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#1 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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18 year old moved out, and now feels rejected. We asked her before she left to please take down the filthy posters and vulgar words off her walls, pack up her un- needed clothes and stuff and pack it in the basement. She did not. So saturday we got boxes, cleaned the room, vacumned, packed her stuff and labeled the boxes carefully, and painted the room a bright sunny color.

now she feels rejected because her brother told her all we did. and she feels we are glad to see her gone, don't care about her and now have the office / guest room we wanted. simply not true.

this is still her home, her room (just does not look as depressing), open for dinner, laundry available, we wold be delighted to spend time with her. she just seemed to want to get as far away as possible and be left alone. so we have called and she has been nasty or seemed annoyed.

how can we improve this situation? we tried to be as supportive as possible, and we still ended up hurting her.
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#2 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 11:56 AM
 
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Well unless you needed the room for something else (in which case it is no longer "her" room) why the drastic changes? Clearly the filthy posters and vulgar words meant something to her.
Seems pretty disrespectful to me.

nothing more to say I guess :
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#3 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 12:01 PM
 
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How long has it been since she moved out?

You may have entered her space too quickly. Most 18 year olds that I know of that moved out - moved back in within a year (and usually within a couple of months). She may have only been testing the waters of independence but needing to know that she had a home base.

Since you fully erased her room, she feels she no longer has a home base.

If she's been gone quite some time, then what you did was quite reasonable. But if she'd only been gone a month or so, I can definitely see why she feels the way she does.

To improve this situation, I think you might want to apologize and explain that you didn't mean to hurt her, and offer to help her set up her room again the way she likes it - and come to an agreement about how to handle her vacated room (such as "We won't touch it again for 10 months - and if you haven't moved back in by then, we'll give you one-week heads-up before we close it up.").

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#4 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 12:02 PM
 
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Ciarra, I saw this post and just had to reply. My dd is 18 and we've been going through this issue of getting her room ready for her to move out. I think it is very difficult for everyone, making this transition. Interestingly, my daughter also had words, song lyrics, posters, and other paraphanalia all over her walls. It was like graffiti central in her room. We are considering getting another house and putting this one on the market, and that is why I am insisting that she paint over all the graffiti and take her posters down, etc. My dd is reacting fairly well to this - she painted her room herself (did a somewhat shabby job and we gently offered to paint the final coat as a means of minimizing the poor quality coverage), and has packed up most of her stuff. The posters came down but after only a week she has slowly started putting them back up again and I have to keep reminding her that we need to keep the room pristine in case we decide to sell.

It is only 3 months until she moves into a dorm and she is really excited about it. I don't understand why it seems so difficult for her to wait 3 months before putting posters up in her dorm room. I understand her need for her own individual space, but the home is our investment and I need to ensure that it is in the very best possible condition for possible sale.

Anyway, just wanted to say I can relate to your post. My daughter seems a bit put out that I am wanting her room to remain plain and free of her personal touches. I don't know if she is feeling rejected, yet, but I can imagine she will later this summer and especially next fall after she moves out.
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#5 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 12:03 PM
 
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ok, I am not a mom of a teen, so take this however you want, but I totally understand why she feels this way. Even when I went to college my room at home was my room, and I would have felt pretty rejected and sad if my mom had packed up my stuff and changed it without asking. You might not have liked how she chose to decorate, but it was her room. Vacuuming and cleaning are one thing, but packing stuff up and redecorating sends the message that her departure is permanent.

I say all this not know the circumstances behind her moving out, but I think she is owed an apology.

Trying to get my bearings...
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#6 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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why the drastic changes? Clearly the filthy posters and vulgar words meant something to her.
Seems pretty disrespectful to me
It is disrepsctful of the child to deface the parents home in the first place.
I am sure the child knows that whether it was spoken loudly or not.
you did the right thing. I would not allow my kids to graffiti My house or hang vulgar posters in the first place, to do so against your wishes is a act of defiance and should not be respected. My goodness. lol You pay the rent!
she is young and immature and this is all normal. Stay loving and stay firm and she will come around. It's all a growing phase. Her brain and her emotional stability are all still changing, she is till growing. Don't worry mom.

