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Tiny positive progress page 3– hive input? . I am having a Horrible, no good, very bad day!!! Advice re uncooperative 17yo sons?

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I think that a simpler solution to locking away dishes is to make a rule that there is no food allowed anywhere except the kitchen/dining room.  All dirty dishes need to be placed in the sink.  If you can get him to wash them, great; but I think that might be asking for too much change at once.

 

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28 minutes ago, Pen said:

I may do that.   They are Corelle and can be heat sterilized.  But it may not be worth the time and electricity. 

Would your son be willing to scrub them with vinegar and hot water? My relatives have plenty of Corelle bowls when I was a kid and sometimes dirty bowls get forgotten when they have plenty of guests.

DS14 is the one who gets “sugar crash” if he goes without snack/meals. He is also picky so he cooks, eats at his table and I watch him wash up.   We used to eat at the floor which is painful for my knees currently so we bought the Ikea Norden gateleg table. DS14 asked for “proper” afternoon tea and now we could do it. It’s his love language (giving him tea and snacks, buying the spices he needs for cooking).

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I didn’t see the photo’s but am assuming you have a fairly major situation involving many dishes, apparently Corelle.  I know people who use bleach when washing these but you might was a test run...my aunt bleached everything,  generously and definitely used Corelle dishes so it should be fine.  I would do this slowly a few dishes at a time placed in a bucket and covered with bleach.  Let them sit outdoors overnight.  The bleach should break down into essentially salt water within 24 hours as it sits in the bucket and any bacteria etc should be killed.  Bring inside and wash in hot soapy water.  Washing should be easy at this point.

Fwiw,  I don’t think I would ban him from dishes altogether I just think you need new house rules.....along the lines of food can only be consumed in blank areas and all dirty dishes must be placed on this counter or sink immediately.  No washed immediately because that will mean exceptions happen......

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1 hour ago, Pen said:

I may do that.   They are Corelle and can be heat sterilized.  But it may not be worth the time and electricity. 

 

Yes. 

 

No.   And unfortunately it seems to be really hard to work out carpooling and ride shares to city. 

 I have considered getting  a rental apartment in town next summer (he’ll be 18 but isn’t ready for something like that on his own)  so he can get a launch into world of holding a job.  Using bike or bus to commute from town rental to job.

One set of neighbors basically did that when their teen was around that age.  Sort of moved to town for weekdays and returned to rural home weekends. But her Dad also worked in town so it helped him too. Though most families go the route of cars for teens.  

 

One really nice thing about teens having jobs is 1. They're tireder when they're home so my teens have been less likely to argue about stupid things. 2. They get used to taking orders. 3. They have a sense of autonomy so that they;re less likely to dig in about stupid things. (generally) 4. They;re NOT HOME AS MUCH SLOBBING UP MY HOUSE. 

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Another point to make in his learning to be a real man---

I get a sense that you want my respect as a man. I can get behind that. In fact, I look forward to the day that I am able to proudly look at you and see my son, a real man of character. But now I have to ask you, is that who you are right now? These situations are not so much about whether or not the television is dusty or there are crumbs under the table. In fact, if you were respectful of me and working hard and helping everywhere you could, I would be so glad to respect the man who you are becoming even if there were a few crumbs. But leaving giant messes and being angry when I ask you to help out is not respect worthy behavior. And I think you know this. Men don't sit around on their butts playing video games and having fun while their sick family members have to pick up their slack. That's what little boys do.

I love you so very much, But it is not loving to allow you to grow up and continue being a self centered little boy. I see your potential. You can be a wonderful father and a wonderful husband. I can see that! And I want more for you than you just sitting around on the couch, eating cheetos, and leaving messes in your mommy's house. To go far in this world, you're going to have to develop consideration for others, a work ethic, and a selfless attitude. I want that for you. I want you to be a real man. But learning to do those things starts right now, when you're 17 years old. You'll need to learn teamwork to be a good employee. You can learn that now by teaming up with me to make our household work. You'll need to learn consideration of others to be a good spouse. You can learn that right now. You'll need to learn self discipline to do the hard unfun things first before you have the fun...You learn that by doing chores before you go off to have fun and leave your sick mom to do them. 

