still learning's picture

Disney Dad (exH) finally gives up

So I get a text from exH yesterday saying that next week he is bringing DS20 here to live w/me because he is making no *progress* with him. No asking me if it would be OK, can I afford to feed an unemployed grown man? Nothing, just "He's yours now, deal with it."

It's been 2 years since ds20 graduated High School. I've begged DH to get him enrolled in a tech program, get a job, volunteer, anything at all. exH fought me the whole time, calling me overbearing and controlling; all the while enabling and coddling ds20 in his video game playing and trips to the fridge. ds20's adolescense had been overextended while ds17 who has lived with me, is off to college on a full ride scholarship. One is out the door and the other is back!

I know it could be worse. I hear the horror stories about 30 year olds in this situation so luckily I'm able to catch it now and redirect him to get off his @$$ and start moving in life. So annoyed that I have a classicly coddled COD and disney exH who fought for *custody* of this grown man for 2 years and then just dumps him on me.

I believe the real reason behind this is that exH has a new gf who told him that she's not moving in if he has adult kids living with him. DH is not thrilled about the situation but we are both committed to getting him to adult ASAP. DH coddled ss32 for years and does not want to spend the time or money coddling my kids. We've decide that he's not going to get too comfortable and will not get his own room even though we have spare bedrooms. He gets to bunk w/ds15 and will have limited space unless he pays a full rent.

I'm hating exH so much right now. He's robbed ds of 2 years of his adulthood then just drops him off like an unwanted puppy. What a giant @$$!

still learning's picture

DS did have to have academic

DS did have to have academic support in high school. He's not Learning Disabled but does need help and guidance in certain areas.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

renewal 11-11's picture

What does your DS15 think

What does your DS15 think about sharing a room?

still learning's picture

He's fine with it. He already

He's fine with it. He already has a bunk bed and really doesn't spend much time in his room anyway.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

NO. That simple. My SO and I

NO. That simple. My SO and I have had this talk already about his kids and they aren't even 10. I've let it be known that I don't want to live with an adult child because my sister lives with my father and it just drives me nuts. We've agreed now the only way one of the kids lives with us past high school graduation is if they are in college or working and helping to pay bills.

If you let the son in you need him to know up front what is expected and don't be afraid to drop him off at a shelter if he doesn't live up to it. I know its hard but you have to think of you and your ds15 first.

Some days are hard but you just fight through them to get to the good ones.

still learning's picture

We hope to get him working

We hope to get him working and paying bills soon enough. DH and I both work so there is no way I'm going to support an able bodied grown man. I refused to do it for ss32 and there's no way I'll do it for my kid either. There will be a time limit on his unemployment and expectations.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

sueu2's picture

Why didn't you say no?

Why didn't you say no?

notsobad's picture

I agree with everyone else!

I agree with everyone else!

No, you are Not dropping him off.
No, he's not going to live with me.

But he's your son, don't you love him?
Yes, I do love him and that's why he's not going to live here.

Where will he go?
I don't know, you and he will have to put on your big boy pants and figure it out!

still learning's picture

These were my first thoughts

These were my first thoughts and I almost called xH and said exactly that. My concern is that DS will languor in this kidult state for many more years. Then it'll be a 25 yr old helpless man that gets dropped on my doorstep. exH won't take the time to give him direction and help him launch. It's easier just to pacify DS and let him do whatever he wants.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

Maxwell09's picture

I get not saying "No." He's

I get not saying "No." He's your kid and your DH isn't putting up too much of a fuss about him coming back as long as he gets on track to adulthood. Well maybe you should let the Adult know all of these expectations before he even sit on the couch. The adult might decide he doesn't want to play by your rules either. Have a family meeting the second he walk in the door and tell him what is and what isn't about to happen.

still learning's picture

DH and I talked about what

DH and I talked about what expectations we had for DS. We wrote it all out and I called DS and told him that this is the way it's going to be at my house. He agreed to everything so we'll see how it goes. But you're right, he may change his mind and decide to stay with good ol dad who lets him do whatever he wants. exH seems to be done though, too much effort to motivate the sloth he created.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

notasm3's picture

As much as I despise

As much as I despise user/losers - I am in favor of giving someone a chance to get out of a bad situation. But they need to be making a SINCERE effort to improve their life. Perfection is not required but a big EFFORT is mandatory.

Anything less is "get out of here".

