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At a tipping point !!!!


gary1958

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I am at a tipping point. I have 20 yr old son who is in college and lives with me full time. He is smart in so many ways but there are certain things that I swear are going to kill me. He has a thing about forgetfulness or just not giving a damn. I am early 50’s and although I thought I would have my life back at this age and he would well on the way to be living his, seems I am now living his. Double checking on things, making sure he has done things he needs to do which typically he has not, reminding him, chastising him. Case in point, he flew back from Edmonton AB last night. Was out there attending his uncles funeral who just died of a massive heart attack. I open his suitcase and he has left a toiletry case with stuff including medication, brand new dress pants, jeans all 200 miles away. This happens all of the time. When we were checking in at the airport at the kiosk, he was pushing all the wrong buttons, not reading just clicking. We had to start over 3 times. This happens a lot. It is not absent mindedness or forgetfulness. It’s more like he just too lazy to do it. So I now live his life. Doing everything I need to do to make sure his life doesn’t fall apart. I told him last night if he was in the trades or had a job and was at a job site and continually forgot and left tools at the site he would be fired sooner than later. I told him if he doesn’t change these patterns he is going to have a very hard time holding down any kind of job. But this is a huge stressor on me as I am constantly worrying about whether he has done everything he needs to do in a given day. I am going to end up following the same path as his uncle. I know we are supposed to let them go and potentially fail and learn from their mistakes but it is very hard to do that. Not sure how to approach this anymore.

I came home last week walking up the driveway and looking at his car, the right side was lower than the left. Got closer and his back passenger tire was almost flat. I went in and asked him why he hasn’t filled his tire. He told me and I quote “ I tried to fill the tire but there was more air going out than coming in. I couldn’t get the nozzle to fit correctly, so I gave up” Really…. Really… So you weren’t going to tell anyone or try and get someone else to do it. Just drive around on a flat tire…. This is what I deal with and cant anymore.

 

I’m done….it’s not fair…. I’m the best parent in the world but this is draining….

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You need to stop doing everything for him or he will never learn how to be independent.

I had friends that stayed with their parents till almost 30, but they knew how to wipe their a*s so to say, they were working and saving money, pretty much independent and some of them even payed for the apartment that belonged to the parent/parents.

Your boy is just immature, and he is used to the fact that you will double check everything.

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My little brother is the same way...but...my parents keep enabling him. The more they help him, the stupider and more lazy he gets. He lives with me...and my mom comes over and does his laundry, washes his sheets, does all the dishes he leaves molding in his room...and she works full time! He works part time and lives in his room playing COD. He forgets to pay bills, he forgets to change the oil on his car...he can't wake up in time for work and forgets shifts...so my mom calls him to wake him up. Like...wth?

 

Gary...it's hard, but you need to let him screw up. Don't bail him out. Let him screw up his car because he's too lazy to get his tires looked at. Let him call and pay to get his meds shipped back...He has to grow up. You're part of the problem...you're enabling him.

 

Children rise to the level of expectations that you give them...if you have low expectations, that's all he'll be. Raise the bar.

 

Btw, are you in Calgary?

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I think the genereal answer you are going to get on here is the same ...

 

you have to let him make these mistakes ... I am a parent so I know it is easier said than done ..my 14 yr old is not responsible for anything in the house other than her room .....her room looks like iraq has been practising !!!!

 

so I am a fine one to talk ...I know

 

but what else is the answer ...you have to let him eff it up , then when it is effed up you have to let him pick up the pieces and work out how to fix it ....

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The only way he will learn, is by you stopping doing everything for him..

My brother is 27, and my mums only just learning this - but she still bails him out when he hasn't got enough money to MOT the car, or out of his phone bill.

She does all his washing, runs around after him etc..

You have to LET him make mistakes, because he cant learn how to live and be a functioning member of society without making them. You don't know what the consequences of failing to pay something on time, or failing to fix something until it happens to you. So his tire, I can understand fixing that, because that could be a matter of life or death, but his phone bill for instance, his phone would be cut off, he'd lose a bit on his credit or whatever.

