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19 Yr Old Son Won't Study and Won't Listen to What I Say, What Should I Do?

My son has a part time job making $8.75/hr. He stays with us so he can finish his college and so we can help him in many ways including car insurance, tel., food and shelter. However, he's rude most of the time and when he gets home from work all he cared is play games in the computer usually until 2 a.m.Even if i tell him it's time to study, he doesn't do it.He doesn't talk much and always puts on a long face. Few nights a week he goes to a computer playing place and stay there 'till 3 a.m. I work at night and can't monitor him, my husband has to stay home with our toddler at night. Recently I got tired of his stubbornness so I took away his driving privileges. Last thursday 06-18, he said he would move out, but today the 21st he's still at the house acting the same way, He did not even greet his dad a Happy father's day although he went out with us to eat at a restaurant, he was just quiet. He doesn't show any gratitude to the help we extend to
him, he's always rude and selfish. I feel bad if he leaves the house because i know he's not making enough to even rent, but i cannot tolerate his actions anymore, what should i do to make him listen to me, and to stop him for waisting so much time in computer games.
If I take the computer away from him, he will then spend time at an outside internet center to play his games and stay there all night. He hates me for nagging at him on this but, this got to stop i just don't know how,,,,,,,,,pls. help......Thanks.

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What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Gap year. If he isn't ready to hunker down at college then pay for him to travel abroad for a year. Nothing like a year of back-packing and staying in youth hostels to make a fellow grow up and feel excited about the world and its possibilities. He will be much more ready to study and want to make something of his life after that experience. Don't kick him out... send him out... with a hug and a wave and a "Bon Voyage!"

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You may want to look into books on prodigy and advanced children on Amazon.com, or Indigo and Crystal children on Amazon.com.

Also, Agape International Spiritual Center does counseling - they are not religious, they are metaphysical.

Be well.


He's 19, legally an adult and now he doesn't HAVE to listen to you. It would be nice yes because it shows lack of respect for you that he doesn't, but there's no real "you live in my house you obey my rules" law.

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Print this out for him....


Charles J. Sykes offered the following words of wisdom:

Rule No. 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teen-ager uses the phrase "It's not fair" 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule No. 1.
Rule No. 2: The real world won't care as much about your self-esteem as much as your school does. It'll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated self-esteem meets reality, kids complain that it's not fair. (See Rule No. 1)

Rule No. 3: Sorry, you won't make $40,000 a year right out of high school. And you won't be a vice president or have a car phone either. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn't have a Gap label.

Rule No. 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait 'til you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure, so he tends to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he's not going to ask you how you feel about it.

Rule No. 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren't embarrassed making minimum wage either. They would have been embarrassed to sit around talking about Kurt Cobain all weekend.

Rule No. 6: It's not your parents' fault. If you screw up, you are responsible. This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. When you turn 18, it's on your dime. Don't whine about it, or you'll sound like a baby boomer.

Rule No. 7: Before you were born your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rain forest from the blood-sucking parasites of your parents' generation, try delousing the closet in your bedroom.

Rule No. 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn't. In some schools, they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. Failing grades have been abolished and class valedictorians scrapped, lest anyone's feelings be hurt. Effort is as important as results. This, of course, bears not the slightest resemblance to anything in real life. (See Rule No. 1, Rule No. 2 and Rule No. 4.)

Rule No. 9: Life is not divided into semesters, and you don't get summers off. Not even Easter break. They expect you to show up every day. For eight hours. And you don't get a new life every 10 weeks. It just goes on and on. While we're at it, very few jobs are interested in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself. Fewer still lead to self-realization. (See Rules No. 1 and No. 2.)

Rule No. 10: Television is not real life. Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus time for commercials. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs. Your friends will not be as perky or pliable as Jennifer Aniston.

Rule No. 11: Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.

Rule No. 12: Smoking (or drug use) does not make you look cool. It makes you look moronic. Next time you're out cruising, watch an 11-year-old with a butt in his mouth. That's what you look like to anyone over 20. Ditto for "expressing yourself" with purple hair and/or pierced body parts.

Rule No. 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.) If you are under the impression that living fast, dying young and leaving a beautiful corpse is romantic, you obviously haven't seen one of your peers at room temperature lately.

Rule No. 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school's a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you'll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now. You're welcome.

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Hi G.:
You've received some excellent responses,so I'll keep mine brief.The reason your son is acting like a child,is because you continue to treat him as such. Your argument will continue to be,that he doesn't act like an adult. Well, this will continue to be a vicious circle,until you come to the realization that he is his own man now.If he wants to succeed in college he will do so,because this is what HE wants.Not because you push or demand he makes these achievements. If he doesn't study or get passing grades,he won't be able to continue his education. You will no longer have to worry about tuition,and he can move on and find something that interests him in life. Your holding him back,by barking orders,and making him feel as though hes still a kid.Yes, if hes living in your home,there should be rules to live by,but that doesn't include telling him when to study,or in which way he can unwind and enjoy his free time.He's mature enough to make these decisions on his own. Regardless of what you think. Whether or not that road is one which you yourself would have taken, He needs to be given the opportunity to grow up,learn about responsibility,and the consequences of his own actions.Loosen up those apron strings,and permit him to be a man.He's not your little boy any more. I wish you and your (Grown son) the best. J. M

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I would like to start this off by saying that my parents are brilliant, charming, funny, warm, loving people (these days my mum is actually one of my best friends), and that I had a charmed childhood.

The problem was that my childhood lasted YEARS beyond when it should have. By the time I was 17 I had NEVER been trusted to wake myself up in the morning, do my own laundry, set my own study hours, pay any bills, taught to research/plan/or execute goals in my life, or have any level of increasing responsibility in aaaannything. And I was a snarky, spoiled, brat. (There were a few notable exceptions, where I would physically wrest some kind of responsibility from my parents...setting up an internship without talking/discussing it with them... because I knew they'd disapprove or disallow it, but these exceptions were things that I had to either be deceitful about, or physically and verbally fight for...not things that were encouraged on their part.)

My parents claimed they couldn't trust me to do any of these things, because I consistently showed them that any trust they put in me would be broken. Essentially that I was utterly incapable...yet I would be given the "You have so much potential" talk over and over and over.


Well when I was 17 I manipulated my father (not very nice, i know, but I was an overgrown child...& manipulation is the only way a child has of gaining anything), into signing an early entry release into the USMC.

Wow. Overnight, not a single demand, pure honest to god simple expectation. Clear, concise, adult responsibility.

My parents were stunned. Their daughter (who they literally had DRUG out of bed, sheets and all), not only in the military, but with 3 meritorious promotions under my belt in less than a year. Low and behold I was capable of all the things they thought I wasn't. Yes I made a LOT of mistakes (that, quite frankly would have been better off made before I had people's lives -including my own- in my hands), but I was, finally, being given increasing levels of responsibility...and the utter freedom to do whatever the heck I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted in my freetime. It's amazing how people can flourish with that. Like the inner-city kids who start doing shakespear/physics/calculus/literary analysis when all someone does is ask it of them, give them the tools to do it, and simply expect success.

