Minor Emancipation

Our about-to-turn-16 son has decided he wants to be emancipated.  He has started looking at apartments and is convinced that he can earn enough money to support himself (including rent) while working part time and going to school.  He even told me he thought he could make $50,000 a year.  Oh, and the insurance won't be an issue--he doesn't plan to get sick.  (Never mind the cost of his current ADHD and anxiety medication!)

This comes in the context of him blaming his failure to clean up after himself and do his chores around the house on us for not raising him right.  He wants "real world experience, like balancing a checkbook and writing code." I pointed out that cleaning up after himself at home is real world experience.  I also reminded him that I had offered to teach him how to program, but he had not been interested.  (He said he "loved" me but did not think I had the "skills" necessary to teach him.  For reference, I have shown him programs I have written to demonstrate trigonometry, format colorful signs using photos of Salvadoran wooden letters, encrypt text files based on a user-supplied password or using a photo as an encryption key, and add turtle graphic functions to RFO Basic for Android.  I also explained the importance of learning things that apply to all programming languages, like data structures and functions/subroutines.)

The main reason he gives for wanting to be emancipated is that he does not want to live with his sister.  I suspect the frequent fights with my wife/his mother are also an important factor.  (And add to that a desire to avoid doing any chores!)

My wife had gotten into one of her "everything is so much better" phases and believed that he was doing much better with school work--until an English teacher wrote us about missing assignments.  Crash.

Also keep in mind that he has slept in several times so far this school year, earning himself detention for being late and even missing one complete day of school because he did not wake up until it was almost time for school to let out.  Yet he somehow thinks he can manage on his own.

I also explained to him that emancipation is usually used by estranged parents who do not want to continue paying child support.

Oh, and I told him about all the times my sister swore up and down that she was leaving our parents' house the second she turned 18.  She was still living there in her 30s!

Last week, we finally met with a specialist to address our daughter's bathroom issues and her OCD symptoms.  Unfortunately, the therapist does not think she will be able to do anything because it sounds like our daughter will not cooperate.  Exposure and Response Prevention therapy, the gold standard for OCD, requires a great deal of willingness and effort.  She is going to try meeting with her one time to see if there is anything she can do.