This situation is not about me, Mom, throwing my weight around and bossing you. This is about the kind of man that you want to be and that I know you are capable of becoming. 

 

Perhaps worded a little more kindly. 

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4 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

There was a time when my 16/17 year old son had a similar problem with dishes. I switched to paper plates for awhile. Then back to real plates with daily reminders of “I’m loading the dishwasher- got any plates?”  (In your case it could be “I am doing the dishes- got any plates?”  ). By the time he moved out (especially then) he started to care more about general cleanliness and it stopped being an issue. 

 

Good.

Or, similarly,  I can do my own daily check around house, and areas like near work out area I now know are dish magnets...     Hah, or add my own little work out routine daily and check plates at same time.  

since I would like to wash up earlier than he gets home from school, and the morning routine is actually working well and I don’t want to change that now...

then paper plates for dinner for now, So reminder is just to throw out the plates.  Seems wasteful, but I think is best approach for this season of child raising...

 

 

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4 hours ago, HeighHo said:

 

All jobs for an under 18 here are neighbors hiring neighbors for short term stuff like the hay bucking, lawn care, patio building, deck washing, child care, fence construction, etc.  Someone has to drive, and that can be a business partner if one goes into business for oneself or an employer if not....quite common for the farmer's pickup to be used to pick folks up on the way in.  Beyond that, kids travel 45 minutes into town for a job with the grocer, the Y, or a caterer.  One thing your lad might consider is the volunteer ambulance - he'll gain skills and get known, so he may pick up job offers.

 

 

I think it is so very hard to generalize from one place to another!  I probably make that error too when responding to threads!

 I even made that error when I first came here not understanding how different it was from other places I had lived.  

Under 18 isn’t the major bar for him here.  He can probably get a job as a bagger at grocery store at his current age.  That’s the main one currently.  (Though possibly he could get a job as ice skate rink, but they mainly go to hockey skaters, not figure skaters.) 

The major current bar is transportation.  And that is a reason I was so strongly working with him toward license all summer.  

 

 

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4 hours ago, mumto2 said:

I didn’t see the photo’s but am assuming you have a fairly major situation involving many dishes, apparently Corelle.  I know people who use bleach when washing these but you might was a test run...my aunt bleached everything,  generously and definitely used Corelle dishes so it should be fine.  I would do this slowly a few dishes at a time placed in a bucket and covered with bleach.  Let them sit outdoors overnight.  The bleach should break down into essentially salt water within 24 hours as it sits in the bucket and any bacteria etc should be killed.  Bring inside and wash in hot soapy water.  Washing should be easy at this point.

Fwiw,  I don’t think I would ban him from dishes altogether I just think you need new house rules.....along the lines of food can only be consumed in blank areas and all dirty dishes must be placed on this counter or sink immediately.  No washed immediately because that will mean exceptions happen......

I have bleached corolle bowls that had forgotten and moldy leftovers in the fridge. The above method works (wear gloves, put them in a bucket and soak in diluted beach overnight) - in my case, I have found that soaking them in a hot water bucket with Finish brand dishwasher pod also works the same way but with no fumes - the enzymes break down the moldy residues - I also add a scoop of Oxiclean if I remember. On the next day, rinse everything off with a hose, load them into the dishwasher and run once on a hot setting. It would help him learn good habits if he did all of the above.

Some things that help with this situation:

1. Ban eating anywhere other than your kitchen table or dining table. That limits the areas to which the dishes can migrate to. In my house, I do not even allow my son to hold a banana in his hand and eat it anywhere other than the table because, he spills and I refuse to run around inspecting rooms for spills all the time.

2. Keep 2 sets of plates and utensils for your family out and put everything else in a cardboard box in your garage or storage room. He will soon find out that there is nothing to eat out of if he did not return his used dishes to the sink. 

