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The challenge of young adults at home


MorningStar

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We are having difficulties with our oldest. We fell for the gap year because he claimed to be preparing for a mission, but that ended up not being true. He threw away an entire year for a crappy job. He quit the crappy job when it seemed to be causing health problems and he was on the verge of needing surgery. He ended up improving after quitting, but still hasn't found a new job. Days ago I told him he had 4 weeks to find a job or move out. He stopped going to church months ago and I know some people feel like that should be expected as long as they're living under your roof, but I just didn't see how that would help things. 

Last night we were about to have family prayer and he still had his headphones on. I asked him to remove them and he said, "I'll just leave the room instead." Now that he's negatively influencing his younger siblings, I just want him gone period. :( I do love him, but he's not progressing in life in any way and it's so frustrating. We just got a new smart TV for a great deal and you can block any input you want, so he will have zero fun when he decides he wants to have alone time in the living room from 12am to 4am. Just to annoy him more, I slept on the couch last night to further ruin it for him. 

The past couple of years have been a nightmare between my parents' health, my health, other challenges with children, etc.. I'm now doing better and am feeling more equipped to handle the drama that's about to happen. He better believe me that I will make him move out, whether it's to couch surf or be homeless. It's an awful thought, but he's acting like an entitled brat. He rarely leaves the house at all unless it's to play games with friends. :( 

Have any of you had to get really tough with your young adult children? I just don't understand this. I was so determined to be an adult and not mooch off of my parents. He still has some money left from his job and if no one his home, he orders door dash instead of making himself something. I'm so done! 

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Adult children should be treated as adults.  Don't be an "enabler".

I have an employee that kicked out her eldest son with a similar fact pattern to yours.

Years later he thanked his mother saying "it was the best thing you ever did for me."

The military can be great for our aimless youth.  Suggest it.

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39 minutes ago, MorningStar said:

We are having difficulties with our oldest.

I won't quote your full post here... As you are aware, I don't have a lot of experience to pass along to you... but from what I know of others in my ward and elsewhere, this is not a unique experience for you.  That doesn't help you feel better in your situation, but perhaps others can help... I can only send my prayers MS (and right now as I type this, tears came into my eyes because I know this situation hurts and disappoints you greatly)... I have several friends whose children have turned away from the teachings and standards they were raised with when they get to the late teens... It is always puzzling to me... but then I have to think that I, too, turned away although I never lost my testimony or feeling for the Church.  But it would be many years before I would turn back... so even though I broke my folks' hearts, our relationship was still close (i.e., I wasn't a brat so to speak).  I deeply regret those years... maybe as your oldest is on his own he will mature and your relationship will improve.  I can only hope for this... So MS, you know you are in my prayers... I just wish I had some wise words for you...

GG   

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It can be tough.   I require any child once they've finished highschool to sign a lease in which they pay rent (option to earn it cannot get work, but must be working, looking for work, going to college/training, and/or volunteering a full 40 hours per week).   I requires church attendance but not "our" church.  It requires living the standards.  It requires chores.  And they cannot be anywhere but their rented room when the family goes to bed.   (I use the rent to pay for everything they break or lose or damage or use (like when they sleep and do video games all night) when they shouldn't or waste, and although I don't tell them this (and all of that has so far used up their rent), I will give back that rent when they move out for deposit on their own place.   I sometimes offer to pay for their therapy using that rent money.    My kids think I'm greedy and heartless.    But I want to give them every chance to be successful and develop good habits they need going forward.  And IME, if the home experience is too cushy, they are not nearly as interested in moving forward with their life (which is why the rent is set at what they're going to have to pay in the real world.

The other reason I do this is that an adult child in most states living in your home has legal rights that prevent you from just kicking him out.   So I want them to have committed to a lease that provides the most protection and freedom for us, and the most notice to them so they can conform if they wish.

