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Thread: Advice needed on 18yo son

  1. #1

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    Default Advice needed on 18yo son

    My alomost 18yo son has been challenging in the past. He has refused to work, dropped out of school, spent all day playing video games, would eat everything in the house (including his 5yo brother's school lunches) and contribute nothing, and would steal from me all the time.

    Last year around May, after a series of events, I threw him out of the house, and he went to live with his sister. She got him a job and in the last year, he seems to have turned things around. Yes, he's still lazy about chores, yes he still plays video games way too much, but she says he doesn't steal anymore, pays his bills and rent on time every time and he works hard when he's at work.

    Just recently though, he and my daughter's boyfriend haven't been getting on, and my son's decided that he wants to move to Melbourne. He says he doesn't want to live with me, and says he wants to find a job and a room with other people, but this is where I start to get unstuck:

    The practical parts of this are: he wants to move because he is lonely in the country town my daughter lives in. H'e sbeen there a year and while the remoteness has helped him stay focussed on work, he has had it hard making friends. Except in Melbourne, not only will he know no one but me and his older brother (who probably won't give him the time of day), but he'll be in a new city and not know his way around, or know anything, really. I worry that this won't be better for him as far as helping him with him already feeling like he's on the 'outer'.

    Secondly, I don't want him coming to live with me, even short term, while he looks for work and a place to stay in Melbourne because I worry like crazy that he'll just go back to the way things were when he lived with me, with him being perfectly comfortable with me supporting him, and won't make any effort to move out or find a job. Whenever I visit my kids back in Perth, my daughter notes how he immediately starts acting like he's 10 years old, and starts treating me like I'll look after his every whim.

    But I actually think it would be good for him to move here if he was doing it with the right motivations. If he really wants to make a change in his life, start fresh, support himself and even move forward and build a future. I believe he has a better chance of that here in Melbourne than he will ever have in Perth.

    What I worry though, that this is just him running away from his problems back in Perth because the place he's living in now is not working out anymore, thinking that Melbourne will be this yellow brick road, not really having a plan, and if all else fails, at least mum will be here to save him if things don't go the way he wants.

    So...

    what would you do if you were me?

  2. #2

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    Its hard, hey.

    MIL is having alot of trouble with my 18yo SIL. She has finally, after 2 years sitting at home, decided to go back to tafe.
    I don't see what it'll do for her TBH. I believe she's only doing it to get the IL's off her back, because it was that, or get out of their house.

    She also went through a stage of stealing & using her older brothers compassion to get money out of him when it suited her.

    Have you talked to your DS about this at all? Maybe make an agreement that you'll help find accomodation for him in Melbourne, but he needs to have the money to support himself in the bank first. IYKWIM. At least a month or 2 worth of rent/food money etc?

  3. #3

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    Clover, you read my mind. I told him the first time he mentioned it, and again last night that he needs to have saved at least enough money to support himself for a month - paying rent and buying food - so about $1000. He has agreed to this and is saying he's giving himself about 3 - 4 months to do this.

    I don't want to come across as discouraging. I actually think that moving here could be such a positive thing for him. But I want him to do it the right way, IYKWIM.

  4. #4

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    I'm sorry to say but have you looked at the price of rent in Melbourne of late.....$1000. would not cover his first months rent depending on the suburb. We are on the fringe of the burbs on the country side and that amount won't cover the first months rent here so if he was to look closer to the city it would be a lot more.

    I think I'd ask him where he thinks he'd like to reside using a km radius and find out costings of rent for that.
    Don't forget to add in the bond as well for rentals.
    Not to mention the cost of food on top. Sorry to burst your bubble on the amount he'll need but if your not wanting him to bludge off of you he needs to take all this into account.
    And a job there are plenty of web site where he can find work before he gets to Melbourne.

    Good luck

  5. #5

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    Fromscratch, I think he'd be living in a share house. When DH and I lived in one when we first moved out we payed like $550 a month for out little room

    No advice Sush, I think you've got the right idea. He needs to know that moving to Melbourne doesn't mean bludging, but if he genuinely is lonely it could be a good opportunity for him to make some (good influencing) new friends and move onwards and upwards with his life.

  6. #6

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    I think Sushee means that he is looking for share accommodation, so rent shouldn't be that expensive?

    Sush, I think telling him to have a decent plan and some savings before he comes over is a good idea. He's an adult now and even though you're still his Mum, he has to do this himself and you know that, but he has to learn it too. I totally understand your worry about him getting there and thinking you'll support him again. Maybe ask him to sign up for recruitment agencies etc and make an active efffort to find work or training to do once he's here, because if he leaves it till he is actually there, then there are going to be a few weeks at least before he can get that sorted out and in the mean time he'll be doing nothing kwim?

