19 yr old living at home--limits? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 66 Old 06-25-2006, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm at odds with my 19 yr old DS about limits while living under my roof. I don't want to be unreasonable, I was raised with limits and respect for my parents. My son expects to be able to live here and have all the freedom his little heart desires. If he wants to stay out all night for example he doesn't feel like he should have to ask us or give us any explainations. He feels as though he is being treated like a baby. He reminds me that he has never been in trouble with the law, so I should trust him. He does have a good level head, but he has done a few things in the past which I didn't like. He moved out for about 5 weeks a few months ago and was asking to come back at the end of the summer. We made an agreement for him to move back right away and sign up for summer term at his community college. He has not been doing well at college and I feel that some of the problem stems from his social life. The limits are in place to try to help and keep him respecting us. He feels strongly that he wants to move back out because he has no freedom. He is not being realistic, he won't make it financially on his own, as he quickly found out last time.
Does anyone have this situation? Am I being too strict or should there be a curfew. I had a 2 am curfew until he moved back in and then we bumped it back to midnight. The other night he stayed out all night when I told him he couldn't do that. I was ready to kick him out that next morning. I just allowed him to have a weekend at the beach with his friend, so its not like I'm not allowing him to have some freedom. His theory is that if he were in a dorm he could do whatever--to which I said, but you are not in a dorm, you are in our home. Am I old fashioned? I have 2 younger teens in the house and I want to set a good example.

Any advice would be appreciated

Mom to 19 DS, 16 DD and 13 DD and wife to DH
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#2 of 66 Old 06-25-2006, 11:38 PM
 
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I have an 18 year old DD...isn't this a fun age??!!! I'm sort of in the same boat as you. My DD wants all the freedom, but none of the responcibility.

I have a rule that when she goes out, I need to know where she's going, who she's with and when she's coming home (and since she doesn't drive, I want to know how she is getting to and from where she is going). She thinks this is a nosey thing. I tell her it is a respect and safety issue. I don't really have a curfew for my DD, as long as she tells me when she's coming home (or that she's not coming home). I do tell her that it's hard for me to get to sleep before she comes home so I would appreciate her coming home at a sensible time if she's coming home.

As for the late nights causing a problem at school...that's something that he'll have to figure out on his own. He is right that if he were at a dorm, he would come and go as he pleased and you would either trust him to make good choices and you wouldn't know what he was doing. You are right that he's not at a dorm, so he does need to show some consideration to those he 'rooms' with. You said he has a good head on his shoulders, so trust him to spread his wings a bit. He'll probably test the waters and then figure out what's right for him. As long as he's not breaking family morals, I'd cut him some slack. If he feels that you are holding him back, he may just do things to spite you...

Good luck! I feel for you!
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#3 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 03:30 AM
 
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Well, I'm gonna have to agree more with your DS... If he is old enough to live on his own, and had done that before, he is old enough to decide when and where to go on his free time. I think he is quite a bit past the curfue stage.

Now, that's not to say you can't have any rules.... feel free! Make it clear to him what he is to do to help out at home, what types of grades he should be getting in college, what types of things you will or will not do to help him (reminders, playing alarm clock, etc.), and what types of things will get him "kicked out."

He needes to learn himself, how to decide when to go out and when to stay home and study, as well as a lot of other growing up skills. These things should not interfear with him remembering how to respect you, lol!

Of course, there might be another option... would you be willing to consider helping him our financially while he is in school, even if he is living away from home? My parents did this with me when I was in college and it worked very well. They covered my rent and and gave me a set amount for food, and I was to either have a part time job to pay for eating out and having fun (movies, concerts, cell phone, internet, etc.) or suffer without all those nice "extras." I also had to maintain a certain GPA. Of course, this may not be an option for your family, but I though I'd throught it out as an idea...

