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  #21  
Old 08.10.2012, 15:06
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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Sorry, I haven`t been able to figure how to do the "Quick reply" multi reply to the various suggestions so kindly offered above.

Thank you to you all for your suggestions. I really really appreciate you all taking the time!

Ja, it`s a tricky situation.

What I think my posting was about ...... I`m needing some "moral" support to have a confrontation, which is sorely needed! So what you`ve all suggested does help me in seeing the reality of the situation, and given me courage to voice it, and ask some straight-forward questions.

He started out as a friendly happy person, and then seemed to sink slowly down into this morose aggressive unfriendly and anti-social manner. There was never anything at home to cause this - he just gradually receeded into his own black hole.

It could be depression. But what does one do about that when the person is an "adult" and unwilling to seek medical advice, and scoffs at any suggestions?
You may also want to investigate any part marijuana may be playing here. Or other drugs. Have a good look into his eyes...
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  #22  
Old 08.10.2012, 15:10
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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After 3 months of not cleaning his room - I eventually cleaned it. OMG ... it took 4 hours! He was then instructed to clean it regularly. Which he ignores.

He smokes and does not empty or clean ashtrays - merely dumps it all into drawers! with any left-over snack things he eats.
You could be describing my 19 year old daughter!

Tom
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  #23  
Old 08.10.2012, 15:11
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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This worked a treat from an old mate of mine who had a 20yr old daughter who refused to tidy up...

Simple remove the door from his room and tell him he can have it back when he tidies up
Thanks, I'll give that a try!

Tom
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  #24  
Old 08.10.2012, 15:15
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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Sign him up for the military, French Foreign Legion, or at least boot camp.
That is something his father said would have done him the world of good! But he was turned down at recruitment age ..... any childhood injuries excuses a boy from military training here, he had a broken wrist playing tennis (very aggressive player!)
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Old 08.10.2012, 15:19
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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You could be describing my 19 year old daughter!

Tom
No, surely not! But ok, I can believe it. There are lots of kids like that around - apparently.

I really like the "door removal" suggestion!

Oh, I`ll suggest that to his Dad this evening (evil grin emoticon)
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Old 08.10.2012, 15:30
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

I hate to ask, but do you think his behaviour might have something to do with drugs?

It sounds as if you were describing someone in my family. He became a slob, a bad mannered, abusive, dirty git. The reason became all too clear a while later.

Not an easy situation.
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Old 08.10.2012, 15:31
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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-snip-

He started out as a friendly happy person, and then seemed to sink slowly down into this morose aggressive unfriendly and anti-social manner. There was never anything at home to cause this - he just gradually receeded into his own black hole.

It could be depression. But what does one do about that when the person is an "adult" and unwilling to seek medical advice, and scoffs at any suggestions?
I notice you put quotation marks around the word adult above and the tags for this thread use the words youngsters and kids.

You must accept that even though he is acting like a kid, he is not. The job of rearing him given to your partner, the man's mother, and possibly you (not knowing the details of your situation) is finished.

At the current time, (assuming that his mental health is not compromised to the extent that he is a danger to himself; the situation does not sound nearly that dire) you have the ability to:

a) force him to stand upon his own two feet, manage his own finances, and learn to depend upon himself. It sounds as if he is well-equipped to do this as you say he has a good job.
b) tell him, in a loving and earnest manner, along with other family members, that you are seriously concerned for his health and mental stability, and that you would like for him to see a doctor.

Obviously you can evict him, but you cannot force him to deal with his possible depression. He must decide how to proceed, and he must shoulder the consequences of poor choices.

I wish you all the best as this is clearly a difficult situation for all involved.
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  #28  
Old 08.10.2012, 15:33
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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No, surely not! But ok, I can believe it. There are lots of kids like that around - apparently.
My niece was like that until she was almost 30, from the time she was a kid (OK, not the cigarettes, but definitely the mess and food), even when she was living with someone (in a relationship)!

Tom
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  #29  
Old 08.10.2012, 15:43
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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"Your house, your rules, otherwise hit the door.". Whatever approach is finally chosen, this should be the underlying premise...
I think this is where there's likely to be some confusion.

If he was living at home, rent free, you could very plainly say "my house, my rules." But by charging him rent, you've created a different relationship. If he were renting from a third-party, he could indeed live as he liked.

