disrespectful adult son

Shelly - posted on 02/16/2015 ( 62 moms have responded )

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My son is going to be 22 he hasn't been able to keep a job until now and thats because he
as been threatened. Never helps arounds the house. Buys food at hardees eats in front of others. Orders clothes on line. But says he doesn't have money for insurace on his car which we reluctantly cosigned for. Disrespectful comments or just doesn't even speak...takes off in other peoples cars even after he's been told not to. Father says nothing to him or very little . He makes 1850.00 A MONTH works at night goes to class during the days...has saved no money..does whatever he wants. I have been called trash...crazy...he is always out to prove everyone wrong. He is causing a lot of stress in our marriage. I have two other kids older daughter who's never acted like this and a younger son who is starting to act like his older brother yet he knows how awful his brother is. There is so much more I could say...it is just depressing and I don't know why he acts like this..am I in denial? ???

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/18/2015

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But I still advocate kicking his rude butt out ;P

Victoria - posted on 02/18/2015

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You are the mom, and as a person, not as a mom, or as an example to set for your youngest son (although it is important for that too), you need to know that you do not deserve that. Tell him that you do not deserve to be disrespected, and that if you ever did something to cause this, please tell you what it was (maybe there is a reason, it just hasn't been addressed), and if not, to come back when he's ready to respect you as a person like everyone deserves. NO one deserves to be talked to like that without reason. Buy him a cheap car, give away the other and tell him that hes an adult now, he doesn't need mommy or daddy helping him anymore and send him on his way. If he lives with you, give him a key/ set a reasonable curfew, make dinner for yourselves, ignore him unless he's being a decent respectful person, and if he starts being disrespectful when youre being civil, say i don't need to talk to you when you're being disrespectful, if that's all you want then talk to someone else. I know it sounds mean, but you deserve respect not because you're his mom but because you are equals, not only that, but you're showing your other son that that is okay because only YOU are allowing your son to treat you this way. Be civil, but respect yourself as well. OF course, there might be an underlying problem and tell him that you are always there for him when he wants to be civil. NEver be rude, just show no tolerance for being treated that way. If your kids ask tell them that you don't deserve to be treated that way and you dont need to put up with it. IT will show all of them to stand up for themselves as well.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/18/2015

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Far too many people are using the ADD/ADHD excuse.

Which alternatively pisses me off and amuses me to no end...considering that I have both ADD and Dyslexia...and I'm a successful parent of successful adult children. When I was growing up, ADD/ADHD were not considered disability, they were considered over energetic kids who had a hard time focusing. No medication needed, just a different approach. I graduated with an a/b average from HS, have completed a degree, and am moving on with my life.

Unfortunately, for those who haven't heard, there are a couple of instances where teachers (obviously these folks didn't have a good district support system) have insisted to parents that their child MUST be ADD/ADHD because teacher couldn't manage them, and there are those (again, VERY FEW) who will put a label on children they don't like for whatever reason and treat those kids poorly, blaming (again) ADD/ADHD for shortcomings either in the teaching environment, etc. For those (few) instances that I've heard of, a simple visit to the doctor, with a diagnosis telling the teacher that Johnny does NOT exhibit those signs usually turns it around. I've never known of a case where a parent was legally charged with medical neglect for not medicating a child with ADD/ADHD. (doesn't mean that it has or has not happened...I just haven't heard.)

Mind you, I've heard/witnessed quite a few parents claiming "Oh, you can't blame my kid, he's got ADHD..." with no medical diagnosis to back that up...thinking that claiming ADHD will automatically excuse the kid from all expectations from here on out. Those parents...well...I'd have to say they're lazy, IMO...because they'd rather blame a behavioural condition than actually spend time parenting. (These are the ones who expect the 'village' to keep track of Johnnie as he runs completely amok whilst momma watches the Kardashians and has a glass of wine)

Parenting starts at home, and always has. After all, we've got our angels for 4-5 years before they go into the public system (in the US). In 4-5 years, quite a bit of forming and teaching can happen, including basic personal responsibility lessons.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/18/2015

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NOT reading through this whole thread. Easy fix that I am sure others have recommended. Kick his butt out the door. Let him have a dose of reality. If he makes it great, if he doesn't he will not be acting this way to you and your family any longer. He is a grown man and clearly is acting like a spoiled brat. Give him 1 month to find a place, save some money, and out he goes.

Jodi - posted on 02/18/2015

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As a professional who works in schools as a teacher, I also must admit I took exception to Jill's comments about parents taking control back. Teachers DON'T actually make diagnoses. They are not qualified. We certainly make referrals as needed to health professionals. I know I make referrals to the school counsellor and school nurse, depending on the issue, but that has nothing to do with a diagnosis.

I am actually a Year coordinator at our school for Year 7. Honestly, only 4 out of the entire year group have come to school having to take medication (and I've read all the medical notes for camp). No pushing of medication here. I am sad for the fact that there are parts of the world that push the medication so hard. Sure, it can be difficult teaching a child with unmedicated ADHD. It can be near impossible some days. But where is it my right to question the parent about their choice. My role is to manage the situation and get to know the child. Medical neglect? Never heard of it in relation to not medicating for ADD or ADHD.

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Jodi - posted on 02/18/2015

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Sarah and Shawnn have a good point about parents being the ones looking for and using the diagnoses as an excuse. For me, this has been far more the norm than the professionals looking for one. We, too, have had parents who throw up their hands and use a diagnosis as an excuse. This is actually more frequent than seeing teachers pushing a diagnosis onto a child.

