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Question
Posted by: Desperate mom | 2012/06/29

Adult lazy son

Somebody please help me. I''ve done everything possible. I am a mom and I''m 41 years old and my son is 21. He is very lazy. He didn''t finish school and then he decided to go to college last year to try to finish his Matric. I asked him if he was sure if he wants to do that and he assured me he wants it. Now every morning I battle to get him up. I have to bang his door down. I prepaid for his college fees and it will be a lot of loss for me financially as well. The college sent me a letter if he doesn''t do better he will be expelled. He sit''s 24/7 at home and play games at home. And, yes I took his consoles away from him. It doesn''t stop him. He goes and finds another way to do things. I can go on and on and on.... Somebody HELP me. PLEASE!

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Why would he bother to buy an alarm clock when he only has to set Mom to wake him each morning ? By this stage, by continuing to try to protect him from the natural consequences of his chosen ( but not compulsory ) laziness and irresponsibility, you are encouraging it. Take away his games privileges - if he protests that he is an adult, say you'll believe that when yopu see him behaving like and adult, and until he is qualified and earning enough to pay for the electricity, you control what he does with it, and games are, in his situation, worse than useless. Without consoles and game boxes and computer - maybe without electricity in his room, how does he manage to continue playing ? And no food at all unless he gets to college on time and gets a good report from them. Lock the fridge and cupboards if necessary. Not a cent for any expenditure outside the home, no new clothes, etc.till he earns the cash AFTER repaying your college fee loan. And he starts with a part-time job AS WELL as college asap.
I love Purple's point that by emphasizing the wide choice of gruesome jobs only possibly available to him with his self-chosen lousy qualifications, you will be drawing his attention to the future he is choosing.
And yes, a roster of chores at home in the meantime to help pay for his board and lodging.
Also mention that you hope he is making alternative plans for his future, because if he gets expelled from the college, he will have to move out from your home and fend for himself. And repay the tuition fees you paid for him, which he is now effectively stealing from you.
Read up, online, about Tough Love.
Stepmom and the others are quite right ; you are, through misplaced love, serving as an enabler, unwittingly encouraging him to live as a predatory bum.
Where is his father, and why is he playing no part in this ?
Be strong and fierce, and that'll be the most loving thing you can do for this large child

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Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2012/07/01

@an adult lazy son - The proper tough love approach is NOT to turn your back completely on the errant person. It''s to make them face the consequences of their own behavior. For tough love to work, the person needs to know that as soon as he/she''s ready to start acting responsibly, that he/she can still get emotional support from the family who now refuse to support them financially. Without the emotional support, ''tough-love'' will hardly ever work...

Reply to Liza
Posted by: An adult lazy Son | 2012/06/29

It is is a wow to hear the advise that everyone is dishing out and I bet my Mother got the same advise from people and therefore we are all in the Loveless, Lonely, Cold and discomforting relationship we share today after parting ways and here taking a stand and saying enough is enough.

Where is this father is the greatest question? Has he known his Father? Had his father passed away? Had his Father upped and left his mother and him to go off with somebody else? Indeed if his Father is alive does his Father ever think about Him if he is not playing an active role in his life some how????

I dont want anybodies sympathy becuase its apparent that you dont see further that him being 21 and being a man doing nothing. I was about 13 when my parents got divorced due to my father''s infidelities and my dad ran off to marry the woman he had his affairs with. Now as a kid of 13 its easy to get over these things because you just started high school and you cant care about them getting divorced because you have girls to chase and clothes to wear and your peers to impress and you its easy because the real issues in your life is hidden in the constant hustle of life and being around friends, going through your adolesent phase with your peers who can relate to you...

But sadly as I in my own experience has learnt that the hurt from your childhood will manifest itself as you grow older.

Because what happens is around 17 or 18 around grade 10 or 11 specially 12 what used to be innocent party teenaged fun turns into something serious. When all your friends engage in serious relationships and you have no idea what or how to treat a woman. In every mans life His Father plays an important role as you see daily how he treats your mother and what love is. This boy is obviously lost in being a boy. For one I have a playstation 3 that i play as a grown man because that is one gift i got from my dad as a kid and some how i feel connected to him maybe not consciously but somewhere inside when i was good at playing that game or whatever the case maybe.

I have a girlfriend right now that I honestly say is the woman I want to spend my life with. In my case i have worked and I am working now and I am working towards marrying this woman to one day have my own family and treat them with all the love and support they will require in life so that they can live better than i have. And i have and still am quite lost because its hard to have to learn rights and the wrongs and the pursuit of a dream that you simply havent been guided towards. Because your mom she brings you into the world and your Dad, well he teaches you about this world and should be there to steer you in the right direction.

Best advice I can give is if this Man had been abandoned by his Dad or his parents divorced or father had passsed away there are some serious underlying issues that needs to be addressed by a trained professional. I for one wish that I had the financial resources to go and see someone to work through my self-esteem and issues i think should have been addressed. Give up on all this Oprah and Dr Phil remedies of tough love because you going to send the boy straight to taking his own life because his mother doesnt find any value in him...

Trust me, the only thing that kept me going and is keeping me going is the fact that everyone has turned their backs on me but i have an amazing woman in my life which i pray that one day i can be the best husband to her and father to our children because but that boy needs all the help he can get and tough love not it...

Reply to An adult lazy Son
Posted by: Megan | 2012/06/29

@ Purple - I love your approach - hopefully it will work for Desperate Mom. He should be ashamed of himself - 21 yrs old and still at home playing frigging games all day while his mother is out working to keep him in this lifestyle he has grown accustomed to! @ Desperate Mom - you need to be stricter with this lazy leech who is living in your home! If he does not want to change, he must leave - it''s a simple case of " you shape up or you ship out" !! He needs a swift kick under his butt to get him going and the only person who can do that is you!

