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How to I convince him this is not the free soup line?

One of my grown children has lost his job (a regular occurance for him) and shows up daily to eat. He dosen't knock, just walks in and heads straight for the fridge. We have finally convinced him to call before he shows up but not to knock or ask before raiding our fridge. Things I have planned for dinner are sometimes consumed before my husband gets home and I end up having to plan an entire meal and start over every night. I am trying to keep our food budget at a reasonable pace, but with this going on it is IMPOSSIBLE. We have 7 kids, 3 still at home. 2 living near by. Most of the grown kids are responsible, but this one seems to think someone should take care of him. He "crashed" with one of his brothers without helping with groceries or rent for 6 months who finally moved to get rid of him. He has a good heart but he's incrediblly irresponsible. I'm out of ideas and could use some help. Thank you!

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7babies4me

Asked by 7babies4me at 9:19 PM on Mar. 11, 2009 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 4 (56 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • Keep packs of ramen noodles at home for him. when he's hungry he can make and eat them but until he pays bills or unless its a big family dinner that everyone else is invited to he doesn't eat anything else in your kitchen.
    Water and ramen noodles. he should get tired of that and get a job.
    MamaChamp

    Answer by MamaChamp at 9:21 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • Give him directions to the nearest soup kitchen. That's what my mom did to my sister. Even offered her a bus pass.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:29 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • He is your child! if he isn't out commiting murder or rape then be happy. He will grow up one day but til then you don't want him thinking you love him any less.
    lovingmybrats

    Answer by lovingmybrats at 9:29 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • I have one child almost like that. He never eats here. ( Why are there dishes in the sink when I get home). Sounds selfish but I put signs on the food that I need to keep. I still have a two yr old and he is priority, and I tell him just that.
    I also hand him a bill when I am running behind on something. My little way of saying not everything is for free.
    On him quitting jobs for what ever reason. I always went on line to fill something out for him and brought him around on my days off to fill out applications. He either filled it out or he would be walking. Sounds cruel, but gave him time to think. If his life was soo bad he would have to do something about it. Also showed him there are jobs out there just have to look differently. (Remember the 70's)
    All in short he had turned around somewhat. Now has to deal with the same thing w/his girlfriend and her family. What comes around go around.
    kittee67

    Answer by kittee67 at 9:37 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • Speaking as the mother of a former mooch I can tell you the only way to go is straight upfront. Reassure him of your love then tell him you cannot afford to feed him. We agrreed to call before coming..then knock and walk in calling my name. I told my son he could make a PB&J or a package of ramen ..ONE or the other, and only one of each. He tried to push it a few times. He gave that up pretty quick. Mine crashed with a brother too for 3 months. It was a disaster. We basically had a family meeting..much like an intervention and told him what was, and what was not going to be acceptable from then on. He had a new job and his own place in 6 months. He did move in with my Mom for 3 months BUT...he did pay a modest rent and did all the yardwork for food. Don't continue enabling him to make bad choices. Love him enough to tell him NO.
    GrnEyedGrandma

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 9:39 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • HEY HE IS YOUR SON YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT HIM LIKE HE IS JUST ONE OF YOUR SONS BUDDIES I ALWAYS RAID MY MOMMYS FRIDGE WHEN I GO OVER THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUT IF HE IS THAT BAD SET DOWN AND TALK TO HIM HELL UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE OTHER CHILDRENTO FEED HE PROBABLY DONT EVEN KNOW IT IS BOTHERING U
    ashleystoner86

    Answer by ashleystoner86 at 10:31 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • He's in his mid 20's, not 18. Some kids take longer to grow up than others, but this is above and beyond. My others don't act like this! No he is not committing murder or rape, but he has made it financially hard on 3 of his sibblings. He left one with a 3.5k cell phone bill which his dad and I paid off and got one kicked out of an apartment. He moved in with my FIL for a while, and he didn't even buy groceries even though he was working at the time. We have spent almost 60k on him since he moved out not including school, its time for him to pull his own weight and treat everyone with some courtesy.

    I talked to him tonight and told him that I love his company but he has to knock when he comes to visit. I also told him that I know he is financially strapped, and if he wants to have a meal with us he is welcome to do that every night while he is still looking for a job, but I shouldn't find his butt hanging out of the fridge
    7babies4me

    Answer by 7babies4me at 2:20 AM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • I would try putting labels on the food that is for a meal or which you have set aside for another purpose. Also include the words "Do not eat this." Sounds like, too, that he may have an emotional problem. Is there any reason why he would be more dependent than the others? Is he the middle child, by any chance? Is there any reason why he would have lower self-esteem? I always try to look past the behavior to see if I can determine some unmet need. I don't think you should continue to let him take advantage of the family. At the same time, I would want to find a way to help him change if I could.
    NannyB.

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:46 AM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • His birth mom committed suicide when he was 13. We got 3 kids at that time. He has always been very emotionally needy, which is why we have been trying to be patient. However there is a point in time he needs to stand on his own two feet. His 2 biological sibblings have grown and managed to function well as adults. And all of the kids have tried to be patient but we are all growing tired. And yes, he did grief counseling after she passed.
    7babies4me

    Answer by 7babies4me at 11:19 AM on Mar. 12, 2009

  • Change your home locks and direct him to a food pantry in his area. 


    http://www.angelfoodministries.com/hosts.asp

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:15 AM on Mar. 13, 2009

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