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Advice:
Motivating an 18 yr Old Non ADHD Man
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I have spent so much time dealing with our youngest(13) with ADHD/ODD and haven't put nearly as much time into our oldest son (18) and I am feeling bad. The thing is, he has been very responsible his whole life, until recently. He was the 'easy' one. My problem is, because he has been low maintenance, I don't bust his chops about his grades (passing, but could be better) or his messy room or his refusal to help with house work. He has worked since he was 16, bought his own car, was paying for his car insurance and cell phone bill up until this past August. He had a couple of injuries that kept him from working for about 3 months. He's okay now and is able to work but isn't getting the hours, he barely makes enough to pay for his gas. We have been helping him out the past few months but it's getting to the point where he is just not working by choice. We don't mind helping him out, but he refuses to help out around the house or help me by taking his brother to practices or picking him up from school. He graduates HS this year and starts taking a college class next month. I feel guilty that he didn't get the attention like our youngest and I feel that he became so independent at an early age to compensate us for the struggle we have to put towards our youngest, but I don't want him to lose this independence, especially at this age. He is out of school at 11:30 everyday so he has plenty of time to work, but has been hanging out with friends instead. I am pretty sure he isn't doing drugs or anything illegal. Any suggestions on how to motivate him to get working again?
Posted on 02/04/11, 10:17 am
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Advice:
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Reply #1 - 02/04/11  3:58pm
" Is it possible for him to be a resident student when he starts college? That's a way to be independent but you will still be there if he needs help. I know that won't be until next fall, but it will go a long way in independence for him. For right now, you could offer him a reward, something you know he wants and you can get for him, but you will only do so if he works like you know he is capable of. Not that every child and teen doesn't deserve some time with their friends, but with all that time, he can find time for work as well as a real social life. "
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Reply #2 - 02/04/11  4:53pm
" I think we kind of screwed up a bit with him. We gave him so much independence at an early age (16) that i am not sure how to 'reel' him in now that he's 18. I always told him that if stayed out of trouble and made curfew, lets me know where he's at and who he's with,he could have that freedom. he plans to live at home while attending the 2 year college, he has the whole basement to himself so he pretty much comes and goes as he pleases, there really are no boudaries as we never really had any reason to set them. I know, big mistake. Don't get me wrong, he is a good kid, never been in any big trouble, he is respectful most of the time. I just don't want to have to support him if he's not going to contribute to the family such as housework, shoveling, etc. It affects our youngest ADHD teen. He sees his brother getting money from us on occasion and he doesn't have to earn it. The youngest has the rewards/consequences system and has to work pretty hard (especially to control his behavior) to earn his money. Now all I am hearing is "it's not fair, you guys love him more!" I try to explain that his big bro has worked hard and takes care of himself and we are just helping him out for now, but 'for now' seems to be turning into forever! It isn't fair to the youngest. There really aren't any rewards to give him, I really don't see how I can ground him after he's been so independent the past two years. I have seriously considered turning his cell phone off until he either gets a job or starts helping out around the house. It's weird, but I think I am better equiped to discipline the ADHD child more than I am his brother. Probably because we never really had any issues with him. I think we feel like we kind of owe it to him because of all of the ADHD/ODD crap our family has been through prior to getting help. Thanks for your input AriChaya! "

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