What I would do in your place is to set this kind of thing upit a week to week, with you having the right to kick him out immediately for bad language or anything that looks viollent to you, or the like.   Give him a month to find a job and help him find the local state labor office that dispenses WOIA funds (as this can fund figuring  out what kind of a job as well the training/ed for it.   And I would insist that the kiddo see a therapist (I'd pay for it if I could).    Because it sounds a lot like your son is having mental health issues (quite possible ones that can get through and over with some help understanding himself).  I'd cut out any use of family paid for electronics except for job search and stuff about faith (again not limiting it to ours).   I would quit doing anything for him that he can do for himself (including cooking and washing his dishes and laundry if you are still doing any of that.    I would give him a three to six month move out date.  And each week, I'd post how many days left.   And yes, I'd kick him out if he violates the lease (btw, you ask him to sign it, but if he refuses, you merely post it on his door saying that if he continues to live in this remove he has agreed to obey it all, and you are relying on that.  You might want to take a video asking him to sign, and then posting it if he doesn't.)   Or if you don't want to evict him for something, make sure the lease says that any waiver of a breach doesn't change the original lease term.   I always tell them when I give it to them that we are happy to discuss any term and we'll consider their desired changes, and I do.   Sometimes I even agree to something they've suggested.

There have been lots of times when we have decided something for a child, only to have the Holy Ghost slap us upside the head and do something differently.   One of the hardest things I've ever experienced is to call persuade direct aright, but never force the human mind.     And tough love looks a lot like force to the person on the other end.   So I think you model for your other children loving people who are choosing differently.   Your other kids know what is right.   The acts of their older brother doesn't have to pollute their faith and likely won't if you can forever model your own discipleship.   Of course you will have to have some discussions with them about what to do when those around you are doing things you know aren't right.   And yes, you'll probably find yourself needing to apologize to this child in front of the others for the how of your reactions sometimes.   You son isn't lost:  he's just stopped.   You may not know what getting him to move forward will require, but his Heavenly Parents and Savior do.   Yes, advise his EQP.   Yes, physically drive him to the Young Single Adult Ward, or to Institute classes (I'd consider giving him bus fare home for at least a few weeks to do that.)   He probably doesn't believe he can do everything you want him to do.   That is why helping him get Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and adulting help can be so important so you know that he needs to go to find his own way, not because he doesn't know how to or mentally cannot find his own way.   

It is hard.   I feel for you.  

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Tough love, is always toughest on the parents, but often a necessary evil (good) to help our children understand that we cannot and will not sponsor bad decisions, or lifestyle choices. It is heartbreaking, but we must guard against the idea that “especially”, when our young, may be influenced by their older siblings, to follow suit, or believe when the time comes, they might be able to do the same, as in get the year off, at their parents expense. When I say, “parents expense”, I am not just speaking of finances, but also (if not more so) the “emotional expense, or toll”. The “emotional” can be painful in every area of family life, especially the “marriage”, as often both man and wife, can find themselves of different pages. 
 

Sometimes, there is a difficult road that leads to maturity, and sadly for some, it is not always the, “straight and narrow”. Next time, before he is gone, if he says, “I’ll just leave the room”, instead of removing his earbuds, let him know that while he lives there, this is not an option, tell him you will wait, or call upon him to pray. I have four adult children, two who are struggling with the Gospel, both who are “now” responsible adults, one being my adult daughter who is Gay, and who says she will never return as a member in good standing. But, I still call upon her to pray, and she knows that “refusal is not an option”. She also knows, when she is sick, and wants a blessing, that my “refusal is not an option”, as my children, and my wife and I do not let our feelings with one another, let our feelings, interfere with our respect for our Faith. As a result, we all have a very close relationship, because even when we cannot, or will not live with one another, we would all give our lives for one another, in an instant. Let him know and feel, that no matter how hard the road, or logistics become, your sense of duty to one another will stand the test of time! 

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3 hours ago, MorningStar said:

Now that he's negatively influencing his younger siblings, I just want him gone period.

This part of your post caught my eye.  I’d invite you to have an open and frank discussion with your younger children about their brother.  Ask them how they feel about him.  Make sure you let them know you’re not looking for them to tell you what they think you want to hear, you just want to know what’s in their hearts.  You may be surprised by what they say and where the discussion goes...be careful not to stifle their comments by jumping in too early to try to “correct” or “instruct” them.  Beginning a healthy dialogue with them while they’re younger will likely reduce the likelihood you repeat your current experience with your younger children.

