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I want to kick out my step son

chupacabra's picture

Sorry this is long, but I have to explain how I got here.  My longtime boyfriend was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer a year after the doctor said his colonoscopy was fine.  I had to rush him to the emergency room for intense pain and that is when they discovered the cancer.  And, yes, I'm suing the doctor that missed the cancer. 

BF and I maintained separate homes for 10+ years and lived about 15 minutes apart.  He had sole/primary custody of his 3 kids and the kids rarely saw their mother even though she lived in the same school district and lived less than a mile away.  BF and I dated for a few years before the kids even knew I existed. There were several reasons for this, but part of the reason was because the kid's BM was/is worthless and had remarried the first loser she latched onto and the kids hated step-dad.  Basically, she moved a total stranger into their home and expected the kids to pretend he was their new "daddy."  We wanted the kids to have at least one  "normal" home where a total stranger wasn't forced into their lives.  Fast forward a few years and the cancer diagnosis....I moved in with him and his 3 kids in 2015 to take care of him and the younger kids.  At the time, they were SS15, SS10, and SD 18.

After several medical mistakes, i.e. botched surgery, missed diagnosis of sepsis, etc., it was evident that my BF would not live a year after the cancer diagnosis.  He started chemo, but because of the botched surgery, he had to wait several months to start. BF was in and out of the hospital for the next several months.  Because BM was so worthless, she never stepped in to help.  In fact, BM started spending even less time with the kids.  BM was spending 1-3 nights per month with the kids, but that dropped to less than 5-8 HOURS per month....never any overnights.   Because my BF was in the hospital so often and BM was out of the picture, I had to get my mom and sister from FL, my sister from KY, and my sister from MO to come at various times to help out with the kids.  Now mind you, no one in my family had ever met these kids.  I was really never a part of their lives.  I was just dating their dad.  My relationship with my BF was strictly between the two of us and only a few times per month would spend time with him and his kids...and never any overnights when the kids were around.  But my family and my BF's neighbors stepped in for the next year to help take care of the kids by buying groceries, cooking meals, transportation to doctor/dental visits, etc.  Because my family had to come from out of state to help and couldn't stay full time, my skids went days and sometimes weeks without anyone other than my BF's neighbors checking on them, taking them to doctor appointments, othrodontic appointments, cooking them meals, buying them food, etc.  I basically checked on them daily via phone and texts. 

My BF spent 4 months in the hospital and was transferred directly from the hospital to hospice where he died a month later...exactly one year to the day after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.  In the year after his cancer diagnosis, I never left his side except the time it took to buy groceries and the time I returned home to tell the kids that their father had been transferred to hospice.  The youngest didn't even know what hospice meant.   BF and I intentionally chose in-patient hospice because my BF did not want the kids to see him when he withered away and died.  BF had watched his mom die from cancer and he didn't want his kids to witness that.  The kids spoke to their dad on the phone and thru texts, but didn't see their dad for the last 5 months of his life.  I'm thankful they never saw him.  Even today, I cannot get over how he changed.  I don't ever want the skids to know what their dad went through or how his appearance changed.  All I've told them was that he lost a lot of weight.  They have no idea how horrendous it really was.  The last few weeks of BF's life, we married and he left everything of value to me and set up a trust fund for the kids.  It isn't a lot, but they can't touch that money until they are 40....yes, 40.  BF knew his kids were lazy and wouldn't go to college or work if they had access to any money.

I mean, I know how I got here.  But here it has been 16 months since their dad died and the skids and I are still together.  Their mom sees my youngest SS about 2-4 hours per month.  Yes, hours.  Oldest SS may see his mom about one hour per month. I pay for the skids every need.  BM buys nothing for them and does nothing for doctor/dental visits, no clothes, no school supplies, no watching football games, no vacations, no Christmas or birthday gifts...she literally does nothing.  I really want my old life back, but these kids literally don't have anyone.  The youngest is a really good kid and I would do just about anything for him, but I don't really love any of them.  I know it is bad to feel that way, but I just don't feel anything for these kids.  The oldest are 2 of the most vile, disgusting kids I have ever seen.  And no, that isn't the reason I don't really care for the oldest 2.  There were several things that the oldest 2 kids did during the time that there dad was sick and since then that make me not like anything about them.  Their attitudes and disgusting filth just makes it worse.  I'm here out of the love for my husband and because he was worried about what would happen to his kids after he was gone.  Everything I do is because of my love for their dad.  He never asked me to take on this responsibility because he said it "wasn't fair" to me.  I told him I'd take care of them... only because I knew it would bring him a little bit of comfort.  Yes, I know it is not my responsibility.  

