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20 YEAR OLD NO JOB, LACK OF MOTIVATION FOR COLLEGE...HELP

We took our 20 yo son in when he was 14. He had been expelled from school & his mom had no idea how to handle him. He was exhibiting self mutilation & anger outburts...btw this was the 2nd time this happened...we had him in 6th as well.
I put him in counseling, and he is now on antidepressants and ADD meds. A couple yrs later, he hooked up with a girl he is still seeing...she is limited intellectually. At first she was good for him, now not so much...but I digress.
He graduated HS and exhibited no interest in working. So, community college it was.
He has no job, does not answer his phone or his messages. He has to be leaned on each time it is time to sign up for classes...I've asked him and he SAYS he wants to go. He has failed Algebra 2x. This past semester, I asked him about how he was doing and gave him info for the tutor service at the college...FREE. He failed anyway. He is so not living up to his potential.

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donnabc

Asked by donnabc at 4:10 PM on Jan. 1, 2013 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 4 (28 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • Just wondering how that worked. I have a 19 year old son in a similar situation. Withdrew from college after doing nothing, now at home at community college, going to classes but not working, spending most of his free time on the internet. He's obviously depressed but avoiding by staying on the internet all day. He lies about trying to find a job, about what he's doing. Should i kick him out? He's disrepectful though not doing drugs or anything like that.
    ilovedash

    Answer by ilovedash at 7:21 AM on Apr. 7, 2013

  • winterglow, I know, right?! Never ceases to amaze me that he can walk by the sink full of dishes all day long and never "see" they need to be done until I tell him!
    He will have projects he will be working on. First up: sorting all this clothes into keep, give away and throw away.
    donnabc

    Comment by donnabc (original poster) at 5:53 PM on Jan. 2, 2013

  • " clean up around the house"

    You've probably already thought of this but, ... make sure you have a list of chores to be done. It's very easy to say that everything looks ok and that nothing needed doing (having done this myself I'm speaking from experience - lol) or to just not know where to start.

    Good luck - you're definitely on the right track!
    winterglow

    Answer by winterglow at 5:07 AM on Jan. 2, 2013

  • Great responses. Thank you. As far as riding his bike to the bus stop, yeah, I could get him a bike but if he biked on these roads, he'd be dead or seriously injured within a month. If it was a mile or less, I would make him walk to the bus stop.
    We talked to him tonight for a longggg time about taking some responsibility for himself. We wrote up a contract and had him sign it. He will be getting up EVERY morning at 8 am and either study, do homework or clean up around the house if he has none of the first two to do. He will take 2 classes this semester (his choice rather than a job). He will be home by 1130, no exceptions. If he sees at ANY time he is having trouble in a class he will inform his father or myself. He will do the dishes EVERY day and keep up with the trash. He will listen to his voice mail every day at 10 and 3 and return calls within an hour. Failure to do any of the above...1) no phone...2) no car
    donnabc

    Comment by donnabc (original poster) at 11:30 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • Why should he change? What reason does he have to work hard? Getting a job and being a self-reliant adult is.. um, hard. (College isn't right for every 20 year old - he can always go back later when HE wants to.) He's got a sweet deal - girlfriend, housing, cell phone and car for about the same level of chores that I make my 3 year old do (he helps to clear the table after every meal, puts his toys away almost every day and "helps" to put his laundry away each week). And he knows you won't cut him off. You love him and are worried about him and he's smart enough to milk that for all it's worth. He's got you forever, until you change.

    I'd give him a clearly laid out transition period to move out. Then afterwards if I'm still worried, I'd offer to continue to pay for therapy and meds and to find services to help (job, housing, school, etc.) but I won't let him back in the house if he doesn't follow up. Time to grow up.
    Sebbiemama

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 5:51 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • You are treating him like a child because of his issues. He is never going to change until your attitude does. I feel that counseling might help you to help him.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 5:33 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • Bus comes 2 miles away? Does he have a bike? The buses are equipped with bike racks, at least the ones around here. You have to be willing to see him struggle a little if you ever expect him to change.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 4:54 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • First off, you have done a lot to stand by him, so I applaud you for not giving up on him. I think people in his shoes lack a lot of motivation due to the mental handicaps and meds they take to make them better. Sounds like he is just going to need to pushing and extra support. Does he have any interests that might motivate him? Hopefully someone on here has some experience with this. Good luck.
    jeanclaudia

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 4:43 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • I am sorry, but if you don't pay rent or pay any of your own bills you don't deserve privacy. Unfortunately sometimes you have to let kids hit a low before they are motivated to change their own behavior. Tell him that he has a reasonable set amount of time to find a job or get into school and do well or he will have to find somewhere else to live. Don't pay for anything extra and demand that he complete his jobs everyday or there will be consequences.
    amandajoy21

    Answer by amandajoy21 at 4:35 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • Have you checked with your local Social Services Department?
    Those responsibilities are pathetic,sorry
    He needs to see what being an adult encompasses,and there's no time like the present
    Either that,or brace yourself for him being in your home 10 or 20 years from now
    butterflyblue19

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 4:33 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

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