3. Paper plates as you said above. You can deal with building habits when you get into a better schedule. (could you compost the plates so that they seem less wasteful?) 

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27 minutes ago, Pen said:

 He can probably get a job as a bagger at grocery store at his current age.  That’s the main one currently.  (Though possibly he could get a job as ice skate rink, but they mainly go to hockey skaters, not figure skaters.) 

The major current bar is transportation.  

Any local job that he can commute to using a bicycle?

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3 hours ago, HeighHo said:

another resource you have in the community is the social worker or guidance counselor at the high school. they may have a program where students who are taking certain courses intern in the community to gain job experience.  

 

Yes, He can intern. He needs to be able to drive. And to have wheels.  We are working on that.  😉

Recommended is both a basic regular old paid job like bagging groceries, *and* an internship.  

He can possibly start that this coming spring. Certainly can this next summer if he’s got his DL etc. .  Next school year is tentatively looking like he will be able to have just 4 classes to graduate (if he passes everything this year)—so almost half the school day for work / internships .    Hopefully he can get all 4 in a block  not scattered throughout the day. 

(This year has a heavy schedule to knock off most of his state graduation requirements in order to allow next year to segue into work.) 

His Careers teacher was one of the teachers who alas left this year, but already offered herself to him as a reference and recommended that he ask the man he shadowed with last year essentially for an internship (told ds to contact him and offer to help for free in exchange for learning).  

Ds no longer wants to go into military as of now, but he also already has quite a high ASVAB in case he decides he does after all.  

Hmm.  I am feeling a little better about him not probably going to end up living under a bridge surrounded by moldy paper plates long term after all. 

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3 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

Another point to make in his learning to be a real man---

I get a sense that you want my respect as a man. I can get behind that. In fact, I look forward to the day that I am able to proudly look at you and see my son, a real man of character. But now I have to ask you, is that who you are right now? These situations are not so much about whether or not the television is dusty or there are crumbs under the table. In fact, if you were respectful of me and working hard and helping everywhere you could, I would be so glad to respect the man who you are becoming even if there were a few crumbs. But leaving giant messes and being angry when I ask you to help out is not respect worthy behavior. And I think you know this. Men don't sit around on their butts playing video games and having fun while their sick family members have to pick up their slack. That's what little boys do.

I love you so very much, But it is not loving to allow you to grow up and continue being a self centered little boy. I see your potential. You can be a wonderful father and a wonderful husband. I can see that! And I want more for you than you just sitting around on the couch, eating cheetos, and leaving messes in your mommy's house. To go far in this world, you're going to have to develop consideration for others, a work ethic, and a selfless attitude. I want that for you. I want you to be a real man. But learning to do those things starts right now, when you're 17 years old. You'll need to learn teamwork to be a good employee. You can learn that now by teaming up with me to make our household work. You'll need to learn consideration of others to be a good spouse. You can learn that right now. You'll need to learn self discipline to do the hard unfun things first before you have the fun...You learn that by doing chores before you go off to have fun and leave your sick mom to do them. 

This situation is not about me, Mom, throwing my weight around and bossing you. This is about the kind of man that you want to be and that I know you are capable of becoming. 

 

Perhaps worded a little more kindly. 

 

I love this!   

This is really nailing it. 

I need to get it much shorter or he’ll feel lectured and in my own words. 

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4 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

I love this!   

This is really nailing it. 

I need to get it much shorter or he’ll feel lectured and in my own words. 

Sure. Feel free to adapt as needed.

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43 minutes ago, mathnerd said:

Any local job that he can commute to using a bicycle?

 

Not right now.  

There’s a large dairy in the organic valley group  about 10 miles away that sometimes hires.   

And a nursery about 15 miles away (much worse roads though probably easier work once there) that sometimes does.

Keeping an eye on them.  They post a sign up when they want someone.  They said they don’t keep resumes or applications because wen they need someone people who left a resume are not likely to still be looking. 

