19 year old seems to have gone off the rails.(11 Posts)
Firstly, I know he is an adult and can do what he wants with his life, but he just seems to have gone off the rails the past couple of months. Firstly he went overdrawn on his bank account (he has a job paid at minimum wage and works about 30 hrs a week) and couldn't pay his keep or his phone. I have loaned him the money to sort this out and we are both keeping on top of his spending etc. But he has also gotten really bad at returning my texts/calls, I have caught him lying about seeing his girlfriend when he is actually seeing mates! He has started smoking and I know he has smoked weed (he actually admitted it when I asked him), and last night he didn't come home, when I eventually got hold of him he said he had fallen asleep at a mates and didn't make it into work. I don't know how to handle this at all, what to say to him, if anything!! I couldn't fault him as a younger teenager, he worked hard at school, college and did a wee part time job, never caused any real problems. Am I paniking over nothing???!!!!
do you think you are still trying to control his life and it is time to let go a bit?
why does he feel he has to lie to you about who he is seeing?
might be time for him to move out.
Erm...when you said he'd gone off the rails I was expecting a bit worse than this!
What you are describing might be abnormal and a worry of he was 14 but at 19 I think you just need to cut him some slack. Of course the thing with the money is a worry, and you don't want the weed habit to get out of hand (although if he's permanently broke and being very evasive then it probably already is a bit of a problem.) But as for the not returning your calls and you grilling him about who his is with all the time, you really need to back off a bit. He's an adult now. He doesn't need to account for every hour of his day to you.
burberryqueen, thanks for answering. You know, I think I might be trying to have too much control. I really don't want him to move out. Maybe I should back off? See how it plays out over the next couple of weeks.!!
TheRealFellatio - yes you are right! It's time I backed off - instead of asking what he is working every day, where he is going and who with maybe I should just wait on him telling me!! Sometimes you just need to hear someone else say it. My OH tells me all the time to 'leave him alone' if I am asking what he is doing!!!! He is my only child and good lord I am finding 19 harder than any other year!!!!!
Well I have an eighteen year old and a 20 year old so I know how you feel!
To be frank, it would probably be best for both of you if he did move out- he would feel less hampered and you might worry less if you didn't have to see when he didn't come home iyswim. But not an easy thing to do these days, especially not on minimum wage. I think you both have to sit down and agree some basic rules- and they do have to be based on the idea that he is now an adult.
This means you don't bail him out- adults manage their own finances
It also means you are not in charge of his safety- adults do that for themselves
On the other hand, it does mean he has to agree to your house rules- adults who live in somebody's house follow general rules without needing to be nagged
To me, a sensible set of rules would seem to be that:
you notify the person in charge if you are not going to be in for a communal meal
you notify the person in charge if you are going to be out beyond locking up/going to bed time
you notify the person in charge if you are not going to be coming home at your normal time or are going to be away for a couple of days
Basically, he needs to stop thinking of himself as a rebellious teenagers and start thinking of himself as a grown-up. After all, if things had been different he would either be off to some university town or be travelling around Asia with a backpack; he is that kind of age.
Cory - thank you so much! Everything you have said is true! It is very hard to let go when they are still living at home and not at Uni etc. So heregoes, I am officially going to try and switch off, treat him like a lodger, concentrate on me and my OH (he isn't my sons dad) and get on with my life and let my son get on with his life!
I am the world's most neurotic (and I'm sure they would say the most controlling and stress) mother, but neither of my eldest two live with me now (uni etc) and I must say it is so much easier - what the eye doesn't see the heart can't grieve over.
What happens if you have given him the space? Let him fail at exams and make his own decisions and yet he has managed to find himself with the lowest scum in town going down a very slippy road. He comes from a supportive family.
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