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Is there a tactful way to find out if a son is actually going to his new job?

Oct 27, 2017
6,036
I'm hoping that it will be a wake up call for him to get things in order in his life. He will be 20 next week and spends most of his days playing videogames and watching streamers. I really feel like he may need a dose of real life to get things in order.
this thread was bound to head in this direction, just so you know.

but in direct response to this - different people mature and become ready at different times. i didn't move out of my parents house until i was 25 and i'm doing pretty well for myself. instead of trying to make an example you could... i dunno... be a parent and try and find out what's going on with him?
 

Siyou

Member
Oct 27, 2017
360
Probably back with his grandparents, I would assume. I have been keeping them up to date on what is going on, so it won't be a complete surprise for them.
I've known people in his predicament. What it comes down to is that he's quite comfortable. If you're going to have talks with him about 'getting his life in order' though, you're disrespecting him. I get it, but he'll tell you anything you want to hear as you've got the high ground, though. My suggestion would be to offer breadcrumbs rather than goals, such as sitting down and talking to him at certain times daily and thumbing through tangible goals. Talk to him about your struggles. Make appointments of things to do, such as going for walks. If he's good now, rolling the dice on hoping a 'hard knock' will set him straight is leaving a lot to chance.
 
OP
OP

jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
337
this thread was bound to head in this direction, just so you know.

but in direct response to this - different people mature and become ready at different times. i didn't move out of my parents house until i was 25 and i'm doing pretty well for myself. instead of trying to make an example you could... i dunno... be a parent and try and find out what's going on with him?
I am trying, but to a certain extent, the walls are up when it comes to him. I will have a talk with him again tonight though and see how it goes.
 
OP
OP

jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
337
I've known people in his predicament. What it comes down to is that he's quite comfortable. If you're going to have talks with him about 'getting his life in order' though, you're disrespecting him. I get it, but he'll tell you anything you want to hear as you've got the high ground, though. My suggestion would be to offer breadcrumbs rather than goals, such as sitting down and talking to him at certain times daily and thumbing through tangible goals. Talk to him about your struggles. Make appointments of things to do, such as going for walks. If he's good now, rolling the dice on hoping a 'hard knock' will set him straight is leaving a lot to chance.
When I say "get your life in order" I guess I should be more clear. Because of the decisions he has made recently, a lot of people in his life have been down on him, so I have tried to go the more positive route. So in getting your life in order, its more "like have you tried this?" "This is what I had to deal with." You are capable of achieving this"- I try to give him a pep talk, and I think that's why he responds to it in the moment, but not long term.
 

Var

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
670
So if he has a kid already and no job. Is he paying child support? How is he helping out there? I feel like that alone should be a huge incentive for him to get a job or at least his GED so he can get a job.
 
OP
OP

jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
337
So if he has a kid already and no job. Is he paying child support? How is he helping out there? I feel like that alone should be a huge incentive for him to get a job or at least his GED so he can get a job.
He is not and it should be. That is what is so frustrating for me.
 

Kieli

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,253
Charge him rent or kick him out. No point wasting your own time being suspicious or snooping around.
 

Threadkular

Member
Dec 29, 2017
872
Just ask for a nominal amount of rent and let him figure out how much he has to hustle himself. Micromanaging a kid at 19 seems useless.
So I'm not a parent, but from that perspective this is the best advice. You can't control other people, especially adults. You also shouldn't enable them.

All that said, I may be eating my words should my partner and I ever choose to have kids.
 

voOsh

Member
Apr 5, 2018
1,165
So a little background. Not with his mom anymore, but I helped raise him since he was five. His mom was fed up with him for this exact type of thing and he spent some time with grandparents and eventually moved in with me. Initially, it was only temporary because he had friends that he was supposed to move in with in a few months. That fell through, and I actually told him, yes, you can stay with me, but you will have to get a job and pay some rent. That was like, at least, a month and a half to two months ago. I finally gave him two weeks notice- find a job or you are out. Literally, with only a day or two left, he said he got the job.

Here's the thing also. He's led his life up till this point having his hand held through everything and it has left him with a kid in the burbs (hour and a half away), no job, no GED, and no license. He is a good kid, I actually like having him around, and he is great with my two small children I have. When I have talks with him about getting his life in order, I genuinely think he believes in what I am saying and I believe, in the moment, he wants to do those things. Unfortunately, when it comes time to make the right decisions, he falls back into his bad habits. Lying, laziness, lack of any motivation. I do worry that, because of where his life is right now that he could be depressed (and I'm sure completely overwhelmed), but getting him to open up about anything like that is near impossible. Also, his mom has tried to take him to counselors and therapists in the past and he has no interest in taking part. From what I have learned about therapy, if you are not engaged in the process, it will not work.