Also the kids have a group email list of the hay bucking type jobs, which are usually just a day or two gigs paid under the table.  

 

Part of the area is small farms, usually worked by owner family, which hire short term help at really busy times as with bucking hay.  

Most of the area for some 40 miles or so at least in (almost) all directions is in vast PNW  Douglas Fir forestry holdings of large logging companies, and they don’t hire kids.  Don’t hire much at all nowadays. Used to be a ~40K per year straight out of high school job.  Now machinery does most of what men used to do.   (And increasingly it is taking a college forestry degree from OSU to get into, not just High school)

(eta: the main forestry exceptions are that in one direction about 20 miles to near edge is Eugene — and in another about 65 miles away Portland and those 2 cities are where most diverse jobs are— but where driving to get there is needed.  A certain amount in Salem or Corvallis, but not common to work there and live here)

Not sure Ds would have had the strength or size for logging work anyway, even in its current mechanized version. He’s male figure skater sized / built— not burly logger size/ build.  It’s also dangerous work.  We have an across the street neighbor who is severely crippled from a logging accident.  Farming can be dangerous too—one of Ds’s friends who will be taking over his family farm has already broken his back twice.  I thought it was possibly teen show off exaggerating, but, adults verified that, yes, two spinal fractures were real. 2 different times.  One he got run over by a tractor.  Another of Ds  farmer boy friends has badly messed up knees.   Ds has a Varsity letter in Cross Country, but several friends are too injured to run.  

Anyway the main “local” or area  job that people go to is still logging industry jobs —which doesn’t hire kids. Some wineries which also don’t (though only a couple are big enough to hire extra labor) except it seems for migrant workers possibly. 

 

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1 hour ago, HeighHo said:

 

That's great that your rural area has so much.  Be aware that nationwide, the majority of jobs aren't advertised, they are obtained via networking. Bagger is available here too, and the owner will give a long enough shift that it covers the gas (45 min each way) plus the college kids can work during all their breaks when they come back home. Under 21s have certain legal restrictions and so do under 18s...we found for ex that convenience marts had only so many slots for under 21s due to the nature of the biz and the need to operate a deli slicer.  There have been threads on the board that will also give ideas.

Another idea for transportation is the school bus - a teen need may be able to take a different bus than the one to his home, if the job (or for some, volunteer activity) is after school in the zoned district.  Then ride home with someone coming his way.   

 

No, no! Goodness!

Those aren’t jobs in our rural area.  

 

Grocery bagger or job at ice rink etc— Those are jobs in the city of Eugene open to kids under age 18! 

About 45 minutes drive one way! 

The only regular potential under 18yo jobs in biking distances that Ds could do are the dairy or nursery. And neither has had openings .

 

(ETA— The city of Eugene —about 45 minutes drive— has pretty much anything a typical USA small city has.  It also has the University of Oregon so that many jobs will go to older adults or college students before high schoolers will get considered. And for that matter local city high schoolers may be preferred—unless there’s a leg up reason for an outlying kid.)

 

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10 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

 

Here the interns do have bus transportation via the district since it is part of a class. 

 

How nice!  That’s not true here, alas.  They find their own positions and get themselves there.  

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Updating: 

a little progress— best response so far has been to my informing him that he’s still a minor for a few months and to come downstairs for dinner right now.    And yes insisting he eat it (salmon, rice, salad with dressing—so basic decent nutrition. Also chocolate milk. ), then insisting he take his multivitamins. After eating  he threw out his paper plates etc without prompting and went back to his room.   I asked if he wants help cleaning up the mouse attracting type stuff in his room.  (I don’t care about if bed is made or if books etc are helter-skelter, but do care about the popcorn, cookies, candy, granola bars, juice and soda bottles etc mess—a small victory: he had already gotten all the plates type objects from his room down to kitchen sink. ) He said no.  I told him it does need to be done.  If not done as of tomorrow I’ll insist that I get involved in the doing. 

