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Help!! 19 year old lazy stepson - Advise please.

(9 Posts)
buttons99 Mon 12-Jul-10 09:21:26

I would be grateful if anyone can give me some advise for dealing with my stepson (he lives with us). Both my DH and I are at a loss what to do with him and some experience from people on here would be great.

SS is 19, left school at 16, did a 2 year college course but felt he had done wrong course (translate that to didn't bother to put enough effort in to do course properly!!) and so is now half way through a parallel course - Diploma. He turns 20 in December and for the last four years since he left school we have been saying to him he needs a part time job. He has had EMA for 3 years but that has stopped now and from September he has no income at all. He just does not seem to care, he has his food and a roof over his head, an internet connection and a room full of electrical devices and doesn't seem to have any incentive at all to venture out from his room!!!! We have told him come September he won't even have a single penny but he just seems to think that is way off in the future and couldn't care less. Everybody in the family has seen adverts for jobs, told him about jobs and he politely shows an interest but does no more than that. My DH is at a loss what he can do, especially as SS is 19 so an adult and TBH I am starting to question my place withnn the family as I am very unhappy. I am like the servant who provides, shops,cooks,cleans etc and he does nothing. There are days I wish I hadn't got involved in this family, I love my DH alot but his children are really getting me down at the moment. My own children are full of life and grasping at every opportunity where as SS (and SD who is 11 and also lives with us) are just so lazy and want nothing more from life than a games console and an internet connection!!!! I am alot stronger with SD though as have been in her life since she was 5 and so am to all intents and purposes her mum, where as I have never been confident in tackling SS.

I am also very worried how we will be able to financially support SS come December when he turns 20 as tax credits/child benefit will stop and there will be no income other than wages my DH earns to support him. ( I have thought about getting a part time job myself for extra income but I know that would make my disabilities worse and part of me says it should be the 19 year old healthy one who looks for work not the 41 year old stepmother with disabilities!! or should it be me?? I don't claim any benefits for my disability so technically could get a job but I know it would increase my pain even more and financially we can manage currently)

I know alot of parents financially support their children through college, uni etc but we do struggle financially and we don't have the spare money to support him. It wouldn't seem as bad if I was trying to stretch our budget to support him if he was making any effort at all to gain some part time employment so he could support himself come September and contribute to the family budget come December but he isn't.

Can anyone give me some tips in what to do with him? and does anyone know if there is a financial support of some form for Students at 20 years old. I have asked him to find this out at college but needless to say get a sweet smile and ok at the time but nothing else back!! Thank you.

scurryfunge Mon 12-Jul-10 09:25:36

Pull the plug on his computer, bill him for board and lodgings and he may well find the incentive to find a job and contribute. He is not a child.

Meow75 Mon 12-Jul-10 09:30:41

I hate to say it, but with this particular cushy number where is the incentive to change?!?!

Tell him that from September you expect some contribution towards board and lodging, especially if he wants you to continue adding his clothes to the family laudry pile, his dirty dishes to the family washing up/dishwasher load. If he still doesn't have a job by then, inform him that he will also be expected to help out with household chores at the times when he would normally be at work.

Get your DH to have this conversation with him so that he can't dish out the old "you're not my mum, you can't tell me what to do" line, and if he doesn't agree to, and uphold his end of the bargain, invite him to start looking for somewhere else to live.

You could, if you thought it would work, offer him a small amount of cash for various chores around the house - got any gardening or DIY that needs doing?!?!

slug Mon 12-Jul-10 09:37:19

A friend of mine had the exact same problem with his stepson. He found removing the wireless router and taking it to work with him during the day was a huge incentive for the lad to get off his backside and look for work. Mind you, it only worked for a while. After a bit he took to taking the TV SCART cable as well.

Stepson is now working and living wiht his girlfriend. So something he did must have worked.

3littlefrogs Mon 12-Jul-10 09:45:10

You need to sit him down with the household accounts and bills. He has no idea how much things cost because you have let him have everything for free. Go through it and explain.

Also - you need to remove access if at all possible to phone, computer, TV etc. I know this is easier said than done, but I would be interested to know who pays for his clothes, shoes, mobile phone etc?

It is difficult to stop computer use unless you lock it up in a sep. room.