Even though I don't really like the 2 oldest skids, I still help them.  I bought SD now 21 a car and paid for insurance for a year.  She's living with friends and working full time as a waitress.  She went to college one semester and got all A's, but is lazy and decided to quit because she was doing "quite well" as a waitress.  Her words.  So, because she's doing "quite well", I don't really worry about her any longer.  I've helped her with a few very small things here and there this past year, but she is pretty much self-sufficient.  I bought SS now 18 a car for his 18th birthday and told him I'd pay for his car insurance until June 1.  He graduates high school in May.  He still does not have a job and has not applied to any colleges even though he gets excellent grades and could easily get a scholarship.  Our state even has a grant/scholarship that pays for college if you maintain a B average.  He has an A average, but he's lazy and doesn't want to go to college.  The deadline to apply for fall admission is probably a week away anyway.  He has no plans to apply.   Yes, I'm fully aware of how stupid it is to pass on a free college education, but can't get that across to my SS18 and SD21.  You know how teenagers and young adults are....they know everything.  SS18 has asthma so cannot join the service.  So college, trade school and the service aren't options for SD18. So, I guess now you see my dilemma.  How do I get this lazy, disgustingly filthy man-child out of my house when he graduates high school?   I've taken away the car from SS18 until he gets a job, but he doesn't seem to really care.  He is just so incredibly lazy.  Which is really sad because he is such a smart, funny kid and could easily do anything he wanted.  I've thought maybe he was suffering from depression, but he doesn't seem to have any symptoms of depression.  He is just lazy.  I've told him that he has until the fall to move out...either with friends, go off to college, or move in with his sister or his mother.  He claims he understands, but he doesn't seem to be making any real plans.  I have been counting down the days until  SS13 turns 18 and goes off to college, but the way it's going, it seems like my SS18 will still be here when that happens.  Even SS13 jokes that he'll be out of college and on his own before his older brother and sister amount to anything.  It is sad when a 13 year old has more common sense than an 18 and 21 year old.  I really just want my old life back.


futurobrillante99's picture

You have no legal responsibility for SS18. Just tell him he has fair warning that he will NOT be living with you after graduation if he's not attending college full time. End of story.

He will have to have a full time job immediately after graduation and had 3 months to save for his own place. Bye bye.

No job and no college plans? Go move in with mommy.

chupacabra's picture

That's what I've told him.  I just don't understand why kids are so stupid.  He could easily go off to college and would only have to pay for a dorm room and food.  A part time job would pay for that.  I would love to have been able to go off to college and a part time job pay for all of my needs.  Instead, he's going to be sleeping on his mom's sofa or moving back and forth between friend's homes....if they let him.  He is so disgusting...I doubt anyone would let him live with them. 

strugglingSM's picture

One day when he is off at school, text him to tell him that it's time for him to live with BM now and change the locks before he gets home. 

That sounds harsh, but these people are taking advantage. It's time for his actual parent to do some parenting. If you haven't done so, already, you might also want to take BM to court for child support. 

MoominMama's picture

I'm amazed this has been allowed to happen. Didn't your BF and the BM have an agreement where in the event of the death of either then the kids go to surviving parent? Is there no law in your state over this? Sounds like social services should have been involved when they were left to fend for themselves with only you and neighbours 'checking in'.

You have done more than you needed to do. SD is out of the picture and launched. SS18 needs to be given a move out date. BM needs to be told to come get her youngest or he is handed over to social services.  I feel sorry for them. I know it must have been hell for your BF with his illness but really it would have been better if he had made solid plans over what would happen to the kids in the event of his death. The trust fund was good but 45??  I get that he thought they would not be responsible enough but had he asked you to look after them until that time?. Was that the arrangement?


