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What would you do? Teenage nephew wants to come and live with us.

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What would you do? Teenage nephew wants to come and live with us.

Old 02-24-05, 01:45 PM
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What would you do? Teenage nephew wants to come and live with us.

Some of you may remember that my Mom passed away last Fall. She had adopted my nephew and was raising him until she died. Since that time he has been living with his mom (my sister), but he called last night and wants to move in with me. He is 17 and will change the dynamic of my family quite a bit (my kids are 9 and 7), but he could really use a change of location and some stability which I can give him. We have plenty of room and will have his social security to offset any extra expense. So, what would you do?

We said yes, but it is a huge shock to become a parent figure to a teenager years ahead of schedule.
Old 02-24-05, 01:49 PM
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I think it is a big decision, and I applaud you for thinking about doing it.

I guess it really depends on his current situation, and if you can provide a better environment, while also balancing that with a stable home environment for your family.

Does he have any problems or quirks that you foresee as being a problem? (Outside of being a normal 17 yr old?)

-pedagogue
Old 02-24-05, 01:52 PM
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Why was he living with your mom? Why does he want to live with you now, rather than his mom? Why is he receiving SS? What happens to school/etc? Do you live in the same area as he currently lives?
Old 02-24-05, 01:54 PM
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One year more with his mom before he's on his own wouldnt kill him, would it?
Old 02-24-05, 02:04 PM
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How does your sister feel about this?
Old 02-24-05, 02:09 PM
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I gotta warn you, even if he has no apparent problems and is a well balanced and well behaved kid... you are going to have your hands full, and you need to carefully consider the potential impact on your own kids before following through on this.

Teenagers, especially 16-19, are going through a period of rapid maturation and growth, but they tend to confuse maturation with maturity. They tend to consider themselves "grownup" and "adult" long before either of those labels is true. Tehy can be steadfast in their belief in their own maturity, and can be impossible to reason with. All of this may or may not be the case with your nephew. It's great that you want to be there for him, but I don't think you can appreciate the potential chaos until you've been through it. I wish you and him the best of luck, and hope that all of my cautions are inapplicable to your situation!
Old 02-24-05, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Shoveler
Teenagers, especially 16-19, are going through a period of rapid maturation and growth, but they tend to confuse maturation with maturity. They tend to consider themselves "grownup" and "adult" long before either of those labels is true. They can be steadfast in their belief in their own maturity, and can be impossible to reason with.
There's a lot truth in that statement.....
Old 02-24-05, 02:18 PM
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I will try to answer all the questions in one post...

He was actually adopted by my parents when he was young. My sister did not make wise choices in her life and they could provide a much more stable environment for him as well as providing for his needs. He gets a survivors benefit from SS because my mom was already drawing benefits when she died.

He isn't trying to get away from his mom so much as trying to get out of the town he is in. He has been labeled a certain way and is looking for a fresh start. We are about 4 hours from where he lives (mom and sister were in same town and school).

He is a fairly normal teenager and I don't expect anything unusual other than he is really behind in school. By credits he is only a sophomore and will have to work really hard to catch up. My husband and I both have college degrees and are willing and able to help him if he wants to put the work in. The school here is pretty good as well.
Old 02-24-05, 02:19 PM
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As others have said, best of luck, and kudos for helping out. That said, it sounds like there's a lot of important info you've left out: Why he was living with his grandmother instead of his mom, why he now wants to live with his aunt instead, etc.

I can say that when I was in mid-elementary school, my parents helped out our relatives for a year by taking in a teenage cousin with behavioral issues--and it worked out beautifully for all concerned.

Edit: looks like you answered some questions from my first paragraph. Hope it all goes well.
Old 02-24-05, 02:19 PM
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Chances are if he wears a label, he may deserve it.

I would lean to making him stick it out with his mother, there may be an opportunity for them to re-connect before it's too late.....

Just my $0.02
Old 02-24-05, 02:20 PM
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Is his name butthead?
Old 02-24-05, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Shoveler
I gotta warn you, even if he has no apparent problems and is a well balanced and well behaved kid... you are going to have your hands full, and you need to carefully consider the potential impact on your own kids before following through on this.

