This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
I want my 20 year old son to grow up and leave home(86 Posts)
My oldest DS is 20, but acts like he’s 14. My 12 year old acts older than him.
He has always been lazy, he never bothered with school (he went, but only did what he needed to do), he doesn’t care about how he looks, spends all his money on shite (thankfully not alcohol or drugs, but computer games, crisps, sweets, fizzy pop, biscuits etc) and generally just acts extremely immature.
He is at college, his dad and I personally think he is kidding himself on with college, it’s to be a personal trainer, but he doesn’t eat properly or train, doesn’t study, so we can’t see this going anyway. Of course we don’t tell him this, and we try to encourage him as much as possible, and try to get him to show us his college work and tell us what he’s doing but he doesn’t tell/show us, and just tells us he is passing his test!
His room is disgusting and I mean disgusting. Whenever he opens his bedroom door, the smell that comes from it is terrible and even my younger children complain about it. He leaves clean clothes which I’ve washed and ironed on the floor in a pile, mixed with dirty clothes. He takes food upstairs and it gets left uneaten for days, so the plates are encrusted with food, he never uses a bin so the rubbish is scattered all over the floor.
He shares a bathroom with his younger brother but he never takes his turn to clean it, smelly towels left all over the floor, his empty shampoo/soap bottles cluttering up the shower.
He has eczema and has to get special cleaning products from the doctor, but he hasn’t been back to see the doctor in months, and the products have run out.
He constantly argues with us.
Now this is something he has always done, and it doesn’t matter what we do/say to him it doesn’t make any difference. I have tried helping him clean the room, to show how lovely it can be when it’s nice, it doesn’t matter, I have tried not cleaning his clothes, he just wears dirty clothes and will take his dads socks/underwear and wear that. We have tried speaking to him in a calm manner (I have been in tears in front of him), it doesn’t work, I have screamed and shouted at him, it doesn’t matter, nothing works.
He has a girlfriend (which we are really pleased about) we thought this would make him buck up his ideas, it it didn’t. Again we spoke to him about this, and all he said was “girlfriends room is like that too”.
He has started to stay at his girlfriends parents house and whenever he is away, the calm that descends on the house is fabulous, and TBH I actually dread when he returns home.
He works with an agency so it works round about his college hours, but he wants to do minimum hours as possible so he can spend it with his girlfriend. I’ve tried to tell him he can’t do this as his student loan won’t cover everything and that he needs to work to help boost his funds. He never has any money as he spends it all, so therefore he needs to ask me, and if I say I’m not giving you any money he just says, well I just won’t bother going to college or work. He also threatens not to babysit his younger siblings if I don’t give him money (we don’t have any other family that we could ask to babysit).
AIBU I’m feeling like this, can anyone give me any ideas as to how I can make his see what he is like. My other 2 children are not like this, they are the complete opposite.
Give him his marching orders. Tell him to leave - maybe that will buck his ideas up. Does he pay rent?
dinosaursandtea. I have threatened him before that I would put him out the house, but he doesn’t bother. Whenever I’ve done that, my younger 2 get upset. He does pay rent, but we put this by for him as we don’t actually need the money (he doesn’t know we put the money by for him).
Call his bluff and stop giving him money at all. If he's studying and working, he should be able to support himself and pay you rent. Put him on notice that if he doesn't start doing that, he will need to move out and set a date when this will happen. He's 20 years old, he needs to start taking responsibility for himself, and he needs tough love from you to make that happen.
He sounds like a nightmare.
Don't give him any money, pay a proper sitter (you're paying him anyway) if you want to go out and don't have any sort of arrangement with him.
Who cares if he's wearing dirty clothes? It's disgusting but he's an adult and it's no reflection on you. Stop doing anything for him. He might be at college but he's got a job and should be paying rent. If you don't tackle his behaviour your other children, though lovely now, will expect the same when they're 20 and want to use your home as a doss house. Or the resentment of what he's allowed to get away with while drive them away.
He's living in your home, he has to uphold basic standards of decency which includes keeping his room clean and tidy.
It's ultimatum time. Give him 2 months to get his shit together, to sort out his room, to start being a proper member of your family. He has an income, if he wants to live in a pig sty he can go rent a room somewhere.