I'm at the point where I feel horrible that I can't help him but I can't enable this behavior any longer if he is lying to me.

This is more background than I was initially willing to give, but reading some of the responses, I felt it necessary.
Wow I missed this before that he is a father.

I would love to agree with the folks saying you need to give him time and let him find his spark or whatever. I think he needs to start working towards ANYTHING right now. He could sit around in this comfortable lifestyle for many years, ruin any chance he has of having a meaningful relationship with his child, and just generally look back hating his life and going down darker paths. It sounds like you've tried your best to help in positive ways by talking to him and taking him to professionals. That didn't work so now you need to push a little harder and incentivize him.

Ask for a token amount of rent (give him a 30-60 day heads up) and explain to him that if he cannot pay you would like him to move out, not because you're angry, but because you don't believe his current environment is good for him.

Don't stalk him or anything like that. He is an adult and needs to start being treated like one.

edit: also teach him to drive and get his license.
 

dubc35

Member
Oct 27, 2017
738
WA, USA
Have an honest discussion with him about what you posted in the OP (leave out going there and asking about him) and why you're skeptical. Do it in a loving parental way and not a "you're lying!" way. If he's not going he should tell you. If not, tell him you're proud of him and looking forward to celebrating when he gets his first check.
 

FeliciaFelix

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,645
Him having a kid (that he doesnt pay or support) changes the equation, he no longer has the luxury of "finding himself".
 

viral

Member
Oct 25, 2017
329
It might sound cruel, but I think kicking him out is the best way to go. He sounds like a spoiled brat and he really needs a wake-up call. Or if you don't want to kick him out, start treating him like a kid (since that's what he is) until he starts paying rent - take away his games, set rules, etc.
 
OP
OP

jimtothehum

Member
Mar 23, 2018
337
Wow I missed this before that he is a father.

I would love to agree with the folks saying you need to give him time and let him find his spark or whatever. I think he needs to start working towards ANYTHING right now. He could sit around in this comfortable lifestyle for many years, ruin any chance he has of having a meaningful relationship with his child, and just generally look back hating his life and going down darker paths. It sounds like you've tried your best to help in positive ways by talking to him and taking him to professionals. That didn't work so now you need to push a little harder and incentivize him.

Ask for a token amount of rent (give him a 30-60 day heads up) and explain to him that if he cannot pay you would like him to move out, not because you're angry, but because you don't believe his current environment is good for him.

Don't stalk him or anything like that. He is an adult and needs to start being treated like one.
All solid points. I will say that I gave him that rent speech about a month and a half ago, so that's why I'm at this point where I am reaching out to strangers on the internet.

Also- Despite the fact that I have been posting a bunch on this thread, trust me, I have two little toddlers to worry about. Besides running over there today to see if he was working, I have very little time or inclination to stalk the kid. That is not an issue.
 

sredgrin

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,884
He is lying to you, I have a brother that did the same sort of thing. Only thing that works is a hard brick wall. Start charging him rent, and if he can't make the rent, you're gonna need to do things like block his wifi access.

Start small with the rent so it's not impossible to meet, and ramp up if need be. He is probably embarrassed, he knows you know and you guys are in a stalemate now that is hard to break, so just be prepared and try not to too be harsh when he finally admits it.

Get him his driver's license too, that will help majorly with getting a job, presuming you might have a vehicle to spare and at the very least will increase his independence somewhat. Given what you've said of his situation I'd wager he is probably depressed too.
 

Var

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
670
If it turns out he doesn't have a job yet, you might want to give him the option of a one or two month extension with the requirement of him studying and getting his GED. He doesn't sound like a very motivated person so if he does start working now the odds are against him making time to go back and get his diploma or GED later. Getting it might help his confidence as well.
 

SugarNoodles

Member
Nov 3, 2017
7,943
Portland, OR
So a little background. Not with his mom anymore, but I helped raise him since he was five. His mom was fed up with him for this exact type of thing and he spent some time with grandparents and eventually moved in with me. Initially, it was only temporary because he had friends that he was supposed to move in with in a few months. That fell through, and I actually told him, yes, you can stay with me, but you will have to get a job and pay some rent. That was like, at least, a month and a half to two months ago. I finally gave him two weeks notice- find a job or you are out. Literally, with only a day or two left, he said he got the job.

