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Old 02-17-2017, 09:22 AM
karliedo karliedo is offline
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Exclamation What is it really? Institutionalized

My son got out of prison after 12 years in January , on the 13th.I am his mother, and I am not sure how to help him get back into this so called free world. I go to work everyday, and since he has been home, besides going to church, and helping his older brother work on a job of helper of a mechanic...and this was only for a few days. My son isn't doing anything but watching TV, and keeping the house clean. He has applied for 2 jobs, neither one worked out.I have been schooling him on the basics of computer, he wants to go back to school online of course, but he knows so little on the computer, he cant pass the test for the courses and since he still is learning the basics, he get frustrated about everything. I do understand some of his frustrations.
What I need to say is this, he seems happy just staying home and watching TV, movies, and playing with the dogs and my cat, he is 35yr. and his maturity level is still at 17,or 18 it seems. He is not very concerned with the fact, I am paying for everything. I am 66 years old, and when he was home years ago, he was this way also, he does have mental issues, I do not like this, he comes to me asking me to buy this or that just like a kid does, when I tell him "no" he acts a little hurt, but gets over it pretty quickly. I just needed to vent, if you can offer suggestions please be kind, I am just not up to a bunch of rude comments....thank you.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:04 AM
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Nickel Timer Nickel Timer is offline
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Maybe try to have him start out small.

See if he can find himself a part-time job somewhere, something to just get his feet wet again and maybe build his confidence up so he might be better prepared to tackle full-time work after awhile. Even just a little bit of spending money will help out so he doesn't have to keep begging you for money, and once he gets established and perhaps gets himself a vehicle and other basics, he can start kicking down a couple hundred bucks to you to at least help pay for his share of utilities as well, so that at least he isn't a drain on your household finances any more.

Does he have any hobbies or things he likes doing? You say he likes playing with the dogs and cats. Do you have a local animal shelter? Maybe inquire to see if they are hiring part-time. Even if not right now, he might be able to sign up as a volunteer and if he proves himself, they might consider hiring him on as a paid employee after a few months time.

It would least get him out of the house a bit and used to working out in the world. Staying home cooped up inside all the time can't be good for anyone.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:49 AM
cmh1013 cmh1013 is offline
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I would suggest a weekly allowance, something minimal. I know it sounds like you're catering to his 17/18 year old mentality, but I think it could help him to learn to manage his money. Tell him you have X amount from Sunday to Saturday and there won't be more in between. I think it could help him to have a feeling that he has his own money to spend (even if its yours in an allowance form) and help the managing it aspect.

The job suggestions from Nickel Timer are great; and also look into programs in your area that help with recently released gaining employment. Goodwill is a great resource and will hire with criminal backgrounds.

It definitely would be good for him to get out more often. Perhaps get him a library card so he can go and browse books. I think most libraries even have computer classes. Or your community might provide courses on various things. Even a hobby he enjoys. Or get him a gym membership. Anything to get him outside and doing something else.

I've been told before that for every year in prison it takes about a month to adjust to being back in the free world. So for him it may take some time since he had 12 years down.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:24 PM
Mrs. Iimas Mrs. Iimas is offline
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Hey congrats on having your son home after so long and I'm sorry you are off to a rough start. You said a lot in your post. If your son had mental issues should he be in some sort of therapy? That's all I could think of maybe a therapy group could help him adjust to life outside and help him with social skills
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:45 PM
Brandyboo Brandyboo is offline
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Try and take yourself out of your own brain and into his, how exactly is he feeling? 12yrs in that enclosed restrictive environment is mentally damaging. Whatever routine he got into inside will be a huge comfort to him and hes at risk of going back. Give him a routine and a purpose in life no matter how small it is. Even if its the one hes already currently in just add to it. It will help him feel like he is needed and helping you. Get him to decorate a room, paint a fence, wash your car etc... Age doesn't matter when you feel like you've wasted years he's just lost his passion for life and himself. You just have to help him love himself again. Fingers crossed he finds himself soon.
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:23 PM
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Hi I can relate to the issues I served a lengthy time just recently got parole everything seems so different to me since I been out you can find small things to bring you up to speed such as in my area they have computer classes usually for the older generation but its all the same and if you complete the class it does look good if going for another course as I was told on here take baby steps I have found that some times you have to find the motivation start with a hobby seems like he may have interest in cars or repair if he really wants to learn computers there may be a program you can buy as well it wont hurt to check.
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:37 PM
CenTexLyn CenTexLyn is offline
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If he did 12 years, then these are the first days in that period of time that he was able to sleep when he wanted, get up when he wanted, eat when he wanted and even be able to change TV channels to what HE wanted to watch.

There IS an adjustment period, even for those who only do a matter of months or a few years. That does not mean you cannot set boundaries, but there is absolutely a period of time in which he has to reacclimate himself to the real world.

With respect to computer issues, get him a couple of books from the [blank] for Dummies series. Those are among the best at getting someone up to speed on current programs...better yet is if you also have a computer that runs some of the programs he is struggling with.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:02 PM
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missingdee missingdee is offline
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Originally Posted by CenTexLyn View Post
With respect to computer issues, get him a couple of books from the [blank] for Dummies series. Those are among the best at getting someone up to speed on current programs...better yet is if you also have a computer that runs some of the programs he is struggling with.
Agreed. About a year ago I got a Microsoft Surface 3 (nothing too fancy but powerful enough for Dee's needs) on sale knowing she would get out and need a computer. I gifted it to her on release, showed her a few basic functions and installed a couple security apps (antivirus, antimalware) in Windows 10 so she could get up to speed on navigating it (since the last operating system she navigated with any reliability was Windows XP on a NetBook that I had also gifted to her back in 2010) and told her "a lot of how a computer works under the surface is the same now....see what you can figure out and let me know if you have any questions."

She's figured everything else out by trial and error. Google and YouTube provide some excellent resources for learning how to navigate different applications. And the "For Dummies" series can help, too if a physical book is more their style. After only a couple of months she's as proficient as she ever was with using a computer, and probably moreso. She also has adapted pretty well to modern smartphones.

So yeah....that's probably the best bet as far as computers are concerned. So much of what society does these days requires you to be connected...I'd advise guiding him over to YouTube and showing him how to search for computer tutorials (for example, "Windows 10 tutorial" or "Microsoft Office/Word/Excel Tutorial"....) and often someone can actually show on their screen step-by-step how to use certain applications.

BTW, while you are obviously doing your best to show him how to use the computer, as long as his parole/probation doesn't have a limit on computer use, he might feel more comfortable having a functional machine of his own. Plus, given how portable devices are becoming, it might be a good idea for that machine to be low-powered and smaller. The cost of base-level computers has come way down and even the low-end machines are very capable of running most modern applications. Maybe something like this, if you can afford to get him something of his own. I don't personally own that particular product, but the minimum specs on that device would be good for web browsing, e-mail, word processing, watching streaming video, and using various cloud services. He could even learn web design and maybe offer to make pages for friends or local businesses to make some side cash (lots of how-tos on doing that as well.) Just a thought...it couldn't hurt, right?

Patience is a must, but as I'm seeing with Dee in terms of how myself and her family are working with her.....where we are succeeding in getting her past institutionalized habits is where she is empowered to do things on her own, and where we are failing is where we are not giving her power. Given that I have different philosophies about how to interact with her than her family does.....there's a bit of philosophical head-butting, but I know they mean well, so slowly but surely we're getting by.

Hope your son is able to continue to adapt to the post-prison world and that he finds more success as time moves forward.

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