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bumblebee
05-03-2004, 07:47 AM
My second child has recently turned 18. However, he is not acting like a responsible adult and I am not sure what to do. He is generally charming and friendly, but also lazy and selfish.

His days are spent sleeping until noon, then attending 2/7 of his classes at the high school (only goes to the two he likes) then socializes with friends and or gf.

He doesn't have a job and if asked to do chores around the house, does them so poorly that they need to be redone by my husband or me. You should see the dishes, that he has "washed" :(

His side: He says that we (his parents) have a moral obligation to support him (until?) and "I do help out around the house -a lot."

My side: "A lot" means that he mows the lawn every 10 days or so (takes about an hour) and keeps his own bedroom and bathroom fairly clean. Even when I bring in groceries, etc. - odds are he is gone or asleep, so doesn't help with that, either.

We are having company arrive next week, so I asked him to clean his bedroom and bathroom well and my husband assigned a couple hours of yard work to him this weekend. He would say, "I'm done" - we'd go look and he would not be done. Over and over. "See the dirt there, there and there?"

Well, at 8 p.m. friends call, wanting him to go out and we his parents say, "No, because you did not finish your work." Later that evening, I find him gone. (Not the first time that he has done this) He has been gone all weekend, but did call to let us know that he is okay.

I went through something similar with his older sister, but at least she was a good student. His laziness seems to have no bounds.

He has no place to go, but I am on the verge of asking him to move out... I am so tired of his laziness and dishonesty.

Any advice appreciated...

dropscone
05-03-2004, 09:40 AM
You'd really ask him to move out? Does he know that you're thinking like this? How are general communications between him and you and your husband? Does it make a difference who asks him to do something?

Got any relatives he could go and stay with for a while? maybe you all need a break from each other for a couple of weeks/months to give everyone some breathing space. Sounds like you're pretty stressed out about the situation.

zatoichi
05-03-2004, 09:49 AM
he sounds like me. only i dropped out of high school for six months. don't know what to tell you though because i'm nearly twenty-two and still have no direction. although i am going back to college, starting with summer classes. so people are just slower at finding maturity i guess.

what i might recommend, and you may disagree, is that... well... you might try leaving him alone. i'm not trying to take his side, because i know very well that he's a lazy punk, but what you see as 'asking politely' he, i'm sure, sees as 'nagging'... his passive aggressive behavior is probably his way of asserting his independence... it's just teenage rebellion. so, if you were willing to be experimental, you might try leaving him be for a month and just setting a good example. if you clean up his messes, say, which probably do anyway, and do it without complaining, if your son is anything like me, he'll begin to feel guilty. he'll begin to realize that anything he does is of his own volition. like, i absolutely hated school when i was obligated to go, but now that it's my decision, i really want to go back. so, perhaps if you give him the independence he seeks, he'll appreciate it enough to grow up. if that doesn't work, then i say go for the corporal punishment.

Artichoke47
05-03-2004, 10:10 AM
I would ask him to move out. If that doesn't work, remove him from your home until he learns to respect you and stops being lazy. As long as he has people who will support him, he will probably never grow up and become self-sufficient.

