Thursday, March 15, 2018
Slice #15- Another Missing Chapter in the Parenting Book.
Take the one I need right now, for instance. The one about how to help your adult, or kind of adult children figure out what they want to do with their lives. Or how to help them rescue themselves when they get stuck in a whirlpool that is going nowhere.
Son #2 came back from college about three years ago. He had tried two different junior colleges and just didn't like it. Not very long after that, he started working a series of jobs-- usually food related. He's made doughnuts, delivered calzones, and worked the counter and in the kitchen at a sandwich shop. The pattern is pretty much always the same. He works for six or eight weeks, gets bored, and quits. He hangs out for another month or so, then when I threaten that he either has to find a new job or a new place to live, he finds another dead end job.
This time has been one of the worst. He hasn't worked since before Christmas. Supposedly, he was going to take three months to get himself into shape, and then join the Air Force. He has already taken a test that says he is qualified for some really high level group that sounds kind of like the Green Berets. But somehow, he hasn't done that.
And then in January, he decided he was going to go back to school. I helped him fill out the application online and gave him money to park at orientation. He came home saying he wasn't going to go to school. I am still not sure what happened with that one.
Since then, he's pretty much done nothing. Well, actually not nothing in his book, but nothing in mine. As far as I can tell, he plays endless video games, finds complicated recipes and texts me lists of ingredients, bakes ginormous (and very delicious) million calorie chocolate chip cookies, and watches lots of You Tube and Netflix.
About two weeks ago, I had had it. I told him he had to have a job by March 24th, period.
And so he borrowed money from his brother, got a haircut, and today he went and had an interview.
At a smoothie shop.
He said it went well. It would be full time. He would work from 10-5 making smoothies for $10.50 an hour. He will find out if he got it this weekend. He probably did. He's smart and articulate and usually makes a good first impression.
And I'm not sure how I feel. For starters, it feels a lot like the past five or ten jobs he's had. And I wonder how long he will last (even though I have told him that he cannot quit another job and live in my house). And wonder if I should tell him, before he even starts, that in about a week he is going to get really tired of driving across town to work at a smoothie shop.
And I wonder how to help him understand that the CEO of most companies started out washing dishes or cleaning toilets. And that the world doesn't owe him anything. And that it doesn't matter if he is smarter than the boss, or if he thinks the company should be better run-- he is not the boss and he needs to keep his opinions to himself and do what people tell him to do.
And I wonder how I can help him develop a little stick-to-it-ive-ness.
And how I can get this 22-year-old no longer a child to start think about a career, rather than simply a series of dumb little high school-ish jobs.
And how I can maybe, if he wants to, help him get back into school because he is plenty smart and really needs to do something with the brain he was given.
Basically, I'm pretty much at an impasse in the parenting department.
And I could really use that missing chapter.