As to your son, one invitation.  Ask him if you can hold him.  If he seems reluctant, tell him you won’t say anything while you hold him.  When you’re done, thank him and ask him if you can hold him for a minute or two each day.  If you feel the need to impose any conditions on his staying in your home, I’d suggest putting this at the top of the list.  

Softened hearts communicate well.

My experience In parenting and all other aspects of my life has been that the Divine promise that we will be given in the very moment what to say (and do) if we treasure up words of wisdom is a true one.  Godspeed to you.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, let’s roll said:

Make sure you let them know you’re not looking for them to tell you what they think you want to hear, you just want to know what’s in their hearts.  You may be surprised by what they say and where the discussion goes.

You also want to be careful to avoid suggesting they are the reason you want him gone, otherwise they might interpret that as their fault...for not behaving good enough, for not being strong enough in your eyes to resist the bad influences he might have, etc.  It happens with divorces...kids blaming themselves for not being perfect.  I can see something similar to it happening with siblings leaving when there is contention involved.

I am ultrasensitive to this because this is how my Dad would explain some of changes our family went through (sending us younger kids to live with Grandma when they were trying to sell the house, when Mom's reason was to make it easier for us as well as them; sending me back to college early when the house got too crowded by the return of my older siblings for summer, for example) which would later horrify Mom when she found out, but damage done.  Whether Dad actually saw things that way or just wasn't careful with his phrasing, hard to know.  He rewrote those kinds of things in his memory, so I suspect he just wasn't thinking it through.

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, let’s roll said:

This part of your post caught my eye.  I’d invite you to have an open and frank discussion with your younger children about their brother.  Ask them how they feel about him.  Make sure you let them know you’re not looking for them to tell you what they think you want to hear, you just want to know what’s in their hearts.  You may be surprised by what they say and where the discussion goes...be careful not to stifle their comments by jumping in too early to try to “correct” or “instruct” them.  Beginning a healthy dialogue with them while they’re younger will likely reduce the likelihood you repeat your current experience with your younger children.

As to your son, one invitation.  Ask him if you can hold him.  If he seems reluctant, tell him you won’t say anything while you hold him.  When you’re done, thank him and ask him if you can hold him for a minute or two each day.  If you feel the need to impose any conditions on his staying in your home, I’d suggest putting this at the top of the list.  

Softened hearts communicate well.

My experience In parenting and all other aspects of my life has been that the Divine promise that we will be given in the very moment what to say (and do) if we treasure up words of wisdom is a true one.  Godspeed to you.

 

 

Beautiful! Absolutely awesome! Wish I'd been this way, I took the tough love route often, but wonder now if I should have been more a friend than a parent, honestly. Be somewhere in the middle, I think.

And for  @MorningStar I have my 22 year old son living at home, he needs to move out, but when he moved out at 18 with a friend, all heck went loose. His friend went on a mission and left my son living in a house with a few others in Provo. And then my son met some friends that introduced him to weed. Well now he loves weed, and got into some trouble when he was caught underage drinking, but not while driving thankfully. Well his license was revoked for a second offense, luckily not driving, but still in trouble. So we had to take him in, since he didn't have a license for two years, so he had to go to work with my husband and now works with him. And he can be hard to live with. I'm trying hard to figure out how to get him out on his own, now that he has his license back. But I worry where he'll end up again, since the first time he got into trouble and went a little skillywampas.

I blame myself though, for not forming a better bond with this youngest child. I understand what you're going through though. I just hope you don't hurt your relationship with him, that's why I love what let's roll said about the hugging part. I didn't do that enough, and wonder if there is an under lining problem that your son isn't talking about, or maybe he is little on the rebellious and selfish side.  But sometimes these children go through these phases, and come back to be the best children, partly because they feel so rotten for being rotten, they later want to make it up to you. I was a rebellious young adult and my mother prayed her knees off for me, but she was always so loving and didn't react to me like I have with my children, maybe because I worried that my family wasn't looking the part or maybe I was worried my kids might rebel and hang out with the wrong people like I did, dunno. I look back and wish so much I'd been like my sweet mom now. BTW, not one of my 5 kids are active, maybe it's a good thing, cause I'd be devastated if I was still true believing. 