Here's the thing also. He's led his life up till this point having his hand held through everything and it has left him with a kid in the burbs (hour and a half away), no job, no GED, and no license. He is a good kid, I actually like having him around, and he is great with my two small children I have. When I have talks with him about getting his life in order, I genuinely think he believes in what I am saying and I believe, in the moment, he wants to do those things. Unfortunately, when it comes time to make the right decisions, he falls back into his bad habits. Lying, laziness, lack of any motivation. I do worry that, because of where his life is right now that he could be depressed (and I'm sure completely overwhelmed), but getting him to open up about anything like that is near impossible. Also, his mom has tried to take him to counselors and therapists in the past and he has no interest in taking part. From what I have learned about therapy, if you are not engaged in the process, it will not work.

I'm at the point where I feel horrible that I can't help him but I can't enable this behavior any longer if he is lying to me.

This is more background than I was initially willing to give, but reading some of the responses, I felt it necessary.
It’s difficult to find a winning move here. Motivation has to become internalized at some point, and it’s clear that he hasn’t gotten that from life yet.

Forcing external motivators on him doesn’t really address that issue at it’s core. His mom taking him to therapy and counselors probably just translates as “you’re broken and I’ve given up on you” to him. Threatening to kick him out if he doesn’t get a job probably just translates as “you’re not worth having around unless you’re paying rent”

“Getting a job” isn’t really a metric for success anymore. In order to live comfortably a person needs a specific kind of job, and expecting him to see value in a job that doesn’t even allow him to support himself doesn’t make much sense.

Fear of being homeless or starving is such a common motivator for getting a job that we sometimes forget that it doesn’t mean it’s a good or healthy one.

You’re right that he’s probably depressed and directionless, and it’s clear why you want him to, for example, get a job, but I think you might be overestimating how much it will actually solve. “Get any job and figure it out from there” probably sounds reasonable from an older perspective but it doesn’t make sense to younger people, who know that getting an entry level position in a “low skill” field is basically just resigning yourself to living in poverty.

It’s especially difficult if he won’t open up about his feelings, though it’s certainly no surprise that a 19 year old guy doesn’t want to.

It’s still important to set boundaries like you have been, but there’s a lot going on underneath that will need to be addressed sooner or later.
 

Papercuts

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,578
Ooof, this changes a lot hearing he has his own kid.

It definitely doesn't sound like he actually works there. Even given retail fuckery that can happen (especially first week), people in the deli not knowing his name is a bad sign since they should all be aware a new person would be coming on the schedule.

It's pretty much impossible to hide something like that very long, especially employment in such a public place, but that whole situation sounds pretty rough.
 

FeliciaFelix

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,645
It’s difficult to find a winning move here. Motivation has to become internalized at some point, and it’s clear that he hasn’t gotten that from life yet.

Forcing external motivators on him doesn’t really address that issue at it’s core. His mom taking him to therapy and counselors probably just translates as “you’re broken and I’ve given up on you” to him. Threatening to kick him out if he doesn’t get a job probably just translates as “you’re not worth having around unless you’re paying rent”

“Getting a job” isn’t really a metric for success anymore. In order to live comfortably a person needs a specific kind of job, and expecting him to see value in a job that doesn’t even allow him to support himself doesn’t make much sense.

Fear of being homeless or starving is such a common motivator for getting a job that we sometimes forget that it doesn’t mean it’s a good or healthy one.

You’re right that he’s probably depressed and directionless, and it’s clear why you want him to, for example, get a job, but I think you might be overestimating how much it will actually solve. “Get any job and figure it out from there” probably sounds reasonable from an older perspective but it doesn’t make sense to younger people, who know that getting an entry level position in a “low skill” field is basically just resigning yourself to living in poverty.

It’s especially difficult if he won’t open up about his feelings, though it’s certainly no surprise that a 19 year old guy doesn’t want to.

It’s still important to set boundaries like you have been, but there’s a lot going on underneath that will need to be addressed sooner or later.
I want to agree with you, but I cant help but think his baby mama is not getting this type of soft touch. He should get a job not because of spiritual fulfillment but to buy his kid food and Pampers.
 

dem

Member
Nov 3, 2017
441
Make him attend school/GED and then go to a community college or some kind of schooling.
I don't know how to do it... but you gotta get him on some sort of track.


I was directionless after high school as well. I never worked a real job during the high school years... and felt like a joke even applying to jobs with no work experience. My parents basically forced me to enroll in classes. Went on to get a job in IT and I'm doing OK for myself now in my mid 30's. I have no idea what would have become of me if my parents didn't push me towards more education.
 

