Difficult Child sleeping until 3pm

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by WiseChoices, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    So 23 year old DC1 graduated college with a B.S. in May. Had to move back home because he didn't line up a job, and his friend had totalled his car when they drove high on pot.

    He has been looking for work, and several things fell through which were not his fault . He has been home since May . He does chores and anything I ask him to do.

    My only dislike is that he sleeps until 2-3 pm every day, because he stays up all night. He is clean and sober in our home because we have a strict rule of no drugs or alcohol in our home .

    Someone said to me that we can insist he get up at a reasonable time. I did tell him it bothers me and he said he would try to get up earlier, but has not.
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Dear Wise.

    Sleeping a lot and staying up all hours can be a symptom of depression.

    I will tell you how I think (and I may be very wrong): I think if they have mental illness symptoms or are behaving self-destructively, withdrawing etc., while living in our home, we not only have a right to confront it, we have an obligation to do so.

    Also, if my son stays up all night in my home or property, and does not keep regular hours, is dirty, destroys property, etc., I have both a right to call this to his attention and insist that he conform and an obligation to do so. I am his mother.

    I need to tell you however that to draw these lines and boundaries has led to more problems not less. I have had to throw him out. He has lived homeless. He has adopted worse habits. There is conflict. It has led to police, etc. and confrontations.

    Of course this is very unlikely to happen with your son. But I am making the point that to confront them and to insist on rules and behaviors that YOU are comfortable with in your home and that YOU believe would be healthy and support functioning for you son, is to take the risk that our children resist. And that they dig in with destructive behaviors.

    But to my way of thinking there is no other way. I have thought and thought and re-thought, my course of action. And I do not believe there was another way for me, than to take a stand that my son function, act normally, accept responsibility, cooperate, and to live according to rules. Even though he would not, and perhaps, could not.

    My son, your son need to sleep normal hours and get up at a normal time. They need to get psychological or medical help if they need it. Your son needs to seek treatment for his depression and follow through. There are other kinds of intervention, too. Like meditation and prayer and 12 step groups, and exercise and expressive arts like dance, theatre, or art. Or sports and martial arts. But he needs to do something to help himself. That is what I think.

    If my son wants to do nothing to help himself, he needs to do it away from me. As I said, this has been an ongoing battle. and both he and I have become undone in this struggle. Many here have urged me to back down. To let my son do as he wishes, while I protected him. I have tried and tried. I seem unable to do it.

    There is a perspective where we only love them, only meet them where they are. Only support them. I am reading a book about this. I support this perspective very wholeheartedly. I just can't seem to do it.
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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
  3. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    He can't get an interim job at McDonalds? Where I live they are begging for restaurant workers and the hours allow plenty of time for finding a better job when not at work. My mom used to say "busy hands are happy hands."

    And being up all night probably means partying and drinking and drugs and other bad stuff so he is tired. If he had any job he couldn't always be having fun, like a young teenager. Who paid for his car? His insurance? His college? Does he pay for anything? My daughter didn't. Boy, was that a mistake! She is 33 and still a child.

    You have no clue if your son is sober in your house. He maybe doesn't do drugs or drink in your house but he is certainly doing something not right that HE finds fun or he wouldn't be out every night with others who also must not work or they would sleep at night. You can insist he work and you can insist he be home at a reasonable time. My daughter fortunately got married early so we didn't deal with this stuff for too long. Her marriage is a wreck but she isn't here at least. She can never live here again.

    The message from me is I think that doing nothing is bad for your son just andlike it was bad for my daughter. Your son is most probably is getting into things you don't want. If you let him not be productive and party all night, he will be tired all day. And childish too.