My parents re-evaluated how they were raising my siblings. It was too late for my sister (sadly), but for my other siblings it's amazing to see how they've flourished in their lives.

I don't have a simple answer for you, just my story. At 19 the snarky, disrespecting, untrusted teenager I had been was long gone...but I had to move 3000 miles away & enter a different universe that placed no demands on me, in order to accomplish it.

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Gap year. If he isn't ready to hunker down at college then pay for him to travel abroad for a year. Nothing like a year of back-packing and staying in youth hostels to make a fellow grow up and feel excited about the world and its possibilities. He will be much more ready to study and want to make something of his life after that experience. Don't kick him out... send him out... with a hug and a wave and a "Bon Voyage!"

3 moms found this helpful

Hello G.. you have already received a lot of great advice, so there's nothing more to say, but I wanted to tell you that I empathize with you. My daughter is 17 and works my nerves. She will be 18 in September. She can't wait to grow up. She has been on independent studies for about a year now, which allows her to be at home ALL day, and go to school one day a week for about 20 minutes - she turns in her work and gets new assignments. She is a complete pig, and often rude and disrespectful. On the flip side, she can be extremely considerate and gracious, as well as charming. LOL I have talked to her soooo many times about her future, asking her what she wants to do with her life. She doesn't know, although she is interested in forensic science, and wants to go into something like that. I have told her over the years that once she turns 18 and finishes high school (she'll be done in December) that it's either college or the military. She told me she can't join the military because she doesn't like to be told what to do and doesn't want to wear a uniform, and wants to be able to keep her hair and nails done. Fine, i said, then college it is. My friend had to pull me aside a few weeks ago and really give me a does of reality. We talked about my daughter, and although I don't like some of her ideas, per se, I am heeding her advice, because it is sound. She said that I have to make sure my daughter knows that once she turns 18 she has to start contributing to the household, by wither paying "rent", buying some groceries, or paying a bill or two. Sounds great but my daughter doesn't have a job. I told her she is going to need a job before then, so she can start saving. Her answer to everything is "I KNOW!!!". My friend says I have to put her out if she doesn't contribute, which breaks my heart, but I have come to realize that I am her enabler. I haven't worked in over a year now, and am "living" (if you can call it that) off of unemployment. I was still giving her money for her cell phone, clothes, hair and nails, plus extracurricular activities. I realized she is NEVER going to grow up and become a responsible adult if I continue to treat her this way. I'm saying all of this because I think you need to cut the apron strings. Good for him for going to school, but make sure he is getting good grades. I don't tolerate my daughter's mood swings and disrespect, which believe me, come often. She knows enough to leave when she can't control herself - she'll go for a walk or something, and 9 times out of 10 she'll come back and apologize and we'll end up talking all night. You can't control a lot of things that he is doing, but you can control some. As long as he is living in your household, he HAS to abide by the rules, whatever you make them to be. It is not fair to you or the rest of your family to tolerate his rude ways. Tell him just that, and tell him like my father told me, "if you don't like my rules, you cn leave". I left, and was back two years later! lol It's tough love, but it really does work. Sometimes when you are in a situation, you can't see the damage you are doing, until someone points it out to you. I am not saying ANY of this to chastise you in any way, shape or form, I empathize with you strongly, and want you to have a happy home :)

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Children learn what they live. Even at 19. There are a few questions to ask yourself:
What are you teacing him?
What are you "not saying" to him about responsibility?
What messges are you sending him by allowing to be a part of the famly on his terms not with the family in mind?
What are you teaching him about relationships?
What are you modeling for him about how to be a good parent?
What are you inspiring in your son right now?
What are you inspiring in your toddler?

You get to be the parent. Parent him.

Family Wellness Coach

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Dear G.,

Been there, done that. The best advice I can give you is to loosen the apron strings and let HIM figure out how to hold on. Remember, at 19 years old, he is now a legal adult and should be treated as such....even when it's hard to do so. He is FAR past the age of being grounded (as with taking his computer or driving privileges), but you can still (and should) hold him accountable for his actions.

Be honest with him. Speak to him and treat him like the adult that he is, no matter how hard that may be (and no matter how great the temptation to treat him like a child when he acts like one). Let him know that as his parent you don't want to see him struggle by having to do it on his own, but as an adult who has EARNED his respect, you will no longer tolerate his behavior towards you. You mentioned you have a younger child at home as well. That child will be watching (yes, even as a toddler) to see how this plays out. My daughter is 10 years younger than her brothers and she still remembers taking "mental note" though that's not what she calls it.

Remind your son that all adults are faced with tough choices, and offer him some options:

1) He can move out. If he does, he pays for everything on his own. Period. (This one is always hardest on us as parents.)

2) You could agree on a roommate situation. In this case, you should write up a contract between you, your husband, and him. He pays rent, his share of the utilities, and his own food and extras. In returne, you and your husband treat him like he's any other adult who makes his own rules (within reason since there is another child around). House rules should be included in the contract (such as no smoking in the house, no underage drinking, no parties without consent of all adult members, etc and so forth). You could also choose to offer continued educational assistance but your financial help should stop there.

In either of these two situations, he has to be told that the car, cell phones, house phones, computers, and internet usage are no longer "free" to him. If he wants it, he has to pay for it.

OR 3) He can decide to continue living rent free with the understanding that he MUST abide by your rules, maintain his GPA, and help out around the house. (If this is his decision, I would recommend that you and your husband reevaluate the rules you have for him because he is not a kid anymore. If you don't TREAT him like an adult, then he will never BECOME one.)

If he chooses #2 or #3, be clear with him about your expectations and that you will treat him as an adult. He is much too old to be "grounded", but he needs to understand that every decision we make comes with a consequence. Sometimes we have good consequences and sometimes we have the bad.

No matter which one of the choices he makes, he will have the satisfaction that it was HIS choice and the rest of your family will finally gain some peace. Good luck to you all.

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Not trying to be mean when I say this, but your son is 19, he is considered an adult and taking away his ability to drive is something parents should do for a 16 year old. It sounds like you are treating him like a little kid and not like an adult and that is how he is responding. Lay down some ground rules, such as rent is $50 month, pay part of his insurance and phone bill. Instead of criticizing him about his computer game time ask him about his day. Maybe he is going to school for the wrong reasons and his interests are more in computers? Talk to him like an adult. Im sure he is probably a little embarrased that he is in college, has a low paying job, lives at home and his mother critques his every move. Yes he is being ungrateful, but at this point in his life he doesnt exactly know what to do. Maybe its better for him to get a full time job and quite school. Maybe you are pushing him into something he is not ready for. Take him out to dinner, just you and him and have a real conversation about what HE wants.

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It's so hard to live with adult children who need our help, but also need to lead independent lives. If he were away at college, you'd have no idea what his study habits are, or what hours he would be keeping. If he is maintaining a job, and his college studies, you should try avoiding confrontations about his free time. However, that doesn't mean you need to tolerate rudeness. If it would be better for you to have him living independently, then sit down with him and explain your needs, and set a realistic plan for him to leave your house. (Room in someone else's home, or roommate) Three days is totally unrealistic to expect him to find another place to live.
Just remember, times are tough, and if he's working, going to school, and not involved in drugs, you've done a great job already. You might just need to make all of your boundaries clearer.