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#4 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I guess I should have included more background to the situation with my DS. We have had issues with him all through HS. He's a smart kid, but really didn't care about doing homework, studying etc unless he liked the class. We didn't know until after final exams if he would pass the 12th grade. So, he didn't choose not to go to a college with a dorm, he didn't earn the ability to choose it. Now with the community college, my arrangement with him was that we would pay for classes, but if he didn't get an A or B, he would have to pay us back. Never thought we would have to talk about withdrawals either, but he's had a couple of those. Books, we pay for, but he doesn't care to wait in the line to buy used ones--we are paying so he buys new ones. So needless to say his debt with us has grown and although he is working we don't seem to get paid as much as we should with each pay check. He does spend a lot on gas since his school is 35 miles away, but he also blows money on his smoking habbit and whatever he feels he has to have like new speakers for his car etc. The last time I showed him the door, it was after I found some pot in his room. This was just after I had to take him to the ER the morning after he went to a party and fell into a chair rail--due to him being on booze and pot. He claims he just does this on special occassions, but I'm sure those are not just Christmas and his birthday. He is smart in that he doesn't get into some of the other stuff that his circle of friends will get into including laughing gas.
He's smart enough to not drink and drive, so in that respect I don't worry. If he was not like this in the past, perhaps I would feel comfortable with allowing him to make a decision on what time to come home. I just know that he would abuse the right to do that. Last night, we had an open discussion about this which lasted about 5 minutes before he didn't hear what he wanted to hear, he started yelling and packed his stuff. He is making an issue about respect and the curfuew being one in the same. I asked him what respect he has for us--Fathers Day weekend we let him go to the beach with his friend and he didn't even call his Dad. I can't understand the concept of him being able to come and go as though this is an apartment, but still letting him have whatever he wants without a struggle. And if I allow that to happen he would suddenly be a great student and help around the house and whatever else he threw in there. Am I missing something here? He is taking 3 summer classes now--that was the agreement we made when he moved back in from last time. So far he has one ongoing math class which I think he's doing average in, one that he already failed and another that just started that he said we really hard--this translates into a warning that he will probably get a D or an F. I don't want to front him any more money for college at this point.
I love my DS and want to do the right thing, its just we have been through so much to this point that I don't want to make the wrong parenting choices anymore. I am crying just having recounted all of these situations and I didn't even touch on his past girlfriend situations--I'm sure you all can imagine where that went.
I would love any suggestions. He's probably going to show up this afternoon for the rest of his stuff. He is moving back in the apartment with his friend that got kick out of UNCW for drunk driving on campus. That kid will go back to his college in January and I don't know where my DS will go from there. He's already talking about taking off a semester to work full time.
I hope this helps to evaluate my unfortunite situation.
Thanks in advance!
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#5 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 10:23 AM
 
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I'm sad to say, but this is what caused me to move out of my parent's house and in with my boyfriend when I was that age. My mother set really unreasonable limits (which you may not be, I'm just putting my experiance). She snooped in my stuff, told me that I couldn't go to the beach unless an adult was present (I was almost 20) and really made my life hard.

Look at it from your son's perspective. He has lived alone for a year or more. Even if it was in the dorm, he was living on his own. He decideds when to study, eat, go out, and anything else. It is extremely hard to go back living with parents at all, but when parents treat you the same as they did in high school, it's harder.

Now I'm not saying that you can't enforce rules that respect your house. Tell him up front that you aren't asking him to be back at a certain time, but to please give you a time that he will be back. Ask him if he comes in past a certain time that he has to be respectful of others sleeping. Make it clear that you don't allow anyone to use drugs or alcohol in your house. It is your house.

Lastly, make it clear that he is paying some kind of rent. Make it a more landlord/tenent issue rather than a mother/child issue. The "rent" can be a set list of chores since he is living in the house. It can be monentary rent, or anything that the two of you agree is fair compensation for the privilige of living at home. Because if he is going to be adult, he needs to be fully adult.

This is a hard time for teens as well as parents. They are supposed to be independent and stand alone, yet they are expected to automatically switch that off when they come to your house and be a kid again. It's a hard switch to make.

He is going to make mistakes, lower grades some, but he will figure it out. It takes practice to be a grown-up and you can't learn any other way than by doing it and making your own mistakes. It's really tempting to try to shield them, but in the end, they will only rebell worse and possibly cause a big rift, which is what happened to me. I'm not proud of it, but I look back at it now and realize that I was trying to make my own way in the world, but my Mom just wasn't ready to let me go. I have regrets about how I handled it, but I also have deep feelings of mistrust to this day with my Mom. I hope you can handle this with more grace than she and I did. Good Luck!

