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Topic: Off-Topic: Parenting Young Adult Children

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Subject: Off-Topic: Parenting Young Adult Children
Date Posted: 4/27/2010 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Well, this is hardly historical fiction. But you're the group I fell comfortable with.

So I'm asking if you can suggest any timely useful books for parents of troubled young adults. The YA in our life is 19. The problems are serious, but we're finding that we can't do much to help our child without the child's cooperation.

I'm kinda at my wits end. The book reviews at Amazon are just confusing with their advocating different philosophies. Tough love vs smoother with love.

Anyways if anyone knows of a worthwhile book, I'd like to hear from you.

Date Posted: 4/27/2010 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Ah, Genie -- so sorry to hear that you're having serious issues with your young adult. I also have a 19-year-old but have been very lucky that any problems concerning him have been trivial. However, his good friend who is the son of my good friend has put his folks through hell. I will ask my friend for recommendations -- I have no doubt that she has read lots and knows the literature well. You are in my thoughts -- there is nothing so difficult and frustrating as wanting to help your child but feeling hopeless and helpless. Hang in there....

Date Posted: 4/27/2010 8:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Genie, I don't have any suggestions but I wanted to say I sympathize with you and will be keeping you in my thoughts.

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 12:39 AM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Oh Genie, I have no words of wisdom, we also have a 19 year old. His problem seems to be a bit of a failure to launch (no job, no school, but a lot of computer time) - but nothing of the severity you are experiencing.

All I can offer is a huge hug, lots of prayers, and the offer of being a shoulder to cry on.

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 12:41 AM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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(I will admit, though right below your post title were two titled : Before I Commit and Pick Your Poison, giggle)

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 8:02 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Thanks, you guys. I know there are no easy answers. I'm really looking for a way to cope because I have other family members to think about. Even a book written by a parent who's been through something similar would be of interest.

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 9:41 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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My friend suggests The Second Family by Ron Taffel as a starting point. What she didn't say, though I will add, is that, depending on the issues, a parent support group can be terrifically helpful. Lots of hugs....

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,299
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Hi Genie! This is a tough one, I know. For years I tried to figure out the best approach with my son and nothing much seemed to help. He finally got out on his own and I thought he was going to be nothing but a party animal for the rest of his life. Believe it or not, through a series of unpleasant (for him) circumstances, he has become pretty responsible - still not achieving to his potential, however.

Not knowing the details of your problem, makes it difficult to advise. Most psychiatric professionals do not  make a diagnosis when the subject is in their teens b/c "teenageism" seems to be an illness all it's own. I will say that the symptoms a teenager exhibits are very similar to those of numerous personality disorders - and you may very well be dealing with a true personality disorder. The one constant in treatment of PD is limit setting. The limits will constantly be tested and this is very draining on the parents. Smothering with love usually only increases the problem b/c then the "patient" never has to assume responsibility for their own actions/decisions.

Rather than looking for a book, I would strongly suggest that you see a professional, even if it's only for one consult, in order to put you on the right track. Sorry not to be of more help here, but I know that in these circumstances, you need support too and that's where talking to a professional should assist you in dealing with the problem.

My thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with you. Contact me if I can be of any more help with suggestions.

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 10:20 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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hang_in_there_baby1.jpg picture by lettyloveswill

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Good advice, Jeanne. I have a phone call into a counselor, so I'm heading where you recommend.

I agree re setting limits, but I think I've reached mine. (: Of course, I thought that last year, and the year before that, and ..., well, you know.

Letty, how did you find that picture of me?!

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 3/23/2008
Posts: 2,458
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I have no advice on books, Genie, but I am sending many hugsand prayers your way.

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,299
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Good for you, Genie. I think that getting some professional advice on this issue will help put your mind to rest!

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 11:42 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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From my own experiences as a wild and out of control teen, I'd say to be very careful not to enable him. I never expected anything bad to happen to me because I could call my mom and she'd taken care of the problem, no matter what. I imagine this is one of those things that is easier to say than actually do. It's hard to sit back and watch your kid sink, even when they need to sink!

I have no doubt that whatever the problem is, you'll do the right thing. You are strong, smart, and loving; your kid is lucky.

I'm going to email you later today.

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Genie it is amazing what a little photobucket can do!smiley

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Genie - Hugs to you!  I hope you get some help!

