Sigh, I have a 18 year old son who is not concerned about his future.

Marlene - posted on 04/06/2013 ( 6 moms have responded )




I hope he graduates this year - he should because he is smart, but I know he doesn't apply himself and I am more worried about his marks then he is. I wanted him to go to university next year - but he thinks he needs a year off - which makes me nervous, thinking he never will go to university if this happens and what is he going to do? He thinks he can get a job, but he hasn't got anything lined up. He does right now have a part-time job, which he doesn't seem to care too much about. He has not shown up for work at least 2 times that I know of for no good reason. He doesn't get many hours, nor does he want many hours. I sold him my car last year, and he has already been in 3 accidents (not serious, but all his fault). How am I going to get him to be more responsible for his life? I am just so worried about it. He has/had such great potential and just doesn't seem to care. He thinks I worry too much which may be true - but the fact that he doesn't worry at all seems to bother me.


Cecilia - posted on 04/06/2013




I think basically he needs to know exactly where you stand. You can't change what he is or isn't going to do at this point in the way of work or school. What you can do is control things within your own home.

All of my children know they have 3 years after graduation to move out. If you decide not to go to college you have only 3 years after high school. If they decide to go for a Masters, They can live at home for a long time... They are only allowed one year off, they can choose when. During those 3 years they know they are expected to follow house rules, and pay some rent. The rules will be written when the time comes. The rent is so they can own their own space. If they don't pay for it- it is mine and i can and will tell them to clean it. Mine also know they can not whine about how hard it is to work and go to school, they know I know the feeling. They also know I know it can be done.

My point is, they know what to expect of me and what is expected of them. Make up your own way of letting him know where you stand, but let him know. For example let him know the car is his. That means all gas, insurance, repairs and replacement should be paid by him. If you stick to this rule he will need the money from working and will decide to do it more often.

I know he is your son but look at him as a grown man the same way you would an uncle or a brother. You love him and you'll support him mentally but you have to let him take care of himself. This will allow you to let go of the stressing over school and such. We know as grown ups if he finishes school his life will be easier. If he doesn't he'll have to get a GED. He will learn that you were right and he can still live a productive life even if he messes up a little bit right now.

Ramona - posted on 04/06/2013




I am with you mom, but the thing is he won't do well in school if he doesn't want to be there. I would have him sign a contract that either he works full time or he works part time and goes to community college part time. I also would have him start paying for his insurance!! When bills start coming in his name, the need to worry about the future will be much clearer!!


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Marlene - posted on 04/06/2013




Thanks for all the comments. I really do believe Reality has to bite him in the butt before he decides to do anything about the situation. I guess my problem is too that I know when I was his age, after high school, I decided to get a job and work and then once I got some money, I moved out, etc and never got to get a degree or anything that would have secured a better job. You don't want your kids to make the same mistakes as you did, but then again, I wouldn't have listened to my Mom at that age either - although she didn't push me at all - and maybe she should have - who knows. I keep telling myself that he will get really bored this summer or fall and regret not going into university. Basically, its hard when they don't realize that we have the wisdom and they don't. If he is not going to school - he is going to have to pay me some rent and his insurance - which is a good idea - thanks Ramona. I guess that's all I can do. I guess I really wish I had more control over his life - and its hard to let go and let them make their own mistakes - Let's just hope he learns something from them!

Kelsey - posted on 04/06/2013




When I was 18...(like 5 years ago) I was in the same boat. I barely graduated high school, but I worked my a$$ off to graduate on time. My parents "told me," I was going to school and I "had to" pick up a part time job to pay my car insurance. When I hit 19, I basically flunked-out of college for not taking it seriously. I was too hung up on boys and play around with friends that I didn't give two Sh!ts about school. I worked at my dead end job and partied with my coworkers sometimes. I was just too lazy and I had no drive. It also didn't help that I had NO idea what I wanted to do when "I grew up." Therefore, my drive and motivation was slim to none. My parents were concerned, just at you are with your son, they would yell, "try" to ground me, sit me down and explain what the heck I was doing, and they tried to get me to realize I was screwing up my life but I just couldn't see it.

When I hit the ripe age of 20, I was trying to get my act together in school, just because I grew to hating my job. Then I met this guy (my ex) who "completely swept me off my feet." I screwed up more of my life and my education. At 21, I completely stopped going to school and "decided" to work instead because my ex and I were going to make a life together. My ex and I split for a short time then I slowly put the pieces of myself together, went back to school, then my ex and I got back together and the baby happened.

After the baby was born, At 22, I FINALLY grew up. I dumped my ex and put my a$$ back in school. I realized I have someone who's relying on me to care for them.

I guess the moral of my story is, he will do what he wants. Until he gets that wake-up call. Whether he starts to hate his jobs, or getting tired of being the way he his, or being alone (because real ladies don't like a bum) or (hopefully not for your sake) has a child with someone. With having a baby though, there's no guaranteeing that he'll grow up. My ex sure as heck didn't, hence why he's an ex. But there is hope. All you can do for him is just love him, but treat him as adult, who makes his own decisions. You may not agree with it, don't nag at him or reprimand him. Just shrug your shoulders and bite your tongue and keep your worries between your partner and yourself.

Dove - posted on 04/06/2013




Write up a rental agreement effective a month after he is supposed to graduate. He is to either be a full time student making passing grades... or he is to pay you X amount of rent every month (among other stipulations that you come up with)... or he moves out. Of course, if he's TRYING to get a full time job you can be more lenient on the time frame or rent amount, but it is key that you don't let HIM know that and it is key that you stick to the plan of kicking him out.

If his lack of motivation is due to a mental health issue... I would be more lenient and encouraging him to get help, but if it's just a sense of entitlement or a lack of desire to grow up and be self sufficient.... tough love is the answer.

Ev - posted on 04/06/2013




Depending what country you live in, if 18 is the legal age to be able to do anything he wants there is not much you are going to be able to say or do. You will still worry about his future but its going to be what he makes it himself.

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