You have a right to a pleasant peaceful home, your younger DC deserve to live somewhere clean, tidy and not plagued by a selfish adult who causes arguments through his appalling disdain for your home and upsets you and DH.
Stop doing his washing and ironing. Let him make his own meals. Ignore his room.
Don't let him blackmail you over money. Say fair enough don't go to college. Your choice.
OTOH he shouldn't be expected to babysit. Your other DC are younger- not helpful to compare.
Okay, so he pays rent. That's a start.
Draw up a contract that specifies exactly what you expect from him as a tenant and member of the household. It could include a certain amount of babysitting, as well as basic standards of cleanliness in his room and so on. Explain that this time you are serious and if he is not going to meet these standards, you will box up his things and put him out. He's 20. He's an adult. He needs to grow up.
x post on rent. The younger DC will still be able to see him when he's moved out. If you don't give him his marching orders now, when will you? I know it seems impossible to see another way, but you'll all be happier when he's living somewhere else and you can enjoy him for visits rather than enduring him as an inconsiderate resident who doesn't pull his weight and lives in filth.
That sounds incredibly difficult. He seems to have backed you into a corner by not caring about any outcomes.
First, stop giving him any money at all. If he refuses to babysit, explain that babysitting twice a week is how he pays his way, living at home. And if he actually leaves the house when you're due to go out, just cancel your plans but bolt the door. If he refuses to go to college, tell him that's his choice. That's his successful future he's impacting on, not yours. It sounds as though he seems to think he;s doing you a favour by going to college or borrowing money from you. He needs to get into a state where he is uncomfortable.
Have you also treated him like an adult, sat him down on a good day, when you're all getting along, and gone through bank statements so he sees how much mortgage/rent, utilities and food cost. That he needs to plan his life a bit if he doesn't want to end up the sad kid who lives with his mum in his old childhood bedroom and has no money and no life.
Finally, is it possible that he has mild depression. Living in squalor, having no desire to go to college and achieve your dreams, those can be indicators. If he has, you might need to support him for a while until he can get his energy and focus back. But he still needs a plan of action to get back on track.
Thanks everyone for your replies.
He isn’t asked to babysit often, probably twice a month. I compare him to my other children because they act older than him, they put away their clothes, they clean their rooms, the bring down their washing, they even rinse their dinner plates.
AND, I’ve done the contract thing before, didn’t work.
I think I’m really going to have to just give him his marching orders.
With tough love stuff like this, (not been in this position but in other ones) I always make it very clear to DC why I'm apparently being mean. That it's because I love them and want them to make the connection between effort and outcome, and that I dislike doing it this way but the more reasonable ways aren;t working.
If you do that, you defuse him turning you into a cold-hearted monster who has thrown him out. he gets to see that he's throwing himself out because he can't be arsed to clean his room.
He sounds like an (extremely bad) 14 year old. Behaving like this at 20! He's taking the piss massively.
You need to give him an ultimatum. Firstly he sorts his room. Pick a day when he's not at college or working and when you are home. His room WILL be done on that day. Get binbags, rubber gloves and get in there and help him if needs be. Once it's done you give him a routine to keep it clean and tidy. Write it down and stick it inside and outside his door. Keep on and on and on. Either he'll do it or he'll get fed up with being nagged and move his lazy arse out.
Constant arguing is pathetic. He should be able to have a proper discussion at 20. This will have a bad effect on your younger dcs. This absolutely has to stop if he wants to remain living in your house. Again write down what you expect of him and put it up around the house.
In regards to college and work you can't control that. He has to sort it out himself. But while he's under your roof his room is clean and he's civil to you all.
millifiori. That had crossed my mind about the depression, but he said he isn’t and he is really happy. He certainly seems to be happy, he has friends, is always laughing.
We have sat down and spoken to him about the bills, he just isn’t interested.
He knocks back shifts for work, to go and see his girlfriend!! He doesn’t seem to realise if he doesn’t have money he won’t get to see her, and she doesn’t live near us, he needs 2 trains to go and see her, and is about £18 for fares. I’ve again told him this and all he says is I’ve got my student loan!!!!!
He has been defaulting on his bank account, he uses his debit card to buy things, then takes the money out his bank account and spends it on rubbish, so then he gets bank charges. He keeps doing this doesn’t seem to bother him abo the bank charges?
