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Fair restrictions for an 18 yo

(35 Posts)
keeponworking Sat 16-Sep-17 20:05:28

Hi all. My DS was 18 in July.

He wants a motorbike (thanks dickhead XH for putting that idea in his head, he was quite happy with a car before). Regardless of whether he wants a car or a motorbike, he needs to get a job in order to afford the running costs and maintenance etc that goes with car or bike ownership. And there's the personal and social development and experience of being at work and, for someone who prefers to spend all their time alone, the confidence to be gained (pre-University or pre-'proper' work) is something he really really needs.

He's made NO effort and sadly until he does, even if I could completely afford it myself, I'm not shelling out a penny when he hasn't got the means to contribute financially to ANY of it. He has 1.5 days a week and every other weekend and evenings where he could work a job.

Would it be unreasonable to 'force' things along a bit by giving him notice that beyond a certain date:
* I'm no longer going to pay for his Microsoft Xbox Live payments
* No longer pay for his mobile phone?

What do you think - might that give him the shove that's needed??

Of course, his dad I wanna be the fun parent might well cough up for those things himself thus teaching DS absolutely nothing about what might be an appropriate show of commitment to how you go about getting something that you want in life. But there's nothing I can do about that.

Interested to see what others have done and whether this seems fair, bullying or what.

zzzzz Sat 16-Sep-17 20:10:30

No one will be riding a motorbike while living in my house. At 18 I think he can pay for all his own expenses and 10% of whatever he earns towards bills.

keeponworking Sat 16-Sep-17 21:08:31

He'd have to have a job to pay the 10% zzzzz!!!

I'm in agreement re the motorbike - his bloody stupid dad got him onto that. Utter bellend that man is. I could strangle him - if he did get a bike and he did have an accident, who do you think would be having to take time off work to look after DS? Wouldn't be him would it! RRRRR

zzzzz Sat 16-Sep-17 21:58:20

Yes of course he can only pay if he has a job. I would say he can only live with you if he doesn't ride a motorbike. It really doesn't matter what his Dad has or hasn't said. He's an adult. He can move out and do whatever he likes or stay and pay his way, live by the house rules.

keeponworking Tue 19-Sep-17 23:04:07

Bumping for some further thoughts and 'this is what we do' examples smile.

ClaudiaWankleman Tue 19-Sep-17 23:07:48

I think it would be pretty tight to make him pay rent while he's still in education. Unless you need that money, let him keep it.

The phone I'm in two minds about. If you would be bothered if he chose to just not have one at all (as unlikely as that may be) then I think you should be paying for that while he is in education too. Of course, that doesn't mean you have to fund anything really expensive. He could always top it up.

He should pay for his own Xbox live.

musicposy Thu 21-Sep-17 18:20:16

I don't make mine pay rent whilst in education (youngest has just turned 18) and I'm happy to contribute to bus fares to college, feed her and buy non fancy toiletries.

If they want a phone/ Netflix/ meals out with boyfriends/ £10 shampoo/ to run a car they have to fund that themselves.

It took DD1 around 5 months of poverty to get a small part time job after me implementing this strategy when she went into 6th form. DD2 obviously learnt from her elder sister and had a job lined up for the first day she was allowed to be employed grin

Yes, I'd stop funding the luxuries. You can't do much about the arsehole ex replacing the money, sadly.

musicposy Thu 21-Sep-17 18:21:27

Oh and DD2 wanted a motorbike for ages and I said "not whilst you're living in this house". It was completely non negotiable.

Crumbs1 Thu 21-Sep-17 18:25:07

Definitely no motorbike.
I don't charge whilst their in full time education or saving towards a house but living/ staying at home.
I would start being a bit tougher if they weren't working or in education. We help them when starting out in jobs so keep up contacts/phone/car contracts and are quite generous in what we give them but it is absolutely dependent on them accepting the adult responsibilities of studying successfully or working.