chupacabra's picture

The "agreement" between BF and BM is called the law....BM has legal, sole custody by law of her biological children.  I have no rights to them at all.  I have no legal responsibility to them at all.  You cannot "will" your kids away.  It doesn't matter if BF had wanted me or anyone else to care for his kids.  He, by law, had no say in who would get custody of his kids.  Legally, bio-parents are automatically given custody in the event of death of the other parent.  PERIOD.  BM is legally their guardian.  She just doesn't want them.  There was no way I was going to tell these kids, "look your dad is dead, so get the hell out."  I could contact social services, but they'd do one of two things...1. force BM to take them, or 2. they'd be placed in foster care.  Those are their only two options.  Or I could just let things remain the same...same room they've had since they were little kids, same schools they've always gone to, same neighborhood and same friends or tell them to get out and leave everything they've ever known so they could live with the piece of shit that "birthed" them.  Not exactly fair to children.  I get it that almost everyone on this site hate their step kids.  I don't.  I don't love them, nor do I think that I ever will.  I don't particularly like the two oldest, but why on earth would you turn your back on children that are basically homeless or orphans? Why wouldn't you step in if you knew you could make a difference in a child's life?  These kids have absolutely NO chance living with their BM. NONE.  I kept foster kids for many years before and while dating BF....for kids in situations exactly like this. I look at it as if I'm just their foster mom.  We just don't have to go thru the hassle of dealing with DFACS and going to court every few months and the kids being forced to visit a piece of shit.  Why force them to live with their BM?  Is it in their best interest? Of course not.  I could easily take BM to court and be awarded their guardian.  But why do that?  Why involve the courts, social workers, and investigators and have them speaking with the kid's teachers, friends, coaches?  To simply make it "official" that their mom is a piece of shit?  Do you think being told that would make the kid's life better in any way?  Trust me, they know their mom is worthless.  They get it.  Having someone tell all of their friend's parents, our neighbors, their teachers and coaches would do nothing but embarrass them.

While married to the skids loser step-dad, BM had the revelation that she was a lesbian and has since moved in with her girlfriend.  Their home is in an extremely bad area of town....the youngest said he sees drug dealers riding their bikes to/from cars carrying drugs/money.  Their home does not have bedrooms for the kids....they'd be sleeping on the floor in the living room.  Their BM's school district is probably the worst in the county...they'd go from the best school district to the worst.  Sure, I am fully aware that I have no legal/financial responsibility to these kids. But why would you turn your back on kids because their father died?  I am financially capable of supporting them and I see no reason to involve social services and force these kids to be told "officially" by social workers and judges that their mom is a piece of shit.  I'm sure they are all fully aware of that fact.  They don't need to be reminded of it.  I'm sure they think about it. every. single. day.  There was and is no valid reason to involve social services.  The kids never missed one day of school while their dad was sick and we were in the hospital.  They maintained straight A's except for the period when their dad went into hospice.  At that point, their grades dropped to B's and C's, but that is completely understandable.  They ate breakfast every morning with neighbors, ate school lunches, had a hot dinner every night.  They had a lot of "sleep-overs" at friend's homes during that time.  Their schools were fully aware of what was going on and was involved every step of the way.  I'm sure if they suspected the kids were being neglected, they would have contacted DFACS themselves. It is their legal responsibility to do so.   I have no intention of telling SS13 to get out or turning him over to social services.  That seems really cruel, but I understand that most people on this site don't like their step kids, so I get it.  I just wish SS18 would launch.  I know he will eventually, but he is so immature.  I'm just worried it is going to take him longer than I want.

MoominMama's picture

'why on earth would you turn your back on children that are basically homeless or orphans?'

but you left them home alone to fend for themselves, this is not legal or right. Yes i know you have done what you thought was best and yes I get that BM is a piece of work but what you wrote sounded like you wanted another solution and didnt want to be taking care of kids that were not yours.

I am well aware that you cannot 'will' your children away. That is not what I meant. I thought that maybe under the circumstances you and your BF might have come to an agreement over their care considering that BM refuses to be in the picture. It's not about not liking stepkids.

You seem to have the answer so actually, I don't know why you came here. You want to look after the youngest (hopefully not in a 'home alone' situation) and you want the 18 year old to launch. I hope this happens soon for him but you may have to have some patience. He hasnt exactly had the ideal situation in which to launch at 18.

Good luck

Rags's picture

At least I not aware where that is not the case.  Our ouside looking in judgmental society and systems that have given non performers who are not involved in any given family situation the right to interject their perspectives through calls to CPS or other "official" conduits is a large part of the problem we are having with the broad pantheon of kid behavior today. 

