Online Parent Support Chat

16.3.08

First things first...

I'm new to OPS and not sure how this all works. I just downloaded the book. Will get to reading it soon. Here is our situation:

We have 2 sons, D (17), and J (12). They are adopted (and we have told them this all along). We got D when he was about 2 or 3. We got J when he was born. They are half brothers. We also homeschool.

I've been pushing D to get a job ever since he was 16. He has applied at a few places but no responses.

He just finished his curriculum we had for this year and we cannot get him to do any more. So we got a book to help him prepare for his GED. He did a little of it and has now quit that. He says he don't care about that anymore. He won't take any steps to look for a job other than apply online. He won't even finish his last 20 hours of driving he needs to get his license. He won't communicate about what's going on in his head to not be motivated about anything. We began paying our boys for chores. He shrugs that off and doesn't really care if he gets paid. He still does the few chores we have for him, although not without being reminded many times.

I finally asked him Thursday if he would commit to 2 things for me between now and Sunday. 1. Pray that God would help him sort out his thoughts and give him some direction. 2. That he would type up a plan for his future (for the next year or so). I don't care if it is 3 points for 20 points, just have some sort of a plan. Then show it to us Sunday afternoon and mom and I will help him meet the goals he has. I said, "Will you do this?" He just shrugged his shoulders.

What I intend to do is review his plan, help him add some detail, and then setup some time lines to meet the goals.

If he does not show us a plan, we intend to give him ours, which will consist of getting him a car, his license, a job, and a budget. We will tell him that since he apparently is done with school then he is now an adult and needs to take the responsibilities of being an adult. Once he turns 18, if he isn't in school, our health insurance will not cover him so he will need to have a job to get his own, etc.

Now, what do we do if he refuses to get a job or his license? We can't just through him out of the house and force it on him. And this is not a good example for his brother. David is a really good kid. I just have no clue why he is doing what he is doing.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

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Hi D.,

I noticed that you just started the program yesterday. This is a four-week course. I would ask that you simply work through the four weeks - and then come back with some specific questions. I don’t want you to implement a bunch of new changes too quickly. If we did, it would backfire.

A good analogy would be that of a large buffet dinner. You wouldn’t want to consume all 5 courses at once – you’d get sick and throw it all up. I want to spare you from a bad case of parenting-indigestion. First things first.

I can see by your email that you will need to make quite a few changes, and I’m tempted to offer up solutions immediately. But I don’t think this will be in your best interest. I have found that patience is key in the early going.

Simply do session #1 this week (along with the implementation of session #1 assignments) – and nothing more. If you have any questions about the material at any point, please email me. Then in four weeks, we’ll trouble shoot and look at some concrete recommendations per your specific situation.

Also, BE SURE to watch all the Instructional Videos [Online Version of the eBook].

I look forward to hearing back from you in the near future,

Mark

My Out-of-Control Teen

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