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Perhaps you should show him what it's like when you get rude and selfish...no food, ins, shelter, etc.

It's fine that he's grown but living in your house means following your rules.

If you're too old for my rules, you're probably too old for my support as well ;)

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Here is a link for you, to give you ideas:


Instead of renting an "apartment", he can rent a "room" in a house... these are often cheaper.

Next, wean him off of getting money from you/Husband. It will only benefit him, by growing up.

At 19 years old, and being in college... (is he going full-time or part-time?), I would think he can get a better paying job. What KIND of job does he have now? He must have more skills, and can make more than just $8.75/hour???

At this age, well, he's sort of being a "moocher"/slacker, because he does nothing to "contribute" to living with you or for even appreciating it. He is NOT acting like an "adult." He is acting like a child, and being treated like one.

Perhaps, he is feeling apathy.... for many reasons: his low paying job, his desire to move out but can't, his being treated like a "child" while he is actually a 19 year old "man", his not knowing what to do in life, etc. Are his friends the same way, or are some of them goal oriented and achieving types?

HOW are his grades? Or is he just going to college as an "excuse" so that you keep paying for it and then meanwhile he can live in your home and pay nothing, while you pay for EVERYTHING (ie: his car/insurance, telephone bills, food and shelter). WOW, what a deal he has... and all for no effort on his part. SO, he can probably put up with all the "nagging" he gets... because meanwhile, he is living like a king, all expenses paid.

What does your Husband do about it? A 19 year old "man" needs a "Leader", to guide him. ie: your Husband.
I know, parents are busy... and you have a toddler... but there comes a point, where it has to be dealt with.

At a certain age... a "boy" usually has a Father & Son talk, or, a son to Parents talk .... about LIFE, and expectations, and meeting responsibility, and GOALS. DID you all have this "talk" with your son, yet???? If anything, to set him straight about his attitude and lack of responsibility AND his ungratitude....and how to be a "man?"

There comes a point, when a "child" gets older and becomes his own "man." AND, when the parents can't keep bailing him out or treating him like a child.

Then, your son puts on a "long face..." and is rude, selfish, and does not talk or make conversation. Much like a child's reaction... but the thing is, your son is 19 years old!!! He should NOT still be treated like a 16 year old.
Do you want him to have arrested-development and forever be "stuck" in this level of development....or do you want him to progress and blossom and GROW and MATURE? It seems, he has not matured yet... he is playing the 'role' of poor lil' me- I have nothing and still going to school and only make $8.75/hour so my parents 'have to' support me. Golly gee, gee whiz, gosh darn, poor me.
Poor guy... wouldn't we all like to have someone PAYING us to stay home?

You can as an alternative... pay a PORTION of his rent to start him off... AND send him out to find a place... and he HAS to pay the other half of rent. OR, you help him find a room and board place he can afford. THEN, he needs to find a better job... that pays more than a high schooler would make. He CAN do that, you know.

My Husband, before we got married... was going to school, working at night full time till 2:00am in the morning, then he would come home and study... then go to class in the morning... and he did it all, just fine. AND, he was living on his own in a rented apartment, WITHOUT any "Parental" help. AND he was maintaining a 3.8 GPA.
So, it can be done.

MAYBE your son would also benefit by a job assistance service... or, perhaps a "Mentor" who will guide him, or hey- what about the School Counselor??? There's a thought..they can help him find a job, and pick a career and all of that. THAT is what college does... those are the services they provide. Right? Well, tell your son to do that. Show some gumption on his part... instead of being inert.
Take away his computer...
AND send him to a Financial Planner or someone at the bank... to make sure he SAVES his money instead of wasting it away & work out a plan... or since he goes to the internet cafe/computer playing place....tell him to give YOU the money instead of spending it there... and that is his "rent" to you.

Next: is your son depressed? WHY the long face and frowning and silence from him? THEN, talk to him and ask him WHY he acts like that??? AND why is he still acting like he is in High School? Is he able to mature and learn? Are his friends the same as him? Do they have any goals? What is your son majoring in? Does he have any problems? Is he feeling pushed aside because now he has a toddler sibling?
What are his "problems"? Do you all sit down regularly and TALK like a family and see how he is and how he is doing? Or is he just talked at? Or, does he do drugs? Anything?

Instead of nagging him... have him meet requirements: paying you the money he spends on the computer place & on computer games, going to a Financial Planner, SAVING his money for "rent", looking for a room to rent, looking for a job that pays better, making a resume... SHOWING you his grades (to prove he is actually going to college and not just taking the money for tuition for himself)- some kids do that; MAKE a LIST of everything... and check it off. THAT is his requirements to meet... since he is not contributing in any other way.

And on your/your Husband's part... you NEED to sit down with him and have an ADULT conversation about where his life is headed... and what his requirements for living there are. (as I listed above)....then he needs to PROVE it, and talk with him about being a "man." Some boys really need this kind of talk because they can't steer themselves very well. They need someone to light a fire under their rear end... to SHOW them "how." HELP him to be PROUD of being a "man", a young man who can be something and someone.... and most of all, make SURE he knows that you are both PROUD of him for growing up and no matter what.

All the best,

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It sounds like he is depressed. Is he happy at school? Does he have a major that he is excited about? The first time I went to college I changed my major 6 times, took 10 years to graduate and had a 2.4 gpa (the minimum required to graduate). I went back to school 6 years later when I realized what I wanted to do. It took me 2.5 years to get a bachelors degree and I graduated with a 3.9. I only went to school the first time because my parents "forced" me. It took me a long time to find my way, but I sure took off when I did. I know with this economy the job market isn't great, but maybe your son is not ready to be in school right now. Maybe he would do better in a trade school? Talk to him about his goals and what he wants for a career. Help him set up a plan to obtain his goals. If he is really not interested in school right now, don't force him to go. It's just a waste of money and energy. Maybe he could try to move up at work?

Now that he is 19, you can't really punish him. He needs to live by your rules and respect you, but taking the car away or trying to ban him from video games when he is an adult isn't entirely fair. The video games are for his enjoyment and are probably the only thing that he can relate to. They are an outlet for him.

You have to help your son find a balance between everything in his life. My hubby loves to play video games. He provides for our family, is a good father and husband and he prefers to veg out on the computer instead of the tv. He sets his own limits that do not interfere with his other obligations. If I leave him alone, he honestly only plays for an hour or two. When I used to nag him, he resented me and played more. I have learned to back off and it benefits us both.

Does your son have a girlfriend? Sometimes having one can change everything. He might become more interested in getting a better job or thriving at school if he had the motivation of a peer.

