20 year old man acting like an irresponsible 13 year old?

My son is 20 years old and still acting like an irresponsible 13 year old. He just doesn’t get it. While others his age are hanging out with friends and having the time of their lives, he is at home unable to socialize.

He laughs at inappropriate times, and is serious and overly sensitive when he should be laughing or saying something witty. At times, he takes things literally!!!! At 20, he can not drive nor has had any girlfriends. He doesn’t know how to talk to people or respond to them. He doesn’t know how to “play the part”. He has never had a job, and refuses to get one.

He doesn’t want to work at McDonald’s or any other job for “losers” because he is “too intelligent for that”!? He is very sloughful (spelling). I have to constantly remind him of chores and other real life situations, which he never remembers. For example, we have trash pick-up the same day, for years.

I have to remind him EVERY time to remember to make sure that all the trash cans in the house are emptied and trash is put on the curb. If I don’t remind him, it doesn’t get done. Is he hard-headed or just doesn’t remember? He is smart, but doesn’t think he needs to apply himself and then gets upset because he did not succeed. He blames everyone else for his mis-fortunes. He doesn’t have any “get up and go”.

I kind of blame myself because it has always been just him and I. I think I was depressed during his ages of 5-12. I could not find any males to mentor him. My friends think its because he has been alone most of his life. When I went to work, he was left at home alone.

I had know social life, but when I did decide to run to the mall or take myself to a movie, I left him home alone. I have also been told by people that I was a provider (he has always had the best of everythign), but not a parent (mother). All which is probably true, but I don’t want to have to take care of a grown man for the rest of my life.

Is this a disability or have I just basically messed up another person’s life? I need for him to do better. My father has taken him and tried to work with him, but still there is no change in him. My father is ready to throw his hands up because he is older and has raised his 6 children…


Comments for
20 year old man acting like an irresponsible 13 year old?

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 06, 2012 both points may be correct!
by: Mother of asperger’sI have 2 children with asperger/anxiety characteristics. My daughter is 18 and has always had anxiety about everything in life, she has even had panic attacks when pushed into social situations that she was afraid of.

My son is 13, high functioning asperger’s, very intelligent and hyper, but lazy and defiant much of the time. My ex, I know believe has asperger’s, I see it now that I know what it looks like. Most asperger’s children have a subject, that they like. They delve into this and they can only think of this, or talk about this and they know everything there is to know about the subject.

For my son it is weapons!! (of all things) I began to realize as he got older that his extreme fear of dying has lead him to this interest and I know believe that for many autistic people, fears lead them to becoming knowledgable about subjects because I suppose it relieves their anxiety. My daughter now has a diagnosis of borderline asperger’s.

She has always been very antisocial, like her father. It is not that she doesn’t want to succeed or make friends, just that she is afraid of failure and rejection. I started very early working on my son because he was in a world of his own as a toddler. He did not acknowledge people around him or voices or someone calling his name.

I got him wrap around services for in kindergarten (he would run right out of class and out the front doors of the school with no caution to authority or safety!) and therapy at home. He began to respond to people. At 13 he is now a very responsive child, most people don’t realize there is anything wrong with him at first until he begins to rock on his feet and repeating his sentences as he is telling them something his games.

He has had serious temper issues, and got thrown out of public school in 3rd grade. He now goes to a school for autism. My point here is that because I saw this early with him and got started early in understanding how he works and learns, he has moved so far forward it is sometimes unbelievable that he ever was that child. My 18 yr old however, is struggling still with her anxiety of life and people. I started late, I didn’t know.

It is much harder with her because of it but what I do know is that disorder or not, you cannot let them sit there and do nothing. I treat my son as if he had no disorder, except for the fact that I know how to relate to make him understand.

I know how to alleviate his fears now, and I know when there is a problem that most of the time it is not really defiance so much as it is just anxiety and fear of the issue at hand. It is hard to get them to talk about it and accept help, and starting early is important but nobody is without hope! (cont next post)


Nov 05, 2012 Autism
by: JoeanneYes, this post is old, but thanks for your input. This 20 year old is now 24, and still the same behavior. The only thing that has changed is he did graduate from college.

