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'AITA for kicking out my son because he is an adult and he needs to leave the nest?' UPDATED 2X

'AITA for kicking out my son because he is an adult and he needs to leave the nest?' UPDATED 2X


Finding the line between supporting your children and enabling them can be a complicated process.

"AITA for kicking out my son because he is an adult and he needs to leave the nest?"

I (46M) have 3 biological children (27M, 19M and 10F) my two sons I had with my first wife, who passed and my daughter is with my second wife (39F). I also have a step daughter (14F). I currently live with my wife step daughter, daughter and younger son. Our house is technically 4 bedrooms, but the small 'box room' we converted into a study room.

That leaves 3 decently sized bedrooms, here is the dilemma, we both agree my step daughter should have her own privacy from my daughter given the age difference but we do not have another room. My oldest son moved out at 18 with encouragement from me and his stepmother, he had a part time job from 15.

And rented a flat, he excelled in school and university and now has a well payed job in a decent house. I am very proud of him. My younger son is 19 and has never worked a day in his life. He has no aspirations and did not apply to university. I've tried countless times to explain to him that he cant live with us forever, and that he needs to get a job. But he lacks all motivation for it.

When he was 18 I told him that I had enough and that if he wasn't out of the house by his 19th birthday. (Then 6 months away) I would put all his stuff outside the house and lock him out. I hoped that would make him get a job but he didn't, I locked him out on his birthday, I gave him £5000 (the same amount I gave to my eldest when he moved out) and told him that I warned him this would happen.

It has been about a month and he hasn't made contact at all. For me this wasn't just about the room but also getting my son to survive on his own, the room dilemma was just a nail in the coffin. My wife thinks I may have been to hard on him, but I told her that he has to learn how the real world works.

Some people in my family think I am TA for kicking him out because he could still be grieving for his mother, others say I am not because I'm finally putting my foot down. My brother specifically said to me that I am TA and how could I do that to my own son. So AITA?

Not long after posting, OP shared an update.

Edit: I wanted to say a couple of things to clear some things, first I'm not the greatest proof reader and I realized I accidentally said that I didn't give my younger son the 5 grand. He did get the 5 grand, along with any money he had saved up before that point (from birthdays and Christmas etc.) And this has been fixed in the post.

Second, I tried to get both son's in therapy whilst their mother was terminally Ill and once she passed. My elder son agreed, my younger son refused to go after she passed. I tried to convince him it would be better for him if he went, but I continued to refuse. The offer for him to go to therapy has always been open since then, and even now I would pay it if he chose to go.

I admit kicking him out on his birthday was cruel, and not the best way to go about things but if I hadn't i very much believe he would have just taken what I said for granted and continued living with us, without looking for work/working/ at school. Finally the bedroom situation, the small box room that we converted to a study, is very small.

You cannot fit a standard kids bed in it let alone a full adult single. Which is why we decided to make it a study for the girls to have a quiet space while studying.

Commenters had a lot to say in response.

anoncommenter wrote:

INFO. Given the age difference between your sons your younger son may have needed a different approach to start a healing process. Did you seek therapy or counseling yourself on how to address this properly with your sons?

OP responded:

I did not go the therapy/counselling after the passing of my late wife. It is just not the type of person I am. But I do understand and value it as importance which is why I encouraged both sons to go. Older son despite still being a kid wanted to go to an adult therapist because he felt they were child therapists were condescending.

We worked it out and compromised with what we could do. Younger son asked for time off of school, I agreed, but he refused everything else, i convinced him to go to therapy once and he came back crying to I never send him again. He spent about 6 months not at school, and spent most of it playing videogames.

Anoncommenter responded:

Thanks for your reply. I try not to be insensitive with my answer. To me it seems as you provided your sons with the tools you thought sufficient to deal with the situation at hand but you refused to be a part of the process. Otherwise I can not fathom why your son was alone during his only therapy session, as a kid likely below 10 years old.

Same with the decision to let him stay at home for 6 months without further therapeutic assistance. Children are unfit to make these decisions, you should have. If he came to you with a broken ankle, his opinion on the necessary healing process would not have mattered no matter if it hurt or not.