herbi
05-03-2004, 11:56 AM
I never told my parents they had a moral obligation to care for me (though I certainly felt like that) and actually I never kept (or keep :uhoh: ) my room clean, but other than that... doesn't sound too different from me either? :umm: And all I can say is, um, well, 12 years later I'm a reasonably mature functional member of society??? I dunno, as a natural night-person, I STILL sleep till noon every chance I get, and was 10 times worse as a teenager, so I have some sympathy for him there... Is he going to college? Because getting out of your house and fending for himself might be just the ticket. I had never had a job, done my own laundry, or any of that stuff before I left home, but I was so thrilled to get away from the nagging and the grounding and such an independent-minded stubborn little punk that I took to it gladly. (Well, I still hate doing laundry, but... I took to living on my own gladly!) If he has no plans to go anywhere, the Zatoichi Guilt Plan might work (I know the more someone pressures me to do something-- STILL-- the less likely (or even ABLE) I am to do it. Character flaw? Certainly. But a Fact.) but my variation on it would be to "leave him alone" while NOT covering up for him and doing all his stuff. Just sort of start ignoring him entirely. Don't ask about his room, don't ask where he's going, etc, etc, and if he is like I was, then he will feel Sad and wonder Why, and you can say, "Well, we obviously can't count on you to do ANYTHING around here, so... we've given up trying." and work the guilt that way? Or, you could do the Dr.Phil thing and have a sit-down serious family discussion, which I guess would also have worked with me, (and seems less childish on your end than the reverse psychology ploy), the key factor being whether my suspicious miserable hormone-riddled discontented teenaged self felt that I was actually being respected and talked to as an intelligent reasonable (almost-)Equal, or whether it was just another lecture. If you sit him down, no distractions, everyone calm, and quietly explain to him WHY you want him to help out and WHAT it means to you and HOW you feel when he doesn't, and then ASK HIM how he feels about things and what he thinks he can do to change, etc (and actually LISTEN TO HIM, without interrupting, no matter what craziness he starts off with), he might rise to the occasion and fulfill the prophecy of reasonable discourse instead of the prophecy of useless layabout? Then again, he might just roll his eyes and be sullen, I don't know. Wow, I'm glad I don't have a teenager in my house! ;) Good luck, anyway!

bumblebee
05-03-2004, 12:36 PM
Thanks for the replies, everyone. :)

"You'd really ask him to move out? Does he know that you're thinking like this? How are general communications between him and you and your husband? Does it make a difference who asks him to do something?"

Yes. Yes. Our general communications are light in nature, but fine so long as we don't expect anything from him. (I resent having a child on permanent vacation, though.) It makes no difference who asks him to do anything. He (usually) amicably agrees, but then doesn't do it.

As a child, I was expected to do many chores. As soon as I turned 18, I remember thinking I can't act like a kid anymore. My oldest two children seem to think that childhood extends to age 22 or so... But not the being told what to do part.

I have tried many different approaches with him AND his older sister, but neither feels compelled to help out at home. It boggles my mind and hurts my feelings.

catlike
05-03-2004, 01:04 PM
Have you tried cutting him off? Meaning don't give him any money. No rides anywhere. Stop doing his laundry. Maybe even don't cook for him. Let him see what life is like doing things for himself. As soon as he runs out of underwear and says "MOM!"
you can bargain. Say I will do you laundry if you ...... to MY satisfaction. I don't know could work. And you only have an obligation to support him until he is 18. I know emotionally though you will feel obligated all your life. That is a good parent.

Emiloid
05-03-2004, 01:21 PM
I don't see any reason why you shouldn't ask him to move out, but maybe it could be suggested/phrased so that it sounds like a natural progression rather than that you're kicking him out. Geez, I don't know.

I like catlike's idea... actually I think most of the ideas here are good.

zatoichi
05-03-2004, 01:34 PM
yeah. my parents don't give me money anymore (save for driver's insurance, food, shelter and utilities), but i must pay for my own things. i also have to cook for myself and do my own laundry and clean up my own messes. and it's not so bad. and when i'm not being nagged sometimes i feel generous. today i cleaned out the freezer just because i felt like it. but then when my mother asks me to take out the garbage, she has to ask several times and sometimes i still don't do it. nagging is counter-productive. believe me.

Kanga and Roo
05-03-2004, 01:35 PM
Personally I donít think throwing him out would be the best choice. It seems like you have a good relationship other than the fact that he is lazy. I have known two guys that were like this and both of them grew up (well they are in there 30s now) to be pretty good citizens. Everyone that I have ever known that got kicked out their lives did not get better they got worse. It seemed to me like it was an excuse for the parents to get them out of their hair rather than work through their differences. Some people do just to through their whole lives avoiding housework. I would let him keep his room the way he wants to and keep his door closed and not even let him keep it open. If he wants to keep it like that thatís fine but no one else has to see it. I would not give him any money to buy the things that he wants or to go out with his friends or let him use the car if he usually has access unless he puts in money for gas. Each situation is unique and I am not pretending to know all the answers Iím only 27. But I think that a lazy son at home is better than a homeless son on the street. Where he can get involved with a whole slew of bad things or worse be victimized by someone.

bumblebee
05-03-2004, 03:28 PM
I read your replies to my husband and we have decided that we are going to allow him to stay with a bare bones existence. No more computer, t.v., or spending $. We will continue to provide medical, dental, food and shelter. His "room" is actually a mother-in-law apt. of sorts, so he can live quite separate from us. He has his own kitchen, etc.

