Louis says: Our 22-year-old son, Jimmy, who is the youngest of our four children, seems to have little incentive to finish college or get a job. Jimmy’s older siblings have completed school or have been trained for a job and live independently. My wife, Stephanie, still sees Jimmy as her baby and continues to allow him to live life without being very personally responsible. Stephanie initially was ignoring the later and later hours this son was keeping and his drinking, which has increased. And now Jimmy has stopped going to Mass. Stephanie was making excuses for our son, but lately, even she has begun to get concerned about this deteriorating situation. Jimmy needs to change the direction of his life, but each time I try to discuss a plan with Stephanie and Jimmy, it results in a verbal altercation between the three of us.
Stephanie says: What is the big rush? Jimmy is our youngest and there is a space of five years between him and his next closest sibling. Sure, Jimmy does not contribute as much as he could around the house, but I enjoy his company, and after all Louis is still working at a good job and we are not hurting for money. We will be empty-nesters soon enough!
What do they do?
It is time for Jimmy get his big-boy pants on! Louis is correct in his concerns that their son has not prepared well for true adulthood and to become a beneficial member of the family and of society. Stephanie has contributed to this situation by enabling Jimmy to develop poor habits and non-productive life skills. His coping skills are most likely not being developed, which would not serve him well later in life.
Calling Jimmy to a more responsible life is probably going to require a “semi-tough love” approach on the part of Louis and Stephanie, with both parents being on the same page (don’t forget to pray for patience and fortitude for all).
Louis and Stephanie need to be firm in their approach to addressing this problem. They need to set specific goals for their son to reach as a precondition for his living in their home and enjoying the benefits, i.e. securing a job or returning to school, taking on some tasks around the house such as mowing the lawn, responsibility for the trash and recyclables, cooking (yes Jimmy, cooking),etc.
Jimmy’s response to their requirements will need to be monitored by Louis and Stephanie without fail, and include loss of privileges for non-compliance.
Also, having a family meeting with the siblings, telling the son his good qualities, as well as his not-so-good behaviors, would assist Jimmy to see the family is supportive and united in an effort to help him to grow up. Do not be afraid to open your meeting with prayer. Jimmy needs to see and hear his family pray together.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103