A parent that gives an unruly kid a swat on the rump in public has the idiot minions of the CPS called down on them and then has to spend countless resources and time defending the fact that they actually parent. The ones doing the calling are the ones pumping out the illbehaved wastes of skin that are all over the news currently.  Hug it out, be nice to each other, etc, etc, etc... does not work. What works is accountability for behavior and performance and living the consequences or benefits of good performance and decisions.

It is sad IMHO. 

I for one think that there should be consequences for people who interfere in areas where they have no business having input. If that interferance is found to be eronious or frivolus then the liabilities should be financially devistating to the one interfering.  If they care enough about what they are interfing in to risk their families immediate and life long financial security in the event they are wrong... the they can role the dice.

Rather than the cowardly anonymous call how about just walking up and engaging in conversation with the people being observed? "How are you? Is there anything I can help you with?" then adjusting to any events that unfold.

IMHO of course.


chupacabra's picture

I probably didn't give enough detail, but the kids were never left to fend for themselves.  Yes, the kids went days and sometimes weeks with only neighbors physically checking in on them at home.  I explained to the skids why I would not leave their dad in the hospital and asked them what they to be with them or to be with their dad?  All skids said they wanted me to stay with their dad.  The school counselors, administrators, and teachers were aware of the situation and I was in constant contact with them concerning the kids grades/behavior.  One of BF/DH's neighbors and friends was youngest SS's teacher.  Youngest SS hated it, but even she was a regular visitor bringing the kids dinner.  Their dad slipped into a coma 2 weeks before his death.  As long as he was able, their dad spoke with the children each morning before school, when they got home from school, and every night before they went to bed, and sometimes a few times in-between. I did the same when he was too sick and after he slipped into a coma.  Neighbors checked in on them daily, as well....some just to stop in and say hello as they walked their dog. The kids ate breakfast every morning with family friends/neighbors (SS13's best friend's family), ate lunch at school, then either ate dinner with neighbors or family/neighbors brought them dinner and they ate dinner with my skids in our home.  Sometimes neighbors would just drop off the hot meal, groceries, or chocolate and waffles on weekend mornings, a goodie bag of sweets, etc.  Most nights, the skids slept in their own beds and yes, without an adult sleeping under the same roof with them, but there were also a lot of sleep-overs at friend's homes.  Neighbors were cleaning my home, keeping the home stocked with groceries, taking care of yard work, taking care of maintenance on the home, walking the dog, taking skids to dental appointments, etc.  Yes, the skids were alone each evening for days and even weeks at a time, but I wouldn't exactly call that having to "fend for themselves".   I don't know about you, but most kids I know hibernate into their rooms the moment they get home from school anyway. 

And of course BF/DH and I discussed what would happen to his kids when he died.  By law, BM would regain custody.  He and I discussed me taking care of them if BM allowed it.  That was my suggestion because he would have never asked me to take on that responsibility.  When it became obvious that chemo was not working and he would not live but a few more weeks, he tried to contact BM several times and asked her if she'd agree to letting the kids stay with me.  She never returned his calls. He finally emailed her and explained that he was dying and that he didn't want the kids to have to switch schools and lose their friends, etc.  Her one word reply was, "so."  I offered to care of his children because I love him.  He was fully aware how I felt about his kids and that it was not fair to me to give up my life to care for children that are not mine.  I would have and still would give my life for him.  Taking care of children that I didn't want or didn't even particularly like was not how I wanted my life to turn out, but if taking care of them gave him comfort in his last few weeks, then it was/is worth it.  Do I like it?  No.  Do I like his kids?  Not particularly any more/less than I do anyone else's kids, and I don't care for SD21 at all.  Do I wish SS13 was already 18 and away at college?  YES!!  Do I wish the kids had somewhere else to live that was safe and would allow them to stay in their school district, with their friends?  HELL YES!!  But I made a promise to my BF/DH.  I didn't make that promise with the intent of not following through with it.

