18yr old stepson and his dad disagree on life and decision makings

Tabitha - posted on 01/29/2015 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My 18 yr old step son is still a senior, he was raised from a child basically by his father. His dad has done everything for him and has cause his son to be ungrateful and clueless about life. My husband is strict but very much loves his children ( we also have an 11yr old daughter and 4 yr old son) this year my son has gotten better with his attitude towards myself and his grandmother but now has turned full force onto his father! He now has a gf this year and has become completely infactuated with her! He has gotten fired from his job, lied about where he was all weekend, drinks at parties, brings gf to his room no matter what we say , he sneek a her in like a ninja, she is unaware that we don't want her in his room all the time for hours! He also has t gone to school this week, " cuz they aren't doing anything" and now it's been enough! My husband took the car and cell and told him if he doesn't want to listen to the rules then move out! He started to pack to go to his aunts and that started a full on argument between the guys ( both are athletic and over 6'4" and 200lbs and I don't want it to get physical! My question is what do I do as a stepmother and mother in this situation! I want him to finish high school and get to college( at least he has applied) without having to worry about life but I sure xant have him disrupting the rest of our lives while he decides to get it together!!!! hELp!!!

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/29/2015

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FYI...OPEN, public forum. You can feel free to tell me "Not" to comment all you want, but it's an open forum.

Wow, you're jumping to huge conclusions about what I'm supposedly assuming about YOU!
FYI, anything I'm saying is taken directly from something that YOU have posted. For example: " I just see how it affects the younger children as well and have to think of them since thy are not old enough to make decisions on their own"~~Here you plainly state that you don't feel your younger children are capable of making decisions on their own, which is why I politely pointed out that your children (any children)should be able to make age appropriate decisions.
You contradicted yourself here:"medicated since 11, if he isn't monitored he is a different child" (indicated that his medication regimen needs monitoring), and "The ADHD isn't a excuse for his choices he is on a regular schedule that needs monitoring"~~Both of those statements indicate that he is not monitoring his meds, someone else is, but you contradict those statements here: "he takes them regularly alone by hisself and mostly without incident"~~Not my fault I'm confused, when you contradict your own statements.
And this one: "thank you for acting like we let his behavior excuse him from life"~~I got that, again, from YOUR posts: (OP)"His dad has done everything for him", and (1st response)" I could see if he was 21+ on letting him have to consequences of an adult but I don't feel as though he could take care of himself!".
You pretty much state that 1) his father does everything 2) his meds must be monitored by others, and 3) that, even though he's 18, you don't feel he could take the consequences at this time.
I advocate personal responsibility. Whether you're 8, 18, or 28, you need to be age appropriately responsible for yourself, your actions, and your life. If an 18 YO has everything done for him, never has to mind his own meds, etc, and never has to take consequences for his actions, how do you expect him to be able to magically do so at 21? I see that you think this is criticism, but, in truth, it's LIFE. As I stated, both of my kids are on the Spectrum. They both can manage their conditions, and have been included in any and all decisions related to those conditions so that they COULD be able to manage themselves. My eldest is 21, out on his own (since 19, paying his way since 18), and a fully functioning, contributing member of society. That's how I know it's possible. However, it is NOT possible if you don't understand the potential damage being done by not enforcing some of this sooner.

Trisha - posted on 01/29/2015

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I understand how you feel, but here in Canada, 18 is an adult.
You can't force him to do any of these things. You SHOULD however sit down, and talk to him about the consequences of his actions, and how close he is to finishing.
You are just putting yourself through a lot of tension for someone who will not be grateful in the near future for all the work you are doing right now.
This is the only thing I can suggest of you. If he moves to his aunts, he may actually start making better choices if he figures that HE can make them himself and is not forced to do so.
This is also something you might want to approach the school with. Have his coach talk to him and let him know about the impact it will have regarding his team standing, etc.

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Dove - posted on 01/30/2015

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Time for him to man up and follow the rules or find alternate living arrangements. He's 18 and if he can't respect the rules of the household... he's well old enough to start figuring out life on his own. Sink or swim time.

Justanana - posted on 01/30/2015

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You are probably feeling a little helpless yourself and I want to encourage you. When one my stepsons was about that same age he and his dad and me went through a similar time.

My husband made the decision to cut him off, take away his car and make him grow up. Everyone thought he would fail but actually looking back (it has been a decade) we could not be prouder of him.

He was forced to continue school because he wanted to get a good job. He paid his own rent, bought a car and got student loans for college, while working part time also.

Now he owns his own home, is established in his career field and married the girlfriend from HS. Let your husband make the final decision to do the right thing and be supportive to everyone and you will be happy you did.