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire." William Butler Yeats

still learning's picture

I agree. I'm going to give

I agree. I'm going to give him this chance. He's going to have to make a lot of effort right away or he's turning straight around and going back to his father.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

somethingwicked's picture

As everyone else is saying

As everyone else is saying "just say no" . I agree.

But if you feel you need to help launch this young son who is now an adult and behind in his progress b/c of your ass ex then tell ExH he has to fork over money for the 20 year old's room/ board and any other $$ you need to support this man moving in with you.

Let's face it ,your Ex was subsidizing this man child that he created post high school through his bromance coddling.

Whatever money that was required for DS20 to live well in ExH's crib that is the cost you expect ExH to contribute to your household to help get this son launched into the world.
After all the delay is your Ex's fault and DS20 ,too.

Lazy or ill prepared ,whatever the reason ,your Ex did the fellow no big favors Pal-ing around with DS20.

You poor kid. It's like an episode of the Walking Dead.
They keep coming back!

still learning's picture

xH *generously* offered to

xH *generously* offered to give me $150 a month to help out until DS got a job. I told exH that $5 a day would not even be enough to feed him. He still eats like a teenager, then there's hot water, electricity, gas for his car and so on. I told him that I couldn't afford to take him in and then xH offered a more reasonable amount.

I agree it's both of their faults. xH wanted to control the situation, keep at least one of his children with him and not pay child support for DS. DS rebelled, chose to live w/his father through high school then xH pacified DS to the point of helplessness by giving him everything and not requiring anything in return. For years I was told to shut up, butt out and go away. Now I'm tasked with fixing the problem.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

Acratopotes's picture

it's still your son, yes your

it's still your son, yes your ex is an asshole..... you can't exactly say NO....

Now is the time DH have to keep his mouth shut, he's been supporting his 32 year old since birth, there's nothing wrong with you helping out your 20 year old.

1. DS can be dropped off, no problem
2. These are the rules:
Either enroll in peace corps, Military or find a job within a month. After this he's out (maybe 3 months)
While unemployed responsible for cleaning the house and garden in exchange for meals
DS will not get any financial assistance or wifi passwords to game, he will be to busy find a job and working
DS will not go to a college or anything, that door closed, he will work
DS will not have the use of any vehicle in the yard, he can walk or make use of public transport
Every night you want to see where he applied and what he did through the day
If he does not respect the other house people he's out on his ass

You can get this kid on the right tracks now, yes 2 years wasted, but simply tell DS that was his gap years and college years.... run his life like a jail... no freedom until he grew up and have a paying job, he will still need to clean the house and yard and he will have to pay rent

Blended family life turned me into a pirate....
All I want to do is drink Rum and stab people

HRNYC's picture

These sound like fair rules

These sound like fair rules in general. I might not close the door on college, but I would want to see a lot of progress first.

Acratopotes's picture

Ah you get it, we never close

Ah you get it, we never close the door on college, but bumming 2 years, I doubt he knows what he wants to do and I've learned a hard lesson in enrolling my son into something I thought he would like to do.... he agreed cause he wanted to make me happy.... did not work out for both of us

I gave him these rules and he got a sales consultant job after a week... I'm still not happy - I belief you need something you can fall back onto, some formal education... but kid is happy earning a living, paying for himself and well... he can work himself up in the company ... it's his life not mine... that was the hardest to accept being a Mama Bear

Blended family life turned me into a pirate....
All I want to do is drink Rum and stab people

HRNYC's picture

It is not only not knowing

It is not only not knowing what he wants to do, IMHO, it is bad habits for two years. Not getting up and going to school or work for two years, to me the kid would need to show self-discipline before I would support him going to college.

StepAside's picture

I agree absolutely. We paid

I agree absolutely. We paid for 2 years of F's from my MSD32. She wasn't working. All she had to do was go to school. She later claimed she was too depressed to go to school... which was directly across the street from her paid-for apartment. Did she get help? Seek treatment? No, she just continued to skip class, lie to DH and say she was doing great and then make him out to be the bad guy every time he found out she had made more F's.

I told DH he needed to hold her accountable. It was too easy to blow through our money, and she was doing herself no favors.

Fast forward to our son. He failed a course. I had him pay us back for the course. He had 2 minor fender benders. Then he had an accident, his fault, wasn't paying attention. I paid $3k cash to get it resolved without insurance, and he's now paid us back $2k of it.

