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How do I make my 18 year old become an 'adult'?

(36 Posts)
Pugnelope Wed 29-Aug-18 07:43:21

My 18 year old (Let's call him Jack) has just finished school with 4 A's at A Level. He had always wanted to go into medicine but is now refusing to go to uni as he will miss us too much and doesn't feel ready to be an adult or live alone as I have made him too sheltered and protected to face real life! Jack is also refusing to get a job as he only wants to do something he loves and he doesn't know what that is yet. He met a boyfriend who works 3/4 nights a week in a pub kitchen so he can't work days or he will never see the b/f. They've been together 7 weeks and are together 24/7 either in our house or at his parents. We also have 2 other children (15) who are just about to start their GCSE's. We have begged, threatened, bribed and shouted at Jack to go to uni but to no avail. We are now at the point where we are telling him to get a job, to no avail. We live in a very rural area, the nearest bus stop is about a 30 minute walk away, so driving is desirable. We paid for him to have lessons and paid for his test 3 times - he passed in April. We then paid for a car, MOT, Tax, Insurance & Petrol. He drove too fast and wrote the car off in July. We are currently getting him another car but it needs work and he is really annoyed it's taking so long and moans about it daily! Him and his boyfriend have been here for the last 6 nights. We drive the boyfriend to work, then bring him home, feed them, do the laundry/dishes etc they lie in bed until about 3pm, eat and go out to the pub. Last night we had enough and had a huge argument with Jack telling him how he needs to get a job or do something. I priced up car insurance (approx £1500) Job Seekers Allowance (about £55 pw) and told him I want him to pay rent of approx £40 pw - to include all food, bills etc. I also expect him to buy/tax/insure his own car, do his own laundry & ironing and clean up after himself. We also said that we don't want the boyfriend sleeping over every night on school days so his siblings can have a good nights sleep during GCSE years. Apparently this is all my fault for pushing him too hard, never being proud enough (which is very hurtful) and we're those 'parents' the ones that charge their kids for everything? He's threatening to move out. My dilemma is do I give in to keep him, even though I'm really unhappy with our life at the moment or do I call his bluff and let him go? Also is it reasonable to expect him to work? He's not going to uni or anything just drinking every night - so I feel that he now has to get his life together - is that wrong? help..........

kalinkafoxtrot45 Wed 29-Aug-18 07:48:42

Let him move out and stop doing everything for him and BF. If he won’t go to uni he needs to do something and he’ll find his way. What’s the worst that will happen? Plenty of people aren’t ready for further study right after finishing school but then do very well once they have gained a bit of life experience.

CantankerousCamel Wed 29-Aug-18 07:51:37

Let him go, he’s 18, he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life yet (which is actually fine) I know lots of people who have gone right through expensive uni to find they have studied something they just don’t want to do.

So then they’re stuck either with a profession they don’t want or have to fund a masters to switch.

I know it might not seem like it, but I believe a lot of hanging around at 18 is EXACTLY the right thing to do.

However he needs to realise life costs money, so stop the family dramas and tell him you think it will be best for your relationship as a family if he moves out.

Let him live life a bit, he’ll find his way, rather than yours.

Scifi101 Wed 29-Aug-18 07:54:52

I agree with kalinka.

Stop doing anything for him and the boyfriend. Stop buying him cars etc.

He can go to uni at any point in the future. He doesn't want to go now so he finds a job and starts supporting himself.

MrsPworkingmummy Wed 29-Aug-18 07:56:55

You are absolutely not being unreasonable in your requests at all. You have obviously done far too much for him. Given he has younger siblings, I would ban his boyfriend from sleeping over (lying in bed until 3 every day is not setting a good example at all) and stop doing all laundry etc. I don't think you should buy him a car either. He's clearly extremely clever, but spoiled, entitled and immature. He needs to work and stand on his own two feet for once. If he disrespects you or your husband, tell him to leave. He is an adult now and needs to learn to behave like one.

Sarahandduck18 Wed 29-Aug-18 07:59:03

Let him move out.

BigSandyBalls2015 Wed 29-Aug-18 08:00:49

Call his bluff. If he leaves he leaves but I very much doubt he will from what you've said.

No judging from me as I have a rather lazy entitled 17 year old. Shame with a level results like that though!

frenchfancy Wed 29-Aug-18 08:01:35

Stop enabling. He wrote off the car so don't get him another. Stop doing anything for him except feeding him. And definitely stop driving the boyfriend around - that is madness.

Equally stop fighting him. Stop getting at him for not having a job etc. If he has no car and no money he will catch on in his own time.

If he threatens to move out then let him. He would be going to uni anyway if you had your way.

ThanksHunkyJesus Wed 29-Aug-18 08:05:26

Sounds like you've babied him and now you're reaping what you've sown. He hasn't had to work for anything. You paid for his lessons, you bought him a car which he wrecked and now you're buying him another one. And you're surprised he's got no sense of personal responsibility?

