My teen is partying instead of getting a job. How do I motivate him to get his priorities straight?

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Delany - posted on 11/23/2009

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I don't do his laundry but I do cook, clean and take him everywhere he want's to go ( to friends houses etc). I want to do and say the right things to him but I'm always to one extreme or the other. I either tell him I'm done doing things for him and then give in, or I do what he wants because I love him so much. I want him to be a responsible member of society but do not know the right steps to take. Thanks for your input everybit helps!

Lisa - posted on 11/21/2009

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Quoting Jessica:

Meet him half way. It's not fair for a teenager to suddenly lose all his help and gain all the responsibility of an adult. He gets a job, you loosen the rule leash a bit, you discuss finances together to help him learn instead of just saying you won't even buy him food. My mom tried to completely cut me off when I was about 15. No food, no room, no clothes, no school supplies, and tried to charge me rent for living in the closet underneath the stairs. So I left. That's NOT a home and that's NOT parenting. It can't help but only hurt your relationship which is still important.


What your mom did to you was wrong... that's completely unfair to ask of a 15 year old.



But if we're talking about an 18 year old *legally* adult male, that's a whole different scenario. 



She's being taken advantage of, plain and simple.  As others have suggested, stop doing things for him.  But definitely cut off the money supply except for necessities.  Anything that isn't "needed", like money to party, especially!  Food and shelter are the only necessities that she is legally responsible for.  Everything else can be considered a luxury and if he is 18, he can be kicked out on his ear if he doesn't want to help in supporting himself!!!!

Samantha - posted on 11/21/2009

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Quoting Jessica:

Meet him half way. It's not fair for a teenager to suddenly lose all his help and gain all the responsibility of an adult. He gets a job, you loosen the rule leash a bit, you discuss finances together to help him learn instead of just saying you won't even buy him food. My mom tried to completely cut me off when I was about 15. No food, no room, no clothes, no school supplies, and tried to charge me rent for living in the closet underneath the stairs. So I left. That's NOT a home and that's NOT parenting. It can't help but only hurt your relationship which is still important.


I do agree with this. Your mother went too far in your case. As a parent you are required to provide food, shelter and clothing that is within what you can afford. Unless they are a child that is too young, you do not have to do their laundry, make their food, buy them fast food when they don't want to make food or clean their messes. Your son is becoming an adult, he should be doing those things himself. Otherwise he won't make it on his own.



And as far as going easy on the rules....that may not be such a good idea if your son is constantly partying, you should actually be a little more strict and not let him run around like that all the time. A little partying and fun time is good, but not every night. He won't learn any responsibility from that. He will only learn the best ways on how to not get caught and where to hide if the cops come to the parties looking for minors drinking and people doing drugs. Very rarely do teens have parties where there isn't any alcohol or drugs or both. Even if there are parents there. I know plenty of parents who think it's better to have them do it with them around then off somewhere else but it doesn't help if the parents are getting drunk and high themselves and it sends the message that its ok for the kids to do it.

Brandi - posted on 11/21/2009

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Where does he get his money??? If it's from you, I say cut him off. He get the absolute basic necessities food, clothes that are in the realm of what you can afford, not what the other kids are wearing, and a roof over his head. Anything else, he's gonna have to earn. My mother had to do that with my brother (he always had to have the most expensive stuff and she couldn't afford that) he either had to get a job or wear stuff that he didn't like. he got a job real quick.

[deleted account]

Meet him half way. It's not fair for a teenager to suddenly lose all his help and gain all the responsibility of an adult. He gets a job, you loosen the rule leash a bit, you discuss finances together to help him learn instead of just saying you won't even buy him food. My mom tried to completely cut me off when I was about 15. No food, no room, no clothes, no school supplies, and tried to charge me rent for living in the closet underneath the stairs. So I left. That's NOT a home and that's NOT parenting. It can't help but only hurt your relationship which is still important.

Sonja - posted on 11/21/2009

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I don't have a teenager but I have a 12 year old who has a "job" - his own company actually raking leaves and shoveling snow and doing other yard work. I provide everything he NEEDS and some of what he WANTS... but if there is something that he wants he must pay for the majority of it out of his pocket. I do this because I want him to learn responsibility. I don't give him an allowance because the work he does around the house is just part of what it means to be a member of the family. AND - when he's out working, he's not getting in trouble.

So... how to get your son to get his priorities straight? He's 18, right? Give him an option... follow your rules (limited partying, get a job, help around the house) or find a new place to live (in which case - he'll get his priorities straight pretty quickly) The old rule of "My house, my rules" really does work.

Charge him for chores that you do and definitely stop supplying him with money.

Samantha - posted on 11/21/2009

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I don't have a teenager myself, but it wasn't that long ago when I was one being that I am 21. I got a job when I was 15 because I wanted a cell phone and my parents told me that if I wanted to get one I would have to pay for it myself. They also told me that I had to save half of every pay check and put it into an account that I was not allowed to withdraw any money from until I was 18. They told me that I had to pay for my cell phone, clothes, gas, and any extra stuff I wanted including snack food. As long as I did my homework, helped around the house and went to work, they paid for my car, the insurance, gas to drive my brother and sister to school, and they would loan me money for some things I wanted that I couldn't afford right away just as long as I paid them back according to what we discussed. It helped me learn about finances and responsibility. I think you should tell him that you aren't paying for anything until he gets a job and shows responsibility. And don't let him party so much. He will have plenty of time to do that when he is a little older.

Tell him you won't make his meals, give him money to buy food or gas or anything but stuff for school, don't do his laundry, don't clean his room. You do have to "bring the hammer down" so to speak but you also have to remember that teenagers are very rebellious and you don't want to push them too far. If your son still doesn't get a job after you refuse to pay for anything, maybe try and get someone else to talk to him and convince him that he could use a job so that when he is 18, he will have money to be free to do more of what he wants rather than have to do whatever you want him to do. To a teenager the parents are always the enemy that just wants to boss them around. When someone tells them they have an opportunity to be independent from their parents, they usually tend to jump at the opportunity. Maybe this will help. Good luck.

Lori - posted on 11/21/2009

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While I don't have a teenager, what I think would motivate me...not having my parents pay for stuff. If all he is doing is partying then he doesn't need you to pay for much. Maybe cut back on what you do pay for and tell him if he wants it, he needs to help out. I plan on doing that for my kids, when they get that age. My in-laws did it for their kids (mostly because they couldn't afford the soccer gear they needed,so the boys got jobs to pay for it). I hope this helps. Good luck!!

Ashley - posted on 11/21/2009

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i would say dont give them a choice. Make them understand what responsibilites are. Stop doing things for them and make them do it on their own. As in housework like laundry, cooking, and make them buy their own food and clothing.

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