I wish that it didn't have to be this way, but I guess it does. Maybe after living luxury free for a time, he will understand just what he gave up and will want to earn it back with good behavior? I hope so.

Thanks for the advice! :)

zatoichi
05-03-2004, 03:37 PM
good decision. he sounds like he has pretty nice even without all the extraneous commodities. i wish i had my own kitchen...

Kanga and Roo
05-03-2004, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by zatoichi
good decision. he sounds like he has pretty nice even without all the extraneous commodities. i wish i had my own kitchen...

I totally agree

Best of luck :)

jenzie
05-03-2004, 06:59 PM
I was going to suggest that - don't expect him to do anything (chores, helping, etc.) for you, but in turn don't cook his meals, wash his clothes, etc.

So yeah. Hopefully that works out for ya'. :)

Beanqueen
05-04-2004, 03:57 AM
There is a dog training theory that says 'nothing in life is free' and maybe you need to implement this with your son - like the others have said, make him do without unless he is prepared to make an effort. Normally when things have dollar/pound signs attached then even teenage boys get the picture.

Good luck!!

vegematic
05-05-2004, 07:31 AM
Looks like you've found a solution to try, but I was going to suggest asking him to pay some small amount of rent in return for the services he gets from you. If he brings up the "you're obligated to take care of/support me" line, remind him that caring for a child includes increasing the child's level of responsibility so that they can grow into independent adults who can get and keep a job, apartment, car, etc...

Doesn't it drive kids nutty when you turn their "argument" against them?
Good luck!
vegematic

shade
05-07-2004, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by zatoichi
yeah. my parents don't give me money anymore (save for driver's insurance, food, shelter and utilities), but i must pay for my own things. i also have to cook for myself and do my own laundry and clean up my own messes. and it's not so bad. and when i'm not being nagged sometimes i feel generous. today i cleaned out the freezer just because i felt like it. but then when my mother asks me to take out the garbage, she has to ask several times and sometimes i still don't do it. nagging is counter-productive. believe me.

I'm the same way. If I am being asked repeatedly to do something, I NEVER get around to doing it. When I'm not asked, I get tons done. When I have a day off I basically clean up the entire house, and will even go as far as making dinner for my family for when they get home.
My parents don't give me money anymore, but supply basic things like shelter and food (doesn't include eating out). I cook my own food and do my own laundry or else I basically don't eat and have nothing clean to wear.
If I get specifically asked to do the dishes or something it seems like 10 times more work than if I walk into the kitchen, notice the dirty dishes, and wash them on my own.

Then again, shortly my chore list is going to grow rapidly. I won't be working soon (going on maternity leave in 3 weeks) and my mom expects me to keep the house clean for her kind of in return for letting me and my daughter still live with her until I can afford to be out on my own.

bumblebee
05-11-2004, 12:12 AM
Here is an update on my son:

He is spending a lot more time at his gf's house, where he can watch t.v., use the Internet etc. We go days without seeing him,
although he's friendly when we do.

Her parents (who aren't nearly as well off as we are) are seemingly happily paying for all of his food - including meals out, etc. And I think his gf is doing his laundry because he hasn't brought any home to do.

I miss him and I am not happy about the situation, but there isn't a lot I can do about it. Being lazy seems like his definition of happiness at this point in his life. :(

ajveg
05-11-2004, 11:33 AM
my two sense:p parents always say "when i was your age " and it doesn't help, things were different its not that our generation is lazy (i am 18 too) but were as we like to slob out and lay in and take longer to grow up, we have other pressures eg (not sure on all the statistics?:umm: ) exam pressure having to use a career NOW :confused: these are facts i will find the source i found them in and post it.

