DS constantly chanting "I'm 18, I'm an adult, I can do what I want"

(140 Posts)
Cutecat78 Tue 09-Feb-16 18:46:21

Trying to have a nice meal with the kids (18, 16, 13), made pancakes (only) for tea as a bit of a treat as I am normally anal a real stickler for a "proper" eve meal.

DS1 is 18, things aren't great between us ATM as he has dropped out of college and hasn't managed to get a job so is being fully supported by me (which I am struggling to afford - which he knows).

The rules are my house my rules, he helps out around the house, he lets me know what time he's home and if he wants tea. He gets a fucking job ASAP.

His staple reply to other things since he turned 18 has been "I'm 18, I'm an adult you can't tell me what to do" which is really quite infuriating and often turns into me replying "while you are living in my house being supported by me you will do as you are told". A row ensues and it's not pleasant.

Over dinner he put a load of sugar and syrup and strawberry sauce on his pancake which had sugar in it already. DD and DS2 are sat there (DS2 has Aspergers and I am really struggling to regulate the amount of crap he is eating ATM) and I tell DS1 that's way too much sugar etc (and IMO a bit rude) and I get the "I'm 18" response.

This is really really pissing me off and I know I need to pick my battles but are all 18 yr olds like this? If so is there a joking way I can respond without it turning into a row about him not working Every. Single. Time.

He is an adult in the eyes of the law but he is still my son and not the grown man he keeps bragging he is as he's not actually doing anything constructive right now hmm.

RandomMess Tue 09-Feb-16 18:48:17

How are you financially supporting him? If anything beyond feeding him that would stop.

I'd remind him where the front door is tbh...

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theycallmemellojello Tue 09-Feb-16 18:49:16

Kind of agree, but at the same time, he's having a rough time, it's not great being unemployed, and so I might actually cut him some slack. So yes, he should let you know whether he wants dinner - that's not treating him like a child, but something that an adult should do. But telling him off about the amount of syrup he puts on his pancake does seem like something you shouldn't say to an adult.

Cutecat78 Tue 09-Feb-16 18:50:01

He is living in my house and I feed him.

I don't give him money but I have lost over £200 a month in maintenance and child benefit as he has left education - I wasn't loaded before that so it's been a big hit for me.

AdriftOnMemoryBliss Tue 09-Feb-16 18:50:02

i would tell him if he said that again that he could expect you to stop doing anything for him, including bank rolling him.

theycallmemellojello Tue 09-Feb-16 18:50:52

I think that going on that you are supporting him might not be the best way to get him off your hands too, psychologically speaking. He's likelier to get a job and so on if he feels good about himself.

Cutecat78 Tue 09-Feb-16 18:51:52

It pissed me off more because as an "adult" I expect him to be able to regulate his sugar intake and set an example to his brother.

I only used the pancakes as an example. It's like nothing has changed since he turned 18 yet he expects to be treated differently overnight.

Sighing Tue 09-Feb-16 18:52:04

He should leave with that attitude, ask him when! He's clearly NOT an adult if he doesn't understand living with people necessitates compromise.

MyFavouriteClintonisGeorge Tue 09-Feb-16 18:53:00

I think rather than repeating the autonomy/obedience argument, try appealing to his better nature on things like this.

Of course he can decide what to have on his pancakes. And since he is a member of a family, not just a lone individual, it would be nice if he could take into account things like setting a good example to the younger siblings, making every effort to contribute to the family budget etc. That's what adults do.

'I can do what I like!..Hey Mum, may I have some money?' is his current position, and it is much more typical of a young teenager than an adult.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ethelb Tue 09-Feb-16 18:53:36

He sounds very difficult.

But, having been an eldest sibling myself my parents trying to control what I ate/'treats' as 'the little ones will want one' when I was 18 plus (and having left home btw) pissed me off no end.

I think you were a bit off criticising him having a treat at what you admit was a treat meal. I understand it must be hard with a child with ASD but as this was supposed to be a 'treat' did you really have to have a go then.

Plus, if he had already assembled said pancake what was he supposed to do? Throw it away?

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Tue 09-Feb-16 18:53:53

Reminds me of this poster.

So he wants the freedom of being an adult without the responsibility? Personally I'd tell him once more that under my roof, my rules go. If he did it again, I'd just withdraw everything. No money, no washing, no food, no getting him up.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LuluJakey1 Tue 09-Feb-16 18:54:12

Chuck him out and let him do what he likes as he supports himself.

Chippednailvarnish Tue 09-Feb-16 18:54:19

I believe the correct response is;

"Quick, move out and pay your own bills, whilst you still know everything".

HereIAm20 Tue 09-Feb-16 18:54:48

Make up a list of your costs and tell him that as he is an adult you expect him to contribute to those costs or to move out!

RoseDeWittBukater Tue 09-Feb-16 18:54:55

"You're an adult when you're supporting yourself." Perhaps he'd like to be an adult properly, and pay bills? I'd be suggesting that he tows the line or moves out tbh, I will not stand for that sort of attitude from anyone in my house.

YANBU, but I bet the mollycoddlers will tell you you are.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cutecat78 Tue 09-Feb-16 18:56:02

Yeah he has applied but lost his job in Dec and says he won't get any JSA until 25th Feb - I have no idea how it works.

He dropped out because he hated college. I said fine but the rule is that you get a job and pay your way here.

HeyMacWey Tue 09-Feb-16 18:56:06

Sounds like the bigger picture is causing all the minor niggling. I'm not surprised that he bit back when you nagged him about the sugar on his pancakes.

I think you just have to ignore his 'I'm an adult' protestations and try not to get drawn into a row.
He's probably feeling frustrated with himself about dropping out of college /being unemployed and is taking it out on you.

In a calm moment can you have an adult discussion with him about living in the house as a functioning adult - set some boundaries between you and give him the opportunity to behave as an adult. This could also include the importance of his siblings having someone responsible to look up to. You might have to rethink my house my rules, what about our house, our rules?

HermioneJeanGranger Tue 09-Feb-16 18:56:49

I think the pancakes are a red herring. He is an adult and if he wants sugar, syrup, strawberries and cream on them, it's his choice. He's not responsible for what his much younger brother eats unless he's in sole charge of him.

You're annoyed (understandably!) at his attitude and that probably carries over into other things that wouldn't be an issue if he was working/studying. There are plenty of part-time jobs out there (unless you live in the sticks) so what's his excuse for not getting off his backside and earning a wage?

littleleftie Tue 09-Feb-16 18:57:00

So all you are paying for is his food? what about his phone? Transport costs? Doesn't he ever go anywhere or do anything?

The less money he has the more likely he is to shift himself and get a job.

I do think you have to pick your battles, and I wouldn't have chosen this one tbh, but maybe when he is in a positive mood have a talk to him about DS needs and why he needs to be a positive role model, as DS looks up to him so much etc.

deregistered Tue 09-Feb-16 18:58:57

Why don't you keep turning it round on him.

If you do any of his washing, cooking, washing up, if he uses the WIFI you pay for, the hot water you pay for then stop allowing it or doing these things for him and when he wonders where his clothes or why the WIFI password has changed etc, say 'You're 18, you're an adult, I wouldn't dream of doing all the things I used to do for you when you were a child.'

By the way, I'm no in favour of being overly harsh on him. 18 year olds are very young adults and he's still a big kid in many ways. He needs to learn but he's not unusual in his ways or attitude!

Fingers crossed he finds a job soon as I can imagine the pressure on you is huge.

StarCat Tue 09-Feb-16 18:59:27

Couldn't you just say put what you want on your pancakes but don't let your siblings see?

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