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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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we have a grandchild living with us that is 22 years old.

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we have a grandchild living with us that is 22 years old. He started college and 2 different universities and didn't attend the classes even though he got up and left the opinion that that was were he was going. Now his parents won't pay for anymore school and it has taken him
8 months to find a job, which is a temp job. He has written checks from my acct and my husbands account without our permission. When confronted he finally admits he did it but doesn't know why and says he will write me a letter explaining, which he has yet to do. We are both frustrated, where can we get help for him for his LYING & STEALING?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Donna-moderator replied 3 years ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

First, let me say I can imagine how overwhelming this situation must be for you. On the one hand you are trying to be loving grandparents. But on the other hand you see more and more clearly that your grandson is just using you.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. I am concerned that you are treating the lying and stealing as if they are the SOURCE of the problem. They are not! They are the RESULT of the problem.

If that's the case, then what is the source? The source is that he is USING people and manipulating people for his needs, wants, impulses, etc. His parents have clearly given up and are letting him be a parasite on you because they are tired of it. You will soon be tired of it and he will seek some other people to use.

And this is the cycle that has to be broken. But, you can't break it by ENABLING him to use you. So, you have to set firm boundaries. This is the key to everything. He can ONLY receive any help from you if he adheres to the boundaries. No chances. Any breaking of the boundaries and he forfeits rights agreed upon.

So, you need to decide if he is going to be allowed to live in your home to begin with. I think you should give him a three week eviction notice. But that is up to you. You can offer him financial assistance IF he meets certain guidelines.The two of you need to decide what they are. I recommend you find a psychologist for him and come up with the guidelines with the psychologist. He would have to for example, go once a week to sessions (maybe useful, probably not if he is not interested). If he lies,financial help withdrawn. If he steals, all help withdrawn. You see the pattern here.

The idea is that he has to learn how normal human interactions work: consequences, etc. And the family has to make sure that it (you) aren't complicit in keeping him thinking that he can get through life without learning them. He may be sociopathic and never learn these rules of normal human interactions. I don't know. That will be determined by what happens when he has to finally actually be dependent on himself. But he needs that opportunity.

So, please do this for his sake. I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
He got a job with a Staffing Firm and they even called to make sure he was going to start the job. We just found out that he got up and left the house at 6:30 am and was gone all day and never went to work. He doesn't drink or do drugs...do you think this is a mental issue...he was once diagnosed as ADD but I don't see signs of that myself...whenever we give him a chore to do, he does it and does it well...I know he is immature but cannot understand the stealing/lying issues.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.
There may certainly be ADD issues here. Often young adults will lie to cover up the tremendous anxiety they may feel because they know that the tasks will overwhelm them. But this is a different level of lying and the stealing is also indicative that something else is going on perhaps along with ADD. You, though, don't see the ADD symptoms so that may or may not be applicable to him.

Either way, really, the lying and stealing without drugs and alcohol is very unusual at this level. You don't report sociopathic tendencies. And you would know it and not be able to stand being with him if they were present.

So, we're back to something that does indeed resemble a very great immaturity and impulsivity that would be consistent with a young child with ADHD. Except he's an adult. So, this is as much speculating as we can do with any benefit.

Two things have to happen. You have to set explicit boundaries as I outlined above. That is so vital to his development.

Second, I really think you should have him see a psychologist who is very experienced with teen and adult ADD/ADHD. I know you don't see signs. But the lying and stealing when he's a nice guy who doesn't drink or do drugs is just not sensible with many other disorders. It is my hope that the psychologist will be able to either rule out or confirm ADD/ADHD. And either way that the psychologist will be able to get some handle in understanding what your grandson's lying and stealing is covering up underneath.

So those two steps. I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5111
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Dr. Mark and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you. We have an appointment next week with a counselor. I appreciate and think your answers were very helpful. I will, in the future, contact you again if needed. Thank you again.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.
I'm so glad. And I hope to hear good news from you as well!

Please remember to click the green accept button. Feel free to continue the discussion; my goal is to get you the best answers possible. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.
Hi! I haven't heard back from you in a while. I hope everything is okay with you. If you feel the question is still not fully answered, let me know what still remains to be discussed. If you feel you've gotten benefit from my answer, please click the green accept button. If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 3 years ago.
Hi! I certainly don't want to pester you if you found a different resolution to your question you asked. I put in quite a bit of time into thinking about and answering personally each question asked of me. So, if you feel you've gotten benefit from my answer, I will be grateful if you choose to click the green accept button. If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

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