My son is 19 years old and graduated from h.s. almost two years ago. He doesn't want to go to school or work. He is constantly going from bed to bed with girls. My husband and I are at witts end. Where do we draw the line. There has to be consequences for his actions. I just don't want to threaten him and not flow through. What should we do? People tell us we have to throw him out for him to realize.


3314 days ago

I'm a mom with 2 girls. I think you and your husband have to sit down with him one last time. Tell him he needs to decide what he wants to do with his life and make some goals. Does he want to further his education? Tell him he needs to look for a job. When he gets the job, you and your husband can decide if he can stay at the house and pay board (contributing money) or move out and get his own place. If he doesn't agree to getting a job, then yes -you need to nudge him out. I hate the term, throw out. Nudging means you still love him and don't have hard feelings toward him. If you don't do something, he's gonna keep on enjoying the easy life. Like you said , you don't want to threaten and not follow through. You and your husband need to unite and make sure your son knows you're serious. Best of luck to all of you.

3314 days ago
There is a fine line between allowing someone you love to walk over you because you do not want to hurt their feelings and loving a person but not loving what they do. Your son is obviously not making very good decisions and is partaking in wreckless behavior. You do not, as a parent, have to love what your children do. You can continue to love him, just not his behaviors.

I think you and your husband need to first sit down and determine what you are willing to follow through with. Do not state anything to your son you are not truly behind 100%. Once you and your husband have a gameplan, then you can talk to your son. Make sure your son knows what you expect of him and what he can do. He also needs to know what will happen if he doesn't do what he is expected to do. For example, my parents had made it clear that if we wished to live in the house after we graduated H.S. that we had to either be in school (college) or be a contributing, working member of the household (get a job and pay into the household for food and utilities). We were told we would not be allowed to live there for free outside very extreme conditions. If we lived there, we would contribute otherwise, we weren't welcome there. We were not going to be freeloading adults.

It seems harsh - but it was a great rule. I personally went on to college and lived at home during the summer. My brother tried to start his own business (which didn't take off) and then went to the military.

So, first get your and your husbands boundaries in check THEN pass those on to your son - but most importantly, you have to follow through. If you don't follow through, the next time your son frustrates you, he'll simply think that it doesn't matter anyway, you won't make him move.

I know it does seem harsh but how is making a person own up to responsibility and helping a household or themselves through education considered bad? I hate to say it but your son sounds lazy - and for lazy people... getting a free handout is not going to make them not be lazy.

Good luck and God bless,


3314 days ago
I'm wondering why he doesn't want to go to school or work. I don't recommend throwing him out. That is not an effective learning strategy and could potentially create a homeless situation for you son, and then place him in a dangerous situation.

Have been able to talk to your son, by having an open non judgemental dialogue around why he doesn't want to work or go to school. It's all to easy to assume he is lazy, defiant and sponging of others. Because we don't know what is going on inside your sons mind.

What are the real reasons behind all of this? The following ideas are not designed to excuse his behavior but to find an explanation, are there some psychological issues behind his behavior and if so what are they. You need to find out? What was he like at school? Did he enjoy it or hate it? What interests outside of school did he have? Does he still do any of these? What were the indicators before leaving school that can shed some light on why this has happened? What has his behavior been like over the years?

Some teenagers describe that after school they are expected almost immediately to be independent like an adult and they find this an overwhelming responsibility, with feelings of anxiety and fear. There is no transition to help them in that process that process. If your son has never had responsibilities around the house and has never worked before, then this just makes the anxiety even worse. Does he feel there are no options that he is capable of doing? Is he scared and anxious about something?

Why does he go from bed to bed with girls? What is he getting out of this? Is he involved in using drugs and alcohol? where does he get his money from to survive, from the girls or from you? What does he do with his time, if he is not working or in school? Does he spend most of his time at your house or with the girls?

It's often difficult for teenagers to have personal conversations with their parents. They feel embarrassed and can react with anger when pushed. Even more so if the parents and their teenagers have never done it before. I understand that you are worried about your son.

Have you tried to get your son into counseling or find a youth worker or an organization that helps families deal with troubled teenagers. Sometimes these organizations are very good at turning around the attitudes of boys. They can often begin with engaging the boys in something that they find interesting. It could be music, sport, art or something else.

Try to problems solve this from different angles.

3313 days ago
^ I agree for the most part. It sounds to me like your son is avoiding having to settle down and join the "real world." I would guess that there a number of factors causing this: (1) he's addicted to the current patterns he's established of having sex with girls and having fun (2) he's genuinely afraid of joining the work force for fear of criticism, incompetence, and not knowing what to do. Like the poster above me said, it's anxiety provoking.

I'd also suggest you have a talk with your son. Try and keep it as non-confrontational as possible. Put some quiet music on in the background, get some popcorn and tea or coffee brewing, and ask HIM to evaluate what's going on in his life. Ask him what he thinks his potential is, and ask him how much effort he's currently putting into realizing that dream. Ask him whether he thinks he's avoiding his dream because he doesn't want to fail at it. Tell him that these are really normal things to be going through and you wouldn't be surprised OR blame him if that's what he was going through. Tell him that you feel like he's fallen off track a little bit and that the track is designed for his own happiness, not yours.

See how this conversation goes. Try a few times if you need. I think you'll find something interesting there. Maybe he doesn't have any hope right now, maybe he has no dreams, no confidence, no plan for execution, or maybe there's other stuff going on entirely, like him trying to forge his identity among his male friends. Who knows.

If nothing works, assuming you're sponsoring him, I would change the financial arrangement from handout to fund-matching, in other words, you'll only give him money when he earns his own, by doubling what he earns from a paying job of giving him 50% or whatever. I would really say that this is a last resort, though, because if your son is set on avoiding responsibility and is defiant, the chances are that he's just going to reject this idea. You need to open him up FIRST to have him start looking at himself and engender some hope in him.

I read a great book that he might enjoy. It's called "What Should I Do With My Life?" By Po Bronson. He might enjoy it.

3313 days ago
To me, it sounds a lot like he is afraid of joining the real world. A conversation starting about this would be a good idea.