He's learning as he is being held accountable. MSD32 is going back to college now. We're not giving her a dime. I don't care if she blames me. I blame her and DH. They had their chance to do it their way, F's and all, no consequences, no effort, no responsibility. She wasn't prepared. She shouldn't have been in college until she was.

But yeah, bad habits are hard to break. After OP's kid has been allowed to do nothing but eat and game for 2 years, college would be a struggle. Not saying he couldn't do it IF HE wanted to. But it would be surprising to find that he actually wanted to... do anything.

secret's picture

When I was in high school, I

When I was in high school, I was in gifted classes. I took accelerated courses from grade 9-11, which means that in my 12th grade, I only actually had 2 grade 12 courses, the rest were grade 13, which is an optional 5th year pre-uni prep year.

I dropped out halfway through November of that year - my grades in those last two grade 12 courses were such that I didn't have to show up at the exams nor hand in any more work, to receive a passing grade.

I was nearly expelled from school because of it - my attendance record was crap, I was 2 classes away from expulsion.

I was also 16 years old. I'd moved out of my house at 15.

Instead of going to school, I went to look for full time work. I put in applications everywhere...and within a few weeks, landed myself a job at a local coffee shop, where I worked for 4 months before my mother found out I'd dropped out of high school.

Because of the way I went through high school, even having dropped out, my grades allowed for me still receiving my high school diploma - it's not like I lost out on anything.

When they found out, my grandmother offered to pay for beauty school for me. She said that I wouldn't ever amount to much, and that was the final offer she could make that might get me somewhere in life, since I was an absolute failure.

I rejected her offer. Beauty school? No way - I had bigger plans.

While I worked at the coffee shop, I "temped" at a law firm, running errands - for no pay. Yes - NO PAY. After a few months, they hired me on with pay. While I was working there, an employment agency found me a temporary job working for the government... I took it...ended up making close to 40,000 a year by the time I was 17 years old.

I was with the government nearly 10 years - and only then did I decide what I wanted to study in... I had been able to see trends...and wanted to go in HR. I started paying for online part time college classes, and ended up, over the course of a few years, getting a college diploma in Applied Management, another in Human Resources Management, and one in Business Communication. During this, I took the necessary classes needed to obtain a degree in Business Administration - which I'm currently in the process of completing. Once done, I will have the college diploma - but plan to roll it over to University, where I can use the credits and go for an MBA.

Take that, Gramma.

Not really sure where I was going with this... I think it had to do with a truant drop out not ending up a deadbeat if they have a plan and are motivated to go for it...Not sure, I was working on casefiles at the same time. Sticking out tongue

SugarSpice's picture

eat and game for two years?

eat and game for two years? how about 10 years? my nephew is a wannabe rock band member who spends his time between, eating sleeping and gaming. his father my brother gives the young man no responsibilities. the young man is 30 years old.

i stopped talking about this last year as they only get mad at me. its horrible though to watch.

still learning's picture

This is exactly what I fear

This is exactly what I fear and why I'm agreeing to having ds20 dropped off. I'd rather deal w/a slow launching 20 yr old rather than a dead set in his ways 30 yr old. A while ago I decided that I was out, the two of them could deal w/it and now here I am dealing with it. exH should be here tomorrow w/ds20 in tow.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

SugarSpice's picture

i agree you cant just turn

i agree you cant just turn away your son, but there will be rules. these are great rules to get the young man started on a productive life without enabling him. dont make it easy to live at your house.

animals are smarter than humans in getting their chicks to leave the nest. when the cubs are old enough mother bear will stop giving them enough food and forcing them to take trips from the den to find enough food themselves. finally mother bear will let them know when to leave for good. if they try to get back into the den mother bear with take her paw and swipe them away. its her way of saying you are old enough to be on your own. go out and find a mate and start your own lives. you dont see two adult bears mother and child living in the same den!

(i see step aside had the same ideas below)

still learning's picture

Thanks for the suggestions,

Thanks for the suggestions, those are great rules and pretty much what DH and I came up with. DS already has a car because xH bought one for him so there is the issue of earning gas money. If I say no now I feel like I'll just be postponing the issue and have to deal with him when he's older and even more helpless, so now is the time.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

StepAside's picture

Don't you just loathe

Don't you just loathe unilateral decisions that get made? How often do we see dads go against conventional parenting standards to forge their own ideas, with nothing more to guide them than the need for their children's approval. Pllleeeeeease tell me I'm your hero... I'll save you from life.. my wife.. everything and anything that might challenge you, including responsibilities.

The arrogance from men when they do this is astounding. Our role as parents is to help our kids become independent.

Have you ever seen an adult mama papa bird, old and missing half his feathers, still feeding his obese son who fills all of the nest? Oh, and then shove him out of the next when he has never learned to fly?

still learning's picture

^^^All of this! xH did all of

^^^All of this! xH did all of the above, anything to ensure that DS would continue to choose to live w/him. Didn't make him try any sports, clubs, no part time job, not even drivers ed. He was rescuing DS from me, the evil mother who would make DS do chores and play a sport or get a job. DS did nothing in his spare time but play video games for close to 6 years now.

xH wants his gf to move in so he's done. Lazy enabled son has got to go.

Nope, does not know how to *fly* at all and just barely learned how to drive. He's mentally about 16 and now I get to try to undo all the years of laziness.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

StepAside's picture

My DH tends to go soft on our

My DH tends to go soft on our kids. It's his nature. However.. when he's chosen this route, I have been quick to remind him that he had his shot at making unilateral parenting decisions for his other kids, so he can step aside, ain't happening with ours. And it hasn't. When we've made parenting decisions, we can usually come to an agreement. Usually the ideas created are mine, and he defaults to me.

Because the last thing I ever want, is for our kids to grow up to be like his other kids. Unchallenged, unbridled thinking in kids leads to some pretty entitled beliefs. I've always known I wasn't going to be on board with raising princesses.

still learning's picture

"Unchallenged, unbridled

"Unchallenged, unbridled thinking in kids leads to some pretty entitled beliefs."

This is true and much easier to deal w/if you are still an intact family. Co parenting was virtually non existent in our relationship. He basically kept ds20 as *his* and did everything he could to fight me on every single thing.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

secret's picture

Ok, so you got stuck with

Ok, so you got stuck with your son who is for all intents and purposes, an unemployed childish man. (not bashing your son, just going off the unemployed videogaming fridge trips)

Take away the aspect that he is your son, as opposed to a stepkid.

It's not technically his fault he's where he's at. Ok well it is, but daddy enabled it... so...

give him 30 days (at this point, to end of June) to get a job and find an apartment, and make it clear he's up the creek if he hasn't found anything

still learning's picture

"an unemployed childish

"an unemployed childish man"

That's exactly what he is plus: spoiled, lazy, entitled, overweight, arrogant, sexist...and the list goes on. xH created a real piece of work and doesn't want to deal with him anymore.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

HRCity's picture

Well, your exDH has a point:

Well, your exDH has a point: someone let him be a food addict/video game junkie. He's an adult. What you guys have been doing hasn't worked. In this case, mother does not know best. You haven't a clue. Obviously your younger kid was plenty motivated to launch, which might not have a lot to do with your parenting, some kids are just incredibly motivated, no matter their upbringing/circumstance. Want to know how to launch him? Say: time to get your own place son.

still learning's picture

I haven't had much say in his

I haven't had much say in his upbringing for the last 6 years since he chose to live with his father. So no, I don't have a clue. He rebelled against me and disney daddy took over. He will need some guidance to adult and I hope he takes it because I do not have the patience for a grown lazy entitled unemployed man under my roof. He's my kid, I love him and will give him a *hand up* but he'll have to run with it or turn right back around and go back to daddy...and xH's new gf.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

SacrificialLamb's picture

My DH, at 19, did horrible at

My DH, at 19, did horrible at the big party school he went to. After his grades that year, I said I would no longer pay for his college up front. He had to pay up front and if he got above a 3.0, I would reimburse him. He whined big time that he could not afford to go back to the big party school. Yup, no he couldn't. Evil

I told him he was not going to be living in our house over the summer and onward doing absolutely nothing. So I helped him come up with alternatives:

- military
- he could go live with his father
- go work on a cruise ship
- live and work at Vail, in their employee housing, and snowboard in your off time.
- work to save up money to go to school. He could live at home rent free if he went to school full time and lived there responsibly.
- if he planned on living at home and not going to school, then he had to pay rent. Which meant he had to work more.
- I also told him I saw no reason for him to waste his time on college since he appeared to be completely happy with wasting his life playing video games. Why should I be paying for his college if that was his main goal in life? Just get a job and rent an apartment with buddies and then you can play video games all you want. But you will NOT be doing it in MY house. It was harsh, but it got him thinking.

