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persevere posted 3/23/2014 21:33 PM

First, I'm interested in any input, positive or negative, on this thread.

My DS19, yes he's young, tried college for a year, flunked out, was living with me, semi-working, and now has moved out to our hometown to work - there is lots of oil/gas contract work there - they are hiring and paying well. He worked one contract job for several weeks at 60-80 hours per week, then when it ended decided to just stop and live off what he made. (Which won't last long...but I'm not paying his rent this time)

I pay for his phone and his car insurance (I also bought the car so it's in my name).

After he moved out I noticed a few things missing. It turns out he either sold them or gave them away. However, he won't admit it. My DD21, his older sister told me about one item he sold, she didn't know about the others. And he refuses to take responsibility for any of it, claims he knows nothing.

So, after our last conversation I gave him some time to come clean, and he has not. So, I gave him a week to honestly discuss this with me and to have a work plan or I would turn off his phone, and subsequently take his vehicle. He has not responded so I turned off his phone this weekend. Still no response.

This kills me because the last thing I want to do is cut off contact with my child. But I set the boundary so I have to enforce it. My DD said she would talk to him because in her words, "He's being unfair and stupid mom". (She goes to school in the same town) But it's still hard.

I haven't taken action on the car yet.

Ultimately, if he chooses not to work or go to school, why should I continue to support him in any way? But at the same time, I don't want to cut off my relationship with my son.

What would you do?

StrongerOne posted 3/23/2014 22:44 PM

Cut off the funds, take back your car, don't pay his car insurance.

TBH, I think you should have done these things as soon as he was making real money doing contract work. Before you knew about the stealing, in fact.

But since he is stealing, and lying about it, for sure you should immediately close the bank of mom.

If you want to see him, you could offer to take him out for a meal. At a restaurant, not at your house, because that way he will not be able to steal anything else. You could make it a weekly thing. Does he have keys to your house?

So sorry! This must be hard. But he will not be an independent adult if you will not let him be one. And he will not learn anything about ethical ways to treat people if you let him get away with stealing from you.

[This message edited by StrongerOne at 10:45 PM, March 23rd (Sunday)]

GabyBaby posted 3/23/2014 22:47 PM is definitely well past time to get tough on this one.

You told him you would do X if he didn't do Y.
He didn't do Y. You have to do X or you'll be a joke.
Yank the car and phone.
And to add to that, do not let him back in your home. He disrespects you, CAN work, but chooses not to? By letting him into your home, you're only letting him continue to be a leech.

Sorry Persevere.

authenticnow posted 3/24/2014 05:23 AM


I think you are doing the right thing by following through with the consequences you set before him.

I have no advice because I know the 'right' thing in this case is not always the easy thing, and it's a bumpy ride with adult children and as a parent your heart sure does take a beating.

Sending lots of hugs and strength to you and prayers that your son finds his way.

Amazonia posted 3/24/2014 06:15 AM

Ultimately, if he chooses not to work or go to school, why should I continue to support him in any way? But at the same time, I don't want to cut off my relationship with my son.

I'd tell him he's always welcome to come for dinner, but yes, take back the car. Maybe give him 1 month notice so he can get something lined up (unless he's more delinquent than I'm realizing and you think he might try sell it and pocket the cash).

He's an adult. He knows where money comes from, because he's had a job and understands a pay check. It sounds like it won't be hard for him to get work again when he's ready for it there.

Kajem posted 3/24/2014 07:45 AM

It's hard to follow thru on what we say we're going to do!

You really don't have a choice BUT to follow thru. Well you do, but the lesson won't be learned.

If this were your sons friend who stole from you - would you back down?

We like to think we are special and that are kids are also, but the reality is- what he does to you he'll do to someone else! If he doesn't learn the lesson that stealing and not making amends have consequences, he won't have friends or family willing to have him in their homes.

No one trusts a thief, your trying hard to do that-he needs to own his actions-that's part of being an adult. Look at it this way-he's in construction-he steals from the wrong person, they might take their restitution in more physical ways. He NEEDS to learn this hard lesson NOW and WITH YOU! Others might not be so forgiving.

Hugs Mama, it's hard being a responsible parent.

simplydevastated posted 3/24/2014 08:14 AM

It sounds like you're doing the right thing. He needs to learn that he has to stand on his own two feet and that stealing is wrong. He's lucky you're not pursuing it legally. If he stole from someone else, that's exactly what they would do.


tushnurse posted 3/24/2014 12:02 PM


This has to be incredibly difficult. But you know as well as we do that you HAVE to follow through. He has to know that you are serious. He may decide to be angry, or not communicate with you for a while, so be it. He has chosen no education, and now to not really work. I know those contract Gas workers can make a ton of money in a short time, but he also has to know that his body can't do that work for the next 40 years.

My MIL gave in and bailed my BIL out multiple times, all that happened with that path was continual bail outs. Financially, and emotionally. About 10 years ago she finally drew her line in the sand, and he is now 43, has a job, a house, and vehicle. None of it nice, but he is supporting himself and takes a certain pride in doing so. My point being is the sooner he can learn to save himself the better off you will all be.

(((and strength)))

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