Maybe it is just because I am in Australia. Only about 1% of children here are on medication for ADHD, and the diagnosis rate is at about 6%. The global prevalence is around 5.3%. I decided to look up the rates in the US, and it is clearly overdiagnosed at over 10% of all children diagnosed and medicated. That's just horrendous.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/18/2015

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Sarah E, I've got one for you..."Graphic output disorder". Both of my sons were 'diagnosed' through 'testing' in the school. What does the disorder mean? That homework or any written work stresses them out, so they should have laptops to carry and type all of their lessons/papers/notes.ETA: I do NOT blame their teachers for this...there was a whole other situation happening at the time, funding wise, in our district: End of edit


Took them to a behavioural therapist, having never heard of this 'disorder'...he told me that's because there isn't one. He called it 'failure to want to do homework' disorder, and told me to keep parenting as normal. Two years later, my eldest was diagnosed with Aspberger's. His accommodations? Push him to think outside the box, and hold him responsible for missing work. Granted, his is mild on the spectrum, so it is just 'quirky', but...

Shelly, I'm so sorry we've kind of hijacked this thread. If you'd like, we can start another, and move the behavioral discussion in general to the new convo...

Sarah - posted on 02/18/2015

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This post has taken a turn, but I am glad for the discussion presently happening. The over-diagnosis of spectrum disorders is making my job a huge headache! Every hyper kid is ADD or ADHD and every quirky kid has Aspergers. I am a nurse, I am limited by my scope of practice to the diagnosises I can make. I cannot dismiss an MD diagnosis of ADD or ADHD no matter how many other professionals disagree. It has become the excuse for weird and inappropriate behavior. I have two true spectrum disorder kids in my family, both a fabulously cared for by a team of professionals with the goal of both being as mainstreamed as possible.
To the other extreme, I have a student in one of my schools that was evaluated THREE times and found to be within normal limits for the age range. Just hyper and poorly directed. This kid is lazy and does like to write or do math. Well mom and dad got the doctor to label him PDD and now he does not have to learn to write with a utensil! Rather, I have to find funding to supply voice recognition software because the use of a pen or pencil is just to stressful for his sensory system. He is not given due date for homework, as they cause him "anxiety" nor does he have to take tests at all! This child is headed for failure. I wonder what will become of him?
If it was not for his parents leading the charge to excuse a hyper kid from having to restrain himself and learn self-control, he would be limited by nothing! Let me tell you, he is a leader, I see him on the playground and he could be class president if his was motivated. Sure he has a ton of energy...but channel that in the right direction, find his interest, control his diet and this child could soar!

Jill - posted on 02/18/2015

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Hi Raye...

I hear that. In fact, some parents exploit the misdiagnosis of their children so they don't have to do anything. They just say, he is handicapped so what can I do. I just had a client last week who told me about a boy in her community with ADHD and Chorea's Disease. He is extremely violent and even dangerous and his mother routinely leaves him unsupervised in public places like swimming pools where he wreaks havoc on other small children. Her daughter (4) had already been attacked by this boy at the local pool and her son (8), who is in his class and rides the bus with him, had already been attacked twice and had the bruises to prove it. This mother was begging for solutions because the violent boy also happened to be her neighbor and was being cruel to her dogs. She had gone through regular channels and so far nothing had helped. As I am an advocate for mothers, she came to me for help. I gave her a few ideas about how she could protect herself, her family and pets and get further assistance in the community but if anyone has any great ideas, I would love to read them. It was amazing even to me the extent of the damage already.

Raye - posted on 02/18/2015

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I also feel that ADD/ADHD are being "diagnosed" too often, and many times incorrectly. I also don't advocate unnecessary medicating (I don't even like taking asprin for headache). Going along with that, and relating back to the OP's situation.. I also feel that some children are just coddled way too much by parents who find any excuse not to be the bad guy and make their kids behave. In the case of children who actually have ADD, ADHD, Autism, etc., it still is not an excuse for the child to behave badly. It should be an explanation of why the child could be behaving a certain way and that the parent still needs to address the behavior and properly raise the child to function in society.

Sarah - posted on 02/18/2015

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Thanks for the reply. I am a community-based professional, so naturally my hackles went up at the description of "us" being in control of children. I work as a school nurse in the second largest public school district in IL. I float from school to school and we have a super diverse community. I do agree that children are over-medicated and needlessly medicated. My role is to work with the parents, teachers and students and provide education and resources. Not to dictate how to parent.
It makes me sad and angry that any parent felt the need to lie about medicating their child. In the case of an emergency I would not have an accurate medical history. It also affirms for the entire school staff that medication was the answer, as the only person who knew the truth was the parent.
I have students that could benefit from medication and parents refuse. That is the right of the parent and the school's response must be to accommodate that non-medicated child. Unless a child's actual well-being, health or the safety of other students was at risk, CPS would not be involved. If CPS came to one of my schools and found this situation, they would no doubt deem the complaint as non-indicated.
There is nowhere is the US that a child cannot get a proper evaluation at no cost. Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975 but the amendments made in 2004 reformed the system. Not only can a parent request an assessment, but they can request a second assessment to be done by an outside set of professionals at the cost of the school district. When the assessment(s) are complete, then the whole team gives input, referrals to medical professionals are often made and Individual Education Plans are written. Children get moved to other classroom settings based on their needs, but never would a child get kicked out or the parents prosecuted if they disagreed with the recommendation to medicate.
If we could actually take away a parent's right to make medical decisions for their children, then we would be able to force parents to vaccinate their kids or risk criminal prosecution.

Dove - posted on 02/18/2015

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You keep getting flagged? Bummer... I thought I was the only one that flagged you... once... by accident. ;)

Jill - posted on 02/18/2015

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Hey Sarah E.

I read about this the first time about 5-6 years ago and I am sorry that I cannot recall my source, I was fighting a lot of health issues at the time. But the reason it is on my mind today is that I have recently heard two more incidences of this exact action. The teacher made the assessment, the doctor confirmed it without a secondary assessment and the pediatrician filed a report to CPS for medical neglect. The one 5-6 years resulted in criminal charges being laid against the parents and the child was taken from their care for a short period.