And from the years that I had come here and read posts, this site is mostly about people that hate their step-kids for very good reason, have spouses that allow their biological children to treat their spouse like shit and ruin their marriages, and/or people that have come up with solutions/ideas (disengage) to deal with skids from hell and less than desireble/spineless spouses.  I'm glad you think I have all the answers, but I came here hoping someone had some solutions on how to motivate a lazy, immature, disgusting 18 year old into wanting to move out.  Having him actually want to move out and be on his own would be ideal to forcing him to move mid-August.  I was hoping someone on the site had a similar situation and could offer advice/suggestions.  I didn't know how to ask for advice/solutions without explaining how I got in the situation that I'm in. If I had offered no other details besides "my spouse of 3 weeks died and I want to kick out his 18 year old son when he graduates high school because he is unmotivated", I know fully well what advice would have been offered.  Again, I know how most people on this site feel about their step kids.  They wouldn't be here if their skids brought images of rainbows and butterflies.  I'm fortunate in that I never had to deal with skids being placed before me by a spouse or being allowed to be disrespectful to me. That is why I tried to explain that even though I don't like/want the kids, the kids aren't really bad....and how I got in a situation that I didn't exactly want.

chupacabra's picture

Again, I want everyone to know the skids are all good kids.  No drugs.  No drinking.  No bad friends.  Good grades.  Respectful to adults.  Never hostile towards me.  Always do what I ask.  Ask before bringing friends over.  Ask permission for everything.  Just normal kids.  The two oldest had the longest influence from their BM so they are a lot like her.  Youngest SS was only 4 when his parents separated and he really only remembers living with his dad...he doesn't really remember living with the two of them as a family.  The two oldest skids are just not likeable.  I try, I really do, but I just really don't like them.  SS18 has thanked me numerous times for all that I do for him and his little brother.  He gets it.  He knows they're basically orphans and without me they'd basically be sleeping on the floor in a druggie part of town.  I just need to figure out how to make him grow up and "want" to move out.  He says he is, but I just don't see how. 

StepUltimate's picture

I think you are an amazing, kind, thoughtful, loving, all-out incredibly awesome parent, and a true-love to your late husband. I love SS18 and have a different situ but the same basic question: how to motivate him to do for himself & start adult life instead of being lazy & avoiding everything. I love him, but no longer like him due to the disrespect, lies & manipulations. It's something I would like to resolve, too. 

Glad you're here posting.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I don't think I've ever read a story quite like yours on STalk. You're one Hell of a human being. And condolences on the loss of your DH. I've also lost a loved one to colon cancer, so my heart goes out to you. You've been through an awful lot.

It's not really surprising that the two eldest kids are mostly feral. Their childhoods weren't the best, and even though a wonderful village stepped up for them, they just didn't get that one-on-one, detail oriented, "I'm on you like white on rice 'cause I love you" discipline and  guidance kids need. At least there's hope for the youngest - thanks to you.

I think you should have a sit down, formal, come to Jesus talk with your SS18. As in, tell him on Monday that there's a meeting on Saturday at ___ time and to come prepared to outline his post graduation plans so you can go over them together. Does he know he has to move out by ___ date?

Even if this kid is an a$$hole, he needs help drawing up a step by step plan for what he needs to do, and how to go about it. Eighteen these days means  dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to life skills,  and this kid has had no one to teach him how to iron a shirt, tie a tie,  cook, budget, shop, manage money, or ace a job  interview.  If you offered to give him a crash course in these things, do you think he'd accept your help? I get that you  don't like him and have a lot on your plate, but isn't it the right thing to do as his father's proxy?

chupacabra's picture

I joined steptalk years ago because of how much I dislike SD.  I just couldn't believe what an incredibly unlikeable kid she was and I remember typing in the phrase "I hate my step kids" and this site popped up.  This was probably at least 5 or 6 years ago.  I never posted anything....just read about problems people had with their skids and wondered if all teenagers were terrible.  It seems that a divorce turns dang near every child into an asshole.   Of all the skids, I really dislike SD the most.  Other than being smart, I really can't say anything positive about her.  DH and I worked together many years ago and we stayed in contact through the years because we worked in the same field (IT) and we were still in contact when he found out his wife was cheating on him and when left his wife.  I remember the very first time that I met my DH, when talking about his daughter he said, "I love her, but I don't like her.  I don't like anything about her."  She was 8 at the time.  She never got any better.  She truly is an unlikeable, narcissistic bitch.  I've tried to like her, but heck, even her dad didn't like her.   I was never involved in the skids lives until their dad got sick, but I knew as soon as I met SD that I'd never be able to live in the same house with her.  Steptalk brought me a lot of insight about skids and DH and I knew we'd NEVER let his kids come between us the way everyone on this site says they do.  We were counting down the days until the youngest would be out of high school and we could marry, retire, and move far, far away from these kids...we were going to live our life and they could live theirs....seriously, we had it all planned out and it did not include kids once they were off to college.  One of the reason we maintained separate homes was so the skids didn't interfere in our relationship.  It really was the perfect relationship.  We were that perfect couple that everyone talks about.  We never argued.  He handled any problems with his kids.  We had our relationship and he had his relationship with his kids...and the two rarely intertwined.  Our biggest concern was where to go out to dinner.  And then cancer struck.  And I suddenly found myself making skid's breakfast, packing school lunches, contacting teachers and school administrators, introducing myself to my DH's neighbors and explaining what was going on, and a million other things that I never thought I'd have to do.  I know how I got here, but it still doesn't seem like my life.  I prayed so many times that I'd wake up and this all had been a dream. 