Isn't it interesting sometimes when the parents who are semi wild and not that strict with church and all, sometimes end up with perfect children, and then the strict LDS parents end up with hellions? I've noticed this for some reason. 

 

Edited by Tacenda
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My first child, a daughter, moved out and got married at 18, but they are still married with two sons and now married for 16 years, I was so tough on her, which can be typical with the first child. She even was a cutter, I called the cops and had them talk to her, I don't know why, crazy that I did that, should have hugged the life out of her. 

Second daughter moved out at around 19 or so when I threatened she had to because she didn't want to follow the curfew times, and she moved out and came back with tattoo's in a few places, but later married a returned missionary not in the temple, both are inactive now, with a new baby girl.

Third son did as your son has and took a year off and worked before going on a mission, he was an awesome missionary. But he's now resigned from the church after learning some things from fellow returned missionary friends, and they are also resigned, I kept my disbelief hidden while he was on his mission and after, it was the beginning of my faith crisis. 

Fourth son also just resigned from the church, so that makes two, and lives with his girlfriend, he about went on a mission, but changed his mind and was almost harrassed with so many bishop meetings to get him to go.

Fifth child is the one who is 22 and living at home right now. So can you imagine? I would be in a nuthouse if I was the active believing LDS I use to be and then to see all of my children turn away from the church. They all tell me I was too strict as far as the church goes and now most not all, hate the church.

All are wonderful children despite not fitting the LDS mold, I see their hearts are in the right place thankfully, and still good human beings.

What I'm trying to say in this long winded post, is be careful what you do or say in case it may backfire, and think before you say things you may regret, I never could do that and had many regrets, but go with your gut, you know your children better than anyone. Just hope you don't do what I did and try to have the perfect little mormon family, but I wasn't the best mormon as you can see, I did it all wrong, if I wanted an active believing LDS family apparently, as far as how I handled trying to be that family, if you know what I mean, or living up to what I thought was the ideal LDS family.

Edited by Tacenda
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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Beautiful! Absolutely awesome! Wish I'd been this way,

Thanks for your kind words.  I’m confident all of us with grown children have things we wish we’d done differently.  Not surprisingly when I discuss those with my children their desired parental do overs (e.g. we should have gone to Disneyland more often) are different than mine. 😀

They’re willing to forgive me of my parental errors if I take my grandchildren to Disneyland (again) as my penance. 😎

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15 hours ago, MorningStar said:

We are having difficulties with our oldest. We fell for the gap year because he claimed to be preparing for a mission, but that ended up not being true. He threw away an entire year for a crappy job. He quit the crappy job when it seemed to be causing health problems and he was on the verge of needing surgery. He ended up improving after quitting, but still hasn't found a new job. Days ago I told him he had 4 weeks to find a job or move out. He stopped going to church months ago and I know some people feel like that should be expected as long as they're living under your roof, but I just didn't see how that would help things. 

Last night we were about to have family prayer and he still had his headphones on. I asked him to remove them and he said, "I'll just leave the room instead." Now that he's negatively influencing his younger siblings, I just want him gone period. :( I do love him, but he's not progressing in life in any way and it's so frustrating. We just got a new smart TV for a great deal and you can block any input you want, so he will have zero fun when he decides he wants to have alone time in the living room from 12am to 4am. Just to annoy him more, I slept on the couch last night to further ruin it for him. 

The past couple of years have been a nightmare between my parents' health, my health, other challenges with children, etc.. I'm now doing better and am feeling more equipped to handle the drama that's about to happen. He better believe me that I will make him move out, whether it's to couch surf or be homeless. It's an awful thought, but he's acting like an entitled brat. He rarely leaves the house at all unless it's to play games with friends. :( 

Have any of you had to get really tough with your young adult children? I just don't understand this. I was so determined to be an adult and not mooch off of my parents. He still has some money left from his job and if no one his home, he orders door dash instead of making himself something. I'm so done! 

We have five teenagers now. Only our oldest son attends church and none of the rest of us believe in the church anymore. We try to support him, however, in his church attendance and future plans. I try to avoid buying household goods on Sundays because he then won't want to use them. 

