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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
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Mark Manley We have a 20 year old son living at home,

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Mark Manley

We have a 20 year old son living at home, his girl friend is also staying with us, a really nice person. He is HIghly intelligent, kind, normally with excellent manners, but too often rude to me with some snide remark or rolling his eyes, and almost refuses to do any chores or participate in any work around the house unless I cause so much distress - yelling, angry, I hate it.

When he is rude, he will afterwards come to me very humbly and apologize and he seems to be sincere to me. I hate this. He is only a few weeks, a month maybe, from going into the Job Corps here near by to take a computer course so I am trying to keep the boat floating until then. Meanwhile, I have done what I know to do, talk with him, have his dad talk with him, be patient, bend over backwards so far that I have fallen on my head and gotten a concussion, trying to be adult, patient and all the rest of that crap.

My husband told me that if he had ever spoken to his father or mother the way this kid does, that he'd maybe have woken up a week later in the hospital, and that No one in his family ever talked back to their parents. WE did not talk back either but later on, we had some arguments on occasion in my family. Never hitting, spanking, never, never. My mom once said that we would show respect to her either because we loved her or were afraid not to show respect and that she didn't care which, but she demanded respect. We were only a little afraid, but of her displeasure only. That doesn't seem to faze our son. Displeasure I mean.

Often I feel like crying and sometimes I do cry but not to let anybody know it.

I hate physical anything. I was brought up to believe that the only people who used fists or hands to fight were those who had no brains to use to resolve situations. Still, when nothing works ? Then what ?

I think of the Nazi war camps. Those people obeyed and followed orders because their lives depended on it. Maybe, our children should try survival on their own then come to appreciate their home and parents better than to take it all for granted. If their lives depended on their behavior, I just bet their behavior would be a lot different .

I can't help wonder if there is anything else I can do. He asked for antidepressants . He has tried to get a job but there are none , flat out, very few. Another son of ours was without work for almost 2 years here, applying every day somewhere. Anyway, I have talked the best I know how, threatned enough, I can't threaten any more or I have to put him out and that would be horrible for him, for his life, we have tried to be more loving and kind but that was taken for signs of weakness it seems. I don't know what else.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
I have some ideas for you but I will have to ask you to wait as one of my son's has me committed for the next several hours of my time. I will be back with you later this evening or tomorrow morning.

Thanks.
Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
Mark Manley and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is no emergency , I have been like an erupting volcano though , so angry that this kid has the nerve to think he can address me as he did, as he has often in the past. I have had smoke coming out of both ears all day, and spoken harshly and angrly to him. I still feel so angry, I'm glad I have space to put between us. I am angry with his dad too, for letting him, our son, get away with this behavior.

Dad wants to play the nice guy and not have to be the heavy in child discipline, has for years done this. That also make me angry that I have to play the Heavy all the time. It makes the kids including this one, think that dad had no Moxie. That dad is a Pansy. Milk toast. No authority. Angry, Angry, Angry !!! Me.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is no emergency , I have been like an erupting volcano though , so angry that this kid has the nerve to think he can address me as he did, as he has often in the past. I have had smoke coming out of both ears all day, and spoken harshly and angrly to him. I still feel so angry, I'm glad I have space to put between us. I am angry with his dad too, for letting him, our son, get away with this behavior.

Dad wants to play the nice guy and not have to be the heavy in child discipline, has for years done this. That also make me angry that I have to play the Heavy all the time. It makes the kids including this one, think that dad had no Moxie. That dad is a Pansy. Milk toast. No authority. Angry, Angry, Angry !!! Me. I am drinking again and not buttermilk, that makes me even more angry but it also helps me sleep better. The steam coming out of my head is making my brain soggy. This is just too much injustice against me from both of them. All of them.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is no emergency , I have been like an erupting volcano though , so angry that this kid has the nerve to think he can address me as he did, as he has often in the past. I have had smoke coming out of both ears all day, and spoken harshly and angrly to him. I still feel so angry, I'm glad I have space to put between us. I am angry with his dad too, for letting him, our son, get away with this behavior.

Dad wants to play the nice guy and not have to be the heavy in child discipline, has for years done this. That also make me angry that I have to play the Heavy all the time. It makes the kids including this one, think that dad had no Moxie. That dad is a Pansy. Milk toast. No authority. Angry, Angry, Angry !!! Me. I am drinking again and not buttermilk, that makes me even more angry but it also helps me sleep better. The steam coming out of my head is making my brain soggy. This is just too much injustice against me from both of them. All of them.

Am I working this site right ? Making sure you get credit for each contact and getting the information to also help me. Right ?
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
"I used the same ploy on our 19 year old son just this morning and it worked like a charm. I took the high speed internet wire and disconnected it when he balked at a task and got cheeky to me. No warning. Then he did not want to risk his cell phone also. No anger, no 'warnings' no muss, no fuss. I am not big on that kind of power play - punishment for my children, but you are right that they work. This kid had to laugh about it , he even said to me, ''Ok , Major Mom, She's -not - kidding -around, what would you like me to do ?'' It has been a lovely, super day for me, at last. I know that I am in control . And so do they. Wow, Thx. I wonder if you get this if I just ''accept'' . otherwise, I can send it to you with Reply, then the Accept ? Gina"

Does this look familiar? You wrote this last May. I suggest you get back to this.
Of course it angers you to be disrespected by your son and your husband, but the worst is to be disrespected by your self. That is what happens when you don't take care of your self. Don't put up with the disrespectful behavior.

