Do I ask my 22yr old to leave or let him stay?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Parents Do I ask my 22yr old to leave or let him stay?

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    • #68586

      Hi all, not sure where you all are from but i live in New Zealand, this is my first time here and i find myself sitting in front of my computer crying my eyes out as all this hits home so hard. My son is 22 yrs old and is the most beautiful young man. he would do anything for you if you asked but would forget within two seconds if the games were on or TV or (now) his phone games. I’m at my wits end trying over the last 3 years, to get him to take the next step in life and get a job and become independent. He has done 4 training courses and passed only one. he had one job interview for the best job (horticultural trainee) and he said barely anything in the interview. he has ADD and anxiety. I’m a solo mum of 4 children and i can’t afford to have him unemployed and living with me. We have discussed his needs and he wants a job and the money to go with it but his anxiety and ADD just gets in the way. He has been training for a horticultural level 4 certificate and i find out that he is now going to fail it. we discussed at the beginning of the year that he would have to move out if he failed yet another course and he could stay if he passed and he agreed to it, ( this was to be an incentive to stay if he passed). now that the year is up and he has failed i’m not sure i can follow through. he spends some evenings over night on friends couches and sometimes i don’t see him for 4 days. i’m terrified that he is going to get into drugs and get hurt. he is very socially naive and will do just about anything for his “friends”. when he is home he plays computer games and PlayStation and since i have taken these away (due to him failing) he has got a game on his phone he plays from getting up to while in bed going to sleep.
      i feel angry, resentful and scared most of the time towards him. (oh more tears) never said that before.
      so do i follow through or allow him to stay? has anyone had any experience with their child or as a therapist? is there hope as i seem to have lost mine?

    • #68587

      I also have a 22 yr. old son who sounds like he may be living in your home!! I kicked him out several times, and he is now living with his grandmother doing exactly the same thing. He has not done much in the way of making changes. He also seems to be very immature for his age. I wonder if you have the same issue with your son? He’s more like a 16-17 year old. He won’t take ADD medication and is also quite socially anxious. He does not like the meds and he has never kept a job for more than a few weeks. He does not have friends from high school and none that are actually not “online friends” It’s very bizarre to me. I have not found a solution. He doesn’t even seem to care that other people are paying for his (non) life-style.

      It always seems to me that if he were doing drugs, at least he would have a reason for behaving this way. His grandmother does not seem to mind that he does not want to work and she is ok with him just living there and playing games all the time. I too was a single parent. His father and my parents both took him in for a few months, only to find that what I was telling them was not an exaggeration.

      I wish I had an answer for you. I really do. But I guess I am just adding my story so you know you are not the only mother with a child who is like this. I seriously thought I was the only mother that had a grown child. I feel like I did something wrong. I fear that my youngest child will follow in his footsteps. Ugghh.. I am always waiting for the day that he tell me.. ” Mom, I have to go to work, but I’ll talk to you later” or ” Mom, I got an apartment, and it’s really nice, you should come see it.”

    • #68588

      I should also add – My son is EXTREMELY smart. He did not even finish 9th grade, but got a perfect score on his GED test from the state. So he has a high school equivalency diploma for which he did ZERO studying for. He spent all of his high school years showing up to class, but never turning in a lick on work. Which does not help the frustration that his intelligence is so ridiculous- but he can’t hold a job down for more than 2 weeks.

    • #68589

      I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time now. This is where I’m afraid my son is headed. He too is socially naive, ADD, has anxiety, and is crazy about his games. He’s 14, but seems to have lost all motivation to do anything but play video games. I don’t have much advice, but just wanted to reach out and let you know you are not alone! What treatment has your son received for his conditions? Is there a therapist or job coach who could work with him on interview skills? What about volunteer work? Less pressure, but gives you experience and chance to develop some work skills. . You mentioned money as an issue, but maybe if he could get some volunteer experience it would boost his confidence in an interview situation. Maybe you could condition him staying on doing at least volunteer work and working on getting his certificate. I’m in US, so I’m unfamiliar with resources in New Zealand for young adults with disabilities. Is there a rehabilitation service that helps people with disabilities to find jobs. We have a government agency here that provides that kind of service. Sorry not much help. Wish you much luck and blessings!

