Asking for advice on young adult living at home


#1

would welcome advice on 19 yo college student living at home. Was into drinking and “partying” (living with other guys) but asked to come back home because life was so hard. Has legal problems (minor in possession, gas-and-go) that he is taking care of responsibly. Is working and going to school. Has to test for alcohol and drugs daily which he pays for and does do on his own without any prompting from anyone. He has matured somewhat from before he left.

HOWEVER, he still hangs with the same friends even though he has heard from many different sources that he’ll eventually get in trouble if he does not re-establish with the better crowd.

I’ve established the same curfew he had before - which he keeps most of the time except usually either on a Friday or a Saturday night he ends up not coming home at all (says he is at the house he stayed at previously). “I fell asleep watching a movie.” Again, he tests daily for alcohol and drugs in order to avoid jail.

I hit my limit with this yesterday and told him if he does not change his friends, he is free to do so but will have to live somewhere else starting next weekend. We have been in church since he was born and so knows lots of others his age from there.

Would welcome others’ experience with this type of situation and the outcome from the actions taken…


#2

since you ask, you are being manipulated. Either he follows the rules or he leaves. If he is in trouble with the law becaue of drugs etc. he is probably violating the conditions of his probation by hanging out with these people. Report him.


#3

Sometimes tough love like this is necessary. He will obey the rules or he needs to leave-- especially if there are any younger children still at home. He’s an adult, he’s had ample opportunity and ample support. Only he can change, and only if he wants to.

That said, he does seem to be making the effort to change, hold a job, go to school. If you just immediately reinstated the “rules” from his childhood, perhaps you should sit down together and come to agreement on what the appropriate guidelines should be for a 19 yo.

I think you are being quite generous in your attempts to help him. He has to understand that any guidelines you set down are for your own peace of mind and for a well-functioning household. Don’t be unreasonable, but don’t give in to him either. Staying out all night is not reasonable. Hanging out with a crowd that has gotten him in trouble is not reasonable.


#4

He can’t change friends, because he probably has no other friends to change to.

Expecting a 19 year old not to have any friends is unreasonable.

He may be able to make new friends who are better companions, but this will take time.


#5

[quote=Chris Jacobsen]He can’t change friends, because he probably has no other friends to change to.

Expecting a 19 year old not to have any friends is unreasonable.

He may be able to make new friends who are better companions, but this will take time.
[/quote]

a young person close to me found herself in this identical position, because her parents refused to let her come back home because of her “lifestyle choices”. After making a lot of mistakes, and learning what a bunch of losers her friends were, and how they were dragging her down, she saw the light. Stuff like, “Why do you want to go to college, just because you thing you are better than us?” Stuff like, hiding drugs in her car or purse when they were about to be searched. Stuff like using her credit card to buy gas, beer and cigarettes, stuff like tearing up her furniture, eating her food, mooching off her for months on end, and trashing her apartment.

She came to her parents the day she turned 20 and told them, “I can’t change my life or take charge unless I get away from here and away from my friends.” She picked up, moved to another town, found a job, an apartment, then a second job. she found new friends, and praise be, a good Catholic man she later married. Parents helped with security deposits, which she paid back, and other relatives scrounged furniture, helped drive her down, phone calls to keep up her spirits. She is back in college, has a great part-time job she does at home so her toddler only needs to be in day care a few hours a week. She and her hubby teach 9th grade CCD and are active in their parish. She is very happy.

She never would have got to that point if her parents had continued to enable her destructive actions.


#6

I have a very soon to be 19yo son. He lives at home, works and goes to college. If he wants to live in my house he knows there are rules.

  1. Mass attentance is not optional
  2. He has to work to pay for his gas to get to college and anything else he needs.
  3. If he is going to be late I still deserve a phone call out of courtesy.
  4. He is still responsible for any bad behaviors he exhibits in front of younger sibs.
  5. When I ask for help with something, like a home repair, I expect him to help me.

So far I have had very few problems with him. He knows where the door is if can’t respect me enough to follow my rules. If I don’t like a friend I ask him to not have them over, if he won’t do that I walk up to the friend and nicely tell them they need to leave. I don’t play games…This has only come up once when he was in high school, but it was enough to teach him that I will call his bluff. He later asked me never to embarass him like that again, I asked him to respect my home and my rules and we won’t have this problem again, we have never had a problem since.


#7

[quote=BlestOne]I have a very soon to be 19yo son. He lives at home, works and goes to college. If he wants to live in my house he knows there are rules.

  1. Mass attentance is not optional
  2. He has to work to pay for his gas to get to college and anything else he needs.
  3. If he is going to be late I still deserve a phone call out of courtesy.
  4. He is still responsible for any bad behaviors he exhibits in front of younger sibs.
  5. When I ask for help with something, like a home repair, I expect him to help me.

So far I have had very few problems with him. He knows where the door is if can’t respect me enough to follow my rules. If I don’t like a friend I ask him to not have them over, if he won’t do that I walk up to the friend and nicely tell them they need to leave. I don’t play games…This has only come up once when he was in high school, but it was enough to teach him that I will call his bluff. He later asked me never to embarass him like that again, I asked him to respect my home and my rules and we won’t have this problem again, we have never had a problem since.
[/quote]

I like Most of your rules,I think you really thought them out being as this involved a Young adult.
regardless of how we feel we need to let our children make some mistakes,its a part of life,and it also helps them to relize we may have been right all those times.
to the poster that posted turn your kid in he may be in violation of his parole SHAME ON YOU. I have more fit wpords for you but chose to not use them,I have enough to confess,
Never turn your Back on your child,
would you want God turning his back on you every time you messed up and didnt follow the “rules”.
same exact difference…

OP its your house, But if i read your post correctly you reinstated the same rules as when he was in high school.
now this is my opinion only and please relize this ,
BUT you stated this young man has taken responsibility for himself in many many ways, DID he also do this in High school?
If he didnt than i think its time to loosen some strings a BIT
he is a tad older, maybe taken more responsibility and therefore deserves more freedoms as well. I know its hard when they stay out all night, but I also know from my own experience that staying out all night does not always mean you are "partying,boozing,or other things.I used to stay out all night a lot my rules were at minimum a phone call,which to me is a must,if he was to call and say “mom I got really tired and am going to crash here at Freds house” gave you phone number and address then i would assume he is being honest…
Now i also relize I feel differently about my children than most people do about there own, and I have a lot of trust in my kids as well,they have earned it,they mess up like all kids,and adults do.
thats part of life…

My normal 2 cents
John


#8

My kids are minors, but my experience is with my sister and brother.

Both lived at home for different periods as young adults.

Guess what! They are both in their mid to late thirties and my parents are still supporting them! It is ridiculous. Not only are my parents jeopardizing their own retirement, but my sibs can’t seem to get their lives together with Mom and Dad still catching them all the time.

However, I know I wasn’t ready to live on my own at 19. Just don’t be afraid to let your son face the consequences of his choices. Otherwise, he will never learn.


#9

Having had to be, and continuing to be, the “bad guy” on the parental end of tough love with a 28-year old…I think Blest One’s rules are very reasonable (maybe because we live within a few hours distance form each other, and share that Midwest mindset).


#10

Hi Sue, You are correct to demand him to change his friends. Look for drug rehab programs in your local catholic churches.
Also, look for a catholic church in your area that has a very active young adult group.

1 Corinthians 15:33 (New International Version)
**
"Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
**
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#11

Thanks Daniel…

Sue g.


#12

More than one set of parents have sent their children away. Partly to avoid a police raid on their house. Partly to help children avoid arrest (friend on the police force strongly recommended immediate action because some cops were looking for an easy arrest/conviction).

Moved the children to another state. Far away from the old friends. Never came back to the old haunts.

Got jobs. Joined the military. GI Bill benefits. Finished school. Got married. Lived happily ever after.


#13

I spoke to a priest about the same type of thing yesterday. But my son is 25 and can’t seem to get his act together even after the military. My husband gave him till March 1st to do something with his life or get out.
My priest said to me that his mother threw out his brother and he became an architect so all I can do is pray. Because I have had it.


#14

Had experience with Step-daughter. House rules or OUT!! this was after much crying, trying, praying, counseling. At 18 she was legally on her own.

Unfortunately, she has not changed her life much. At 27 she has a young son, no husband. She chooses to live thousands of miles from us and calls crying from time to time, asking for money. We still hold out hope that one day she will see the light and come home to a loving supportive family. She knows she has the option of living her lifestyle or ours and so far, she still prefers hers.

Good luck with your teenager. Let him know that he is an “adult” and his choices are his and he will have to live the consequences, good or bad. It is very difficult for parents to go through, but always hold your hand out just in case he will take it and embrace your good moral, christian, lifestyle.

God bless,

Mom of 5


#15

[quote=Mom of 5] We still hold out hope that one day she will see the light and come home to a loving supportive family. She knows she has the option of living her lifestyle or ours and so far, she still prefers hers.
God bless,

Mom of 5
[/quote]

HOPE #1 word in this situation. SOmetimes we really have to let go and let God.