Aside from SD, the other two kids are good.  And I'm sure there is some good in SD...somewhere, deep down....maybe.  But I don't like her so I'm not worried about finding that "elusive goodness" in her.  SS13 uses SD21 as an example almost daily of "what not to do or how not to act", so I don't worry so much about him other than that he doesn't have a man in his life.   SS18 is immature, lazy and disgusting, but I think that might just be a universal trait in most 18 year old boys.  He would never be an asshole or be disrespectful to me. I have never worried about that.  I just want him to grow up and move on.  He gets such good grades that I was hoping he'd want a career in engineering or something like that.  He spoke for years about going to school to become a dentist.  He decided against that when he learned how deeply he'd go into debt for dental school.  I'm still hoping he'll wise up and go to college next semester.  Regardless of his plans or lack of them, he's moving out mid-August.  

gonzoroach21's picture

what kind of angel are you. My goodness woman, you really stepped up and stepped in. Bless your heart. Most people would have dropped Skids off soon after (sorry for your loss) BFs passing. what kinda POS BM would not take custody of her kids and raise them. Some people's children, I swear. I've heard of good people, and us as step parents, we really have to be a special kind of person to take on someone else's responsibility, but this, this is like you really really really stepped up. Def restores my faith in humanity, however, I certainly hope you find some boundaries for the sake of your sanity. Tough love? 

chupacabra's picture

What's weird is that I worked with DH many, many years ago and he and his wife (BM) and me and my BF at the time would go out together.  BM was a completely different person then.  She was actually a decent mom and then she turned 36 and cried and cried about being old.  I am older than her so I was like WTF???  She had a mid-life crisis and was never the same.  Started dressing like a teenager, wanting to go out and party, started getting tattoos, and years later began cheating.  She basically decided that she didn't want to be married and didn't want to be a mom any longer.  When they divorced, it was as if she divorced the kids too.  We kept thinking she'd get over the "mid life crisis", but she seems just as bad now as ever.  The kids really have no chance if they have to live with her. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Are the kids (or you) getting any type of grief counseling? What about your SS18's school guidance counselor?

NarcissisticSkids's picture

Wow, you are an amazing person!! No matter what else happens from here on out- the kindness and mercy you have shown the skids is amazing!! Your hubby is walking on streets of gold, and there will be an extra jewel in your “crown” some day for looking out for the kids!!!

Rags's picture

You are an amazing and kind person to make and keep this promise to your husband.  He is a blessed man to have spent much of his life with  you  and to have had you at his side at the end of his life.  Your Skids are blessed to have you too, whether they recognize it or not.  As for BM... who cares?


As for the adult SSpawn.... they have made their own beds and now it is time for them to lay down in those beds.  We also gave our kid (My SS-25) until the end of the summer after HS graduation though our motivator was not entirely altruistic. He didn't turn 18 until the end of the summer. So we let him enjoy his last summer until he reached 18.  Then he had to either be in school full time or working full time in order to live at home. We even made that cost free for him if... he met the stipulations we set.  Nope, not interested in college. I am actually proud of him for how he addressed that with us. Though we badgered him incessently about getting into school he finally sat us down and told us that eventually he would finish a degree but he was not ready to put in the effor and it would be a waste of our money and his time.  Though it took me some time to digest that perspective in hindsite I am very proud of him for recognizing reality and sticking to his decision with his mom and I.  So on to the have a full time job alternative stipulation. Nope, not interested.  So ... we worked that kids ass off. 

