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18 year old troubles

18 year old troubles

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18 year old troubles

Hello. I’m new to this site. I have some major issues with my 18 year old son. He has always been head strong but since turning 18 he believes no one can tell him what to do. He lives at home with me and my husband and 2 younger siblings. He does not respect curfews, is extremely lazy and very rude and disrespectful towards me. I know he drinks when he goes out and has also taken drugs. I can’t talk to him and have suggested counselling to which he refused. I’m heart broken and can barely function anymore. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Community Manager

Re: 18 year old troubles

Hi @Wishful and welcome to ReachOut Parents!

 

Thank you for reaching out to our parents community, I can hear how much you love your son and want the best for him Heart It sounds like you have noticed significant changes in your son's behaviour since his last birthday. Would you be comfortable to tell us a little bit about what he was like before these changes? Have there been any big things happening in his life? I can definitely understand why you are feeling concerned for him at the moment Heart 

 

You've mentioned feeling heartbroken, and I want you to know that we are here to listen- you are not alone and there are some amazing parents here who will lend an ear when you need one Heart When your son's behaviour is really hurting, do you have anyone you can talk to or lean on? How do you look after your wellbeing?

 

Sending my thoughts your way today Heart 

__________

Check out our community activities calendar for December 2019 here
Active scribe

Re: 18 year old troubles

Hello and thank you for your reply. I guess the changes I have noticed is simply that as of turning 18 he thinks he no longer has to abide by the rules. He behaves as though he doesn’t really like spending any time with his family and is always out. He enjoys partying and I do know he has experimented with drugs which I’m so upset about. I do think he has some underlying issues but he refuses to get counselling. I can’t seem to talk to him any more as he always gets angry with whatever I say. Our relationship is quite poor at the moment. I do have 1 person who has been a great support for me but I feel sad every day and find it difficult to focus on anything else. I try to enforce some basic rules- around curfews mainly but he hasn’t really been listening. It’s difficult to discipline an 18 year old. Any advice to try to turn this situation around would be much appreciated.
Community Manager

Re: 18 year old troubles

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Hello @Wishful , it's good to hear from you again. 

 

You sound like a very caring mum, and it sounds like this is really stressful for you. It's great that you're reaching out here for help and support.  Negotiating boundaries for teenagers, especially after they've turned 18, can be really challenging. I'm hearing that you have some concerns particularly around drug use, partying and boundaries around curfews - as a parent myself, I can completely understand how challenging this must be. 

 

There's some resources here that may be helpful for you, have you had a chance to check them out? 

https://parents.au.reachout.com/common-concerns/everyday-issues/things-to-try-alcohol

https://parents.au.reachout.com/skills-to-build/connecting-and-communicating/building-trust-and-teen...

https://parents.au.reachout.com/common-concerns/everyday-issues/drugs-and-teenagers

 

The last resource I've linked here has some suggestions for how you could raise these issues with your son, these can be really tricky issues to navigate, and you're not alone. 

 

You mention that you're feeling sad every day, and find it difficult to focus on anything else. It is completely understandable that you would be feeling this way, and that can be really hard. Would you be open to seeking some support to help you? Seeing a counsellor or chatting to your GP could be really helpful. 

 

We're so glad that you reached out here  Heart 

 

Active scribe

Re: 18 year old troubles

Thank you for the links. I have checked them out but unfortunately at this time I just can’t seem to even start a conversation with him without it turning into an argument. I am currently seeing a counsellor and hope this may be able to help me. Im not going to give up even though I feel so exhausted by it all. I’m wondering if anyone else has had this issue in the past and how they handled it. He thinks I’m trying to control him but I’m not, I’m simply trying to put in some basic rules to keep him safe. Being 18 doesn’t automatically make you a responsible adult. That takes time. He doesn’t see it . Thank you for your support.
Scribe

Re: 18 year old troubles

I just want you to know you’re not alone in this battle. I too have an 18 year old son and although he respects me and curfews, he doesn’t open up to me. As a parent we sometimes still see them as our baby and it’s tough. One day at a time ❤️
Community Manager

Re: 18 year old troubles

Hi @Wishful and thank you for your response. There is something you mentioned that I am sure a lot of parents can relate to "Being 18 doesn’t automatically make you a responsible adult. That takes time. He doesn’t see it ." I can imagine it is so hard when he doesn't see all the things you know he needs to stay safe and well Heart

 

Hi @Ginger123 and welcome to ReachOut! I am wondering if you have any advice for Wishful, how do you find setting boundaries and rules? You've also mentioned that your son also struggles to open up to you, how do you navigate that in your home?

 

It is really beautiful to see our community members supporting each other- as @Ginger123 said, "You’re not alone in this battle". Very powerful words!

__________

Check out our community activities calendar for December 2019 here
Active scribe

Re: 18 year old troubles

Thankyou for taking the time to respond. It is truly a blessing to have this forum to connect with other parents who are facing similar challenges. Not much has changed at the moment for me. My focus is to try and reflect on how I can change my behaviours to try and approach this issue and repair our relationship. I won’t however change my stance on drugs and I do believe boundaries are necessary at this young adult stage. I guess it’s about what I can do differently to get my message across. I pray daily and hope things improve soon. I will keep you posted.
Community Manager

Re: 18 year old troubles

hi @Wishful , it's really great to see you here, and I'm glad that you have had some support from our other forum members too Smiley Happy 

 

I completely hear you with the difficulties in negotiating relationships and boundaries with 18 year olds, it's not like there's a magical transition to adulthood that happens the second they turn 18, despite what they may think ! It's a time of transition both for adult children living at home and their parents, and I think that setting boundaries is completely appropriate, especially when your son is living under your roof. 

 

Do you have 'house rules' around things like household chores? Does your son tend to still participate in things like eating dinner with the family? It sounds like you're a really good communicator, and hopefully you can continue to negotiate acceptable boundaries with him. 

 

I love how you focus on repairing your relationship - because I do think that it can be easy to lose sight of how important that is. We are all here for you - parenting young adults can be so challenging. 

Active scribe

Re: 18 year old troubles

Hello. My son doesn’t really have set chores. It’s always been a battle to get my children to help around the house. I think I’ve been too soft which has not worked out well at all. If I could turn back time I would do so many things differently but unfortunately I can’t and have to try to deal with the here and now. He doesn’t spend a lot of time at home, occasionally he will have dinner with us but I would like him to spend more time with us. Family has always been so important to me and I’m so upset with the situation I find myself in. My son is currently staying with family as I just couldn’t deal with the stress anymore. I’m hoping the time apart will do us both good however my main concern is the drug taking that seems to go hand in hand with going out on weekends. They know the dangers and risks but do it any way. It’s very difficult to ground an 18 year old. I hope I have some better news soon.