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Old 01-25-2011, 10:39 AM   #161
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As long as I never have to serve with them.

But if they don't have direction or self-discipline then they won't make it through recruit training anyway.

Maybe during the conscription days, the military was a magic motivating machine. But I'm not sure how someone who lacks direction or motivation would pursue the whole process of volunteering and then getting through the basics.

The key is finding something that motivates them. Plenty of other "non-profit" service organizations in the world will pay a stipend for service, and they don't necessarily depend on access to firearms or explosives.
Agree, Nords. While the military can certainly instill self-discipline and turn some kids around, we shouldn't use it as a de-facto dumping ground for those with more serious issues. But you are right in that the military is pretty good at weeding them out. My nephew, for example, a lazy, disrespectful, lying, pot-smoking, liberal, druggie loser good 24-year old kid who is still trying to find himself, couldn't even make it through boot camp. (He was smarter than all the DI's and other recruits put together, and didn't belong there, to hear him tell it...) I believe the boy genius is now sleeping on a friends couch, washing dishes (or cars, I can't keep up) part-time , when he isn't getting fired for not showing up.

While I'm disappointed he blew a good chance to turn his life around, I'm really glad he never made it to a situation where others had to depend on him. Kudos to the US Army for recognizing he wasn't management material and suggesting an alternative career path...

"Got in a little home-town jam, so they put a rifle in my hands,
Sent me off to a foreign land, to go and kill the yellow man"
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:48 AM   #162
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My nephew, for example, a lazy, disrespectful, lying, pot-smoking, liberal, druggie loser...
Uncle Westernskies?

I am not a liberal...
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:59 AM   #163
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Disclaimer: No kids
Gotcha!

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Announcement: I never tell parents what they should do with their kids. At least not within firing distance.
Some of the best advice has come from folks with no kids, and also some of the WORST advice too...........
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:58 PM   #164
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I hope that sometime in the future you can post an update to this thread detailing a happy ending for all involved.

I'm not a parent, however I know when I had fantasies of motherhood they all involved the perfect child. There are lots of postings on this thread that indicate that despite best efforts things can turn out very differently than expected.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:12 PM   #165
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Hurry up and change the locks.
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:09 PM   #166
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One of the things I notice on my visits to the US is that, for the self-described freest country on Earth, there's a heck of a lot of things that you can't do, and a heck of a lot of signs telling you not to do stuff. Here in regulated, socialist Europe, we seem to manage just fine without being told what to do by law enforcement every ten minutes.
My sentiments exactly!!
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:48 PM   #167
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The United States is the only country in the Western World and the world for that matter that is so unforgiving and draconian in it's law enforcement efforts, especially when it comes to young people. It does not consider the folly of youth which is sad indeed. There are otherwise good people who can have their entire lives ruined because of one bad judgment.
Well, a lot depends on whether that foolish youth is rich or poor. The rich ones get many more second chances than the poor ones do.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:56 PM   #168
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IMO - The best thing for someone who has little direction or self-discipline is a tour of duty in the military.

Have you seen the report "Ready, Willing and Unable to Serve" showing 75 percent of youth aren't even elegible due to a myriad of problems...including overweight, drugs, and other problems... The military is often seen as a good opportunity for many, but it is apparently not an option for way more then I ever expected...
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:26 PM   #169
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Yes, there simply isn't a rule that applies to everyone. After my first year of college I came home. If my father had tossed me out things may have gone very badly for me. I still did stupid things, but I got turned around and started college again a year later. If I had been tossed out I have this vision of me being a hippie druggie, wandering my way to warmer climes, and maybe doing something risky enough that I did not survive or being damaged enough that I never could put my life together. But who knows. I just feel lucky that I made it through a couple of really bad years.

I am encouraged that the OP's son is not a drug user. Her strategy seems reasonable, but I don't know her son.
I dont know the "right" answer but being in education for 25 years, for over 1/2 the kids I knew, the difference between a "good" kid and a "bad" kid is the bad kid gets caught! I have a spotless record, but if the police put a "mind scanner" on my brain and go back to my younger days, I would be coughing up some fine money and maybe having to pick up some trash along the highway for community service
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:43 PM   #170
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Yes... I wanted to learn what Katsmeow thought... she had a post with something like she can not agree with having them sleep in their car (I do not want to go back and look)...
Well, not exactly I don't think. When DS said he would rather sleep in his car than follow our rules, I felt I had 3 choices of what to do. I could try to talk him out of it and coax him to stay. But I knew he really didn't want to follow our rules and I didn't want to fight with him about it. So, we just accepted his view on that. We weren't even angry although we felt he hasn't demonstrated much maturity to be able to support himself (hence the expected trainwreck).

The second choice was to say, OK, and tell him to leave penniless and throw him out. I think that DH would have been OK with that in some ways. He isn't mad at DS but doesn't think it is our job to support him or provide financial help when he isn't in school. He would still, btw, let DS live with us if DS was paying rent, working (or going to school) and following our rules.