Suewiang Wed 29-Aug-18 08:05:44

Offer to help him pack

lulumcgish Wed 29-Aug-18 08:08:54

Yup tell him he has had his summer; school starts next week, time for grown up life.
Certainly don't buy him a car. Don't ferry the bf around. If he wants to move out then fine, it will do him good.

PotteringAlong Wed 29-Aug-18 08:11:34

You’re buying him another car?!
You take his boyfriend to work?!


user1483972886 Wed 29-Aug-18 08:13:44

My mother started charging me rent at 17! And I certainly wasn't allowed hotdates to stay over. You are being too soft and need to man up. He must now get a job and pay his own way. It's a shame if he doesn't go to uni but it sounds like he needs a boot up the arse. Also you don't want him setting a bad example for the 15 year olds. You don't want 3 Timothy Lumsdens!

LittleCandle Wed 29-Aug-18 08:14:25

Tell him not to let the door hit him on the arse on the way out! He is being a totally spoiled little shit. He is blackmailing you and that is abusive behaviour. If he wants to run a car, he has to pay for it. To do that, he needs a job.

JillCrewesmum Wed 29-Aug-18 08:14:49

I read the beginning of the OP feeling as though I related - I have a 18 year old who doesn't feel ready for uni - but then the rest of it left me open mouthed. He sounds very spoilt. I'd absolutely not want bf every night either if I had school age children. I couldn't wait to get rid of him tbh!!

ThanosSavedMe Wed 29-Aug-18 08:19:02

You take his bf to work????

No wonder he behaves this way. You do everything for him. Why the hell wouldhe want to be an adult when he gets to do what he wants at your expense.

schopenhauer Wed 29-Aug-18 08:19:05

If he’s not going to Uni then it’s best if he moves out and sees what life is like with a crappy job and not much money. He will then probably decide that he should use his 4 As at a level to secure a good job and earn decent money. He sounds rather naive - doesn’t want to go to Uni but only wants to do a job he loves. It’s great that he’s close enough to you that he doesn’t want to leave but in many ways hanging around your house and expecting to be kept is going to do more damage to your relationship than good.

WomanWithAltitude Wed 29-Aug-18 08:20:42

We paid for him to have lessons and paid for his test 3 times. We paid for a car, MOT, Tax, Insurance & Petrol. He wrote the car off in July. We are currently getting him another car but it needs work... We drive the boyfriend to work, then bring him home, feed them, do the laundry/dishes etc

Just stop. All of it.

No paying, no giving lifts, no doing his chores. He wants food? He cooks it. He wants to go somewhere? He gets a cab. He wants a car? He saves up.

RJnomore1 Wed 29-Aug-18 08:27:51

Where to start!

Why oh why are you running the BF around? That might be a good place.

Let him go. I have an 18yo dd who moved out last year, to go to uni, and it's made a huge difference to her. She's grown up massively.

allthatmalarkey Wed 29-Aug-18 08:28:36

He's not ready for uni and he's definitely not ready for medicine. He would definitely end up having to redo a year which would be very costly, but more likely he will be home by Christmas and all the fees etc will still have to be paid.

I was like this at 18. This is what gap years are for. Seeing all my mates go off in October and then visiting them living in their own places, getting on with the rest of their lives did me the world of good. By the December I was ready to reapply to uni and spent the rest of the year doing a shed load of necessary growing up.

PostNotInHaste Wed 29-Aug-18 08:29:14

As the others said, just stop. But do not get into rows over it. State your position calmly, then do not engage further. He’s going to find it difficult going from a position of having had everything done to not and he is likely to lash out. The more you engage the more he will keep going on that score and at that age they have a tendency to keep going however much they know they’ve wrong as i5 becomes about getting one ove4 on you, not about what the original issue is.

allthatmalarkey Wed 29-Aug-18 08:30:35

I meant by 'back by December' that he's just give his course up.
I was too lazy to threaten to leave and the boyfriend had a car and a squat I could go to. I would call his bluff - it takes a bit of work actually finding somewhere to leave to.

grasspigeons Wed 29-Aug-18 08:35:42

Help him move out in a loving supportive manner. Have fun looking the options together and make him a lovely moving out kit and regularly invite him and his boyfriend to dinner as you are excited to hear what they've been up to.

In terms of jobs, can he find something like a porter at a hospital that matches shifts of boyfriend to some extent.

imsorryiasked Wed 29-Aug-18 08:41:18

As a word of warning - a friend of mine treated her kids exactly ad you are doing. They are now 30ish and she's still providing a taxi service, feeding them 6 days out of 7, running them to appointments and providing child care which is completely taken for granted. All for no money.
Stop it now. No more cars/lifts/facilitating.

