Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)


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.

Answer Question

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

Level 4 (28 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • How is he paying for his living expenses? The money for college or anything else from me would stop until he's ready to go back and keep decent grades.

    Answer by missanc at 4:13 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • Tell him he has 90 days to get his act together,or he's completely on his own.
    If he lives at home,start the proceedings to get him evicted. Cut off all financial support

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 4:17 PM on Jan. 1, 2013

  • He "pays" for his expenses by taking the trash out, and he is suppose to keep the dishes done which he does about 75% of the time. He has a cell (only because we have no home phone) and a car (to get to class). I wish we lived in an area that lent itself to public transport but our bus system's closes bus comes about 2 miles away.
    butterflyblue...believe me when I say I have considered this. But his mental health is not completely normal yet and I worry about sending him into a depressive slump again.
    missanc...i actually got him hooked up with Voc Rehab and he could have his school PAID for or a JOB but does not follow through with his voc rehab counselor either...and he is an adult so privacy rules and all that.

    Comment by donnabc (original poster) at 4:24 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

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 4:33 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.

    Answer by amandajoy21 at 4:35 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.

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 4:43 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.

    Answer by missanc at 4:54 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.

    Answer by Dardenella at 5:33 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.

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

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

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.