Reply to Megan
Posted by: Purple | 2012/06/29

Hi,

Have you sat him down and explained that he will be repaying every cent of the cost of the course to you?

Tell him that as of this very morning, he needs to find himself a job. You can suggest he approaches supermarkets for cashiering and shelf packing jobs, petrol stations for pump attendant jobs, the city council for refuse truck work or grave digging or mortuary or crematorium assistant. He might be interested to hear all these career options open to him.

You need to start charging him rent if he is going to continue living with you, and he needs to be contributing towards the running costs of the home.

Additionally, he needs to have a roster of duties to do around the house - when he will be doing the washing up, the cooking, the vacuming, the bin emptying, the lawn mowing and so on. Don''t then do what he can''t be bothered to, tell him that if he won''t do it, then he must hire and pay for someone else to do it for him, but the respnisbility remains his.

He behaves this way because you allow it to happen.

He''s 21 - taking game consoles away is what you do with 10 year olds. He will continue to behave like a child while he is still treated like one.

He will of course kick up a fuss at what you are saying to him. So have a newspaper ready and let him find some available work options (there aren''t exactly many advertised inthe fields he''s currently qualified to work in), and let him see what flat rentals are and what groceries cost.
When its his night to cook and there is no food unless he makes it, he''ll get hte message. When its his turn to do the washing and he runs out of clothes to wear, he''ll get the message.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Tanya | 2012/06/29

I heard a story once that really made me smile. This mother discovered that her son was smoking dagga. He was also +- 20 years old, doing nothing and taking full advantage of living at home.
The day she found out about his smoking habits she actually took him, put him over her knee and wacked his bum with a belt!
Either she was a female " Chuck Norris"  or the son was so high he couldnt defend himself - just the image of this happening brings a sly grin to my face! **thinking, I''ll get you, you lazy bastard**
From this moment on this son changed his tune completely and became a wonderful, employable, joy to his parents.

There used to be, and maybe it still exists, a support group called " Tough Love" . I never needed, to go this route but perhaps it may help you, Desperate Mom. Good Luck!

Reply to Tanya
Posted by: Mommy too | 2012/06/29

I agree with Stepmom, he is not a child anymore and you should not be pampering him. Give him a time limit to sort himself out and if he refuses, maybe he should find alternative accommodation and someone else to support his lazy a$$! Where is his father in all this? At age 21 he should''ve finished school a long time ago and should''ve by now chosen a course at college or at least finished a course and found employment. You should tell him to find a part-time job to repay you for the college fees and to keep him busy if he no longer wants to attend college. But on the other hand, why should he move? He is living a dream - a roof over his head, food on the table, clothes on his back and he does not have to lift a finger to earn any of it - what a lucky man! You need to take a hard line with him - he is your child, but you are not responsible for him for the rest of his life! My two older sons left home at age 18 to go overseas. When they came back to SA after two years, they had grown up and were so responsible. I am divorced from their father and he said that when they had completed school, he was no longer going to support them financially unless they chose to to go to college. Sometimes one has to be cruel to be kind - if you do not do something now, you will be supporting him forever. I am a mother and I worry about my kids, but they had to learn to fend for themselves and they did! They are very independent and that independence came from me letting them go out into the big world and sorting themselves out! Good luck!

Reply to Mommy too
Posted by: Stepmom | 2012/06/29

I often read this. Or hear on the radio when people call in. I had such a brother and one day my mom said enough is enough. She put him on a bus to my sister in Johannesburg (from Durban) because my sister said she''ll sort him out. When he got there he got a speech and he had to chose a course complete it and get on with his life. He saw he would not get away with anything anymore.

Why must this MAN not child do anything? He has a roof over his head, food in his tummy, electricity, warm water, games etc.

You give him notice and tell him at the end of the month he needs to be out. You will no longer support him or wake him up. He either shapes up or ships out.

He goes to class on his own steam every day and THEN he can play games or he can go look for a job and a place to stay. You have to be serious and prepared to pack his stuff, put it out the door.

Reply to Stepmom
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/06/29

Why would he bother to buy an alarm clock when he only has to set Mom to wake him each morning ? By this stage, by continuing to try to protect him from the natural consequences of his chosen ( but not compulsory ) laziness and irresponsibility, you are encouraging it. Take away his games privileges - if he protests that he is an adult, say you'll believe that when yopu see him behaving like and adult, and until he is qualified and earning enough to pay for the electricity, you control what he does with it, and games are, in his situation, worse than useless. Without consoles and game boxes and computer - maybe without electricity in his room, how does he manage to continue playing ? And no food at all unless he gets to college on time and gets a good report from them. Lock the fridge and cupboards if necessary. Not a cent for any expenditure outside the home, no new clothes, etc.till he earns the cash AFTER repaying your college fee loan. And he starts with a part-time job AS WELL as college asap.
I love Purple's point that by emphasizing the wide choice of gruesome jobs only possibly available to him with his self-chosen lousy qualifications, you will be drawing his attention to the future he is choosing.
And yes, a roster of chores at home in the meantime to help pay for his board and lodging.
Also mention that you hope he is making alternative plans for his future, because if he gets expelled from the college, he will have to move out from your home and fend for himself. And repay the tuition fees you paid for him, which he is now effectively stealing from you.
Read up, online, about Tough Love.
Stepmom and the others are quite right ; you are, through misplaced love, serving as an enabler, unwittingly encouraging him to live as a predatory bum.
Where is his father, and why is he playing no part in this ?
Be strong and fierce, and that'll be the most loving thing you can do for this large child

Reply to cybershrink

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