#16

ok I have a confession to make. I have a great relationship with my son for a couple of reasons:

  1. We have always been so alike it is funny. My husband even laughs when he hears us arguing; he says it sounds like I am arguing with myself. We are almost always saying the same thing in different ways. We argue about things like what video card is the best, how to best set up a network…etc. I didn’t mean shout match arguing.
  2. Since we are so much alike I talk to him about just about everything…since he was a baby. At 5 I was dragging him to work with me teaching him about electricity and electronics. We talk about politics, religion, careers…just everything.
  3. I was kicked out of my own home at 18. Because of that I didn’t get a chance to finish college at 21 like most of my friends. I had to pay for everybit of my education, I had to work and support myself…This affected how I view college and also how I view my role as a parent of a kid this age. I would much rather he finish school and get his degree. He saw how difficult it was for me to be a single mom and go back to school when he was 12 to get my degree.
  4. I didn’t hide it from my kids that I was underpaid because I didn’t have my degree…I explained this ad nauseum to them; everytime they wanted something I couldn’t afford.
  5. My kids all know that my rules are non negotiable. If they want me to reconsider a decision they know I will, but don’t count on my mind changing unless you really have a good reason I should. I am however open to discussing the rules or decisions and why they were made. I have my reasons after all…maybe they need to know them.
  6. Last but definitely not least…the rules have changed very little over the years…they were always required to go to mass, they were always required to earn the money for extra things they wanted, as well as always helping around the house and manners and courtesy were always important…they know the rules…because they have lived them everyday for pretty much their whole lives…

#17

Sue, I think the best place for your son to be is at home, under your supervision. You can best influence his decisions that way. If he leaves, he may make all the wrong choices and end up in jail. You mentioned that he has become more responsible. Keep encouraging that, enforcing it if necessary.

I have a 19 year old son who lives at home. He has a good job, as a conductor on the railway, and I make him pay rent, not a whole lot, just enough to get him used to the real world. He doesn’t always make the best choices, but we want him to live at home for a few more years, because that way he can mature into a responsible adult with our influence. If he were to live with his friends, I’m sure he would not outlive his youth. Some boys are just not mature enough to leave home when they graduate. My husband always says our son is a 12 year old in the body of a 19 year old. He still needs his parents.


#18

Yes, paramedic girl, i do want him to stay here as long as possible. He lived a partying lifestyle with other guys right after high school till now. He was arrested for minor drinking and even did a couple of larcenies (gas-and-go) - one of which he is going to court tomorrow. So I would like him to stay here for my influence - and if not I can at least orchestrate some type of situation where he chooses between being “out there” again (which he does not seem to want to do - yippee) or go into some type of treatment.

I cannot find a hint of drug or alcohol use (he tests 7 days a week for alcohol and 1 day a week for drugs). But he smokes cigarettes, hangs out with the partying friends, misses curfew, is late for work, blows off classes, sleeps late in the day, stays up late at night, resists going to church or doing things with the friends he has there. It’s hard for me to believe he is not drinking or drugging… One day very soon a day of reckoning for him will come and I’m prepared with a plan of action for drug evaluation, etc. But pray for patience for me. This is, to tell you the truth, confusing for me.

If i didn’t have two other sons who turned out fine, I would think it was my parenting.


#19

[quote=sue g]Yes, paramedic girl, i do want him to stay here as long as possible. He lived a partying lifestyle with other guys right after high school till now. He was arrested for minor drinking and even did a couple of larcenies (gas-and-go) - one of which he is going to court tomorrow. So I would like him to stay here for my influence - and if not I can at least orchestrate some type of situation where he chooses between being “out there” again (which he does not seem to want to do - yippee) or go into some type of treatment.

I cannot find a hint of drug or alcohol use (he tests 7 days a week for alcohol and 1 day a week for drugs). But he smokes cigarettes, hangs out with the partying friends, misses curfew, is late for work, blows off classes, sleeps late in the day, stays up late at night, resists going to church or doing things with the friends he has there. It’s hard for me to believe he is not drinking or drugging… One day very soon a day of reckoning for him will come and I’m prepared with a plan of action for drug evaluation, etc. But pray for patience for me. This is, to tell you the truth, confusing for me.

If i didn’t have two other sons who turned out fine, I would think it was my parenting.
[/quote]

I will add you and your son to my prayer list. It’s a list that keeps on growing! :slight_smile: Please be patient with your son. Some boys really need that extra time to mature and become responsible adults. It sounds like you are on the right track. I feel very strongly that a boy like your son is better off under his parents’ roof than with a bunch of party going friends. At least this way you still have influence over him. If he were to move out, who knows what would happen?


#20

Paramedicgirl:

Thank you for your prayers.

Went to court with him yesterday for pre-trial on gas-and-go. Thank God, the judge wanted a parent there. She told him he has to keep curfew and every other rule in my house in order to avoid going to jail, and she told me she wants me to tell her if he does break the house rules. I now feel like I have some back-up here. Believe it or not, I would rather see him in jail than on the street. In this area anyway, there are lots of help programs available for young adults in the jail system. The judge also instructed that every time he goes before the judge, I have to be there. This is a first.

God is good and is working on behalf of this family.


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