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Topic : Good Parenting

Number of Replies: 277
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 12:45:41 pm
Author : dataimport
Being a good parent means more than just changing diapers and wiping noses. Share with us your strategies and stories of great parenting.

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May 5, 2008, 9:07 am CDT

18 year old

Quote From: straghtup

Our 18-yr-old son is close to graduation and is not going to college and will not get a job.  He claims to be looking by 'asking his friends'.  I've forced him to apply at 3 places, but have since determined that I'm more concerned about this than he is and stopped helping.  He was to have a job to save money to buy a car,  of which we were going to help pay for with some of our stimulus payment.  The rule is:  If he is working by graduation 5/31/08, he can stay home for the summer to save and get a  place to live, but  if he is not working, he will need to move out on 6/1/08.  Today I spoke with him just to make sure he understood our expectations of him, and he does.  Although he could barely look up from his video game, as usual.  My Question:  How do we go through the 'function' of moving him? I can pack his stuff, care package and all, but when he has no vehicle to leave with do I just set everything on the front patio?  I'm guessing he will have to call, or will have already arranged, for a friend to assist him, but am unsure.  I did mention that if these friends were the ones he expected to get him a job (rather than himself), they may need to get him a place to stay also.   He deserves Graduation and a Graduation Party but it will be pretty uncomfortable knowing he is leaving the next day.  He will expectedly badmouth us to guests that we are such 'jerks', but we are comforable with the knowledge that this is a result of his lack of responsiblity.  So, in the event that he is not working in 3 weeks and is expected to leave, what advice can anyone provide?  Thank you !

You mentioned that your son has no college plans.  What about vocational or technical school?  There are a lot of opportunities in those schools for him to get involved in something he is really interested in.  Try visiting some of those schools with him, even if he seems disinterested at first.  He can talk with a career counselor there.  They have written aptitude/interest tests that can guide him toward a career that best uses his abilities and interests.

 

Second, TAKE AWAY THE VIDEO GAMES!!!  Lock them up, or sell them!!  They are obviously detrimental to your son's ambition...video games can actually be addictive.  He is wasting a lot of time and brain power on them.

 

Your son does deserve a graduation party...it is a time to celebrate his achievement. 

 

What's the rush on getting him out the door??...18 is awfully young for a kid to be completely on his own, especially if he is not in school.  You are setting him up for failure if you send him out on the streets too soon.  I realize that you are trying to get a point across, but I don't think that you are using the right approach.  He needs to mature some more, and he needs to learn the skills necessary to make it on his own.

 

While living at home, though, he should be paying rent, if he is not going to school.  You could put the rent into a savings account for him, for future expenses of getting his own place.  He should be doing his own laundry, helping with the cooking and cleaning, learning to budget his money and balance his checkbook, and learning how to manage his time. 

 

My husband lived at home until he was 21.  He went to techinical school and received a degree in Applied Sciences and Diesel Mechanics.  Whe he graduated from school and got a job, he paid rent.  He helped with the household chores and cooking.  The rules were very clear. I think that you can make some kind of arrangement with your son.

 

Are you working outside your home?  If so, it is harder to help your son manage his time during the day.  Maybe you could use some of your vacation time to help him get started on exploring the possiblity of techinical/vocational school.  If he goes out with no training and no job skills, he will end up in minimum wage jobs for life!!  If he won't make the calls to the schools, you do it for him...some kids just need extra help in finding direction in their lives.

 

Our oldest son is now 19.  He is currently attending culinary school, and he loves it!!  He is working part-time, and he currently lives with my brother and his wife, about 300 miles from home.  To pay his room and board, he is their personal chef.  It is a good arrangement for him for now.  When he graduates and gets a good job, he will then be expected to move out on his own.  He is saving as much as he can now, so he will have the money when it is time to go out on his own.  When he first went down to school, he had a small apartment, but he was really lonely, and he was barely getting enough hours at work to cover his rent, food and bus fare.  We worried about him constantly.  When my brother offered to have him move in there, it was really a relief.  He is really too young to be completely on his own

 

When our son was researching the schools, I did a lot of the "leg work", making calls and getting the information.  We helped our son fill out his school application, and helped him with the FAFSA and student financiang paperwork.  He is paying for his own schooling, but he needed us to be co-signers on his loans.