    Please think it over. God bless and be well.
  4. elizabrary

    elizabrary Active Member

    I agree he should be required to have some kind of job. He needs to be bringing in income and have some structure to his life. The longer he goes drifting along the harder it will be for him to work, keep regular hours and be productive. I am a huge proponent for writing up an agreement when adult children return to their parents' home and having them sign it. I did it with my daughter and it had basic points like: have a job (literally ANY job) within 2 weeks, pay 30% of her income to me for household expenses, etc. If you do this you have to be prepared to stick to your guns if your son doesn't follow the agreement. I kicked out my daughter with her infant daughter when she didn't follow the agreement. It was very difficult, but over time I believe it was for the best. Sending peace to you.
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  5. ChickPea

    ChickPea Active Member

    It's good that it sounds like he is not being disruptive right now, however, I do agree with the others about getting up and doing something. I can't believe that sleeping until 3 PM is helpful in his search for a job. Maybe tell him he needs to go volunteer or something, but not lie around until 3 PM.
  6. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Thank you all for your input. He is definitely not doing drugs or drinking right now. He has no friends in this area and has not left this house. He says it bothers him, that he has to get out, he feels cooped up all the time.

    He does not have a car since his friend wrecked his, and we have been firm that we will not help him get another one since we had already given him one car.

    He is on the internet all night, he has been playing online card games for years, and that may be an addiction for him.

    I do think he is depressed, he has mentioned twice calling a therapist but has never called her. He tends to say he will do things and doesnt follow through.
  7. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Busy, we signed the car over to him after his first year at college because he was keeping it like a pigsty and then had a small accident and didnt tell us or make arrangements to get it fixed. So we signed the car over (it was maybe worth $3K) and told him all expenses were on him. He had to get his own insurance, and he paid for that monthly and for gas.

    We paid for college. He got good grades, graduated magna cum laude. He partied but still got good grades.
  8. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Had conversation with DC1 . He admitted to having spent $600 of his graduation money on the online card game. That only leaves him with $1000 . I explained that he will need $1000 as a down payment on my Dad's car and what was he going to do now?

    He feels entitled to spend his money as he sees fit - which is true . He feels I am scrutinizing every area of his life . I does not want to change his sleep schedule as it is none of my business . technically true, but he is not working. He feels discouraged to look for work because the process has been hard. I acknowledged his discouragement and said we have to keep fighting, keep pushing forward.

    He said he would only discuss certain things in front of a therapist, so I nailed him down and asked when he would call the therapist .He said this afternoon .
  9. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Yeah, he already reneged on the therapist . Won't do it now. I could have written the playbook.
  10. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    He is not going to do what you want him to do without being told he will have to leave otherwise. He lives in your house so you make the rules, including when he can sleep or else he can move.

    He doesn't seem too depressed to engage online. All night???

    Cant make decisions for you but hope you stop letting HIM make the rules under your roof. He is smart enough to work at fast food for now. My daughter found it degrading. I should have forced her to do it but she ran off and got married early. Once she was not under my roof, we felt that we could not set boundaries. Stupid of us. We paid everything for her and her lazy husband. We should have cut it off if she wouldn't work and if he only worked as a pizza delivery driver. He still works on and off at pizza places for a penny. But we no longer pay.

    Its very hard ti let then falter, but now we do. Enough is enough. They are over 30.

    Be well.
  11. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    He needs to be washing and vacuuming the vehicles, doing yard work, cleaning the house, and doing everyone's laundry. Three months after graduation is enough time to rest and good off.
  12. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    I agree! Thank you for that! I did have him mow our very large yard the other day. He liked it .I do my weekly home blessing on Mondays and I will tell him I will wake him up for that from now on if he is still sleeping when I get started. I asked my daughter, DC2, to help this morning, 3 small things that took her less than 10 min and I was balked at .
  13. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    My 20 year old son is up all hours of the night and sleeps all day on his days off work. And the few months he did not have a job, he did exactly what your son is doing. The only thing that changed it was getting a job. Its not perfect and I worry that he will lose it because he often is late. My husband and I struggle with how to push him and how much to support etc. BUT, the one thing we have been rock solid on is that he has to work outside the house. He has such power struggle issues with us that having him do chores never worked for us.
  14. tamarann

    tamarann New Member

    I am not really qualified to give advice but my son did/does the same thing and it is because of his depression and anxiety. I actually understand it - for some reason all the fear is amplified at night and I can't sleep either. This doesn't make it ok, or healthy, but it might explain why he can't get up at a regular hour. His fear and anxiety is probably preventing him from sleeping so now his internal clock is all off. Sorry if it sounds like I'm making excuses (for my own son) but since I experience the same thing, it kind of makes sense.
  15. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    He could use medication. So many people have anxiety/depression, many in my family, some badly, but they do both work and sleep. Many are on medication. There are always ways to get help and do better. I get angry at my daughter
    for not trying to help herself except for pot, her cure for everything. We have the choice to get better health, physically and emotionally or not to do so. So does your son who does not seem to be trying at all, just like my Kay.

