To ask this mum not to help?(61 Posts)
Am having a really hard time with DS1 (18) right now. He's left school and got a job which he has lost and not doing enough to get another job - he's been out of work for a month and not helping around the house and his room is a shit tip.
His dad has little contact with him anymore and is not supportive.
I am having a stressful time at work with redundancy etc.
Thing is tonight I blew as his room is a tip
and he is basically been lounging around doing fuck all all day.
Thing is he just goes to his best mates house where his mum (who seems to constantly have loads of teenagers there and isn't too bothered about her own son not working for the last year) feeds him and lets him stay there and he is kind of getting away with this totally self entitled attitude.
AIBU to ask her to be cruel to be kind and tell DS1 he can't stay there every time he doesn't like the rules here?
She's really really not helping me
He's an adult. If she wants him to entertain him and he likes it there, there is nothing you can do. Asking her to change her behaviour to help you manipulate him into doing what you want is unreasonable.
You can't force him to shape up. You can enforce house rules and ask him to contribute though. If he doesn't like it and sods off, he presumably can't stay at his mates' indefinitely.
maybe it's time for him to leave home? or move into his friend's?
Easier said than done, but maybe it is time for him to leave home, OP.
He's 18. Trying to impose rules at his friend's house is likely to backfire and create resentment. Is there any practical help you can offer him with his job search? Are there any household jobs that he doesn't mind doing, so you can at least get him into the habit of doing something to help?
So he's 18 with really no direction of what to do and he's just lazing about but has the time to spend at his friends house doing nothing. Tell him he needs to either study, find a job and stay or move out where he can do what he wants. His attitude sounds like he is on a fast track to nothing, so leaving him to it because he's an 'adult' is not going to help him.
Do not cook for him, do not do any laundry for him, bag up everything in his room and leave it in the garage. Do not fill up the fridge.
Call him to a family meeting around the kitchen table, sheets of paper, pens.
Ask him what jobs he is going to do. You can list them so he can put a tick next to them.
Tel him in a nonconfrontational and business like manner that thinks have come to breaking point for you and you are not prepared to carry on in such an unsustainable way.
It is beyond selfish and irresponsible, and because he is an adult he has to behave like one.
What sort of boyfriend, partner, husband or father is he going to turn into otherwise?
Unless you put boundaries and rules in place and he is kind and considerate of you, I would change the locks.
That is just so ridiculously OTT wotoodoo.
Well, why should an adult be living there and not contributing fusion?
What would you suggest??
Wotoodoo - brilliant advice, but I'd call the meeting before stopping the washing, cooking etc - give the lad a chance first.
Good luck op. Been there, done that, bought a shop full of t'shirts My ds is now an almost fully functioning adult and my dd is almost there
Meeting: great idea
Expecting him to do his own housework: great idea.
Setting boundaries and sticking to them: great idea.
Emptying the fridge so no one in the house has access to food before even talking to the boy? Not that great an idea.
Bagging up his stuff and putting it in the garage before even giving him a chance? Deciding you're going to change the locks before you even have the discussion? Ridiculously OTT.
On MN the moment every young person turns 18 they are expected to be entirely reasonable fully fledged adults you are emotionally divorced from and ready to chuck out on the street at the first sign of imperfection. Any shred of evidence to the contrary is a sign that they are going to be a terrible future partner/parent/employee and you are enabling this.
The kid is out of work A MONTH - not years and years, a month. The discussion is necessary. Possibly suggesting to him he needs to start thinking about moving out is probably necessary. Making the fact he's CURRENTLY having a period of being a bit of a lazy self-entitled arse at 18 into some great portent of doom for his entire future is OTT.
Many 18 year olds in college/FE are lazing around the place being fairly irresponsible, many others are off partying in South East Asia somewhere, plenty are having existential crises, lots are self-entitled and lazy in one way or another. Most of them seem to grow up into productive members of society.
Also generally speaking when someone behaves like an arse in a relationship, responding by behaving like a bigger arse tends to create an ever increasing spiral of arsiness and conflict.... not sure it's a great lesson to teach your 18 year old kid that if someone is being an arse to them for a short while that they should cut all ties without even having a sensible discussion about what's bothering them first.
He's 18. He can leave and never come back if he wants to. I don't think you can expect to have the same sort of relationship/rules you did when he was a child or expect to control his interactions with third parties as you did when he was a child. You need to move it on to adult offspring still in your house, iyswim.
If he doesn't like the rules in your house, then going elsewhere is exactly what he should do. He'll soon realise that it's not as great out there as he thinks it is.
18 is legally an adult but still so young. They aren't mentally adults yet, iyswim. (this is my personal experience. I have no doubt there are ultra mature 18 yr olds. I'm taking my general experience of 18yr olds generally) It's a tough time all round. They have the legal status of adults and the rights and responsibilities that go with that, they certainly want that, they have the right to more freedom but emotionally they can be very much still children. It's a foot in both worlds. He will come through it. It just takes time.
