Am I horrible to my 18 year old son? I really need advice please.(34 Posts)
Firstly thank you if you take the time to read this.
I'm in desperate need for some help and advice.
We've always had a lovely nurturing home environment, no arguments, I've never smacked my son. And I've probably spoiled him over the years. He's never been any trouble, enjoyed music and cadets.
When he turned 16 he said "I'm going to be a nightmare from now on"
I laughed it off.
The last 2 years have been quite awful, probably in the grand scheme of life it's nothing, and compared to some family problems even less.
My husband and I had rough childhoods, I was Abused and brought up in a physically violent home. Naturally we tried to make our sons home environment loving.
Over the last 8 years I've become disabled, I struggle to work full time. Our son works part time, 24 hours a week, some months brings home £1100. He contributes- under great duress £100 to the house. The only things we ask of him are to put the rubbish out once a week, empty the dishwasher daily, pick up after himself, keep his room tidy and leave the upstairs doors open so the cats don't rip the carpets.
We allow his girlfriend to stay over, we request on weeknights that the tv goes off at midnight. I have trouble sleeping and they can be quite loud.
He's incredibly angry about contributing money towards the house, doesn't actually do the things we ask most days. Every dish has a chip from him slamming dishes in the cupboard. Last night he closed his bedroom door and the cat has ripped the carpet. There is no respect at all. Apparently it's okay to shout at me because it's a different time to when I was growing up, I'm 36.
Am I being unreasonable? Asking him to do these few tasks? I switched netflix off as a punishment for something a few months ago, for sneaking his girlfriend in, he only had to ask and for sending me a vicious text. He created his own account. I'd come home from work and he'd drop all his clean clothes on the floor. I'm not washing for clothes to become dirty on the floor. I said he could do his own washing.
How do ýou parent adult children? He's 19 next month.
The anger and shouting that now happens is affecting my already I'll health. Is it too much to ask that he do these simple things that we ask of him? My husband drives him to work, 0.7 miles away when he can, takes him training. He's so angry all the time, he told me I was crazy since I had a hysterectomy and it's my hormones - I'm actually not menopausal. I've very poor memory due to my medication and he's used this against me, making up things that I've said and smirking.
I realise he's growing up but while he's still living here I do expect some respect. An apology if he doesn't do something, or does something he shouldn't. I get met with it's not your house it's a council house.
Obviously I'm not perfect, I get cross and shout when he's so angry towards me. But I do feel it's not difficult to leave a door open and have some forethought about things. My husband just wants a quiet life, my mum is wonderful but will run to him at the drop of a hat. I'm painted as the psychotic disabled mother who nags constantly.
I'm exhausted most of the time, I'm not insane I just want a tidy house. We gave him the biggest bedroom of the house to grow up in, we figured he needed it to keep all his things in while growing. Due to my health we asked could we swap back, the arguments over it were horrible, "but I'm your son, you should give me the biggest room, it's your job to do my washing, your job to pick up after me" Then I'm feeling guilty. I love him, I'm proud of him.
But I can't live with him like this, I'd never throw him out. I just want him to follow some rules that we set. And help us a bit. I'm contemplating not taking the £100 off him because I feel horrible for doing it, if he hadn't been so mean we wouldn't have asked, we hoped it would teach him some responsibility. But he seriously asked me for maid service.
Am I wrong? Am I awful?
What do I do? Just ignore it?
He needs to move out as he has no respect for you or your home. Please don't stop taking board money from him in my opinion he should be paying more! for you as I know how it feels, both my son's moved- not because I threw then out but because I laid down the ground rules in very similar circumstances. We get on much better since they left and we enjoy an adult relationship now (and the now totally understand where I was coming from when their flatmates leave mess and chaos behind!)
I know how hard it can be......but can I just ask you to clarify something.... What do you mean when you say he 'sneaked' his girlfriend in? Isn't he able to treat it as his home as an adult would..ie: asking his girlfriend round without having to run it by you??