It sounds like your son has some difficult challenges. In addition to his medical issues, this his may be a very confusing time for him.  It's hard for anyone to figure out the meaning and purpose of his life, once the previous map that the church provides does not work for them.

In my opinion, all kids need to have options that they can value and they also benefit from having options that their families can respect. Have you had a talk about his beliefs diverging from your own? Does he know that he can have a respectable life, in your eyes, outside the Mormon way? I would think that if there are strong doubts on that point, it would only contribute to depression and feelings of hopelessness. 

I think that how you treat your son now will have lasting impact not just on him, but it will teach your younger children. Yes, it is healthy to expect him to be grow towards being an accountable, responsible adult. In my opinion, if I want that in my children, I need to model it, and do all I can as a parent to ensure that I have met my obligations. It's just my opinion, but I think he deserves some help and support in figuring out life without the church. 

Anyways, best wishes to you and your son. We all want our kids to be happy, but it's never easy knowing what to do, as each child is different!

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@Meadowchik you have excellent points here. I remember feeling so much stress when my oldest daughter didn't go the route I thought she'd go, she even had pictures of the Bountiful temple posted on her bedroom wall as a goal. And in each of my children's rooms I had a picture of the Saviour. I had such tunnel vision and worried constantly that one may stray. So when she did, I worried the rest of my children would follow suit. So maybe that's a little of what might go on in the mind of MorningStar. 

Too many LDS put the church over family, and let those relationships go, if their children don't remain true to the church. But what a crux of emotions, since the church is mostly about family, but it comes between so often.

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Thanks, everyone. Our older kids have been very vocal about how they feel about their brother and they want him gone too because they're watching him waste his life away. It's a drag on all of us and it's not just about the kids - it's about him disrespecting me and my husband too. We never tried to force him to go on a mission and encouraged him to go to school, but he used going on a mission (supposedly) to get out of going to school. He wanted to go to BYU initially, but because of his choices, he wouldn't have been able to get a bishop's endorsement, so I think he's just given up on himself. And he's being picky about which school he goes to and about work too.  If he's respectful and gets a job, he can stay for a while. We have some positive interactions, but he doesn't communicate much at all when spoken to. I like the idea of an actual lease with rules. 

He went to therapy briefly, but he quit. Just told me he doesn't want to go anymore, but he liked it initially. That was through the church and we don't have money to pay for a different therapist. Not that he's even willing to go. If we kick him out due to attitude, the kids will think it's just because he's being disrespectful - not because it's their fault somehow. 

When he does get a job, I want to see him doing more outside of work. Volunteering somewhere. He doesn't want to go to church period right now and we're not pushing him. And it's annoying when someone calls and asks if he'll fill in for something in hopes it would get him to church. On the other hand, he accepted a calling and then never did anything with it. 

We discussed military, but he says he would only want to go in as an officer. :rolleyes: Like he's in any position to do that. And now he's in terrible shape because he stopped working (he had a physical job before) and doesn't exercise AT ALL. He wanted to do a music major at BYU and I think he's just given up on believing. If I ask him to say the prayer, he says no and that he doesn't care. He's just shut off his feelings basically and is burying his head in the sand. 

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My perspective is that you need to think about your own boundaries as to what you want to live through in life; how much time in life do you want to allocate for allowing another adult to make you miserable within your own home? For me, that's zero.

For me, I would have one last talk, saying, I love you and I would be glad to help in any way in a heartbeat (help with getting into general college classes for example or with job searching or life plan etc etc), but only if you want my help and ask for it. I would say that you understand he's getting a dose of how challenging and frustrating earth life is and that you're sympathetic. Otherwise, say, I'm assuming you are conducting your life the way you want to, and I respect that and I love you, and you can conduct that life at another residence, not mine. Since we're all adults. And express trust in him that he'll be able to figure it out. Tell him that you'd be glad to help him figure out another residence if he wants help with that. Otherwise, you assume he'll have it handled in two weeks.

I'm assuming the electronics don't belong to him and he didn't contribute financially? Again, there's no reason for another adult to use any of your appliances, electronics, outside of their room that they pay rent for.

