HEY MY SON IS 19 CAN'T HELP WITH RENT AT HOME BUT WANTS TO KNOW IF HE SHOULD PAY FOR HIS DATE ALL THE TIME? THEY BOTH WORK
Each situation is different, so my thought may not apply to everyone.
My opinion is he should be able to pay for his living expenses, including his rent, first. If he can't then he shouldn't be spending anything on dating.
I threw my 19 year old out. It wasn't mean or hostile, although it could have been, I just told him that he needed to be his own man.
At 19, they are trapped between two desires, two states of being. ONe is the child they have been for their entire lives. It is a world they know. It is safe, and it is easy.
The other is the world of being a man in an adult world. This is the one they aspire to. They have models on TV and movies. They PRETEND to be one in their video games. FANTASY is made up for them of male figures, or of sexualized female figures that they want to have (the kind of pleasure you get if you are an actual man).
They are still very young and their cognitive processes are still forming the final links. They are capable, however, of taking care of themselves. But they won't pick the harder path if they don't have to. It is a human fact that we take the path of least resistence if possible.
Challening him, arguing with him, pleading with him doesn't work. They come up with the most absurd, evasive, ludicrous arguments that defy reason (see cognitive processes above). So, you have two choices. Throw his ass out and trust that you raised him well, or coddle him and accept the abuse you get from the child-man who wields adult size and the capacity for adult-sized cruelty formed with a child mind. The impulse for cruelty will be made worse as A) You keep having the "talks" with him, and B) in his own subconscious, and even conscious mind, he knows he is NOT getting it done. As he loses respect for himself, he'll lash out more.
So, the tough love cliché is not a cliché at all, in my opnion, and I can back that up with annecdotal evidence of my own. First, my son is now doing splendidly only a year later, with a full time job at a local auto dealership and total and complete abandonment of the surly, nasty attitude. He comes over on weekends for dinner with his new girlfiend and is an absolute joy to be around.
Second, I've seen it happen with a relative's kid that I had to literally jam headfirst into a Navy recruiters office, misery and horrors galore, who is now four years later a fine sailor and has more confidence than I ever will. He is very happy (and making money hand over fist). And lastly, myself. I left at 17 because I didn't want to deal with my old man. I won't go into it, but suffice to say, a young man will find a way and get things handled when they have no choice. Just like every other human on the planet for 100 thousand years has.
He doesn't want to stay. He just doesn't want to leave either. So be strong for him, and send him out. He will not end up homeless or whatever else you are afraid of. Trust you raised him well, let him make a few mistakes (he'll probably sponge off friends and wear his welcome out in places for a while), and give him a chance to prove that he really is a man. Otherwise, you'll all be miserable.
Just my two cents. Hope it helps.
Yeah, I was going to say a lot of that. Thanks for filling in my blanks.
LOL, I just started typing and it all came out. LOL. Something I've had to deal with a lot. PLus, my kids have a few friends with 24 year old brothers living at home etc., eating hundreds of dollars of groceries, wanting to bring girlfriends over to spend the night like they are grown ups. God. It's revolting. It can ruin marriages and stuff. Very sad.
A long time ago I read a very interesting article in Reader's Digest about how to make your kid an adult at 18. It included such things as teaching them early how to clean their rooms,do their own laundry and how to fry eggs for themselves. I think my boys were fairly well equipped to handle a few years of being on their own before they married. At least they KNEW what to do, even if they didn't always do it.
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