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My son is 18 and much freedom do you give?

So now I can not get him to think about his future. I need him to take a test for college so that I can start planning my finances and financial aid, but he won't. It is to late for him to go in the fall so he must go in the spring at this point so I would like for him to get a job and save for a car....he won't do it. He asked me for money last night so he could go out and i refused to give him any...hoping he would eventually get sick of mooching off his friends. He went outanyway, didn't come home on time last night (midnight) and instead called me at 2am and started yelling at me that he was going to spend the night at his friends house. Now I am not sure why he would yell at me and I was sort of happy that at least he was courteous to enough to call. I am sort of confused on how much freedom you give a 18 yr old child, but how do I effectively put the pressure on this boy to get his stuff together? My husband just gets mad and gets up in his face and starts yelling..I do not feel that that is productive either. We have talked about putting together in writing the new rules and what is expected if he lives here.......His attitude is "yeah Mom..ok Mom...but he is still going to do what he wants. I know it is summer and he accomplished such a great thing by long is party time?


Asked by Anonymous at 11:18 AM on Jun. 14, 2011 in Adult Children (18+)

This question is closed.
Answers (21)
  • I would set a deadline and tell him that by that date, he had to have a job or he had to move out. You have to make him responsible for himself. I would not give him money for anything, and until the deadline date, he would have to abide by the rules of my home or he would be out sooner. Love has to be tough, and it sounds like you may have been a little too easy on him heretofore. So draw some boundaries and enforce them. Tell him you love him and you want to help him succeed in life, but there are conditions that he must meet in order for you to be able to help him now. He can find some kind of a job. It may not be what he wants to do, but he can earn some money and keep looking for something better. There's a book entitled BOUNDARIES by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend that might help you.

    Answer by NannyB. at 11:23 AM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I would tell him that in 30 days he either is going to start paying rent, or find somewhere else to live. He needs to realize he can't live off you forever. And if he doesn't follow house rules, he's out.

    Answer by missanc at 11:20 AM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I would also add that you should take part of the money he makes. You can decide how much. You can either use it toward household expenses or you can save it toward a car for him or toward college expenses. Children who have to work for what they have appreciate it much more than those who simply have things handed over to them.

    Answer by NannyB. at 11:25 AM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • Now that he is an adult, he can work on getting money on his own. If he wants to be an adult, let him. Just don't give him anything.

    With the way he is acting, i would give him a month also & tell him he needs to move out. Let him know the only way he can stay with you is if he attends college. Otherwise, it's time to be an adult & care for himself...which means making his own money.

    Answer by samurai_chica at 11:26 AM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • Now he's an adult he needs to start learning how to live like one. His friends will quickly tire of his mooching, but don't give in to his demands for money.

    As others have said, set a deadline for him to start paying rent, or he has to move out.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 11:27 AM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • If he thinks he is a adult then tell him he must find a job now and if he isn't going to school full time that is fine but must have to work.

    And tell not to shout at you again, that is very rude. And if is still being rude than tell him Good by you have move out!!

    Answer by gammie at 11:26 AM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • wow.

    This should have been discussed all along. My kids are in high school now and already know the rules: college or move out.

    Those are the ONLY options. Either you are getting an education or you are CHOOSING to be a grown up... and grown ups dont live off mommy and daddy.

    Give him 2 weeks to a month to find a full time job or 2 part time jobs. Do NOT give him spending money unless he is earning it through chores. Then give him 3mo. to save to move out. That would put him right about the time his classmates would be going to college.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:27 AM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • what missanc said...he may not be ready to be an adult..he may not be ready to go to college. I am 25 and will just now be starting college in the fall..before then it would have beena waste of my time because I was not ready. You cannot push him to do something YOU want him to do if HE is not ready for it. i know it;s hard as a parent,but he may need to work some dead end jobs living with roomates for a life for a bit before starting college.

    Answer by happymama02 at 11:27 AM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • I have two out of the house now and at 18 they had all the freedom in the world. They were adults free to choose what path their lives went. I was there for support, support for positive behavior and ideas mind you. My dd had a baby at 17, and I wasnt happy at 18 she lived with her now husband and they got their act together, got married, and they support themselves now. They have two kids and are happy. My now 19 yr old had to move out he like your son wouldnt follow house rules, take his meds (hes bipolar) and was getting in trouble with the law. He moved in with his sister and is doing better but refuses to work or go to college, a requirement in our home. I have a 17 yr old who turns 18 in July. He works, gets good grades, will be graduating next yr, we BOUGHT his car bc he was that good. He pays his own insurance. He is a missionary etc. So lay down the law. No school no job no love.

    Answer by gemgem at 11:35 AM on Jun. 14, 2011

  • Oh and PS tell him he has no much time to take his test for college or he can pay for it himself. You arent obligated to pay.

    Answer by gemgem at 11:36 AM on Jun. 14, 2011