 

I think that there is hope for your son to become a responsible adult, but kicking him out isn't going to accomplish that goal...again, help him explore the option of technical school...he just might find his niche'.  If he decides to go to school, allow him to live with you, or find him dorm housing. 

 

I'm sure that you don't really want your son living in a box under a bridge, or free-loading off of his friends...

 
May 5, 2008, 9:15 am CDT

addendum

For mom of 18 year old:  for a summer job, check with local summer camps...our oldest son worked at the local YMCA camp last summer...it was kind of a middle step on his way to independance...he made enough money to get a car...he lived up there all summer, coming home for some weekends.  He had a great time, and I think he did some growing up.

 
May 8, 2008, 3:38 pm CDT

18-yr-old Move out

Quote From: jaimie1974

It is understandable that you would give your son limits/boundaries; but why make the move out date so soon after graduation? Why not give him another week or so? I know it is super annoying to see him do nothing to help himself, but Im urging you to give him a second chance, at least so you can give him a graduation party. At that party, it is possible that he will hear people tell him that he is a capable young man, that he will have a successful life- and maybe, just maybe, that will encourage him a little. If not, youve got to stick to your amended rule of his new move-out date. How silly of an 18 year old saying that his friends will find him a jobthey dont find him a job, but then he says they will find him a place to live? *sigh* The way they think doesnt make sense sometimes, and again, I know it must be very frustrating, but as a parent, I urge you to just give him another week or two to get himself together. Best wishes!
The reason he is to move out right after graduation: he has decided not to go to school, and is not making any real attempt to get a job.  He knows that if he gets a job before graduation, he can live with us through the summer to save and get a place to live.  With his complete lack of responsiblity, we feel concerned that he is planning on using us so he can remain lazy.  Not mentioned in my original question is that he has become intolerable to live with- toxic, mean, rude, selfish, hurtful and insulting to us (parents) because we are disabled he calls us worthless.  We knew he has been using pot, but today found out he is out a lot of money from buying it.  He recently visited his dying grandmother and ignored her and was rude to everyone there.  His music is death metal/satanic to our christian family, and his Only activity is video games.  Throughout the last few years we have tried to take away the videos and music with no success - he would become dangerously aggressive.  We had him in the hospital with no success. We went to 1-1/2 years outpatient counseling after which the counselor said she had done all she could with him due to his manipulation and lack of respsonsiblity, and could treat him no more.  Every time I ask a question about him to a message board, I'm told it's our fault that he is such a problem and when I believe that, the guilt consumes me.  There is really something internally wrong with him.  His sister is currently in college studying physics, lives on her own, and works two jobs and both children were raised exactly the same.  About the grad party:  I'm concerned that he will be rude and selfish in front of close family members, and I would probably more embarrassed than he,  considering his behavior is all my fault.  I'd like to let him stay another week after graduation, but I don't even know if I can make it until then.  His attitude is literally making mine and my husband's illnesses worse. Today, he missed the bus and as usual,  it was the busdriver's fault, not his.   Thank you for your thoughful comments - you seem to understand more than most.  I appreciate your information.      
 
May 9, 2008, 9:06 am CDT

intervention

Quote From: straghtup

The reason he is to move out right after graduation: he has decided not to go to school, and is not making any real attempt to get a job.  He knows that if he gets a job before graduation, he can live with us through the summer to save and get a place to live.  With his complete lack of responsiblity, we feel concerned that he is planning on using us so he can remain lazy.  Not mentioned in my original question is that he has become intolerable to live with- toxic, mean, rude, selfish, hurtful and insulting to us (parents) because we are disabled he calls us worthless.  We knew he has been using pot, but today found out he is out a lot of money from buying it.  He recently visited his dying grandmother and ignored her and was rude to everyone there.  His music is death metal/satanic to our christian family, and his Only activity is video games.  Throughout the last few years we have tried to take away the videos and music with no success - he would become dangerously aggressive.  We had him in the hospital with no success. We went to 1-1/2 years outpatient counseling after which the counselor said she had done all she could with him due to his manipulation and lack of respsonsiblity, and could treat him no more.  Every time I ask a question about him to a message board, I'm told it's our fault that he is such a problem and when I believe that, the guilt consumes me.  There is really something internally wrong with him.  His sister is currently in college studying physics, lives on her own, and works two jobs and both children were raised exactly the same.  About the grad party:  I'm concerned that he will be rude and selfish in front of close family members, and I would probably more embarrassed than he,  considering his behavior is all my fault.  I'd like to let him stay another week after graduation, but I don't even know if I can make it until then.  His attitude is literally making mine and my husband's illnesses worse. Today, he missed the bus and as usual,  it was the busdriver's fault, not his.   Thank you for your thoughful comments - you seem to understand more than most.  I appreciate your information.      