    • #68590

      Hi sydmom, thank you for your reply. yes my son is very socially young for his age. he has some friends for high school, or should i say had as they have moved on from him and have jobs and girl friends/fiancees. he tends to hang out with 16-18 yr olds. i get the drug thing he would have an excuse but not a good one. sometimes i feel that i am doing all the motivational things for him and he is just not getting it.
      other people don’t get it when i say he is different. and think i’m exaggerating too. but it is just so frustrating.
      sounds like kicking your son out didn’t work. he just did the same things but not in your house. lol
      thanks again

    • #68592

      hi deb91, thanks for your reply, there is not much help here in NZ for ADHD that I can find. he takes Ritalin for his ADHD but often doen’t take it or runs out of it and needs another Drs appointment to get some more which he finds very stressful. volunteering is a great idea, i’m going to look into that.
      i have found a link in another post for gaming it is about how to hack the gaming addiction and use it for life skills. the Youtuber is good and i’ve watched some more of her posts which are good. try her.
      your boy is 14 and that is great you have time to readjust his routines, while he is still a bit interested in what you think. aren’t habits and routines so hard to adjust once they have them in play. all the best

    • #68594

      i am loving this YouTube, Jessica McCabe, check out this one its about her story and i think my son may listen to her.

      • #68753

        Hi – I was intrigued to read your post and the replies on here. Firstly – let me say how very, very sorry I am for you and your situation, and give you a GREAT BIG (virtual) HUG. You need it and deserve it. All I can do is share my experience, but it may help in some way. And knowing you are not alone can be very reassuring. I live in England.
        My story is that I have been involved romantically for five years with a 65 year old man who, I now think, has ADD or ADHD. He is also an alcoholic – or if not, then he certainly drinks far more than is good for him. As we were long-distance, at first I did not know what the hell was going on – even though I had known him socially for many years before we got together (and to be fair, it was me who chased him, as I really fancied him!)- then gradually, very slowly I worked it all out, after reading stuff about alcoholism and personality disorders and psychology and finally ADHD. It is pretty much “over” with us now, as he has blocked my phones, so I can’t contact him. He got annoyed with me “nagging” him about the booze and trying to straighten him out – although I did try not to nag, just support. We loved each other very much in the beginning and he seemed besotted with me, but he was a nightmare. Very naive and childish in many ways. Too trusting – but unable to understand the “rules”, either of society or a loving relationship. Extremely anxious. Drinking heavily. Unpredictable. Unreliable. Unstable emotionally – prone to “melt-downs” for no real reason. Erupts like Vesuvius, but takes no responsibility for it – shifting the blame. Very, very anxious. Gets depressed. Very paranoid and distrustful at times. Bears grudges. Critical. Selfish. Hopeless with money. Now in debt. The list goes on and on. BUT – he is also very sweet, charming and loving when he wants to be – or it seems it is in his interest to be. He loves to be loved and cuddled. He will do anything for anyone, and gets taken advantage of because of that. He is like Jekyll and Hyde. At first, I thought it was the booze causing him to be this way, but I am now certain that it is more than that, he has an underlying psyschological problem, and he uses the booze as medication. Of course, that will also have an effect on his brain, and makes him depressed, so it does not help.
        HOWEVER – it is not all bad. He did train as a lawyer and seems to have a very retentive brain. He is from a wealthy family, and went to boarding school (but he showed me his old books which are full of red marks!!). He has a very supportive mother. He was married for 25 years or so to a seemingly lovely, sweet, gentle lady – and has two beautiful children – now 23 and 25, who are doing well. BUT it all went pear-shaped 13 years ago, when he got into debt with his legal company and “borrowed” from the client account to pay the mortgage and school fees – which of course he was unable to pay back. He then went to prison for 2 years. At that point his wife did not want him back and they divorced some years later, when she remarried.
        He told me not to worry about him, as he is a survivor – and he seems to be. He played organ in church on Sundays and weddings/funerals and got paid a little for that. He also volunteered at a National Trust house, which he loved, and that gave him something to get up for. He recently set up a choir and organizes concerts and events – so he IS capable of having some sort of a life – just every so often it goes badly. He has now given up his organ playing, since he got his pension at the end of September, and the National Trust house is closed for the winter, so I worry that things will go badly for him again soon. His only “friend” is the woman next door who comes around to booze with him (he buys her drink!!), and they get paralytic together. I fear for his future, but he does not want me in it now to guide and support him. If he truly is a survivor, maybe he will work something out, and keep on going from one disaster to another – one relationship to another – he keeps on moving from one woman to another. All I can say is that he has well and truly broken my heart. I have cried buckets over him. I loved him more than I can say – loved his sweet, gentle nature – but hated the monster inside him. I still worry about him and wonder how he is doing. All we can do, I believe, is be there for these people. Hard as it is, they did not ask to be inflicted with a mental health problem – I truly believe they need as much loving help and support as they can get. Leave no stone unturned to find out what you can to help you both. Here in England one can self-refer to psychological counselling. Or try to find a doctor who understands all of this and can point you in the right direction. You, too, may get some benefit from counselling. I have had two (free) sessions myself, and it has helped me understand. Hard as it is, try more than anything to realize that what they do or say is not personal against YOU. It is just the condition taking over. I find that helps a lot. Try to keep strong and keep on being there for him – but try to set “boundaries”. Try to get him involved in something worth-while – he needs something to boost his confidence. Look at hobbies. I have read that diet also helps to regulate this condition. It is worth looking into that. Certain foods and supplements help to strengthen the brain and the neuro-transmitters to the brain, it seems. I wish you the very best of luck – and send you one last great big hug to help you on your way. Keep your chin up!! Love and hugs, Lorna xx