But to respond to your comments…I have been saying that he has some form of autism for the last 2 years and no one seems to think that that is the problem. They think that I was a provider, not a mother….


Nov 02, 2012 Autism
by: AnonymousI know this is an old post, but all these comments of “Move him out!” and about his”entitled attitude”. No…this sounds exactly like Asperger’s.

It’s not a bad attitude or laziness. My brother-in-law, who is 22 and lives with us, is exactly this person’s description, and he has high functioning autism.


May 02, 2012 I feel your pain
by: AnonymousI too have an son with an entitled attitude. It didn’t start that way. He left for the Navy & came back totally changed, but in the worse way possible. He was less than honorably discharged & came back a year early. He called on the phone to asking most humbly how he “was willing to pay money and be as helpful as possible or what ever it takes”<-(lies), but he needed to stay as he was to go upstate NY to work & get schooling through his G.I.bill. I said ok. The big day comes & he shows up with his new wife of 3 weeks.The day they met, she was in a homeless shelter but invited herself to live illegally in his barracks. They decided they needed to stay 16 days before they moved on. He refused meals & demanded their food be carryout or restraunts.
They mostly ignored me,perusing their laptops/handheld devises,until they were ready to eat. Their 2nd night forward, they were quite comfortable sequestering me to my room, close my door as they rattled around the remainder of my home giggling as things tumbled about the house.They perused through my medications, & obviously left “no stone unturned” looking for lord knows what in the house.They’d request food items for me to buy from the market. But still request takeout.The marketing done for them was in vain. I’ve never been so ashamed in my entire life of a humble 47 years. He was not the same person my family & I raised. The tales just from that 16 day stay (thankfully only 16 days)would well exceed the 3000 character limit provided 10 fold.Worse yet, all of my family will not welcome him in our homes for even an hour now.

Feb 23, 2012 Tough issue to fix
by: Johnny ZI will say that the scolding and insults on the April 5th, 2009 post was really uncalled for. We have one son with similar problems also about the same age. These kids don’t come with an owners manual. You try, you fail, you try again, you fail again, over and over and over. Are you the one failing? I suppose if you overly support or enable the child, you are at fault of something.

Go to a professional and you will find that many of them are just as clueless, offering all sorts of treatment and solutions that do little if anything.

Our son is “two steps forward and 1.9999 steps back.” We are finally seeing some responsibility emerging, but anticipate any number of future problems.

As I was probably the same way when I was his age, I will say that somehow, I turned out fine. Do yourself a favor and admit that you don’t have the answers. Few if any people do. Simply do your best. Asking questions as you did here is commendable.


Jan 19, 2012 Similar Person
by: JoeJoeanna, your article describes the type of person I am almost perfectly. It also hurts my feelings a little bit, even though it’s not directed towards me. But that’s cool, the truth is supposed to hurt, right? I’m 22 years old, and I still live with my mother. It sucks for me, but even more for my mother. I can’t even imagine how she feels about this abnormal situation. Despite my many issues and how my mistakes torment my mind, I don’t blame others. I blame myself. I hate myself. To this day I cannot forgive myself for what I’ve done to others and to myself. This is why it’s hard for me to obtain that get up and go. But I realize now that it’s not just about me, it’s also about my mother and those around me. See, my mother has found a potential partner for life. If try to stick with her, I’ll just screw things up for her, as usual. A dilema is what I have, but a choice I will have to make, nonetheless. I have to seperate from my mother, it’s unhealthy for both of us to remain this way. So for me it’s either sink or swim, fly or die. Like your son, I’m anti-social. But it’s either remain anti-social and become homeless, or socialize and try to be successful in something in attempt to survive in this world. I might write like I know something, but in reality I’m the one who needs help. I feel like a monster, like a bad person. But I refuse to be or become one. I don’t want to risk hurting my mother, nor destroying her life, or her mind for that matter. My plan is to seek some help from Job Corps in Laredo, Tx. Job Corps is a free educational program that teaches you a trade or skill, and helps find a job for your skills afterwards. It’s free for poor people like me, and your able to live on campus. You get allowance for living expenses. Basically Job Corps prepares you for life if your willing to let them. I just hope I’m given the oppurtunity to accept, I mean me being weird and all, but I tell myself I can’t give up. Even though I’m nothing, I still have to try. If things do not work out in my favor, I’ll probably be homeless. But as long as I seperate myself from my mother, that too is important. If I do this I might be able to call myself a man. Right now I just talked the talk, I’ll report how things turn out when I walk it. Sigh…. I feel so pathetic. Wish me luck.

