Our expert says:
Your Ex sounds distinctly feckless and perhaps personality disordered, and that might not have been helpful as far as her genetic contribution to your son goes, and apparently her bad parenting skills may also have contributed to the problem. Anyhow, it sounds useless to expect her to contribute anything to the solutions here. Maybe the boy's angry about how she has been towards him, and who could blame him ?
But children are usually much more malleable than folks think. IF the way parents and elders respond to them is planned and rational, they can become pleasant and well-mannered kids, and enjoy being so.
If the boy behaved as you describe and a counsellor found "nothing wrong with him" then either that's a dumb counsellor, or he relied on what the boy tolkd him, believed everything he was told - and that's dumb, too.
Read up about Tough Love, which may be what is needed here.
Don't expect gratitude from him, not yet. But do expect good behaviour - if he wants to live with you and freeload, he must keep to the house rules. You can't check into a hotel, repaint the room, and fail to pay the rent.
I wonder whether you and your wife have been wringing hands and HOPING he'd do the right things, without necessarily being clear exactly what you expect and indeed demand, and what the consequences will be if he fails to meet those expectations.
Among the rules, which need to be clearly spelled out to him - unfailing courtesy towards both of you, warmth when he can manage it. Specified chores done on time and done properly.
NO pocket money whatsoever - he must earn that, in his job or by keeping to the rules. No cooking or washing for him if he doesn't keep to the rules and do chores.
Maria's suggestions dovetail nicely with mine. He has to keep to minimum rules to stay at all, and has a warning qwith some 2 months notice, to come up with a better plan, to pay rent and behave properly.
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