Menu Close

Failure to launch: When your kid refuses to get up and get going.

Q: ” My son has been done with GED matric since beginning last year and is still not working. He is staying in my garage with his friend, not paying rent, but mostly buying their own groceries. He believes he is one with the universe, becoming a higher being (or something like that) and that money is evil and working is for sheep blah blah blah.
When I had a meltdown a month ago we came to an agreement that I let go of our domestic worker (who worked twice a week), and he cleans our house. He has been cleaning (but not as well), and if he was my domestic, I would’ve fired her. Which leaves me miserable and frustrated.

He told me he wants to become a Shaman. Since then there is no talk of progress and when I try talk to him he says my negative energy rubs off on him and that I am breaking his peace.
I have spoken to a Shaman, who told me that no Shaman has become a Shaman while loafing on their parent’s couch. He advised me to kick my son out on the street, but if I do that he will literally become just like all the other homeless people and it won’t actually bother him. He will lose touch with reality completely and vanish. So this is not an option. At all.
I have tested him for drugs and everything- except for Canabis- is negative.
My daughters love him so much (as I do!) and have begged me not to be too harsh with him.
I just needed to vent and share my frustration. Hoping there’s another parent here with the same problem as me?”

A: ” My son has a few friends who smoke it and he says it makes you lazy and unmotivated to do anything. How is he getting money to buy groceries and weed? Maybe cut the purse strings. He must pay for rent, own groceries etc and in order to do that he has to work. If he is not doing the cleaning job properly then he gets 3 written warnings and then he is fired.”

” He is an adult. If no boundaries are set and you let him continue this lifestyle, you are really enabling him. Being tough is, of course,  extremely hard on any parent. It’s time, not to fight, but to set the boundaries of getting a job and being accountable and responsible for his own actions. If  you do not, you will be having the exact conversation in a year’s time, on this thread. Be strong. Tough love is often what kids need and wants too.”

” I mean no disrespect to you, but if you keep enabling him and this lifestyle, you can hardly blame him for taking advantage. Your son is 20years old, surely it’s time to ‘cut the apron’ strings, put some boundaries in place and allow him to experience life on his terms. Otherwise, you need to sit back and allow this to prevail. But the old saying of ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ rings true unfortunately.”

” Perhaps, if you feel you have not tried these strategies already: What about a few sessions with a life coach? He might be fearful of his future, scared of failure, suffering from some limiting belief systems? I am all for consequences for bad behaviour, but I think it’s always best to really understand what is going on with our kids first. Sometimes is “sad,” not “bad.” Sometimes, they are just not able to articulate those fears to us, their parents, as often our own wellbeing, is wrapped up with their success. It could be that it seems easier, to a small scared young man, to bullshit and just not try, than to expose himself to external failure, judgment and rejection. Going out and facing the world could result in re-inforcement that as they fear, they are not good enough? A GED is not a Baccalaureate with 6 distinctions … perhaps there is some rebuilding work to be done, before becoming punitive?”

” Send him to a visispana retreat in worcester its a 10 day silent retreat its free they ask only a donation which is optional , he will be able to talk with shamans and gurus and also find himself amd what he truly needs , it is lofe changing, most people who journey to being a shaman go through many trials and travels so he does need to leave your garage in order to make this journey.”

” He needs a goal in life and is clearly lost. Perhaps a year of working overseas will open his eyes. Plenty jobs available on Disney Cruise ships for young ones.…

” Sadly the effects of cannabis/Marijuana differ from one person to another my child had a psychotic episode brought on by Marijuana and had to be admitted to hospital for treatment. He displayed similar behaviour to what u describe so dont under estimate the positive drug test result. The longer you postpone professional intervention the less likely and or harder it is to reverse the psychotic behaviour. I too absolutely struggled with the chuck them out story and could never do it however in hind sight I was enabling the behaviour.
As a psychiatric nurse and mother who has walked this road my best advice is to seek medical intervention as soon as possible. If it means giving him an ultimatum then so be it.”

” As a psychologist myself, I’d advise that you book an appointment to see a therapist which you can attend together, the goal being to set a plan of action in motion for getting him out of the house and on the road to independence… whichever form that may take for him. You may also benefit from having some proper support during this difficult time, and some guidance regarding how to go about setting boundaries and giving ultimatums that are fair for both of you.”

” I don’t think you should completely discount your son’s wish to be a Shaman and follow a more alternative lifestyle. But he needs to be serious with his plans and goals, he cant just say he’s going to be a shaman… what is he doing to move towards that? Sitting in the garage smoking weed and mooching off of you isn’t going to get him anywhere on a spiritual path. You need him to get real and have a serious plan with a timeline.”

” I had this for the half of last year and then I just stopped giving. No more Uber, then when he got a car no petrol money. No going out money, no data money, no new clothes. He had his room, limited meals and WiFi provided. He very quickly came right., I just focused my energy on other things and tried to remain light (and loving 😂, even though I wanted to throttle him.)  I suggest: Respect his choices, don’t make any changes to your life that works for you (like domestic help.)  And let him figure out the rest in a time frame that you both agree to. My kid is a different guy this year and still mentions what an egghead he was last year!”

” You are enabling him and can only hold yourself accountable for your frustration. Respect his way of life and give him 3 months to find a job and move out. Do not negotiate on this at all. Yes he will leave (you need to follow through on this) and let him live his life his way with his own choices and what comes from them. This will be hard for you but it’s a reality check for him. He may well be very happy sleeping in the Bush or on friends couches, this is his life and if he is happy living this free life then accept him for who he is. It’s really his life now. Alternatively if you are happy for him to stay in your garage then you have to accept all that comes with that as this would be your choice.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard