20 year olds responsibilities at home

minnesotadadof4January 3, 2010

We are paying for his car insurance and cell phone. He pays no rent. He has a full time job and eats out just about every day. He is a great worker at work.

He is wreckless. He totaled our suburban 2 years ago tailgating someone. You would think he would be more careful now but its getting worse. He still tailgates and has severe road rage. He bought a used pickup and took it ramping and now that broke, yet he is still paying on it with a loan we co-signed for. Since then he bought a bow and arrow set and a flat screen tv and a game system to play on the tv. Now he just ran a red light a wrecked his girlfriends car. He still drives really wreckless.

Where am I going wrong

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This is really an easy one. He needs to become financially responsible for his own mistakes and his own life. Right now, he has no "skin in the game." Step one: Get him off of your insurance. Call your agent and find out how much it will cost for him to pay his own insurance. Don't tell him you've done this as the information is for your planning. After you know that figure tell him that beginning on such and such date he will be responsible for his own insurance. Make that date realistic enough that he can save the money, but not so far out into the future that it doesn't "hurt" ie a month. Make him find the insurance himself. Tell him that the following month he will begin paying for his own cell phone and some rent to you. There does not appear to be any reason he cannot be paying some nominal rent. If it makes you feel better, stash it away in a savings account to give to him at some point in the future when he's mature enough to handle it properly. One further word of advice--please check monthly that the pick-up payment is being made. This is your credit.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 6:23PM
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Excellent advice from rrah.

You just need a plan, and stick to it, and that is what was suggested.

I think you know that he should be independent at this point, from you. He is working full time and yet you are still paying his bills. You are not helping him by doing this, as is clearly evident by his reckless behavior.

He needs some guidance and he will be okay.

Perhaps you could encourage him to move out, then the real responsibility begins !

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 7:36PM
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This is a question you really don't want to hear, and probably don't want to answer. But given what you've described, I think the possibility of drug use has to be considered. Is there any chance he could be using/dabbling in prescription drugs, or street drugs or steroids? Sadly, children who have money, but few financial responsibilities often find themselves tempted by pills that help them party, or make them feel better when they aren't.

If he's not drugging himself or drinking, then you have a child with some serious problems with responsibility. You probably can't 'fix' him at this point, unless you're willing to be really tough and make him face teh consequences of his actions.

I will warn you, though--keep bailing him out, and unfortunately you may find yourself in the same position as my in-laws. They had one responsible child, and 3 who were money pits. One--their only daughter--expected them to bail her out even after she was married. Her husband had a good job (6 figure salary) but it wasn't enough for her. Their bills were unpaid (FIL had to more than once pay the water/sewer and other bills to keep service on and prevent liens on SIL's property). When they needed a new roof? FIL had to pay for it. FIL had to buy their appliances when they broke. Eventually, SIL coerced her parents into changing their wills, making her their sole beneficiary--but she flubbed up, lost the new will, and MIL died intestate. But I'm getting ahead in my story. After FIL died, there was about $700 left for MIL's end care (she had alzheimer's). that included the house she lived in. Within a little over a year, SIL had spent a QUARTER OF A MILLION $$$. MIL was in a paid off house, being cared for by family members. SIL was spending her money on: family vacations, helping her brother buy a house, $200-300 restaurant meals, and all sorts of things that weren't for MIL's benefit. DH and I had no choice but to hire a lawyer to stop the hemmoraging. We're out of pocket over $20,000 in legal and forensic accounting fees at this point, the nighmare has been going on for 7 years, and is not over yet.

I'm just letting you know one of the possible outcomes of helping children a little too much, and not allowing them to become responsible for their own bills, welfare and messes. Please--don't do to your son what my in-laws did to most of their children. Don't do to YOURSELF what FIL and MIL did to themselves. FIL ended up working as a plumber into his 80's--until he went into the hospital for the last time--to support his daughter, and his 2 deadbeat sons (I lucked out and got the one responsible one of the bunch, thank goodness).

Look, it's a lot easier, to 'help' children who seem to need constant propping up. But the real help is when you let them fall a time or two, and to claw their own way back up.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2010 at 11:01PM
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You are going wrong by not making him pay his way.
He should be paying rent and for everything he buys or uses. Stop paying his car insurance and cell phone and demand regular payments be paid to you for the loan. In other words cut him off.

