My son is wasting his life…

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  • My son is wasting his life…
  • stickydick
    Member

    My 19 yr old son (20 in Feb) has been wasting his life for the last 3+ yrs.
    Failed his A levels as he simply didn’t try, no effort at all.
    He has a very part time (<10 hrs a week) washing up in the local pub, isn’t inspired to even look for a better job and when not working will spend most of his day in bed with laptop (yes, exactly..)
    Not interested in re-taking A levels (although he is capable – tutors said when he did work it was excellent).
    The one positive area is that he’s a good drummer and plays in a band with his mates, but they are not commercial, play their own very narrow brand of music that appeals to almost no one, and consequently don’t make any money, it costs them to go to gigs (lead guitarist’s father is a delusional believer who funds them and they all congregate at his house to the extent that he spends most of his time there).
    His mother and I separated nearly 4 yrs ago (I posted on here suspecting of her playing away – she was!)so he doesn’t have nice cozy family home to come to, so can’t blame him for preferring friend’s house.
    Has occasional contact with his mother but although she thinks the same as me, has no influence on him.
    He won’t discuss anything with me no matter what I do. Clamps up except if we discuss bands (I have broad tastes!).
    I even gave him chance of coming to going to Oz with me for 2 weeks in Feb but he wasn’t interested.
    How the hell do you jolt your son out of a rut like this?
    I worry for his future and feel helpless to do anything. Any ideas?

    piemonster
    Member

    No idea, I’m 35 and still in the same rut. When you find a solution let me know

    whattyre
    Member

    Army? Send him abroad with ltd funds….that’ll grow him a bit

    druidh
    Member

    You could try the “front door” approach – change the locks next time he leaves the house ๐Ÿ˜†

    Not a lot you can do IMO, he will learn from his own “mistakes”. All you can do is offer advice. If that fails then go ride your bike.

    Premier Icon Teetosugars
    Subscriber

    piemonster – Member
    No idea, I’m 35 and still in the same rut. When you find a solution let me know

    A few years older, but the same scenario…

    Not really found my calling since leaving the Army..

    I feel lost. ๐Ÿ˜

    john_drummer
    Member

    lead guitarist’s father is a delusional believer who funds them

    aha, a “dadager” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    have you tried cutting his funding? like when he runs out of sticks, how does he pay for new ones? ยฃ10 a pair, 10 hrs a week minimum wage isn’t going to go far…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Offer to help him move out?
    Charge him rent?
    Kick his arse until he finds the real world?

    I assume you are supporting him financially in some way perhaps add some terms to the deal.

    I f’d around through my early 20’s, dropped out of uni, lived in squats and generally can’t imagine what I put my parents through; looking back I was a knob.

    A point came though, around 24, that I realised I was a knob and pulled my finger out.

    You’ve taught him right from wrong and eventually he’ll see the path.

    Duane…
    Member

    As a 22 year old, I’m trying to imagine what would sort me out if I was in a similar situation.

    Have you asked him what his med-long term plans are? Does he expect to live at home indefinitely?

    Maybe get harsh with him, ask for rent so he has to get a job etc etc.

    davidjones15
    Member

    How the hell do you jolt your son out of a rut like this?

    I would suspect that there might be a link between a 15 yr old watching their parents divorce and the current situation. Time to talk to professionals and not internet randoms. I mean for you (singular) to talk not you (plural). I suspect he feels that he didn’t get the level of attention that he should have at that age. D

    Maybe get harsh with him, ask for rent so he has to get job etc etc.

    I suspect that the tough love approach here will only make matters worse.
    EDIT: What motivated him before and what were his dreams and ambitions 4 years ago?

    piemonster
    Member

    I’m trying to think of an intelligent and constructive post and failing. I basically was in the same position as your kid when I was 19. Even with hindsight I can’t think of a solution.

    Not even sure one is necessary. In the end, it’s up to him. If there’s a path that is right for him he’ll find it if you encourage him to find it. Beating him into a choice might work, just as likely make no difference.

