This website is for ALL moms!!!
It is time for Tough Love. It's not easy. But it HAS to be done.
1. Type up a contract for your son to sign. He will have pay rent and utilities. He's an adult now and will be treated as such.
a. rent is X. and due X. there will be a X late fee for late payments (just like real life).
b. he is expected to do:
1. his own laundry and his day to use the washer/dryer is X.
2. keep his room clean and tidy.
3. take out the trash - trash pick up is on X day and it is expected to be taken out by x the previous night.
4. replenish food he uses in the house. If he uses the last of the milk, he is expected to buy a new one.
2. If he has chosen not to go to school (university/college) full time, then he has to support himself. If he is going to school then rent will be a portion as you might expect him to work part time.
3. DO NOT allow him to drive your car. PERIOD. If he needs to go somewhere he can call a taxi. If he "needs" you to do - then you will charge him a fare for driving him. NO MORE CODDLING HIM!!
4. DO NOT ALLOW HIM TO treat you this way. PERIOD. You have basically trained/taught him and now, the hard part - untraining/unlearning this behavior. This means saying no and meaning it - NO MEANS NO! PERIOD. END OF STORY!
In my home, if my boys ask me more than once for something - I take something away of theirs - whether it be computer or TV time - or their DS. NO MEANS NO. DO NOT ASK TWICE - DO NOT WHINE, DO NOT YELL, DO NOT SCREAM - PERIOD. You WILL treat me with respect and respect my answer.
I have a 24 year old daughter. She quit college her sophomore year. She wanted to come live with me - I said FINE - rent is X, etc. she didn't like that - she called her dad - he said the same thing (I Love his new wife!! When they let our daughter come back home to live - they took the money that she paid in rent to them and put it in a savings account for her. She does NOT know about this money. They plan on giving it to her when she graduates college and buys a home).
If she wanted to continue with school - fine, she would work part time and rent wouldn't be as much. She tried living with her dad for about a year - she wasn't happy and decided to move out on her own. She is still going to school part-time and is NOT happy about her wages or hours. ONLY SHE CAN CHANGE THAT.
how do I find the strength to be stern? I love my children enough to show them HOW to be a capable adult. My kids learned at 5 how to toast bread, make their own L'eggo waffles, make their own beds, separate laundry, fold it and put it away. My kids can fix scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast for themselves. They are learning how to use an iron too. They each have their own savings account as well. They each know EXACTLY how much money is it. They need to put money from their allowance into the savings account and they can donate money as well. To me - these are ESSENTIAL life skills.
You have already stated that you ALLOW him to do this. It is up to you to stop it. It will NOT be easy - but he MUST learn to care for himself.
next - you need to call the parents of the teen he appears to be staying with and find out what they are telling him. Tell them that you are TRYING to get him to become a productive citizen. Oh heck - I might even ask her to charge him rent!!! So he knows he can't "free load" off ANYONE.
As to his pawing items - you need to make sure that he's not taking your stuff to pawn. Also let this other parent know that he has been pawing stuff and ensure that he is NOT taking from her as well.
I would also go to your local pharmacy and get one of the at home drug test kits and when he gets home - make him pee in the cup and YOU test it. If he doesn't like it or doesn't want to do it - find out what he's hiding. If he is doing drugs - get him help with the caveat that he MUST remain clean in order to live under your roof.
I don't have guilt from telling my children NO. I might feel bad that they are NOT getting what they "want" but there is a difference between "want" and "need". You NEED food to survive, you WANT steak to eat.
If you feel like you can't say NO to him because he "needs" food money - this WILL be hard - tell him to go get a job. Or come home to eat a meal with the family. Otherwise the answer is NO.
If you need strength - in box me. YOU CAN AND MUST do this - not just for your sanity but for your son!!!