He is acting like a highschooler not an adult and only dependance on his own resources will make him grow up.

If you feel bad about making him pay rent then put it in a bank account and save it for when he straightens out and needs it for something.

Please listen to all who are telling you this--tough love does work and often it is the only thing that does. You will be loving your son more by making him stand on his own 2 feet, than you do with all the freebie handouts you are now giving him. Sometimes it is extra tough being a parent

    Bookmark   January 4, 2010 at 5:50PM
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If he has a full time job, why is he still living at home? Why are you still paying ANY of his bills? Why are you allowing him to spend all his income as fun money to eat out, buy expensive toys, etc., while you continue to pay for all his necessities? At what age will you decide that he should take financial responsibility?

In your place, I would have told him to find his own place to live, taken him off my insurance, and stopped paying any of his bills. It's pretty easy to wreck cars when you don't have to pay for the consequences. A 20 year old boy with several wrecks on his record? I shudder at the thought of what your insurance bill must be.

But why should he straighten up his act and drive responsibly? It's no skin off his nose.

The bottom line is that your son needs to grow up. You're treating him like a child and he is continuing to act like one. If he's adult and responsible enough to hold down a full time job and be "a great worker", then he's certainly ready to take responsibility, both financial and otherwise, for his actions.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 4:19PM
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Totally agree with all the previous posters. Your son needs to lift his game and start paying his own way- pay for his car expenses (all of them- registration, insurance, gas, repairs), cell phone and rent at home. Your giving him such an easy ride is doing him a huge disservice- keep going down this path and he will never grow up, and when you finally do go off to your final reward he will crash and burn as he won't have any skills for life.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 1:57AM
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Whoa, wait a minute... I just reread your post.

Your son experiences what you, his mother, describe as "severe road rage". I assume, by that, you mean he loses complete control (which is why, originally, I asked about the possibility of steroid use) The guy is living in your house, taking advantage of you right and left AND you posted that he recently bought a bow and arrows? YOU ARE IN DANGER. Someone who experiences rage in any area of his life DOES NOT NEED TO BE OWNING A WEAPON.

Understand, I'm not saying that owning a bow and arrows is necessarily wrong. I've got 2 bows myself. They're from my high school target shooting days. But I'm not a person who flies off into rages, nor one who believes in ever using physical force to get my way--I'm not sure whether or not you can say that about your son.

Look, I realize that you're going to do what you want to. And since you haven't been back to discuss the situation, you probably don't like what's already been suggested here. But I can only say that you need to protect yourself. Get him safely out of the house, put security measures in place so he cannot hurt you or other members of your family.

I would like to ask one last question. ARE you afraid of him? Is that why you've been paying his way, letting him live in your house, making excuses for him?

If so, let me just say, no one should submit to living in fear in their own home.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 9:46AM
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After reading this post again, I am not sure of its authenticity. Can't imagine how a parent could allow a son to continue on like this boy is, and not put some controls on what he is doing.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 7:02PM
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Well, you can never be absolutely sure of the authenticity of anything posted on the web, can you? But I've known a number of families who do/are doing exactly as this poster describes. It's not uncommon--I've seen so many families get to this point. So I tend to believe that this one is probably more or less legit. But she's perhaps a bit embarrassed by the responses--or feels we're all being cruel to her son. Either way, it's pretty hard to come back and discuss things.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 9:14PM
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Wow. Where did I go wrong? Seriously, i must have missed the parent lottery. I didn't know it was an option to stay at home, work for "fun" money and have mommy and daddy pay for everything!!!

....oh, wait...that's right...

IT WASN'T AN OPTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The first response said it best. Wean him off the tit. You'll like him better if you do. He'll hate you for awhile, but he'll have a better life.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 2:13PM
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It is joy when a parent gets their life back. When you have done your job, when the children are out there in the world, educated, earning money, completely independent.

A parent can sit back in their favorite chair, enjoy the peace and quiet, look forward to stepping out the door without considering "the offspring and what they will be doing".

A parent can use ALL the money they earn and not have to spend it on "child related expenses". Can start planning for a little holiday to that place you have always wanted to go to.

minnesotadadof4.... you could be this parent, just put plans in place to make it all happen.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 8:27PM
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From my own experience, a spoiled daughter has already established her list of what she expects from you and life.
To try to change the spots on that leopard at this point is only going to cause frustration to everyone.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 7:53AM
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