You treating an emotional trauma to the developing psyche of a child differently creates doubt on your proclaimed understanding of therapy. I may be wrong and I can only go with the info I have and maybe this is totally unrelated and your youngest just is not ambitious or lazy by nature and needed a kick in the a$s.

But to me it seems your youngest son has unresolved trauma. There may also be feeling of a futility and resentment in his efforts because he can never compare to the oldest son, you are very proud of and spent a whole paragraph on writing how good he is.

Just food for thought for a discussion with your youngest down the road when the dust has settled. I conclude that in the end you punished your son for your parental mistakes. The situation would have warranted a more nuanced approach. YTA.

OP responded:

I do appreciate that your not being completely insensitive, thank you. I guess you are right that I expected to much from my younger son, I may have compared him to much his older brother, who was alot more emotionally mature when he was my younger sons age that is my fault. I offered to go with him to the therapy, he refused and asked his brother to go with him, his brother agreed, I had no problem with that.

Apparently the therapist asked his brother to leave the room for a bit to talk specifically to my youngest, but my son wasn't comfortable and started crying and screaming and my eldest called me to pick them up early and I did so.

He begged me to never have to go back, I couldn't tell him he had to go back after the distress I saw him in. I tried subtly to suggest therapy throughout that 6 months, it made him distressed and upset at the idea. Ironically he doesn't like his brother now, not because of the whole favorite son thing (I genuinely couldn't love one more then the other) but because of an unrelated incident when younger son was 14.

On that topic, I'm proud of older son because he practically raised my younger son, because I became unable to say no to younger son after my wife passed, (I did tell him not to be the second parent of younger son because he didn't need that kind of responsibility when there is already so much pressure on him, but he insisted) And he maintained his grades and part time job.

I am very proud of the man he is and I cannot fault him at all. Younger son dropped out of school at 16, got an apprenticeship, quit it, and has been living with us doing nothing since. I do not compare their strengths, their would be no point because their strengths are in different areas. Older son pursued his strengths and despite my efforts younger son refused to pursue his.

Between the argument where I told him I'd give him 6 months to leave and when I kicked him out, nothing changed in his behavior. Which is why I went through with it. You are right I was probably much to hard on him, but I couldn't see a way that he would listen to me without extreme measures. Again thank you for your politeness in your reply I really do appreciate it.

Toxicchildhood wrote:

YTA and a huge one at that.

“You’re 19 so you’re on your own”. Who tf does that to their kid? Be prepared to not have a relationship with your son. You are all kinds of f#$ked up dude.

No, you may not be obligated to take care of him after the age of 18, but you are still his DAD. He doesn’t have another parent. He only has you. It’s clear that your oldest son is the golden child while your youngest is the black sheep.

Helpful_Hour1984 responded:

Look into OP's other comments. I think it's not a "golden child situation". His youngest son was 6 when he lost his mother and within 2 years daddy dearest already had a new wife AND a new baby.

The eldest was parentified and probably did his best, but the kid needed a father, not a teenager trying to fill the gap. The younger son refused therapy and OP just left it at that, didn't bother to understand what his son was going through.

The eldest may have managed to get through the new situation because he was already a teenager who had his life on track when his mother died and his father moved on to his new family.

The youngest son got to live his formative years feeling unwanted. And now that he is legally an adult who can be kicked out, he has confirmation that his father wanted to get rid of him all along, just couldn't do it earlier.

CrystalQueen3000 wrote:

You made your son homeless on his birthday because it was more important for you to have a study room than house your kid.

Yeah YTA. It didn’t occur to you to dig deeper about his total lack of motivation?

SwampMan5000 wrote:

"He has to learn how the real world works."

"He also lacks general knowledge of the world.

My intention was for him to be a responsible adult."

The time to teach him about the world and responsibility was the first 19 years of his life. How is throwing his stuff on the lawn and locking him out going to teach him responsibility or anything about the world besides “my father doesn’t care about me”? While I agree with you that he should at least have a job, you went about this in a really bad way. YTA.