The only advice I can give to you is from my own experience and I really reccommend that you talk to your son without nagging. Ask him what he wants out of life and how you can help him. Ask him in return to give you and your husband respect. Be honest with him and tell him you were hurt that he didn't say "Happy Father's Day". Maybe you could collect a small fee for rent from him to help him grow up a bit. You can either keep the money or save it for him and surprise him with a little nest egg for when he does leave the house.

I wish you lots of luck! I only have little ones and am dreading the teen years!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi G.,

I'm sorry to hear that your son is being disrespectful towards you and your husband. He is a grown adult. He wants the freedoms of being an adult. But, with being an adult, comes responsibility that he does not seem to be taking upon himself. If he is unable to make ends meet out on his own, then he needs to abide by the rules of your home. I would sit him down and have an adult conversation about what is expected of him. During this discussion, you need to be clear with him what the expectations are of him. For example, if you expect him to take out the trash or do the dishes, then he needs to do that in the designated time frame that you indicate. If he wants freedom, he is certainly entitled to it, but he will also need to take on those consequences (maybe needing to live on his own, with out financial help). It might be a good idea for him to move out and try living on his own, this might show him the many things that you and your husband have provided him for so many years. If you are fed up with his actions, you need to follow through with telling him that he needs to behave a certain way. If he does not, then he is out on his own. This will be difficult for you as a parent, but you need to show him some "tough" love. Basically, tell him that these are the things that we expect of you (politeness, kindness, respect, etc.) and these are the things we will continue to provide for you. If you don't do these things, then you do not have our assistance...you are an adult and will need to make it on your own. Another thing that you and your husband need to discuss (maybe before you talk with your son) what you will continue to provide for your son as long as he is "behaving". When it comes to school, do you pay for him to go to school? If so, I think it is within your rights to expect him to show you the grades that your son has earned. If his grades fall below C's (or whatever you think is reasonable), then you will no longer pay for him to attend school. Why waste the money if he is not taking advantage of this opportunity? As parents, my husband and I, have always paid tuition, books, and housing for our children as long as they are attending college. If their GPA falls below a 2.0, we stop the "gravy train". If they are not attending college and earning a decent GPA, then we stop supporting them at all! This has worked for our two older children. I would imagine that it would not work for some children that are not interested. But, since we paid all of their living expenses, they did well enough in their classes to maintain a decent GPA. Our two oldest children took advantage of this opportunity and they both have college degrees.

As a mom, you need to stop nagging him, it goes on deaf ears. I would imagine that he knows what school work he needs to accomplish. He is no longer a high school student and he does not HAVE to go to college. I would back off on the nagging and let him have the logical consequences of not studying. He will get the grades that he earns...and if he gets poor grades, then maybe mom and dad don't pay for his schooling any more. The problem with this way of thinking is that it might be new to you and your son. He might not believe you. But, if you follow through with what you have said, then he will begin to appreciate and then believe you. Your son probably doesn't feel too good about the fact that he can't make it out on his own. They are at a point in their life when they want and need independence. That is probably frustrating for him. But again, if he does not act like an adult then he should not have adult privileges. I think it is great if he can continue to live at home while attending college. But, not at the expense of being disrespectful towards those also living in the home. Remember that all choices have consequences and your son needs to start experiencing logical consequences for his actions. Be sure that you have the support of your husband with all of this before you have "the" conversation with your son, or else, he will not believe you and will continue to take advantage of both of you.

Best of luck,

1 mom found this helpful

I've been there, and I know how you feel. Unfortunately, your son is a man, and can make his own choices. We get tied up in wanting to help them so much that we enable their poor choices. With all those computer games, he isn't doing much studying, and his grades won't be very good, so why enable?

I know it is hard, believe me, but you must give him a choice, and stick to it. Tell him to live by the rules of the house, which include being kind and open with the rest of the family, or live somewhere else. If he must leave school to support himself, so be it. He isn't gaining much there anyway. He needs a good dose of reality!

It sounds like your son is reasonably intelligent and healthy. You don't mention any mental illness that would prevent this. There is no reason for you to continue to support him. If he chooses to leave your home, such things as insurance should be his responsibility. No need to continue to enable him. He'll need to get a better or a second job. Work never hurt anyone.

Discuss this with your husband, who I assume is his father. Then give him an ultimatum, shape up or ship out, on his own. It will be hard, but it looks like tough love is what is needed here.


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You have very ungrateful son who won't every talk to your husband and takes everything you give him for granted. You have created this monster. This is not just starting to happen, this has been going on since he was a little tyke.
this is the Me generation. But you can cut it in the bud, you have to set the rules. So your afraid he'll be at the computer place instead of home. Well this won't go on for long remember he has to pay to use that computer. You feel bad because he won't have money for his rent if he leaves,
and what about his studies, isn't that the reason he is at home, to be able to afford going to school yet he doesn't study.

You are cuddling him and he won't change until you change and stop giving into him. Parents don't deserve this kind of disrespect it only happens because you allow it.

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I went thru this situation with my brother and my parents.
Best thing that I can suggest: tough love.
He can either be in your house under your rules, or he can have his own rules in his own place. Simple to say - but once you lay that down and he discover's his alternatives, he will shape up or simply ship out.
Stay strong and consistant.

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At 19, your son feels like an adult, and wants the privileges of being an adult, but wants to continue to have the responsibilities of a child. Unfortunately, the worst thing you can do right now is continue to let him live rent free and help pay his bills without expecting anything of him. You were very right to take away his car privileges - it's YOUR car!

Sit down with your husband and figure out what, EXCACTLY, will be required of your son. For instance, he'll only be able to live with you rent free if he maintains good grades. Is college important to HIM, or just to you? If it's not important to HIM, he will fail, no matter how much you try to help. His schooling is his, and he can choose to do well or to fail, but it's HIS choice. What you control is the money you're spending on him. It's not your job to make sure he gets a degree. It IS your job to raise a responsible adult, and right now he doesn't have to be responsible for anything. Make sure he has to deal with the consequences of his choices.

Another part of the agreement should cover what he has to do for the family. For instance, if he pays nothing for food, he should do the dishes AT LEAST two nights a week. He'll complain and carry on and accuse you of treating him like a child, but point out that in a boarding house, a dorm or with a roommate, he can expect the same thing - assigned chores that he may not like.

If he doesn't like the rules, he is free to move out. But, as you've discovered, he likes using that idea as a threat, but he's not prepared to do it. If he decides to move out, or you decide that he has to leave because he won't follow the rules, there has to be a deadline. If you give him two weeks or a month and he still can't find an apartment, he has to go asnyway. He can stay with a friend, look into dorm rooms, whatever, but he can't stay at your house. He will very quickly find out that his friends and relatives aren't going to want to put up with his garbage any more than you do. He'll have to actually grow up.

Don't think that iot's your job to make his life easy or worry free! It's NOT!

When I moved out of my parents' house, I held down two minimum wage jobs to pay my half of the rent on an apartment. I ate a lot of ramen noodles. My parents would gladly have given me money or a rent free room, but it was very important to me to be independent. Knowing that you can, and are, supporting yourself is a great thinmg for a young adult! Maybe he'll live in a tiny apartment in a lousy neighborhood, maybe he'll have roommate trouble, maybe he'll eat a lot of ramen, maybe he'll have to choose between having a phone and buying food. THAT'S OK!! Most successful, happy adults went through all that and more along the way to where they are now, and they'll tell you that the experience was good for them. He'll either rise to the challenge, or he'll limit himself through his choices (not yours!)