Orangeplastic Thu 21-Sep-17 19:11:31

I would be non-approving of a motorbike - so I would not be providing financial assistance for the purchase or upkeep of a motorbike...not sure I'd go as far as to say not under my roof but I'd be asking for contribution to living expenses and I would not be paying for phones or anything else - in other words I'd make it very hard for him to afford it and he'd have to be pretty bloody determined to get one.

keeponworking Thu 21-Sep-17 20:43:16

My thinking is, and in reference to your various thoughts:

Unless he's working considerable hours a week and is in education no charges to live at home
A notice period of 3 months after which he has to pay for his own phone (I've paid off the cost of the phone so now it's his and therefore if he can't pay for the calls by now at age 18...)
A notice period of 3 months after which he has to pay for his own Xbox live
If he wants a car - as soon as he gets a job that would cover the costs of fuel and a driving lesson once a month I will release the inheritance money to him so he can buy and insure a car
If he wants a motorbike - as soon as he gets a job that would cover the costs of fuel and a bike lessons AND the purchase of it, I will agree to release the inheritance money once he's successfully enrolled in a university degree course or on an approved apprenticeship.

How does that sound?????

Orangeplastic Thu 21-Sep-17 21:01:44

It sounds like you are using your money to control all his decisions, it doesn't sound healthy. You are micromanaging his world - if I was him I'd enrolled in something - get the cash buy my bike and enjoy - sounds like there's plenty more cash to be negotiated over.

keeponworking Thu 21-Sep-17 21:15:04

Firstly, at NO point have I said he should pay board and lodgings, not sure where that came from - overactive imagination maybe, I don't know.

"If I was him I'd [be] enrolled in something - get the cash to buy my bike" - you mean him, right Orange? That's just the point - he won't do ANYTHING to earn ANY money for ANYTHING.

Seriously - why as a single parent should I pay for EVERYTHING for him including luxuries like mobile phone call plans and Xbox friggin' live that benefits no one but him, encouraging him to spend yet MORE time cloistered in his bedroom in the pitch black like a bloody monk?!!!

How is that helping him towards being ready for work, for work experience, for an apprenticeship - for university if he chooses to go there?!

Using my money to control him - I have no sodding money!!

Crumbs1 Thu 21-Sep-17 21:24:49

I think it's more than reasonable. At 18 they're still,inconsequential kids and you imposing control might just save his life.

Orangeplastic Thu 21-Sep-17 23:58:46

What is putting your Ds off making the next move - fear? anxiety? depression? Feeling lost and having no direction? No sense of responsibility? Lazy? Selfish? You have a better idea than us - how can we know what drives your 18 year old? I have known a few kids to go through this - and on each situation money was a poor motivator - it made bugger all difference when offered or withdrawn (within reason - no one starved their kids)....carrot or stick - money was mostly irrelevant.

keeponworking Fri 22-Sep-17 13:08:50

This is probably the most important question Orange*. I think factors are:

1. He's a VERY V E R Y quiet, unassuming, reserved, non-social child. He has a best friend who he often walks to college with but he (and this friend) are largely just into computers, gaming, and they just do not socialise in person so I think fear of being able to do a job is possibly high up on the list
2. I agree - money isn't what I'm trying to use to motivate him, but he was keen to start driving a car once he had had an age 17 driving experience and I WAS going to give him the money (obviously I don't want to stop him going out into the world although he has NO need of a car at all! anyhoo) but I genuinely cannot afford driving lessons - we barely make it through a month as it stands and they're expensive. However, I would have hoped that the motivation (which as you rightly say, is the key) would have been there to think oh ok well I'll get a job then I can pay for that (and let's be honest, if he did that, what a great sense of satisfaction and pride he'd get - so no forcing this a bit would actually be robbing him of experiencing that).