I’m going to wash the not so bad plates that arrived from his bedroom.  For now I’m moving the ones that were really awful from work out area out into a downpour in hopes that nature will have substantially helped them by tomorrow. 

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He responded so much comparatively better to being told he was a minor and still needs to do what I say for a few more months and treating him sort of like a 7yo in re eating dinner, that I am wondering if he’s afraid of almost being an adult more than trying to assert independence. 

 

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Meanwhile rap music and lots of banging from upstairs in Ds room.  Could signify some clean up in progress.  

——

 

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Also while walking dog I ran into a neighbor who might maybe be a good role model for Ds— a retired UofO professor.  I’m considering calling tomorrow and asking if he’d be willing to try. 

 

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14 hours ago, Pen said:

 that I am wondering if he’s afraid of almost being an adult more than trying to assert independence. 

 

That would be true for my DS14. He is 6ft tall so people tend to treat him like a young adult and he told me he feels sad about it because he wants to be treated like a 14 year old high schooler, not a college kid (ETA: people thinks he is 19/20).

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On 9/17/2019 at 9:11 AM, mumto2 said:

I didn’t see the photo’s but am assuming you have a fairly major situation involving many dishes, apparently Corelle.  I know people who use bleach when washing these but you might was a test run...my aunt bleached everything,  generously and definitely used Corelle dishes so it should be fine.  I would do this slowly a few dishes at a time placed in a bucket and covered with bleach.  Let them sit outdoors overnight.  The bleach should break down into essentially salt water within 24 hours as it sits in the bucket and any bacteria etc should be killed.  Bring inside and wash in hot soapy water.  Washing should be easy at this point.

Fwiw,  I don’t think I would ban him from dishes altogether I just think you need new house rules.....along the lines of food can only be consumed in blank areas and all dirty dishes must be placed on this counter or sink immediately.  No washed immediately because that will mean exceptions happen......

 

It wasn’t as bad as it had seemed at first.  Only 2 were really bad.  

Both the bad ones seemed related to my attempts to get him to eat vegetables.  

New approach/rule on that needs to be established. I could give up on serving vegetables. Or I can go back to trying to hide them in pasta sauce (haven’t done this of late because I’m trying to be 100% GF and haven’t found a GF pasta we like —he’s not GF but possibly should be.) Or he can have a rule of giving uneaten/unfinished vegetables to the dog, promptly at meal end before throwing out paper plate.  (Dog loves salad and cooked broccoli and I can make sure there’s no bad stuff for dog, like onions.) 

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23 hours ago, Pen said:

 

I love this!   

This is really nailing it. 

I need to get it much shorter or he’ll feel lectured and in my own words. 

Grown ass men don't want their mommy to clean up after them. Lecture over.

And it's variants, Grown ass men don't need their mommy to nag them to do the right thing, Grown ass men can feed themselves healthy food without mommy's help etc.

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3 hours ago, Pen said:

Both the bad ones seemed related to my attempts to get him to eat vegetables.  

You should not be making him eat his vegetables. This will make him feel like: if I am being treated like a toddler, I may as well act like one.

Pick your battles. This is not the one to pick at 17 years old. 

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7 minutes ago, LMD said:

Grown ass men don't want their mommy to clean up after them. Lecture over.

And it's variants, Grown ass men don't need their mommy to nag them to do the right thing, Grown ass men can feed themselves healthy food without mommy's help etc.

 

Super!!!

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I still think this is probably the best answer: He needs a job.

I know that you are in a difficult situation because of your location, so make it a huge priority for him to get a license asap or whatever it takes to make the job happen, if you can.  Is his high school in a rural location with no nearby job opportunities after school?

My son at 17 basically had a full time job in addition to his classes. It was really great for him and our relationship. At that point he needed a boss teaching him responsibility and not mom.

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1 minute ago, Skippy said:

You should not be making him eat his vegetables. This will make him feel like: if I am being treated like a toddler, I may as well act like one.

Pick your battles. This is not the one to pick at 17 years old. 

