Author Topic: A new season approaches.....arg  (Read 202 times)

sapperswife

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A new season approaches.....arg
« on: April 16, 2018, 08:48:53 PM »
Hello all, It has been a long time since I've been here but figured that this maybe is the best place to get some advice.
My Sapper has been gone 3.5 years and I've done a fairly good job carrying on without him. Now in just a few weeks, my baby graduates from high school and I transition from a parent of children to a parent of adults. Another change in Idenity. My oldest was recently diagnosed with depression and is on meds. But has no job and no ambition to find one. The baby doesn't have a job either and no forward motion to get one or enroll in school. And all I want to do is sell our family home and try living on the Va pension I have. I feel a moral responsibility to ensure my kids are stable but I can't\wont do it for them and they won't\can't do it for themselves.  I feel trapped and frustrated. Anyone know a magic trick to lights fire under a pair of "quasi-adults" ?

serpico

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Re: A new season approaches.....arg
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 10:49:47 PM »
Are the kids living with you? Are you supporting them?
'I think I got some of your pickle'

Portside

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Re: A new season approaches.....arg
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 08:00:19 AM »
Ugh. Well, the most important thing to resolve first is to do all you can to help your oldest get healthy. I assume you are doing that. Perhaps after he gets well or makes significant progress, you and he can make a plan to find work and keep to it.

I know you say you can't/won't do it for them - fair enough - but if you can help them make a plan, and then stick to it, that would possibly be very helpful. They may be overwhelmed by not understanding completely what needs to be done to get their lives in order.

I had to create and implement a plan for my daughter. She was leeching off of us and living a lifestyle that wouldn't fly while in my house. It took a year but eventually, she got with the program and finally moved out and now has her own place.

Good luck - it's not easy but is doable. :)

Mike
The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped. (Proverbs 11:25)

sojourner

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Re: A new season approaches.....arg
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 01:09:59 PM »
Sapperswife, I feel for you with your situation with your young adult children! I wish I had some magic tricks, but I'm just not that lucky! 

DH died 4 years ago come mid-May. He died the day of the eldest's college graduation, and a couple days after my 2nd's first year of college ended. The younger two still had a couple weeks left of their high school year. 

The older two already were in treatment for pre-existing ADHD/anxiety/depression, exacerbated by my LH's 2-year cancer battle. Our two younger kids were adopted very young, but hit very hard by the realization they'd now lost their second father. Especially my youngest, who'd struggled with insecurity in bonding. On top of that, my eldest was a huge Daddy's girl who'd had LH wrapped around her little finger.

For the first year after LH's death, my eldest put off graduate school, and the second dropped out of college and both moved home. While it might sound nice to have all the kids home in the aftermath of his death, it was a nightmare. My eldest took out her anger on me (there's no doubt she wished it had been me), and was very disruptive. My second mostly hid in her room. My younger ones limped through school. I had a counselor involved. The younger two especially were drawn into what we'll call seeking out unhealthy male attention.  I was so drained by LH's illness and shell-shocked that he'd actually died I don't even remember a lot of detail from that time, other than it was really bad. (LH was initially told at diagnosis he'd have a survival of up to a couple decades and was potentially curable.)  In the meantime, painful knee damage caught up with me, and I realized I'd need replacements.  There's more, but that's the jist of things. 

Fast forward to today. My oldest started graduate school the following year- I think she couldn't wait to get away from me! (We get along well now.) 

With my second, I kept nudging her towards a timeframe of school (or work). She didn't want to return to the same school though, so I helped her check out another school, which turned out to be a much better fit, and she seems to have found her niche. It reinforced to her how if at first you don't succeed, try again. She's now both in school and has a part-time job, and is enjoying her independence.

Two years after LH's death, my third (barely) graduated high school and remained very depressed. After her graduation, we moved several hours away to be closer to family for a number of reasons, including attending to my knees.  For most of that first year after graduation, she mostly played online games, although she did like our new town better. Every so often, I'd discuss what her plans might be with her. As time progressed with no change on the horizon, I let her know, calmly, that she needed to at least take a class or two through the community college *now* as we'd discussed, or she needed to get a job, *now.* I gradually increased my insistance, but continued to avoid getting emotional about it as much as possible- just tried to keep it matter-of-fact. I arranged for her to talk to the community college. She ended up with a couple false starts with classes, then got a full time fast food job. After 6 months or so of that, school started to look pretty good again, and she now is in an apartment and is motivated in school. 

Now... as for my youngest, 18 and with another year of high school left... ach du lieber! I really have to check myself to not speak or act out of frustration or anger, and keep my words and actions accepting of her as my daughter even while- especially while- addressing her behavior when she acts out. It's difficult to motivate her towards positive behavior and achieving much at school. She has no danger "radar," and is drawn to high risk behaviors and unmotivated "friends." I keep on working with her school, a tutoring program, and her new counselor here.  For me, I have a different counselor who I see, and I have a pastor whose insight I respect as I continue to slog through on this path with her to try to guide her towards a positive life. And I pray- a LOT! I'm just a flawed human being, and I do a whole bunch of praying to be able to speak the truth in love, for kindness, for self-control, and for peace, etc.!! 

That empty nest is coming- sometimes too soon and others not soon enough! Each kid is different; childhood's hard enough without losing a parent, as ours have. I guess the overall strategy I've found most effective so far towards moving my more reluctant young adults in a positive direction has come down to continuing to help them manage any underlying health conditions, trying to remain calm and matter-of-fact, expressing my expectations of them persistently while hopefully avoiding arguing, discussing pros and cons of different kinds of post-HS education vs working, and seeking guidance from others whose wisdom/insight I respect, as needed. (And the praying!!)  After some delays and some false starts, 3 of my four so far seem to be hitting their strides, and there're even some signs of positive direction with my youngest. 

All I know is that once my youngest is launched, I'm going to find some kind of tour group and take a long trip... with NO kids!!! One thing I'm really lacking is finding an adult group of friends in my new town- I just haven't had the energy!! But I miss the adult time for keeping perspective.

Peace and best wishes to you, Sapperswife, with finding what works for your young adults!