Couch-surfing kid, where do I go from here? [long]

I seem to have acquired another teenager somehow. At my youngest’s high school is a boy who won the shitty-parent lottery. Their idea of parenting is feed 'em and ignore 'em until they can legally toss them onto the street at 18. A continuing series of harsh treatment, arguments and lack of care has resulted in the poor kid appearing on our doorstep in tears, having walked 8 miles with nothing but his clothes. No phone, no money, no idea how what to do.

Now for the real kicker… this is my daughter’s boyfriend (has been for a couple of years). Yeah. What could possibly go wrong here? :rolleyes:

Originally, I thought the tales pullinDaughter told were probably exaggerated, being filtered thru teens (one of which was spinning tales of woe for his GF). Having met the 'rents, I’ve concluded the kids weren’t critical enough. Simply put, these are two of the most horrible people I’ve ever met. Mom’s life plan seems to be: Acquire Thug BF --> squirt out kid -> repeat step one with new TBF. The latest in the series of bad-boys has disavowed any responsibility for the kids that aren’t his (only one is ‘his’). This apparently means none of his earnings can be used for my afore-mentioned couch-surfer. Mom has no dough, dad wants him out of the house, and apparently this kid with no car, money, skills etc. is supposed to figure out life and manage on his own now.

We’ve taken in a teen before in this situation (two years until adulthood), but the second paragraph (above: “real kicker”) seriously complicates this problem.

So to my question. What the hell do I do? I pride myself on seeing solutions to most problems quickly and accurately, but I’m at sea here. Due to the romantic involvement with my kid, there are waaaay too many red flags to let him move in. I don’t know who to call, or even what the rights of an 18 yr old are in this situation. With a variety of additional expenses (not to mention my own kid’s college) I’m having to be more thrifty than in the past. The economy has affected us like everyone else since the last time we acquired a wayward teen. Providing this one with a car, apartment, etc. isn’t really an option. CPS doesn’t seem to provide for 18+ kids unless they’ve already been in their care.

If you’re still reading, a few examples of these lovely parents:

  1. In 4 years of high school, never attended anything for him. No games (w one exception), no ceremonies, no awards, nothing. It’s just been us (we cheer for him like idiots, but I think it helps to know we’re always there.)
  2. Once when I visited their house, Thugdad ordered all women to the back of the house since it was time “for the men to talk”. I’m not making this up. “Ordered”, not “asked”.
  3. Refused to pay for ACT, SAT, etc. Without us he wouldn’t have a chance at college.
  4. Refused to transport him anywhere, ever. He’s ridden with us (or others) the entirety of his school life.
    I could go on (and on and on) but I’ve probably crossed the TLDR boundary already.

Any advice? Can CPS intervene at this age? I’m almost out of ideas.

Get used to the idea of being called Grandpa. :slight_smile: It’s not too bad. That’s how I coped with a similar situation. Ten years later, it all seemed to work itself out and I’m the proud grandpa of a future soccer star roaming the fields of North FTW.

Alternately, get your daughter Norplanted or Depo’d or Mirena’d or whatever reliable, not-dependent-on-her contraception her body will put up with…

Sorry, no real advice otherwise, aside from saying you’re good people for caring this much.

They say the armed forces is not a dumping ground for losers, criminals, addicts, etc. but he doesn’t sound like one of them. Just a kid without the financial support for a decent future. If I was in his shoes I’d look there.

You can get him set up to have a job. Everything else will build from there.

Is your daughter headed off to college this fall? How far away is she going? Because I foresee some serious drama if they try to keep this going while she’s a long way off, but he’s living in your house when she comes home.

Done already. If nothing else, we are realists.

As for Hampshire’s suggestion; I don’t know for sure how that would work, but I talked today with a friend who hires summer help for his contracting business.I’ve been talking with him about how/where to apply for jobs and have transported him to interviews. MizPullin is working on some ideas at her workplace (she’s a VP and can hire summer help). We figure maybe an income (and the resulting feelings of self-worth, adulthood, etc.) would be a good place to start.

