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Kick out my son

(12 Posts)
Kano1999 Fri 05-Aug-16 18:35:17

Quite lost on what to do with my 17 year old son and very close to kicking him out.

He had problems with his mum and moved in with me, his father, at 13 but left to go back to his mums at 15 because he couldn't live with the boundaries of curfews and my insistence he prepared for his GCSE's. Needless to say he left school at 16 with no education and didn't take up his college place either.

Social got involved at his mums trying to get him onto an apprenticeship or part time work scheme. He had an interview at New Look, got offered the job and didn't show up as he went out partying the night before. We managed to get him another chance and he worked one day called in sick on his next shift, then tried again on the third shift and they fired him.

Things became too much with his mum again and their relationship is fraught - they haven't seen each other in a couple of months but text occasionally. Her husband does not want him around their much younger kids because there was a violent incident before my son left between my son and his mum, which involved the police.

I recently took him into my new place - a one bedroom flat - and took the sofa. I told him I wanted him to do some volunteer work during the summer to help his CV and give himself something more constructive than smoking weed and drinking with friends. Ironically he has good friends who go to college, want to go uni and generally have a plan. My son told me he wanted to go to college and recently we received a letter for an interview. I told him I would move, pay more more on all the costs to rent a bigger place so he gets his own room and space again. Because he seemed to be serious about getting his act together. He was offered a volunteer job and I thought he was going to it, as he would come home and tell me each night about it.

But I found out two days ago he has never gone to the volunteer place. Despite his stories and other comments to me about him maturing. It's a never ending cycle of lies and quitting things he doesn't want to do. College just feels like another reason for him to push away expectancy on him and I'm convinced he will not want to do the work expected of him and it just buys him another year.

I think he needs a shock to the system to wake him up to the real world. What I am concerned about is where he'd go, what prospects he would have. He has no education. His mum won't take him in, he has next to no close family that will take him so it will be down to friends taking him in but that can't be long turn.

I'm at a total loss of what to do.

DustyOwl Fri 05-Aug-16 18:47:05

Just out of interest, to add a little more detail, how does he pay for his lifestyle?

DustyOwl Fri 05-Aug-16 18:49:07

Sorry, just realised how short that sounded. I am helping a friend through a similar situation at the moment and would be interested to see what people advice.

It's a horribly common problem. You sound like a very caring dad, who has tried lots of ways v

Kano1999 Fri 05-Aug-16 19:20:57

No offence taken DO. I've given him next to nothing for months and perhaps even a year, bar birthday and xmas presents. I've told him I know what it will be spent on and I'm not funding it.

newname99 Sat 06-Aug-16 00:18:59

What was happening in his life when things started to go wrong for him? How does he cope academically?

My gut instinct is to not throw him out as I just feel it would be a negative cycle spiralling downwards but equally he has to start taking some responsibility.

If he is smoking weed then he must be buying it,.friends dont tend to be that generous for so long.
17 is still very young, he could be very immature and taking longer to grow up.Weed however will be having such a bad impact on his still changing and developing brain.

I think you need to keep trying opportunties for him.Does he say why he wouldn't do the volunteer work? Would he prefer outside/ practical work instead?

Wish I had answers for you instead of questions! I have a boy of a similar age and would find it heartbreaking if he was drifting and taking the wrong path so I feel for you.Lots of boys struggle through teenage years especially if there have low self esteem often caused by poor academit achievement so getting him into something that he likes is likely to help him build up self esteem.

Kano1999 Sat 06-Aug-16 11:32:59

Thanks so much for your reply nn99.

He is an immensely bright young man, and that shows by the group of friends he has. All of which are intelligent teenagers with ideas about their own future. His outgoing personality is definitely his greatest trait. I get that not everyone in the world is meant for an academic life, I left school at 16 myself to go into work but I did so with the qualifications needed for the working world.

I don't want to sit here and point fingers but his mother wasn't very strong in terms of discipline when he was younger and struggled more and more the older be become. This is why he came to live with me at 13. By the time he left his mothers again at 17 he was pretty much doing what he wanted, when he wanted to. I have always been in his life despite his mother and I separating when he was very young and he has seen me every week since then.

I have thought he must be buying the weed from somewhere himself but I can't think how. There is no regular source of money from myself, so unless he's into something criminal to get that money, I don't see how he can get the funds. At heart he is a good person and despite the problems throughout the years at school, people have always wanted to help because they saw the potential in him.

I told him when he moved in the weed thing has to stop. But as I saw him doing the volunteer work and applying for college I became less strict. I get that teenagers experiment and I can accept that as long as his life in general is constructive. But when I found out about his non attendance at the volunteer place, it has changed everything again. I am a fair parent to him and allow him to stay out late and at friends but he has chores and responsibilities at home. As long as I get that trust and respect back from him then I am happy. I feel that once again he has abused my trust.

The volunteer place was perfect for him. It was only a few hours a week, helping out in a kids 'after school' centre down the road. The course at college is for child development. He did the same for his work experience a few years ago. So it isn't a stuffy atmosphere that requires him to study or do admin. It is around younger children which I thought was something he wanted to be involved with. The reason he doesn't want to do it is because all his friends are on summer holidays and his friends are King to him. They are always number one and I've lost count of the amount of times he has made mistakes because of his desire to spend time with them. He did so earlier in the year when he was offered a part time job at New Look, going out late while living at his mums and saying he was sick the following morning.

Self esteem and confidence is key to him changing things. Getting a job or doing volunteer work were things that could've helped with that. Could've given him a sense of self worth and job would've given him a few hundred pounds a month, which would've made him feel great I thought, with the freedom that money provides.

I feel absolutely out of ideas. The only one I have left for him to stay is regular home drug tests. If he fails one he is out or if he refuses he is out. It's not the environment I want but he needs to come off smoking weed. I can't think of another way. Some people can function in a regular life doing things and smoking. My son just can't. He needs to have a clear head, not keep running away from responsibility and face the facts of having to grow up. I can't see him studying and smoking at the same time. Weed is stopping him from doing that. Stopping him smoking weed could mean he moves into other substances, I don't know. But my options and his own are extremely limited now.

Kano1999 Sun 07-Aug-16 03:04:46

I've decided to go down the drug test route as a last resort. It is the last option of reassurance that I can have in terms of believing that my son is serous about getting himself together. I've told him clearly that if he fails a test or refuses to take one, he is out. It will start from next weekend, allowing just over a week for it to pass out of his system, at the very least I expect to see a low level result. On week two it should be zero or close to it and so forth. I will have nothing left after this. I so badly want to believe in him and provide a foundation for him to succeed in life but it he takes this for granted again, I won't be able to support him anymore at this stage. I feel awful even writing or thinking these things but if this happens, I would finally and sadly, be out of options.

Mummydummy Sun 21-Aug-16 14:08:00

Kano 1999 - I'm so sorry. You have obviously been a very good parent to your son, firm, kind, supportive but you just cant make someone take responsibility and be motivated, that needs to come from within and its what your son needs to do. At the same time, he is still a child who needs support, a chance to make things right for himself, some dignity and pride in his self worth. One thing I'm not clear about is whether he is starting college on the child development course in September or not?

I guess you need some ultimatums (though I'm sure you have issued many before and he knows that):
1) Its the holidays and your sons' friends are around and there to hang out with. Once term starts again they will not be as free and will need to knuckle down a bit. Is it worth saying to him - as a final concession, your very last, I'm giving you the rest of the holiday off but after that you either have to attend college and get a p/t job or volunteer, or get a full-time job, and live by my house rules and contribute to housekeeping. I will no longer support you to waste you life.
2) I will consider finding a new flat with a room for you but only on condition of the following house rules. This includes either attending college with a p/t job or volunteer or getting full time work, contributing to housekeeping, helping keep the flat ship shape, no drugs.

Otherwise he can fend for himself. You can no longer support him.

My friend had a son who dropped out of college without telling her to smoke weed all day. So she said the deal was over, and she was now going to do what she wanted - which was to move away from where they were living and back to her home town. If he wanted to come he would have to either do education or get a job. He didn't believe her at first and dossed on friends floors for a month or two but finally had to give in and come and live with her and get a job and contribute to house keeping. I'm not sure long term he has ever turned out to be a fully responsible citizen but at least she started getting on with her own life. And he knew the deal.

Kano1999 Sun 21-Aug-16 17:36:35

Thanks for the reply MD.

Recent events have made things more tricky. I was made redundant in June, which made July a pretty tight financial month. I was lucky to secure new employment that began at the start of August and will allow me to work from home full-time. However, I had to travel to the HQ in Swansea for a 3 week period for induction and training, returning home on weekends, then travelling back. I have just finished and returned home on Friday evening. I spoke to him about my redundancy, that I was working not only for me but for him, for us, that we have to be a team and know that he is on my side as I am on his.

This meant I had to leave my son home alone during the weekdays, as he has no other family nearby he could stay with. It was not ideal at all. But it was a chance for my son to step up and show how responsible he could be. Meals were cooked and left for him, money also and a checklist of things for around the house (windows, water boiler etc). It's fair to say that rather than show me he could be trusted - as he earnestly told me every weekend before I left again - he took full advantage of the free house.

Property went missing (an iphone 5) and weed was smoked in the house along with a number of other things. One of which was carrying around a small tub of urine so he could trick me on the drugs test. Many of these I could overlook in isolation but the list grew and grew, even after speaking to him on weekends as soon as I was gone, that was all forgotten by him. So rather than it being able to build my trust, it has only harmed it further.

He is due to start college in September and that is the last chance. If he cannot get it together and do the work required, then there is really nothing left and he'll be out. He had a job at New Look but lost it within a week. He then said college was the thing for him. It's horrible to say but I just do not believe him but am giving him this last opportunity to show me he actually means it.

Mummydummy Thu 25-Aug-16 21:39:05

How is it going now Kano?

Kano1999 Thu 25-Aug-16 21:55:37

Bless you for checking in again.

Very difficult. I've come back home and started working but our relationship is very fractured now. It's difficult to get over how hard he made the past three weeks for me. How much he let me down when he had a great chance to step up and show me something different. I have zero belief in him and don't think college will make any difference - just more of the same. It's a very cold atmosphere in the house since last weekend.

But actually kicking him out is the part I stop at. He'd have nowhere to go bar friends until they get fed up or parents don't want to help. No income. No future. But at the same time I will not abide him being a bum doing nothing in my house.

Mummydummy Thu 25-Aug-16 22:10:16

Ah, so much sympathy. Maybe keeping it very frosty is all you can do right now to make him realise the consequences. But he'll have to grow up a bit to pull himself together and recognise its himself and his future he's hurting. He's in that stage of life that he just doesn't care.. but he should. Pissing you off isn't the point, its pissing his life away that matters.

I understand about kicking him out - thats so harsh and I'm not sure I could ever do that.

Keep strong. For all the kicks in the teeth, you've just kept trying to do your best for him.

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