21 Yr Old Sonn Doesn't Do Anything!

Updated on November 06, 2010
W.C. asks from Beloit, WI
19 answers

My 21 1/2 yr old step son, doesn't go anywhere he sits and draws, or plays computer or video games all of the time. He says he looks for a job but it's been 2 yrs.He donates plasma for money I take half so he gets $30 wk..He's with me and my husband 24/7. He has no friends but online. I give him nothing but 2 meals a day! He seems content with nothing. We gave him an ultimatum when he graduated, either school or work. He went to live with his mother for a year in Austrailia until the country made him leave. Any suggestions? My husband won't kick him out so I'm at a loss!

The military won't take him because he has a lousy credit rating. He got student loans, went to college for a month then dropped out! Austrailia made him leave because he was 18 and no means of support.I take 1/2 of the money he gets from selling plasma. His dad agrees that he needs to do something but he never says anything to him. I now only let him on the computer for 3 hrs once a week. I'm very hard on him but it doesn't seem to work!

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answers from Detroit on

Is anyone feeling like maybe this young man is depressed? I'm sorry but he's not doing drugs, he's not partying with friends... in fact, he doesn't go anywhere and he's selling his blood for money ...I don't see how you "tough love" someone out of this. This is a very sad existence. If I had a friend that was living like this, I would be terribly concerned about their emotional health. I think his dad needs to get him to a counselor and see what's up. This is a live drifting away.

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answers from Sioux City on

Apparently you're not to hard on him because he is still content to live under your roof. All my kids have to help out around the house and my oldest is 14. What does this MAN do to help? If I had a 21 year old living in my house for free and not contributing any money, I would have a wonderfully tended lawn, my honey do list would be complete, all my walls would have fresh paint, my car would be hand washed, the garage would be immaculate, my deck would be sealed, garden would be weed free....... All this I would expect him to do free of charge. I am pretty sure he would find some other form of work and a new place to live. Oh, and the TV and computer would be for paying customers only.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Wheeling on

Didn't read all your responses, but 'meals' is NOT all you're providing for him. Room/Lodging, water, heat/AC, telephone, garbage pick-up, access to electronic usage (and the electricity to run them), free laundry facilities, a ride if he DOES go anywhere -- all these things that mature adults have to provide for ourselves are provided for him for free. You probably Shop for, pay for, and cook/prepare the food he eats. You may even have insurance on him.

I work at a job that doesn't pay nearly what I'm worth, but it is a steady income and we are always needing workers in our field (high school diploma & driver's licence required).

I agree that he sounds depressed, but you are enabling him by providing shelter, bed, utilities and eats. Nagging him only worsens it because men need to know that someone believes in them -- that they are able, capable, and competent. Start by thanking him for anything he does do that contributes to the household workload, but don't do ANYTHING for him that he can do for himself.

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answers from Chicago on

If it's your husband's son, then your husband needs to be the Dad here and make the rules. Then your issue should be with him, instead of your stepson.

As long as your step son is allowed to live in your house (by your husband) then you are "stuck". Somewhere in there he got kicked out of Australia and was "allowed" back in your house, rent free.

He clearly lacks the motivation to do anything because he has a roof over his head and food on the table.

I think you need to light a fire under your husband and let HIM deal with his son.

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answers from Minneapolis on

My cousins son is exactly like your step son. He graduated from H.S. and had two kids, but is only 20. His gf kicked him out cuz he refused to look for work, while she worked a job plus goes to college. He doesn't want to work and only plays video games. My mom gave my cousin the best advice she ever got. Quit buying the food he likes. Don't have ANY sweets, snacks or pop in the house. Also if it comes to it, if you absolutely have to, disconnect your home internet for the time being. Put any game consoles away in a storage locker if you have to. He's going to get bored and that will get him moving.
Like at least one other poster said, I;ve never heard of the military not taking anyone due to bad credit. That would be the best place for him to learn discipline, self control and responsibility.