Your sons 18 but you still tell him unless his chores are done he cant go out? wow this use to happen to me when i was 16 :eek: it doesn't help and only causes more hard feelings, and no more tv or internet? did you remove the tv from his room do you stop him watching tv in the living room? he is a slob he is lazy and he is a typical teenager, he doesn't and wont understand what it is like to fend for himself until he is doing just that (children live in blissful ignorance:p ) i have no suggestions as i have never been in this experience and instead of offering advice i dont want to defend your son but maybe put his side our side across.

i was the same but i moved out when i was 17 in and my mum are best friends and we are even closer now i know how much work i was to her, but as she put it your only a kid once and while she did everything for me and moaned at me in the end i will be fending for my self and my children and going through the exact same thing so she says thats my comupance:rolleyes:

sorry i just barbled on and on maybe seeing as he has a kitchen give him a living allowance for food a week tell him he has to cook his own food ----my only idea:D

bumblebee
05-11-2004, 12:39 PM
"...its not that our generation is lazy..."

Maybe not your generation, but my 18-year-old son sure is.

"Your sons 18 but you still tell him unless his chores are done he cant go out? wow this use to happen to me when i was 16 it doesn't help and only causes more hard feelings..."

So you think 18 is a special time in life where nothing should be expected of you, yet you have all the freedoms of an adult?

Hard feelings? My husband and I have some pretty hard feelings ourselves when our adult children treat us like servants.

Also, did you read my last post?
My son has basically moved out...to a place where absolutely nothing is expected of him.

It is very unfair for his younger siblings to see him get out of the same work that they must do while still enjoying all of the same perks. Our household depends on cooperation to run smoothly. I don't think an hour of work a day is asking too much of a healthy 18 year old, for room, board & perks, I really don't.

As for the "when I was your age" reference:
When my husband was 18, he had to choose his college path & career. It was 1969...things weren't all that different.

ajveg
05-11-2004, 03:43 PM
sorry i agree your right about your son being lazy and no a few hours house work a day is aking hardly anything, i dont think 18 is a special time when nothing is expected of you, all i ment was the punishments that worked when he was 16 eg being grounded wont hold the same wait and 18 is one of those inbetween ages not a child not fully an adult , so taking away privillages wont work - he's found another way of getting them (gf)

as for the ref i made about "when i was your age" whatever generation 18 is still pretty young to make life long descions most the people i know in their 20's still dont know.

i am sorry if it came out wrong and i can fully understand that you and your husband are majorly p*ssed of at your son, he is being selfish and lazy but on the other hand he's being a typical teenager.

:confused: :embarr:

ajveg
05-11-2004, 03:46 PM
So you think 18 is a special time in life where nothing should be expected of you, yet you have all the freedoms of an adult?

no but then again in england 18 is pretty much considered an adult you can vote drink have sex and marry without parental consent

fayking
05-11-2004, 07:23 PM
this is a really difficult one...when i was 18 (im 27 now) i lived away from home and was independent from my parents...but when i lived with them i always had to wash the dishes/cook meals etc etc..sure i used to moan but my parents both worked long hours and stuff had to get done.
when i went to university i was amazed at the total lack of basic survival skills my peers had...hardly any had done the laundry, cooked a decent meal,shopped for food alone or had any realisation of the effort needed just to survive....i on the other hand had been doing it for years. (cooking the main family meal from approx 12 years old etc) i then realised that the skills my parents had given me, by making me responsible had therefore enabled me to cope well in the big bad world.
i now work as a support worker for homeless people who are attempting to set up home...they lack all of these key skills...they have often had no real responsiblities in life and thus no life skills...every day i work with people often in their late 40's who have no idea of how to cook a meal or set up electricity accounts etc..
i guess i just think its important to give young people suitable responsibility....and 18 in my book is old enough to be doing your fair share...

bearhino
05-11-2004, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by jenzie
I was going to suggest that - don't expect him to do anything (chores, helping, etc.) for you, but in turn don't cook his meals, wash his clothes, etc.