Many decent-sized cities have programs that provide housing, stipends, and/or other support to kids that aren’t being supported by parents but are still in high school. Have you looked into that? If he is not in school or is going to graduate in a couple of months, there is always the military or JobCorps, I think it’s called- where young adults can get housing and job training. In the short-term, I don’t think it would be a horrible idea to let him crash with you, provided there are rules, supervision, and several forms of birth control.

appleciders: Yes. Far enough they won’t be able to date with any regularity (although she’ll have a car, I imagine the weekend trips home will taper off as with most students). I’ve told her that any committed help we provide might have to outlive their relationship (however it ends up) and that she’ll have to deal with it. She’s OK with it and understands.

Just droping in to say good on you Pullin for trying. Not sure what the right thing to do is but its damn obvious to me that you are tying to do that!

Well, OK. Sounds like everyone’s being realistic.

Thanks billfish (and everyone). I hope someday mizPullin and I will kick back on our sailboat and laugh about all this.

Of course, that’ll be after we take care of this kid. And retire. And get a sailboat. Sigh.

and Tully Mars. Stop it. You’re scaring me dude. :wink:

Alice the Goon: I’m going (in a couple of days) to talk with someone who runs a shelter. Hers is mainly for women (domestic violence victims) but we’re good friends and she probably knows more than most about options for older kids. If anyone, she can point us to the local possibilities. Fingers crossed. (Thanks for the suggestion)

Most of Texas is a very affordable place to be. I went to high school in a suburb of Dallas and there were several kids in my senior year who lived in an apartment with a roommate and worked 30ish hours a week while finishing school before moving on to college. If he has a job or can get a job reasonably quickly he should be able to afford the rent on half a 2 bedroom apartment so that is a possible solution.

It sounds like the kid is going to graduate this spring; is that correct? If so, what does he want to do with his life? With such a shitting upbringing he may not even know he has options, or worse, think he’s worthy of anything better than what he’s grown up with. If he wants to go to college (you mention paying for him to take the ACT & SAT) does he have the scores/grades to get in? It’s probably a little late for scholarships and such but maybe not. His guidance councellor should know how to proceed and maybe can help with applying for student financial aid. If he’s interested in tech school, is there one nearby?

In short, talk to the kid and see what he wants to do and go from there. I don’t see having him move in as a problem. Just be very clear on the rules and hopefully he’s smart enough not to mess up a good thing.


Now thats a personal tragedy if I ever heard of one :slight_smile:

I don’t know how it is now, but when I was going to college it was assumed pretty strongly that an 18 year old WILL have the support of his parents and he may have to prove he’s been cut loose. It might be easier to work for a year or two while living away from the parental units to try and prove he’s really on his own.

I mean, sure, ask, but just be aware of that potential landmine. Odds are, the parents aren’t going to give enough of a damn to sign something stating they’ve cut him loose.

Hear, hear!

Nothing short of legal documents declaring his emancipation will compel an educational institution to declare him financially independent until he’s at least 24(?) years old. It might be older now, I’m not sure… 24 was the cutoff when I went off to college in 2003. It’s going to be so difficult for him to obtain financial aid without parental cooperation that, for his purposes, I’d consider it impossible. And anyway, in the current economic climate, he’d be much better off joining the military to pay for school or taking up a trade. He doesn’t need college unless he has a burning passion for a specific field like, oh, materials engineering.

OP, it’s nice if you can take him in for a while (at least through graduation). I really don’t think he’d need to stay too long afterward, though. Once he gets a job and saves up several hundred bucks, he can easily find a place to live with roommates and get his first taste of freedom.

If he has a burning passion for higher education but can’t convince his parents to share their financial information, education can wait until his mid-twenties, too. I have a lot… a LOT of dumb coworkers who are taking classes all over the place. Once he can qualify for loans on his own, he wouldn’t have any problem getting admitted to a decent school. Of course, by then, he may be grateful he never went to college in the first place.