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#6 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 11:06 AM
 
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Okay well I don't have a teenager, but here is my opinion fwiw: If it were me, I would contract with him what your obligations are, and what his are while he is living in the home. For example, if he needs to do xyz chores, be passing at school, good. If he doesn't do these things, I would let him know what the specific consequence is, and follow through. What do you want him to do while he is living with you? You are allowing him to live at home so he can accomplish what exactly? I would contract with him for those obligations, and nothing more.

Beyond that, I would leave him alone. Leave him alone about the weekends at the beach, curfew, all of that stuff is overly involved and meddlesome IMO. He is old enough to make his own choices, and if he makes choices not to follow through with his end of the agreement.

You can respect him without allowing yourself to be walked on.
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#7 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 11:22 AM
 
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I would not set a curfew for a 19 year old adult but we have a family rule that we call and let people know what is up so there is no worry. This means my dh and I both let our kids know when we will be getting home. My children are not that old but we already do it. We will tell the kids we are going out will get home at XYZ and pick them up from grand-ma's at XYZ. We ask for calls to and from homes, et. It is a behavior or curitosy. If your son has a cell phone there is no reason he cannot easily call you and say "I am at a party I will be home late." and you prettend not to do the mommy worry.

I also would make him pay rent and if that means eviction, that means eviction

Let him fail but you don't have to pay for it. Let him go out and fail when he is ready help him out. Some people are not ready for other school at 19 because they haven't lived enough life to figure out what they want. Once he does wether it is 5 years or 10 years help him out. Let him fumble, let him take the responciblity of his fumbles, love him, then help him out when he has figured out things.
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#8 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 11:33 AM
 
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I can really see how the other teens in the house make a difference, and you'd want them to see some ba. I've always thought I'd gladly allow older teens to live at home for as long as they'd like, but at some point they pay their own way. If the dc is paying some rent and expenses, he shouldn't have a curfew. If he's still being heavily financially supported, I'd be more inclined to think that parental limits are fair.

It also depends on what those "bad choices" in his past were... if staying out later is going to increase the likelihood that he'll do things that could endanger himself or other family members, I'd also say no. If they were just irresponsible decisions with no great outcome, then nevermind.

Also, it seems like calling to check in and give people basic info about where we are is a reasonable thing to ask of any family member. I'd be much more firm about that than the arrival time.
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#9 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 11:35 AM
 
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I stayed at home till I got married at 22yo. There were a few rules but not that strict at all. If I was going out I had to tell them were I was going and about what time I would be home. Just so that if something happened there would know were to start looking. The only rule about coming home really late was I had to be very carefull about waking them up because my dad had to work the next day usually and he has trouble sleeping.

As far as making a someone pay rent I am 100% against that. Now I had a job from 18yo on after I graduated but I was never expected to pay for living in my home. I did however volunteer money when it was needed and was happy to do so. My younger brother is 32yo and still at home and no he dosnt pay rent but he does help out were he can. It is his home as much as my parents so paying rent IMHO is just wrong.


I wouldnt let a child take advantage of me but when I had mine I fully expect to take care of them as long as they live here be it 18-80yo I will expect them to act in a responsable manner and let me know were to look for them if I have to but I will not be setting many rules after they reach adulthood.

 
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#10 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 11:35 AM
 
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I think the hardest thing about older kids livng at home is that parents watch them do things that we don't want to watch. lol We are woken up at odd hours by people coming in the door, or worry they are dead on the road when they don't come home. I don't have a child as old as yours, but that is what I can anticipate happening for me if I were in a such a situation.

If the child is in a dorm you aren't woken up by him coming in, and you just don't know what is going on. You can put the worry on a back burner. Most people in college do ridiculous things sometimes, but we mostly didn't tell our parents while it was happening. No parent really wants to know that their kid got drunk, puked and passed out somewhere dangerous. I think college life protects parents' emotional worry state, to a degree. Ok, call it denial. But really, some things are better kept from nervous parents.