Ds1 is given a list of DIY jobs whenever he comes home from Uni. He paints and decorates, babysits, shops, cooks etc. He also does similar jobs for friends and neighbours for pocket money.

You DSS needs to get along to the job center asap.

oldenoughtowearpurple Mon 12-Jul-10 10:00:37

This could be my own ds. Resistance was passive like your ss, so XDH identified a weekend job at local supermarket, chatted up the manager extolling ds's virtues (he does have some) then took DS along and said 'here he is'. Ds powerless to resist, now works 16 hours a weekend. And actually enjoys it, especially the money bit. Pays for his own car, phone, entertainment and pizza deliveries.

Ds has now finished A levels and steady pressure has resulted in him getting more work at the supermarket with a view to full time work there. So will be paying into family coffers - £60/week is 1/3 of what he would be earning full time on minimum wage so that's how much I am going to charge him. However, as to getting a 'proper job' - well, it's going to be a slow process.

I have every sympathy - and what everyone says is right. You have to make life MUCH less comfortable for them before anything happens, and that just makes your life harder not easier. However, I do find that if i ask for bite-sized things to be done they get done. Not 'please take responsibility for making sure the dishwasher is sorted' (too vague) but 'please empty the dishwasher and hoover the stairs right now'.

DS has an ensuite bathroom which is also used to dry clothes. I am off up there now to gaffertape the loo seat down and put a sign on it saying 'if you won't clean it then you can't use it'. [holding nose and feeling faint emoticon]

buttons99 Mon 12-Jul-10 12:16:38

Thank you for the ideas. I will speak with his Dad later!!! x

violetqueen Mon 12-Jul-10 18:24:08

I like these ideas - in my heart I know they're obvious but it's helpful to have them spelt out .
Liking taking the router to work - what a good idea !

buttons99 Tue 13-Jul-10 09:15:28

Hello everyone.

Had a chat with DH last night. During the day ss's girlfrend came round and I had quite a chat with her, she is fed up of him to, but she is only 16 and he is 19 so to a certain degree much as she is telling me she is fed up she also hero worships the older boyfriend who can put on the charm when he wants to. His girlfriend has a job in a shop and can't understand why he won't get off his backside and do something similar. I made ss get up yestaerday (was 12.30 by the time he did!!) and cut the lawn. Whilst he was outside his gf came to chat with me and she told me quite a few things like he is selling stuff, games, consoles etc to get money and that as he still has his EMA bonus (£100 I think) that he isn't so fussed about a job yet as he thinks that will last a fair while!

She and I eventually with lpts of nagging got him to ring a job his Mum had told him about, there was no reply so he came and told me that and I suggested he left a message as it went to vo8cemail he said...I can't believe I am telling a 19 year old how to leave a message etc!!!!!!!!

Later on last night I had a chat with my DH about a few things GF told me, we don't want to drop her in it and cause her any agro so aren't telling him what she has told me. I had mentioned to her about blocking his internet access and she said he would go mad at that and be very unhappy so thats what DH has done!!

DH has this morning before going to work disabled his internet connection to his pc and his x box. I don't think this will stop him as he will swap to a different games console, but we have got the other kids to put various controllers for their elec items in our bedroom. I suspect DH and he will have a stand up row when DH removes lots of stuff from his room!!!I suspect he will try to go on a different computer (actually maybe not that would involve thought and effort) but if he does DH will password them all tonight. DH works in IT and our network is set up so he can big brother on any of the kids at anytime with both what they are doing and what they have been on.

DH is getting angrier by the day and told me last night he thinks he will end up asking him to leave! I dpn't want that really and neither does DH I reckon so I have suggested we give him a dead line by which time he must at least be seriously making the effort. I know its hard to find jobs currently but we live in a holiday area and there is an abundance of summer work he could have got into at least. If his 16 year old girlfriend can then he has no excuse.

In answer to where he gets money from, not us. He had EMA but that has finished, he does have the bonus at the moment in the bank I believe. Unfortunately his Mum doesn't always help as she buys him clothes when he visits her. Also he does make money go along way (as he does nowt!!!) so Xmas and b'day money people have given him lasts for ever. Think I'll have a word not to give him money anymore!!! maybe a gift voucher for Tesco food would be better!!!!!

Will keep plodding on and thanks for all the tips, its good to hear others ideas.

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