The third choice was to say, OK, and recognize that we were in effect "launching" him (well maybe he was launching himself). If he had finished college and had no money, I would probably help with any child of mine in effect setting up his/her household. I don't think it is required but I would probably want to do that. So I felt that helping him with his deposit and a few month's rent and a few incidentals (totaling about $1600) was reasonable to show well wishes to him. I looked at his budget and with that money if he works and is frugal he can make it. It is likely possible that he won't be that frugal and he could then end up living in his car due to his choices. At that point, I wouldn't feel that I needed to bail him out.


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Katsmeow.....

At least the learning has begun.....

But I will say that you might have to accept that your DS is on his way to breaking all ties with you.... I am not saying it is anybody's fault... but there are people on this board who say they do not speak to their family or parents... so it happens...
..
Well, I know that can happen although I hope that it won't. DH has a brother that I've met in the almost 20 years we've been married because he (the brother) broke ties with most family and moved across the country (does still have some contact with his kids). But, recently DH came across him on Facebook and they are now Facebook friends...
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:32 PM   #171
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A view from the front...almost 2 weeks later:

So after he moved out on 1/25, we didn't hear anything until 2/1. We had told him he needed to pay us for his January cell phone bill ($53 or so because he had somehow signed up for two $10 a month recurring charges that he had no idea how they got on there). If he didn't we were going to cancel the contract on 2/2 before our bill rolled over to a new period a few days later.

DH expected that he would ignore the deadline and then be upset when we cancelled. Well, DS actually texted me on the evening of 2/1 saying he knew he owed us for the phone but his employer is now paying people with a cash card so he had to figure out how to get money.

The next day he says he only got paid for one week's work (he had switched jobs) and wanted to pay us when he gets his next check. DH and I talked about it and decided that since he actually contacted us to address this (rather than ignoring it as typical) we would give him until his next paycheck to pay it.

So we tell him that and then he wants to know if his W-2's arrived in the mail. He wanted to get them and take them someplace to get his taxes done so he can get his refund in a couple of days and pay his phone bill.

I called him and told him it was a big idea to get a refund loan if that was what he had in mind. I told him I could prepare his return and efile it and he could get a refund fairly quickly. He agreed to come buy to see how I did it (so he can learn how to do it).

So today he calls me to come over and asks me if we can deposit his rent money for the 2nd months rent today. I pointed out we had said we would deposit it a few days before it was due (so he would have no temptation to spend it) and surely it isn't due until around the 25th. He says that his landlord is going out of town so he was going to pay it early. I asked him when she was leaving (tomorrow) and how long she will be gone (one week). I tell him that it sounds like she will be back well before his rent is due so I see no reason to give it to him early. He suggests that well he could just pay his rent early anyway....

In some ways, I'm almost insulted that he must think I'm an idiot...


So, today he shows up and he is distressed to find out that one of his W-2s isn't here (it seem the employer likely sent it to the dorm where he doesn't live any more). It is clear that he isn't happy that he has to get it before filing his tax return (he is getting a refund of a few hundred dollars).

I am pretty sure I know what his big pressure is. His rent isn't due until the 25th. But about 5 days earlier his auto insurer is going to want to debit him about $150 for his auto insurance. I'm guessing that without the refund he doesn't have insurance money.

He still has his part time job and is working fairly good hours and has had a second interview for a better job at a restaurant so that is good. But it is fairly clear he is running out of money by not being very frugal. He drove out of town this morning to go to his old high school's bowling game so used a lot of gas on that. He told me that when not working or sleeping he spends most of his time visiting his friend (who was with him when he came by) or bowling (something else to spend money on).
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:46 AM   #172
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Kats,

Check to see if you can get his W-2 online... I use the H&R block and it asks info to download the numbers...

Since you are efiling you do not need the actual paper if you know the numbers...


But.... if it were me I would let this 'lesson' play itself out... maybe it would change his thinking quicker than you had thought...
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:03 AM   #173
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It sounds like he is slowly getting educated by the school of hard knocks. My youngest son was also more concerned with moving out and getting an aprtment than the big picture and long range goal of getting an education and marketable skill set. He is now in the 5th year of a 2 year program to get his Associate Degree. A $50-100 bill and unexpected late paycheck is enough of a cash flow problem to bring their fragile house of cards crashing down. These kids need to follow a budget in the worst way because spending even $20 can start a chain of events that leads to eviction or loss of driving(no insurance) or then loss of job (no transportation).

Maybe start a tab with a $200-300 limit for when he needs to borrow $50. Let him work it off with tasks that need done around your house or pay it back with $. Lay out the terms and conditions just like an employeer would if he had a 2nd job. Pay him 25% more than he makes at his current job.

