View Full Version : Help! Need Parenting Advice!

October 30th, 2013, 03:24 PM
My nephew is (supposed to be) looking for a job. Every day I come home around 3:30, find him sequestered in his room playing video games. He gives me a brief, vague synopsis of his job hunting for the day. If I let him, he'll give me a detailed explanation of his gaming adventures. I have been giving him the benefit of the doubt, especially since I came home yesterday and he was out.

Today I woke up with a migraine and decided to stay home. My bedroom is downstairs and his is on the main level. It's a very creaky house, so I've been listening to him. He got up around 10:00 and used the bathroom. The toilet runs unless you help the handle back up into place. He keeps assuring me he does this. He doesn't. I know he doesn't, because he doesn't when I'm home. I listened to the water run for over an hour. At 11:00 he fixed it, then came downstairs and got the vacuum. Ok, good, he's doing his house chores. They need doing, but I'd rather he go find a job. It has taken him nearly 90 minutes to vacuum the main floor. He vacs for a bit, then there are long stretches of silence, then he vacs for a bit.

It's now 12:20. The water's running again and I'm not sure if it's the shower (fingers crossed) or the toilet.

Here's my question: Do I thank him for vacuuming or get after him for not being more productive about finding a job? My mother was always very critical of me. I'd complete A then get in trouble for not doing B. I don't necessarily want to be like that, but I feel like he needs to know where things stand.

October 30th, 2013, 03:47 PM
How old is he? Are you funding anything he does? When I cut my daughter off financially, it was amazing how quickly she was motivated to find a job for her necessary stuff. Does he have friends? I would assume the vacuuming to be part of daily life, are you thanked for doing your chores? Maybe a frank talk about what is expected is in order. No nagging or rehashing everything, just a direct conversation about what exactly he wants from life. I'm assuming he's old enough to be out of high school.

October 30th, 2013, 04:12 PM
He's 19 and came to live with us in July because he had nowhere else to live. At the time, he had a job at a grocery store, but they were overstaffed and quit scheduling him. He picked up a job a month ago, but it only lasted two weeks because he got sick and didn't go into work one day and didn't tell them he wouldn't be in. He doesn't have many friends. I have contemplated contacting our internet provider and seeing about limiting internet access at certain times of the day. We do have frank discussions fairly often, and I try not to nag. He has great long term goals, but all are contingent on finding a job first. We don't fund anything he does, other than providing food, shelter, and internet.

October 30th, 2013, 04:18 PM
I certainly agree, yeeehawterri. Meli, hopefully you aren't giving him money. I wouldn't hesitate to give him a deadline. Tell him you don't feel that he's making enough effort to find work. Tell him you want concrete evidence that he's seriously looking for a job or he needs to move out. Sounds like he's taking advantage of you. I know it's hard but you're not doing him any favors by making his life easy living under your roof. It's one thing if a person is working hard and trying to make a go of things, but that sure doesn't sound like the case here.

I made the mistake of taking in my daughter's boyfriend a few years ago. He did nothing but play video games and ask my daughter to feed him. He took care of my yard and was good about fixing things but that was it. He basically had a free ride for two years. Never again will I allow myself to be taken advantage of like this. Once we said, "Time for you to leave" he found a place and got a job. Didn't take him long either. When push comes to shove most people don't want to live in their car or on the street so they step up and do what's necessary to survive.

October 30th, 2013, 04:20 PM
By the way, he is most definitely an EX-boyfriend. She's found a wonderful guy now. He's smart, hardworking, is good to my daughter and comes from a good family.

October 30th, 2013, 04:26 PM
"We don't fund anything he does, other than providing food, shelter, and internet."

Don't want to sound harsh but why should he go out and find a job? You are providing everything he needs right now, a place to live and food to eat and with no one home most of the day he can use the computer and internet to play video games and entertain himself. Sounds pretty cushy to me. At 19 he should have known that he had to call work if he was sick and was not coming in.

October 30th, 2013, 04:41 PM
Sometimes its hard to see the forest for the trees. Meaning sometimes you're just a little too close to the situation. I'm certainly not in your shoes, nor do I know all the circumstances, but if he isn't too serious about finding a job, I'm not sure how serious he could be about long term goals.

October 30th, 2013, 09:09 PM
I don't know how you show concrete proof of looking for a job?? When applicants come in we don't give them anything to prove they were there.

Perhaps he should pay some sort of monthly rent to live there then he would have a bill he needed to pay. If he hasn't anything to pay for there isn't any thing to motivate him. Best wishes, you sound like an aunt who really cares!

October 30th, 2013, 10:01 PM
How does he get his money if he is not working? He has no motivation, just day dreams and is so into making sure he is OK he doesn't see outside of himself,. He will probably be amazed that you "expect" something of him. I hope he is not "addicted" to video games and does not or cannot have anything interfere with his playing time. The reason I say all of this is, this sounds just like my nephew who lived with us for awhile while his mother was recuperating from surgery. He has had an awful childhood but is basically a good guy (now 45) but still at loose ends. Jobs here and there, found a lady here and there to house,feed and give him wheels until they too get tired of him and he moves on. I think you need to discuss a time frame for him to find a job and go forward. Ask him how he plans to execute his dreams and when he will start, then give him the time frame. God Bless to him and you.

Miss Sheri
October 30th, 2013, 10:05 PM
Hi Meli,
I don't know if this will help in your situation, but in our house, our kids know early on that once they are out of school (college counts to live for free) they pay rent. You can start out small like $100.00 a month because they usually don't make much and need to pay for car payments gas, and insurance too.

Our son is done with school and working full time, living at home while he pays us back for his tuition and until he finds a nice young lady to marry. He pays us $300.00 a month in rent, plus $300.00 in tuition. Add to that his car payment, gas, insurance, tools (many, and expensive), phone, and a cheap gym membership, and he has just a bit left for dating if he plans ahead.

It makes him budget, and lets him continue to live in a family unit until he can afford to live on his own or starts his own family.

October 30th, 2013, 10:32 PM
No advice there is a lot of good advice here and on KellyF's thread about her step daughter. I just offer my support.

October 31st, 2013, 01:32 AM
I'd say...if he is a good kid....give him the benefit of the doubt....it can be very discouraging finding a job now. My husband's lost his last job because the company went out of business...and he was looking everyday for almost a year... of course we live in a rural area...so it is harder to find a job out here. He did do something...although the thing with the toilet needs work. I'd say you could tell him that you appreciate him cleaning up a bit...leave it at that for a day. Then the next day have a stern talk with him about the toilet...and the water bill.. and him getting a job to help pay for all the extra money you are shelling out to have him there. He should understand that if he wants to live there.. he has to contribute. Do you know anyone that could give him a job? Maybe he needs some help. Then once he gets a job....let him know that if he loses his job...he loses his place to live. That should help with the not calling in to work thing. There is a way to be stern...but not mean. Make each thing a separate issue. When he is good reward him... tell him he is good...but don't add something bad in the same sentence....even the same hour. Let him feel good about being good for a while.. Then talk to him about the other issue at a different time.