He bitched and whined but I told him welcome to adulthood. He threatened to live with his dad: "ok great! Let's get it set up." Then he backed off. He got a job in the produce section at a grocery store. OMG he hated it. He said he was not going to spend his life like that. He saved up money to attend community college, and did that for two years. He then transferred to another state school. He's graduating next semester with a 3.8. And for the last year he has thanked me several times for the tough love. His card this past mothers day made me cry.

Watching your child struggle becoming an adult sucks. But the alternative is worse.

still learning's picture

So glad to hear the tough

So glad to hear the tough love worked with your son. Good Job! I plan on employing tough love too. Military, going back to dad, Americorps, McDonalds, etc. will all be options. DS is used to staying up all night playing video games and sleeping all day. When he gets his own place he can have a ball doing that but not here. I'm sure it'll be a tough transition but hopefully on some level he's ready to get moving in life. He's got to start sometime.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

StepAside's picture

I hope Americorps is a last

I hope Americorps is a last option. Are you going to charge him rent? I think if you can get your son into the routine of paying you, then he will grow accustomed to having to go to work to pay you. The alternative is to go to work for many more hours, to actually afford to live on his own. My son pays us, but we put the money back into his college fund.

still learning's picture

Yes he will definitely be

Yes he will definitely be paying rent as soon as he gets a job. I like the idea of me putting money into a college/tech school fund for him.

And now I'll do what's best for me.

StepAside's picture

Watching them struggle is

Watching them struggle is tough. But watching your boundaries and guidance navigate them toward adulthood, and witnessing their transformation is pretty sweet.

Our son is very intelligent. I had to stay on him all through high school. And I've been on him through college so far. It wasn't like he was disrespectful, entitled or a party hound. College just didn't seem like much of a priority to him.

He's been working most of the past year. And despite reminding his supervisor that he's a college student, he has been put on the schedule 6 days a week every week now for months. And that has been a great lesson for DS. He know finally knows what it's like to work full-time, go to school and try to have a life. I think one of the best lessons he has learned, is how little he still makes after putting in so many hours. Yes he could live on it, but that's not how he wants to live.

My DS also works in a grocery store, lol. Perhaps that is the key to the turnaround thinking!

We have some friends who did the college reimbursement thing with their daughter too. She graduated from nursing school.

At the time, no matter what I said, my DH was just going to keep paying. And paying. If the GOAL was for the kid to receive a college degree, enabling them to flunk is not a positive contributing factor.

But oh no... I was being a greedy SM be mentioning that. Makes me think their goal was more short-sighted and emotionally based. MSD wanted to play the part of a college student, to boost her ego. DH wanted to be the big daddy, to boost his. Was more about titles than results.

SacrificialLamb's picture

My DS has now worked at three

My DS has now worked at three different stores (northern chains and now a southern chain) and at each one, management puts him on the schedule whenever they feel like it, despite how many hours he requested or if he asked for time off to study for an exam. He definitely had to learn time management!

He has worked in the deli and the produce section. He's an introvert, so I think the constant customer contact drives him crazy.

I worked at McDonalds. That did it for me too!

StepAside's picture

I love it, my son is too.

I love it, my son is too. He'd be more content just stocking shelves. But he gets drills by customers all the time and is interrupted. He hates it but I love it. Forcing him to learn to interact and grow his customer relations skills. Plus, now he knows what he doesn't want to do for a living, so he's more committed to getting his degree so he can do what he wants to do for a living.

I don't like what they are doing to him about the schedule tho. He's a college student. He has never called in sick, he's reliable as the day is long. They lose co-workers left and right, and his supervisor takes off on weekends. So he's looking for another job. Working 6 days a week? He was supposed to be part-time.

Rags's picture

Nope. The kid is an adult. He

Nope. The kid is an adult. He can launch and support himself.

A parent is an example, mentor, confidante, advocate and disciplinarian, not a buddy.-Rags
If you can't listen and learn then you will have to feel.-WLR
If you want to be a part of my life then use your head or STFU and do what you are told.-Rags

still learning's picture

Too late, he's here. Good

Too late, he's here. Good news is that next week he has an interview for a job training program. I've had to be on him about expectations and acting like an adult rather than a kid like his younger brothers. Right now he's the chore b*tch. There is more forward motion in the last week than there has been in the last two years so I'm hopeful.

And now I'll do what's best for me.