18 yr old son keeps running off because he doesn't like our rules

Linda - posted on 09/20/2015 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My son keeps leaving home saying we are to strict. He going and staying with a friend who's parents keep letting teens that don't like their rules or that their parents don't really care where they are or what they are doing stay there. Presently there is about 3 other boys ( all between the ages of 16-18) staying there besides my son. The parents let the kids drive their vehicles and they skip school regularly. Some mornings there is all kinds of vehicles there where other kids are staying there for the weekend too. Neighbors say that vehicles are running in and out of there all the time. My son says that they have a 11:00 curfew. That may be true, but the kids don't seem to have a problem with that, because it sounds like the party is there after curfew. The mom who lives there has posted a picture of a lot of the kids that hang out there on her Facebook page and 3 of the kids have on hats with marijuana leaves on it. Something is definately wrong with this picture!!!

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Jodi - posted on 09/20/2015

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If he keeps leaving home, that means you keep letting him back. Stop. He is an adult. If he doesn't like your rules, time for him to move out permanently,

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/20/2015

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Well, the time to be proactive about the drugs isn't now, when he's an adult, and already BEEN DOING THEM for awhile. The time to be proactive about that was when you FIRST FOUND THEM, when he was a minor, and you could force him into treatment. Now, you cannot do so. He's an adult.
I will point out, though, that you are using the blanket diagnoses of ADHD, OCD and 'anxiety' as an excuse as to why he isn't living with you...You do realize that those diagnoses (ESPECIALLY ADHD) are the latest 'fad'...and that they are not the debilitating disability that you all think they are. I HAVE OCD, AND ADHD, and I'm a fully functioning, contributing member of society. The anxiety, again, either really COULD be a problem, but not if managed, and most people who truly have debilitating anxiety are VERY good about managing, because they hate the condition.
Either way, ADHD, and OCD have no bearing on whether or not you should still be in control of him. If he is choosing not to finish school, you can't force him. He's an adult, and has other options, such as an equivalency certificate, that will allow him to continue schooling if he so chooses. I get it. He's your 'baby'. I have two of them. One who's 21, and been on his own since 19, fully functioning member of society, and HE is on the Aspbergers scale. The other is going to be 18 in 5 days. He already knows that the condition for living at home as an adult is to finish HS, graduate, and be a contributing member of the home and society as a whole. My point here is this: NEITHER of my kids were allowed to do anything counterproductive to our goals of getting them to be self sufficient by 18. BOTH of them knew the requirements, and that we, as parents, would be controlling things for a bit, but as they got closer to adulthood, they would be expected to start handling things for themselves. My youngest is currently deciding whether or not he really wants to live at home, knowing that he must finish school as a condition of doing so...he's pushing those buttons, but if he chooses to drop out, get his equivalency, and move on...well, that will be HIS choice at that point. I won't be happy, but I'll have to live with it.
Parents don't realize that if they continue to try to be overly controlling of their adult children (regardless of whether that adult is 18 or 80), eventually the kids will be pissed off enough to completely cut off contact. Perhaps you would do well to get into a counselor that can help you with this transition time. It's a difficult one for some, transitioning from 'in control parent' to 'let them live adult lives' support.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 09/20/2015

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Your 18 YO son is an adult, and it is not mandatory that he reside with you ow that he has reached the age of majority. It is, after all, his choice as an individual.
If these individuals are OK with having a gathering of young adults in their home, that, too, is their choice.
You no longer have the authority to say "I'm in charge of you, you are my child", because your child is no longer a minor. You need to let him live his life, make his mistakes and learn from them. SO WHAT if you see a picture of someone wearing a hat with an image you don't approve of??? It's not your home, nor your concern what others are wearing. SO WHAT if these other home owners feel that it is OK to allow the young men to hang out there? They aren't intruding on your space, or your home (which you wouldn't allow anyway, so why are you uptight because someone else is?) Oh...wait...I remember, its because you feel your son is out of your control...which he is.

I'm sorry that this is so blunt, but the fact of the matter is you have an adult child. He's making his own life choices. You don't have to agree with them, nor do you have to support them. Your job now is to love your kid. You don't have to bail him out of anything if you don't want to or don't agree with his actions.

Sarah - posted on 09/20/2015

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He is 18, if he wants to move out, then he moves out. You are not running a hotel. If he wants to return, set up an adult living contract; he finishes school, works, maintains a certain GPA and either contributes to household chores, pays rent (or both).

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Dove - posted on 09/20/2015

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He's 18... it's up to him to take control of his life. If he keeps 'running away', but coming back... change the locks. If he wants to come back home he needs to follow whatever guidelines you deem fit for staying in your home. It's up to him to sink or swim on his own. If it is illegal to smoke pot where you live... then he runs the risk of dealing w/ the legal consequences of his actions. It's time to let go.

Eventually the people that are letting him live w/ them may get sick of having a bunch of useless freeloaders in their home... then it will be their problem to figure out.

Linda - posted on 09/20/2015

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Your right. We have learned that it's going to take tough love. My husband wasn 't going to let him come back the last few times but he did because of me, but I realize that by letting him keep coming back is only making things worse. He has anxiety problems so that doesn't help. We took him to his physiatrist the other day and he made some adjustments on his medicine. Hoping and praying that will change the way he thinks about things. He reacts before he thinks. Then worries about the concenquenses later.
He is very close to his sister and they are even on the outs right now. She told him the last time he was here that he better watch out or he wasn't going to be able to come back.

Linda - posted on 09/20/2015

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The problem is that he has really bad anxiety, OCD and ADHD that we have been dealing with since he was in the first grade. He has been home schooled a few times and almost hospitalized because of his anxiety being so bad. He is a senior now and is failing school because when he leaves home he doesn't go to school half the time. He has an IEP at school to help him with the special needs he has with his ADHD. We have always had a hard time keeping him in class and school, and he can't seem to keep a job. Therapist for years have been trying to teach him how to deal with "fight or flight" .
My problem with where he has gone to stay at is that they have no idea about his problems and the other kids that are going to stay at their house are minors. Most of them 17. Why would they want to stay home where they have rules and curfews when they have somewhere to go and do what you want. these young "adults "need to learn some responsibilities. Part of the attitude problem with things is the use of Marijuana. He has admitted that his friends do, but not him. LIE . I feel that if parents would try to be more proactive in their kids life instead of not caring what they are doing then we might not have so many of them on drugs.

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