ELY -Mommy to many

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#7 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 01:19 PM
 
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She's being a normal 18 year old, eager for independence but feeling ambivalent. You're being spiteful. I'd be wounded in her shoes too. No, it's not HER room anymore. You took away all the things that made it hers, with a wrinkled nose and disaproving sneer on your face ("filthy" and "vulgar" *snort*). I don't blame her for being upset at all.
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#8 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 01:28 PM
 
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I think both sides could take some stepping back and trying to see the other's view. Yes, she's moved out. But, it's hard and a bit scary the first time you move out on your own, and she probably wanted to feel that she still had a safe space. I think going off to live in a dorm is different from completely moving out. Dorms usually aren't open over the summer months, so the kid usually comes home. I can see that you probably felt the room wasn't being used anymore, and you could use that space since she no longer needed it. I would have taken it a bit slower, but my parents did the same to me. When I moved out, they totally packed everything up the next weekend. My mom made my room into the nursery (my little brother was born a month and a half after I turned 18). It was a little wierd. I did feel I no longer had a space anywhere anymore. I did get over it, but I've always been a bit more mature and independent than others my own age.
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#9 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 02:57 PM
 
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I just wanted to add a little tid bit from a younger person's prespective. I moved out of my house when I was 17. I'm 24 now. I was pregnant at the time, but it was probably good for me to move out anyway.

First off, good for you for letting your daughter express her individuality. My parents also did this with me. It's important that older teens are allowed to be who they are. You can't expect a 18 year old to suddenly be able to be who she is if she wasn't allowed to do so at three or four years earlier.

When I moved out, I was still underage, so I still really felt tied to my room. However, my parents got rid of my bed, painted it, and turned it into a "sit down" room. I felt so violated! But you know what? I got over it. It is a very normal reaction. First off, it's hard to accept the fact that you are an adult and now it's time to move on and be responsible for yourself. Secondly, it is very very hard to say good-bye to the room you grew up in! You spend so much time in your room, make it yours, cry, laugh, and grow up all in the same room. It is an emotional attachment. It's like a part of you, part of your mark that you made. Part of your childhood, something warm and comforting. To see all that erased is really a hard blow, it's forcing you to let go of your childhood, to close that chapter of your life. Believe me, it's sad, and it's very hard, and it's easy to lay blame on your parents for "taking it away" when in actuality it's your daughter who removed herself from there.

You daughter is probably experiencing a who myriad of emotions right now. Closing the book on your childhood is scary, sad and exciting. Part of you wants to run back to your mother's arms, and the other part wants to run out and experience the world. But when you go back to your parent's house, and see your room, but it's not your room anymore, you know that the chapter of your life that you lived here is closed. You daughter probably left everything up because it's hard to let go. But when you went in and did it forward, it's like everything closes in on her. She realizes, I just can't go back and have everything the same. I'm an adult now! Be patient. She will get over it. It took me awhile, even moving back in and then out again, to realize that things had changed, and they weren't going back. Growing up is hard to do, and even when you are grown, there's still so much more growing to do. I'm sure we all know that. Good luck and I hope everything works out.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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#10 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 03:19 PM
 
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I understand how she might feel, but I don't think you owe her an "apology," just an "explanation." You let her keep her room that way while it was hers (); she moved out; now you can do what you want with the room.

I think the room change sort of makes it seem so final, and that's scary. You should just let her know that she's welcome home whenever she wants to come home. Maybe tell her that you painted the room because you have so much faith in her success.

My mom turned my room into an art studio. Then she kept giving me boxes of my stuff every time I came over. I was irritated. I knew I wouldn't be staying in the place I was at forever. I thought my stuff would be safe at my parents' house.

Well, good luck.
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#11 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 04:05 PM
 
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Now that she is no longer in residence, I feel its perfectly appropriate to reclaim that space for the whole family. And vulgar words? I wouldn't have allowed them on the wall to begin with. You are way tolerant in my book.
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#12 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 04:55 PM
 
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To me it sounds like she's going through an emotional time with entering adulthood. I think that the fact that she moved out of YOUR house completely gives you the right to do what you want with the room. If there were things up that you didn't like seeing, why would you leave it as is? I agree with the pp who said that maybe an explanation to your daughter to try and patch things up would be good, but I'm sure she'll come around.

Jill, current Pugmama to 3, anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first two-legged baby July 1st.
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#13 of 67 Old 05-22-2006, 06:38 PM
 
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Ah, yes...wants to be grown up...but...still wants the old stuff too.

I would say "I understand how you feel but everyone has to go through this rite of passage when they move out of their parents home eventually and it's hard to let go of your kid stuff"

She's 18, she is an adult. What I would have done was carefully packed her things and taken them to her new place except for some very special ones you know would be safer at your home.

The main thing is to keep communicating..tell her this is what happens when kids move out from home and that it's normal to not want it to happen but it does.

She will get over it but be gentle and understanding..it's hard to grow up
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#14 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 12:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ciarra
18 year old moved out, and now feels rejected. We asked her before she left to please take down the filthy posters and vulgar words off her walls, pack up her un- needed clothes and stuff and pack it in the basement. She did not. So saturday we got boxes, cleaned the room, vacumned, packed her stuff and labeled the boxes carefully, and painted the room a bright sunny color.

now she feels rejected because her brother told her all we did. and she feels we are glad to see her gone, don't care about her and now have the office / guest room we wanted. simply not true.

this is still her home, her room (just does not look as depressing), open for dinner, laundry available, we wold be delighted to spend time with her. she just seemed to want to get as far away as possible and be left alone. so we have called and she has been nasty or seemed annoyed.

how can we improve this situation? we tried to be as supportive as possible, and we still ended up hurting her.
"Supportive" to you is probably nothing like "supportive" to her. I think what you did was very insensitive and I can't blame her for feeling rejected. I think you owe her an appology, and a careful explination. I'm not saying this to make you feel bad or anything, but to help you understand her point of view.

Several PPs have said that you had the right to do anything to the room because it isn't her's anymore, but you claim that it IS still her room.... it just doesn't look like it is anymore. You feel like you make the room "less depressing" but I'm willing to bet that all the things about her room that you considered "depressing," "trashy" and "vulgar" are the things that she consedered "homey," "comforting" and simpy "her" and by removing these things she probably felt errased. I know I would have felt that way. When I moved out (at 17) I specificly made a deal with my mom that she was not to do ANYTHING to my room (becides general cleaning, vacuming, etc.) for 1 year. I was scared about leaving home and needed to know that I still had a place to come back if I wanted/needed to. Even if it seems like all your DD wants is to get away, I guarentee that isn't the only thing she wants... even if she isn't capable of even understanding what she wants.

Let me clarify, I'm 20, and have recently gotten to the point where I can look back at myself between the ages of about 14-18 and clearly see just how crazy I acted. But I can also clearly remember how I felt at the time, and why I thought my actions were reasonable (even though I know now how very far from reasonable they were!). And I clearly remember being mean and nasy to my poor parents because I felt that they didn't care enough about me. I know how irrational that sounds, and I even knew at the time how irrational it was, but that's how I felt. I read so much into the littlest things that they did, and would get into screaming fights with them over how they weren't supportive enough. Now I can look back and see that they were supportive in their minds, but it didn't translate at all to my idea of supportive. I hope some of this makes sense.

I really hope you can understand how your DD might have felt when you (in her mind) errased her presence in the place she called (and might still call) home. It wasn't until at least a year after I moved out that my parent's house wasn't "home" anymore, at least in my mind.

I hope you and your family the best. The teen years are really tough for everyone, but I promise it will get better eventually. Hugs!

~Kelsie
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#15 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 01:55 AM
 
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My DH's mom (he was 17 and still living at home when we got together) did this the day after he moved in with me. I think it might be a female thing? He was just like "whatever, I live elsewhere now, I know I'm still welcome at home"

Maybe just send a card/note and say simply that you love her and you want her to come home lots but just needed that room for other things.

Amy ~ Web Designing Single Mom to 4: DD14, DS12, DS5, DS3
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#16 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 03:01 AM
 
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Ciarra...

I don't feel that you owe your daughter an apology, though it might be a nice gesture to make anyway, one that would help smooth things over between you and your daughter. You don't have to OWE an apology to offer one.

::edited by me, for bitchiness towards unsupportive replies::

And back to the original post...if your daughter feels unwelcome, maybe you can think of a way to make her old room feel special to her too. Maybe the two of you can agree on some decorating touches that would be pleasing to you both.

I offer you in this difficult time. I have a preteen daughter (and a preschool age daughter too) and I dread having to deal with these issues...no matter how ready you are, you can never really prepare with everything that comes with each new stage of development.
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#17 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 03:23 AM
 
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I wanted to offer support to you. Wow. What a hard place to be in. I hope things work out. I don't feel you did the "wrong" thing.
I did have to comment on some of the PP... chill!

H

mama to 6 amazing children joy.gif married to my main man for 21 years love.gif and finally home FULL time dishes.gifhang.gifknit.gif

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#18 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 09:03 AM
 
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My oldest 2 moved out, actually they moved into an apartment together, and they knew right away that their rooms would not be reserved for them indefinately, or would be reserved for them at all. As they were packing up to go, their brother and sister were moving in their things. They also knew that they could move back if they needed to, but the arrangement would be a little different, since they volantarily gave up their space in my house.
18 is an adult, and plenty old enough to experience the consequences of her actions. You move out, you give up your space. It will be the same for the rest of her life, anywhere she goes.
You don't owe her anything. She chose to move out, and now she must learn to accept the changes that come along with her decision. It's a lesson in being an adult.
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#19 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 09:17 AM
 
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I don't think that I'd apologize for changing the room, per se, but maybe address the dynamic that seems to be coming across more to her - with your references to filthy, vulgar, depressing - that's the part that stands out to me.

Maybe try to connect with her and say that while she is still always welcome to come home and use that room, that because she IS living somewhere else now, you redecorated to soemthing that's more your taste, just like she's free to now decorate her current place in a way that's her taste. And you're sorry if the way it came across makes her feel unwelcome.

I don't see anything wrong with what you did in theory, it's probably just the delivery (especially if you were expressive about your displeasure in her taste while you were cleaning up, and your son relayed that to her) of the info to her wasn't done in the most sensitive way.

Good luck!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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#20 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 09:25 AM
 
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My parents left my room largely untouched for about a year after I went to college. My mom let me know before I came down for a visit between freshman and sophomore year (having gotten an apartment rather than come home) that she was going to do some packing up. After that, over a few months, they tore down the wallpaper, put the rest of my things in storage, and reclaimed the space. It was a gradual transition and I had time to disentangle my emotional attachment to the home I grew up in from my memories of childhood and make a new place for myself.

I guess they got complacent when my little sister went to college because she came home for a weekend visit a month into her first semester to find her room turned into a guest room. No warning. All her furniture was gone, belongings in storage, walls repainted. She was DEVASTATED. And it broke a lot of her trust in them. She felt unwelcome, insecure, and betrayed. It's been six years and while they get along fine, if you mention her childhood room, she still gets upset.

In terms of property laws, it is your house. But no matter how old they are, it will always be "home" to your children. Any steps away from home, like those first toddling steps away from mama, are a big transition. Communication and time make the difference between a rough one and a smooth one.
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#21 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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WOW, thanks everyone for both sides of dealing with this predicament.
Yes, i am ashamed to say, i think we moved too fast without her input. i talked to my huband, and he still is on the side of "you want to play house, you cannot expect your room to stay in limbo." but, i got him to agree that we should put some of her stuff back, not the stuff on the wall, but her basics. boy, i wished i had heard about the "one year, i won't touch your room", before this fiasco.that would have been easier than this heartbreaking upsetting episode we caused her. i have never wanted to make my kids feel unwelcome, and boy did we screw that one up. but we are going to try to make it right. Not make it like it was, but a little more more grown up with her stuff.