Put away the alcohol and the rage and get out the self care.

As for hubby, he is trying to counterbalance your rage with his nice, calm guy stance. Move back to the middle and ask him to come towards you. He can move towards you by becoming more firm with your son. Don't wait for him to move, you be the change that the system needs until son and hubby get with it.
No alcohol escape. Stop.

Sincerely,
Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
Mark Manley and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Again, common sense, wow, you amaze me, why can't I be like you ? I seem to be too deep in the forest to see the trees. Even the Sequoia.

I forgot that I had to power to disconnect the internet, I never have been great on this kind of thing, but it did work, and it will again. I hope, to get my message across,
don't mess with Mom.

Mainly, though, I don't see the internet as the major thing in our son's life - our son also reads, real books, he has a stack of them everywhere in his room. When I asked him to dust and clean my library, I should have known, he spent the day and several more days, sitting on the floor reading various assorted books of internet to him, that he came across. He has been introducing his girl friend to the world of intellect also, she does not have that background but now is studying grammar books and improving her vocabulary. Thanks to our son. I have always been happy for that with him, because I am the same. It has stood me well.

I guess I don't think of the internet as a play toy - he looks things up, researches, defines words from the books that he is reading, and his phone is not all that important to him either, normally he has his little girl friend carry his phone around, she uses it to call her family in Ohio, that is fine with me, and doesn't even bother with it himself. I use the cell phones as my inter-com system, I hate calling and yelling for anybody and this house is small but not so small, calling anybody from room to room or end to end is impossible without a cell phone, he was not answering today again so I did tell him that the phone exists Only for me to call him and for him to answer me, otherwise, it has no value and I will turn it off.

Better Late Than Never,
I just disconnected the wire to his computer. LIke you said, no muss nor fuss, wish I had thought of it this morning. Sometimes I am so bloody slow witted. I was shocked, shell shocked, at his manner towards me.

Husband Jose' has told me over the years that he fears his own temper and reactions and that to stay a safe adult, he can not allow himself to get angry at the kids nor to ever raise a hand to them or he may do serious damage. He says he has an intense anger problem but I have never seen it over the 25 years we have been married. I did not see this, only the results of a bloody mouth, and swollen face, Once he did punch one son so hard that he was knocked down, bleeding, but then my husband just left - started to run and didn't come back for a couple of hours of running from what I got out of it. He swore he would never lift a hand to anybody else in his life after that episode. That son also was an adopted child perhaps 16 at the time, caught stealing book bags at school for the electronics and money in them, then throwing the book bags in the garbage, who had learning and emotional disabilities but had been rude to him. We caught him because our youngest son told us what was going on, but that son was never caught by the school, or it would have meant jail time.

I have to add here, that son never, Never , was rude to my husband again, and that happened about, 9 or 10 years ago. Also, that son will call his dad first, not me, about anything. I don't think the human race has really in truth progressed all that much from caveman days mentally or emotionally, only technologically.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am not sure hubby is really trying to counter balance
or if he is just taking the path of least resistance. And the least troublesome. He has to deal with the crap of working every day, 10 hours a day, with his new company, and those men act like little old gossipy women also, and that he figures (maybe rightly so ), that I should be able to take care of the children as I promised I could before we adopted any of them. WE married 25 years ago, then adopted 5 children, took in several more during that process , as shelter home parents, mostly because I believed that I could handle it with no problems. I was wrong and without experience with this element of our society.

My own natural born children and one adopted son had been no problem to me , no-brainers, and I had no realistic idea of the challenges to parent other-race children who also had emotional and intellectual disabilities. So, anyway. Our youngest is this now 20 year old, smart, white, led a privileged life with us, and now has had his internet disconnected.
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
The internet connection will get his attention but you may have to find additional ways to wake him up now and then as well. As far as the girl friend is concerned, if she is going to stay for longer than a short stay, she needs some chores to do as well, (unless she is the jump in consistently and help type). I know you want to give your son every chance to live at home and make progress on his academic and other goals, but living with, and off, you is a privilege that can and should be revoked if he is not doing his part. Be firm in your expectation that he will treat you with respect, and courtesy etc. and if he doesn't ask him to leave for five days. After five days he can come back when he is ready to be respectful and helpful.