If so then he isn't being treated like an adult and therefore probably won't behave like one
He's earning, he can move out. Just because they're our offspring it doesn't mean they get to abuse and disrespect.
Tell him he has a month to find his own place.
Do not stop taking the rent. You need to be firm.
If he can't be respectful he needs to leave.
You and dh need to confront him together and give him a choice. Fix up or move out.
I'd tell him that if he doesn't change his attitude and behaviour then he can crack on and move out. If he can find somewhere to live on £25 a week then do let me know, I'd be really grateful.
His room is his business. I have an 18 year old daughter whose bedroom is shockingly messy but I shut the door and don't look at it or my blood pressure goes through the roof.
I don't do washing unless it's in the laundry basket. I'm not a maid. (teen generally does her washing now).
If you don't like what I cook, then feel free to buy and cook something yourself (teen does her own cooking mostly now).
If you want a lift to work/out then please ask nicely and don't be offended if I say no for whatever reason. However if it's an unsociable hour for work then we will do our best to help.
I'm disabled and dp works full time. DD is working part time too and although I don't take any money off her, she's off to Uni in February and she needs every penny for that plus is taking driving lessons. However she does help if I ask her.
I'm having major surgery in two weeks and DD is going to take over getting DD2 up and out to school in the mornings, share the cooking with dp and also do much more housework while I'm recovering.
Your son is treating you appallingly. Time for you all to sit down and get this sorted. He cannot expect a free ride in life and while I think he should be able to be in his room with the door closed, that's about the only thing I agree with him on. Maybe put a rug in front to stop the cat scratching.
He needs to contribute to the home. Both financially and physically. Or suggest he moves out. Maybe show him the list of outgoings every month and ask if he thinks £100 is a third of this.
Obliviously ,op, he needs to move out..he's an adult.not yr responsibility now.hes a man..give 4 weeks notice and be done with it
Take the tv away (and internet connection) and tell him if he wants his girlfriend over, to get his own house.
I have a friend whose 42 year old never left home and now she has.
Don't let it get to that.
I'd never throw him out. I just want him to follow some rules
He won't follow your rules. And you should give him an ultimatum. Because that way you are letting him be an adult. All adults need to learn independence (and respect!).
So sorry you are going through this. I had a hard time too as a LP with my son. He is finally waking up to the fact that life does not owe him anything and he has to do it himself.
Your husband needs to help you with this- you can't be the lone voice of reason.
None of those things are your jobs... you have 3 adults in your house!
I had to ask DS1 to leave at almost 18. I helped him find a flat, paid the deposit, regularly took food parcels round, but was consistent (along with DH) in the explanation that it was his behaviour that had caused the situation. He knew we loved him, but that we weren't prepared to live with someone who was abusive towards us.
He's 29 now and is very appreciative of our love and support. He accepts that his behaviour made him impossible to live with at that time.
You sound a very caring and considerate parent. In order to appreciate you and your home your son needs to move out and pay bills and rent. as ladylamkin said he has no respect for you or your home. It is not unreasonable to know who is being invited in to your home, it is common courtesy and your son is not living like an adult if he is behaving like this and contributing such a small sum.
Maybe the OP likes to know who's in the house overnight? I don't think that's unreasonable.
My husband drives him to work, 0.7 miles away
That's not far to walk either.
You will do him a great service by not mollycoddling him!
But if his girlfriend is a regular guest, what's the big deal, hardly a stranger in the house, sounds like a petty rule to me
You've given him so much that he thinks he deserves everything because he is so 'special'. He now expects you to bow down to his demands and is angry that you have the audacity to expect anything from him.
Through love you have created someone who doesn't value YOU because you taught him he comes first. Biggest room for a child?! He thinks he rules the roost.
He doesn't respect you or value the things you do for him - and he won't until he's doing (and paying) for them himself. He needs to move out.
You have given him love, but what he needs right now is TOUGH LOVE. Otherwise he is going to be stuck permanently in this vile, selfish, arrogant phase.
