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singingdebbie's avatar

How can I help my 25 year old from talking so much on the job?

Asked by singingdebbie (5points) July 19th, 2010

We have a Landscaping Business for about 10 years now. He has been fired before. He is a hard worker though. We just don’t know how to get him to listen and talk less. My husband tells him over and over again, but he still doesn’t fill things out right. I am always blaming it on his childhood. He had to live with his dad and I divorcing with two other siblings. He doesn’t get it though and it seems like he doesn’t realize things when he does it. I need help so he doesn’t get himself fired because I just don’t know where else he will work.

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6 Answers

laureth's avatar

He’s 25 years old. At some point, he has to grow up and learn how to work a job in the adult world. It’s fine and noble that you are looking out for him, but is it really a service to him to keep him from experiencing the way the world works? The longer you preserve his job for him, the harder the life lessons will be when they finally catch up to him.

If he’s been fired before (same reason? or something else?), surely he knows that something is amiss. It makes me wonder if he knows he can’t “really” be fired from a mom-and-pop job, so he’s extending his adolescence the way twentysomethings do nowadays, safe in the knowledge that you’re his guardian angel. Again, life is going to bite hard when he has to eventually live it, no matter what kind of childhood he had.

If he works hard yet can’t fill things out right and won’t listen at all, what is he doing when he’s doing all that hard work? It’s hard, but is it good work? If he’s perfect in every other way, are you willing to tolerate his shortcomings? Or does he deserve to face the repercussions for his actions?

Lotsnlots of kids live through divorce. It’s not pretty and it’s not fair, but it happens and people move on. Did the other siblings turn out okay?

I guess what I’m saying is, if you can’t just straight up tell him how things are, maybe he needs to learn the hard way. Unless you’re willing to shelter him for the rest of your life (and deal with an adult child who can’t do things right when he’s 30 or 40), the kindest difficult thing to do might be to make him find another job. Perhaps the change of scenery will put his head on straight, which will serve him well when you’re no longer there to look after the boy.

Good luck. It’s hard when they leave the nest, but even mama birds gotta push ‘em out and teach them, finally, how to fly.

singingdebbie's avatar

Thank you so much for you honesty. My other two, 25 and 27 are really doing okay. My daughter is struggling with school and work because I can’t pay for her schooling. I wish I could like her friend’s parents do. My other son is a DJ and works very hard at promoting his business. I guess I do feel if they came from a family that worked together they would be better off. My 25 year old has a dui which is my other concern. Who will hire him if he doesn’t work here with us. He is trying to get his act together, so he says. Sometimes I think he rather play then save his money. We had him get a loan on his van which he pays $100.00 a month on to the bank and he says he was forced to get it and that he wasn’t ready to get a loan because it is hard to pay. I don’t get it really. He does make anyway from 350.00 to over 400.00 a week. His rent is 300.00 a month and him and his friends split his other bills which aren’t much. Yes he has fines to pay, a lawyer to pay for too. Knowing more about him, do you still feel the same way? My daughter also lives with her boyfriend and father and his dad is losing his house. She makes poor choices. She said the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree but i told her that is why I try to advise her so she doesn’t repeat history. I do blame myself for all of their problems because they really weren’t parented. Thanks for listening and helping. This has been eating at me for years. I have lived so miserable and guilt ridden for so long. I am now 52 and it seems to get worse because I see them struggle and their friends have so much help. Thanks to anyone reading this!

laureth's avatar

Knowing he has a DUI and would rather spend his money playing than getting set up in life only makes me feel more of the same, actually. He’s young, for sure, but unless he has to face some consequences that are directly related to his actions (like having to pay a loan, or having to pay a lawyer), he will probably not learn that actions have consequences. These are the sorts of kids who make me think that a mandatory year of service to the community is a good idea. The world is not all about them.

Perhaps you feel like you didn’t parent them then, so you have to parent them now? However, I’m not sure he’s at a formative age (like kids are) when parenting can help. He’s discovering the world on his own, semi-adult terms, and that might do the teaching if it’s allowed to do so.

No matter how a kid grows up, there comes a time when they have to use that experience to live as an adult. (I came from a single-parent, welfare, abusive home myself.) Once they grow up, though, you are no longer totally responsible for their actions. You didn’t make him drive drunk, that was a choice he made. Even if he made it because he didn’t learn as a kid that drinking and driving is bad, he must learn it now – or he will keep doing it, and maybe one day die in a crash, and God forbid, take someone in the other car with him.

Perhaps, if you want to actually help him rather than just shelter him, there are other things you can do. Does he need to learn how to set up a bank account or a budget? Don’t just do it for him, show him how. Maybe he needs help writing a resumé to find another job on his own? The economy is in the gutter now, but when it picks up, finding another job on his own will be a real life lesson.

One thing to remember. Whatever choices they make now, you are not responsible. If you believe you are, at least for now, how old will they have to be before you can acknowledge that they are making their own choices that you cannot control?

singingdebbie's avatar

I just wrote a whole thing but I don’t know where it went. I wanted Laureth to read it.

singingdebbie's avatar

Do you truly believe that his childhood affect the decisions he makes today? My daughter who is 25 and lives with her boyfriend seems scattered. She is in school and I try to help as much as I can. I can’t pay for her school though like her friend’s parents do. She has very good marks, but she just doesn’t seem grounded. I was scattered most of my life and my parents were together. They believed that woman get married and have kids though. I just never really spoke to anyone like you with such straight honest answers. I have so much I want to talk to you about my life because I need to learn how to live without the guilt and do what is right for my children. You are an amazing person and I truly appreciate your advice and honestly most of all! the only thing I have done all my life is literally cry. When they lived with their dad when they were younger and I would visit I would leave crying. I have cried so much that I would always have to pull off the road. I really felt I was doing my best back then, but of course now I see what I should have done. I let my kids down as a mother. their lives probably would have been alot easier then what they are now. they never really had a family. They practically raised themselves and my daughter told me that she always felt she had to take care of everyone. I joined tough love back then and listened to what they said along with other people. I never have my own mind. Thanks for listening. I have all this built up for so long.

laureth's avatar

If it makes you feel any better, I think every parent looks back and regrets some things they have done. People often have kids before they have themselves become wise about life, and of course people look back and see how they could have done things differently. (Hindsight is perfect.) But at the time, did you do the best you felt you could? If so, I don’t know how you could have changed anything. And no one can go back and make things better – we all have to live with the decisions and choices we made.

I do believe that childhood experiences affect what we do as adults, but I also think that as adults, we have the power and responsibility to try to mitigate that if it’s a tendency to make bad choices. We can’t go through life and simply be a flake who blames the parents, because if this were true, those parents would blame their parents, and so on, all the way back to the beginning. And who would there be left? In short, everyone’s parents make decisions they regret, and everyone grows up to do the best they can with their background.

However, more than just our parents and childhood shape who we are. Our own actions and decisions matter, too. As Tennyson wrote, “I am a part of all that I have met.” Everything that happens to us, shapes us. And adversity is known to make people stronger as well. (“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”) Many who face and overcome adversity feel that they wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. I guess whether the hard times make you stronger or weaker depends on the strength of one’s own character.

Cry if it makes you feel better! There is nothing wrong with it. But realize that there are other options that may help you and your children even more, when the crying is done. I don’t know what they are, because I don’t know you.

If you want to talk more, in a less public way, you can feel free to send me a PM. I don’t know if I can do anything to help, but I’ll listen. :)

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