Dec 25, 2011 Similar situation – Looking for answers
by: AnonymousIn this instance I will be talking about my nephew. His behavior is almost identical to your sons. My sister gave him the boot and I thought I would try to hewlp him out. He is 21 and after 6 months of watching our TV, only doing chores after repeatedly being asked and adopting an attitude of entitlement, I had to give him an ultimatum, get a job or leave. He got a job. It was a challenge to find a job because he has a felony until he pays a fine for marijuana. He has been working for about 4 months now, has been paying rent to us, still owes us $900+/- in back rent and made no effort to repay his fine. My sister had the audacity to scold me for being uspet about his behavior, using the excuse that he is still just a child and should be able to have fun while he is young! Needless to say, I was furious, because if he is truly just a child, shouldn’t he still be living at home with his mommy? Now I just found out that on top of that he is still smoking weed! His lastest stupid irresponsible, action is after 4 months of working he has decided he needs a “break” from our household and is taking a two week hiatus. Reality, my husband and I will relish the break. The irresponsible action, he has dumped “his” chores on us and since it includes the feeding of animals, there is not an option to just leave the chores. In a feeble attempt to explain that a “vacation” in itself is not wrong, it is wrong to be sneaky and make your plans and then call me as thought it is a done deal, with no advance notice. I have decided that since he “doesn’t get it”, and he is doing stupid things that we do not allow, he doesn’t need to be living here. I feel grossly taken advantage of and I can see that this will create an issue in our family. What do you do? There seems to be a lot of this problem going around. I don’t have answers, but I am looking for some. The bottom line is that I hate to see anyone waste their life, but I am tired of being more concerned about his future than he is!

Oct 25, 2011 Sounds like Aspergers
by: wordsforlivingYour situation sounds very familiar. I have an 18 year old who has Aspergers. It really sounds like your son has it too. My son was misdiagnosed years earlier so for a very long time we didn’t understand what was wrong or why he wasn’t progressing. Once we discovered he matched up with Aspergers traits, we were able to understand his behaviors much much better and be at peace ourselves.

Aug 29, 2011 son-in-law selfish and irresponsible
by: AnonymousI know a man who has a son who is 30 still expects his dad to pay a 500 car payment. The son also talked him into getting a personal loan at the bank. Dad finally gave son the car payment. Now son refuses to pay loan that is in his dads name. He lives in AL. That son got married 2 years ago. His wife must be as selfish as the son because she has a good job and the son also has a good job

May 23, 2011 Same stuff
by: bgold110I’ve skimmed through most of these posts and it’s all too familiar.
My son is 22… has a bad attitude towards the world and society.
We’ve done the kicking him out but, which only led to him getting in touble with the law. DUI (for pot), possession… many fines later… and yes, I did pay the lawyers fees and fines. Lost his license for 1.5 years. Ended up back going to rehab, then back into my basement. All seemed good for awhile… now we’re back to where we were. He hates the world and doesn’t agree with what society exspects of him. I suggested the military, but he won’t do that. Been through the therapy route…. can’t make him go if he won’t.
I’m at a loss.

Dec 30, 2010 Have you considered
by: AnonymousIt sounds like he has some autistic characteristcs

Nov 21, 2010 my 22 year lives at home
by: AnonymousI am a widow that has son 22 and a 19 year old daughter.Both are in school. My son thinks i ask too much of him. Summer cut the grass, some gardening work, usually with his Grandfather helping or my self. Fall raking leaves, winter once perhaps 4x over the winter to shovel. He is a good kid has never been in trouble. Does not drink or smoke. Is always home before 12:00. wil call if he is going to be later. Is polite with his grandparents and my friends and other relitives. I am proud of him except i think he is LAZY!!!!

He has the run of the family room downstairs,which i have to remind him daily not to leave his dishes down there. That he is responsible for his girlfriends and other friends dishes.

This is his first job. Since he got his job (just this month) I do not ask him to unpack the dishwasher. He is responsible for his own laundry, which cover his bed room floor. As well as in baskets in my laundry room. i do put in his laundry only if i need to make a full load with mine. I clean his bathroom or his sister will even do it.The family room..I ask for him do dust weekly and vacuum. If he does this once a month I am lucky. However since this job i have not asked him once.

Everyonce in a while we talk about him contributing to helping make supper to help me out. I have a full time job. His siter works 20-30 hours a week and get fantastic grades.

It has only been 2 weeks with this part time job but he has been told he will get about 10-20 hours a week. His grades are rather week. He does not put in the time studying…but plays video games for hour on end.

In September I did kick him out of the house for not having a job, being direspectful with his langue to me and not helping around the house. We have had a meeting and talked about what our ground rules were and yet the only thing he has kept up with is finding a job and being not swearing, he does pick up more thatn before..his things with out me asking 5-10 times and then yelling.

He is 22 and “ADULT” age..so therefor i feel it is his responsibility…if he wants good grades he needs to study. He tells me next year his plan is to move out. He plans on doing one more year of college.

How can i get him to “want” to help and not think that I am asking the world of him and for him to feel “poor little me syndrome”. I ask him to help me unload the groceries and he gets all angry,I have been waiting 3 weeks for him to pick up the leaves…

I am getting impatient! Help any suggestions!
signed impatient in Illinois


Jul 22, 2010 Contiued
by: AnonymousFYI. Great mom. I have facebook look me up Christie Dominiak. And hang in there.

Jul 22, 2010 Hello mom
by: AnonymousEvery child or grown child is different. No two can be treated in the same way. You know your son better then anyone else. Go with your gut feelings. Maybe you have done a better job then u give yourself credit for. Maybe with out you for a mom he would not of made it thus far . I say he will change in time some things can’t be rushed there is no black and white or magical answer. Pointing fingers only causes more issues. Keep up the good work. There is light at the end of the tunnel. From a mom of a 20 son and 13 year old daughter. It is important to stay posative and be that SAFE place for him. You may be his only safe place. And throwing him to the wolves may not be the right choice. He is still menatlly growing. You have all the answers. Just look inside your self. Just as I know as you are reading this , you can relate to it. There is no right or wrong answer. Just go with what seems the best to fit each situation. He loves u

Jun 26, 2010 my 20 yo is a brat too
by: Anonymousfunny i found this. i have a 20 year old who has no friends outside of online gaming. he hasn’t had a relationship with his father since he was 8 or 9 maybe younger. he sits in his room and games except when he’s taking a shower or sleeping. he did work for about 3 or 5 years in high school. he is highly intelligent and could do anything in science yet he sits there and literally screams at video games. he plays immature little games on his 9 year old brother instead of doing anything helpful about it. as far as i know he doesn’t do drugs. his father was never a real father figure in his life. i was the one who worked and supported the family while his dad smoked pot (until i found out) and eventually i divorced him. i told him i want him out but he just ignores me. i’ve told him to get a job yet he just ignores me. he teases his brothers to the point where we’re all screaming at him because there is no control. how do i kick him out? the cops?

Jan 06, 2010 MOVE HIM OUT
by: Dumas’, D.A.I am sorry but I can not continue to read these responses. The young adult – yes young adult is 20 years of age. Mom you have provided all the tools necessary for him to face the challenges all of us did when we left the nest. Guess what, all this advice about making him get a job or getting him on medicine… well frankly, you (MOM) have no authority over him and you can not drag him into a job. Bottom line, it is time for real tough love. Here is a possible option. I saw this done on Dr. Phil and may I add I am not a “fan” of Dr. Phil but I myself am going thru the same situation.
Here is what Dr. P did. Without the young man knowing Dr Phil and the parents found an apartment aftering calculating the cost to live based on min wage, then moved everything of the young adults belongings in there and set him up for 3 months ( I believe it was 3) and then give him the key and told him…. Ok here you go, you have 3 months to get your act together or you will be kicked out of this new home of yours and you will not come back to live with us.