I still have to ask...what are your goals for your son by kicking him out??  He will end up on the streets, into drugs and who knows what else...

 

What he needs is an intervention...get some of your other family members involved.  Check him into a drug treatment center...get him some psychiatric help...if he has a psychiatric problem, the doc will evaluate him for meds...I have bipolar disorder...my meds make ALL of the difference for me...

 

Obviously, your son needs to learn responsibility, but if he is into drugs, he will just get worse on the streets...

 
May 10, 2008, 9:00 am CDT

F/U 18-yr-old son problems re: moving out

Some of the information you provided has been very helpful.  Now I'd like to propose a new solution for his future....but must take into consideration that he came home completely wasted last night and passed out (admits pot/denies alcohol-but I smelled it).   It's important to know that we do love him unconditionally.  That's why we're trying so hard to do what will be best for him and his life.   What if we....... 

  ** Insist he go for CD treatment, inpatient if possible.  While there, also have him diagnosed for any possible mental illness (I have bipolar).  Let him stay at home while he is in treatment and longer based on his behavior and needs.  Remove all the demonic CD's and remove all video games from his room.  I've already helped him apply to 3 vo-tech's, scholarships, done FAFSA, etc - but will do all again if he will just visit the schools and keep an open mind.

 Every ounce of our help and assistance will be given as long as he stays 'clean'. ---

.......BUT.........           He will not cooperate with any treatment, we've tried inpt and outpt.

                                    He will not agree to anything if we remove his CD's or games.

                                    He will continue to see the same druggie friends unless we tie him down,

                                         even though that is an issue that will be discussed at CD treatment.

                                   What do we do if he tests posative for anything? We use home drug tests (to surprise).

                                   There is no guarentee that he will change his acquired toxic personality.

Please advise or offer alternatives..  Thanks Dr Phil Followers.

 
May 13, 2008, 9:47 am CDT

Treatment...

Quote From: straghtup

Some of the information you provided has been very helpful.  Now I'd like to propose a new solution for his future....but must take into consideration that he came home completely wasted last night and passed out (admits pot/denies alcohol-but I smelled it).   It's important to know that we do love him unconditionally.  That's why we're trying so hard to do what will be best for him and his life.   What if we....... 

  ** Insist he go for CD treatment, inpatient if possible.  While there, also have him diagnosed for any possible mental illness (I have bipolar).  Let him stay at home while he is in treatment and longer based on his behavior and needs.  Remove all the demonic CD's and remove all video games from his room.  I've already helped him apply to 3 vo-tech's, scholarships, done FAFSA, etc - but will do all again if he will just visit the schools and keep an open mind.

 Every ounce of our help and assistance will be given as long as he stays 'clean'. ---

.......BUT.........           He will not cooperate with any treatment, we've tried inpt and outpt.

                                    He will not agree to anything if we remove his CD's or games.

                                    He will continue to see the same druggie friends unless we tie him down,

                                         even though that is an issue that will be discussed at CD treatment.

                                   What do we do if he tests posative for anything? We use home drug tests (to surprise).

                                   There is no guarentee that he will change his acquired toxic personality.

Please advise or offer alternatives..  Thanks Dr Phil Followers.

I think that you are definitely on the right track to get your son into treatment, and diagnose any mental illness that might be there...bipolar disorder is definitely hereditary.

 

I have bipolar disorder myself, and without meds, I would be a wreck!!  Many people with bipolar disorder, and other mental illnesses, "self-medicate" with illegal drugs and alcohol...an extended in-patient treatment program might save his life...and save him from a life on the streets...

 

Hopefully, he will accept treatment.  And hopefully, he will take his meds if he is diagnosed with bipolar disorder or other mental illness...it is really common for a person with bipolar disorder to be on meds for awhile, and then when they feel better, think that they don't need the meds anymore...and end up in a mess again...

