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18yo returning home after semester away

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Replies to: 18yo returning home after semester away

  • MichiganGeorgiaMichiganGeorgia 4389 replies85 threads Senior Member
    If you read one of the OP's other posts it seems like OP is having (issues/ worried about) one of the other kids who is 15. Not sure how many kids OP has perhaps OP really is just overwelmed.
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  • seattle_momseattle_mom 978 replies56 threads Senior Member
    When I read the first post, I saw a frustrated, concerned parent. I didn't see the hateful parent that some on this thread are blaming for the son's situation. I am disappointed to see CC folks piling abuse on someone who came for advice and support.

    WhatToDoWithThem, having a child transition back home at any age is tough on everyone. There are mixed feelings - perhaps glad to have the child's presence back in everyone's life, but sadness or anger at losing privileges. When my D returned, S had to deal with sharing the car he thought would be all his. I believe these adjustments are all part of being in a family, for good times and bad. Our children aren't necessarily ready to leave the nest forever just because they have graduated high school. It sounds like your S needs to be back in your home for now. The trick is to set things up so he is able to continue growing into an independent adult.

    Ask yourself (and him) what his issues were at college. What will he gain from returning home? Was there anxiety, depression or other psychological causes to address? Does he need to learn organization and study skills? Money management? Your goal should be to identify the skills he is lacking, and set up the contract so that he is learning those skills. I recommend doing this in a collaborative way, rather than a punitive one. Sit down with him, help him figure out what went wrong, and brainstorm rules and structure to help him avoid making the same mistakes. Be explicit that your goal is the same as his: for him to grow into an independent, successful adult.

    Some things, such as financial and social contribution to the household, will be set by the parents and non-negotiable. Others, such as finding a therapist or tutor help, can come from your discussion.

    Try not to blame him unnecessarily. (If he was partying and being irresponsible in other ways, obviously he is partly responsible.) In any case, don't beat him up over it. He isn't the first kid to come home in the first year, and he won't be the last.

    Feel free to PM me if you want to chat about the specifics we worked out with D.
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  • WhatToDoWithThemWhatToDoWithThem 5 replies1 threads New Member
    I am the OP. I am new to this online forum business, and amazed at the feedback received in the past 24 hours. I started to cut and paste helpful bits to print and study, but quickly saw that there was too much for that.

    "Overwhelmed" is a good assessment of how I feel right now, and I guess that comes through. When 18yo moved out, we realized that we had overlooked some serious problems with his younger siblings -- caused in part by living with his ongoing challenges and crises. Adding him back into the mix feels like more than I can deal with right now, as we are having intense issues with another child. I feel like I am juggling the needs of several young people who each need lots of attention and help, and it is not fair to the younger ones to be put on the back burner again by their older brother's latest drama. There have been some very helpful suggestions posted. I appreciate all the feedback, and will be sorting it out in the next few days. Thank you.
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  • JoblueJoblue 1342 replies25 threads Senior Member
    OP, I really feel for you, FWIW. Please try to take care of yourself as well as your kids. There are many families with similar challenges and it can be so hard to juggle everyone elses' needs, that you end up exhausting your own resources.
    Good luck and best wishes for the coming year.
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