 

I’m not “making” him.  I load plates from cooking pots and pans as trying to move things to serving dishes on table would create even more washing up troubles.

my experience in asking “do you want ____” as hungry teen doesn’t answer is not to ask and  just to load plate — after he eats he usually improves.  And he used to like the vegetables I was making—though perhaps more so when sautéed with olive oil garlic and seasoning on stove top and topped with Parmesan, whereas the rejected stuff was steamed kinda plain in IP .  

Or he might have changed and not like veggies at all anymore.  

But assuming it’s related to tasty vs plain, it goes into the circular problem of Mom will have more time and energy to cook more delicious food if she’s not _____ that teen boy could be doing.   Teen boy will be more able to think and function better if he’s eating better...

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2 minutes ago, Skippy said:

I still think this is probably the best answer: He needs a job.

I know that you are in a difficult situation because of your location, so make it a huge priority for him to get a license asap or whatever it takes to make the job happen, if you can.  Is his high school in a rural location with no nearby job opportunities after school?

My son at 17 basically had a full time job in addition to his classes. It was really great for him and our relationship. At that point he needed a boss teaching him responsibility and not mom.

 

Right.  Rural location.  Also somewhat mountainous terrain with lots of log trucks, so need to be cautious on biking.  Also when he was last getting more independent by using bike, he got badly bitten by a dog on our street. And has somewhat shied away from biking ever since. No teen jobs known of at this time without driving .  

I have the date that he is eligible for his DL prominent on my calendar!   (There’s a State waiting requirement from Learning Permit issue date to DL eligibility of 6 months.)   He’s already passed Driver Ed behind wheel, and has his card certifying he passed the Drive Test.  There’s some written test to take at DMV to get DL, but it’s supposed to be easier than the one to get LP —however, it took 2 years to get past the LP written test stage so I hope it will be hugely easier.  

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22 minutes ago, Pen said:

But assuming it’s related to tasty vs plain, it goes into the circular problem of Mom will have more time and energy to cook more delicious food if she’s not _____ that teen boy could be doing.   Teen boy will be more able to think and function better if he’s eating better...

 

For vegetables, I have different vegetables in Rubbermaid containers e.g. cut carrot, cut cauliflower, cut celery, tomatoes, pepper strips, shiitake mushrooms. DS14 stir fry whatever vegetables he want with olive oil in a small pan. Then he plates it on a disposable plate and top with teriyaki sauce and/or sriracha sauce. If we have slices/strips of meat in the fridge, he can just add those into the pan for stir fry.

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28 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

I’m not “making” him.  I load plates from cooking pots and pans as trying to move things to serving dishes on table would create even more washing up troubles.

my experience in asking “do you want ____” as hungry teen doesn’t answer is not to ask and  just to load plate — after he eats he usually improves.  And he used to like the vegetables I was making—though perhaps more so when sautéed with olive oil garlic and seasoning on stove top and topped with Parmesan, whereas the rejected stuff was steamed kinda plain in IP .  

Or he might have changed and not like veggies at all anymore.  

But assuming it’s related to tasty vs plain, it goes into the circular problem of Mom will have more time and energy to cook more delicious food if she’s not _____ that teen boy could be doing.   Teen boy will be more able to think and function better if he’s eating better...

Why can't he load his own plate with what and how much he wants? 

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34 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Why can't he load his own plate with what and how much he wants? 

 

He just won’t/doesn’t do it.  

 It may be some residual PTSD thing from having been in foster child system.  

He will get commercial package “food?” products like cookies or crackers or granola bars for himself (and he does know how to cook as I made it a homeschooling subject). But he won’t serve himself.    ... other than if there’s something like salmon already cooked in pan, he might sometimes fork a piece to eat on the go. 

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1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

 

For vegetables, I have different vegetables in Rubbermaid containers e.g. cut carrot, cut cauliflower, cut celery, tomatoes, pepper strips, shiitake mushrooms. DS14 stir fry whatever vegetables he want with olive oil in a small pan. Then he plates it on a disposable plate and top with teriyaki sauce and/or sriracha sauce. If we have slices/strips of meat in the fridge, he can just add those into the pan for stir fry.