In the situations I heard about a few months ago, one of the mothers was shocked and she took action. She filled the prescription for Adderal and then she told the school her son was now being medicated. She had done her research and so knew the best words to use to sell it to the teacher. But her son was never given the drug. Almost immediately, the teacher stopped complaining, stopped sending the child to the principle and stopped sending home notes. It seemed that when the teacher's compassion for the child changed, so did the behavior. Of course, I realize the mother probably also stepped up her parenting to ensure her plan succeeded, but if it was truly a medical problem, then the ADHD should not have been able to go away without medical intervention.

I study Dr. Williams Sears (America's Pediatrician) and he says the vast majority of cases of ADD/ADHD are actually NDD (nutrition deficit disorder). I also study Dr. Nadine Harris Burke and she says the same thing. In fact, I am seeing this dynamic play out more and more often. In communities where families are able to get a secondary assessment, it often turns out the problem is not ADHD or ADD and in communities where families can't or don't get a secondary assessment, the child's diagnosis stands and 50% of these kids are medicated. Dr. Burke has suggested the problem facing these kids is actually adverse environment syndrome as opposed to ADD/ADHD. All I'm saying is that parents have to stand up for their kids because no one else can or will and community-based professionals have been getting it wrong lately on this issue. It's like in the 70's when doctors told everyone that is was fat causing heart disease, but now we know that it is processed sugar and starches that are the real culprit. We as mothers must work hard to help other mothers stand up for their children whenever we can.I am not saying community-based professionals should be kicked to the curb, I am one after all, I am just saying they should have less power than they do.

Jill - posted on 02/18/2015

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Nice to meet you "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong". Can I call you LMCBW for short? Your second post had me falling off my chair laughing and I just wanted to say thank you for your kind words.

Cheers!!

Jill - posted on 02/18/2015

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Hi Shawnn, It's great to talk to you again. BTW: what is the second "n" for.

Well, it seems we are kindred spirits (in our work, that is): Side note: my daughter is in a play starting this Friday called Anne of Green Gables and she plays Anne Shirley who has to to sing the song called "Kindred Spirits" so that term came to mind when I read about your work experience.

Regarding your comment: I don't know if they are presumptions, so much as data gathered from many studies that I have read. It's just that I keep getting flagged/reported every time I post a link, so I am hesitant to keep doing that since I am enjoying being a part of these debates. It seems there is quite a bit of sensitivity to solicitation on this site. As a new member, I am not aware of the history, but it seems that has been a problem for this site in the past or maybe it is an ongoing problem as well.

Regardless, my data shows that people are surviving, not thriving. If my data are wrong or skewed, I would be happy to hear it. It breaks my heart to see people suffer under the weight of constant stress.

I fully agree there are young people who feel entitled and are waiting for handouts and I agree, in many cases, that it's the parents themselves who created this dynamic. However, I also feel that for the past 150 years, corporations have ensured that the public school system teaches compliance, not entrepreneurship. To thrive today, one needs an entrepreneurial spirit, not a compliant spirit.

The public school system teaches people to be workers, not problem solvers or critical thinkers. These are NOT my words, but again, I am hesitant to put links. This model was necessary in those days to ensure enough people were prepared to fulfill the demands of the Industrial Revolution (I am sure you remember that prior to the IR, the Cottage Industries & Merchant Guilds were in full swing), but now that we are entrenched in the Information Age, employers are looking for a different skill set because it is so hard for small businesses and even big businesses to survive these days.

My grad degree was an MBA and the one stat that freaked me out was that 80% of new biz fails within 5 years and 80% of the survivors fail in the next five years. That means only four businesses that start are still there 10 years later. It's a vicious environment, in which to try to succeed and employers are putting crazy demands on new recruits like the OP's 22 years old son. It is demoralizing for even the LEAST entitled young person out there. I realize the young man has been disrespectful as described by the OP, but I also know how hard it is for me to be nice when I am drowning under a mountain of stress - just ask my husband. LOL

Years ago, I worked in career development education for an urban school district and in that role, I set up about 600 work placements per year. I spoke to thousands of employers in that time and the overwhelming message I received was that kids coming out of that system are not ready for the NEW world of work (that was the mid-90's). Later, I worked for a national magazine and the target market was youth ages 19-29. The mag was all about entrepreneurship and creating the work these youth wanted for themselves. In some cases this meant starting their own businesses and in other cases, this meant being entrepreneurial at work so they could get the positions they wanted. Gone are the days when youth could get a high paying job straight out of high school. Nowadays, you are reaching if you want that straight out of a Bachelor's Degree. Some people believe that 2 bachelor's or a graduate degree are the new high school diploma. I just read another major Conference Board report in January that stated the problem is getting worse, not better.

I fully agree there are many, many go-getters out there who are ready, willing and able to hold down 2-3 jobs, while going to school and raising children all at the same time. I am just saying that the results they get for that much effort can be very demoralizing. All the stress dramatically and quickly impacts health and the problem quickly becomes compounded into a vicious cycle.

I know it seems I am on the opposite side of the debate, but I am not. I just believe there are far more pieces to the puzzle than have been represented in this debate so far. And, if these problems were easily solved, there would be no need for this site.

Your thoughts?
Cheers, Jill

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/18/2015

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Yeah, I couldn't help ,myself. Had to read it all.

Jill, I think you have invaluable insight. I really like how you express yourself, and encourage empowerment to create a healthy lifestyle. Clearly you have a lot of experience in this field.

Shelly, you have to do what is right for your family. Whatever you feel will work in the long run.

Raye - posted on 02/18/2015

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Jill, regarding your comment: "I really have come to believe the numbers of people who are thriving and flourishing are very low and dropping." This is your belief, and I can't say that you're wrong, exactly. But there are two sides to this.

I do have to concede that suicide rates have increased 60 percent over the past 50 years, and people seem to be less able to cope with everyday stresses. Whether the causes are urbanization, or electronic gadgets, or the environmental effects contributing to mental illness or whatever, I cannot say with any certainty. But it is a startling fact.

