I told him he could stay with us; at first I gave him a time limit; later, I extended the limit.
There were conditions: he had to do his own laundry; he had to give me $25 a week to help with expenses; and he had to put a designated amount of money in the savings account we opened up together.
I wasn't easy on the boy. He knew he couldn't just up and quit a job he hated, because he knew he'd have to answer to Grandma. In fact, Grandma was looking over his shoulder quite a bit.
I watched him do stupid things like THIS.
Less than a year later Arick moved out into a place of his own. He's had some rocky times since then, and others have given him a break. But he hasn't had to crash here any more.
I've assumed he had bad memories of the way I reined him in.
He and his sister were here yesterday and we got into a discussion about money. I allowed as how I wasn't that easy for a young person to live with, what with my demands and all.
Arick objected to that. "When I was staying here, I had so much fun! I had money all the time, even when I was only making $300 a week."
I mentioned how I forced him to save some money each week.
"Oh yeah, that was great!"
Well then. Maybe it wasn't all for nothing.