We painted over her red room with a sage green. I hung her black curtains back up, put her entertainment center back (moved to paint, but she thought it was gone), put her lights back. i washed her clothes that were in her drawers, hung up what i could in the closet, and will put back her undies and socks in a smaller dresser i am painting (hers was destroyed, broken drawers, painted with vulgarity,swastikas and racist remarks). i have three beautiful pictures she won awards for painting in like 9th grade, that i am going to buy black frames for hang on the wall. i put her shoes and 50 or so pairs of black dock marten boots back in her closet. and i put some of the pictures of her and her friends on the entertainment center, and put a rug down to cover the black hair dye, bleach, makeup, and oil paint that smeared her carpet.

thank you everyone. we are going to try to communicate with her again today, to get together and talk. she would not answer her phone yesterday, can't say i blame her. but i can today see we were premature with this whole thing.

to build back her trust,respect will be a difficult thing. but we will try.
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#22 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 10:30 AM
 
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Wow. I thought eighteen-year-olds were supposed to be adults, especially ones that move out of the house. Please don't let the people bashing you on this thread (donosmommy04 being a notable exception - what a marvelous way of stating a position that other posters are wielding like a weapon) make you lose sight of that fact.
The other posters that said that you can explain without apologizing have a point. It IS your house, and you have a right to keep it as you wish. Don't forget that this can be a learning experience for her as well.
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#23 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 10:37 AM
 
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i'm all for easy, gradual transitions and all that...

but i would not tolerate swastikas or other neo-nazi paraphanalia in my house. no way. the line is drawn where a person's "individuality" is expressed in racist remarks etc...

i think it sounds like what you did looks nice, still young, but nicer.
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#24 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 11:02 AM
 
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Interesting to see how many people seem to believe GD and AP turn off like a light switch at 18 or moving out. Wow. I had to double check my address bar.
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#25 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 11:24 AM
 
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Interesting to see how many people seem to believe GD and AP turn off like a light switch at 18 or moving out. Wow. I had to double check my address bar.
That's harsh. Perhaps you believe that AP and GD at 3 yo looks exactly the same as it does with an 18 yo. (It's kinda hard to fit that 5"8 teenager into a sling, though. )
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#26 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 11:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by liawbh
Interesting to see how many people seem to believe GD and AP turn off like a light switch at 18 or moving out. Wow. I had to double check my address bar.

ITA where am I again?


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i talked to my huband, and he still is on the side of "you want to play house, you cannot expect your room to stay in limbo."
sounds like his motivation was to punish her for leaving, but I am glad that you are working on rebuilding trust with dd.
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#27 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 11:50 AM
 
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Interesting to see how many people seem to believe GD and AP turn off like a light switch at 18 or moving out. Wow. I had to double check my address bar.
I thought the whole point was to raise healthy, independent, responsable adults......At some point, and an 18 year old that insists on moving out of the home is one of those points, you have to let them be adults and experience adult experiences. It's just the natural order of things.
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#28 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 11:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sevenkids
I thought the whole point was to raise healthy, independent, responsable adults......At some point, and an 18 year old that insists on moving out of the home is one of those points, you have to let them be adults and experience adult experiences. It's just the natural order of things.
How is getting all your stuff tossed, and your space violated an "adult experience" or the "natural order of things????" Even if you get evicted, you get notice.

Was there warning? Did she have the chance to get her own stuff? What if she decides to go to college, and wants to come home? What if it doesn't work out?
Sounds like you, and many here, are punishing her for moving out. Nice.

It isn't like years have gone by, and her stuff is collecting dust.

It seems a bit like the old "throw 'em in, they'll learn to swim."
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#29 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 12:06 PM
 
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SHE decided to move out, did she not? It was her choice, she had her own 'notice'. Very few people in this world have the luxury of having two home-bases, two places where their stuff is sacrosanct and untouchable. Wouldn't we ALL (no matter our age) love to have spaces that other people pay for and that we are allowed to keep our things arranged just so and be left untouched? I want to live in THAT world.

If she needs to come back, I imagine she would be welcome. Her room might look a little different, but really, how big a deal is that?

Edited to add: remember, the OP said:
Quote:
We asked her before she left to please take down the filthy posters and vulgar words off her walls, pack up her un- needed clothes and stuff and pack it in the basement. She did not.
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#30 of 67 Old 05-23-2006, 12:18 PM
 
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LIke I said, interesting to see how GD this all is.
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