 

You are right to get rid of the demonic CDs and other bad influences in his life...

 

Vo-tech school is definitely a great idea for him...after he receives the drug/alcohol treatment, and gets treatment for his mental illness (if he is diagnosed with one).

 

I don't know what it will take to convince your son to go into treatment...that's a hard one...legally, you can't force him...he is an "adult", and has to make his own decisions...keep up the tough love...eventually, he'll thank you for it...

 

As far as positive drug tests...perhaps he shoud have a signed contract...if he tests positive, he agrees to go into treatment...

 

 

 
May 26, 2008, 3:32 pm CDT

23 and treated like s***

I am almost 24 old, I have 4 brothers, two of them and I live with our parents. I am the only girl and middle child, also the first to graduate in my entire family. My entire life I have never relied on my parents for support, yet they treat me like crap, like I'm a low-life. I don't do drugs, I have never ran away,  I don't steal, I don't cheat, didn't have bf's in high school. Pay for my own bills (except rent), pay for my own tuition, have had a job since 17. Completed an internship and i have also been a musician since nine years of age (out of all of my performances they only saw one, it was obligatory because I didn't have a ride). My two younger brothers and my parents always make fun of and me. They also like to make it clear that I don't do anything around the house, I'm so busy continuing my school/music/work/internships that I only spend time in my bedroom. I don't use anything except the bathroom. They even threw away all of the newspapers I had left on our family computer desk, I am interning as a journalist and I have published stories. I don't know how to describe the way I feel, although im on my own, I don't have freedom. Although I know I have accomplished alot I don't feel like it matters. An example of the things they do: the night they threw the papers away I asked my brother if he had done it and he said yeah my dad told him to do it, I told him I needed those clips he said he didnt care, he was in bed at this point and I woke him up to see if I could get them back. My mom said I overreacted and those papers weren't worth waking my brother up, I can't retrieve those newspaper clippings. Little things like that. and alot more. Three weeks later, my dad walks in the door and the first thing he tells me is 'theres one of your papers make sure you put it away, i don't want to hear you b**** about it later.' Today, I walked in after eating lunch with friends and he said (What
s up with you? Where the hell have you been?'  My dad never asks where I have been, he works two jobs so he's never home. It sounds immature, but my entire life, I have felt my only source of comfort was my friends who actually knew what I was all about. They care more about seeing my work on the front page of a newspaper than my parents. I'm not looking for a 'good job,'  Ive been pretty straight foward about how I feel and about how they treat me. Realistically, I am so in debt from college that i cant move out any time soon. I am just looking for them to stop picking on me, stop treating me like im a nobody. :(
 
May 27, 2008, 10:04 am CDT

family

Quote From: jessmar

I am almost 24 old, I have 4 brothers, two of them and I live with our parents. I am the only girl and middle child, also the first to graduate in my entire family. My entire life I have never relied on my parents for support, yet they treat me like crap, like I'm a low-life. I don't do drugs, I have never ran away,  I don't steal, I don't cheat, didn't have bf's in high school. Pay for my own bills (except rent), pay for my own tuition, have had a job since 17. Completed an internship and i have also been a musician since nine years of age (out of all of my performances they only saw one, it was obligatory because I didn't have a ride). My two younger brothers and my parents always make fun of and me. They also like to make it clear that I don't do anything around the house, I'm so busy continuing my school/music/work/internships that I only spend time in my bedroom. I don't use anything except the bathroom. They even threw away all of the newspapers I had left on our family computer desk, I am interning as a journalist and I have published stories. I don't know how to describe the way I feel, although im on my own, I don't have freedom. Although I know I have accomplished alot I don't feel like it matters. An example of the things they do: the night they threw the papers away I asked my brother if he had done it and he said yeah my dad told him to do it, I told him I needed those clips he said he didnt care, he was in bed at this point and I woke him up to see if I could get them back. My mom said I overreacted and those papers weren't worth waking my brother up, I can't retrieve those newspaper clippings. Little things like that. and alot more. Three weeks later, my dad walks in the door and the first thing he tells me is 'theres one of your papers make sure you put it away, i don't want to hear you b**** about it later.' Today, I walked in after eating lunch with friends and he said (What
s up with you? Where the hell have you been?'  My dad never asks where I have been, he works two jobs so he's never home. It sounds immature, but my entire life, I have felt my only source of comfort was my friends who actually knew what I was all about. They care more about seeing my work on the front page of a newspaper than my parents. I'm not looking for a 'good job,'  Ive been pretty straight foward about how I feel and about how they treat me. Realistically, I am so in debt from college that i cant move out any time soon. I am just looking for them to stop picking on me, stop treating me like im a nobody. :(

