Online Parent Support Chat

5.11.09

I'm struggling between logical consequences & removing survival needs...

I have a 17 year old son who turns 18 in 5 days. He graduated from high school a year early thru an Open Door program, and has sat in his room for the most part playing WOW on the computer for the past 6 months, occasionally applied for jobs, but mostly sleeps all day and then plays the computer all nite. He and his dog had destroyed my downstairs where his room is, it was always trashed and a pit and all my dishes get broken or 'lost'. I had given him warnings a few months ago that come 18 he'd have to make a choice and what my expectations would be.

As of last Sunday, November 1st, I told him he must pay $250/mth room & board (I pay ALL his expenses), have a job with consistent income, and keep his living area CLEAN and any damages repaired. These requests are nothing new or a suprise to him, as he knew it was coming. On Saturday (the 31st) he was so mad that I was going through with this that he moved everything he owns (not that much) out to a non-working jeep he bought that is parked in front of our house. He is literally living in that jeep. His doggie he keeps in the empty wooded lot next to our house, and then puts the dog in the jeep with him at night. He has NO money for food.

Since last Saturday there have been a few opportunities that I took to show him I do love him but that I am serious about my expectations. I've let him use my car several times to go apply for jobs. I offered him lunch one day which he gobbled up. His cell phone was broken so I paid the insurance to replace it so the places he was applying for work at could reach him. He seemed to appreciate these signs of support however tonite when I asked him if we could discuss the situation to see about meeting the requests I'd given him, he said "I'm not interested." He literally is making this jeep his 'shelter' and seems to be looking at it like either a camping trip or a survival test that he can do. When I told him he could live by house rules or find somewhere else to live I had no idea nor intention that he would move all his stuff out to this jeep and live out of it.

But if after 4 nites of cold temps and little food he is STILL not budging on his resolve to live here rent-free, what do I do??? What in God's name do I do? I don't want my son to starve or to freeze at nite, but how do I get the rules across to him? I've never met anyone so incredibly 'something' , except for his father. To whom I'm no longer married. BTW, his father after the divorce chose to buy a brand new sportscar yet literally has no home to live in and is proud to tell everyone that his ex-wife put him in this situation - - he's the victim. Same scenerio my son is doing right now. And honestly my son hasn't had contact with my ex since he left a few years ago. But he is aware of his father living 'out of a car' basically... So maybe that's where this 'survival instict' or something is learned from I don't know. But I don't know what to do. I'm not asking the world, just that this practically 18-year old kid get a job, contribute a little bit to the household, and keep his living area clean and unbroken. I KNOW that's not asking too much. But if he'd rather live in a car than meet those rules, what do I do?

How do I 'discipline' this 17/18 year old without it seeming like I'm trying to freeze & starve him. I have changed the garage door opener code so he can't get in to the garage, am changing the garage door lock itself because I know he has a key. I am also removing the extension cord he ran from the garage to his car 'aka shelter' to power a space heater, computer, phone charger. These are things I am doing to remove the ease of living in his car and motivate him to get a job. He tells his friends I am an evil devil 'B' and 'can you believe she is doing that.' I know why I'm doing it and I always thought it was best to let him figure out why I'm doing it instead of telling him what the lesson is. But I'm struggling between logical consequences & removing survival needs.

My Out-of-Control Teen

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