You have to do some 'letting go' on your side, too. I think you have or are starting to, but you really can't make his choices for him.  You have to fully come to that conclusion. You have to make choices for yourself and your house and your younger family.

Edited by Maidservant
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On 1/7/2020 at 4:41 PM, MorningStar said:

We are having difficulties with our oldest. We fell for the gap year because he claimed to be preparing for a mission, but that ended up not being true. He threw away an entire year for a crappy job. He quit the crappy job when it seemed to be causing health problems and he was on the verge of needing surgery. He ended up improving after quitting, but still hasn't found a new job. Days ago I told him he had 4 weeks to find a job or move out. He stopped going to church months ago and I know some people feel like that should be expected as long as they're living under your roof, but I just didn't see how that would help things. 

Last night we were about to have family prayer and he still had his headphones on. I asked him to remove them and he said, "I'll just leave the room instead." Now that he's negatively influencing his younger siblings, I just want him gone period. :( I do love him, but he's not progressing in life in any way and it's so frustrating. We just got a new smart TV for a great deal and you can block any input you want, so he will have zero fun when he decides he wants to have alone time in the living room from 12am to 4am. Just to annoy him more, I slept on the couch last night to further ruin it for him. 

The past couple of years have been a nightmare between my parents' health, my health, other challenges with children, etc.. I'm now doing better and am feeling more equipped to handle the drama that's about to happen. He better believe me that I will make him move out, whether it's to couch surf or be homeless. It's an awful thought, but he's acting like an entitled brat. He rarely leaves the house at all unless it's to play games with friends. :( 

Have any of you had to get really tough with your young adult children? I just don't understand this. I was so determined to be an adult and not mooch off of my parents. He still has some money left from his job and if no one his home, he orders door dash instead of making himself something. I'm so done! 

I'm in the same situation, only my boarder isn't a child.  It's my 60 year old mother in law.

Dealing with toxic family members is a little like dealing with North Korea . . .

Edited by Waylon
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7 hours ago, MorningStar said:

Thanks, everyone. Our older kids have been very vocal about how they feel about their brother and they want him gone too because they're watching him waste his life away. It's a drag on all of us and it's not just about the kids - it's about him disrespecting me and my husband too. We never tried to force him to go on a mission and encouraged him to go to school, but he used going on a mission (supposedly) to get out of going to school. He wanted to go to BYU initially, but because of his choices, he wouldn't have been able to get a bishop's endorsement, so I think he's just given up on himself. And he's being picky about which school he goes to and about work too.  If he's respectful and gets a job, he can stay for a while. We have some positive interactions, but he doesn't communicate much at all when spoken to. I like the idea of an actual lease with rules. 

He went to therapy briefly, but he quit. Just told me he doesn't want to go anymore, but he liked it initially. That was through the church and we don't have money to pay for a different therapist. Not that he's even willing to go. If we kick him out due to attitude, the kids will think it's just because he's being disrespectful - not because it's their fault somehow. 

When he does get a job, I want to see him doing more outside of work. Volunteering somewhere. He doesn't want to go to church period right now and we're not pushing him. And it's annoying when someone calls and asks if he'll fill in for something in hopes it would get him to church. On the other hand, he accepted a calling and then never did anything with it. 

We discussed military, but he says he would only want to go in as an officer. :rolleyes: Like he's in any position to do that. And now he's in terrible shape because he stopped working (he had a physical job before) and doesn't exercise AT ALL. He wanted to do a music major at BYU and I think he's just given up on believing. If I ask him to say the prayer, he says no and that he doesn't care. He's just shut off his feelings basically and is burying his head in the sand. 

Sounds very hard for you, too!

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10 hours ago, MorningStar said:

f I ask him to say the prayer, he says no and that he doesn't care. He's just shut off his feelings basically and is burying his head in the sand. 

Sounds like some depression with apathy/helplessness going on and inability to find other dreams because of it. But if he isn’t willing to work with a therapist then giving him choices where he has to start accomplishing something could be very helpful. 
 