The day after his 18th birthday he became our live in beck-&-call boy/chore bitch.  That kid vacuumed, mopped, dusted, scrubbed, polished, scraped, painted, washed, dried, folded, put away, weeded, edged, trimmed, brushed cobwebs off of the outside of the house, pressure washed, sliced, diced, chopped, cut, cooked, served, cleaned and then did it all over again day after day.  Every couple of weeks his mom added more to his incessent chore list.  After 4mos he enlisted in the USAF on the delayed entry program and we continued to work his ass off for four more months until we dropped him off to the MEPS center to ship out for BMT.  As a combination graduation/birthday/enlistment/Christmas gift we bought him a new car. He let us off of the hook for his university education so we figured a new reliable vehicle was our final contribution to a debt free and mobile launch into adulthood for him. 

In 2wks he will have been in the USAF for 7 years. He is slowly progressing through his undergrad degree and with a 3yr Germany assignment he indicates that he intends to make the USAF a career for at least 20 until he is eligable for retirement... at the ripe old age of 38.  His career specialty has very good translation to the private sector so if he can execute his current plan he should do just fine in life.

So, I suggest that you light a fire under your SS-18's feet and create a burning platform to motivate him to jump on the schedule  you have established for him.  At that point he can finish growing up on his own time and his own dime.  This is how we dealt with this phase with our kid.  I must not have been entirely evil since he asked me to adopt him when he was 22.  So... now we have papers documenting what was always the case since his mom and I met when he was 15mos old.

As for the trust fund and not awarding it until the Skid's each turn 40... that is exactly (almost) what we did in our Will.  We are each the others sole heir and beneficiary in the event either of us predeceases the other.  In the event of our joint demise everything goes into trust for SS until... he either completes a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or... turns 40. Whichever comes first.  This was designed to accomplish two things.... first to keep our assets completely out of hte hands of the SpermClan in the event our our demise and second to provide a last point of parenting from beyond the grave if necessary.  Our intent was not to punish the Skid but to ensure that he had either the maturity or trained intellect to responsibly utilize and preserve what his mom and I have built for our family.  Since SS is an only child in our family.... he gets the benefit whenever we are gone.

Good luck.  Take care of you.

chupacabra's picture

The service would be ideal for SS18.  He needs that structure and discipline and I fully support kids that have no clue about what they want in going into the service straight out of high school   But SS18 has asthma so cannot join any service.  He's already checked into it.  He even contemplated briefly about lying about it, but he has to take steroids daily.  No way to fudge the truth about that.  

Honestly, SS18 is one of the smartest teens I have every met.  Much more articulate than any other teen I've fact, more articulate than the majority of adults I know.  Very, very bright in subjects that make my eyes glaze over:  math and science.  Why he can't talk about hair and makeup is beyond me??!!  He could have easily gotten an academic scholarship, but he is too lazy to apply.  In our state, he wouldn't even need a scholarship because his grades are good enough for a state grant that pays for everything except room/board.  Again, he's just too lazy.  He spoke of going to trade school, but that was only because he sees a few months of school vs. several years of school and he's all about the "easy" way in everything.  SS13 and I both have told him that he isn't built or equipped to handle any type of manual labor.  His father was a pipefitter and in hvac for years and he realized that lifestyle was too strenuous to do for very long and he was in phenomenal phsical shape. At 30, he went back to college and got his degree in computer engineering.  His salary tripled and he was able to work from home.  He never wanted any of his kids to have a trade be their chosen profession.  He attempted for years to show his sons how to weld, how to rebuild a car engine or a lawnmower or other small engine, how to run a bobcat/excavator, how to replace a water heater, how to service an air conditioner or a furnace, how to run and service a chainsaw, how to rebuild a boat engine, how to change a car's oil or brake pads or rotors, and hundred other "skilled" activities...and in every case SS18 was not interested.  SS13 was all about learning everything like that, but he was too young to be shown a lot of things.  My DH/BF's father was a machinist with the same company his entire working career and retired back when companies were still giving full pensions and he has been emphatic that learning a trade is not a good career choice.  And trust me when I say that SS18 is not blue-collar working man material.  Never will be.  He's into clowns, opera (yes opera and even taking opera lessons???!!), theater, and politics.  I support his outside interests, but nothing he is interested in is preparing him for any type of career.  No, he will never be an opera singer, on broadway, or a clown.  Will he be a state representative or mayor or some other politician?  Sadly, I think he will one day.  He has expressed an interest in running for political office and due to him being so articulate, he has been invited to several political events to speak of the " conservative young adult's" point of view on topics such as gun control, immigration, school violence/shootings, etc.  He regularly attends political rallies locally and in other state's and he actually speaks at a conservative event next month.  He has many friends/acquaintances that you've probably seen or heard of on the news.  Of all the things I expect him to follow through with is to run for political office.  His dad would be mortified...not so much with some of his political views (although some are just plain idiotic) but his desire to be a politician.  And I've told the skids to never tell their 90 year old grandfather anything of his desire to go into politics.  He thinks all politicians are crooks and liars...and I don't think very highly of any politicans either.   

