Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Poll

I'm going to post a poll because my "adult" children are really pushing my buttons some days. Rand has had a very good week since he learned of his job this summer (I told him that I might just have to give his new boss a call if he kept neglecting his responsibilities here and that lit a fire under him).

John has apparently decided to quit school and refuses to go to his court assigned group, so it's just a matter of time before he will be back in jail... I'm not sure there is a thing I can do about it. I was insisting that he couldn't be here during the day while school was in session, but he has skipped classes so many times they aren't going to let him back into the building. This is his 2nd senior year, he'll be 20 this summer, and I know he can't pass the GED.

Jimmy has been an incredible pain in the butt lately, nearly pushing Bart and I over the edge. His attitude since he turned 18 has been less than desirable and he is only a Junior, taking 9th grade PhyEd for the 3rd time, on an IEP and still barely able to make it. He is bored everywhere, can't find a job, but to his credit will help around here whenever asked. Although since he's still in High school he is technically not required by us to do anything but go to school and the chores everyone has.

Mike has an interview today! That is worth an exclamation point. If he could get this job with a company that works often with "ex-cons" he might have enough energy and enthusiasm to make it outside of jail walls. He and John have both labled themselves "institutionalized" -- Mike using the word and John describing it. Of course, this is attributed to our decisions to have them in residential treatment as teens.

At any rate, all of these boys and their 17 year old sister and her baby are going to be living here within a couple weeks and I am very stressed about my work load while they sit and do nothing. So I'm posting this poll. If you have adult kids, please respond and let me know what you do. You can comment as well, but if you want to remain anonymous, you can respond to the poll.

Do you attempt to force your adult children to help with expenses and/or chores when they are unemployed and not in school? Do you get success? If you require it and don't get it, how do you deal with the resentment? And if you don't require it, are you enabling?

Questions I ask myself every day.


GB's Mom said...

Our 27 year old Bipolar son has been out on his own since he was 21. He has lived in the same rented house and had the same job for three years (and that is pretty good in Michigan). He went to court and was awarded physical custody of his son. Two years ago, he married a somewhat older woman, with two girls of her own. They need regular emotional support, and financial support several times a year.

MK is 24 Bipolar, FASD, and RAD. She lives at home and the requirements change depending on what she is capable of. The bottom line is she can not be verbally abusive when the other kids are around. When she was stable, she easily held down a job, was useful around the house and regularly gave her father some kind of money. When they are in college, we expect help around the house and that they pay 1/2 their car insurance. This doesn't apply to MK, since she has a license, but currently has a phobia about driving and her car has just been sitting for months. Finding a good fit in supported living is very difficult once they are 18 (or 19, or 20) and have graduated from high school.

Barbara said...

I would suggest another choice in your poll. I would answer:

Require them to pay rent, help out and live respectfully of others in the home. If they don't; they don't live at home with no anger or resentment from me.

FosterAbba said...

My daughter is still only 14, but because of her numerous behavioral and attitudinal problems, my spouse and I have already been discussing what is going to happen on her 18th birthday.

Once she turns 18, she'll be expected to pay rent, a share of utilities and groceries. She'll be required to cover her own car insurance and personal expenses, as well as help out with chores around the house, just as we would expect from a roommate. If she isn't able/willing to do those things, AND treat us with respect, she'll have to find another place to live.

Angela said...

Our rule is anyone earning has to pay rent. Rent free if at uni but some help expected with chores.
We asked my older son (when at uni) to help by mowing the lawns so he moved out!
Our 2nd son decided to move out immediately uni started
3rd child lived at home and helped a lot especially with little ones
Our 20 year old daughter does a lot of babysitting
our 21 year old with Down syndrome pays her rent directly to our cleaners (otherwise I never have cash on hand)

Kat said...

Privileges accorded to teens & young adults in our house

We won’t pay for a cell phone before kids are driving. If they want one before then, they must be very trustworthy, and they must pay for it themselves. Funny, the ones that have been trustworthy, really haven’t wanted one that bad, while the ones that haven’t been trustworthy… yeah, there’s a correlation there!

Age 16, trustworthy, RRAFTBA – can test for driver’s license
GPA ≥ 3.5 – insurance fully paid
GPA ≥ 3.0 but < 3.5 – insurance ½ paid
GPA < 3.0 – pay own insurance

If successful at obtaining DL, they get a cell phone paid on family plan, and if really trustworthy, a limited family credit card to use for gas (we pay) and to use running occasional errands for us.

(So far, one of the four over 16 has done this. May have to adjust the grade requirements for insurance & driving, as the next one is trustworthy but lazy at school, and the last one is getting to be trustworthy, currently has excellent grades, but may have more trouble next year when he starts at the high school.)

Over age 18 and still in school and doing OK – no rent. Assigned chores somewhat inversely proportional to grades & amount of school activities & amount of work. Expected to at least pitch in when asked and when available.

Over 18 and not in school but trustworthy and RRAFTBA – must be working and doing SOMETHING to make progress in their lives, must contribute to the family either by substantial chores or paying rent (or both). (I told one son that if he lived at home after high school I was going to charge him a personal maid fee – to be used as my own spending $, not family $.)

Over 18 and not trustworthy, not RRAFTBA – then not living at home.

Guess what? I’m 3 for 3: one left at 19.5 after graduating high school (wouldn’t do ANYTHING at home, wouldn’t work, etc.). One left at 16 for RTC and has never been back to stay. One left at 18.5 after dropping out of hs, stealing from us, drugs… We’re not likely to let any of them back unless they change their ways.

a said...

I think you have to look out for your health and stress level, and also the younger kids should have their own chance to develop better in a saner environment and with better role models and without being stolen from.
Sorry if its harsh, but if John and Mike keep going back to jail even with all your help then it seems like enabling and maybe they have to hit more rock bottoms to maybe possibly do better.

I would require chores and rent (or a lot of chores & job interviews in lieu of rent for temporary unemployment), my kid is getting close to those years and I can't see her holding down a full-time job for too long but I can see her doing physical chores/labor and maybe volunteer work and maybe a part-time job, so I'll probably be requiring that.

Good luck!

Lindy said...

I think if you are feeling resentment,then there needs to be changes. At least that is our benchmark. I have kicked out one son at 18,but he was breaking all our household rules and refused to change his behavior. It was the hardest thing I have ever done parenting wise (except having my youngest son arrested). It was also the thing that saved him. He is married and the father of 2,working & doing well. That son isn't neurologicly impaired. I think that does make a difference in how much crap I'm willing to take. For my husband and I it comes down to how hard the kids are trying and if laws are being broken. If our grown kids are trying their best in school,work,or life and are helping around the house and pleasant (most of the time) we will charge a little rent ($100)and call it good. If they are flaunting their disrespect in our face,breaking laws or endangering others then they will have to live else where until they can follow the house rules.
We never pay for cell phones and we never pay for them to drive-they have to earn that on their own.
In the end ,it's on a kid by kid basis if we are hurting or helping them by letting them stay at home.
I know one thing,adoption issues and FAS cloud the water a lot. There are many thing's we allow that we might not in our neurologically intact kids. sometimes.
At least it's never boring....