Trisha - posted on 01/29/2015

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Shawn offered help. Reasonable suggestions, like setting up a contract. As did I, and so far you have not made any comments regarding taking those suggestions, which is fine.
So, if you aren't going to take the suggestions made on here, what DO you plan on doing?
What you are currently doing isn't working, otherwise you wouldn't be here.

Tabitha - posted on 01/29/2015

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I am getting offended by your assumptions on how I parent my children! I obviously am aware that my two younger children are able to make their age appropriate decisions! And why does the medication part bother you so bad? It was one , ONE , part of my story! Please feel free to not comment anymore I feel your urgency for my child to take responsibility for his meds are the least of my problems , FYI he takes them regularly alone by hisself and mostly without incident! But thank you for acting like we let his behavior excuse him from life ( we absolutely do not) that is why I asked a question on this forum! You could do yourself a favor and not be so condescending or passive aggressive to someone who is asking for help not for you to lecture me!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/29/2015

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Actually, both your 11 yo, and your 4 yo are old enough to make age appropriate decisions on their own, and should be encouraged to do so.

An adult with ADHD needs to learn how to monitor and administer their own medications. Having the condition is not an excuse. The monitoring, etc, is actually a good activity for that person, as it helps them learn how to manage their condition.

As far as the younger children's response the the eldest's poor decisions...You tell them that sometimes people make poor choices, and that you hope that they will learn from seeing others make mistakes.

Either way, I'm still seeing excuses as to why an adult child living at home should not be held to reasonable expectations, both for his age and 'condition'.

Tabitha - posted on 01/29/2015

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Thank you both! The ADHD isn't a excuse for his choices he is on a regular schedule that needs monitoring! I do not discipline him only his father does I just see how it affects the younger children as well and have to think of them since thy are not old enough to make decisions on their own! So as a mother I need to watch their exposure to what poor decisions there brother is making also , no???

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/29/2015

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You can't control it. He's 18. If his father wants to enforce house rules, that's good, and should be done, but at this point (still in HS or not) he should have a contract for behaviour and rules to follow until he graduates.

If he wants to pack up and go to auntie's...again, he's 18, a legal adult, and should probably be allowed to fall on his face. Physical confrontations between male parents and children will happen as the male children grow and test out that testosterone. It happened with my eldest and hubby, and I'm certain it will happen with youngest as well.

My youngest will be finishing school and living in our home after he's 18 as well. He's already helping me work on a behaviour contract so that we don't have any clashes for that last school year. Its not that I don't trust him, but if things are written down, and you and your kid agree on terms, then both of you can point out to the other if there's a problem, and you have a leg to stand on when your kid says 'you can't make me'. You can show where they legally agreed to terms, and teach them adult responsibilities.

Edited to add: Why, all of a sudden, is "severe" ADHD and excuse for not teaching a person to be responsible for themselves, and their actions, INCLUDING their medication regimen? Both my kids are on the Aspberger's spectrum, and they are still fully functioning human beings capable of learning how to handle life.

If you "can't" enforce adult consequences because he's "only" 18...You're not doing him or yourself any favours. What is your excuse going to be when he's 21???

Tabitha - posted on 01/29/2015

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Thank you! I feel as though I can't let him move out another aspect is that he is the pitcher for his varsity baseball team and that is also what he is planning on doing in college the next four years! I can not sit by and watch him "fail" due to a disrespectful case of senioritis,I can and will not turn a blind eye and let him fail , he is too close! I could see if he was 21+ on letting him have to consequences of an adult but I don't feel as though he could take care of himself! He also has severe ADHD since he was 8ish and medicated since 11, if he isn't monitored he is a different child! He must finish highschool there is not an option not to!

Trisha - posted on 01/29/2015

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The 18 year old is going to have to fail, and learn his lessons the hard way.
The lessons you really take to heart are the ones you learned because you did it wrong the first time. Your best bet, in my opinion, is stop fighting with him about these things. Let him move out. Stick to your guns. Have him over for Sunday Dinners, and start establishing your new form of relationship.
People who don't feel loved and supported are more likely to turn to crime, drugs, drinking etc because they are trying to find an escape.
Don't force these things. It is a stage he will go through, and allowing conflict to be the only focus of your relationship will not be healthy for anyone.
I basically skipped all my classes during my last year of school. This was after being a B+ student. I barely passed. I moved out with my boyfriend. Started to work, and then enrolled for upgrading for my classes, as did my boyfriend. I am not saying that this is going to happen for your step-son, but at least you guys will be able to have a good relationship. That is what really matters.
We have the same rule at our house. I have a 15 yr old stepson and he is well aware that if he quits school, or stops going he will have to move out and get a job. It is not negotiable.

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