You and your husband have done amazing things with all those children

Sincerely,
Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Over 15 years exp. Married 30 years and happy.
Mark Manley and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Catie , the little girl friend, is the epitome of Jump in and Help with everything and without being asked. I have often ordered her to stop and not do the chores for our son. She does get after him also and he is much better for having her here in his life, in all ways. I like the 5 days thing. He was away for just a couple of days staying with his life long friend, and was so happy to come back home then. I just hate threats, and I'd have to make serious threats to get him to leave for 5 days, can't even think of any threats. I never make a threat to anybody, anywhere, any time, that I am not prepared to carry out without hesitation. Never. So , if I say it, I have to do it. That makes me always careful about what I say.

There is a back story here that is the reason we have been so lenient with this son, our youngest, and his doing any chores in the house, but this has gotten out of hand too often now. I was an invalid for a couple of years and not here for almost one year. During that time, my house became a HHH (hoarders house of hell) from the other then teen age kids, also my husband, he didn't know what to do and could only do his best. I tried to ignore it for a while, pack stuff into the garage sized pantry that we have and in our big room, over 800 sq ft itself, and keep the rest of the house clear, but that did not work either and it was cleaning and sorting every day it seemed of our lives just moving stuff from here there and back to here again. We feel guilty that this youngest had to spend his teen age years in such a mess, only now these past few months have I been able to force my husband to carry the stuff out and haul away the ruined stacked furniture that was in the back yard under the leaking canvas car port - I have been angry for a long time at all of them, but Andrew, this son, had not been responsible for the mess and piles of stuff in the first place but it had come to him, and to me, to remedy this mess. I didn't do it either.

Another son and daughter had been living here for a while but neither would do anything helpful, in fact, the opposite. They made matters worse. She left finally again and we had to put the other son out, he is the one who got punched in the nose by the way. Now, like I said, he calls his dad and on holidays he will call me.

But all of this is just the stuff of life. None of my girls were pregnant on the street, nor prostitution, none of our children have ever done any drugs nor even smoke cigarettes, none of them are in jail nor committing crimes, so we never had to deal with any of the real tough stuff, only manners, being polite, getting an education, taking the trash out, doing laundry, and so on. Just to fill you in. We did our best but the best we could do was not always good enough. So goes life. Too soon old, too late smart. Old PA saying.

I do like the 5 day thing, and I am going to tell him today. Sometimes I wonder if he feels as desperate as I do about how our house still is. That big room was solid floor to ceiling, and now it is about 2/3 empty. I have been going through containers and boxes, and hauling stuff off to donate and I am weary of the overwhelming amount of it, and constantly angry at what I am finding also. Treasure just tossed in with the trash. It has to be sorted and not just tossed out.

Thank you once again, the dupe messages must be when I go back to validate that you did answer me . Will you get this message if I only click on Accept Answer also ? Then I wouldn't need to click 'Reply first and go back to Accept. That is making the dupes. I am exhausted right now. OUr Infiniti was taken last night about 1100 pm , we filed a police report, then it was back in the drive way this am at 0500. Again the police but this time Officer Friendly was rude and threatened my husband with arrest for falsely filing a report. Can you beat that? I just wrote an email to all the government officials of this village, copy also to another 40 residents of this Village, with a complaint against this guy the not so friendly Officer Friendly. Like I said, life goes on. and on. and on.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

MARK MANLEY
I was still very angry/ hurt and my son still had his attitude, but I did tell him that enough is enough, I am not supporting him as it is , and gave him the 5 days offer. He has since turned over another leaf, but no way would he leave with no place to go. Nor is it reasonable for me to insist on something like that. That is a last ditch critical thing to do, but I know it did get him thinking about consequences. He is leaving with his girlfriend on the 17 th to visit her family for a week, so timing is interesting. We are not so happy about his going there but oh, well. The other mom has already gotten their tickets, and they are excited and there it is. Our goal is not to alienate him from us, the opposite, so my thinking is to let this just slide by for now. They plan to enter the job corps just as soon as they can arrange it when they return for career training, I don't want to interrupt that either. He asked me to make a list of what I need done in the house and I have done so. They did a good job with the list. I am extremely unhappy and upset that this even came about, but I now think we need to be as supportive as we can be and he is not being a jerk these past few days either. p.s. I am scared to death to have him fly to Ohio even for a week to stay with these people we don't know .

 

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Gender: Female
Age: 73

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I haven't said anything more about his leaving the house for 5 days again, we had a bizarre incident happen, that sort of side tracked all our attention away from this situation of our son being rude to us and refusing to help with the work in the house, not even care for his dogs here. Also he is much improved for ? what reasons ? I am not sure.

Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
Congratulations on all the de-clutter progress! Also, how many people have their stolen car returned to their driveway?!

Sorry you have to fight an ongoing battle with the son, but glad that for now he is behaving better.

As for his trip, what can you do? Love him and let him go. As you know all this helps him develop independence and maturity.

He hates that he has to depend on you guys (naturally he wants to be independent) and this is part of where his belligerence comes from. He loves you and he hates being dependent on you. Keep doing all you can to foster his independence especially checking any part of your self that wants him to be the boy rather than the man.

You have gone through so many experiences in life successfully and you are now this one as well.

Have a great day.

Sincerely,
Mark Manley

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