If a child comes home drunk sometimes, as yours has, and he hurts himself because of it, and you have to bring him to the ER, you are even more worried it will happen again. I am not sure that wanting some reasonable limits is meddlesome, I think it's more about being a concerned mother. Worry is hugely stressful to you. I don't think you are wrong to not want to have to deal with that every day by a child who doesn't seem to mind worrying you. He may be doing what a lot of Americans see as normal kid behavior, but it doesn't make it less difficult for parents to watch, kwim?

You could do the tenant/landlord thing, but he may still treat you like his mother, rather than with the respect he'd give a landlord. It's a lot easier to blow off the money you own your parents, kiwm? And if you puke all over the partment rug, you have to pay to clean or eplce it. No such thing with your parents. You could avoid paying them forever and they wouldn't keep your security deposit. Plus, the landlord doesn't care if you fall off the balcony and die, but your mother does. It's just not the same sort of relationship, and I don't see how it could be. Emotions are so intense on both sides.

It's hard, and I've not btdt, but as the mother of a teen, I could see how I might worry if I were in this situation.

He's probably better off living on his own for a time and working. It sounds like he is just not ready or interested in college. I would encourage him to live on his own and work for a time. He might find himself.
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#11 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He was only out of the house for about 5 weeks when we asked him to leave last time. That was about 2 months ago and he did ask to come back and agreed to the rules we agreed upon. One of the stipulations was to be back in school with decent grades for the summer. The other rule was the curfuew, which he was good about following. It was going great except for his stuggle with school. We let him go on the weekend away as a bonus and then he came back with the attitude that he shouldn't have to follow our rules anymore. Again, if he were a kid that would have had respect for us in the past, then I would feel totally comfortable knowing that I could trust him to not abuse the right to come and go as he pleases. I believe it depends on the kid and how mature they are. I gave him plenty of space while living here. I didn't expect more of him then mowing the grass once a week. If he called me to say his battery wasn't working and he had to go to school, I was right there to hand him my car keys--despite the fact that he knew he needed to check on things like oil & tires etc once in awhile. When he moved out last time, he was learning quickly how easy he had it here--it hit him in the wallet, but I think it wasn't long enough for his memory to be that vivid.
You guys have made some good points and I will give them some consideration, but I feel like it has to be a two way street and with him its his way or nothing. He wants independence without responsibility.
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#12 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 11:52 AM
 
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haven't read any of the replies but this is my input on what you said in the OP.


Your 19 yr old son is an adult. Yes he is still living at home, but he is an adult. This is another one of those 'phases' in life where he is trying to stretch out and see what being an adult is like.


Having a safe haven to come back to (home) is a great thing in this time, so long as it is a haven.


Honestly if you feel you 'have' to lay down the law, you should do it as a 'room mate' more than a parent. And if those boundaries can't be set you will wind up having a 'room mate' who feels inferior.


Room mates should 'respect' eachother on being quiet when coming home at night, not bringing frineds in after X:XX time, pitching in on bills, pitching in on food.



If you want to let him live there rent free, GREAT! but don't make him pay for it in other aspects of his life.


This is a time of trial and error, he has to be able to make those little mistakes we all made between 18-23ish so he knows not to make them later.




I didn't move out of my mom's place until I was 22. I got married and got a place of my own that year. But from 18-22 i paid 1/3rd of all the bills in the house to make sure it was a 'room mate' situation and not a 'parent still telling me what to do' situation. I took it on myself to make it into a 'room mate' situation but most people won't.



He is an adult, a young adult but an adult none the less. To treat him like a child is almost insulting even though he IS YOUR CHILD and YOUR PRIDE AND JOY. He is a man now too.


I gave my mom courtesy calls most of the times when I wasn't coming home, but not all the time and she respected that I would remember when i did and not tell me I had to call and check in to say I wasn't coming home.

I did it more to respect her and let her know she didnt have to leave the door unlocked or stay up at all.

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#13 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 12:04 PM
 
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At 19 I'd say he should not have a curfew (even though he IS still a teenager). I see nothing wrong with rules in your own house though. If he can't abide by the rules you set then he needs to find his own place. He also needs to be working, atleast part-time and showing that he can earn a living of his own AND help out in some sort of way around the house, not only with bills necessarily but even housework and child care of the younger kids.