Lets face it.. by the time they are 20 all you can do is, NOT DO. But for peace of Mom (pun– mind) so you arent throwing your child ( still in your eyes) out on the street with the odds of success against him– try setting him up and moving him out. This way you have done a humane act and are sending a very loud message that it is time to get on with adulthood. DO NOT LET HIM BACK IN! ( just fill the refrigerator and pay his bills for 2 months – makes sure has transportation and cash to cover gas etc for that period only ).

Good Luck! Cut the cord MOM– out of LOVE he must be able to take care of himself if one day you are not around. You are not doing him any favors by letting him continue to be a child.
d. Dumas


Dec 13, 2009 To “never enough”
by: TerriDear “Never enough”,
There is a word for what your son is doing to you. It is called “abuse!” You tolerating these comments and actions is ludicrous. YOU are the parent, not he. Do you really believe that you are old fashioned and that kids boss the parents around nowadays? Come on, now. You no better. And just like all abusive relationships there is some sort of co-dependency going on with you and your son. You might want to ask yourself, what is it that is the “pay-off” for you tolerating his behavior? Is it the pity that you get from friends and family? Is it your son being abusive and then all of the sudden, switching over to guilt from having treated you so and then being super sweet?
This is not be cruel or mean, just the facts regarding co-dependent abusive relationships. He is the child, you are the parent! Put your foot down and try a little tough love. Keep giving consequences every time he deserves it and if it still does not stop, I would let him see just how much it is that you do for the ungrateful little stinker.

Dec 13, 2009 I myself am 20 but female
by: AnonymousI myself am 20yrs old but a female. I have never had a boy friend and I do not like to be around to many people. The past few months I have noticed myself reverting back a combination of being 13 yrs old and 2yrs old. At least that’s what I am told. I talk to a psychologist for anxiety issues. At least that’s what it has started out as. I have depression and it has been getting worse. I am in college and this is the hardest semester so that just makes it worse. I used to do my work all of the time and now I majorly procrastinate which isn’t me. I no longer do what I am told and just do what I want. My psychologist keeps saying I have to stop acting like I am 2. I just tell him I am trying to be independent and do what I want to do. But he said adults don’t do what they want they do what they ahve to do. He said that my behavior is telling my mom that I want her to come to college to take care of me because I can not do it myself.
I think maybe you should have him see a psychologist, none of this stuff is going to go away on it’s own especially if it has to do with his childhood. I know part of my problem is my childhood I sucked at everything in school and so now I am or used to be til the past few months a profectionist and nothing is good enough for me. I feel worthless and can do anything. At least that is how I feel. You should definitly get him to talk to a psychologist, allow him to talk about his past and get past it. my psychologist said right now I am stuck in elementary school emotionally.
There are ways to get through all of this. I am in the midst of it right now and everyone keeps telling me that. I don’t believe it though, at least for myself.
Give your son a chance. He needs help. Allow him to see that and allow him to change his life for the better. I am sure he really doesn’t want to stay at home the rest of his life but right now he is only thinking about the moment like myself. Give him a chance he deserves it and can do it.

Nov 11, 2009 never enough
by: AnonymousI have a son also 20 and he just doesn’t like to help out . I ask him to help . he acts like im not suppost to ask. I do everything I can for him and some how its never enough. He is alway saying my friends don’t do chores. they get cars and money he think I shound be doing that He don’t even walk the dog he acts like its a big deal. One day I took him out nice lunch sold my gold necklace too, gave him the money. I said to my son Im a good mom. His response was your ok. Because your in the past ,he says kids boss the parents around today.
I mean I don’t get it ,my son needed me to take him for his written test he took it 12 times then he pasted , I took him every time . I got him to finily get a job that I got him I said I will drive you in . He says thats the least you can do . And I don’t like the way he talks to me around my 12 year old son. any comments Help

May 11, 2009 Second Half
by: AnonymousTake this as a example. A 20 year old who had a similar situation to your son. She had little to no friends, and because of that she didn’t go to parties or other events that young people of her age do. She went to a public school in which she was teased at a young age, then later on in her senior year switched to a private school. Don’t ever doubt that having your son teased would have been better than protecting him! Teasing is never a good thing and is on the line of bullying, especially when it’s unwanted! You were right in protecting your son, especially with some of the things going on that have happened to young folks these days. While other kids would party and goof off in class she would go home and study her homework with determination and devotion, prepping herself for the future ahead.