You can't force your family to be nice to you...Even with your debt, you should find a way to move out on your own.  At age 24, it's high time that you had a life of your own.  Look for a cheap apartment, or find a roommate.  You can look on www.craigslist.org and find just about anything that you need, in your own town.  They have various housing listings, jobs, furniture, and anything else that you might need.  You could post your own ad, that you are looking for an apartment with a roommate.  I would caution you, though, to check references before you move in with somebody.  You really need to get away from this unhappy situation.  You have a choice...you don't have to stick around and be treated like that!!

 

(And learn from your own childhood how NOT to treat your own kids when the day comes.)

 

 

Becky (age 46, mom of 3 boys)

 
June 2, 2008, 3:58 pm CDT

How do I know?

 O.k. so I'm insecure!!!.  I have 2 beautiful children a daughter aged 3yo and a son 22months.  I think they gorgeous and bright.

Yes we have tantrums and we use timeout as the primary means of discipline and don't often have to use it.  We never spank.  Occassionally I will let one of the children lie on the floor screaming if it's a case of them not getting their own way.

I hear you you're wondering what on earth the problem is.  Well what I'm wondering is am I doing it right??  DH and I have no family locally and our neighbours are always making comments like, "I never had to lock cupboards and drawers when my kids were young", "one word from me and the kids never touched something they shouldn't again", "You really should stop your children coming to your bed" etc etc

The playgroup say we have nice polite and helpful children but the neighbours keep making comments that make me feel totally inadequate.  I don't know what to do or think.  Sure I pick my battles but I don't scream at my kids like the neighbours or spank them.  Their kids by the way are significantly older than ours

Thanks
 
June 3, 2008, 10:56 am CDT

kids

Quote From: tonimoore

 O.k. so I'm insecure!!!.  I have 2 beautiful children a daughter aged 3yo and a son 22months.  I think they gorgeous and bright.

Yes we have tantrums and we use timeout as the primary means of discipline and don't often have to use it.  We never spank.  Occassionally I will let one of the children lie on the floor screaming if it's a case of them not getting their own way.

I hear you you're wondering what on earth the problem is.  Well what I'm wondering is am I doing it right??  DH and I have no family locally and our neighbours are always making comments like, "I never had to lock cupboards and drawers when my kids were young", "one word from me and the kids never touched something they shouldn't again", "You really should stop your children coming to your bed" etc etc

The playgroup say we have nice polite and helpful children but the neighbours keep making comments that make me feel totally inadequate.  I don't know what to do or think.  Sure I pick my battles but I don't scream at my kids like the neighbours or spank them.  Their kids by the way are significantly older than ours

Thanks

You're doing a great job!!  We had cupboard locks on all of our cupboards and drawers that contained anything potentially dangerous to our kids.  And we put the breakable knick knacks out of reach.  Spanking isn't necessary to raise well-behaved kids.  There is nothing wrong with having kids in your bed, if you don't mind them being there.

 

Everybody thinks they're an "expert" when it comes to giving advice on parenting...just ignore them.  Their kids are probably not perfect...no child is perfect!! 

 

Temper tantrums are par for the course...leaving them on the floor screaming, and not giving in to them is a good way to break the habit.  If the noise is bothering you, make them go to their rooms to do the screaming.

 

As your kids get older, you will have to adjust their discipline according to age...but if our boys, ages 10 and 14, fight, they still get time-outs at opposite ends of the house...staying there until they think they can get along.  Our oldest son is 19, and he is away at culinary school.

 

As kids get older, rewards for good behavior go a long way...our kids get rewarded with time to play computer games after doing their homework and chores for the day.  Immediate rewards work best, but long-term rewards can be used for long-term goals.

 

Your kids are young...your adventures are just beginning...being a parent is sometimes scary...have some confidence in yourself...it might be helpful to read some parenting books, if you are feeling less than confident...you'll probably be surprised at how much you are already doing right!!

 

Becky

 
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