Then the waters get muddied by his twat of a dad, I think because he was pissed off when I said look I can't really afford driving lessons, so he - against my blessings - came up to where we live to take DS on a 'try riding a motorbike' session near us. I wasn't happy but DS was then v excited about that, started showing me motorbikes and stuff and I was totally nonplussed. The result of this was that I said I'll give you the money for a car when you've got a job and can pay for the petrol and contribute to driving lessons; I also said I'll never give you the money for a motorbike because I don't want you to have one. In the latter case, if he wants a motorbike he'll have to pay for everything himself.

I don't know what more can be done but all I can say is that possibly, in line with his post-secondary education, he's a realllllll late starter - he may just not be ready to go and get a job yet - or the enjoyment of getting a car or bike are just not enough motivation....

I left him to it for a few months and then I looked myself to see what there was jobwise - I found shifts at a local fast food and a local mini supermarket plus contacts for summer food service jobs for wedding season - he did nothing with any of them and my experience has been that I can't force him, he has to 'get it' in his own time.

But I am trying to think of ways to start that process going because at this age why should I be paying for his Xbox live or his phone for example - and he's not asked to contribute anything?!

When I was 17 I worked and trained (combination of both type situation) and was paid £25 a week - do you know how much of that I had to give my mum for board and lodgings? All of it. But I did it a. because she told me to and b. clearly, I wanted to do that job and that was the price of doing it.

Fax Fri 22-Sep-17 19:49:22

I can't quite work out whether he is still at school/ college. If he is then he is dependent on you and while a small part time job is a good idea I would have thought his exams come first.
18 or not I would do everything in my power to prevent him getting a motor bike. I knew two 18 year old boys who died on motor bikes.sad

keeponworking Fri 22-Sep-17 20:56:48

Because he stuffed his sixth form up, whilst being 18, he's only just started his second year at college - because he lost the year at sixth form completely.

He has a total of 2 days off college per week where he could work. He's doing BTECs and therefore doesn't have exams and has nowhere near the work of someone who was doing 2 or 3 major A levels.

Yes, I'm totally not happy with the motorbike idea AT ALL. [stupid, stupid XH].

My DD who is 15 has 16 yr old boy mates who catch two buses to get themselves to regular Saturday work....

misshelena Sat 23-Sep-17 03:22:15

I found shifts at a local fast food and a local mini supermarket plus contacts for summer food service jobs for wedding season - he did nothing with any of them

You made it so easy! And he still won't do it. Money doesn't motivate him either. I guess the only thing left to do is to start taking things away. So I think your plan is a good one.

But why is DS so unmotivated? Is this new or has he always been like this? I don't think it's normal for a young man to not jump at the opportunity to get a car. Is he depressed?

keeponworking Sat 23-Sep-17 15:02:49

It would be very hard to tell if he was depressed tbh - he's a very insular, quiet child - but happy in what he does. I can't encourage him to go out to socialise, he just doesn't enjoy it but when I hear him on Xbox live talking to his mates, gaming, he's animated and enjoying it thoroughly. He thoroughly enjoys composing (which is related to the job he wants to do in the future) and is really good at it. Even there though, he had an opportunity to ask for work experience or a summer internship with a local company (working distance) in the industry he wants to be in having created an early relationship with them that he would have been loopy to have ignored and let slide. I encouraged him to network that opportunity, ask them for work experience or intern with them over the summer - again, he did nothing about it.

He was the same in his last year of school - even his favourite subject he failed to attend lessons, hand in work, go to catch-up sessions... so it's probably impossible to motivate him when even the things he really likes don't do it for him enough to get him to put the effort in.

I only looked for jobs for him a. to see what was out there (was I asking he impossible of him) and b. in case he was feeling overwhelmed with looking - I honestly feel he's waiting for a Directorship of a multinational corporation to come along!!! He's going to be sadly bloody disappointed isn't he - he'll be serving, cleaning, shelf stacking, pot washing - and even now when he's 18 and the number of places he could work has just opened up even wider to him, he's still got no interest at all. Hence the idea to give a deadline where he'd need to pay for something himself.

