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Why do I feel so guilty ?

Dear Mr. Hutten,

It's been awhile since my last e-mail.

My son M__ is 17 1/2. He's quit 2 jobs over the last 6 months, but has a car. I've told him that he at least needs to have a job 1 weekend day . I think he should at least put gas in it himself. He is a senior this year and plays soccer now and hockey all winter until March. He has no interest in working at all and keeps asking for money. Per your advice I have stopped with the handouts. I've told him pay for gas or park the car- Why do I feel so guilty ?

I can't get him motivated to do anything, but I also know that he needs to motivate himself. He can be extremely charming until he hears no, that turns to the "whatever" mentality. What else can I do ?
Looking forward to your response,



I've intituted an 11:00 pm curfew and no more sleepovers-nothing good comes from teenage boys up all night !! I've stuck to both and probably couldn't have done this without you- you've helped me feel that I am doing the right thing instead of feeling guilty.(11:00 curfew is early, but is because of early summer incident- I've told him he can get back to 11:30 but it is up to him-


Hi M.,

I don't have too much to add really. You're doing exactly what you should be doing ...and "feeling guilty" is very typical.

It does get better over time though. When you realize that you are doing all this FOR your son rather than AGAINST him, then you won't feel as though you've done something "wrong" or "bad" while implementing this "tough love" approach..


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