One more thing to consider - he might be depressed, overwhelmed at what lies ahead of him, and unsure of what to do with his life. In that case, letting him stay with you, with all the monetary support you're giving him, will actually keep him from getting better. If you think he needs a doctor or counselor, take him, but again, the choice to follow their advice will be HIS, not yours. And it won't be an excuse to avoid responsibility, either.

Don't worry! Don't let him make you feel like a bad mother! The transition to adulthood is tough, but everybody has to go through it. I have 2 adult daughters, and some of the things that made them furious at the time - our insistance that they had to get a job and pay their own insurance if they wanted to drive, for instance - are the things they look back on and thank us for now.

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G., let me give it to you from a different point of view. My parents did the same things for me. They were sure they were helping me out, paying my car payment, insurance, cell phone, food, etc. They did all of this until I was 25! As long as I stayed in school the only thing I had to do was care for my son and even at that they bought a lot to care for him.

You are truly doing your son a disservice. The last couple of years learning to budget my money, manage time between my husband, son, work and school, and be an adult on my own has been hard on me. I find myself moody and depressed most of the time. This because mom and dad were always there with a open ATM card and ready to help. I am sure there were times when I took advantage of it. Not intentionally I assure you but it happened.

The best thing you can do for your son is insert some responsibility in his life. Make him pay rent, his own portion of the cell phone bill, and since he is on internet games he must pay for the those and half the bill for the internet service at the house.

Then talk to him calmly about school. I don't know many people who go into school knowing exactly what they want to get a degree in and are petal to the metal to get it done. It took me many years to find my path in schooling and my parents supported me each step of the way. Sure my mom has STRONG opinions on what I should be doing but she knows the ultimate choice is mine. She gave me the freedom to decide what and when to study and left me alone on it. Your son not studying could mean he doesn't really have to. He knows the material well enough. Even know there are classes where I never crack a book because I know the material.

Bottom line, yes it is your house but let your son be a adult in this too. Like I mentioned, paying rent and bills will get it into his head that he is not a kid anymore and will build positive skills and feelings in him. Once they take hold his attitude will change. Right now he probably feels like he is being treated as a child so acts like one.

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There was a very similar post like this regarding a 17 year-old. And I remember a response from JULIA M. that I thought was very sound advice. I’m copying her advice here for you to read.
I think that you can first try what Julia M. said (below) so to give your son an opportunity to right his wrongs and save his dignity. Because you son's behavior just might be the same reason(s)/situation that Julia M. has shared in her examples about her own brother.
If that doesn't work then you can move forward with all the tough love that the others have suggested here.
Previous response by Julia M.:
“My own personal experience,coming from A family of seven siblings,was that When parents have more than one teen in the household,they have a tendancy to treat us all on the same intellectual level. It's what I regard as sort of a (Blanket approach)I understood their diplomatic approach. My parents never wanted any of us children to get the feeling one was favored over the other,or one would get something,while the others stood by and gawked.While I was sympathetic,and appreciative of their motives, It's my opinion,that they carried this over a little to far. My Eldest brother, resented being talked to ,treated like his younger siblings.He knew he was A young man,however Mom and Dad didn't take that into consideration in their dealing with him.He was the boy next door. He was always an excellent student,was a great athlete,and never got himself in any trouble.However,in instances where he neglected to do his chores,they treated him as though he were a child. I can remember him mouthing off to mom,or dad,and now that I look back,I imagine he probably felt as though he was fighting for his own individualism. It angered him to be compared to us younger siblings. He wanted to be treated as the eldest. It isn't He minded the responsibilities given him,it was the way in which he was approached.I guess mom and dad must have eventually figured it out. They began giving My brother certain privileges,that we didn't have.(This,we all agreed fair)He was our (big brother) after all.My bro told me, Instead of the constant yelling of (or else) across the house,they eventually sat down alone with him,and gave him a list of chores.My parents agreed,that he was an adult,and as adults,we all have consequences for our actions,or a lack of.They promised there would be no more threats or complaining.That as an adult,if he couldn't follow simple instructions or tasks, They simply and quite calmly,would take A privilege away. A day without the car,Maybe a day without the phone.Your sons disrespect and rudeness is not so much directed at you,as it sounds like this is his way of retaliating for possibly being treated like his brother.He's not going at it in a very mature way,but it's A desperate attempt to make others look upon him as A responsible young adult. "If your going to treat me like a kid" "I'll act like one" If I were you,I'd have a calm sit down.Tell him,that you'll start treating him more like an adult,if he'll promise to start acting like one.Your husband should be included in this conversation,at which time he should remind him,that not only are you his mother,but your also the woman your husband loves,and that he would never permit any man to treat her with disrespect,most certainly not her own son.I wish you, your husband,and your growing son the best.”

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I would suggest drawing up a contract WITH him since words can be forgotten. Both parties should come to the table with a list of what they are willing to provide as well as what they need from the other party.
I would suggest the first thing is if he fails one of his courses (he is only a freshman and they are easy courses that only require time and little brainpower) he needs to start looking for a new home. The main reason for his living in your home is so he can finish college. If that tenant isn't being satisfied, there is no reason for his living with you.
If he isn't paying for his tuition, he should be paying 1-2 bills such as internet costs or a phone bill.
He should also be paying for his own transportation and all that entails (insurance, oil changes, gas, etc.)
You should also be able to show him monthly bills (including food receipts) and divide them by the number of people residing in the home so he can see how valuable it is for him to not have to pay for his room & board. If he had to move out and have room mates, he should understand how much utilities, rent and food would cost him.
You do have to understand that he is an adult and a college student, so that usually involves late hours. You need to look at what is most important to you. If he is keeping his end of your deal, let him become an adult. If he is in fact addicted to gaming, it will show in his grades and social life. There are natural consequences to addiction and although you can make him aware of them, you shouldn't try to protect him from them or he will never learn.

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My daughter is only 17 but just finished high school. She is already signed up for fall classes at college. She has a job that pays min wage and she manages to pay her own insurance car payment and all extras such as hair, nails, & excess clothes & shoes. She works hard usually 6 days a week always picking up extra shifts. She also babysits on her day off. We require her to be pleasant at home to us & siblings. Your son is old enough to start showing more responsibility start with taking away things such as cell phone, texting, car. Make him earn them back. If he threatens to move out let him he doesn't realise how hard that will be. As for school is he getting good grades? Does he want to go? Don't force him to study let him reep the grades he earns. We will pay for school as long as our kids get at least a "c" We won't continue to pay for something they are not earning. If he won't go to school tell him he has a certain amount of time to get a full time job. You could have him start paying rent to you & put it aside in an account for when he really moves out. You can't really make him study he has to want to do it. Hope this helps. Good luck

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Hi G.,
Im so sorry you and your husband are going through this. I am NOT going to blame this on either one of you. I went through this with my son as well. He is going to be 20 this week and it was a very short lived problem. I kicked him out. While he was out, I didnt help him. He was gone for about 3 weeks. A couple of nights, he slept in a car, a couple of nights on someones couch and a couple of nights in a motel. After about 2 weeks, I told him I would help him find a room to rent in someones house. We looked all over the place and found tons. But then he realized the expense. We let him come back home, with our ground rules. Theyre pretty simple........you live in our home, you act like a member of the family, which means you spend some time with us. You let me know when youre leaving and an approximation of when you'll be back. You have chores and are expected to do them without nagging. Thats it. Other than that, he can come and go as he pleases, he is an adult. Once he started acting like an adult, we started treating him like one. I am sooooooo happy to finally have a good relationship with my son.