However, she never worked a job but didn’t want to work at McDonald’s, Stop N Shop or other jobs that she simply did not want to do. Her grades in school were good,and indeed she did believe that she deserved to work at places other than McDonald’s or Burger King that would inspire and encourage life-long skills for herself. After filling application after application for 6 months she was finally able to get the job she wanted concerning her career, even when she filled out countless other jobs that were different. She has been working that job since, saving up money for classes and eventually a license.

It is not impossible to get your youth on the right road. A good mentor will help to establish that bond which they had been missing in their earlier years, and being around others that will encourage him to get active in his community will give him that “push” to succeed. There seems to be nothing physiologically wrong with him. I would highly suggest he joins a youth-group that is active in their pursuits in helping the community. Encourage him to retake or “redo” those classes that he has missed to keep his mind active, if it has to be any notes he has took or going over the material himself.

Also, don’t be afraid to reach out for council if you need it, there are plenty of ministries that can help you in your situation. There seems to be some past hurts and guilt that you or your son may need to talk about. Don’t let past failures or events hold you back from what can be done for tomorrow. If you must, tell him that you are sorry for anything you did or did not do, and that you love him.


May 11, 2009 Do what you can
by: AnonymousDear poster:

It is time for him to mature and learn responsibility. Things that have happened in the past have happened in the past, and unfortunately they cannot be undone. However one should not hold onto the past, if they are able to accomplish a brighter future.

You are not the only one who has had these problems. There is always someone out there with similar problems, if not more. It is how these problems are dealt with that can encourage a person to do the right thing. One suggestion to your problem is that he may be lonely, considering that he had very little friends and hasn’t gone out much. This can be corrected however, if you get him involved in groups with his own age, such as volunteering or youth-groups that will encourage and improve his socialization. However, be SURE that these groups are groups that will inspire him to become a better person, and not “groups” made by individuals to bring one-another down a path of destruction!

Secondly it is time to teach him responsibility. Since he has never worked a job, he will need to start looking for one. This can be accomplished by using any resource such as careerbuilder.com, a college, or by friends/family. Ask him what type of job he would like to work. If he doesn’t want to work at McDonalds, then that’s okay! Eventually he will have to hold his own, and he needs to realize this! Talk to him, ask him what he wants to do in life. Once he gets a job he will began to understand the real value of money, and thus this will teach him responsibility. I would not suggest in using any credit cards at this stage or anything which requires payment or penalty methods.

Thirdly he needs to realize and understand that thinking too highly about oneself will put him in a state of illusion of life! If you want to successful you must earn your success. He must realize that life simply doesn’t handle things upon a silver-platter, and that he will have to work to achieve goals just as anyone else who wishes to become successful.


Apr 09, 2009 Tougher, maybe
by: TerriI know it may be hard for you, but you might have to get a little tougher with him. It sounds like all of his excuses eventually go unchallenged. If any kind of mental/physical handicapped is totally ruled out, then it might be time for Mom to help him get set up on his own, then thats it. If he does not want to help himself, rather than cannot help himself, then it is a whole different ball game.
Do you pay for the university that he is attending? If his next grades aren’t good then I would tell him, “no more!”
Obviously, it is up to you, but if the doctors find nothing physicall wrong with him and therapists as well then further coddling makes you an enabler. Blaming yourself and trying to get him help is one thing because you are tyring to make things right with him. Blaming yourself and continuing the dysfunctional cycle is pointless for both of you, I would think. One site that I found with a very personable and knowledgeable operator is at www.kidsdiscuss.com, her name is Jean Tracy and she will answer your e-mail personally. Hope that this helps. Keep me posted.