You say you won't throw him out... As parents we have a responsibility to give our children what they NEED to become considerate, well rounded, respectful adults. He NEEDS to move out, otherwise you are literally helping him become this unpleasant, rude, obnoxious, arrogant, selfish disgrace of a spoilt man child.
Other than expecting him to keep his bedroom door open all the time you aren't expecting anything an 18 yr old shouldn't do without complaints.
Everything you say is reasonable apart from making a grown young man keep his door open. That really is not reasonable.
He needs to be able to shut his door if he wants to. It's also a fire risk to leave all doors open.
I suggest you look at other ways to stop the cat scratching the carpets up.
You (and your DP) need to sit down with him and explain the difference between being an adult and child.
A child does have laundry done for it and gets a free room. But a child doesn't get a girlfriend staying over, has to watch what the parents want on tv, has a bedtime, has to do chores set by the parents when they say so, gets checked up on etc.
An adult has to contribute to whatever household they live in, both financially and physically (chores). But they share in the running of that household, so they get a say in how chores are distributed, how money is spent (not your couple money, but a bit of input into grocery brands and netflix choices), and they get to keep their own room how they want and have their own guests without permission (though if one guest starts taking the piss the other household members are allowed to complain and get things addressed).
He should consider whether he wants to be a child or an adult. It may be that he wants to be a child - if you arent willing to entertain that, you need to firmly say no. If he wants to be an adult, you may have to give him more adult treatment/say in the household, and stop treating him like your child (he'll still be your son, but not someone you have to parent like he used to be).
I agree with others that he needs to move out and get a dose of reality, however I just wanted to clarify one thing - are you saying that he isn't permitted to close his bedroom door due to the cats? I think that's a bit unreasonable, he's entitled to some privacy and I can understand why he might rebel against that particular rule.
You say you are not menopausal, do you mind me asking when you had your hysterectomy? It might be that you would benefit from HRT.
He can walk 0.7 miles and contribute to your household hour feeding him and doing his washing anyway and most importantly keeping a roof over his head. If he doesn't want to keep to your rules than by all means it's time for him to find his own place. It's your house and they are you rules that he has to follow if he's under your roof. You don't ask him for much, just respect and to help out a little. My 14yr old does the same amount of chores as your DS is not more but I don't expect her to contribute to the household as she's only 14 and doesn't earn any money yet.
Sorry, cross posted with Violet, totally agree
He needs to move out, he'll soon learn what a cushty life he has at home.
Don't fall into the trap of him making you think you're old at 36. You're not. He's playing the "no one understands me" wailing teenager. 36 is not old, your feelings and expectations are not because you're of a different time! They're what any normal person would expect.
You could also repeat back to him what he said about it being your job to pick up after him etc and ask if he is actually seriously standing by asking his disabled mother to do those menial tasks for him when he is grown up and perfectly fit himself, and if he doesn't find that request embarrassing now he considers it in a new light/in isolation - is that how a grown man should behave? What would other people think of him saying that? etc
Thank you all so much for the responses.
I've made a rod for my own back, clearly.
I do want to know if she's staying over, I only ask that he asks us first. We'd spoken on the phone 30 minutes beforehand he said she wasn't staying, I'm sorry if it's petty but I want to know if she's here. They'd hid her shoes and bag where as he only had to ask.
You sound lovely OP but very soft.
Clearly you have spoilt him to compensate for the way your childhoods were.
He's now having his little rebellion a bit late.
How do you get on with his girlfriend? Could you chat to her and suggest they spend more time at her place?
He isn't doing that much wrong - other than being a selfish brat and showing you no respect - but he really needs to start growing up now.
Stop picking up after him, leave him to it in his room and chuck his stuff in there if he leaves it lying around. Stop giving him lifts when he can walk.
Suggest if he doesn't like it he can get his own place.
He's got 1K a month in his pocket and you are feeling guilty for £100 a month?
Stand up to him, you are not his maid!
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