I was AMAZED at how well it worked.

Good luck,


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The bottom line is that you can't make him listen to you or behave as you would like him to. He will do things and behave as he chooses.

Focus on your life, not his. Let him grow and reap the rewards and consequences of his decisions and behavior. The good news is that you no longer have to provide for him legally. Every day that you do, is of your choosing.

Live your life and let him live his.

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Kick him out. Today. He can finish school later. He has more important things to learn. You will be doing him a favor by kicking him out, he obviously needs to go out and be an adult. He doesn't seem to respect you, so here's a good way to build some respect, "If you want to live in my house, you will follow my rules and be a perfect gentleman. If you can't manage that, GET OUT."

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I wish I knew more about your son. Was he always a great kid that was well behaved and grateful for everything you did and now suddenly he has changed? Does he have friends that he sees regularly or does all his social interaction take place via the computer? If that is the case, you might want to check out and organization called OLGA (On Line Gaming Anonymous). It was started by a mother whose son was addicted to online video games. They may have some advice for you.

It's a tough time for your son. He's walking the fence between adolescence and adulthood and there is probably an internal struggle over where he fits in. On the one hand you want him to act like an adult, yet you continue to provide for him like a child by taking care of all his needs (home, food, car insurance ). This is NOT a criticism of your parenting. You are being very generous and many kids would see and appreciate that generosity. But all kids are different.

Rather than having him move out, perhaps you can suggest he become a sort of "tenant" in your own home. Since he is working, he should give you a set amount of money each month to offset his expenses. My suggestion would be to have him pay for something he would be upset about losing like his car insurance or his phone. Be firm - if he doesn't pay you, you don't pay that bill and it gets canceled. He isn't going to appreciate the things he is being given until those things are taken away. And he really won't appreciate them until he is held responsible for them.

I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck.

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I don't have a teen yet, so my ideas are just ideas.

I very much like what has been said below about making a contract with him, laying out what things cost and how much he's responsible for.

When I was growing up, we always knew that IF we were in school the BASICS would be paid for (room & board). Anything else(*) we had to come up with on our own or do without. If we weren't in school, we would be charged rent --my parents called it "breaking your plate."

(* "Anything else" included car insurance, gas money, clothing, school books, etc. I'm thinking that these days internet access and cell phone would be added to the "anything else" list.)

This was made clear from a very young age, but I think it's not unreasonable for you to discuss this with your adult son.

But it also sounds like your son is in need of a counselor -- he sounds depressed or addicted to gaming or both. I think you might find one for him and say that attending this is included in the "attending school" requirement of free room & board.

I would get all your ducks in a row (have a list of what you will and won't pay for and how much things cost, as well as the name of a counselor) and schedule a meeting. Tell him you're not going to fight with him anymore. Stay calm, don't talk "fair," don't argue. "Here is what is expected from an adult in your house."

If he flunks out of school then he needs to pay rent or leave.

After that, stop nagging and stop enabling. It's his responsibility. He needs to be responsible for himself or he's going to be dependent on you for the foreseeable future. Don't provide anything on the "anything else" list unless he reimburses you and says "thanks."

And I can only imagine how hard this will be! I think this tough love will pay off in the future if you stand your ground -- things can't get worse, right?

So much good luck to you.

I found this about Video Game Detoxing. It was interesting:

Also, it's a good idea to try to discuss this when you're not already angry. You have very good reasons to be angry with him, but delivering it that way may cause him to tune you out.

Good luck.

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He is over 18 and you have raised him. He needs to know how hard things are. Life is tough and it's not a free ride. You should have his bags packed. Anything that are big ticket items that you have purchased are not his. His clothes and his shoes is about all you owe him. My grandmother did the same thing to my uncle years ago and it was the best thing for him. He is was rude and verbally abusive, but really saw the error of his ways. I know it may seem hard and a little cruel, but this is sometimes the only way that the hardheaded learn. Hope things go well. He is on his own now, he is 18, things are not free when you are an adult.

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Hi G., He doesn't want to be there, isn't happy about being an adult living with his parents. You may not be with his dad, "toddler" sounds like a blended family.
He needs to find roommates near the college and you can help him with the food and rent, etc. Stop treating him like a child in high school, taking away his privileges, that's ridiculous... help him move out and with in walking distance of the school and his job. pay for his phone and internet for 6 months or a year and school.
He will grow up. Unless you think he is using pot , another reason for his behaviors, then let him know Sept is the time to get on with his life and then DO IT!
no threats, just action. He will figure it out. He's not stupid, just bored at home.
good luck, Deb

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Hi G.!
It sounds exactly what I am going through, the sullen not quite a man phase. It is tough going, maybe he needs a reality check it is your house so your rules. He needs to start acting like a man and not a spoiled teenager. I suggest you and your husband sit him down and tell him about reality.

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Hi G.,
You can't force your son to make good choices with his time in regards to studying, etc. He is an adult and he will have to see the consequences of his choices.
As for his treatment of you and your husband, I would suggest you sit him down and lay down your expectations of respect, etc. Perhaps you can charge him rent ($200 or so) to help him get the message. Yes, he is your son, but it is YOUR home, and as long as he is living under your roof you have the right to set the rules of the home, including: quiet hour, time to be home, and treatment of family members.
If your son really wants his independence to that degree, encourage him to find a place to live. It's amazing how living with someone else can really help you to appreciate what you had at home.

when our children were living at home we had them pay 10percent of their take home pay . that taught them responcibility . ween they got married we gave it to them as a wedding gift. is he paying for scool or are you > as far as studing all you cando si encourage him explain to him if he dont make good graues he will get no where. he has to learn to be response abale for his own actions he is almost an aduot . you are a paremt not his keeper put resoncibility on him and gool luck ive raised for children they all turned out great . A. from no. hills

Hi there, G.,

Yes, it's a frustrating situation I know. Just went through it with a member of my family, my goddaughter. I have a 18 year old son and 17 year old daughter and I have come to realized I allow things to happen when they get out of control. So I call it, we are the "enablers"! He is 19 years old, when is he going to see the world for what it is. Does he pay rent or any of your bills. What does his father have to say about this, and he is disrespectful too. I would give him a time frame to get his act together, take away the computer and when the time is up, pack his belongings and send him on his way. I guarantee you this, he'll be back! When he does come back, and he is serious about straightening out and following your rules, make out a contract with all the rules in place, have him pay some rent and you'll see the change. Kids are always going to be kids, and he sounds like he needs a time out right about now. It's tough love time, cause if you don't teach him just how cruel the world is out there, what is he going to do when you not around to help him. Stop enabling him and start teaching him that you are not there to be taken for granted. Until you start making some changes neither will he. Good Luck


Dear G.,

I think it is a good thing that you are allowing your newly adult son to continue to live in your home, as long as he follows your house rules. I can only imagine how hard it is for you that he is not abiding and you feel that he cannot make it on his own. But, the best lesson I think would be that he learn that in life, you get far by following the rules or else. I think you would be suprized at just how well he can make it. If even only for a short time, I would encourage him to make that move. Give him the option to come back if he can follow your wishes(#1 respect, #2 stay in school and make good grades, #3 Save what you can incase you decide you don't want to follow the house rules). A bit of tough love is in order, I am thinking. You can always offer that he may come home for meals/laundry and you could buy him prepaid grocery cards, etc to insure that he has the basic needs met. When in college, I shared rooms for rent and literally shared a room, very in expensive! Be firm and Good luck, G..

His behavior sounds totally normal.

I know....Can you take away his car? Other money things? I was not a very nice adult until AFTER I lived on my own. He doen't get what it takes on a daily basis. Or what things cost. Can you compromise? He can stay out 3 nights a week? he must do all trash and dishwasher? Something? Charge him rent? Good luck!

Your house, your rules. It is as simple as that. I would decide on what your expectations are and be very clear, then sit him down and have a talk. As long as he is in your house he needs to abide by your rules, but they need to be made clear to him and make clear the consequences. If he doesn't want to respect you and follow these rules then he is old enough to go out and support himself. Remeber we as human beings live by rules every day - at work, driving, in relationships, following laws, etc. Life will not forgive him of these in most places.

Once you set your rules there will be no need for nagging, but you need to follow through with your consequences. He needs a clear understanding of what you expect from him. I think you'll find the need for nagging will end.

Good luck to you.

It appears your son will not grow up until you allow him. if he continues to be disrespectful he needs to leave. He will only do what you allow him to do. If he cant abide by your rules, he needs to leave.

He's 19, legally an adult and now he doesn't HAVE to listen to you. It would be nice yes because it shows lack of respect for you that he doesn't, but there's no real "you live in my house you obey my rules" law.

This did not start yesterday..........It is time for tough love.......Is you husband on board with you? You may have to throw his butt out and give him a lesson on life. Family counseling might be in order.

You may want to look into books on prodigy and advanced children on Amazon.com, or Indigo and Crystal children on Amazon.com.

Also, Agape International Spiritual Center does counseling - they are not religious, they are metaphysical.

Be well.


What a RELIEF to read your entry on MamaSource. I thought I was the only one with a kid like this... Well, I've got news for you, I've got your son's evil TWIN over here at my house.

Seriously, mine 19 year old's such a jerk, I wish every day that he'd move away and go to school about 10 states away from Cali.

Mine effectively flunked out of his entire first year of college. I had to school him how a "W" on the report card is preferable over an "F". I guess we'll re-address that Freshman year this fall.

My son is beligerent, selfish and king of the sass-back. I know that some day, he's going to come back to me and ask me how I put up with him.

Meanwhile, my house is like PeeWee's Playhouse over here. All his friends hang out at our house day and night. I don't have a grouchy, territorial daddy living here...so, I am ok with them taking over the living room. At least, I know where they are. His FRIENDS are respectful, funny, and just plain NICE to me. They say "thank you" and "please" to me. When my son is mouthing off to me in their presence, they get an uncomfortable look on their faces, like dude, don't blow it for US. You don't even KNOW how GOOD you have it here.

I'm going to try to influence and persuade his friends to see if they can get through to him to be nicer to me.

Seriously, my younger boys, ages 8 and 12 are ANGELS and already base their bahavior on doing the exact OPPOSITE as their jerk older brother. Like he's the poster child for SCREW UP and they do NOT want to be anything like him.

Man, I wish this "stage" would pass... There are days when I don't know how much more I can take and I cannot stand my own kid. Reasoning with him is getting me nowhere.

Hey, I thought my parents were whacked when I was his age, too. But, I was smart enough to go out and get 2 jobs and get the hell outta Dodge. I had my own apartment with 2 roommates by 19. If ya can't stand the heat, get outta the kitchen -- and I did! My kid doesn't have the skills that God gave a turnip to accomplish this.

My sister-in-law, who just completed her Master's in School Psychology, informed me a while back that boys don't grow a brain (I'm paraphrasing...and this is about as politically correct as I can be...) until TWENTY FIVE. Seriously, I could have just slammed my head in a door when I heard that. Of course, we laugh about it, because she has 2 boys who are also presenting some challenges.

I am just dealing with this "stage" by telling myself that I spoiled him and I have no one to blame but myself. He is MUCH more respectful to his father and would never, ever, EVER say the kind of things he says to me to HIM. That's pretty infuriating.

I'd kindof like to swap out my son for one of his friends. And, from what I hear, the friend's parents would LOVE to have my nice, respectful, polite son live at their house.
Uhhhgh. Where's the justice? At least I am reassured by knowing that he acts like a human at OTHER people's houses...

Sorry, but you allow him to do this to you. The kids today do not know what it is to want. We give them everything and they take it, sometimes without even a small thank you. So if he won't do as you ask, cut him off of everything. Give him a curfew, and if he do not abide by it, lock him out. Show him who's in charge. This is his life, let him live the way he want to elsewhere. Otherwise he do it your way in your house.

M. j

The best one i can come up with is he is living in your home and therefore should abide by your rules. If you can't get him to set down and talk to you about the way he is acting, then he has the choice to move out. Hopefully he is doing good in college and the plus is that he is also working part time. So hopefully you can reach an agreement on the rest of the problems that will make you both happy. He needs to understand that because you love him, your concerns are in his best interest. Hope you get some good advice on this. Sandy

Hey G., I thought you were talking about my 18 year old!!!! Although he is not rude or selfish at least not out loud, he's passive aggressive. Mine keeps everything to himself, and most of the time he's in his room watching t.v., playing video games or sleep. He has a little part time job making $8.75 like yours. So yeah all of writting have similar stories with this age group. I don't know how to do tuff love either, but when i ask him to do something he'll do it,he just won't say much,aahum is about it! U'r not alone all of us writting are going tru something it too. I'm glad you wrote in because now i can get advice myself from all these parents writting in to you. I think we both need counseling, i'll start looking today for some professional help. Please write back and let us know the outcome, i'm sure it'll all work out, take good care.

Please, please read an excellent book by Michael Bradley called "Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!". Sounds goofy, but it's written by a psychologist who KNOWS teens and has advice every mother/father of teens should read in order to have the correct perspective.