Not "every" 19 yr old lives outside the home. I didn't move out until I was almost 23. I even have an ex-BF that is still living at home and he is almost 42 years old. Consider yourself lucky your child is still a teenager while living at home!

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#14 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 12:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
I also would make him pay rent and if that means eviction, that means eviction
But he's ONLY 19 years old?? He might be considered a man by many laws, but he is still a "teen"ager at this point. He needs guidance from other adults around him that can show him how to make the right decisions and how to live right (including his parents). I see nothing wrong with him making mistakes while still living at home, even if it includes getting drunk or making other adult mistakes. He's still their child. My son will be 19 in only eight more years and I'd hate to think I'd want to just shuck him out of the house at that age just because I feel he is an adult since he is over the age of 18. There's no way I could do that. I'd rather him come home here drunk (hopefully not tho) than to be God knows where doing bad things and potentially getting hurt or killed at such a young age. Yes, 19 is still young to me. Look what happened to that poor Natalie girl in Aruba at 18 years old. I'm sure her mom thought she was a mature adult too.

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#15 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68
But he's ONLY 19 years old?? He might be considered a man by many laws, but he is still a "teen"ager at this point. He needs guidance from other adults around him that can show him how to make the right decisions and how to live right (including his parents). I see nothing wrong with him making mistakes while still living at home, even if it includes getting drunk or making other adult mistakes. He's still their child. My son will be 19 in only eight more years and I'd hate to think I'd want to just shuck him out of the house at that age just because I feel he is an adult since he is over the age of 18. There's no way I could do that. I'd rather him come home here drunk (hopefully not tho) than to be God knows where doing bad things and potentially getting hurt or killed at such a young age. Yes, 19 is still young to me. Look what happened to that poor Natalie girl in Aruba at 18 years old. I'm sure her mom thought she was a mature adult too.

I paid rent at 18. 1/3rd of all the bills. If he wants to be treated like an adult he should take on the responsibilities. Paying 1 equal portion of the bills in the house is more than fair so long as you aren't in a house that costs 2.5k a month in rent.



300-450 a month for a room is more than reasonable at 18 and forces them to get out into the world and learn how the world works.

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#16 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 12:46 PM
 
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I agree with the pp.

My bil still lives with his mom at the age of 24. He doesn't work or help at with house work. She didn't set boundries when he was younger so he wont follow them now.

I wouldn't give dc a curfew but I would try to make him understand how stressful it is when you don't know where your child is or when they are comeing home.

If he is wanting to take a semester off and get a full time job, then I would say go ahead. It will give him a chance to see what it is like to work a full time job. And how it takes up alot of your time. He may just not be ready to be in college. Some kids need a break from high shool to college.

This is just my opinion though. I haven't btdt yet. I don't look forward to it either.


I hope everything works out to everybodys satisfaction! (if that is possible)
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#17 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 02:50 PM
 
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I see nothing wrong with setting some ground rules if he is living in your home, and not as a tennant. So, if that means a household curfew, then I see nothing wrong with it. I wouldn't tell him it is because of his grades or anything like that, but because that is the time of night that you want everyone in the house and the house locked up. I don't have teenagers myself, but was one just a few years back At 19 I was married, so I didn't have to follow any rules, but I was acting as an adult. I paid my own bills, lived on my own, took care of all my responsibilities. There was one month that i lived with my parents between basic training and moving out of state (just a few months before I got married), and while I stayed with my parents, I respected them and their rules. They were letting me stay there for free, it was their home, and I didn't want to display an ungrateful attitude for my younger siblings. It wasn't a big deal to tell my parents where I was going, who I was going to be with, and what time I was going to be back for the evening.... or if I was staying with a friend that night. They appreciated that they didn't have to worry about me and I appreciated being welcomed into the home even though I was an adult.

I don't know for sure if a curfew is the answer, but maybe just he could tell you when he plans to be home whenever he goes out? Or if he plans to not come home, it would be nice for you to know that ahead of time as well? Of course, in the end it is your home and so if he wants to live there then he should be willing to live with whatever conditions come with that. Otherwise he can move out and have his freedom, but have the responsibilities that come with that freedom.

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#18 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 03:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by birthpartner
Fathers Day weekend we let him go to the beach with his friend
You "let" your 19 yr old go to the beach with his friend? :

I would consider you having to give permission for that to be WAY overcontrolling. Same with a curfew.