Teenagers, especially 16-19, are going through a period of rapid maturation and growth, but they tend to confuse maturation with maturity. They tend to consider themselves "grownup" and "adult" long before either of those labels is true. Tehy can be steadfast in their belief in their own maturity, and can be impossible to reason with. All of this may or may not be the case with your nephew. It's great that you want to be there for him, but I don't think you can appreciate the potential chaos until you've been through it. I wish you and him the best of luck, and hope that all of my cautions are inapplicable to your situation!
That is part of the dilemma. I was expecting to ease into the teenage thing with my kids in the natural way. I am probably better able to deal with it than my sister though. I have another brother who has older kids who has been through the teenager things, but he doesn't have as much time to spend with my nephew and nephew asked to live with me, not him. I wish I could say it is going to be easy, but I know better than to expect that. I also am concerned because it is a lot to ask my husband to take on as well.

Last edited by beavismom; 02-24-05 at 02:28 PM.
Old 02-24-05, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Minor Threat
Chances are if he wears a label, he may deserve it.

I would lean to making him stick it out with his mother, there may be an opportunity for them to re-connect before it's too late.....

Just my $0.02
He has had a part in it for sure, but in a small town there isn't really a chance to change. Other kids sense weakness and will push buttons just to see what happens. Ironically I had a conversation about this with a friend concerning her daughters first grade class yesterday before he asked to come here.

My mom refused to see that he had any part in his own problem and it won't be that way here, but he will have to make others see him in the right way. We won't be able to change that for him.
Old 02-24-05, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Maxwell Smart
Is his name butthead?
LOL. No, but he has deserved that label a few times.
Old 02-24-05, 02:31 PM
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"labelled" = homosexual or something along that line?
Old 02-24-05, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by peon73
"labelled" = homosexual or something along that line?
I'm guessing "trouble maker".....
Old 02-24-05, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Minor Threat
I'm guessing "trouble maker".....

Trouble maker is closest. He has a short fuse and it isn't hard to get him to blow up and get in trouble. He also is a little geeky looking and teased about that as well. If he wants a fresh start he is going to have to control both his mouth and temper. He is a good kid deep down, but has never really had friends and a social life.
Old 02-24-05, 02:42 PM
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Relatives that are "good deep down" generally aren't, imo. We just see them differently. Sounds like a risky proposition, and I do hope it all works out very well. There is no doubt that you can do a lot of good with this.
Old 02-24-05, 08:18 PM
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At least you get to try your skills on a taken in teenager that way you can change/mold your skills when your own are entering teenager life.
Old 02-24-05, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by beavismom
Trouble maker is closest. He has a short fuse and it isn't hard to get him to blow up and get in trouble. He also is a little geeky looking and teased about that as well. If he wants a fresh start he is going to have to control both his mouth and temper. He is a good kid deep down, but has never really had friends and a social life.
He'd fit in at DVDTALK!
Old 02-24-05, 08:36 PM
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if it were me I'd say "no".
Old 02-24-05, 08:38 PM
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Given that you've said "Yes", it's kind of forced you into a position of acceptance. That being said, there is no reason you can't place conditions on his coming to live with you.

So, assuming that you do take him in, the minimum standard I would suggest is:

- While he is under your roof, it's your rules. While he might expect certain priviledges, you (and your husband) make the rules. YOU ARE THE PARENT. If he can't accept that UPFRONT, then don't come live with you.

- Let him know upfront that this may only be a temporary arrangement depending on the relationship he builds with the rest of the family. But also let him know that temporary could be until he's 21, 25, happy to move out or whatever (ie it's not for a period of 12 months until he's 18 and out on his ear).

- Let him know the rules of the house upfront (no drugs, alcohol, smoking, swearing, curfew etc that you deem to be inappropriate). Again, if he's not willing to abide by them, it's probably not worth him coming to live with you.

- Make sure that he knows that you are THE PARENT and not A FRIEND.

- And finally, let him know that you WILL treat him as you would your 7 and 9 year old. Make sure that he knows (despite your rules and regulations) you will give him a good and fun life.

- Give him a decent allowance. I know that it's not something you'd ordinarily think of, but it's something that will allow him to feel more like it's a family.

Also, when he does move in, make sure that you do cut him a little slack. Teenagers <b>are</b> kids (at the same time they are mini-adults), and <b>will</b> make mistakes. As a parent, you will need to expect him to slip up and you shouldn't penalise him too much for being himself.
Old 02-24-05, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by beavismom
....and will have his social security to offset any extra expense.

How do you get on Social Security at 17? Tell me please!!!!!! Inquiring minds want to know!!!!
Old 02-24-05, 09:18 PM
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Inquiring minds need to read the damn thread.
Old 02-25-05, 12:40 AM
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I am predicting that beavismom is going to end up regretting this decision. That is all.

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