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Dont know what to do about my son

(9 Posts)
irishworriedmother Mon 30-May-16 11:53:03

Hi, Long time poster but have name changed for this.

My son (19) has me at my wits end, I don't know what to do and I'm looking for advice.

He puts very little effort into anything and has always been like this and no matter what I do it doesn't change.
He doesn't put a lot of work into college, so might not make next years course, he has a part time job but only got that because of a family member, and has been told that job is coming to an end but isn't looking for another, doesn't eat properly (I make him food, he doesn't eat it wants to eat junk all the time). He never clean his room, it's seriously disgusting. He has a skin condition which he has to attend hospital for but doesn't apply the creams, he looks manky all the time and I'm at the end of my tether.

I'm lying awake at night worrying about him as in what he is going to do for a job when the one he has isn't available and what he will do if he doesn't get into next years college course. He doesn't have many friends his own age (his current friends are 3 years younger than him), he's never had a girlfriend.

I don't want anyone to think I've just started to deal with this now, I've been trying to steer him the right way/give him advice for years, but it doesn't make one blind but of difference.

All he wants to do is hang out with his friends and play his computer (I have to admit he is very very immature). Whenever I've asked him what he wants to do he just says he wants to be a you tuber/gamer.

Last year I took a step back and thought if I just left him to it he would maybe see what his life is like and I hoped he would change, but it didn't matter. He would sit up all night playing his computer and spend all day in his pyjamas if he could.

I've often wondered if he is depressed/unhappy and I've spoken to him about it but he said he is perfectly happy and just wants people to leave him so he can live his life the way he wants to. He doesn't seem to realise that he really need to grow up now and that he needs to start and depend on himself and start acting like an adult.

Has anyone any advice? Is there anyone out there who's teenagers was like this and one day started to grow up?

minifingerz Tue 31-May-16 09:26:15

Is he your youngest/only?

Any chance he could be encouraged to face reality by you telling him you are going to downsize and giving him notice that he needs to find independent accommodation and means of support?

Sounds awful and harsh but he seems to have overlooked the fact that at this point in his life he's supposed to be self-supporting financially if he's not in full-time education.

What's the phrase - 'tough love'?


irishworriedmother Tue 31-May-16 10:33:13

Thank you for replying minifingerz

I have 2 other children, he is my oldest. I have tried tough love but it doesn't work although maybe I havent tried enough tough love.

He has to pay his own way to college (travel expenses), clothes, phone bill, going out, driving lessons he has been told this, but any money he gets he just fritters away (computer games, sweets, fizzy juice, McDonald's etc) so he ends up with nothing left so then we have to pay for his driving lessons, clothes and travelling expenses to college/work. The only thing we won't pay for is his phone and going out money, not that he goes out very often anyway. He knows we will end up paying for those things, especially the travelling expenses to college.

It's not just the money situation, it's everything, his hygiene, not studying for college, not looking for a job cleaning his room. I mean he will go out with dirty clothes on, not shaved properly teeth not brushed.......I could go on and on.
I feel as if I nag him constantly and to be honest I don't actually like him just now although I do love him and he must feel the same about me and his dad.

I try to console myself that he isn't hanging about the streets, taking drugs, drinking and everyone comments on what a lovely helpful boy he is, he really does have a wonderful personality and is really kind, but that isn't going to get him far in life.

His friends from school don't contact him (he wasn't very popular at school) and I think it's because of how he looks and acts (immature).

His dad and I think he is just at college because it saves him having to get a full time job. He really struggled at school, hated school. I don't want to say what he is studying as it might "out" me but even if he does go through college to qualify for what he is studying, he probably won't get a job in that field because of how he looks!

I just don't know what to do.

irishworriedmother Tue 31-May-16 10:39:03

My other 2 kids aren't like that at all, they both do really good at school their hygiene is great and they clean their rooms, they are 11 and 7 and act more maturely than my oldest. My DD said to my oldest "you are taking advantage of mum and dad". She is 7.

LIZS Tue 31-May-16 10:45:05

Why are you paying for luxuries like driving lessons if he could had he not already spent the money. Cut your services and financial support down to the essentials of life. He needs to learn to prioritise his spending so that he can only enjoy what is leftover not get handouts. College patience and funding won't last forever, maybe he needs to cut his losses and rethink his future.

PurpleWithRed Tue 31-May-16 11:02:58

DS is/was very like this. I feel your pain. My only advice is to accept he will never be that cookie cutter kid.

Focus on the big stuff and accept his personality and the small stuff. I suggest your aim should be for him to live independently and happily, not to be like other people. So I would ignore the disgusting room, frittering of cash, computer games, crap eating habits and skin condition but focus on college/work: pay for his travel to college/work (daily sub if necessary), help him find another part time job, nag him about college work.

FWIW DS was working full time in a crap job living at his dad's (not great on managing the above) when a friend moved to a new town. DS decided to move with him, got himself a decent job (with some long distance guidance and help from me) and now happily lives in a shared flat at the other end of the country. He still eats crap, lives for his computer games, has a stinky room and needs a haircut. But he holds down a good job, pays his rent, looks after his car because he needs it.


whattodoforthebest2 Tue 31-May-16 11:07:13

From what you're saying, you're still providing quite a lot of funding for his activities. Why pay for driving lessons when he makes no effort in other areas of his life? I know you're trying to get tougher, but I think you really need to stop enabling him to do nothing. Get even tougher - no extra cash when his runs out. Let him do without, over and over again.

I have been there so I do understand, but I think a lot of boys go through stages like this at this age, several of DS's friends were the same, at least 4 boys I've known through school and beyond took 1-2 years to realise that they needed to get off their backsides and do something otherwise they'd be left behind. Now, with only one exception, they're all at uni doing courses they're really enthusiastic about. (The one exception is travelling around Australia now.) It does hit home when their friends start working and/or studying and are planning their futures - it's a big wake-up call, but I don't think there's much you can do to make it happen any sooner. To some extent, they need to waste some time and realise it's happening for them to give themselves a kick up the bum.

Also, I wouldn't worry about his appearance (easier said than done I know), one day he'll decide he needs to smarten up and you'll see a change.

irishworriedmother Tue 31-May-16 13:27:48

Thanks everyone for all your comments. We only pay for the odd lesson. When he turned 17 we said we would pay for his driving lessons but when he started working which is about a year ago now we told him he would need to start to pay for his own. DH and I think it's a waste of money if he doesn't keep going with his lessons, but I know what your all saying we need to stop so that is something to speak to DH about.

In all honesty DH and I are very embarrassed by him, I feel terrible as a mother saying that but it's true. Many family members blame us for how he has turned out and that makes me feel like a failure but as I said my other 2 aren't like that so I really don't know where we have went wrong.
When he was at school we spent £££££££ on tutors for him and it made no difference, in fact tutor told us we were wasting our money.

I guess it is just time to take a massive step back and let him be what he will be.

Thanks guys for all your advice x

yumscrumfatbum Tue 31-May-16 19:16:17

Your post resonates a lot with me and my eldest son. He too lacks motivation and drive to take care of himself and his future. He is half heartedly doing a college course and attendance and effort is varied. The reality is he doesn't really know what he wants in life and until he does I'm not sure much will change. I've come to the conclusion that this can only come from him. I used to get into rows with him about his disgusting bedroom but I have taken a step back. I remind him to bring out washing etc but I no longer consider this to be my responsibility. It's not ideal, it means he ends up doing masses at once usually on a rainy day when it's difficult to dry. He eats junk constantly too but I figure that's a phase that he'll outgrow. My advise is step back , be there for him, maintain your relationship but adjust your expectations x

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