So yeah. Hopefully that works out for ya'. :)

ya know if you didnt do what your basic reponsibilities were.


then you would just be disrespected by everyone else, tell him or her he has to wash there own dishes, take there shoes off before they come inside, make there own meals, wash there own clothes,

and have there own towels, dishes that they can use.

for unruley kids really need to know what it is like without youre help, our shelter etc. before they will do what is expected.

i know its harsh, but sometimes thats the ticket.

cin
05-17-2004, 05:34 PM
i agree with everyone on here. the only problem is, you've already taken everything away from him.. all you can do now is don't accomodate him when he tries to come back. he's 18. he's an adult. his parents are kind enough to give him a place to stay, and he thinks he can just come and go as he wants? that's rude and disrespectful, and make sure he knows that. don't welcome him back when he's worn out his welcome at his girlfriend's place. the boy needs to learn some responsibility and that won't be acomplished by simply yelling at him to do some chores and taking away his tv and internet privelages. he's an adult, and he should be treated like an adult. don't let him back into your house until he comes crawling back and realizes how good he had it with his parents. if he wants back bad enough, he'll be willing to pull his weight around the house and get a job. if he hates being told what to do THAT much, he'll just have to move out on his own, now won't he?

is he still in high school? planning on going to college?

if you don't want to be this harsh, you have to pick a road here. if he can't be treated like an adult, then treat him completely like a child. make him go to school, to all his classes. give him a bedtime. make him realize that if he doesn't behave like an adult, he doesn't deserve the freedom of doing what he chooses.

zatoichi
05-18-2004, 12:45 AM
hey man. people mature at different rates, okay? just because a person has reached a legal adult status doesn't mean they're an adult emotionally, or even physically. i'm going to be 22 come june and i don't even feel like i'm out of puberty yet. i think it's important not to treat the kid like he's just a kid, but forcing responsiblity on him isn't going to help either. maturity will come on its own. it can't be forced. at least, that's the way i like to justify my current position in life.

bumblebee
05-18-2004, 02:33 AM
"...maturity will come on its own. it can't be forced."

True. However, even children are capable of doing some daily house hold chores. Children are also capable of attending school regularly, as well. My sweet son on the other hand...

zatoichi
05-18-2004, 11:10 AM
yeah. but kids also go thru phases. say, when did all this start? when he turned eighteen? what was he like before that?

cin
05-18-2004, 07:08 PM
yes, but i don't think your boss will forgive you if you go through "phases" of not going to work.

zatoichi
05-18-2004, 08:05 PM
just get a note from the doctor and you're invincible.

jesus. i need to grow up, huh.

Jordan
05-23-2004, 11:24 AM
Just and idea that could encourage more independence, and more of a real world experience...you could start asking for rent money. Of course you would only ask for a reasonable amount as a parent, and include food in the bill but it may encourage your son to at least go get a job instead of lazying around and doing nothing just because he doesn't have to do anything to get free housing and food.

Worked for my parents, even just the threat of having to be an adult and pay rent and buy my own food was a scary one at 18 that did encourage me to get a partime job with school. They now don't actually charge me rent because I stay here in the summer while paying rent at university...they know it would be too much to ask from my pathetic part-time salary, plus I'm more willing now that I'm older to do my fair share of chores and work around the house, I have more of an appreciation for what my parents provide for me.

There are a lot of good options and advice listed, find what works best. Good Luck:)

zatoichi
05-23-2004, 02:18 PM
i might agree with the idea if you secretly put it in a trust fund. i don't think it's really fair to have you kid pay rent, especially since he's still in high school...but. if you secretly save the money for him, he'll get it back and then that might actually encourage him to get his own place when he finds a big chunk of money waiting for him.

Jordan
05-24-2004, 04:13 PM
I'd have to respectfully disagree...he's 18, he's an adult. Legally he can sign leases and contracts that are legally binding. He's legal to operate a vehicle, vote and can legally drink in Quebec...just saying... With all of the legal responsibilities and freedoms one achieves as an adult you also lose the legal protection of being a child and having to be legally cared for by parents or guardians.

His parents could kick him out of the house today and forever and there would be nothing he could do about it (unless he didn't have what is legally his property). His parents seem to be kind people and don't wish to kick him out entirely, but he does need to learn to appreciate all that they do and provide for him. Why should his parents spend the rest of their lives paying for him to sit around collecting dust?