Now the other side... Would you be surprised to learn that current crime rates (U.S.A.) are now lower than in the 1960's and are still falling. Would it also surprise you to learn that the poverty rate now is about the same as in the 1960's (~32% lower than the 1950's) AND, is actually LOWER than the statistics portray because (according to Forbes) "in the old days what the poverty line was really measuring is the number of people who were poor AFTER the things we did to reduce poverty. Today that same poverty line is measuring the number of people who are poor BEFORE all the things we do to reduce poverty." So, the US poverty rate today does not measure the number of people still in poverty after the aid given.

Why does it feel like things are so much worse now? Because the media predominantly focuses on all the bad news. As we watch television, surf the Internet and follow events around the world, we become intimately aware of other ways of living and of others who are richer and so much better off than ourselves. The big world has gotten smaller with the aid of technology, but we're more isolated and alone as we withdraw more from personal social interaction. Maybe people would have more hope if they could hear more about the good going on in the world, see more examples of how "normal" people can triumph over adversity, and actually take it upon themselves to get out and experience life's joys and share them with others instead of being fearful and getting bogged down by minutiae.

Sarah - posted on 02/18/2015

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I missed a lot of this discussion, but I do go back and read the posts...
Jill, I have a question for you about this statement from a bit back:
"And many of these community-based professionals do much more than overstep bounds. Case in point: the teacher who assesses a child for ADD, ADHD or Asperger's Syndrome and the medical doctor who accepts the teacher's diagnosis without a secondary or tertiary assessment and the pediatrician or psychiatrist who has the parents charged with medical neglect for refusing to medicate the child based on the opinion of the stressed and underfunded teacher. I have seen this happen a few times recently and the frequency of misdiagnosis or premature diagnosis seems to be increasing."
When and where did this happen? I work in the school system and we have kids all over the spectrum that are advised medications and the parents choose not to medicate. Never have I seen a parent accused of medical neglect. It is accepted that medication is the parents decision, whether the staff at the school agree or not and that decision is accommodated in the child's IEP. The example you give could apply to parents who do not vaccinate being medically negligent as well.
Also, a teacher may make a referral but that would not be taken for diagnosis without a complete evaluation. If this is an actual case, I'd like the details for my own reference.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/18/2015

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Jill, it seems that you're putting your presumptions ahead of actual fact.

You feel that it is more common for people to 'survive' rather than strive. What data are you seeing that indicates that people are settling for the lowest common denominator? I work with all ages, all demographics, and all economic situations. In my line of employment, I'm seeing no one that is willing to 'settle' or just 'survive'...they are all striving to be more, do more, reach for more. And, yes, I handle a lot of young adults, the 18-25 ages...and there are those who can't survive without momma and daddy handing them everything, but then there's the other side of that group, (and the majority that I see) the ones that KNOW they aren't getting things handed to them and that they need to actually put in effort.

The ones that are more willing to put in effort, by the way, are exactly those same ones that you indicate are settling for 'survival' rather than success...

It just seems to me that you're ready to believe that no young adult is capable of actually being a responsible, productive member of society, despite how many times you say you're on the opposite side...I may be reading things completely incorrectly as well...

Jill - posted on 02/18/2015

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Dove, I used to work with that group (troubled families). Nowadays, I am a health coach and stress management consultant and I work with families across all spectrums, I really have come to believe the numbers of people who are thriving and flourishing are very low and dropping.

I feel it is much more common for people to be surviving and perhaps the real issue is that people have lowered their standards in the face of all the stress and crisis in the world today. When someone lowers expectations, of course, it is easier to achieve goals. I am not saying all families have done this, but it is happening more and more often, in my opinion.

My current work has taught me that it is possible to reach for the stars again in whatever area you have passion if you learn to conquer stress, in all its forms. And this means much more than just emotional stress. I really hope parents come to realize this and start to fight for their children again, even their young adult children who may be currently lost through their own fault or through no fault of their own. Every family is different.

AND, I really appreciate the healthy debate. It has been a few years since I have had access to something like this (since I completed my graduate degree online) and as I live in a tiny rural community, sometimes I feel quite isolated. It is great to talk to other passionate mothers. You are the ones who are keeping the candle burning for the ones who have lost their way.

Cheers!

Raye - posted on 02/18/2015

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Jill, I'm not taking offense to your remarks. I don't necessarily agree with certain aspects of your perspective, which is why I offer my own. It's really up to the OP, or others reading that are looking for help, to take what pieces of our debate they feel relates best to their ideals and use that information to (hopefully) benefit their situation.

Jill - posted on 02/18/2015

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Hi Dove,

When I wrote my initial post, I never dreamed it would spark such a debate. I am new to this community and I sincerely hope the debate is free and open and people are not taking offense to my remarks. It is so hard to get tone across in writing posts and emails. With regards to your comment:

"I resent the implication that broke people don't know how to parent... lol Whether low income or a millionaire financial status has NOTHING to do w/ whether a person knows how to parent. And yes, I know statistics.... I wonder if those statistics account for the rich people that have their nannies raise the kids as well. lol"

In a post to Raye a couple of minutes ago, I added a link to a TED Talk by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris. She was discussing a study that analyzed these issues in detail. Part way through her presentation, she felt the need to clarify that the study surveyed over 12,000 people who were mostly Caucasian and upper middle class. She clarified this point because she knew there was a tendency to assume these problems did not infect this demographic.

As for broke people and parenting, I was raised by a single parent mom with four children, below the poverty line and no help from deadbeat dad, not one penny in 20 years. Talk about childhood adversity - we had lots - but she was rock solid and very firm and as a result, we are all relatively happy, self-motivated and successful. The only real issue we face is that none of us are particularly healthy, although I have been fighting hard for the last 7 years to regain my health and I have been having quite a lot of success with that.

