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AIBU to consider not letting my 21 year old son move home(139 Posts)
Just that really. My son has been out of home since he was 16 because he was literally out of control for a number of years. We have an excellent relationship despite all of this though I know he still smokes funny stuff daily. He still has a lot of issues but fortunately, he stopped most of his criminal behaviour once he turned 18. In his defence, a lot of his problems (I think) are as a result of his stepfather being narcissistic and controlling of both him and I. Stepfather is out of the picture now but I've been an emotional wreck for the last few years and I'm terrified that letting him come back to live will just makes things so much worse.
I'm usually one to put others before myself but at the moment, I'm stuggling to fix my own emotional health.
He is wanting to move back home for 3-6 months while he saves to move to a larger city. I haven't answered him about this yet and wonder if I'm being too harsh in thinking he really can't move back in at this time?
I think it's unfair of you sorry. He's your son. You say you have a good relationship and a lot of his problems stemmed from a stepfather who is no longer there. I'd tell him no smoking 'funny stuff' or he's out, and it needs to be a 3/4/5/6 month limit. He will feel very hurt if you won't have him back for the short term.
Yabu. He's your son and you should help him.
I think you should let him move back in, you can give him a six month time limit and if there is any bad behavior he is out immediately. It doesn't sound like he had a great start, and it might be nice to give him a hand to reach his goal. Unless there are younger kids at risk, then protecting them is the priority.
Have you thought about setting some ground rules, and getting him to agree to them?
3-6 months isn't long at all. 16 is so young to move out help him where you can.
Thanks for your thoughts everyone. He was a perfect child until age 3 and from 3 until 18, he was out of control. Nothing we did worked and the two younger kids were missing out on a lot because of his behaviour. He got expelled from daycare when he was 3.5, expelled from before and after school care, primary school couldn't handle him, boarding school couldn't handle him and sports weren't an option because none of the coaches could handle him. He was out of control before his step dad came on the scene. Things just got worse over the course of 10-13 years. I helped him move out of home when he was 16 because he wouldn't abide by any house rules and the rules weren't even all that harsh. I used to get daily phone calls from the school, weekly calls/visits from the police and he was always under the care of various counsellors, MH professionals etc but nothing ever helped. Life was so incredibly hard living with him especially when everyone else in the house are rule followers.
My biggest concerns are pretty selfish ones I guess. I am suffering from PTSD after the last 2 years of my relationship with his step-dad. He developed a serious MH condition where I was the villain and as a result, I'm a mess these days. I am getting help for this but am concerned that I just won't get better if I let him move back in.
Although more mature now, he has always been argumentative (to the death - lol) and tends not to respect employers, teachers or anyone else in a position of power over him. He is prone to stealing, sneaky behaviour, self harming and just generally having no impulse control. When he still lived at home, he broke into neighbour's homes, smashed our windows to get out after curfew, smashed windows to get in when he was supposed to be at school. He even smashed up the bath tub.
I'd love to have him back home but I just feel it would be an emotional death sentence for me.
Sounds like you've already decided not to have him home so there's not really much point in asking.
Nobody suddenly goes uncontrollably wild at 3 years old - there must have been a build up to this or something that happened between 0-3.
Of course you should look after your own mental health, but you can't really expect your excellent relationship to last if you won't allow him home. Especially if you blame him for the mental health problems in the first place.
I still thank YABU but I think you've already decided and you just posted on here because you feel guilty.
No way would I have him back. I'd save up so he could get the flat but I would put my own mental health first here. He's not going to stop smoking weed - if he did his own mental health would improve and he'd have much more money to save.
You say you helped him move out at 16 (abandoning him) but it would like you did that when he was 3. You shouldn’t let him move back in as I doubt you can offer him anything worthwhile now
Although more mature now, he has always been argumentative (to the death - lol) and tends not to respect employers, teachers or anyone else in a position of power over him. He is prone to stealing, sneaky behaviour, self harming and just generally having no impulse control.
Are you saying he still behaves like this? Do you have younger kids still at home?
Has your son had counselling? Does he have a criminal record?
Honestly for his sake he's probably better off not coming home. You written him off already.
It sounds like your son has sever mental health issues too. You have to be honest with your son and tell him your worried about his behaviour if he returned home.
OP, YANBU. The answer is NO! Please think of yourself.
He is a 21 year old ADULT with known criminal behaviour. He has a history of being unable to stick to basic house rules. Why on earth would you let him back?! There is also no guarantee that he would voluntarily leave again.
He would probably revert to what he was when he left, damaging both of you and your relationship.
How much would he save in 6 months? If you can, help him towards this with a small gift.
No you will not be unreasonable by saying no. Put yourself first. It's not selfish
I think if you let him down again by not letting him come home for three months that there’s very little chance of your relationship getting back on track in the future. What happened when he was 3, and where did he go when he was 26? Sounds like he had a lot of trauma in his childhood.
Focus on a relationship that doesn’t involve living together
AgentProvocateur, nothing at all happened to him. He was always in my care so not likely anything happened to him without my knowledge. It started out as 'terrible 3s' and just got worse from there. Before anyone says I must have caused his issues, he is one of 4 kids (2nd eldest) and the others have never had issues.
Interesting that there's an assumption that I've already decided not to when in fact, I'm actually leaning towards letting him. I guess I was just looking for other people's thoughts on whether in my current emotional state, it would be unwise.
Are your other kids at home still? How do they feel? If he still can’t respect people then you have every right to protect yourself. What does he say about his expectations?
I'd let him back for a few months
As someone else asked, what do the other kids think? How old are they? Are they still at home and would they be okay with him there? I would let him back in, simply because he's my son, but there would definitely be some ground rules.
1. No smoking anything in the house.
2. He helps with all chores: cooking / cleaning / washing etc.
3. He has a job that pays enough for the amount he saves.
4. He explains how much he needs to save and shows you a plan to do so. ALL money he plans to save goes to YOU for you to save for him. This is to make sure that he has the amount necessary to move out again in the time frame you have agreed.
5. If he doesn't agree then he doesn't stay and if he breaks any of the above, he is out on his ear immediately.
It's not an easy decision to make, good luck with it.
Maybe you could use this time to better yourself, learn to be firmer and show him you're not a pushover anymore (if you weren't, sorry I misunderstood)
You could say okay you can stay, but here are the rules. If he doesn't like them, he can find somewhere else to stay, and make it clear you won't put up with rule breaking, maybe a 3 strike system. If he turns nasty you can call the police to remove him.
it won't be easy but at least you will have tried
Thanks everyone. LittleMissRedHat, good rules that he would definitely agree to but whether he would stick to them or not, is another matter. DS 15 says 'Yes!' but.....(insert a few obvious reasons). DD 13 says 'No way!' Eldest isn't at home anymore so probably not relevant to ask him but he would probably say similar to DS 15.
I think the thing that concerns me the most is the constant worry. Locking up everything valuable - including the car keys. I drive a nice car and he stole my car when he was 12 and did 20k+ damage. I can handle him just fine and he's not particularly violent but he does suck others into his drama when he loses the plot. It's very distressing to everyone around him.
Are there other children at home? How is their relationship with him?
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