To me it seems like the fellow needs a wake-up call, he needs to start figuring out how much time and effort goes into his having a place to live, food to eat and clothing on his back, not to mention any other needs or luxuries he may have that they so graciously provide. Making budgets are pretty eye-opening. Perhaps to realize how lucky he is he could volunteer with an organization that helps children in developing nations such as unicef...but you can't force him to do that..he is after all and adult.

I really think a part time job from which the parents could be partially reimbursed for those 18 years of care and further years of providing shelter and food is a good idea (mind you, we're talking they'd be deducting peanuts from his salary compared to how much they've spent on his care). Having a minimum wage, student job might actually force him to recognize he is very lucky to have all that his parents provide.

zatoichi
05-24-2004, 06:24 PM
but maybe his lot in life is circumstantial...

maybe he's unwell mentally. maybe he has dietary problems. there could be any number of reasons that he's in the place that he is beyond just being lazy.

i still say that being forceful isn't the best approach.

the age for legal adulthood is somewhat arbitrary. actual adulthood varies from person to person.

spasticastic
05-24-2004, 06:50 PM
zatoichi's worried! he's worried that his own free ride is coming to an end sometime soon! :D What is the age for adulthood, zatoichi? Twenty-five? :D

jenzie
05-24-2004, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by Jordan
I really think a part time job from which the parents could be partially reimbursed for those 18 years of care and further years of providing shelter and food is a good idea (mind you, we're talking they'd be deducting peanuts from his salary compared to how much they've spent on his care).

Nothing personal Jordan ;), but this line of thinking really annoys me. IMHO, kids don't owe their parents anything for the 18 years of care they were given. I mean seriously, the parents choose to have the child, and therefore took on that responsibility. I am GRATEFUL to my Mom for all she has done for me, including the way she raised me, but I don't feel she needs to be financially reimbursed for that. Goodness. When she's old and ailing, I'll be there to help out in every way I can, and that will be her 'payment' for doing the same for me in my youth.

Yeah... it's just... yikes. The world is pretty screwed up, it can be really hard to decided exactly what direction you should be headed by the time you're 18. I can't stand the whole "you're 18, you're on your own now" logic. Blah blah, I'm babbling. My point is just that the kid NOW 'owes' his parents for what they're doing for him, as they're no longer legally obligated to do so. But the 18 years previous? No way.

Jordan
05-24-2004, 07:40 PM
I agree Jenzie, financial reimbursement shouldn't be the goal of parents, but having a child care for them in their old age would be the responsible thing for any child to do which you mentioned, if they can. Which in a way I have always believed I owe my parents at least.

I miss-spoke on the reimbursement, it should start after a conversation, and be to provide for his expenses in the present, I just have a great appreciation for all that my parents have done that I wish I could pay them back for everything they have done, then again though, the greatest things they have given me are free.

bumblebee
05-24-2004, 08:37 PM
We don't expect to be paid back for supporting our son for 18 years. Not at all. Most of those 18 years have been very enjoyable ones and he was a big part of making them so. :)
We just want him to pull some of his own weight now.

My son spent the last couple of weeks living as a border next door and mooching off of his friends for any extras beyond food and shelter. He seemed to enjoy his freedom at first, but then I think the constant mooching made him feel bad and I believe hurt his "popularity" a bit.

So, we offered our son a new deal (which he accepted) on Saturday. He has one week to get 7 hours of yardwork/gardening done. (We chose gardening because his housework always needs redoing.) He can break up the time however he likes over the week. He must do this or he must find a new place to live. All of his perks have been restored, except he must earn his own spending $ now.

He just got a part time job in a veg. friendly restaurant. He worked from 10:30 - 2 pm today. :) Yay a job!

jenzie
05-24-2004, 08:40 PM
Awesome news bumblebee! Woohoo! ;)

zatoichi
05-24-2004, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by spasticastic
zatoichi's worried! he's worried that his own free ride is coming to an end sometime soon! :D What is the age for adulthood, zatoichi? Twenty-five? :D

yes! twenty-five. i'm glad someone understands.

Jordan
05-25-2004, 02:43 PM
that's awesome bumblebee, I'm glad things are getting better and working out:)