Dove - posted on 02/18/2015

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But Jill... you work w/ troubled families because all the ones that DON'T have trouble... don't 'need' your services. Of course you see all the problems and have concerns based on that... which is logical, but there are LOTS of families that are thriving as well and are raising kids that have little to no trouble functioning in the world.

Jill - posted on 02/18/2015

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Hi Raye,

That was my statement, not Jodi's.

It is absolutely the responsibility of the people receiving the services to manage the services they have available to them. I am not saying that many don't do just that, but I am saying that lots of people are so disorganized and overwhelmed by their high-stress lives that they can't get on a straight path to get forward momentum. The HPA Axis in their brains fire up so many times a day, a week, a month, a year that their adrenal glands have been wiped out and they are out of control.

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris says that when you have faced extreme adverse conditions in your childhood, your brain never fully recovers. Here is her latest TED Talk video: http://www.ted.com/talks/nadine_burke_ha...

If these people can't get a good start in life, it may take some real intervention to help them get going and I think it is not enough to just say write a contract and kick out the OP's son if he breaks it. I am NOT saying he suffered adverse conditions while growing up, but given how prevalent the problem is, it wouldn't be a big leap.

As for the government funded mommy groups, it was just an idea. I was merely saying that since so many things are government funded already, it would be better if there was something that actually worked and was sustainable. Take this website for example, it is not government funded, but it is filled with high powered moms who are intelligent and knowledgeable. I just think the skills, abilities and willingness to help of moms like the members on this site are being underutilized.

Cheers!

Jill - posted on 02/18/2015

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Jodi, actually it's just the opposite. I have the greatest respect for this generation. I have so much hope for them. However, I also strongly feel that they do have far more barriers working against them than past generations. They are facing a global economic crisis; they are the sandwich generation, supporting both children and parents at the same time; hyperinflation is climbing; they are facing an obesity and chronic degenerative disease epidemic; divorce rates are still sky high; extended families who in the past offered tons of support to new families are often not in the picture or not close by and the debt crisis is still out of control.

I truly fear that if this group has not been taught rock solid problem solving and critical thinking skills (John Taylor Gatto says these skills are NOT taught in public schools, which are academic skill focused) that they will be flattened under the pressure. It was hard enough growing up GenX and trying to navigate the world, I believe it will be doubly hard for Gen Y and Z.

Even the best authoritative parents out there seem to having considerable trouble getting their children ready for this complicated world.

John Taylor Gatto was New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991 and New York City Teacher of the Year in 1989, 90 and 91.

Raye - posted on 02/18/2015

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Oh, and by the way, even though I was kicked out at 18, I have a good relationship with my mom. I apologized to her for my past behavior and told her how I respected her for being a strong person and not taking crap from my dad (she divorced him when I was 6 because he was verbally/emotionally abusive, and was moving toward physical abuse as well) or from me. I'm the "good daughter" now as I visit her without wanting anything and take her out to dinner and stuff, while my sister (who had most things handed to her growing up) is still needy and selfish and not particularly nice to our mom.

So, Jill, you can be firm in demanding respect and still keep a relationship with your children.

Raye - posted on 02/18/2015

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Dove, agree! Parenting is parenting, good or bad, regardless of income. My family was poor (single mom with two kids). We were on government assistance for part of my childhood. We didn't have brand-name clothes or the latest toys and gadgets. But I don't remember ever feeling deprived. My mom made mistakes, but she was engaged in our lives and tried to do what was right. I screwed up, too. I didn't follow the rules and got "asked to leave" when I was 18. I made plenty of mistakes, but I've learned from them and I am a better person for it.

Dove - posted on 02/18/2015

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I resent the implication that broke people don't know how to parent... lol Whether low income or a millionaire financial status has NOTHING to do w/ whether a person knows how to parent. And yes, I know statistics.... I wonder if those statistics account for the rich people that have their nannies raise the kids as well. lol

Raye - posted on 02/18/2015

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Jill, I'm curious about your statement: "most low income parents can get a dozen free counseling appointments per year, but then it ends and any progress is interrupted and the backsliding begins".

Who's job is it to manage the resources that these people are given? Some governing agent, or the people themselves? If they get 12 free sessions, they should space them out to cover the year and work on things during the between times to continue the progress forward. When people don't do anything in the between times and count only on the sessions to make things better, that doesn't work. They need to take some responsibility upon themselves. Brady Bunch may have pretended all problems can be solved in half an hour, but that's not real life. So yes, maybe some people need more resources and some need less, but how many truly fully utilize the help that IS available to them and do the work to make it work?

These "adult" kids surely don't realize the help their parents are trying to provide, and they don't take responsibility for themselves. So I feel, yes, there needs to be consequences, and yes, sometimes that means there's a line drawn that, when they cross it, means they're on their own. What I was saying with the contract is that it's used as a guideline so that all parties know what behavior is expected. It offers the parent a way to show the child the path by which they continue to receive help. It doesn't/shouldn't stop any support or nurturing of your child. But if the child chooses not to follow the path, it's also a recourse to say "well, you agreed to this, you broke promises, you're on your own now".

I don't think it's this generation of kids' fault for all of their issues. I think there's many in our generation, too, who need too much hand-holding or are just plain selfish and lazy, that they're not doing right by their children. They are not strong enough themselves to help their kids become well adjusted adults. Why does there need to be "government funded mommy groups"? What's stopping parents from organizing support groups now? I'm pretty sure AA is not government funded, and it helps those that want to help themselves and others. So, again IMHO people need to take more responsibility on themselves and take action, make the tough decisions, for the betterment of themselves, their kids, and the future.

Jodi - posted on 02/17/2015

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I just wondered. You just seem to have a poor opinion of this generation of young adults and what they can and can't cope with.

Jill - posted on 02/17/2015

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I have two teens and I spent a significant portion of my career working with severely employment disadvantaged youth and young adults ages 16-25 in career counselling, life coaching and adult education and training. Some of these youth had as many as 16 different employment barriers at the same time (health issues, education issues, unstable living environments, abusive pasts, addictions, criminal records, weak job history, no support systems, etc.).