Apr 07, 2009 Apology accepted…
by: JoeannaTerri, thank you for your apology, but none was needed. I should have let everyone know that I was reaching out via internet for help. I was getting no where talking with his pediatrician and other folk as well. No one seemed to understand what I am saying or feeling. I know he is lacking and I want to help get him on track. I have not been successful with the therapist (that were recommended from his pediatrician) and such.

Yes, I have been told that when he was younger, I sheltered him too much. But I just wanted him to be safe. But it seemed that he didn’t have it socially and rather than him being teased, I just didn’t put him in that situation. I also believe that therapy works best if you want to be helped. He doesn’t think that he needs help, therefore, he did not respond to therapy…I guess. I think I paid for sessions that he just sat and looked!

I have tried tough love, that did not phase him. I had his hearing check because I thought maybe he was a little hearing impaired. He hears well. I couldn’t ground him, because he never went anywhere. I tried taking toys from him, but when I would leave the house he would sneak through everything and find them and back as usual.

Yes, he has about 4 or 5 “true” friends, but about 2 of them act like him!!! It’s wierd! The other 2 or 3 are well rounded. He was in private school until high school. He did well in private school because they stayed on his case. In public school, he did not make good grades, because…”He knows all this stuff!” So, of course he did not apply himself. We did not even send out graduation announcements because we didnt think he was going to graduate. I found out 2 days before graduation that he was going to graduate. He did go to college, only passed 2 classes out of 2 semesters. Of course, once again, it was the teachers fault. He never takes responsiblity for his mess ups. He doesn’t take constructive critism well. He is now attending another university. He wanted to go into engineering and/or architecture, but doesn’t want to commit to the time so he wants to major in computer science. I can’t wait to see how his grades look?

I think some of his problem may be because he doesn’t have a relationship with his father. He had a relationship with his father until he was about 10 years old, then the father got a woman and married her, and she had some insecurities. The father chose not to have a relationship with his son.

Terri, I am trying. I know that we are dysfunctional and he is probably suffereing from emotional neglect. His pediatrician said that he may have some type of syndrome or something that has caused him not to mature????? I just need to know where to go……


Apr 05, 2009 continued from apology
by: TerriAt any rate, I believe in a whole mind, body, and soul approach. It also sounds like you have a good support system if not a father for him. Maybe if you approach it from all sides then you can at least get people who see the problem and help you to solve it. There also are so many more medications out there other than Ritalin. But still, from what you have said, it doesn’t sound like he is even hyperactive, let alone deficient in attention. He just refuses to take part in life for some reason. Did he get good grades in high school? Is he interested in furthering his education and just too lazy?
I am by no means an expert, but with my own family situation and my professional background, now that you have provided so much more information, it sounds like he needs a lot more help than even what you think.
Good luck with this. Keep us posted here on the forum.
Also, let me say again that I am very sorry for letting my own past interfere, and for being so harsh in my criticism. I know that it is not an excuse, but I just really have no patience for parents who do not take their responsibilities to their kids seriously. This is obviously not you and I was wrong.
Sincerely,
Terri

Apr 05, 2009 My apologies
by: TerriJoeanna,
My apologies to you for a harsh evaluation without all of the information. I have no right to judge and sometimes do based on the fact that I have the most extremely alcoholic, dysfunctional, narcissistic mother of all time. She would always do the poor poor me thing and I was the parent, not her, for both myself and my little sister who was 8 years younger than me. Men, alcohol and work were her priorities. But enough about me and back to your son.
Have you tried “tough love” approaches to the situation? Have you ever been accused by family or friends of sheltering him TOO much? I am just trying to understand what it is that is holding him back and stopping him from being social. Does he ever show any social tendencies? Has he ever had friends before?
It sounds like the therapists that you have seen were either incompetent or something. Did he not show the side of himself to them that he shows to you and other family? Or maybe they just were not hearing you. See if you can find a personal referral rather than going out of the phone book or something.
I have an 11 year old and an 8 year old. Both boys. My oldest has ADHD, and Type I Diabetes. He is very argumentative with us, but nobody else. We are having both a family counselor come into the home as well as a behavior therapist for him as he has a hard time controlling his anger. He also sees a psychiatric nurse practitioner (pediatric) for his ADHD medication. I do not believe in throwing a pill at every problem and in fact it took me awhile to put him on anything as I don’t believe that most of the time it is the kid that needs it. I have worked in the medical field for over 20 years now and most of the time it is the parents!
continued

