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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1386
Experience:  I have my bachelors degree in psychology. I worked with children. Since then I have raised and still raising 3 wonderful boys.
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My son is 22, he is unemployed, lft chool with good exam results,

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My son is 22, he is unemployed, lft chool with good exam results, but dropped out of ixth form, and a second outdoor leadership course a year later. Had a science apprenticeship, but dropped that too after five months. Intelligent, he gets bored easily, and is slightly built so struggles at manual labour. Has had lots of casual part time work but eventually leaves. Had a job in a computer store that he loved but they laid a lot of peopleboff. He doesnt listen to our advice anymore, he is depressed, we live in a rural area with little employment. Just dont know what to do next. Feel its my job to fix this, making me depressed too.

jenhelant :

Hi, I am sorry what you and your son are going through. It sounds to me that you are doing your part. As a Mom it is natural to want to help are children and feel responsible. However, he is a grown man now, so even though you can help him it is not your responsibility. It will make you upset because you love your son and want the best for him, but he needs to want to change and do something. Most of the times I see individuals in this situation is because they are comfortable and may not need to work. They do not see the necessity of it and therefore are not doing anything with their lives, so in turn they become depressed and bored. Sometimes the best thing we can do for our children are make them less comfortable. This means not supporting him or letting know that in order to stay at home he needs to hold a job and be productive. This will teach him responsibility, build his confidence, and help his feelings of hopelessness. Things will not change overnight and he may resent it at first, but in time is when he should change little by little and start to appreciate. I understand this is not easy to do, but it is the way to get him out of his comfort zone, which brings all the negativity that he is currently feeling. I would continue to be there for him emotionally to support him, but if he does not want advice then I would lay low on that and that will force him also to make decisions, which he is asking for anyway. Lastly, seeing a counselor would not be a bad idea if he is willing. I wish you both well and please let me know if I can be of further help.

Customer: I know that I need to withdraw my support as you are right, I need to make him stand on his own twomfeet, but how do I do that? I cannot bring myself to throw him out.
jenhelant :

I understand its difficult to throw him out, but you really don't need to start with that

jenhelant :

I would let him know he can stay, but if he wants to stay he needs to be doing something with his life

jenhelant :

He needs to get a job, go to school, or both, but not just depend on you without trying to get ahead

jenhelant :

If he refuses then throwing him out may be your last option for him to be able to do something, but I wouldn't start with that. I understand that taking

jenhelant :

these steps are difficult, but just think of the future and

jenhelant :

when you are no longer here. How do you want to leave him?

jenhelant :

Sometimes by asking yourself this question you will not feel so bad about making some difficult decisions now because even though it will be hard for the both of you now. For his future you will be helping and causing a tremendous change for his life for when you are no longer here to help him

Customer: He needs to want to do thses things for himself, and we have discussed this, but he always says he doesnt know what he wants to do with his life, its been seven years, and he is still saying this to me. He is getting up at midday, staying out late, and seems to live on pennies
jenhelant :

He is making excuses. This is what I am saying he is doing this because he can. If he did not have you then he would be deciding real quick what he needs to do and going on to do it. He would not be sleeping late and etc. There is no rush for him to choose he is just comfortable with his situation and I see this a lot. All for the same reason. If he does not know what he wants to do nothing will change unless he is actively out there trying different things and looking into things. Doing research. Staying out and sleeping late are not actions that are showing he is trying for change to occur. This behavior will allow the situation to remain stagnant.

Customer: I agree with you, believe me I recognise this, my problem is how,? Sounds like I have to kick him out to make this happen, as i am saying and doing all the right things, but he is still in the same place. It's so hard to do! I have so much, it's about being able to sleep nights. What you are saying is this is really about me.
jenhelant :

I am saying that you do have the power to change things. It may be best to tell him how much you love him, but you want the best for his future and by allowing this to continue you are hurting his future even though you feel you are doing good. This happens all the time with parents and myself as well. We all fall into the pit of feeling bad to do what is right, but not feeling bad to do what is wrong. This is because the good seems like we are hurting or punishing them meanwhile the bad seems as if we are doing good for them. This happens at any age. What we need to do is look at things long term. How would you allowing him to stay cause him to end up in the future and has there been any change. Then ask yourself how could forcing responsibility on him help him in the long run and in his future. Before kicking him out I would let him know the consequences if you do not see him doing something with his life. Let him know how much you care, but what he is doing is not healthy and you can not see this and do nothing. Explain how you are there to help him and he can stay, but he needs to be working on his future and if he is not then he would have to work on his future at this own place. Think about it if he is going to need to work and do what he needs to do anyway on his own and have a tougher time then why wouldn't he do it while staying with you. If he chooses not to it is because he doesn't believe it or he is being stubborn and not appreciating your help, so either way you should feel confident that you are doing the right thing to help him. But like I said I would not kick him out as the first step, but I would warn him that changes need now to occur.

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