While I don't have adult/teenage children -- yet, the best advice I got about a situation like this came from my younger sister. She told her adult children "I am an option, but when I become your only option, I'm no longer an option". In other words, that living at home was an option for them as long as they worked, went to school, were productive, and helpful in the home. However, when it appeared to her that living at home was their only option (because of poor choices), they no longer had that option. She still had struggles (most parents do with adult children at one time or another), but they soon realized how wonderful their life was. And if they forgot, they got a reminder about their 'options'. Sometimes it came in the form of the rental section of the newspaper left on their bed!

Dear G.,

You have it rough. Ever heard of tough love? It's great that you want to help him out, but unfortunately, he is 19, no longer a minor and living with you and getting your help is a privilege not a right. No matter how much it may hurt, you might have to "give him the boot". Sounds like he needs a reality check on how life really is. The more you help him out makes him more dependent on you because he knows that you will bail him out when things get rough. From one mother to another, you love him and don't want him to suffer. The question is, why should you have to deal w/ the attitude. It's not up to you to make sure that his homework gets done. If he flunks out, it's his fault not yours. You really need to re-evaluate your decision to keep helping him and getting him out of trouble and "babysitting" him. He may be angry with you, but in the long run, he will thank you for it. I have seen this done personally and Tough Love really does work. I wish you the best of luck and hope everything works out for you.

It's time for him to move out. Sometimes that's the best gift we can give them. It's a hard one, but there is not a whole lot else that you can do for him.

Hello, Okay, so your 19 year old son is running the show. He is trying to assert his manhood and let you know that he is an adult. If he isn't living by your rules in your home, give him two choices. He can either follow your rules or find another place to live. Give him a date to comply by and be prepared to follow through. Remind him that the date is coming and when he doesn't comply make sure he leaves. It is a very hard thing to do, but if you don't he will never grow into a man. We went through this with two of our kids. The were addicted to drugs. I know that you have said that he is playing games on the computer and at game places. However, an addiction is an addiction. He is addicted to these games. If that is what he wants out of life, you can't help him, he has to find out that these things have taken over his life. I would also charge him rent. You can make it minimal, but make sure he knows how much and when to pay. When he looks for another place to live, he will see what a good deal he has at home.
Good luck with this big problem.
K. K.

Cut him off financially until he learns some gratitude. Let him move out, sounds like he's lazy and spoiled. I'd also only allow him to use he car to go to school. Good luck.

Please let me know how it goes i have a son who is 19 years old and is the same way.

It's time to kick him out. He needs a reality check on the responsibilities of being an adult and he's not going to find them being at home the way things are. He can't appreciate the help you give him until he learns how hard it is to be self-sufficient. I supported myself 100% on minimum wage when I first moved out at 18. I worked hard, budgeted, learned to spend wisely, etc.

My relationship for my parents improved dramatically once I moved out.
Good luck and be strong!

Hi I am a mom of a 7yrd old and a 15 year old teens. Iam taking a free parenting class at my city in Monrovia,CA. It has helped me cope with the stress. I have told the 17th yr. old that when he turns 18 he either gets a job this summer or he won't have a a room over his head at this time. I will try to charge him for room and board. also if he is not helping the police can excort him out of your house for he is an adult know. Good luck keep in touch D.:)

G. R

Please don't take what I am saying personally. Your son is considered an adult, he can take care of himself. He will find that his studies are going to make or break him, this is his responsibility not yours. If he fails, it will be totally his fault, please let him learn from his experiences that his self-centeredness will cause him to fail.

Since he already knows that you will do nothing to back up your house rules,he has left you with one option (although this will be very hard) this is considered "tough love." If your son won't listen to you throw him out until he learns to live within your house rules, let him study if he chooses to, if he does not he will fail in college and at work.

As for the video games, set limits as to how long he can be self absorbed, he can behave in this manner in his own home and not yours. Be strong and stand your ground, you have a younger child in the house who will copy his/her behaviors. Since your son has stated he is moving out, tell him he has 30 days to be in his own place, help him find a place. Don't allow him to continue his attitude in YOUR home, he will learn respect when he knows what you say is what is going to happen.

It appears that your son has no respect for you, your husband or himself, he will learn it in the school of hard knocks (either on the street, or supporting himself). I know this because my oldest was the same age and got into much trouble until I literally threw him out to take care of himself. No, he didn't speak to me much for a while, but he learned to respect me in a way that he never did before. He contacts me regularly and shows a great deal of respect for me as a person. He also uses this with his own children so I know that he took it to heart in a very serious way on his journey while growing up to a successful father, and grandfather of two (up to now). I hope this helps.

I know you have gotten some good and bad advice from others as well, I am a 53 yr old mother of three, grandmother of approx 18, and great-grandmother of 2.

Hi G.,

Sorry to hear that you are having a problem with your son. But have you tried talking to him... not about him playing games, but talking to him to find out what's wrong, or if something is bothering him? Was he an only child before you had your toddler? Maybe he wants more attention.


Dear G.,
Have you considered the possibility that your son may have an addiction to his computer games? My brother-in-law was very addicted at one point and came across a post that computer games were also causing couples to divorce. My sister was on the verge of leaving him, it then dawned on him that he had an addiction to computer games. I know it sounds easy to "stop playing" but for someone with any type of addiction, it may not be so easy.
Hope things get better

I empathize with your situation. While you have gotten some good advice, I wanted to also give my input. I would talk with my husband privately about concerns you have about the situation. Then together I would talk with your adult son (without the toddler present) to resolve the situation. I would say the following:

1) We are no longer going to help you in paying your car insurance, clothing, or cellphone bill effective immediately. Driving and using a cellphone are privileges. If you have a job, you can pay your own cellphone and car insurance. If you can't afford the car insurance payment, then you can use public transportation or find another way to get to work. If someone in this household brings you to work, you need to pay us a certain fee (discuss with your husband what fee is acceptable). You cannot continue to drive our vehicles without paying your own car insurance.

2) You can live in this house as long as you are contributing in some way (going to school or working). You will pay us (small amount of rent, to be discussed with your husband). You will be expected to do household chores in order to contribute to our household including...(talk with your husband to decide what chores to give your adult son). Also, if you live here, you will abide by our rules. Meal time is at (whatever time you decide) and our bedtime is (whatever time you decide). I would change the locks to the outside doors and that way he can't get in after you are in bed. You can tell him that if he is not home by that time, then he will not be expected home that night.

3) Let him know that you respect him as an adult and that you will let him decide when to eat, sleep, study, see his friends and have free time, as long as he is doing his household chores. Let him know what your expectations are in regard to having guests over are and what the curfew is for his guests to leave to return home. Let him know that you will not tolerate alcohol or substance use by him or his guests in your home.

4) Let him know that these rules are effective immediately and that if he does not wish to abide by them, that he can begin making arrangements to live elsewhere. Buy a newspaper and look for rooms for rent with him, but let him contact the places and make his own arrangements. Help him pay for the first month, if he cannot afford to do so, but let him know that he will be paying for it himself after that. Set a deadline with him in order to find alternate housing (ex. move out within one month).

Hope these suggestions you receive here will be of help.

Take care,

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