AuntieStella Wed 29-Aug-18 08:46:15

My parents 'kept' me until the September after I finished education.

Next week is September, and I think you should stick to your guns about the changes. He pays rent, takes on a fair share of household chores and the BF does not sleep over on school nights.

If he says he's moving out, ask him when he will be leaving and if he needs help shifting his stuff. And then really stress that although he is always welcome to return to live with you, you are proud of him for making his decision on how he lives the next part of his life.

I take it btw that you've already had conversations about whether he's deferred University for a year or cancelled it completely.

colditz Wed 29-Aug-18 08:47:07

I was going to come and remind you that he's 18, not 30, but actually he seems a bit spoilt.

He wrote his car off so you replaced it? I do understand why, but he really needs to move into a shitty town centre flat and be made to stand on his own two feet. You'll feel much happier about treating him occasionally when he's really hungry and very grateful.

He has a driving licence, which is more than most people his age have.

And don't bend to this "One of those parents who makes their children pay for everything". He's had his whole childhood and hasn't paid for a thing. He's not a child now. YOu're making your cuckoo fly!

spikeyiscool Wed 29-Aug-18 08:48:51

Let him move out.

PoshPenny Wed 29-Aug-18 09:16:39

Let him go but how is he going to fund living independently with no job? Stop everything especially the boyfriend practically living there. He needs to grow up and realise it's not all handed to him on a plate. Fine if he doesn't want to go to university but he can't sit around on his arse all day with you waiting on him hand and foot and paying for everything he wants. First things first he needs to get on and find a job. It will be good for your younger ones to see this.

Fadingmemory Tue 06-Nov-18 18:01:43

And if he writes off a second car? Time to be tough. He is not ready to be an adult because he is not being treated like one ie with obligations, expectations etc. He sounds entitled & selfish. He needs to get a job & he & his bf need to sort out their own transport etc.

AroundTheWorldIn80Days Tue 06-Nov-18 18:35:53

Sounds like he needs a reality check. I wasn’t ready for uni at 18 so I went at 21 and thrived. Before that I worked and travelled. Some of the best years of my life. I found my own path and he will too but not if he’s allowed to lie in bed all day and have everything paid for. Where’s his motivation to get a job? Where he will meet different people from different walks of life and get more of an idea of what he wants to do and who he is.

I would stick to the money you’ve decided you want and give him a month to start paying it. He’s obviously intelligent so he will probably get bored lazing around before long but maybe he needs a kickstart in the right direction and to know that his current lifestyle is not a long term option.

SnowdropFox Wed 07-Nov-18 13:09:55

Do you have an update op? We're all wondering how things are going.
Maybe when he's got his head on a better place he can look at college courses? I'm a big believer that not everyone needs to go to uni to do well in life smile

WillChellam Thu 06-Dec-18 22:24:34

Wait, so you want him to grow up and move on.

So you force him to take some responsibility around the house..

And he's decided to move out and try to live independently?

Wasn't that the objective?

Gunpowdertea Thu 28-Feb-19 10:30:41

Ah ok I'm sorry, maybe he has felt pressured to do well, 4 As is hard, maybe he feels can't face going straight to Uni, maybe you can say well done, proud of him, sorry if you feel efforts not appreciated, don't always get it right as parents, just want him to have good start in life.

He could still go to Uni another year but the short version is he needs to do something now. Sooo if he is refusing to get a job then he has to go and volunteer. There are dozens of things he could volunteer in locally or elsewhere. I don't think its unreasonable to expect him to have a part time job if he is living at home.

Talk to him about what he really wants to do and try and find a way of nudging him towards it.

And if he really wants to move out he needs a full time job. He can't just go and crash with friends. Talk to him about the costs, deposit, renting, bills etc. Yes he will probably tell you it will be fine, but tell him you know how difficult it is.

He probably does want your support but doesn't know how to ask. The other thing is the Princes Trust programmes.

paap1975 Thu 28-Feb-19 10:35:58

Nip it in the bud right now, or he'll still be doing it when he's 33 (like my DH's son is doing with his mother)

Motherofcreek Thu 28-Feb-19 10:38:46

Tell him to move out!

Seriously I had one of these. She is now a very conciderate, generous, mature lovely 23 year old. I did worry about her. If I ever hear ‘but I want a job I look forward to getting out of bed for every day’ - I’ll scream.

This is the new generation of spoilt kids though.

They do have to pushed out of the nest sometimes.

Dd1 is in a completely different career than what she studied for but she is getting on with life and enjoying it.

I did not want her turning out like my 33 year old man child brother who still lives at home hmm

Motherofcreek Thu 28-Feb-19 10:41:47

Nip it in the bud right now, or he'll still be doing it when he's 33 (like my DH's son is doing with his mother)

Oh that’s weird paap do we know the same person ?

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