DEAR ABBY: My son, "Steve," is 18 and will be going to junior college this fall. He will commute back and forth to school and has a part-time job that pays very little.
Steve is basically a good kid. He's not into drugs or alcohol, but he is stubborn and bullheaded. Whenever he needs gas money, clothes ironed or lunches made, I'm usually there to help out. However, when the shoe is on the other foot and I need help with chores and things around the house, he always manages to wiggle out of it, dump the task on his younger brother, or be "too busy" with his friends to stop and help me.
When I try to talk to Steve about it, he gets an attitude and ignores me, or walks away from me, then runs off to be with his friends. If my husband or I try to discuss this with him, he says now that he's 18, he's a man.
Abby, I am thoroughly disgusted with Steve's attitude. What should I do to get him to help around the house? -- TIRED MOM IN MANITO, ILL.
DEAR TIRED MOM: You've done more than enough for this new "man" in the family. I suggest that you make yourself unavailable when Steve needs gas money, clothes ironed or lunches made. Should he ask why, tell him in no uncertain terms that adults are supposed to live cooperatively with each other, and unless he's prepared to cooperate with you and his father, he can assume complete responsibility for his own needs.