When does a teen become an adult?
My son is now 22 yrs old but he still acts as a teen. It's been a long struggle since he turned 15. How long does it take before boys become mature?
I just learned last week that he's looking for an appartment (I think that he actually found one) and wants to move with a friend of his who is a drop out who just started a new job at $12/hour. My son works between 1 and 3 days a week in a bakery at less then $10/hour. The appartments he's looking at are $650 + heating + electricity + ....in bad neibourghoods (he does not see that).
How can I convince him (if it's not to late) that he should first find a good job, get a driver's licence and save his money before moving? Even his girlfriend backed out and no longer wants to move with him (she's still in College) and it did not change his mind.
You likely knew the answer to your question when you wrote it, right? Which is, of course, you can't convince him, and probably shouldn't be able to. That's because he is now in a time of life where he needs to make decisions, good ones AND bad ones, live with the consequences of those decisions today, and thus learn to make better decisions tomorrow. Your role has to be shifted more as his consultant: "Son, have you prepared a budget to see if this is a good idea or not?" While he'll likely ignore your wise advice and charge ahead this time, he'll remember that advice the next time and perhaps make a better decision. But if you just force the right answer upon him, he'll only learn to do what you think is right, and not learn to judiciously make his own plans. Yes there are risks when our kids head out on their own on ill-conceived adventures, but short of a clear and present threat to a child's life, the wise parent offers advice once, and then wishes her child good luck. Keeping those lines of communication open insures that he'll be more likely to consider your advice the next time. Fighting or nagging will only cause him to turn further away from you.
Take care, and good luck!
Last edited by Mike Bradley; 10-27-2008 at 07:16 PM.
Dr. Mike Bradley
still not mature
Thank you so much for your quick reply.
My son confirmed tonight that he signed a lease tonight and he's moving tomorrow...He also told me that he quit his job and will look for a job in his new place area.
I tried to keep my cool as much as I could and asked him if he had figured out his budget beforehand to make sure he was capable of paying and if he thought of all the details. He said that he will find a job in that area and has enough saved money to last a few months without a job. Then I started to cry (could not help myself) and told him that if it does not work out to not hesitate to come back home, that he will always be welcomed back.
My husband did not react the same way. He threw his friends out of the house and told him that he could not believe he had done something like that and said: Bravo, bravo in a sarcastic tone -
I spent the evening trying to convince my husband to calm down and try to see it as a learning lesson for our son, that he has to go thru bad times to learn even if it means that he looses all his economies. On the other hand, our son does not seem to learn from his mistakes since he repeats them again and again. We took a drive to see the place from the outside - pretty scary area, but there is worst places I guess.
We are going on vacation next week and he confirmed that he's still coming along but since he has no more insurance (no job = no travel insurance) my husband wants to pay for it. I don't know if he should or we should tell him that he should pay for his own.
My husband also wants to move our daughter to her brother's room right after he leaves because her bedroom is very small and her brother's is the nicest one. I think that we should wait a bit and see if he comes back, maybe 4- 6 months. If we move her right away, won't it send him a message that he no longer has a place here in our home?
It's been almost 3 months now that my son has moved out. He has not found a job yet and as far as I can see, he's not really looking for one to. I asked him how long his savings will last to pay his rent, food and other needs and he said about one month.
He doesn't seem to worry about it at all and is still very happy about his appartment. He does not have internet and only has his cell phone (that we pay for). He can't get un-employment insurance money because he quit his job.
I hope he doesn't start selling drugs or get in trouble in order to pay his rent and I miss him terribly. I call him almost every day but he doesn't seem to care much.
He's coming on vacation with us at Christmas time. Hope all goes well and that we can be a family like we used to for a couple of weeks..
Keep making those calls! Your son may act as if he doesn't care, but I'd bet that he does. Also, as a couple, start planning your next move if (when) your son calls and says he needs to come back home. If the two of you can't agree, get to a counselor ASAP to talk out how you'll want to respond in order to help your kid to SAFELY learn and mature through this growth process (and, yes, that's what this is).
Take care and please keep us posted.
Dr. Mike Bradley
i agree...he has to make his own decisions and and you should also push him to do well...but don't pressure him...