Mimi - I like that, "failure to launch."  LOL! My 20-year-old suffers from the same problem.  Two years out of high school and he's still working part time in a restaurant, living in an apartment with his dad (my ex) and spending a whole lot of time doing a whole lot of nothing save for hanging with his friends and skateboarding.  Sigh.  I think I've finally got him on track to go to school this fall though.  Whew! Sometimes it just take people longer than others to find their way. 

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,299
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Oh Shelley, That's not bad - 20 yrs old and you're getting him on track -  good for you. Mine finally started settling down around the time he was 32!!

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 2:02 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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Shelley - I agree, he's getting ready to launch. 

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 3:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I never expected anything bad to happen to me because I could call my mom and she'd taken care of the problem, no matter what.

This is so my kid ... and me. It's not that I haven't let her fall, but I've always been there to soften the blow. I realize now that this has to change.

Thanks so much friends. Hugs back to you all!

Date Posted: 4/28/2010 7:40 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,879
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Tough love helped us.  I do agree, too, that love must be unconditional.  Growing up is so hard for some young people.  It seems that boys may have more trouble now than girls now.  Counseling can help but it's important to find the right counselor.  Interview the counselors till you find a good (hopefully) fit.  We did and found one we thought might work and were lucky, she did.  We'll be thinking happy thoughts for you all.  Good luck!



Last Edited on: 4/28/10 7:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 4/29/2010 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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Genie, my heart goes out to you. Living in a hostile environment is not good for anyone. I am glad you are going to a councelor. Even if it is just for yourself, to give you strength, it is worth it.  I dont have a book to recommend but I can tell you what I have experienced.

As a former wild teen I can tell you that tough love and independence are what worked with me. I was left to provide for myself which matured me quickly. If there are drugs or crime involved, the best thing is probably the hardest thing as well, turn them in for help. My mom had my brother turn himself in to the police when he got into trouble in high school. He spent 2 yrs in a detention center but came out clean and able to live a productive life. He is a very successful man today.  Had my mom coddled him he wouldnt have learned the concequences. My inlaws coddle my SIL. She is 28, hooked on drugs and an alchoholic. They bought her a house and pay the mortgage just so theycan  tell people that she is successful.  (Obviously that is only one of MANY examples of the things they have done to protect her from the real world.) I often wonder what will happen to her when her parents are no longer around. Unfortunately, today I see a lot of college age kids who are so protected by their parents that they dont have any understanding for responsibility or concequences. I cant tell you how many parents I have argued with over their college age kids grades.  When I was growing up if I got an F, I got in trouble, not my teacher!!!

I like the quote, cant remember who said it, "God made teenagers so it would be easier to let them go."



Last Edited on: 4/29/10 10:01 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/29/2010 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Thanks for the laugh, poblio. It's discouraging to hear that parents are interfering with the teacher/student relationship at the college level. Do they expect to follow their kids into the workplace and argue their position to their boss as well? Grumble.

I'm a teacher too. But I guess this is one area where distance education has an advantage. In the 5 years I've been teaching, I'm happy (very happy) to report that I've never been contacted by a parent.

At this moment, I'm waiting for word about the availability of a counselor I consulted about 3 years ago. Keep your fingers crossed for me that he'll take me in again. The front guard, er, desk says he's booked and not taking new patients.

Date Posted: 4/29/2010 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Genie - You're not a new patient, you're a "returning" patient.  Plus, you're incredibly cool.  There should be no reason why this counselor won't take you.  (Just tell them THAT if they try to put you off!) laugh

Date Posted: 4/29/2010 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I love the way you guys see things. LOL! He's going to see me early next week. The sweetie was even willing to take me in before hours tomorrow. I'm really, really lucky.

Meanwhile, my kid's making progress lining up help too.

You all are great. When I need cheering up (and even when I don't!), I come here. I can count on you all to be cutting up or posting funny pictures or linking to some silliness over at Amazon, and so on.

I don't even mind the wet noodle anymore.laugh

Date Posted: 4/29/2010 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,299
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That is really good news, Genie! I knew that you wouldn't have a problem once you mentioned that you had seen this counselor before. And your child is taking on some responsibility on her own too! WOW! Prayers do get answered.

Just remember : Grandchildren are God's reward for allowing your children to live! ( You will understand this eventually - you're still too young!)wink

Date Posted: 4/30/2010 8:38 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,709
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Genie, I'm so glad things are beginning to look brighter for you.  Know that lots of good thoughts have been winging your way.

But this: I don't even mind the wet noodle anymore.laugh   This is bad.  You really meant to say you are still terrified of the wet noodle, right?  

 

 

Because if the wet noodle becomes ineffective...what will she come up with next??

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