Young Widow Forum

Specific Situations => Young Widowed Parents => Topic started by: Needytoo on January 31, 2018, 12:06:27 PM

Title: The young males
Post by: Needytoo on January 31, 2018, 12:06:27 PM
Help, not sure what I am doing wrong or if I am doing things correctly. 

I will try to be brief.

I have two sons 23 and 19 years old.  My oldest has been working for a couple of years full time and refuses to pay me anything. My youngest is in college and pays his car insurance and his cell phone. His brother never did that at the same age.  My youngest son thinks I gave too much to my oldest son ( correct on that one), that we don't feel like a family anymore and all I care about it money. I am working three jobs and I still find it hard to stay afloat. I would like to retire someday and put more money away. My biggest expense is the groceries. I spend $350-400 a week (I kid you not)

My oldest just bought a new car and paid for it all of with the money he has saved.  Great for him, I asked him for rent again only $400 a month and he said he would buy his own food.  It is a start but I still doubt he will do it, and how do I keep him eating the food that in the house but maybe he will.

My sons just don't get that I am not made of money, I am sorry they don't have a father but they don't seem to give a rats ass about me. 

I just don't seem to able to reason with them?  Any advice please. 
Title: Re: The young males
Post by: Leadfeather on January 31, 2018, 12:27:41 PM
I typically do not give parenting advice but you asked so i am going to be as honest as i can. I have two sons, 22 and 18. The oldest is living at home as he finishes up college here in town and expects to move out at the end of the summer, the youngest is away at college.

My wife and I had a policy in our house. One she originally espoused. When you turn 18 you are either in college or working. If you are working and you still live at home you are paying rent.

My advice, is have your oldest pay rent or move out. He is twenty-three and he needs to become a responsible adult member of society. He needs to respect you, your needs, and the sacrifices you have made raising him.

In the long run you are doing him no favors letting him delay growing up.

Title: Re: The young males
Post by: Portside on January 31, 2018, 02:13:18 PM

I just don't seem to able to reason with them?  Any advice please.

Yeah, this can be a huge PITA. Don't confuse yourself - reasoning has very little to do with this whole thing. :) Your actions will be guided by how committed you are to your desired outcome. (We all do this whether or not we know it.) Actually, it's more a what are you willing to trade for your desired outcome.

I'm assuming your desired outcome is either 1) Oldest pays a modest rent to help with the household expenses or 2) he moves out and, as a consequence, your household expenses are substantially reduced or 3) pays for his own groceries and relieves the pressure on your finances.

My last child (23) is currently living at home. Each of my 5 others are now out. Each of them had their own issues, life choices, financial situations each of which played into how and when they moved out permanently. I had to adopt different strategies for each as they are/were wildly different.

If your son doesn't follow through on getting his own groceries and providing you some financial relief, what are you willing to do? Force him out? I had to push (read *throw*) my daughter out after multiple blow-ups regarding her lifestyle and the scum she dragged home. But, I didn't do it all at once. After I determined she had to go, I told her so - but in a nice way, and pointed out how this was in her own interest (a bit of a stretch but so what), set a date by which she needed to be gone and helped her put a plan in place so that she could find a place and plan for affording it.

I think the big part of why this was successful was she had an endpoint and I showed her that it would work. She warmed to the idea of having her own place and eventually, started to do the work that was necessary for it to be successful. However, I was firm that by such and such a date, she would be out, whether she was ready or not. Very firm. I was fully prepared to throw her shit out of the front door on the end date if that's what it came too. Perhaps that was evident in my personality and encouraged her to seek a easier path.

So - as this relates to your situation, maybe give him a week or two to see whether he honors his commitment to buy his groceries. Even if he does, are the financials working for you? If they aren't, something else will need to be done. If his grocery buying plan went up in smoke, well then, you have your answer and you'll need to decide what you can live with. He's a big boy, he can live on his own now. Perhaps he needs a push from you. Maybe even a big push. If that suits you, set a date, help him plan and stick to it.

My daughter made me unhappy in my own home. She's out now and we have a fine relationship - much better than it was.

Perhaps your experience will be similar - Good luck!!

None of this is easy but you can do it. It really will be for his own good. He'll realize it at some point.

ps - I don't know what I did differently than you but I rarely spent that much in groceries. Wow! They ARE eating you out of house and home. 

pss - The last one home works and pays rent. He is moving to Dallas shortly to seek his fortune. On his own, with no push from me. :)

Title: Re: The young males
Post by: BrokenHeart2 on January 31, 2018, 04:25:08 PM
Good luck NT,  I echo what you advice you have been given by both guys! Sometimes tough love can be the best love when it's needed for you and for him.
Title: Re: The young males
Post by: Needytoo on February 01, 2018, 01:27:35 PM
Thank you for all your advice.

Last night I talked to my youngest and he thinks I am the vilest human being on the planet for making his older brother pay for his own food. He even suggested that I should give up my hobbies to save money (first time in my life I am allowing myself to have hobbies and I am 51 years old). I told him, he has no right to tell me what to do with my money.  He went on and on how his life sucks and how I don't want him to succeed etc.  It hurt to see him so angry at me but I stood my ground. 

My oldest came home and seem to be ok with all of it, even said he knows I am teaching him so he can live on his own.  I will take this as progress. 