The problem with SS18 is that he is very immature and wants the easy way out of everything.  While all of his friends have made plans to attend college or join the service, he's talked about things that he could not or should not ever do....just unbelievably childish ideas. Live in a van working on a road crew in North Dakota....Stupid.  Move to South Africa and become some kind of freedom fighter....Absurd.   Become an opera singer....Ain't happening.  He's not prepared to live on his own, but I'm not going to wait years for him to grow up.  He's going to sink or swim.  I'm betting on him a rock....for a long time. 

Rags's picture

The grandiose fantasy syndrome (my made up condition for what your DS is dealing with) is strong in many children from hardworking successful marriages. 

I grew up as an Expat kid.  Me and all of my peers lived very privileged lives.  Privileges earned by our parents.  It amazes me how many kids from that background struggle as adults.  How many that have the perspective that they are destined for greatness without ever making the connection between effort and outcome.

When I was growing up as an Expat kid this was exacerbated by going off to boarding school after completing 9th grade.  Education for Expat kids in KSA back in the day only went through 9th grade. Then we all either went off to boarding school, lived with relatives for HS or the families just left to return to their state side lives so the kid(s) could go to school in an intact family situation.

Add boarding school to the privileged Expat kid experienced and it is a perfect storm of delusions of greatness.  Though he was not an Expat kid my BFF in Military School was the poster child of this mentality.  He did extremely well in Military School, commissioned as an officer in the US Army reserves, served in the Guard and in Desert Shield/Desert Storm and is the son of the local small town doctor (his mom and dad owned the small town hospital) he never translated well into adulthood.  He actually worked for me for about 5 years when I owned my own company and he and I had a falling out and I fired him for abandoning his job.

I too struggled with these issues though my issues were not hard work, my issues were about lack of focus. That is part of the reason I was on the 11 year undergrad plan in college.  I graduated with my BSEE two weeks after my 30th birthday.  I loved school and would change my major nearly every semester after I took an elective that I liked. I graduated with my BS with ~250 semester hours of credit.  I drove my parents nuckin futz.  So much so that after my first two years of college they cut me off until my last two years of college after they gained confidence that I had pulled my head out of my own butt.

Political office is not likely if your DS doesn't get his butt into college and build some qualifications and life experience to sell to the voter. However, probably the prototypical example of what I am talking about is a Military School classmate of my younger brother who lived with us in engineering school.  He never did do any anything successful with college, worked as a laborer for decades, did start his own residential construction company and last year was elected to his State legislature.

So, stranger things can happen but ... not without concerted effort and success whether that success if through higher education or the education of life.



sallyjane9999's picture

I admire you! What an incredible woman you are!  I have no advice for you.  I just wanted to let you know that I think what you are doing is incredible and shows an unbelievable amount of love...even if you say you don't necessarily love these kids, you must love them quite a bit to step up and take this role on.  I am a step-parent to 2 very ungrateful, hateful, disrespectful, very badly behaving children (13 and 18 year old girls).  I could never take on what you have taken on with my two step-kids.  Their mother is also a real work of art.  She gave up her rights to her kids 5 years ago because she did not want to have to go through a drug treatment program.  So she is still addicted to drugs and would rather live that life than be there for her 2 daughters.  I would never let my 2 step-kids end up with her if something happened to their father....but I also don't know that I could do what you are doing.  But two are completely different types of kids than the 3 you have.  I was previously married to a man with 3 children whom I absolutely ADORED.  So for those 3, I would have done what you are doing. But even then it would be hard.  So my heart goes out to you.  I hope that one day you are greatly rewarded for all that you have done.  What a blessing you truly are to these kids and their father.  God bless you!