InvisibleAmber wrote:


He’s literally still a teenager, kicking him out with absolutely nothing was beyond cruel. You’re clearly favoring your new family and have no space in your life for him anymore. Don’t expect him to contact you.

Eight months later, OP shared an update.

I don't know if anyone will see this, or if anyone was interested in how thing played out but here we go: hey guys, its been a minute, about 8 months ago I made a post explaining the situation with my youngest son, I thought it was about time for an update.

If you read some of my comments, you would already know that i intended on getting him a job without him knowing that i got him the job, I asked my friend who owned a pub, and she gave him the job as well as the flat above the pub, as a temporary home (I was paying the rent), long story short, it worked and he worked at the pub for a few months, until he was fired him and kicked out.

My older son found my original post and told me that I left out a lot of important details about my younger son, and the events in general, which he said painted me as TA and my younger son like an angel, I told him that although my younger son is flawed he's not evil. As a result I got into an argument with my older son.

While my younger son was working at the pub, I called him (I still paid his phone bill) telling him, that he's welcome to move back in, as I promised he could stay if he found a job, he said he doesn't need to because he then had his own place.

When he was fired he called me, and I told him he could move back in if he continued looking for jobs, he agreed, the room issue wasn't an issue anymore because we moved for unrelated reasons.

(people were convinced that my eldest could stay in the study room, but didn't seem to understand it was barely big enough to fit a small desk and chair, it would not fit bed or a mattress) he is keeping true to his word and has started working part time at a shop to save up money. (We don't charge him rent or for food).

Now my older son won't talk to me because I let my younger son move back in and my stepdaughter is taking my older son's side, my wife is also leaning towards them but is more neutral and my daughter doesn't care in the slightest. Its mellowing out and I hope everything calms down between them soon.

Just a final note on this update that some people in my previous post believed O was unfaithful to my wife in her last days. I could never imagine doing that to her, my current wife and I met shortly after my first wife passed in a support group for grieving spouses, we ended up finding comfort in each other, and my daughter was born out of a one time thing.

We didn't get married until much later. We both recognize that we loved our first spouses immensely and have photos of both my first wife and her first husband on our walls in remembrance.

The internet was left puzzled:

Soul_Traitor wrote:

I'm kind of curious about the information that was left out.

Sometimes people turn out sh*tty or good despite their upbringing.

AcrolloPeed wrote:

Years ago, I bought a box set of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever. It the was the original trilogy, in paperback form, each individual book of the trilogy, not an omnibus.

About two-thirds of the way through the middle installment, there must have been a publishing error, because there was a stretch of about 18 pages printed-upside down that happened to be from the first third of the last book. The story then picked up 18 pages later, but the missing part was an important battle, and it wasn’t clear exactly what had happened.

I share this story because I now feel the same way I did then. It seems like the most important pages of this story just f#$ked off into oblivion and here we are.

MyAccountWasBanned7 wrote:

I really want to hear what the oldest son says was left out. This sounds like an unreliable narrator, which is weird because he still came across poorly.

volantredx wrote:

This guy is really bad at writing. I almost thought he was ESL but that doesn't seem to be the issue. For his story, I assume the thing he left out is that his son is on dr*gs and uses both in the house and around the girls. It'd fit all his behavior.

Refusing to seek a job, refusing to leave the house, once he gets a job getting fired pretty quick, and being super fast to turn on people who "betrayed him" but going right back with a hand out when things turn south.

It's also clear that dad needs therapy of his own. He's clearly unable to be the bad guy in his relationship with his kids, which is usually fine, but this is well past that and into being an enabler. Even if his son is just a lazy shiftless AH, dad needs to put a foot down, stick to it, and not feel a constant need to be validated that his idea was right just because people get mad.

ArgusTheCat wrote:

I'm gonna be honest, once someone says "I didn't go to therapy, that's not the kind of guy I am", it instantly shades everything they have to say in a completely different - and much more hostile - light.

Sources: Reddit
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