    • #68598

      Sorry for what you’re going through! I have a 9 year old daughter so I’m not in the same boat but wanted to share a few thoughts.

      If you are paying for the phone then cut off his service or cut off the games feature of the phone. If he doesn’t have the phone to distract him then he’ll find some other way to spend his time, hopefully in a more productive way,

      Next, can you find out what is going wrong in the training program? Is he not really interested? Is he too distracted to concentrate on the material? Why is he about to fail? Is it fear? Is it lack of motivation? Is he unable to concentrate on his studies?

      Can you afford to send him to a therapist who has a lot of experience with add who can help him evaluate his life and come up with a realistic plan of action?

      I know he’s 22 so there’s only so much you can control but I would also look into other lifestyle factors like diet and exercise. Can he join a gym? Can he join a hiking club? He needs to be a part of something positive and then try and build from there!

      Wishing you the best of luck!

    • #68650
      Penny Williams

      This special parenthood sure isn’t easy. As late teens and young adults, our kids should be taking care of themselves by societal standards, but they’re developmentally delayed and don’t mature until several years past their peers.

      Grow Up Already! Why It Takes So Long to Mature

      Is he interested in horticulture? Truly interested? I ask because it doesn’t seem like it. Either he’s not interested in this area, or there are other barriers to him succeeding with these courses. It might be wise for him to try some different things out and see what he really enjoys. Motivation for those with ADHD comes from interest.

      Secrets of Your ADHD Brain

      I would suggest drawing up a contract with him. He can expect from you: a roof over his head, food, love, and support… and you expect that he works and contributes to the household, whether that be financially or by helping around the house and with the other children. Both parties sign and both parties have to follow through or the easier lie staying at home won’t be an option. Ultimately, your next step has to be something you feel is beneficial.

