manasa007ParticipantJune 20, 2015 at 2:39 pmPost count: 2
My son is 19 years old and now has a job. He parties most night (abuses drugs, cigarettes and alcohol) and every morning I struggle to get him out of bed to get to his job. He throws a tantrum that he does not want to go. I drop him and pick him up as he does not have a car or a license yet. I don’t mind doing that but I would expect him to at least get up on his own.
He just joined this job 2 weeks back and already this week he has not gone for 3 days. It is a miracle he still has his job. I really want him to face the natural consequences but if he got fired he would just be on drugs all day long. This way he is at least occupied as long as he is working. But it is driving me up the wall that he just takes my driving him up and down for granted. What do I do to make him face natural consequences but not end up with him at home all day.
CNKParticipantJune 30, 2015 at 3:22 pmPost count: 5
Letting naturally occurring consequences play out can be painful and scary. And family members such as yourself understandably avoid letting them happen, as it is awful to watch a loved one struggle. You are also correct in thinking that a job is a wonderful competitor to a substance problem…in fact studies find again and again that people who have jobs do better when it comes to changing substance use patterns. All that said, the world can be a powerful educator. Your son is probably quite used to you being upset with him (as you are exasperated by his use, lateness, etc). He can probably tune you out and just say to himself…”my mom is just being a nightmare”, “my mom is making a big deal out of nothing”. It might be really helpful for him to get feedback from an employer saying “you have shown up late repeatedly and I can’t have you working for me” or “I like you but you are unreliable so I have to let you go.” Those are “real world” bits of feedback that are directly linked to his behavioral choices…not linked to you (e.g., “my mom is always harassing me to get up on time”). It also makes it more difficult for him to continue with his patterns of use. For instance, where would he be getting financial support if he loses his job? It’s hard to continuing using substances for long without being able to afford them.
The trick is to let those consequences play out (and maybe tolerate his getting fired) while at the same time offering to reinforce non-using/help seeking behavior on his part. Reinforcing any periods of non-use. Offering to help him get support for his problems. Using positive communication strategies to reduce defensiveness on his part. For example, the communication strategies could help in having conversation that lets him know how great it is that he got the job and that you realize he needs a ride to work and don’t mind doing that. At the same time, you would like him to meet you halfway by getting up and getting ready to go to work – perhaps asking how he thinks he could do that?. If he is not ready then you would not fight to wake him up or drive him. The challenge is if he does not get up on time, letting him miss work that day. This response would be one example of setting good limits within your home….other examples could be letting him know that staying home and using drugs is not an option and that should he continue, you may be headed towards asking him to leave. While that might feel like a strong handed response, you’re not “kicking him out”, rather you’re being clear with him about what your expectations are and what the consequences will be for continued use. Meanwhile, taking care of yourself and getting the support you need is critical to being able to manage this very difficult situation!
manasa007ParticipantJuly 24, 2015 at 1:23 pmPost count: 2
Thanks a million for your reply. It was really very helpful. I guess I knew the right thing to do but just hearing someone else say it makes it easier to do.
He has lost his job now and things just seem to be worse. He has been in trouble with the cops a few times already. I have no clue no how to distract him with positive activities. He used to love to play the guitar which he doesn’t touch anymore. He is out of the house most time and I know that he is selling drugs now to make money. I have no clue on how to influence him in the right way. When he is home he says he is too tired to talk and when he does talk (which is rare), he gives me no opening to say anything.
We have written down a set of rules and consequences (he has read and signed it) but still doesn’t care. Some of the consequences are asking him to leave the house and we seem to be slowly getting there. It is such a painful consequence for me to live with. We have sent him out before for 15 days but nothing changed. He just came back the same as he left. But we can’t think of any other consequence for some of his actions.
What should I do?
CNKParticipantAugust 5, 2015 at 10:27 amPost count: 5
While it is clear that you are trying hard to influence him in some way, sometimes we have to come to the realization that we can’t force anyone to change. It is a sad and hard realization, and one that requires us to have a strong support group to help get through those difficult times.
At this point, it seems that he is making choices to separate himself from you. It is a terribly difficult consequence, and it seems like it is one that he is choosing for you, not one that you’re forcing upon him. It is important to maintain your boundaries, and to let your son know that if he agrees to live within those boundaries, your home is available to him. He always has a way back in, if he is willing to make different choices.
It may be helpful for you to find some support, like the Parent’s Support Network. And, work on practicing Self Care! You’ll need all the support and care you can get on this long road!
daftarynimita14ParticipantDecember 31, 2015 at 2:09 amPost count: 1
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