Washing, he'd have to go around in smelly clothes until he figured out how to put a wash on - my mum still needs to do that for my brother, who throws a hissy fit when my mum hasn't washed his socks in a week - he should damn well do it lol..

 

And if his essays aren't done, that is his problem not yours! Let him get a fail on some work, and see if he changes and works harder. it wont happen overnight though.

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I have an 18 year old with ADD, so I totally get what you are going through.

 

Think of it this way- at this point it is your job to love and encourage. Each time you are tempted to "help" please take time to remember that you would be robbing your son of a chance to learn and grow.

 

Have a talk with your son. Tell him you love him and that you realize he is growing up. Tell him you are taking a step back because he is now becoming a man. But that you will always be there for advice and encouragement if he asks.

 

When I was 20 I needed some dental work done so I called my mom because they always had paid for it before. She was sympathetic but suggested I make payment arrangements with the dentist. I was shocked but I got the message loud and clear- I was on my own.

 

My friend has a 21 year old that lives on her "own" but is also needing some nudging and encouragement. It's all a balancing act.

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One of my pals is 37 , he still lives with his mum and dad ...he has a girlfriend , so he goes from her to his home with mum and dad , his mum does the washing , the cooking , the cleaning ...he is not responsible for any bills etc ..

 

this is nothing he wouldn't admit to so I am not breaking any confidences here , because suddenly it's not so great any more ..he has realised he has got to 37 and feels stuck and at times he seems shocked at how he got to this age and life has not changed .

 

so the moral of my story is ...it seems my friend now wishes his parents had pushed a lot more independance his way .

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I have a cousin with CAPD. He went to a college that specialized in teaching students ---- and he is successfully married, with 3/4 kids and a great career.

My aunt was a teacher, and noticed this early enough to help him develop the tools to overcome it.

 

You and your son need to tackle this together. Help him find/develop the tools. Stop doing for him.

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If he forgets his stuff, its his problem not yours. If there is no air in his tire, its his problem not yours etc, etc. I have no idea why you get so stressed on his behalf, you cannot control his action or inaction so shrug it off and think "If you doesnt care, why the hell should I?" and get on with your day.

 

He will soon learn to fix these things as long as no one (you) else does it for him. Dont we all, eventually?

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I know I struggle to remember things...so I put everything into the calendar on my phone. everything. Even..."change furnace filter" , "call to set up dr app", "buy bananas", "refill prescription"...I even have my daughters immunization schedule in there...I have things that are 4 years away in my phone. Hey, whatever keeps you organized. The neat thing is, most phones will sync to a computer program, like outlook or hotmail and you can share the calendar with others. Might be an idea for your son.

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Let him grow up and make his own mistakes. It's really hard not to worry about your adult kids when they live with you, but if you treat him like a child he'll have no reason to change. Why would he worry about driving on a flat tire if you'll take care of it eventually? You may think he's being stupid, but is he really if he gets all of the benefits but none of the costs that you provide?

 

there are certain things that I swear are going to kill me.... I am early 50’s and although I thought I would have my life back at this age and he would well on the way to be living his, seems I am now living his. Double checking on things, making sure he has done things he needs to do which typically he has not, reminding him, chastising him.

 

The above quote from you is very telling. This life IS your life. There is no getting "it" back, you live your life every day and make your choices. It is interesting that you admit you are living HIS life, and it is killing you. Why let it kill you, or even use those words? I get that it is frustrating, and making others change is a thankless and frustrating job. If you are double checking things that might harm you or your home, tell him it is time to move out. Yeah, it might mean he can't afford an education. That's HIS life, his risk, not yours. If he's risking his own well-being, well let him. He is an adult. It takes awhile to mature into adulthood, but parents have to get out of the way and let their offspring sink or swim. All parents, all species, even birds and and fish and dogs and cats.

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