  7. #7

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    Yes, I meant a sharehouse. There is no way he can afford to rent on his own. I live in an relatively inner city Melbourne suburb so I do know this. And he doesn't earn enough now to be able to save more than $1000 in a few months, so I'm trying to balance what is doable with what is practical for him.

    I reiterated over and over that he is an adult now and cannot expect that I will catch him if he falls. And he says he is aware of this and doesn't want to depend on me, but what is the motivation then for wanting to move? I would love to think it's coz he loves me and wants to me close to me (haha) but I don't know that that's necessarily true.

    ETA sorry Trill posted as the same time as you. He's unskilled - he's a short order cook where he is now - so looking at seek and other websites won't probably do a lot for him. I walk down the road in Brunswick and I see that a lot of cafes advertise their vacancies in their window, so I think that sort of thing might be his best bet. He is, however, looking for work online in gumtree etc and is also looking at sharehouses to see what he can afford. So by all accounts he looks like he's taking it seriously.

    The other thing is he's due to come visit for 10 days in April with my 5yo (and both will stay with me), and he's saying he thinks he might look around to see what's out there. If he can score a job, he might go home, pack up and come back but obviously, again, he would have to stay with me until he finds a place. I guess if that happens, I would be having to say - you have x amounts of weeks to find a place or you're out. But the problem is, I think he knows I won't likely throw him out in a new state where he doesn't know anyone...

    *sigh*
    Last edited by sushee; February 22nd, 2012 at 10:18 AM.

  8. #8

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    That sound great hon. Thanks for the clarrification on accom. The amount you suggested makes perfect sence now.
    I hope it all works out for you both.
    It does sound like he's in the right head space. Fingers crossed for you

  9. #9

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    You might not throw him out, but you can make him accountable and make him pay his way when he is there. Surely it shouldn't be too hard to find share accom should it? Is it too late for him to turn his experience as a short order cook into an apprenticeship?

  10. #10

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    My eldest brother was a horror at that age too. Damned near killed my mother with the stress. He didn't improve until he joined the army at 21. It was a shocking time for all of us. Once he moved out, he wasn't allowed back and couldn't have keys to the house either. That was to protect the rest of us. He finally grew up when he got to his late 30s.

    If he's serious about doing this on his own, then make sure he has to. How about he stays at a backpackers and looks for work from there? It's a good way to meet other people his own age, he can see how much it costs while he's looking for shared accommodation. I did that when I moved to Sydney years ago. I was in backpackers for a couple of weeks while I found temp work and a place to stay.

    Moving back with Mum is too easy. I did it. It was supposed to be a month. 13 months later she tearily kicked me out and fair enough too. I was taking advantage. The last time I stayed was when I moved back to Melb and by then I couldn't find my own place fast enough that's what a few extra years and maturity does.

    Btw - has he thought of going to work in the mines? I'm sure they could do with cooks and he may be able to find other work while he's there.

    It's not the end of the world if he's running away. He may have to learn the hard way. It's part of growing up to learn to work through your problems. Just don't let that mean he dumps on you.

  11. #11

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    The backpackers idea is a really good one, L&B, thank you. Trill, I think I'm wary of him moving in and never moving out, even if he does pay rent. His older brother did that to me last year - asked if he could stay for 2 weeks coz he already had another sharehouse to move to. But after he'd moved in, that sharehouse, strangely enough, fell through, so could he just pay board until he found a place? 6 months later I had not received one cent in board and he had settled in nicely to Mum feeding him and putting a roof over his head. I've been bitten before and so am very leery of it happening again.

    I will speak to him again soon and suggest the backpackers. I will even look for one for him that is fairly central. And you're right, it's a good way for him to make friends too.

    I haven't thought about suggesting the mines. He is still under 18 until June so I think that makes it difficult. But I also gather he doesn't want to stay in Perth (where it's easiest to get a job on the mines). For all his faults, he is a very shy boy, and he often gets bullied, and I worry about him in a place where there is so much testosterone too (am I a mum or what?). One of the reasons he's not getting on with DD's bf is because the bf is very very alpha male and can be quite aggressive and my 18yo doesn't deal with that well. He just retreats.

    I just want him to be happy, you know? And I'm trying to do what's best for him, even if he doesn't realise it. You're only young once, you should be out there living life, not hiding at home under your mum's skirt!


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