All total I have worked with about 10,000 children and youth in my career over the last 30 years in multiple settings and I have seen just about every variation on the parenting theme that is possible from extremists to non-parents to everything in between.

Prior to marriage and children in my own life, I was in a relationship with a man who was a Behavioral Consultant. His job at one point was to intervene in troubled families (outreach) and prevent the need for teens to be taken into the care of the Ministry of Children and Families. Contracts were one method often utilized.

However, it was not the written contracts that produced the desired changes in the behavior, it was the support group that came along with the program. Parents who had contracts, but did not participate in the support group got poor results and parents who did both got great results because they had the backing of other parents. They felt the support they needed to stop being permissive and move to a more authoritative model of parenting. So often, these parents know what they want, they just don't have the confidence to make it happen. The contracts were not useless, of course, but they were also not the be all and end all.

I am curious to know the reason for your question and why the emphasis on the word, "HAVE?"

Jill - posted on 02/17/2015

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And many of these community-based professionals do much more than overstep bounds. Case in point: the teacher who assesses a child for ADD, ADHD or Asperger's Syndrome and the medical doctor who accepts the teacher's diagnosis without a secondary or tertiary assessment and the pediatrician or psychiatrist who has the parents charged with medical neglect for refusing to medicate the child based on the opinion of the stressed and underfunded teacher. I have seen this happen a few times recently and the frequency of misdiagnosis or premature diagnosis seems to be increasing.

It is not that these professionals don't care. I am one of these professionals and I more than care. The problem is that they/we are underfunded, understaffed and under-resourced. They simply can't afford to do a good job of assisting parents with much more comprehensive solutions. This dynamic creates reactive, short-term solutions that can do more harm than good. It leads to surviving, rather than thriving, in my opinion.

I feel that we as parents have to work hard to encourage each other to get back in the driver's seat of parenting. Having worked in the childcare world for 30 years, I have seen too many instances of parents getting only "partial" help because of lack of resources or funding. This model wreaks havoc in the child's life and the parents confidence. For example, where I hang out, most low income parents can get a dozen free counseling appointments per year, but then it ends and any progress is interrupted and the backsliding begins, which only serves to compound the original problems because now a feeling of being even more demoralized is added to the heap of issues. It would be far better for the role of mother to be much more exalted by society and for systems to be created/funded that would offer sustainable support.

One idea just off the top of my head would be government funded mommy's groups. These should not be moderated beyond a support worker whose job it is to do the grunt work of advertising, coordinating, putting out snacks, cleaning the space afterwards and organizing any needed supplies. Perhaps the government creates activities or a structure that could be utilized by the attending moms, but the moms themselves are the group leaders and support system for each other. This would be kind of like a workers' cooperative or a Rotary Club, in which there is a structure in place, but the weekly meetings are self-administered by the members. In the case of Rotary, business people benefit through networking and contacts and potential for sales, but with marginalized, disenfranchised moms or dads, it is harder to see the benefits of investing the time and money in the model.

If moms/parents who struggle are incentivized to attend these groups in exchange for extra food stamps or extra other rewards, then they may just get ongoing sustainable support rather than the current one step forward, two steps back model. A service such as this would also have to be offered in a facility that has two spaces, one for the parents and one for children to play so childcare does not become an issue and so the moms can attend the support group portion without interruption. I can even see transportation being provided to needy moms. I can see the support group bringing in guest speakers and having a strong social element so the parents get true support and education at the same time.

Where I live, there is a program called StrongStart. It happens 5 days a week for preschoolers for 3 hours each day. It uses a parent participation model, but it is directed by a child care worker. Parents are encouraged to attend the structured program and there are currently 350,000 children attending over 300 locations for this program in my region. Of course, as it is a drop in optional program, that number does not reflect the number of hours each family is being serviced. Even if they come only once, they are added to the tally. The problems are that parents have to bring their kids with them, the service stops once they are in kindergarten, the only real goal is to help parents get their children kindergarten ready, which means ready for cognitive based learning in a group atmosphere.

All in all, it is better than nothing, but it is not sustainable over the long term.

Jill - posted on 02/17/2015

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A strictly enforced written contract after years of parenting that may have been on the permissive side can lead to extreme reactions from the affected child. When I write my posts, I always assume the goal is to retain the relationship with the child. I have seen multiple instances of children refusing contact with parents who became hardline after years of a more relaxed parenting style.

Each parent has to handle things his or her own way, but I have always found that a variable intermittent positive reinforcement plan works much better to achieve desired outcomes than a "my way or the highway" approach. To me, written contracts feel that way and are disempowering in many circumstances. Getting a child ready to take flight into the world is not at all like getting a bank loan.

Raye - posted on 02/17/2015

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Also, Jill, I'm a little confused as to what you mean by: "strong proponent of parents taking back control of their children from community-based, well-educated, well-meaning, interfering professionals, including doctors, teachers, government agents, nurses, and so many others who fit this description."

Many teachers, doctors, etc. do not "interfere" because they could be fired, sued, or worse so easily in this day and age from any helicopter parent that feels the least bit threatened by someone just trying to do their job. Teachers, counselors, doctors, cops, etc. need to have some authority and respect to properly function in their professions. If the kids do not respect these authority figures, there's a problem there. No, they should no overstep the parent's role in the child's life, but there are may parents that don't parent and the child needs someone looking out for them.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/17/2015

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The only time power is in question is if the person enforcing the contract fails to follow through with contracted consequences.

That's the BEAUTY of a contract. It IS cut and dried. Everyone clearly understands their responsibilities under the contract, and all understand the consequences if the contract is not adhered to.

Jodi - posted on 02/17/2015

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"With a written contract, it is cut and dried and as soon as he breaks it, Shelly has lost her power over the situation;"

I disagree. This is where she exercises her rights within the contract and he has to move out. He is 22. Time to sink or swim. She only loses her power in the situation if she doesn't follow through with the eviction.

