John - I met you when we adopted our 5-year-old through the county Children's Services who had been abandoned locally. You said "Ignore the adoption "issue" and treat him like your other 3 children." We tried our best.
Fast forward 13 years.
He is 18. He has been a struggle, but especially since 13 when he decided that being a "jerk" was the way to social popularity (it wasn't) and decided that being "gansta" and an C/D student who skipped school work was much "cooler" that A/B student who was well liked at Church/Scouts.
We got him on track somewhat with the garden of Eden approach from 14 to 15. It took 18 months. This boy is STUBBORN!!!
So now he is 18 and a senior in high school. He wasn't pleasant, but was doing OK. He enlisted in the military 1/2 way through high school (a good idea for him!). But then he:
1. quit doing work at school and is at risk for not graduating and thus not joining the military.
2. started scamming "damaged" girls to try for sex.
3. will do chores/work at home just fine, but if questioned about chores or schoolwork becomes a total jerk.
4. Told Dad, "DON'T EVER TELL ME WHAT TO DO AGAIN OR ELSE" last month. Dad calmly said "OR ELSE" means you leave my house with the clothes on your back. He shut up, but has been seething ever since.
1. Do we go back to the Out of the Garden of Eden when the child is 18 but neary graduation? That is my thought.
2. If an 18/19 year old becomes a total jerk, do you say "Good Bye and Good Luck." Let me know if you get your act together and need my help. I love you, but won't be scammed by a jerk.