Tigress

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,400
Washington
Even given retail fuckery that can happen (especially first week), people in the deli not knowing his name is a bad sign since they should all be aware a new person would be coming on the schedule.
Uh... I work retail and usually I don't meet the new people until they have me train them as cashier (which usually is quite a few days). I could easily have no idea who some one is who just started working there if some one came and asked about them. And my store is not as big as a grocery store that has a deli and such.
 

BDS

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,175
Wait, he has a kid of his own? Is he required to pay child support or something?
 

Josh5890

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,294
Ooof, this changes a lot hearing he has his own kid.

It definitely doesn't sound like he actually works there. Even given retail fuckery that can happen (especially first week), people in the deli not knowing his name is a bad sign since they should all be aware a new person would be coming on the schedule.

It's pretty much impossible to hide something like that very long, especially employment in such a public place, but that whole situation sounds pretty rough.
This. When I worked at a grocery store, I always loved hearing the complaints "Why does the new guy get all the hours. This is BS."

If there is a new guy on the schedule, most people know him.
 

Papercuts

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,578
Uh... I work retail and usually I don't meet the new people until they have me train them as cashier (which usually is quite a few days). I could easily have no idea who some one is who just started working there if some one came and asked about them. And my store is not as big as a grocery store that has a deli and such.
Weird, maybe it depends on the store. I worked at a grocery store for a long time and always knew when someone new was starting, and they were introduced during orientation to every department.
 

FallenHeroX1

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
1,290
Imagine just talking to him about it and being understanding. Letting him know that it's okay if he is lying about it because he young and you just want the best for him. I know it sounds crazy but it's probably better than plotting behind his back and being a miserable fuck about it. 19 Years old is not a fully mature person and the law of what constitutes an adult issued by the government doesn't make it a fucking fact. Lots of garbage posters on this forum. You can have sex and not be ready for responsibility. Throwing more pressure on the situation is asking for it to burst. It's like claiming prison is good for drug addicts. He needs a parent, not a landlord.
 

ArjanN

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,785
It doesn't sound like he's going but playing a game of gotcha will only lead to resentment.
This,

Imagine just talking to him about it and being understanding. Letting him know that it's okay if he is lying about it because he young and you just want the best for him. I know it sounds crazy but it's probably better than plotting behind his back and being a miserable fuck about it. 19 Years old is not a fully mature person and the law of what constitutes an adult issued by the government doesn't make it a fucking fact. Lots of garbage posters on this forum. You can have sex and not be ready for responsibility. Throwing more pressure on the situation is asking for it to burst. It's like claiming prison is good for drug addicts. He needs a parent, not a landlord.
and this.
 

Thordinson

Member
Aug 1, 2018
1,521
Uh... I work retail and usually I don't meet the new people until they have me train them as cashier (which usually is quite a few days). I could easily have no idea who some one is who just started working there if some one came and asked about them. And my store is not as big as a grocery store that has a deli and such.
Same here. When I worked at Walmart stocking shelves, we didn’t meet new people until they were assigned to our department.
 

Josh5890

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,294
Imagine just talking to him about it and being understanding. Letting him know that it's okay if he is lying about it because he young and you just want the best for him. I know it sounds crazy but it's probably better than plotting behind his back and being a miserable fuck about it. 19 Years old is not a fully mature person and the law of what constitutes an adult issued by the government doesn't make it a fucking fact. Lots of garbage posters on this forum. You can have sex and not be ready for responsibility. Throwing more pressure on the situation is asking for it to burst. It's like claiming prison is good for drug addicts. He needs a parent, not a landlord.
The dude is a parent himself. It isn't ok for him to lie about having a job when he is supposed to be support a child, which is his legal responsibility.
 

Grug

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,632
Tell him you want to sit down in a month and help teach him organise his finances. Make it a set appointment. Tell him you are going to get him a physical file to organise his payslips, paperwork, tax documents etc, and also help him to make an Excel spreadsheet to budget and track his income, expenditure, savings goals etc. Frame it all as a positive, because it is. Guy needs some basic life coaching. Make up some story if you need to about how when you first got a job you wish you had someone to teach you all this stuff because you ended up forming bad habits etc.

He will need to be shown how to do this stuff anyway so it shows you care. Will also make it obvious if he’s actually working or not. The month‘s notice shows some trust and gives him time to straighten up if he’s playing it all a bit fast and loose.
 
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Zelenogorsk

Member
Mar 1, 2018
1,112
Hopefully he actually has a job and the weird hours are just a part of training (it happens). If not it might be time for some tough love.

I had a cousin whose never bothered getting a job because his mom payed his rent for him, he ended up doing time in jail for not paying child support. His mom finally cut him off financially when he was 24 and how at 25 he's homeless.
 