Raye - posted on 02/17/2015

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Jill, you said: "if it is unwritten, then Shelley can adjust her behavior and reactions as needed to be responsive." That's true and would work in situations where the parents are stronger and can more easily handle things from the beginning. In my opinion, they've passed that point, as they've been allowing disrespectful behavior for a while. I feel your approach at this point leaves the door wide open for her to back down and continue letting him rule the roost.

In a written contract or lease as the case may be, there can be stipulations for warnings, etc. leading up to eviction and certain offenses that would clearly be eviction only. If you start with a few firm guidelines, it gives the child a clearer view of the fact that they could be out on their ear if they screw up. As I said, not all details would be put into the contract, and those are more negotiable. If you start too soft, it's more difficult to get more strict based on the situation, because the child probably didn't understand from the beginning that any harsh consequence was really a possibility.

Take for example, a marriage... you write/speak vows to each other, and there are certain accepted guidelines that define what a typical good marriage would be. Generally it's up for interpretation what are excusable offences and what could lead to divorce. But, there's one thing that would be a decided deal-breaker for me, and that's cheating. I let my husband know prior to getting married that cheating = divorce. No negotiation. And I firmly will uphold that if it ever came down to it. Now it's clear in his mind, and he can't say he didn't know it was coming if I'm forced to deal out that consequence. He knows where I stand and can make his decisions accordingly. He has to be responsible for his own actions... just as an adult child needs to be responsible for their own actions and deal with the consequences of their mistakes.

Jill - posted on 02/17/2015

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Gee Shawnn, I can see that this issue is very sensitive for you. However, I am not one of the people you describe. In fact, I believe in very high standards for child rearing and most people believe I am very hard on my own children.

I am also a strong proponent of parents taking back control of their children from community-based, well-educated, well-meaning, interfering professionals, including doctors, teachers, government agents, nurses, and so many others who fit this description. My belief is that moms (and dads) need to take back their power fully. The only question for me is how to do it so the parent doesn't experience any negative backlash from these community-based professionals, who currently hold many of the power cards, whether we want them to or not.

With regards to my post for Shelly, I was merely trying to give some context for why her son may be behaving the way he is. I was not making excuses and at no time did I suggest there weren't other possibilities to explain the situation.

Also, I see no point in telling a parent they failed to do something when the child was 3 and so they are doomed to suffer the consequences forever. I believe every situation can be repaired and reversed, but some situations require a responsive plan rather than a crisis-oriented reaction. Some situations will take time to resolve. I always assume with moms, that they want to preserve the relationship with their children. So regardless of what is going on in society, I assumed, in this case, that Shelly still wants her son in her life for the long term.

Once again, I am sorry if I offended you. It was not my intention.

Cheers!

Yours in wellness,
Jill

Jill - posted on 02/17/2015

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You are absolutely right and I agree with you fully Raye. I just feel that it takes it out of the tangible and puts more control back in Shelly's hands. With a written contract, it is cut and dried and as soon as he breaks it, Shelly has lost her power over the situation; however, if it is unwritten, then Shelley can adjust her behavior and reactions as needed to be responsive. There is much less chance for perceived failure, which can be demoralizing.

Your thoughts?

Jill - posted on 02/17/2015

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Sorry, I am still kind of new to this community. What does "the OP" mean?

As for the EFT, it was only to help Shelly manage her own responses to her son's behaviors to help make her own life a little more livable.

I find that when I am frustrated by my children's behavior, I need to self manage and I use EFT for that.

Of course, as my post mentioned, this does nothing to solve the problem at hand. The rest of my post was intended to do that.

Sorry if I offended you.

Dove - posted on 02/17/2015

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Yeah, it was Jill. Sorry... when people post links it looks like soliciting. My mistake. :)

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/17/2015

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The eft link is fine, but it doesn't address the OP's problem, which is that her entitled son is now getting on her nerves...

I, personally use the EFT technique for stress...but again, that doesn't do anything to address the need for a contract between parties at this point.

Raye - posted on 02/17/2015

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Jill, yes contracts work, and yes you have to be ready to enforce them. How is that different than your words: "Be clear, use simple language and don't waffle back and forth on your position in any given situation." You're advocating the creation of a different kind of contract... one with a less strict, less black and white guidelines and process of execution. But it still relies on the decisions made by the parents regarding what factors are required for residence, bill paying, etc. and being firm in seeing the desired results.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/17/2015

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It amazes me the amount of adults who will excuse the described behaviour, based on when the kid was born.

Millenial or not...these kids are facing no tougher a road then myself, and my peers when we hit this age, nor are they facing a tougher road than their grandparents, and most definitely not the trials that their great grandparents went through. The ONLY DIFFERENCE is in the way that children have been raised. This changed drastically in the mid 1980's. During that time period, parents were no longer allowed to expect personal responsibility from their kids, and those who (today) are trying to bring back that aspect of childrearing are facing opposition from 'interest' groups. (Case in point, the parents in the East Coast area of the US who were charged with neglect because they let their children walk home from the playground/school). Parents now are told that we can't baby our children enough, that we cannot be too supportive, and most of all, that if we disagree with how our angels are being treated...that the kids are in the right, and the adults wrong.

Ms. Prince, I would like to present a story from a parent who's kid is YOUNGER than the OP's. This young man had many medical setbacks in his youth, and most parents may have been tempted to coddle and protect him for longer...but his parents not only advocated that he be fully involved in all medical decisions, but also in the payment of those bills and the management of those conditions. This was done as a 'teaching moment', in order to prepare the boy for adulthood. He, at that point, started writing his contract to live in the home past graduation from HS, and at the appropriate time, presented that to his parents, who agreed to the terms and conditions. (These terms included: 1/4 of mortgage, 1/4 utilities, 1/4 food paid by lessor, conditions: respect house members. Automotive expenses covered by driver of automobile(in this case the lessor). No restriction on coming/going, as long as respect for housemates is exhibited.)
He lived at home, under those terms for almost a year, during which time, he saved for his deposit, etc on a flat of his own. The young man is now almost 21, still successfully on his own. No, he's not entered college yet, because he's working. A full time job, setting aside money towards tuition for his course of study. Again, this was HIS choice, and he's doing well.