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answers from Chicago on

Just had to kindly ask my twenty year old son to remove himself. He left. It was heartbreaking, I am in agony because he has problems I want to save him from- but he is trying to show the world he can do it. So I respect him for that. despite my agony.
My other son joined the military and recently got out. They help with college. It is not a happy thing for moms, but it is something that will build skills and send them into the world.
I looked at the other notes from Moms. They are right. Get rid of the internet, or oops, those games could get lost. This sounds like a depressed young man, perhaps counseling together as a family...Good luck. I know it is so hard. And you really need to get your husband to see that it is not helping him to grow up if he is permitted to live like this. (Not sure how you'll do that...) Wish I could help more.

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answers from Kansas City on

When I got out of the military, the counselor at the career center said that looking for a job should be a full time job. Meaning if he isn't spending at least 8 hours a day searching for a job, he's not searching for a job!

I will say that I have never heard of the military not taking someone because of a low credit score. I'm not sure, but it sure wasn't that way when I enlisted. In fact, most people signed UP because of money issues! Call the recruiter yourself to verify this is correct information. I've also never heard about deporting from Austrailia like that but I think they have the right idea!

I don't know how to approach your husband or motivate your step son. In my house it would be...school, military, job or get out of my house.

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answers from Harrisburg on

I have learned and am learning that two kind of people exist under this category (outside of mental illness). The ones who REACT and the ones who ACT. For the ones who REACT, you have to give them something to REACT to and that gets their adrenalin pumping and give them "reason" to do something. The ones who ACT just sees the goal ahead of time and go do them. Your son needs something to REACT to, and your husband needs to give him that. If that means getting him a place to live on his own so he can learn, that's what he has to do. Let him work for you guys. Let him earn those luxuries you provide.

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answers from Amarillo on

Wow that is a hard one. But I would try and get hubby on board and explain to him in black and white on paper all the extra expenses you have because of the son.

Explain to hubby that him letting his son is impacting on your relationship as husband and wife without privacy.

As others have said ask the son where he plans to be in 1, 5, 10 years. How does he plan to get there? What will he need to make it as (?). If he has no desire to do anything it is time to give him the ultimatum to leave. Give him three months to find a place and such and if not he will have his items on the front porch. Change the locks and phone if necessary so he knows you mean business. He has got to find his own way and tough love is in order. Have you all tried counseling to get to the bottom of this?

Do keep us posted. This sort of thing gets me deep down. As I had said once a long back there is a reason the mother bird pushes her young out the nest.

The other S.

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answers from Dallas on

He's not content with nothing, because he has a lot. You feed him, give him a place to stay, pay for utilities, cable, internet access. Maybe if you can cut off his internet access, it will be a wake up call to go out and look for a job. I know the economy is tough, but I know in our area, most retail stores are hiring. A job is a job. If you are anything like my parents, you just want to see make an effort. My parents didn't care where we worked as long as we worked. If we made every effort to work and contribute, we could stay with them for a nominal room and board charge. Another place that always looking for people is the military. Army straightened my brother out and Marines straightened my BIL out.

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answers from Dallas on

Well as long as his dad won't kick him, why should he change? It may have to come to that to make him do something. I'm wondering why he doesn't have any friends except for online and why he got kicked out of a country. I wish our country could do that to a few people here - LOL. Besides all that thought as far as what you can do is - well not much if your husband isn't willing to kick him out. I would start charging him for whatever he eats there, the use of everything. But then again, what's going to happen to him if he doesn't pay? You really need to get your husband on the same page as you are for anything really to work. It's hard to help someone who refuses to help themselves. It's a waste of time. That's a tough one....I'm curious as to what others are going to say.....Good luck!