Oh my god. You need to take drastic action, ASAP. I'd kick him out, I'm afraid. He's not doing any coursework anyway, so the normal educational considerations are out the window.
To be honest you just need to become emotionally removed.
If he threatens not to go to work or college say 'well that's your life, your problem'
Jesus Christ throw him out already!? Why would you tolerate this?
if he changed the way he lives do you think you would be happy to have him live with you.
I cant really offer any advice.apart from to say it sounds really tricky and I'm sorry.which I'm aware is useless to you but I didn't want to read and run.
would you be able to kick him out.i only ask because I see people have suggested it but as a mother I don't know how I ever would be able to so I feel for you if that is a deicison you think you need to make.
could there ever be a point you all sit down together and talk it through.with the younger dc too so he sees what is actually going on here for all of you.
I worry because of his spending if he does come into debt or have people chaising him for money he soon wont have if he is overspending then it is you he will need and want to run to.and how as (loving parents you sound)will you all cope with this.
I was going to mention depression too. Being lazy in terms of housework is disrespectful to you but not especially unusual. However, the lack of care in his own personal hygiene (wearing dirty clothes, taking his dad's stuff) just doesn't seem right for a twenty year old guy with a girlfriend. Does he have any special needs?
I honestly think the best thing you could do for him is to kick him out. Find him a house share, pay his deposit (with the rent you saved) and pack his bags. He isn't going to learn any other way. You would be doing him a favour IMO.
You've tried everything. He's not bothered because he has no fear that his behaviour will have serious consequences. I imagine repeatedly going into unauthorised overdraft is doing his credit rating no good, but I bet that's not even on his radar. Ditto what he'll do for work if he doesn't finish college. What he'll do for money if he doesn't bother working. He takes his safey net absolutely for granted and it's much more comfortable to do what he's doing than to do the scary work of growing up.
I think he needs to move out.
What is his dad doing in all this? Can his dad talk to him? How does he respond when he steals his underwear? That shows a serious lack of respect.
Stop giving him money or doing anything for him. I would also give him warning saying anything on the floor after X date is going into bin. And then follow through. He will kick off but his actions need consequences. And do not rebuy his clothes, get a lock for your bedroom to stop him stealing his dads.
I'm angry on your behalf, but I agree with a previous poster, I'm not sure I could kick my adult son out unless it was an absolute last resort.
There isn't much you can do about money/college stuff. He will need to learn the hard way. And he will if you stop enabling him.
I second find him a houseshare and move him in. BUT he will probably default on the rent (this is what my eldest son did) and find himself homeless. He does sound a lot like my eldest, no SN, just very very very slow to mature (he's an adult now, sons of his own and seems to manage perfectly well in society, with the help of an understanding girlfriend!).
There his light at the end of the tunnel, but I'm afraid it's going to be tough love and a very steep learning curve for him. Otherwise he may well turn into one of these man-children we hear so much about on here! Get him out, get him independent. He may surprise you (but don't let him use home as his default if it all falls through).
My BIL is like this. I met him when he was 17 when me and dh first got together. He's quite a bit younger than my dh. He's never changed since then. Failed all his GCSEs at school because he couldn't be bothered to turn up to them. Never went to college or or work until he was 19. Then he worked part time. Then he got a full time job and quit after a month. Then he moved in with his girlfriend got another job and stuck with that for a while but she kicked him out because a) he wasn't paying towards any of the bills and b) she found out he was seeing another girl from work. Then he got together with someone else after few months they got a place together. He run up shit loads of debt. Took a 3 grand bank loan out to buy a car which he sold a few months later for 1000. Never paid a penny on the loan. Moved back to MILs. She's had bailiffs at her house twice for 2 different debts because he said he was living at her address. She has given him no end of money to bail him out of alsorts rent arrears and the likes.
He is now 25. Lives in a shared house renting a room works as little as possible and my MIL still pays for shit for him. It's ridiculous.
He's never grown up and now my MIL says that she's not doing it anymore and he will have to sort himself out (whether she does what she says is a different matter). But because he's always had his arse wiped he's never learnt any independence or money management what so ever because he knows bank of mum will save him.
I think she wishes now that she'd have said no or no you're not coming back to live with me.
Sometimes tough love is the only way