    Be well.
  16. WiseChoices

    WiseChoices Active Member

    Yeah, son used pot heavily at University. He used to say that he can't sleep and blames his pizza delivery job he had during the spring semester big of 2018 (where he hit a curb in our car and never told us or made the repair until he came home for the summer and we saw the damage. This is when we just signed the car over to be done with the constant struggle with him over the car). But today he said he could switch his hours if he really wanted to. I have homeopathy that he took when he was younger that helped him sleep, we have herbal teas that help to get sleepy, there are so many ways he could prepare hinself for sleep if it was important to him . Meditation, breathing exercises, ASMR. ....

    He may very well need to be on medication. He has been very nice about getting chores done, no fight, no anger like he used to do.

    The last time he tried to pull that it cost him a job for which he would have needed my car. When I asked him to wash and vac the car, he flipped out on me, so I told him I changed my mind and he could not use my car for work like I had previously agreed to. Things got much better after that, so boundaries seem to work.
  17. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    It could be just a habit.

    Years ago, when my step-son lived with us, he often stayed up late and slept in, or took naps.

    My hubby would have excuses for him back in those days (no longer) and once I told him: if N got up at six am and didn’t nap at all, worked all day, do you think he could get to sleep at ten pm? He had to concede that he may very well be able to sleep then.

    It’s so much more fun to stay up late on the internet and sleep in as late as you wish, than to go to sleep at ten and get up at six am and go to work. Most of us would prefer the former.
  18. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    Wise choices, it seems our children have a lot of the same difficulties. Mine used to flip out if I asked him to do anything he didn't feel like doing. Those were the worst times, trying to balance some boundaries with not having to go through him completely flipping out. I think its very encouraging that setting boundaries works for you and your daughter or was it son? They never did for mine. We would write up contracts and he would either agree and not follow through or even rip them up right in front of us. I guess I should say the only thing that has worked is when I can 100% follow through on what I threaten. When we would take away the car use, we had to disable the car. It was not enough to say he couldn't use it. He is also 20 now and is way way better. He hated high school and having to do what everyone said. Now that he has some ownership over his life , he has improved.

    He was on medication for anxiety and depression . He stopped those about a month and half ago. The biggest problem I see right now with that is his sleep is wacky. I agree with what you said about preparing for sleep if they wanted to. I have gotten back to waking him for work because this job the thing that keeps him moving forward. Its the one thing we said has to happen if he is going to have our support. And I think he actually realizes that he needs it.
  19. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    It sounds like your son is VERY smart. But of course that doesn't mean there can't be issues too.

    I do not think it is mentally healthy for your son to sleep that late every day nor stay up so late every night that he needs to. This is so hard to get them to want the right things and a path that propels them into adulthood.

    I really think that you and hubby need to set some clear rules on what you expect from him. He needs to be actively seeking employment which is a very important first step to independence. If we make things too good for them at home then they don't want to leave!

    My son is also a loner because he is very shy and we just moved to this state a year ago. He currently has a girlfriend he sees once per week and they text and that seems fine to him socially but we want so much more for him. She is a single mom and lives with her father and my son does not want anything to do with her child and knows that this relationship is not long term but he is comfortable for now so we leave it alone. He is attending school forty hours per week and working about 15 hours so I am trying to keep my opinions to myself about his personal life.

    I am on the Alabama coast and you say you are deep south. Are you as deep as me? LOL
  20. BusynMember

    BusynMember Well-Known Member

    Melatonin helps with sleep. It is natural, not a drug