What happens when he comes home? Do you bite your tongue for a while? If so, what about changing that and saying look, the fact you stropped off in a tantrum changes nothing. The second you set foot back through this door you will be expected to do the very few things that are asked of you which are tidy your room and do your part in keeping this house tidy. It is not fair of you to expect others to run round after you while you do nothing.
Or you could say the next time you strop off like a child I will treat you like a child and go into your room with a bin liner. Your choice.
that's another option.
AIBU to ask her to be cruel to be kind and tell DS1 he can't stay there every time he doesn't like the rules here?
I doubt you'll get far by the sound of things.
Ok so you want him to grow up and be more responsible and make an effort around the house which as a resident he should be doing anyway. Having a job or not has feck all to do with it.
He is an adult now, he has chosen not to continue in FT education and you are allowing him to continue to remain living at home presumably rent free. This is an entirely discretionary status which I doubt he appreciates or would take seriously by the sound of it.
Does your son actually know that you are worried about redundancy OP? Does he understand the financial consequences, how much money you might receive, in reality how far that will stretch and why you are presumably stressed up to the eyeballs about the situation.
I'd start by treating him as an adult and take him into your confidence especially if you have younger children at home. Build on things from there.
This other mum isnt the problem your son is. He is 18 he can go round to his friends house eat all her food etc etc fwiw i ageee that letting them lounge about like they are her mates is annoying. You need to give him jobs round the house his washing brought down etc if he wants to sleep in a tip let him is he signing on if not why not the job centre will have him busy and motivated
There is no excuse for fit and healthy 18yr olds dossing about imo
Not OTT Fusion because the situation itself is OTT.
However did it get like that in the first place?!
Aren't parents supposed to bring up their dc to become full fledged, independent, responsible members of the community?
Surely from toddlerhood dc are learning to help out? putting their plate in the dishwasher, washing up their cup, putting clothes in the laundry basket at the same age they are learning to clean their teeth and potty training etc etc?
School age dc know how to make a sandwich, how to put things back after use, wipe down the counters, use a hoover, make a cup of tea for their mum.
Teenagers know how to turn the washing machine on, hang things up, sort darks from colours, cook a nice meal, give you a massage/ do your nails for you as a treat.
They are grateful when you give them lifts, pay for their driving lessons, make lovely meals for them and help them unconditionally emotionally.
So when they hit 18 they don't suddenly turn into selfish, irresponsible monsters!
I have 3 fantastic, kind and helpful teenagers (their friends are all the same as they bring them over to stay a lot) who do all these things and more and all I can say is, I hope they don't bring home partners like this op's son!!
He's 18, as an adult you cannot stop him going to his friend's house and being pandered to. However, I agree with wotoodoo, you can stop giving him an easy ride. I wouldn't cut him off from being 'looked after' straight away - I'd give him a time scale. For example, say he has a month to clean his room, find a job, sort himself out etc. If by said time he hasn't changed at all then privilages will stop. No more cooking for him, no getting him things in especially, no paying for mobile phone (if you do) and so forth. Don't do anything that will affect other people in the home, such as empty the fridge, just give him a good push into the adult world, where he has to take care of himself.
Do not fill up the fridge
So penalising everyone else in the house?
As others have said he is a grown adult so you can't stop him from going to a friends house. You can stop doing stuff for him and decide whether you want him to pay rent or move out.
What you could do is tell the mum he is storming off to her sons when he isnt getting his way at home then she has a heads up of the situation but what she does is up to her really he isnt a 12yrold where you can control his behaviour and tantrums
presumably he is signing on, he needs to be giving you some of that for his keep
forget his bedroom, it's his space and if he wants it to be a mess that's up to him, just shut the door so you don't see it
sit down with him and look at what jobs need doing and say you expect him to do a fair share- if he disagrees, ask WHY you should be doing it all
don't do any of his personal stuff (washing), that's his job for sure.
forget about what happens at his friends house, that's none of your business and out of your control
and sympathise with him...it's rotten being out of work and directionless
Ah, so you were waiting to inject a bit of stealth-smuggery then, wotodoo?
It doesn't always work out like that, you know. Even for parents who really did everything to the very best of their abilities.
At some point in this family there was a break up and the lad has no contact or support from his father. The OP is facing redundancy and under financial pressure. Who knows what the history is here...
You are extrapolating an awful lot about this situation from one post. I read that an 18 year old out of work for one month is not doing what he should be. I'm not sure where you got the information that the OP hadn't spent a great many years raising her child well to be responsible, kind and considerate.
At the very least, I'd want to know that this was his habitual ongoing pattern over many years before I'd start tutting and head-shaking.
I agree with Fusion. Sometimes, despite parents' best efforts and intentions, teenagers lose their way.
If it were my son, I don't think treating him like I hated him (bagging up his stuff and putting it in the garage?!) would help.
I would be more worried this would drive him away, when he needs help and support to get back on track.
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