If he is paying a subsidized rent, then agree on the ground rules and the consequences for breaking them.

Alternatively, insist that he rent somewhere else -- tell him you won't tolerate him as a messy tenant any more than you would anyone else. If he wants to be your 'flatmate' then he needs to live up to the expecations of what it means to share a house.

There may be a middle ground. You can let him have his room, but insist on him sharing the cleaning duties (or costs of getting a professional) for shared areas like the kitchen and bathroom.

Of course, none of this will help him actually grow up and take responsibility for his actions. I'm from the 'Tough Love' school of thought -- I think he should be allowed to fend for himself in the real world. You don't learn about the dangers of debt if people continually bail you out. Let him hit bottom, learn the consequences the hard way, and then grow up.
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Old 08.10.2012, 15:44
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

A lot of us go through a sort of wild phase that can stretch from our teens into our early 20s. Most of us get over it and settle down and become normal humans. So the phenomenon itself isn't too worrying. It's more how you cope with the excesses. The most important thing is to distill a sense of responsibility. Every person has a soft side and you can get through to them from that side. If for example the person is very money oreineted, you can get at them by makeing them pay (or cutting their allowance) every time some agreed cleanliness target is not met. Then they will understand that they have only themselves to thank if they're out of money when they need it.
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  #31  
Old 08.10.2012, 15:45
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

Doesn't he have to go to the military anyway? 2 weeks from time to time over there would do him good...
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  #32  
Old 08.10.2012, 15:46
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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My niece was like that until she was almost 30, from the time she was a kid (OK, not the cigarettes, but definitely the mess and food), even when she was living with someone (in a relationship)!

Tom
Maybe in her case good sex and fun times acted as a big help towards her partner's overlooking strewn clothing, bathtub ring, and crisp bags lying about?

Not applicable in smoky's case, though.
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  #33  
Old 08.10.2012, 15:57
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

Hi, sounds terrible! However I think his dad needs to speak to him, rather than you. It's important that you get him onside.
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  #34  
Old 08.10.2012, 16:54
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

This kid's behaviour sounds a lot like depression.

Can't manage debt, can't manage his mess, can't manage his life.

I doubt throwing him out is the solution.
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  #35  
Old 08.10.2012, 17:03
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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A lot of us go through a sort of wild phase that can stretch from our teens into our early 20s. Most of us get over it and settle down and become normal humans. So the phenomenon itself isn't too worrying. It's more how you cope with the excesses. The most important thing is to distill a sense of responsibility. Every person has a soft side and you can get through to them from that side. If for example the person is very money oreineted, you can get at them by makeing them pay (or cutting their allowance) every time some agreed cleanliness target is not met. Then they will understand that they have only themselves to thank if they're out of money when they need it.
I am thinking it has something to do with being Swiss? I`ve noticed that a lot of Swiss parents treat their children with kid-gloves and seem afraid of disciplining them? It certainly seems like it in this case. Although the siblings have done well, this one has fallen off the track.

Asking about his upbringing (I`ve only known him for about 2 years, from a distance, and this 1 year up-close - I began to think maybe he was retarded in some way?) - seems he was given whatever he wanted - given the best and when he tired of it, he jumped to the next, with no consequences.

He tells outright in your face lies, with a beguiling and charming smile, which is also used when he wants/needs something.

About the money side. Fines don`t work, he doesn`t pay them. Rent is minimal (what an apprentice would pay) and is not always paid, depending on where he plans to spend his long weekends away ..... Italy ... Wellness hotel ...... (bad huh?)

His Dad is just unable to believe what he is seeing!
And unable to act on what he is seeing.
Not nice at all!

AGAIN - A very big thank you to you guys for your suggestions, and support! I`m trying to build up my courage to handle this diplomatically. a.s.a.p.

Last edited by smoky; 08.10.2012 at 17:06. Reason: forgot to answer the 2nd highlighted part of quote
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  #36  
Old 08.10.2012, 17:24
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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About the money side. Fines don`t work, he doesn`t pay them. Rent is minimal (what an apprentice would pay) and is not always paid, depending on where he plans to spend his long weekends away ..... Italy ... Wellness hotel ...... (bad huh?)
He has (rightly) learned that there are no consequences in your house. If he doesn't clean his room, you'll eventually turn up and do it for him. If he doesn't pay his rent or his fines, nothing will happen. He's taking advantage of you because you let him.

