06:29 PM
enabling is not always a bad thing :)

fooler
Apr. 3, 2013, 07:07 PM
There is enabling and then there is supporting.
Anything you, Mom, do that enables him to continue living as he wishes should stop. Stop being his doormat. He is educated and of age, time for him to put on his big boy pants.
Let him know what you expect of him ( such as a job, pay basic bills) so you two can have an ADULT relationship. Then hold to it even if it means taking back the vehicle and any other benefits you are providing.
Yes he will whine, let you know he is dying, his world is ending, he will do anything. He has to learn to take care of himself on his own, just like you did.
You have no control over him, your ex or the ex-DD.
You do have control over your life. Take care of yourself.

For the record one of my older brothers was much like this. My Mom made me stay close so I could wake him up for his multitude of jobs while my Dad was saying just leave him alone. Dad knew he needed to learn and to want to take care of himself. This went on for way too many years.

Stay strong, it is a hard track to take for both of you. I hope he turns into the man you wish him to be.

JBD
Apr. 3, 2013, 08:43 PM
OP you are working a lot harder and are a lot more worried about your sons problems than he is. Guidance and leading by example are ways we can help our adult children if needed and asked. Dragging them along...not successful unless the goal is to keep them afloat until the magical day they finally "get it". Know that he may never get it. And you'd do yourself a favor to get over what happens at his fathers house as long as its not illegal.

hb
Apr. 4, 2013, 12:27 AM
You describe a household full of adults who are all unemployed, have large-scale constant drama and seemingly no coping skills? Do not rule out substance abuse.

You ask how to motivated a 24-year old, you pay for his truck and cell-phone, and get irritated when people suggest you've contributed to his lack of motivation. You yourself said that this time living with his father is the most contact they've had his whole life. You were his primary parent. His problems did not suddenly appear at age 24. Suggesting that you consider the possibility that how you interact with him contributes to his issues is not bashing.

Foxtrot's
Apr. 4, 2013, 12:59 AM
Yes it is bashing - when the tone of the post is so very unsympathetic, rather than constructive.

clanter
Apr. 4, 2013, 07:53 AM
Yes it is bashing - when the tone of the post is so very unsympathetic, rather than constructive.


Stating the reality of the situation is not bashing; In my opinion.... If the poster had said if only you had done less and encourage the manchild to do more on his own then maybe that would have been bashing... But let's get real, something here needs to be bashed as the outcome is not good,

hastyreply
Apr. 4, 2013, 10:11 AM
THe OP isn't going to give up on son, she's a nuturerer, most women are. Unfortunately it takes a man's influence, not a sperm donor, to make a man. She should do what she can but not be disappointed if nothing changes. Hopefully he won't give her grandchildren. I'm watching my sister have to deal with a son who has trouble getting his act together, but who had a child with someone more immature than he. When he went into a depression when she took the child back to her parents (of course they aren't married) his bio dad who'd walked out when son was 5, decided to step up and grab him by the scruff of the neck and start functioning again. Mom is to far away to do much, which is probably good. He is wild about his child, and I hope that will be the motivation for him to grow up and either put his dreams into action or put them aside and get out of the "teenage wasteland" he has wallowed in. He's 30 yrs old so maybe he will figure it out now. But I'm not exactly holding my breath.