You will look back at these problems with fond memory if he gets caught up in the legal system and you need to put a lawyer on the payroll.
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:10 AM   #174
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As strange as it may sound, it is good news that he is at least thinking of the bills that are coming due. He is ahead of those that don't even do that.

But as jayc said, he simply doesn't understand or refuses to recognize that life does not go as we plan. W-2s get mismailed, paychecks come late, we get billed for more than we planned, cars break down when we least expect it, etc, etc. He may finally figure this out after being bit a few times - but we all know plenty of adults that never have. At one point when my son was telling me how capable he was in taking care of himself, I asked him what he intended to do when his car needed new tires. He just looked at me blankly....like "what are tires?" I guess he thought the tire fairy would replace them....

Thanks for the update.
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:08 PM   #175
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At one point when my son was telling me how capable he was in taking care of himself, I asked him what he intended to do when his car needed new tires. He just looked at me blankly....like "what are tires?" I guess he thought the tire fairy would replace them....
That's a funny one. My son has an old car and bought used tires the first round after one went flat. Then several months later low and behold they were nearly bald.

I took him outside and pointed at the tires. I said what would happen to you if those were your basketball shoes? He said "I'd slide around" - I said, exactly. You can't drive around in that car, especially if it rains.

I told him I'd loan him the money for a good pair of new tires that would last him quadruple the time the used ones were and would end up costing him less, but he thought about it and decided to go used again because he didn't want to owe me the money. I was proud he made the decision but reminded him he'd clearly need a new set within 6 months given how long these used tires were lasting him...in other good news he has received 2 raises and just got an award for doing really well at work which must feel really amazing for someone who was used to struggling in school and in other areas.

Katsmeow - hang in there!
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:51 PM   #176
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Our children are our only blood link to the future. My kids never needed anything once they were out, but these fairly small sums for important safety improvements in our children's lives seem to me to be good investments in our biological futures, not to mention in the well being of the children that we love usually more than anything else in the world.

One of my DILs had a roomate I got to know fairly well. Her Daddy was a well to do banker, and he paid her rent in a nice neighborhood, gave her a nice car and generally looked out for her. He pretty much supported her while she kept taking and re-taking pre-med courses in hopes of getting into medical school.

She did finally get admitted, in an eastern city, and he bought her a condo near the hospital but also in a fairly safe neighborhood.

Did all this pampering ruin her? Not that I can see. I saw her at a party at Christmas and she has graduated and finished one year so far of a very competitive OB-gyn residency back here on the west coast. Her parents were also at the party, and they are as thrilled and as proud as she is. She is totally dedicated to women's health, and will be a real help in many lives far into the future.

Ha
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:53 AM   #177
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The investments as in Haha's example are good and helpful for those kids that have goals and perseverance and do not see their parents as their money machines.

A kid with an entitlement attitude and determined to live the easy way would have produced quite different results from the same investments.

But I understand that it is very difficult for parents to chose the right kind of investment and to predict the outcome, even if they have a realistic view on their kid.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:55 AM   #178
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The investments as in Haha's example are good and helpful for those kids that have goals and perseverance and do not see their parents as their money machines.

A kid with an entitlement attitude and determined to live the easy way would have produced quite different results from the same investments.

But I understand that it is very difficult for parents to chose the right kind of investment and to predict the outcome, even if they have a realistic view on their kid.
I agree....

As long as the kids are actually going after a goal... and not just attending college for the parties... then I am willing to help out...

If they plan on dropping out, sitting on the couch playing XBox on my dime... they will be out the door...


Their attitude and drive determines my attitude toward how much I am willing to help...


Note: I will pay for 4 years of college even if they are only going for the parties... to me, I need to give them the opportunity to succeed... after that... see my above post....
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:43 PM   #179
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Did all this pampering ruin her? Not that I can see.

Ha
I'm not sure if you are commenting on my son's situation. In his case, we were willing to pay for him to go to college with some relatively mild restrictions (reasonably good grades and we want him to pay for books so he has some financial stake).

When he decided not to return (having not done well in the fall), we were even willing to let him live at home for awhile (he says he will go back to school to study culinary arts in the fall) with him paying us some reasonable rent (which unbeknownest to him I intended to mostly save for his benefit) and following some not very onerous rules.

He decided he didn't want to follow our rules and wanted to be on his own with no rules. We said OK and we are giving him some limited financial assistance for a few months. I feel that we've been reasonable.
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:46 PM   #180
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I am pretty sure I know what his big pressure is. His rent isn't due until the 25th. But about 5 days earlier his auto insurer is going to want to debit him about $150 for his auto insurance. I'm guessing that without the refund he doesn't have insurance money.
Maybe. But I'd bet most young folks in his situation would just keep driving without insurance.
- The car doesn't need servicing until it stops running.
- I don't need gas until the red light comes on
- The landlord will let me slide a day or two
etc
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