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Adult Son Driving Me Crazy

7 years ago

I'm hoping someone with similar experiences can shed a light on what the issue is with my son and how to deal with it.

1) My son is 24 years old and lives at home. He is required to pay the electric bill and his own car payments, cell phone (on my account) insurance and pitch in about $25 a month for food. He makes enough to do so with about $200 left over a month.

2) He does not manage his money well. Blows it mostly on food. $10 here and there adds up. When he first started working 5 years ago, I taught him how to create a budget in Excel, guided him for several months until he showed he understood how to do it on his own-- so he knows how to manage his money. He has been giving me the monthly electric bill although he fell short on his cell phone and hasn't paid it in 3 months. Last month, his car was repossessed, his license was suspended for excessive unpaid tolls and his insurance lapsed! We helped him out by putting this $2500 debt on our credit card to get him back on track with his insurance and car under the conditions that he gets outside money management help, pays back the credit card and I budget his paycheck with him.

3) A month after helping him with #2 issue above, he comes home and says he lost his job for poor performance. He works at a call center and didn't' meet his quota. He gets lazy after a while working at one place and doesn't put forth the same effort he did the first two or three months he gets a job. Throughout the year when I noticed this, I reminded him occasionally that companies pay you to bring in money. If you don't put forth your best they will find someone who will. He didn't listen and now he is jobless. Let me add that this is the 13th job he has had since he was 18 years old.

4) He told me that he knows he is lazy but he tries and can't seem to help it. I just don't understand this and told him that. I feel like it is an excuse. He has flunked out of college 4 times, never got past the first semester. In high school, I had to constantly be on him so that he could earn a diploma. He skipped a lot, didn't do homework, didn't want to study etc. He knows the importance of getting a skill, whether through college or trade, but nothing interests him. He's tried so many areas (general ed, personal fitness, computer tech, barbering etc.) but drop out before the first semester ends due to lack of interest or motivation. Today, he contemplates trying HVAC, human resources or land surveying but can't even get himself to the schools to get the process started. I've almost given up on helping him find interests as he is all over the place and lacks motivation. I've had him talk to people, encouraged networking, taken career interest surveys but to no avail.

5) He's a good person/son. We talk often and he appears happy. He doesn't hang out after hours much-maybe once a month or less. He works and comes home and once or twice a week visits his best friend. He plays video games after work for about an hour or two a day with a friend. If I ask him to do something, he will do it usually without any problems. His room is a mess and he doesn't do the best job when cleaning, but he does his chores (lawn, dishes a couple times a week, trash) without problems.

I'm tired of bailing him out when he makes poor money/spending choices. He admits they are poor choices but he says he can't help it. He even said he probably won't learn until he hits rock bottom! I asked him why would you wait until then to learn your lesson??? In the past, when he made those choices, we taught him a lesson one or twice by refusing to help him when his insurance lapsed and he let his car engine blow. He had to take mass transit which was difficult because it required him to leave for work 4 hours before and getting home 4 hours after. He did that for about 3 months until he saved the money to get his insurance and car back. Even after this tough lesson several years ago, he still hasn't learned!

After the last incident, I finally told him he needs to get a trade, get his money together or get out. Beyond that, I don't know what else to do. I feel bad for him because he's a good person but I want him to be more responsible.

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