The difference between the young man I described, and the young man the OP describes is that the young man I described was, from day one, given appropriate tools and resources by his parents to be successful. He wasn't coddled, his parents weren't helicopters...
The reason your post just slays me: "Your son seems to be suffering from a sense of entitlement that is common among the Millennial generation"...and yet you tell the OP to continue to foster that sense of entitlement by telling her "you must pay this big bill the first time and have him earn the money the second time through his behavior and actions"...UM...No. Sorry.

Jill - posted on 02/17/2015

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Not sure if it was mine you flagged, but I almost always try to put helpful links in my posts.

Dove - posted on 02/17/2015

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My apologies for flagging the post if it's not soliciting. Seemed 'off' initially....

Jill - posted on 02/17/2015

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So sorry to hear about your challenges with your son.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, contracts won't really work unless you are prepared to enforce them when they are broken. Based on your description of his behaviors lately, it seems likely the contract would be broken within the first couple of days.

Trying to change his behavior cold turkey while preserving your relationship with him is kind of like trying to quit smoking cold turkey. Few people successfully pull it off.

Your son seems to be suffering from a sense of entitlement that is common among the Millennial generation. You must keep in mind that the stress level facing this group is higher than ever before in history and youth often feel extremely demoralized under the pressure of the perfect storm of stressors that face their age group as they try to navigate this very complicated and expensive world. Young people often just go into survival mode and they cease to be on a path of thriving and flourishing.

If you want your son to grow up to be stress hardy and resilient (the two main factors leading to health, happiness, self-motivation and success, then you have to give him three things - exposure to constructive and controlled stressors (you can't protect him too much), a rock solid support person (to help deal with the stress) and a sense of purpose, which cannot just be the pursuit of a paycheck (to give him a solid reason to put up with the stress). He needs to discern his goals for his life? He sounds like he feels very lost.

If you dropped the ball with your son in providing these intangible things when he was younger, then you may have to play catch up for a while, but you will get there if you are consistent and predictable in your behavior. Just stay true to your goals of helping him get on a path to thriving, while preserving a loving relationship with your precious son.

First, you need to change how you respond to him. Use EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) for that (see the links at the bottom of this post for video instructions). You have to become that rock solid support person rather than someone he is learning to resent. This does not mean you have to be a doormat.

If the eating in front of your 10 year old son represents the ultimate disrespect, then use the situation to help him earn the money for the insurance from you. Each time he shares his food with his little brother, tell him you will contribute a few dollars to his insurance. But you must pay this big bill the first time and have him earn the money the second time through his behavior and actions and you have to do a stellar job of keeping track of his accomplishments. That would give him the time needed to change the behavior in a controlled and constructive manner. If you make the problem urgent, he will rebel as always. Even go so far, as to set up an insurance bank account for him. Don't give him signing authority, but do let him track your investment in his future by sharing the passbook with him so he can see his progress.

If he chooses not to share with his brother, then be clear that he is making that choice. He will then experience the natural consequence of not earning the insurance money he needs to get to and from his job. Whatever you do, never nag him. He is an adult after all. You can also give him lots of other ways to earn that insurance money. You do it through all the behaviors that you want to see. Help around the house, consideration of others, etc. Do not agree to a minimum wage scenario. You set the terms of the contribution to his insurance fund not the other way around; it's your money after all. You can even make a chart that shows the contribution value of different behaviors and actions. If you think, he might think he is being treated like a baby, then don't show him the chart. It can be private for you, but it will help you be consistent and predictable and it will take the emotional charge out of your interactions with him.

Always, remember that it is your house and if he wants something from you, then tell him what you want in return. Be clear, use simple language and don't waffle back and forth on your position in any given situation. If you feel yourself getting upset, then excuse yourself, go do a round of EFT in the bathroom with the door locked (it only takes a minute) and then come back to the situation. Make sure you are not reactive or defensive around him because that is how he has been controlling you. Always be happy and supportive and love him. You can use the law of attraction to put out to him and your family the behaviors you want to receive back from them.

EFT Introduction: http://www.strictly-stress-management.co...
EFT Tapping Technique: http://www.strictly-stress-management.co...

Also, here is some info about the Law of Attraction: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-l...

Good Luck!!

Yours in wellness,
Jill

Shelly - posted on 02/17/2015

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Yes...thought I did but obviouly didn't do a good job of teaching responsibility..

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/17/2015

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Time to separate the issues:

As an adult, he should have been taught long ago about personal responsibility and it's relationship to adult life. Draft a contract between the two of you outlining each party's responsibilities and expectations. both of you sign and adhere to it. If that won't work, serve him with a 30 day notice via the sheriff, indicating his eviction date.

Sell the car, or get him on a lien to you. Conditions of the lien: good driving record and full coverage insurance. He should have full coverage anyway, if he's purchasing a car from a dealer.

Quit nitpicking the little things. You complain that he's eating food you pay for, but you also complain when he gets his own food. Non issue there. The food you pay for will be covered in your lease agreement with your son.

Raye - posted on 02/17/2015

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For any adult child (over 18) still living at home, there needs to be a written/signed agreement put into place that details what conditions must be met for that person to remain in the home - whether it's rent, groceries, utilities, car, insurance, chores, curfew, no disrespectful comments (silence is fine), whatever terms you feel must be met. Don't get nit-picky on the smaller details of where he goes or what fast food he can/can't eat or what clothes he buys. If he has money left over after meeting your terms, then he can spend it on whatever crap he wants.

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