My oldest has made things very difficult for everyone in the house on and off for a while now.  If he fails on this I will set a date where he has to move out and if he doesn't I will have the Sheriff department help me. This is extremely hard on me because I know there is a chance where our relationship will be over forever but then I do hear the stories where the relationship is restored and is better because of it. I understand Portside how you feel, you give me inspiration.

Title: Re: The young males
Post by: Leadfeather on February 02, 2018, 09:21:31 AM
I am listening to "12 Rules for Life" audio book by Jordan Peterson and he had a thought in there that I think has bearing on your problem. It goes.

"What would be truly good for you, this is not what you want, it is also not what would make you happy. Every  time you give a child something sweet you make that child happy that does not mean you should do nothing for children except feed them candy. Happy is by no means synonymous with good."

This thought it about how to be take care of yourself, but it can easily be applied to your sons. "What would be truly good for them, this is not what they want, it is also not what would make them happy. . . happy is by not means synonymous with good."

Your job as a parent is to do what is good for your sons, not what will make them happy.
Title: Re: The young males
Post by: Portside on February 02, 2018, 12:55:58 PM
I am listening to "12 Rules for Life" audio book by Jordan Peterson and he had a thought in there that I think has bearing on your problem. It goes.

Your job as a parent is to do what is good for your sons, not what will make them happy.
I second Peterson's book.

He has put out a ton of youtube videos also. Definitely a guy to check out - a wonderful resource.

Title: Re: The young males
Post by: BrokenHeart2 on February 03, 2018, 06:59:06 AM
OT: Dr. Jordan Peterson is an amazing speaker.  I went to a talk given by him a few months ago and he sure was captivating!
Title: Re: The young males
Post by: Trying on February 03, 2018, 09:01:11 PM
I really feel your pain Needytoo. 
My oldest is 21, dropped out of college, moved home with very little motivation and definite depression that he was unwilling to address.  After several blow ups for poor decisions and lack of forward motion I forced him to go work for his Dad's cousin and to move out after a few months working.  He feels much better about himself, our relationship is better and he is still struggling financially a bit but I do not bail him out.
Middle son is 19, decided college wasn't the right place for him and moved home to go to school to become an electrician. He is in school full time and works.  I have offered to pay for cell phone and car insurance until he graduates.   Much more financially responsible and goal oriented than his brother but very judgmental and difficult to live with.  He decided right before Christmas that living with the rules I and current DH have was not acceptable to him and he moved in with his brother.  It was a big and hurtful blow up that had me in bed crying for a day.

None of this is easy.  We know we have done our best under difficult circumstances to raise these boys into men.  I can only hope they some day see it.  If I had been more strict and less enabling from the time their Dad died it may have gone easier for all of us.  But in my grief and feeling helpless to lessen their grief I allowed them to get away with too much.  They are paying the price but so am I.  I'm trying to turn things around now but the backlash is hard to take sometimes.

My youngest is 13 and very well adjusted right now.  I am past the fog of grief and know I need to be a better parent for his teen and young adult years than I was for his brothers.  He only had a dad for 9 years so I really need to step up my game parenting him with the purpose of guiding him to be a happy, productive and independent man some day.

If your oldest has enough money saved to buy a car he can save up for first and last months rent plus security deposit and be out before summer.  My personal opinion (which is tainted by my own experience) is that he will continue to disrespect you if he is in your home and paying for groceries won't make up for that.  I know from your many posts that you are trying to change the pattern of putting yourself last that has long been a part of your life.  Giving him a date to move out is what is best for him to become a responsible adult and what is best for you to put an end to being a doormat.  It's not selfish, think of it as finding balance.

Any time you need someone to be on your side and encourage you I will be here for you because I get it.
Title: Re: The young males
Post by: BrokenHeart2 on February 03, 2018, 09:13:49 PM
So very well stated Trying!! In the end tough love is great when needed.
Title: Re: The young males
Post by: Needytoo on February 04, 2018, 07:31:57 AM
Wow, LeadFeather, I need to read that book. Not sure if I totally understand what Peterson is saying but it does make me think. 

My youngest isn't speaking to me and my oldest bought his own food and I am going minute by minute. I hate stress and confrontation but I need to do what is best. 

Thanks, everyone, I do need the support in this.
Title: Re: The young males
Post by: lost35 on February 17, 2018, 01:12:48 AM
First,  my son is only eight.  I have no right to post here, but do so with a large grain of salt attached... 

I have a good friend who gives good advice and who is, more often than not, correct about things I can't see quite yet;  it is her gift.  :) She always says, the very first rule, is to remove yourself from the situation as completely as you can.  "It's not about you and your feelings and all the things that happened to you in the past that make this 'something.'"  In other words, objectively, what does your son need?  What will help him be successful?  And it's okay to do nothing while he struggles.  You are not responsible for his feelings or happiness ('s "you" in there)  You are allowed to support him while he figures it out.    My friend's advice has been helpful in so many allowed me to feel the right to post here, as I think I may be using the same words to guide me later, when he is older.

When I was eighteen,  I was allowed to live at home if I was going to school full time.  When I took a semester off to save money for a trip to Europe, I paid rent.  $400.00 a month.  (This was a long time ago!)  I put forth the argument that if I was paying rent, I was free to come and go as I please, which was hard to accept, but they did.  It was fair on both sides.  The best part was, the money went into an account which would pay for tuition, if I returned to school, or would be a holiday fund for my parents, if I did not.  :)


Good luck to you, and to them!