      If you can hire an ADHD coach, I’d strongly encourage that too.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #68735

      Once I was a 16 year old who had been invited to stay aaway from school until i had completed all my missing home work. It didnt matter that i was underage and could ace any test or exam they dreamed up….i just did not work from home. Detention on the other hand was a great place to finish assignments and in an hour in detention i could get 3 hours work completed. I had worked part time the previous two summers and during weekends so getting a job the not good ones was not only doable but essential. My fathers rule was you got to choose, attend school or pay roomand board. Everything I did at home was to escape that gnawing feeling of being worthless cuz i couldnt do what was expected. Escape in my case was TV. A few months of working these entry level jobs and after buying a new car with my sister i realized that there was no money left after paying for the car. I knew i needed to at least finish my highschool if not continue on . A
      An ad caught my attention i think but maybe someone told me about an armed forces program in the early 6 that would complete my education and earn a living. I also hoped i might learn enough discipline to overcome my other issues and yes i am a raging ADDer.
      It worked and unlike here, New Zealand is not at war with anyone right now. I think training like that might give your son that confidence and skills to be whatever he wants to be. Even if they dont have an education program right now they will likely assist him with night school or any other study program he under takes.

      You are right we do take forever to grow up. And 22 now is 1960s 16 or 18.
      I ended up as cosultant business owner earning $250/hr. A comfortable 6 figure salary in Benefis and Pensions. Til i retired in 2005 at age 60.

    • #68756
      Bozidar Trajkovski

       As a 21y old diagnosed with ADD whos been kicked out of home because my parents couldnt understand what i was and still am going through i suggest you dont make the same mistake my parents did
      1 year passed and i am still in bed still cant figure out what i want to do with my life
      I failed my 1st year in university i changed high schools like you change socks everyday i tried learning photoshop and i failed again. Do you know how HARD it is to watch everyone moving on with life and you just dont know where to begin ?? I had a wonderful girlfriend she was very sweet and understanding she tried to help me but i messed it up like everything else …. So no dont do it there are other ways too 🙂

    • #68817

      Bozidar thank you for your honest reply (more tears flowed lol). i have been doing some very interesting reading and find that i myself may have ADD and that is way my focus comes and goes from his needs and i also find it hard to follow through on tasks (yes had over 10 mini “careers” in my time, can’t stay in one job for long). Anyway, not to assign blame on anyone, life is how we make it and i try my best with the 4 kids. donsence thank you for your reply my son has been declined for the army due to asthma and eczema, we both thought that would have been a great option at the time. my son has a deep interest in horticulture and repeatedly has expressed this but when studying this time he said that he got overwhelmed and stopped doing the assessments that were self-directed.
      I will give my son till the new year to get a job and work each day with him (as I have time now) to understand his ADD and change some bad habits and make some good routines. I will get him to research ADD and alternative therapies as he hates to take medications (even though it works).
      THANK YOU all so much for your advice and support it has really touched and motivated me to find the energy to love and help me son again. 🙂 XXX

      • #68826

        Bozidar, I really feel for your situation. I am sorry that I cannot be of more help and support to you – all I can do on here is offer you a great big HUG, just as I did for Vsmcver above. I cannot imagine what it must be like to live with this condition. As far as the man I was involved with – I can only say that being open and honest would have made SUCH a difference to our relationship. He kept (and still does) everything bottled up and never wanted to talk about what was going on in his head. I tried to carefully open him up, but he would get very anxious, hit the roof and dash off or ask me to leave. Talking is such a wonderful therapy. It helps the other people to undersand what you are going through and it also helps you to see things from their perspective. Do you have anyone you can talk to? I know it is probably scary, but I am sure that will open the door to your feeling better. Friends, family, a doctor, church leader, self-help group? There must be others out there who understand – and I am sure this forum is a big help – it has certainly helped me to understand what my man must be going through. There is no shame in being born with something you would rather not have – it is not your fault, and I a sure if you open up you will find there are lots and lots of people who will be sympathetic and want to help. Is there no hope now with your ex-girlfriend. Even having her as a friend would be of huge benefit to you, as she kows you well. Try to find a doctor who truly understands the condition. Once again, I extend a big, big hug to you, and everyone else who suffers through this afflicton, including the family members and friends. It is not an easy thing to understand. I hope things improve for you, and you can find a way forward, and some peace in your life. Lorna xx

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