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answers from Enid on

i would go get him some applications watch him fill them out and i would take him to drop them off. 21 and no job? i had my own house and car and family by 19 lol, i would take the internet away so he cant just sit around and play online games, just curious, but does he play a game called WOW (world of warcraft). my husband use to play it and it will consume them!! i accidentally lost the disks to it and he accidentally got a virus, ooops. no more wow lol. but seriously maybe yall should sit down with him and ask him what his ambitions are, what he wants to do with his life and why hasnt he started on the road to doing it?

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answers from Anchorage on

You need to get husband on the same page with you, because this kid is not going to change until he has too. He needs tough love, and your husband is doing him a huge disservice by allowing him to mooch off you and not grow up. If husband will not budge, than stop making him meals, disconnect the internet, the phone, whatever he uses to waste his time. Loss the video games, even take out the tv if you have too. Make it clear to your husband you mean business, and maybe he will man up and take care of his son.

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answers from Tulsa on

take the power cords to the computers and games. If he doesnt pick up make his stuff "dissapear" i am having the same problem and this is what seems to be working. people will judge youcause you have a 20 something at home but it amazes me more of them are doing it now than in the past and i think the economy is why. make him look for a job 30 hrs a week and he has to be able to show you on his email that they recieved his apps.

quit buying the food he likes quit buying his soap and stuff deodrant and such. sounds like a depression going on actually. tell the dad either the kid gets a job or you go. I bet dad cracks down then. let him only have the computer when you are home and able to supervise that he is only looking for a job. that is what I have done with mine. he has gottn about 70 apps in one week and I know he is trying so I will cut him some slack. is he dressing appropriately for looking for a job. my 20 yr old is so sick of doing without he is making sure he gets it done himself. my 21 yr old has lived with me his whole life so he knows the drill. if he asks where his dissapeared stuff went say ifyou would keep it picked up you would know wouldn't you.make him take responsibility for his actions. until you do nothing is going to change. and make his dad take responsibility for his kid or nothing will change. I garantee the kid or me gets given he will crack down on the kid. good luck this is working for us and it should work for you.

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answers from Boston on

Start charging him room and board. But I would call a family meeting or even discuss it calmly with hubbie first. Say that now that he is officially an adult, he will need to take adult responsibility for his life. Also, he is impacting your life with hubbie by always being there. I would put it all in very positive terms, not "I can't stand having you in the house and see no end in sight". Ask him for his input as to how he sees his future in 5 or 10 years, since he obviously cannot continue to mooch off of you and his dad. Perhaps make a pro/con list with:staying here for another year to save money to buy a car/rent a place, versus looking in the paper to share a house with others (which is what most kids have to do in order to afford moving out - I did) and having privacy. versus going to a vocational school to get some skills to get a better job. If he stays as an adult in your house, he needs to contribute, not just money, but doing laundry and dishes and garbage and yard work. Maybe he can go to college and get a game-designer degree. Either that, or he can enlist in the army. A friend is one of 9 kids and all of them had to pay their own way and the armed forces paid for a few careers in that family. Good luck, this is not easy.

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answers from Las Vegas on

Seems there is something going on there. Could just be he lacks motivation because no one has ever made him do much, or he is depressed. Does he see a doctor? It seems you are doing all you can and need hubby to do his part.

My sister is in the exact same situation, minus the $30 and computer restrictions. Her step son goes to online school, sits home all day, has no friends, attends nothing, and plays games all day. He won't eat, unless it is cooked and served for him. Dad is okay with this.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Dana K and Mom2 F have the right idea.

The Air Force wouldn't take my son until he cleaned up his credit score. They have a waiting list. I don't know about the other services.

Do something about it now! I have a cousin that had the same problem as your son. He never got a job and lived at home until his parents died of old age. And when he graduated high school TV hadn't been invented yet!

Good luck to you and yours.

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answers from San Francisco on

I have no answer if his dad won't kick him out, because necessity is the mother of invention, and your stepson has no necessity. He is coddled, so he doesn't have to do anything.

Next question: Motivating--get a Life, Kid!

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