Frankly, I think your son should move out and stand on his own two feet. That or pay rent, do his share of the chores of running the home, and be treated as an adult. But treating him as a child that needs permission to go to the beach with a friend is doing neither of you any favors.
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#19 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 03:41 PM
 
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It's your house and you have the right to have it be comfortable for you and if you're going to pay for his school you have the right to have him get at least Cs. If he was on financial aid he'd have to get Cs and not drop too many classes. He sounds a bit immature (understandable) and you sound like you're treating him like a minor. He isn't a minor anymore and he won't mature being treated like one. A curfew at nineteen (midnight?) is ridiculous and "allowing" him to go away for the weekend is also ridiculous. It sounds like it would be much better if he moved out and the school rules were the only ones that applied.
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#20 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 05:03 PM
 
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yk, I don't think the 18-21 age range is as simple as it used to be.

Making sweeping statements about those kids being "adults" is pretty unreasonable, IMO. Legally they're adults, fine, whatever. But the reality is that the world is complicated and getting more complicated.

I intend to take things a day at a time with my children forever, not just until their magic birthday. If they seem to need involved parenting at 19, I plan to keep giving it, doing that difficult dance between standing back and stepping in, just as I do with my younger kids.

I do hope that my kids will be making their own choices wrt curfew and outings when they are that age, because I'd rather not get into a power struggle, insisting on compliance that I legally can't demand.

I just don' t think this "he's an adult, he needs to get on his feet and survive" mentality is very helpful or realistic for some kids.
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#21 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 05:15 PM
 
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When I was 19 I lived at home with my dad and my step mom. I had to pay rent and the still wanted to be able to enforce rules on me. I finally said look. I pay you $300/month to live here. I could get a fairly nice apartment on $300/month and be closer to work and not have to worry about you yelling at me for not getting the dishes done, and I wouldn't have to watch my baby sister.

I did move out about 5 months into the deal. Work, and rent, and rules just REALLY didn't mix for me. If I was paying them to live there they didn't get to be my parents too.

Also 3 summer classes is a LOT of classes and work in a REALLY compacted time frame.

I'm taking 2 classes and it's HARD. I'm taking them online so I have access to them whenever I have free time, and it is still HARD. I can't IMAGINE being able to take 3 and still have a job on top of that.

I think you are expecting too much authoritiy over a 19 yr old person. He may still be YOUR child, but he isn't A child.

It's lonely being the only XX in a house of XYs.
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#22 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 05:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PancakeGoddess
yk, I don't think the 18-21 age range is as simple as it used to be.

Making sweeping statements about those kids being "adults" is pretty unreasonable, IMO. Legally they're adults, fine, whatever. But the reality is that the world is complicated and getting more complicated.
their magic birthday. If they seem to need involved parenting at 19, I plan to keep giving it, doing that difficult dance between standing back and stepping
I intend to take things a day at a time with my children forever, not just until in, just as I do with my younger kids.

I do hope that my kids will be making their own choices wrt curfew and outings when they are that age, because I'd rather not get into a power struggle, insisting on compliance that I legally can't demand.

I just don' t think this "he's an adult, he needs to get on his feet and survive" mentality is very helpful or realistic for some kids.
You know, there are women on MDC that became mothers at a younger age than the young man in question. I myself was living away from home, working full time, supporting myself and sending money back home at a year younger than 19. If someone had suggested a midnight curfew to me I would have been pretty insulted. That just strikes me as a ridiculous attempt to retain the sort of control more suited to a 9 yr old than to a person old enough to vote, marry, go to war, etc.

How did the OP come to "find" the pot in his room?

If the OP does not want to pay for his school any more then don't pay it. It makes more sense than paying for it then expecting him to pay rent, I think. When he is paying for it himself he will take it much more seriously than when it is being handed to him. If that means that it takes a few years before he realizes the importance of school, the world won't end. He may even find that he does not need a college education to get the kind of work he will enjoy best.
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#23 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 05:34 PM
 
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I can't imagine having a curfew enforced on me at age 19. I would have been insulted too. I haven't had a curfew since ... well, ever. When I was old enough to be going out late at night, the house rule was that I had to tell my parents where I was (relevant info in pre-cell phone days) and that I not wake them up by being noisy when I came home. IMO, it is OK to enforce house rules that are important to *your* life (e.g., "don't wake us up coming in late," "don't leave wet towels on the floor"), but not rules that you're imposing solely for "his own good." He's an adult, and you should treat him like one.
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#24 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 05:51 PM
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I think the "rules" for living in the house should be set up based on consensus built between adults.

