Adult son at home - feel like a mug(29 Posts)
My 22 year old son is intelligent, kind and attractive. He dropped out of uni and now does a bit of acting - but the jobs are generally at the other end of the country so getting to them costs him as much as he earns. He lives with me and contributes nothing to the household income. He has done nothing to find other employment. He has no friends locally and a very limited social life overall. He seems to regard himself as “above” working in coffee shops etc. I have no idea what he does all day - I think it’s mostly sitting in his room on the internet. I’ve tried pretty much every technique (supporting/nagging/ignoring) to try and get him to buck up. The only thing I haven’t tried is some kind of “tough love” approach ie ultimatum of getting a job or he leaves. The truth is I would find it very hard to kick him out. He’s a good lad but has utterly lost his way. I’m worried we’re going to end up in some awful Ronnie Corbett “Mum” set up ...he has told me he has some depressed feelings and anxiety and it’s not that I don’t believe him - but with his layabout lifestyle I’m not surprised he’s down. And also don’t see why him feeling a bit miserable legitimises him sponging off me, his 50 year old single mum. Anyway - as you can tell I swing between anger/despair/disinterest in the emptiness and lack of direction of his life and would appreciate some advice...
It’s time for tough love, I’m afraid. Everything else has failed and he’s getting further and further from where he needs to be.
You don’t have to go straight to kicking him out. You can put other things on the table, with smaller consequences, and build from there.
Does he game? WiFi goes off during the day.
What does he do for money?
I think you should sit him down and say he's got a month and then he has to start contributing to the household costs. And give him a realistic figure ie work out all the bills and give him a share of that so if all bills including food are 600 pcm he has to pay £300. That may make him realise how much he costs you. My DS had no idea how much our bills increased when he moved back in until I told him!
His tiny income pays for a few things - his monthly phone bill I think; the rest is me - or what he can sponge off his dad or older brother. Food and bills I cover obvs but also perks like Tinder Plus, Spotify (although I just put a stop to those). I can’t believe I’ve allowed this to go on this as I can see how it looks from the outside; but he does a few bits round the house - some cooking or shopping - and I cut him a massive load of slack in return. I’ve done the one month ultimatum thing - but you have to follow through with a consequence right? Which I never have...
I like the WiFi off during the day idea - the internet must really take the edge off his boredom during the day
Ha! My adc is 41, and has boomeranged in and out all his adult life. He's pretty useless too. He can work although I rarely see any cash. Home maintenance, roofs, plumbing etc but with no ambition to get anywhere with it. And I'm a pensioner (although not poverty stricken, thank God!) I don't know what the answer is! If you find out, let me know!
You’re paying for Tinder Plus for a 22 year old man who barely works and lives with his mum? Might be a good investment- find some other poor woman to put up with him and wash his pants!
Does he do his fair (or at least reasonable) share of household chores?
If he is at home all day and doesn't lift a finger then you need to explain that he is an adult and needs to step up and if he doesn't then you are going on strike and all the perks will stop as well.
Well he’s only 22 but yes, you need to nip this in the bud now. You could get him to sign up with a temping agency, volunteer or even just sign on; anything to get him out of this rut.
The fact that he does a few household chores is neither here nor there, even working adults should do a share of household chores and if he’s not paying his way financially he should do them all.
Tough love OP will be the best thing in the long term.
My eldest had to return home after his rent was raised and benefits didn't cover it. He's looking for jobs but has the idea that he is above minimum wage jobs.
He pays us a third of his benefits to help cover his costs.
He refuses to help with the housework and mainly hides in his room.
Take the WiFi hub with you when you go out or it'll be back on immediately.
You need to get him out there doing something. People aren't meant to do nothing- I'm not surprised he's feeling depressed, he needs to find a reason to get up in the morning.
Tough love. Allowing him to stall is not helpful or kind.
Don't wash or clean for him,don't put his favourite things on the shopping list,keep it so basic he is down to bread and cheese sarnies and no internet.
Do not give him any money.Make a list of all bills and council tax ,add it up each month and if he asks for money show him the bill.If he wants £20,and you're feeling generous take it off the bill but do not hand money over.
If he says he's depressed get him a Drs appointment.
If he says your mean them tell him you can't afford it.He can make it better by working,as you do and if he really thinks it's unfair give him a deadline to move out by.
What would really get my goat is him feeling “above” coffee shop type jobs. Fuck him and the horse he rode in on. There’s more value and dignity in low paid work than there is in sponging off his mum.
Time for another ultimatum and follow through this time. No subbing him money or bills. He contributed to household bills too.
Is he claiming JSA or income support of some kind? Insist he does if he’s eligible, it will help him contribute and he will have to evidence searching for work and turn up at the Job Centre once a week.
Does he have a good relationship with his older brother? If so, maybe he could have a word and find out what is really happening. Does he want to be an actor?
Yes you do have a consequence! You have a month then you start paying or move out and be prepared to help him pack! Genuinely. He is sponging off you because you are letting him. I know you love him but he has to learn
I'm quite soft with my kids but I wouldn't let them do this. I wouldn't ask for much of a contribution but I would expect them to be working if not in education. He's going to feel more depressed if it is allowed to continue. If he is depressed he should see his GP and then go from there, maybe picking up some part time hours to start with that he can work around his acting. If the acting doesn't take off then I'm afraid he needs to get a job that pays enough to give you an amount you are happy with.
You've said he's a good lad who has just lost his way so you can say it kindly without it turning into a huge row hopefully.
That’s what I thought - he might actually meet someone online who’d be happy to have him as a house boyfriend/husband. But apparently no self respecting 22 year old actually meets anyone off Tinder these days - he just does it for “self esteem”...
They have an ok relationship - but older brother is high achiever with glam GF , house, great job. Another reason for the younger DS to feel mopey...
No self respecting 22 year old woman would want a deadbeat cocklodger, so it’s a good job you’re not paying for tinder plus as it’s truly a waste of more of your money.
If he has the time for tinder, he has the time to apply for jobs. Give him an ultimatum.
I wonder if I’m missing something here with the mental health? It’s just not my world - I have no idea what depression looks like. Maybe he’s really struggling and I’m missing it? But then again, you can be depressed and work, right?
Most likely hes depressed because he doesn't work
... and yes he does stuff around the house, but part of me worries about encouraging the idea he’s a great help and a permanent fixture. I don’t want a live-in relationship with my grown up, unemployed son. It’s just weird. And he’s unhappy.
I’ve worked full time and been independent for 30 years, brought up three kids - just can’t get my head round how he can not work...
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