    Reflecting on my Dads choices, best thing you can do is be a good parent. Even if it doesn’t produce a successful career kid he’ll appreciate it in the end. In the end it’s more important that he’s a good person than has a good job.

    (take all of that with a pinch of salt, it’s all taken from my perspective)

    stickydick
    Member

    Have tried locking him out but he goes to stay at the friend’s house. Gets new sticks paid for by the band…

    Premier Icon Stoner
    Subscriber

    do you give him money or just accommodation and food?

    Premier Icon Bregante
    Subscriber

    Do you charge him rent / give him spending money? My eldest (17 three weeks ago) had a choice when he left school. If he was going to go into secondary education his mum and I would forego any “rent” demands. Otherwise we expect rent.

    He’s going in the army in March but until then he’s paying his way by working at McDonald’s.

    whattyre
    Member

    Kibbutz? Although you may not see him again..I remember Swedish girls and a very cheap bar…. ๐Ÿ˜€

    labsey
    Member

    Give him a few months to find his own place or you’re kicking him out. Worked for me with my Dad.

    Edit. Sounds like I kicked my dad out. Other way around.

    Piemonster makes a great point, even at my most knobbish my folks never stopped showing me love and while at times I was to stubborn too admit my choices were poor when I came to my senses they were there to help me move on, that’s all you can do really.

    piemonster
    Member

    A few years older, but the same scenario…

    Not really found my calling since leaving the Army..

    I feel lost.

    Take up ultra distance Fell Running, it’s a helluva tonic

    richpips
    Member

    I’ve a friend (the father) who is in a very similar position.

    Best of luck he’s tried every angle.

    As others have said sooner or later he’ll get a grip.

    Premier Icon somafunk
    Subscriber

    Charge him “Digs” for living at home, back in 1990 i was 18 and paying 40% of wage which amounted to ยฃ40 funnily enough to my parents for digs/rent/electricity etc, made me realise that stuff costs money and i moved out into my own rented house two years later.

    Premier Icon plumslikerocks
    Subscriber

    A bit of tough love is called for…..if you’re bankrolling his current lifestyle then you’re part of the problem. He may well blame you and your Mrs for his state of mind, but he needs to start taking responsibility for himself.

    Put your own feelings of inadequacy or guilt to one side and give him a wake-up call. As others have said, charge half-realistic rent, attach conditions to any non-vital support you give him. He may f-off somewhere else for a night or two but let him.

    Who else apart from a parent would put up with it. Don’t be threatened by any hold his mates dad may have over him – he won’t put up with his style being cramped by an extra Kevin the Teenager for too long….

    poly
    Member

    have you tried cutting his funding? like when he runs out of sticks, how does he pay for new ones? ยฃ10 a pair, 10 hrs a week minimum wage isn’t going to go far…

    especially if you charge him some rent… presumably:

    * he’s using your broadband to download porn
    * he’s eating your food
    * probably drinking your beer
    * costing you 25% more in council tax (no single person discount)
    * heating a room etc.

    In reality I bet you or his mum are actually giving him cash too, and probably let him drive your car without paying for fuel / insurance etc…

    At the very least he needs to be paying the extra costs of him living in your house, but really should be paying a fair share of the total cost. Various ways to work that out (e.g. pro-rata total costs based on net income – then you are not leaving him penniless right now, but also not creating an expectation that it is will be that cheap forever; or just work out what he would have to pay in the real world and break it to him – perhaps giving him till his 20th birthday to work out how he will pay).

    If you feel guilty charging him, then put the money in a savings account (don’t tell him) and when he eventually moves out / gets married / etc give it to him as a deposit etc…

    Wife’s cousin has only done 6 months work, and 1 yr at college in nearly 20 yrs since he left school. He’s got some basic qualifications and at least notionally has IT skills, but who would employ him? Who’s fault? His mother – she’s bankrolled it and he can’t even be bothered to go and sign on – as its too much hassle…

    davidjones15
    Member

    A bit of tough love is called for….

    What exactly is this tough love of which you speak?