 

Sounds delicious!

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1 hour ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Oh and put out some olive oil, seasoning and Parmesan cheese next to the stove for people to season their food to taste. 

 

Already have that.  

I have seen him put cheese on things...though now that I think about it, not recently.  I have never seen him season anything other than when he used to do some cooking. Not at home. Not in a restaurant.  He will use a dipping sauce tartar for  fish or ketchup for fries himself.   

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If he won't serve himself from a pan, I think you've got some more serious issues than whether he eats veg.  I'm not sure what any of the answers are, I'm sorry - I hope someone with more understanding/knowledge has good ideas for you.

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Sounds like he is seriously afraid of what happens when he's an adult.

I'm glad you're seeing some improvements.

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There’s an expected typical for adoption out of foster system that they are sort of running along two simultaneous time paths.  1 is their chronological age.  The other is age as if they were born at time of adoption. So Ds is simultaneously 17 and 10.  Granted that not wanting to serve oneself from pan may also be odd for age 10.  

 

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 

For vegetables, I have different vegetables in Rubbermaid containers e.g. cut carrot, cut cauliflower, cut celery, tomatoes, pepper strips, shiitake mushrooms. DS14 stir fry whatever vegetables he want with olive oil in a small pan. Then he plates it on a disposable plate and top with teriyaki sauce and/or sriracha sauce. If we have slices/strips of meat in the fridge, he can just add those into the pan for stir fry.

 

I can probably segue him into this shortly.  

Especially because I think what you do and your sons do will have a meaningful real life connection for him as more than just someone online.  

Also because sauces are already something he’ll tend to do himself.  And, unless he’s changed, he likes mushrooms, so that would help. 

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17 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

His bio dad passing might also have some subconscious effect 😞 

 

That’s very true.

 And there have been recent calls and paperwork related to that.  

 

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My kids are little, but my mother-in-law had some very stubborn teen boys and perhaps some moldy dishes at some point, not that I'm telling tales ... Anyway, from what I know of that situation, give him 1 set of dishware, like an orange plate and an orange bowl and an orange cup and have him only use those and wash them himself. When it's meal time, if his plate isn't there, ask him where it is and get him to get and clean it so you can put more food on it. It can help build the habit of cleaning up each time, and it doesn't have to be said in a nagging or punitive way.

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1 hour ago, xahm said:

My kids are little, but my mother-in-law had some very stubborn teen boys and perhaps some moldy dishes at some point, not that I'm telling tales ... Anyway, from what I know of that situation, give him 1 set of dishware, like an orange plate and an orange bowl and an orange cup and have him only use those and wash them himself. When it's meal time, if his plate isn't there, ask him where it is and get him to get and clean it so you can put more food on it. It can help build the habit of cleaning up each time, and it doesn't have to be said in a nagging or punitive way.

 

Lol! That was a strategy I used in younger years!  Even the orange color! the single orange Fiestaware dish is the remaining dish from those days that was his special orange plate.  His special mug was sea green, I think, not orange, but it and his orange bowl broke some time back. 

(It’s also a foster kids strategy to give each child a special set of plates in a favorite color. ) 

Nowadays our hours up and doing things often do not tally well - skewed off by sports and teen later night biorhythms— such that for now I think paper plates is the better strategy.   He had a sandwiches meal when he got home. And there’s a pasta meal waiting for him on paper plates for when he’s hungry later.  So I can clean up now, not at Perhaps 10pm when he feels it’s his next meal time. 

The sandwiches went upstairs, but one at a time, no plate and I will guess at least the first two were completely eaten.  Hopefully number 3 also.  I decided to let it go for now, in interests of longer term relationship.  

963A0F54-8129-45A0-B744-5FCCBFABCAE8.jpeg

Edited by Pen
Plate pic
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