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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..........

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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