This reply was originally posted by user najn in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
I understand your feelings. You don’t want to see your son homeless. I can put all kinds of limits but I would never allow my son to be homeless. I may not be as strong as I should be or as smart as I should be, but a son of mine wouldn’t end up on the street unless I have no way to keep him off the street.
To me, that is a line that I will not cross no matter what specialist with how many degrees says so. However, I would set other rules and use other bargain chips.
I relaxed my demands as much as I could so that I could focus in the most important expectations.
Even if I don’t like it, he takes a shower, cleans his room, etc., when and if he wants. I just settle for the common areas like the kitchen, the family room, etc., where he has to keep tidy and help with the chores that keep the house going.
In my case, I want my son to stay out of addictions, avoid violent behaviors (he is very strong and he needs to be careful not to damage things or people), and eventually become a productive and self sufficient adult.
My son’s behavior since he became 18 until he became 22 was pretty much what you just described. Doing nothing besides playing video games, not caring about school, etc.
Now he is 24 and he works hard. He has understood the practical value of dressing properly and doing his laundry or keeping his bedroom fairly free of garbage or dirt or mess. It may take a life time, but we are all learning throughout or entire lives.
Also, now that he works he gets more respect from people. He used to be embarrassed by questions about his education or occupation because he had nothing to show, and those kinds of questions are very normal when our social circle is adults more or less my age that have children more or less his age.
He understands now that his income makes our lives better. He is saving for his studies, and he has put aside enough money for his tuition for a tech training that pays better than his current job and will allow him to save for the university.
However, I speak to him every day. I let him see my point of view. For example, no matter how hard I try, I won’t last forever, and he has to become self sufficient way before I am gone.
I have my own issues too. I am not perfect, but I can tell he is growing and improving even if it takes time.