Apr 05, 2009 Yes, I’m serious….
by: AnonymousThank you Anonymous for your comment. I suppose what you are saying is true. WE have seen 2 family therapist when he was 6 and then again when he was 9. Both of them basically said, “I don’t see anything wrong. I won’t keep taking your money.” Dismiss. I sent HIM to individual therapy when he was 13 and then again when he was 19…same thing, “What is it that you want me to do? He seems fine to me. Just having some motivational issues because you and your family have given him everything.” By the way, he has had evaluations through school and by the therapists. Again, nothing seems abnormal.

There were several family members, including myself, that would offer to take him driving. He declined. I even paid a deposit for driving school, thinking that he was going to pass the drivers test for a permit. I offered to help him study for the exam, he declined saying he knew all the stuff. He ended up taking the test for about 2 years before getting a permit. The school is now out of bsiness! I showed my son how to iron, clean house, take care of himself because I was a single mother, and at times was working full time and/or part time or in school working on Master’s.

I have done things with my son…museums, movies, plays, trips to Puerto Rico, the amusement PARKS in California, visiting out of town relatives. He did not appreciate them and does not know how to respond to people. We ate dinner together most nights and even went out to eat. Trying to have a simple conversation, such as, how is school was like pulling teeth. I even signed him up for sport events…football, t-ball, and others, but I think because of the interaction with others, he always quit. Maybe as a parent I should have made him stick with it?

The therapist we saw when he was 6 did diagnois him as ADHD and put him on ritlin. I let him take it for a year, because I did not like the side effects…maybe this has something to do with him now?

I will take your suggestions and try to have him evaluated again.


Apr 05, 2009 continued from previous
by: AnonymousEven if you have to pay “fee for service” it would behoove you to have his doctor recommend a specialist for a psychiatric evaluation. He might need medication as well as therapy (definitely therapy though for both of you.) You absolutely OWE him this much. You might have failed him up to now emotionally, but that does not mean that it is too late. Please do not do him one more injustice by giving up on him because it is too hard on you. You created this and it is up to you to start the process of healing him and you as well.
If you look continually for obstacles and problems, trust me, you will find them. But equally, if you seek out solutions, then solutions will come. It definitely can’t hurt to try, and you will better yourself in the process as well.
If you have no doctor, then your community or a local one will have some type of free community resource and referral service to find a reputable therapist or you can just Google it

Apr 05, 2009 Are you joking?
by: AnonymousUnless this is a joke, some serious therapy is in order for both you and your son. The fact that your son is 20 years old and you are just now questioning his abilities, personality, etc., with these signs and symptoms is severely dysfunctional. Where were you when he first started showing these problems? They obviously did not develop overnight? You talk about all that you did for YOU when you would leave him home alone, yet not a word for what was done for him, if anything?!
You are definitely showing some narcisstic tendencies. This seems to be more about you and what you need and less about him and what he needs. It sounds like he has needed a mother, at least, for a very long time now. Your friends are right at making the distinction for you between provider and parent. Where was the love and nurturing? He has been very emotionally neglected it sounds like to me.
And quit with the “pitty potty”, “woe is me” type question of “…..have I just basically messed up another persons life? This is absolutely your responsibility and you should have looked at getting him professional help long ago and not just given up because you could not find yourself a man to mentor him.
Hello? Parents are to help their children, guide them through things like getting their drivers licenses. The fact that he does not have one says more about you than it does about him at this point.
This poor kid is trying to get your attention and has been for a long time. He needs you to be a parent. I am sorry to be so hard, but I have no patience for parents who do not respect the awesome responsibility as parents that we have.
You say that you are a good provider and that he has had the best of everything? I take that to mean that you must have a good job with benefits? If this is true, then you would have been able to get professional help when he was chronologically a child. Now that he is a child in a 20 year old body, your insurance may no longer cover him. I don’t know, but either way it is up to you to get him some help and hope like hell that it is not too late.
cont’d on next post