Advice for my 21 year old son?

My son is 21 years old and lives with his girlfriend at her house (the girlfriends parents just got divorced and the father moved out). My ex-wife and I divorced in 2013 and my ex-wife remarried. My ex-wife got full custody and maxed out child support payments from me. I visit my kids 1-2 times per week on weeknights after work. I usually see only one child at a time  and I will take them to dinner and a hike or movie etc. My other son is 15 and my daughter is 17. My 21 year old son temporarily lived with my ex wife and her new husband. He was not following the rules of the house such as basic chores. He was kicked out. He now will not speak to his mom. I have been spending time with him every few weeks but now I am reconsidering these visits. He is regularly into smoking marijuana, vaping, wax, and dabs. I used to just visit with him but now he wants his girlfriend to come along every time. I really would like to help him but I feel that he is becoming a bad influence on me. Plus he is disrespectful since he (and his girlfriend) try to smoke in my car and when we are visiting. For out last visit we all met (all three of my kids and his girlfriend) and him and his girlfriend decided to have a drink since she just turned 21. I am against alcohol but I did not want to make a scene. I feel that this was inappropriate for my kids and I for them to drink. He saw a therapist and she said that he needs medication for depression but that would not work due to his marijuana habit. 

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your son has grown into a young man who doesn't respect his parents and doesn't understand boundaries.   When you say you want to help him, I'm curious what you mean by "help".  Here's a fairly minor example of what I mean.

    When you go places with him and his gf, do you pay?  Do you give him any other money?   If yes to either of these, why are you letting him dictate the terms?  Can't you just tell him you'd like to spend some time alone with him, and if he's not willing to do this, then you won't get together? 

    Same with him trying to smoke in your car.   This is incredibly disrespectful!  You should have gotten to the next parking lot or turnaround, stopped the car and told both of them to exit.

    Same with them ordering alcohol knowing you don't like it.   You say you didn't want to cause a scene, which is understandable, but did you rip him a new one once you'd left?  If not, it wasn't about causing a scene.   It's about a dad trying too hard to be a friend.

    On what to do, at this point it's about teaching more than anything else.   Refuse to get together with him unless he comes by himself (other than a major holiday or whatever)   Do  not under any circumstances give him money.   You're just buying his drugs.  Talk to him about setting and pursuing goals.   But while doing this, you have to indirectly build in some respect.  For example, ask him point blank where he plans to live if he and his gf break up.   You're making a point here, because you'd get across to him that he hasn't earned the right to live with you after what he did at his mom's.   Stick to this.

    Finally, you sound like a good guy trying to do some damage control.   Try to turn your focus on the younger 2.  It doesn't sound like they see him much now, but that wasn't always the case, and it's very possible they've always looked up to him.   You want them following a different path, meaning you encourage any things they identify they want to pursue.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Assuming you are all adults (and I'm not sure) you say, "These are the rules in MY house, MY car, whatever."

    I have a stepson who is an "issue."  I don't care what he does at his mother's house, but he does NOT use drugs at my house.

    I do not allow my one problem stepson to be a bad example for the other chldren.

    I have a professional license.  I cannot be stopped/questioned/arrested for something which would cause an investigation and which MIGHT cause me to lose my license.

    "He's becoming a bad influence" on you?  Aren't you an adult?

    I have no idea what "maxed out child support payments" means or how this relates to your drug abusing son.  Which State "maxes" out a parent?

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    There are people who want to succeed in life by doing whatever it takes. Your son

    is ---> not trying <---. I never thought a parent would say "I feel that he is becoming a bad influence on me." Frankly that's news to me. I think a parent, or relative can influence a child, and other people could also have influenced him, but in a bad way. I don't know who influenced your son to be like that, or perhaps he did it on his own.

    Regarding myself I am trying to be the best that I can be. I made efforts to do better with my life. Because I want do something with it.

  • 1 month ago

    You're actually the one that needs the therapist. You divorced and f*cked up your kids when that son was a teenager. Some other guy moved in and started acting like he was the dad. He is self-medicating with marijuana and there are plenty of kids that are on anti-depressants and smoke. There is absolutely nothing wrong with someone drinking when they are 21. If you don't want someone to smoke in your car then say so. It is not abnormal for a 21 year old - especially one that has been kicked out due to lazy parenting - to act out and not know what to do with their lives. If you have a problem with the way your kid(s) are, look in the mirror. But get over it. It's his life and you and your ex made him who he is now.

    • Jon J4 weeks agoReport

      Better to divorce than to be a bad example. Divorce was recommended by a therapist. The kids will be shown the wrong idea of a proper marriage and possibly pass this down for generations. I admit that I was not the best parent but we all make mistakes and learn from them to become a better person.

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  • 1 month ago

    Dont take financial advice from anyone with less money than you

  • Teal
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Tell him you will only see him if he is sober, girlfriend too if she comes along. No excuses, no exceptions. This is a reasonable boundary. You can't control what he does on his own time, but when he is with the family he needs to behave appropriately. If he disobeys, enforce consequences. Leave right then and there or take him home. Let it be embarrassing and awkward. If it means you see him less, or not at all, so be it.

    I can't imagine that he is treating his girlfriend and her parents any better than his mother. It's only a matter of time before they get tired of carrying his dead weight. When his free ride is over and he has nowhere else to go, he may be motivated to make some healthier choices.

  • 1 month ago

    Your son is an adult now. He's going to have to learn to follow rules one way or the other. I suggest you set rules for him as well. If he refuses to honor them then stop spending time with him. That seems your only choice to me.

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