    Piemonster +1.

    Light encouragement and positivity. Point out what he could do, what he’s capable of rather than negativity and ultimatums.

    He has his loving father to come home to.

    The break up with your Ex 4 years ago is what hurts him and that affected studying for his A’levels 3 years ago. The effect of a parental break-up on a child is not-dissimilar to a bereavement. IMO until he understands it and starts getting over the break-up, he wont be fixed and get on with his own life.

    Sorry for my presumption, but does he blame you? Does he blame himself? (rationally, or irrationally). Have you been able to get across your feelings about what happened so he might understand that neither of you are to blame?

    piemonster
    Member

    Wife’s cousin has only done 6 months work, and 1 yr at college in nearly 20 yrs since he left school. He’s got some basic qualifications and at least notionally has IT skills, but who would employ him? Who’s fault? His mother – she’s bankrolled it and he can’t even be bothered to go and sign on – as its too much hassle…

    The lucky git

    AlasdairMc
    Member

    Charge him digs. If you can do without the money, shove it in a savings account for when he does finally move out so it’ll cover kitchen stuff etc.

    In the meantime, charge him enough to force him into seeking other employment, and don’t let him get away with not paying.

    piemonster
    Member

    What exactly is this tough love of which you speak?

    I thought tough love was slang for a vigorous wa…… err.. bit of time alone

    trailster
    Member

    It seems you have no bond with him, does he avoid you? little things make a big difference.

    davidjones15
    Member

    @3,14159265emonster ๐Ÿ˜†

    piemonster
    Member

    Charging for digs probably wont do no harm I don’t think.

    At the very least it’s teaches that existing costs.

    The negative side to this could be he totally drops out and just resides in the bedsit for the next 15+ years.

    Neil F
    Member

    Burst into his room with 2 bottles of whisky, don’t leave until they’re finished. I can bet you’d learn a few things about your lad, and he’d learn a few about you! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Ease up sticky’ its a different era from when you and i left school. There are too many 19/20 year olds and too few oppurtunities. Plus its cool to be a slack lazy son of a bitch these days.
    Subtlety is king here. Where or who is funding him? if its his mates parents tell them to back off a bit, likewise if its you.
    With no money and a 10 hour a week job he’ll soon start to feel the pinch. But remember here; stick with it!
    No backing down if it gets tough, and no more compensating for his situation.
    He does have a warm home, its not your fault his mums a ho’ and just give it time, may even be alot of time and things usually get worse before they get better.
    Oh and dump your girlfriend, that never helps having an extra woman in the background.

    Maybe one bottle of Whisky ๐Ÿ™‚

    djglover
    Member

    Cut funding. i was in a similar place at 19 but the difference being i had to bankroll myself…

    poly
    Member

    The lucky git

    Not really he’s a fat f****r, in his later thirties, who lives at home with his even fatter mother. He has a teenage daughter (from I presume the only time he got laid) who he doesn’t see. He’s not “happy”, but has such apathy (clinical depression?) that he shows no inclination to change.

    I’d certainly rather be me.

    piemonster
    Member

    Not really he’s a fat f****r, in his later thirties, who lives at home with his even fatter mother. He has a teenage daughter (from I presume the only time he got laid) who he doesn’t see. He’s not “happy”, but has such apathy (clinical depression?) that he shows no inclination to change.
    I’d certainly rather be me.

    Good grief NO

    That Fatty needs a kick in the kahunas. I mean, I quite like a bit of apathy (ask my boss), but a mans gotta have his limits,

    Tom B
    Member

    If he is a good drummer, perhaps try and get him involved in music in a more serious way? Definitely cut funding to him though! At sixteen I was working 12 hours on a market on a Saturday and paying for my guitar lesson each week out of it….

    Premier Icon plumslikerocks
    Subscriber

    Following up on my previous post – it sounds like he / you definitely have plenty of issues. Maybe look into some counselling for at least on of you. If it’s him (sounds like it might be), then the board and lodgings can be used as a bit of leverage if needs be….

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