Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Mother driven to lunacy builds nest.

After raising my kids through all those things that we Mom's have to do, you would think that I deserved a little respect. But no. What I get is headache after headache and constant arguments and hassles. I love them very much but this stuff is driving me batshit.

Is it fair that my destiny be to end up with Phyllis Dillar hair from pulling mine out and bugged out eyes that look like I've seen one too many Jerry Springer shows?
Is it fair that my kids, my own flesh and blood drive me absolutely hand-clapping, stark-raving mad? Allow me to explain. I have two sons. Jc is 22 and Donny is 20. Neither of them wants to work and Donny has no interest in going to college.

Donny did join the Navy but engineering school doesn't begin until July 2005. He still doesn't want to work and basically comes and goes as he pleases skateboarding his way around the neighborhood. If it doesn't have something to do with a skateboard or a guitar, Donny isn't interested. This makes me wonder how he will fare in the Navy since you do have to actually work while on duty.

Jc will go to college but expects us to pay for it rather than him go out and attempt to work like most other people do. He sits at his computer so much of the time, It's a wonder his ass isn't shaped like his triangular chair. He is very talented with 3D Studio and other art programs when it comes to engine design. He wanted to go to some college in California that specializes in automobile design but we simply couldn't afford the ten grand a year price. I suggested more than once that he should save all his work to a disk then we could send it to the college and any others we found in the hopes of a possible full scholarship but he won't do that either.

All their lives I have tried to teach them the value of an education while making it fun and interesting. I never used learning or reading as a chore or punishment. I stayed home rather than work to help them and take time to teach them things I knew. By first grade, both my kids could read and write fairly well. Certainly well enough to be understood. They were both in classes for gifted students and always excelled in sciences. I don't remember a class that had less than a B as a grade and most were A's for both kids.

I just don't get it. Is this yet another phase that we parents are subjected to? Please, please tell me before my last scrap of sanity goes flying into the night sky hoping to home in on the Sears tower to scan for nesting sites. And in case any of you are wondering, Yes! It is that bad!

I know there are loads more parents out there so share tips please. What am I doing wrong? Is it me? Society? Today's culture? All of the above? And no. You don't get the damn blender if you pick the right one.


  • Oh, yikes! I'll offer a stab at advice, but be forewarned, I don't have kids, I just watch Judge Judy a lot.

    First of all, Donny. Where does he get his spending money? If it's from you, stop. Allowance ends with graduation. (Hopefully he hasn't gotten an enlistment bonus yet.) If he wants the freedom of an adult, give him some of the responsibilities of one. Don't pick up anything at the grocery store beyond what you and your husband would use and enjoy. Don't do his laundry. If he leaves a mess outside his room, dump it in his room, preferably somewhere that drives him nutty (if he complains tell him it's your room until he pays rent.) You get the idea.

    I would suggest that before you start doing this with Donny that you have a sit down talk with him. Tell him you are thrilled that he has goals for the future and is taking steps towards those goal and as a result that you are thrilled to offer him a place to live, for free, until his training starts but explain that there are things you will no longer do for him since he is an adult and that you expect him to do for himself.

    As for JC, double wow. He's going to be a tough nut to crack. I'd suggest that you and your husband have a sitdown with him. Tell him the youth hostel is going out of business. Give him a time frame for he must pay to stay and any rules for living in your house. If he doesn't like the terms, then he can move. This leads nicely into budgeting, which means getting a job and how to allocate the income. Introduce him to the realities of rent, utilities, phone bills, food bills, etc. Let him figure out what he can afford. Then help him figure out what the payscale for different levels of education. Also point out how many job listings have experience as a requirement.

    You don't have to noticably yank the rug from under their feet, but do less for them and make sure that they understand why they need to do more for themselves.

    By Blogger Karen, at 11:39 AM  

  • I have long since stopped washing either of the boys clothes. I refuse to clean up after them in any way, I don't give them money - they do just enough helpful chores for friends etc, to make a few bucks. I don't buy anything for them AT ALL and nothing in the way of groceries other than what we fix for dinner. I would never deny them decent food. I don't do that even to their friends that come over.

    All the things you mentioned, we already do or in this case, don't do. This is what I can't figure out.

    None of that even matters. Both of them are content sitting here doing as little as possible and they simply don't seem to give a shit that They are doing nothing to help themselves.

    I worry that Donny will change his mind about the Navy. If he does he will have no future at all since he has no desire at all to go to college and we simply cannot afford to pay classes for someone with no desire to be there.

    I have told both of them that I honestly think it would be better if they moved out. They want to act how they like, do what they like, come and go as they please, and talk to my husband and I however they please.

    No matter when I mention them moving out, I get no response at all. They just won't go. In Dallas county, you cannot simply throw someone out. You have to file eviction papers with the court (and yes, this does apply to your own kids and this type situation since I actually called the authorities and found out) as well as giving the boys their copy. Then you have to wait 30 days then you can tell them to leave. If they don't go you can call the law to make them leave.

    When that happens, if they don't have a place to go they are arrested for vagrancy and taken to jail. This is a fucked-up way of dealing with kids that basically act like jackasses to their parents. This is also a huge reason why so many kids DO act this way. They know there is little the parents can do about it without a huge, ignorant fight. They have no other family to go stay with and there are no youth hostels that I know of.

    That said, I suppose I'll end up doing things the hard way since it would appear that neither of them will give me any other choice. This is the part I just don't get. Do they hate me? Is this why they are doing all these things? They could care less what this has done to my health.

    I don't know what to do anymore and there is no one within the law that gives a shit about me or what this has done to me. I keep hoping I'll get lucky and hit the lottery. I think I would just move elsewhere (I've wanted to do that for a long time anyway since I detest this area.) and let them have this place.

    Please send me lucky lotto numbers and keep your fingers, toes and eyes crossed. Thank you so much for your suggestions. It was sweet of you to take the time to write. It's nice to know someone is listening. I'll be building my nest.


    By Blogger Kate Ford, at 12:44 AM  

  • You should check out www.georgeknapp.blogspot.com (my husbands blog) and see what we are going through with ours....

    You are SOOOOO not alone out there :)

    By Blogger Andi, at 5:23 AM  

  • Our boys were obvious jackasses at a much younger age (15-17). You might want to check around for their dope stash. They sound like pot smokers.

    When my wife and I found out that the police wouldn't help us, we decided that, "Hey! If the cops don't want them in jail, the must not want us in jail either." And we locked the bleeps out and threw their crap out on the lawn.

    More seriously, the law (here in MN) says you have to provide a roof. It doesn't say you have to provide a bed.

    It took group counseling to keep me from killing the worthless *&%$heads (though I definitely recognized the need, once my wife proposed it). I'm sure you have a Parents' Group in your neighborhood somewhere. Tough Love (google them), at least. The cops respect that.

    By Blogger Al, at 11:54 PM  

  • Whoa!
    That's tough. But what about your kids? I just can't understand their attitude :( What will they do if not work?
    Here in India, our education is paid by the parents, but I guess from your post that it must be different in your society.

    I guess there's really nothing much you can do except hope that they get some sense soon :)

    By Blogger Animesh, at 3:59 AM  

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