We recently went on a short break as a family and he was engaged and perfectly animated and happy so I don't think it is depression.

I do feel he's the kind of 'child' who will only do things when he's ready to so as a just 18 year old he's effectively operating as a just 17 year old (if that makes sense) and in terms of social confidence this would be the area he's most behind in.

I had thought either driving (or having tried a motorbike and found he liked it) or motorbiking as a potential thing, would have been the thing that would have made him want to look at obtaining work, but clearly that's not the thing either!

He actually has absolutely NO need for a car or a bike in any case - he'd be paying for a vehicle that he's no need to use daily when his walk to college is a max of 20 minutes; when he goes for contacts with his DD he goes by train and I wouldn't particularly, as a new driver, want him going 174 miles round trip every fortnight (and most certainly not on a motorbike).

Or is it that the vehicle would be the stepping stone to him wanting to go off and do more....? It's just I don't want to get into the position of trying to help pay for it then finding out I can't afford to pay for it.

Lots0fDaysOfff Mon 25-Sep-17 00:06:10

Looking from another perspective your son is receiving mixed messages;
You are saying - no to a motorbike, but want him to work
Father is saying - yes to a motorbike, will he fund half if he stays in a part time job after 3 months ?
Son may be thinking, I want a motorbike, but I am not allowed one. If I work why cant I spend the money on what I want ??? Therefore there is no point in getting a job !

From 16 onwards, I was in further education, I actively volunteered and worked part time.
I had a motorbike at 16 and bigger ones at 17,18+
Not all teenagers are irresponsible

How do you motivate ?
Why dont you ask son what he wants to do
I agree volunteering and work opens opportunities to meet new people and try new things

D0ntLik3Mondays Mon 25-Sep-17 14:01:20

FWIW I know people who married and lived independently at 18

Some of my relatives left full time education at 14 & 15 to start full time work

At 18 you are legally an adult
However, if you totally financially support them I can understand why you are frustrated

Orangeplastic Mon 25-Sep-17 14:38:20

I do feel he's the kind of 'child' who will only do things when he's ready to so as a just 18 year old he's effectively operating as a just 17 year old (if that makes sense) and in terms of social confidence this would be the area he's most behind in. Same as the kids I know who did this, they wouldn't even sign on - they couldn't even walk into the DSS, they didn't want to ask for money and they didn't want a job, they were too scared to leave their rooms! Their parents struggled financially but they were unwilling to kick the kids out, and got very fed up arguing...eventually the kids got fed up living in their bedrooms - it was a very difficult time that felt like it was never going to end.

keeponworking Mon 25-Sep-17 20:00:01

Yes Orange, I fear it could be quite some time!!! Years possibly!

Lotsoff re the mixed messages. The mixing isn't and hasn't come from me has it. It's pretty clear. You want a bike (only because your stupid dad suggested it) but I'm not funding it for your own safety. That seems pretty clear. If he was motivated for this (or in fact if his dad actually was) one or the other of them would provide the funds surely. So the message is, I don't agree with him having a bike BUT if he REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted one, he'd go and get a bloody job wouldn't he?!

But he knows the money IS there if he wants a car.

But in both cases, he needs to do something to contribute in some way to the running costs because I can't afford it.

Don'tlike yes exactly. My brother was living in his own flat and working full time by the time he was 17. I was living in another city doing a combined working/training placement when I was 17.

You see, I don't want to keep giving and giving and giving and giving, I want him to do something to contribute - that's why I thought invoking some kind of financial responsibility might be the motivating force, then I would happily release the money to him for the buying of a car - so he does have options and I don't think it's unreasonable for him to do something to contribute - I simply can't afford to pay for fuel and driving lessons and insurance...

D0ntLik3Mondays Mon 25-Sep-17 20:24:04

Does your son normally do chores round the house for small amounts of money ?
Do x task in exchange for example, for a lift somewhere

If you work it provides you with an element of freedom and choice. Perhaps he is not ready for this yet ?

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