You (and his father) need to get him to understand that there are consequences in the real world. If he doesn't pay his rent, put a lock on his door and deny him access to his room until he's paid up. If he doesn't pay his fines, same deal.

Assign him a laundry day, just like in an apartment. If the laundry is still there afterwards, do what my hauswart does -- take it down and lock it away, with a fine to have it released. One time he'll need a work shirt and find that they're all locked up, and he'll change his ways -- because he knows that turning up at work improperly dressed will have consequences.

I assure you that if he lived in a stranger's house, and that stranger didn't let things slide, he would abide by the rules. Teens/young adults are experts at testing boundaries, and it looks like yours has discovered that the boundaries at your place are very flexible indeed.
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Old 08.10.2012, 19:24
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

I'm sorry, but it's time for his father to step up and be counted in all this. He and the guy's mother have let him get away with this behaviour all his life from the sounds of it so he is the one who has to man up now. Decide between you what is acceptable and what isn't, tell the son the rules and inform him that if he doesn't abide by them then he will be given a month's notice to find somewhere else to live. Above all stick to what you decide. Backsliding will help no one. He's got to grow up sooner than later.
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  #38  
Old 08.10.2012, 20:22
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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But by charging him rent, you've created a different relationship. If he were renting from a third-party, he could indeed live as he liked.
I agree that by charging him rent you've created a different and potentially wrong relationship (I don't agree that he could live as he liked if renting from a third-party... living as a sloth in a WG will get you kicked out sooner rather than later).

Since kicking him out of the house does not appear to be feasible, I would suggest changing the dynamics of the situation. Renting only works where both parties act responsibly. Presently if you complain about his living habits, he can always retreat and say "I'm renting, I can do as I please, do not bug me and by the way there is no more milk".

Instead, his father can tell him he can "live at home" (hmm that will do wonders for his reputation...) but will have to bear his share of the upkeep, food, water, lodging (not rent!). Since he is not renting the rules of the household apply.

Of course he will need to face some sanctions if he does not meet the rules. Since he won't listen to reason, there will need to be financial incentive. Reach a (written) agreement that certain portion of his wages will be paid directly to the household account (e.g. 500.-- of which CHF 100.-- will be set aside as a deposit). If you do it right his employer will actually transfer them to that account.

Every three months he and his father can discuss whether minimal benchmarks were reached, and the deposit can be released, otherwise you get to spend it on a spa treatment :-)
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Old 08.10.2012, 20:29
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

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His Dad is just unable to believe what he is seeing!
And unable to act on what he is seeing.
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I'm sorry, but it's time for his father to step up and be counted in all this.
I second Medea's thoughts..

Smoky, I am sorry you are dealing with this.

The fact you guys are helping out this adult son of your hb, is a pretty nice thing to do. He is adult, though, and behaving in a way that wouldn't cut it, in none of the households I am familiar with.

You should not be the one to confront him at all, you will just get hurt, no matter of the diplomacy you are trying to muster up. He does not sound like respect and gratitude are his strong points.

His father has the responsibility to deal with his "kid" who is obviously taking both of you for a ride. Why get into some teen behavioral therapy antics or pointless grief you don't deserve? He won't learn to be responsible if there is always somebody helping him.

You need to talk, but not to the kid. I advise being cautious of what info you let out here, before you do the talk. Good luck.
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Old 08.10.2012, 20:49
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Re: Advice needed - Is it possible to re-train a 22yr old male person?

that is a horribly difficult age for some young men and women, especially if career is not yet on track, they have yet to find "their way", etc. as the old saying goes, "if you don't find the Way, the Way finds you", and I don't think it necessarily means he is a bad kid or bad apple. so the short answer, to me anyway, is yes, kids like that stumble upon the Way all the time, the trick is how best to help them do so in as efficient a manner as possible. problem is, every kid is different, oder?

we have one child with whom the "tough love" approach is the only one that other works, and another child with whom more "hand-holding" and rational discussion works. and a third with whom nothing works, since he is smarter than both his parents and can't wait to be rid of us

the dad is the one that needs to step up here, though. as I tell my sons all the time, the woman of the house may be their mother but she was my wife first, so if they disrespect their mother they will be dealing with the old man in a way they won't like. if I were you (and thank God I'm not ), I would politely make life difficult for your husband in a way that compels him to step up to the plate.
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