When you construct the lease you might want to give him time to do some things in a step fashion so he doesn’t feel overwhelmed by being presented all at once with 5 or more changes he needs to make. The behaviour ones like be respectful can be immediate, but maybe stuff like a list of major actions that he has less control over and therefore are harder to face and plan for and are high risk for disappointment like job, school (even if going to an open school, grades), or volunteering says you can choose one this month to start, start another one next month, etc. 

You might want to go to a therapist with the intent to help you construct realistic expectations for him as well as dealing with the anger if you aren’t already. Hopefully the bishop will take care of this. 

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14 hours ago, Waylon said:

I'm in the same situation, only my boarder isn't a child.  It's my 60 year old mother in law.

Dealing with toxic family members is a little like dealing with North Korea . . .

This made me laugh. Earlier this week I got an office card to sign. I try to actually read them now so I do not congratulate someone on their special day when they just broke their leg playing hockey like I did to my VP one time. It was a sympathy card for a friend’s mother in law. I used to sit next to this friend and she and I would come up with ways to encourage her freeloading useless mother in law who thought she was “helping” with the kids to leave their house. She would come for visits and never leave. When she did leave she was like herpes and always came back. One plan I had actually worked and it felt good. While I am sure she feels for her husband part of her is probably playing “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead” in her brain at high volume. It took every ounce of willpower I have not to congratulate her on this exciting news.

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9 hours ago, Calm said:

Sounds like some depression with apathy/helplessness going on and inability to find other dreams because of it. But if he isn’t willing to work with a therapist then giving him choices where he has to start accomplishing something could be very helpful. 
 

When you construct the lease you might want to give him time to do some things in a step fashion so he doesn’t feel overwhelmed by being presented all at once with 5 or more changes he needs to make. The behaviour ones like be respectful can be immediate, but maybe stuff like a list of major actions that he has less control over and therefore are harder to face and plan for and are high risk for disappointment like job, school (even if going to an open school, grades), or volunteering says you can choose one this month to start, start another one next month, etc. 

You might want to go to a therapist with the intent to help you construct realistic expectations for him as well as dealing with the anger if you aren’t already. Hopefully the bishop will take care of this. 

I've been in therapy for a while now to deal with all sorts of teenager issues. 

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9 hours ago, Calm said:

Sounds like some depression with apathy/helplessness going on and inability to find other dreams because of it. But if he isn’t willing to work with a therapist then giving him choices where he has to start accomplishing something could be very helpful. 
 

When you construct the lease you might want to give him time to do some things in a step fashion so he doesn’t feel overwhelmed by being presented all at once with 5 or more changes he needs to make. The behaviour ones like be respectful can be immediate, but maybe stuff like a list of major actions that he has less control over and therefore are harder to face and plan for and are high risk for disappointment like job, school (even if going to an open school, grades), or volunteering says you can choose one this month to start, start another one next month, etc. 

You might want to go to a therapist with the intent to help you construct realistic expectations for him as well as dealing with the anger if you aren’t already. Hopefully the bishop will take care of this. 

A swift kick in the bum might help. :P If he's not going to go to church, then I expect him to start volunteering somewhere. I'm sick of him being home ALL THE TIME. I love him, but I want some alone time and he needs to meet people and maybe go on an actual date. Ugh. 

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1 minute ago, MorningStar said:

A swift kick in the bum might help. :P If he's not going to go to church, then I expect him to start volunteering somewhere. I'm sick of him being home ALL THE TIME. I love him, but I want some alone time and he needs to meet people and maybe go on an actual date. Ugh. 

It sounds like he needs to go, for him, for you, and for your relationship.  I'm not going to pretend that I have any experience with this so take this with a huge grain of salt, but I would give him a deadline to get a full time job and if it didn't happen by that date (which wouldn't be more than 3 months out) he would have a set number of days to be out.  No exceptions.  He's an adult.  Time to start adulting.  

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this.  Older kids are so hard!

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6 minutes ago, MorningStar said:

A swift kick in the bum might help. :P If he's not going to go to church, then I expect him to start volunteering somewhere. I'm sick of him being home ALL THE TIME. I love him, but I want some alone time and he needs to meet people and maybe go on an actual date. Ugh. 

He is probably sick of being home as well. 

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