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SugarNoodles

Member
Nov 3, 2017
7,943
Portland, OR
I want to agree with you, but I cant help but think his baby mama is not getting this type of soft touch. He should get a job not because of spiritual fulfillment but to buy his kid food and Pampers.
I kind of assumed that the part about him having a kid in the burbs was some sort typo, but yeah, it does change things.

One thing is for sure, he does need some form of counseling to manage this in a remotely healthy manner. Maybe there’s a young fathers support group that he can go to with OP.

This is all difficult enough without throwing having a kid into the mix, but like you said, it’s not like his ex has it easier.
 

Akira86

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,934
He’s 19. Micromanaging when he should go to bed is not useful.

Make your expectations clear and leave him alone if he is meeting them. Don’t make it nebulous standards like “well, you did get a job but your sleep schedule doesn’t seem good...”

What he is describing sounds very normal for a grocery store job. Oh, and he can absolutely tell that you don’t trust him.

Do you want him to move out? If so, when? What kind of salary does he need in order to make that happen? If his current job won’t allow for that, what’s the long term plan? Do you want him saving money?

This runs a lot deeper than “how do I know he’s actually employed”
i think this is less an issue of trust and more of a "please show me you're not a fuckup". They both know they don't trust one another lol.
 

GnarlyGunk

Member
Aug 7, 2019
156
Honestly speaking, I’m sure there are other employees at the store to train him. If they weren’t there, they would give him the heads up anyway. But like others have said, just ask for proof of pay and go from there
 

echoshifting

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,377
The Negative Zone
Hard to say what the right move is here if he's supposed to be paying child support and he is lying about having a job (he probably is). I think charging him rent is the last thing you want to do here, though. He needs to be earning enough to pay child support and he should be putting the rest of his time into earning his GED and learning some kind of trade. He doesn't need additional financial burdens, he needs hope that a better future is still achievable. I wouldn't be surprised if he thinks his life is broken beyond repair.

I think I would just sit him down and lay these targets out for him, and tell him you will do whatever he needs to support him in that as long as he's putting in the work. Maybe do a written outline of goals, deadlines, and specific things he needs to do to achieve them.

If he just won't do it, well, I hate to say it because I am almost always opposed to tough love, but you don't want to be involved in enabling him to sit around, playing games and watching streams, while dodging child support. I am sure you want to protect your son, but I'd feel really bad for the young woman/girl who is caught up in this, raising his child.
 

cameron

The Fallen
Oct 26, 2017
8,598
So a little background. Not with his mom anymore, but I helped raise him since he was five. His mom was fed up with him for this exact type of thing and he spent some time with grandparents and eventually moved in with me. Initially, it was only temporary because he had friends that he was supposed to move in with in a few months. That fell through, and I actually told him, yes, you can stay with me, but you will have to get a job and pay some rent. That was like, at least, a month and a half to two months ago. I finally gave him two weeks notice- find a job or you are out. Literally, with only a day or two left, he said he got the job.

Here's the thing also. He's led his life up till this point having his hand held through everything and it has left him with a kid in the burbs (hour and a half away), no job, no GED, and no license. He is a good kid, I actually like having him around, and he is great with my two small children I have. When I have talks with him about getting his life in order, I genuinely think he believes in what I am saying and I believe, in the moment, he wants to do those things. Unfortunately, when it comes time to make the right decisions, he falls back into his bad habits. Lying, laziness, lack of any motivation. I do worry that, because of where his life is right now that he could be depressed (and I'm sure completely overwhelmed), but getting him to open up about anything like that is near impossible. Also, his mom has tried to take him to counselors and therapists in the past and he has no interest in taking part. From what I have learned about therapy, if you are not engaged in the process, it will not work.

I'm at the point where I feel horrible that I can't help him but I can't enable this behavior any longer if he is lying to me.

This is more background than I was initially willing to give, but reading some of the responses, I felt it necessary.
You're a good parent in a tough spot. I don't have any solid advice.

He's led his life up till this point having his hand held through everything and it has left him with a kid in the burbs (hour and a half away), no job, no GED, and no license.
When I have talks with him about getting his life in order, I genuinely think he believes in what I am saying and I believe, in the moment, he wants to do those things. Unfortunately, when it comes time to make the right decisions, he falls back into his bad habits.
Also, his mom has tried to take him to counselors and therapists in the past and he has no interest in taking part.
This situation is where unemployed young adults, who are dependent on relatives, become a creature of habit. He should be in school, working, or looking for work.

Does he have close friends in real life (not online) who work or are in school? They would be some motivation.