I think the decisions about rent, bill paying, school tuition payments, etc. should be made as parents.

it may seem like an arbitrary distinction, but I don't think it is. Any other place he chooses to live, unless he finds an apartment all to himself, he's going to have to come to some agreement about ground rules with his roommate(s). Most likely, these agreements are going to be based on consensus, rather than one party telling the other(s) how it's going to be. So I would follow the same model with your son.

Regarding the finances of the arrangement, and your concern for his continued education, that seems like a more appropriate area for "parental discretion" -- i.e., where you can just say, this is how it's going to be. Either you pay, or you don't, or you contribute X toward the expenses... whatever you feel will be in his best interest.

I don't think you should set conditions for paying that are a function of respecting the basic ground rules you've agreed upon for living there. If he's not respecting the ground rules -- or you aren't -- invoking the "or else we won't pay" clause seems to eliminate the whole aspect of consensus and mutual respect for each other on which the rules were based in the first place.
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#25 of 66 Old 06-26-2006, 06:46 PM
 
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If he is living rent-free as a child under your roof, I think you are within your rights to set limits.

If he is not, I would suggest drawing up a renter's agreement (including rent, LOL), and treating him as you would any other tenant.
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#26 of 66 Old 06-28-2006, 10:50 AM
 
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Uh... you gave him permission to go to the beach? I married my DH at (barely)19 and I didn't have to get permission.
I know of course age has really little to do with maturity level but, I still can't imagine even an immature 19 year old having to ask permission to go somwhere.
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#27 of 66 Old 06-28-2006, 01:54 PM
 
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Personally, I don't think a curfew is reasonable at 19. But, I agree that he should be expected to check in. I don't see that as an overcontrolling parenting thing. I see it as basic courtesy to people you live with. If dh is going to be home late from work, he lets me know. When I was living at mom's as an adult (I stayed until I was 23 and did pay room & board), I told her where I was...and so did the other two women living there. If I went to my fiance's place, and was planning to come home, I called if I changed my mind and spent the night. That's not about trying to control someone, imo. It's about not making people worry unnecessarily. If someone (any age) tells me they'll be home at 10:00, and midnight comes and goes, I do start to wonder if something happened to them. Why would I expect my dh to call me if things change, but not expect the same courtesy from my kids?

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#28 of 66 Old 06-28-2006, 03:43 PM
 
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while i don't have a teenager, i am just barely older than your son and i have a few opinions on the matter. while he's still your son, he is an adult. he should be treated as such. "allowing" him to hang out with his friends and setting unreasonable boundaries will only make him resent you. i think if you're going to set rules, they need to be made in the mindset of being roommates, NOT as a parent of a child. i think calling if he'll be late, checking in occasionally and so forth is reasonable. setting a curfew? ridiculous.

your DS makes a great point when he says if he lived elsewhere, he wouldn't be held to these standards. sure, it's your home but you've essentially invited him to stay as an adult, a roommate, an EQUAL -- not a child.
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#29 of 66 Old 06-30-2006, 02:43 AM
 
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This is the general jist of our agreement with ds#1 who is 17 and just graduated from high school.
- We love you ds very much and want to see you reach all your goals.
- We do not need you to live in our home - we can manage without you
- We expect you to contribute to the household (chores, pick up sibs) as we all do because you are a member of the household.
- You when you are 18 you do not have a curfew unless you are driving our car. Then it is midnight. If you are not driving and plan to stay out past 12am you must let us know. Mom won't sleep from worry if you don't call and will be cranky the next day:
- You can continue to have friends over the house as long as they are respectful.
- We expect you to continue to not use drugs or alcohol.
- You need to pay for your car insurance, gas and maintenance. Insurance is due on the 7th of every month.
- If there are disputes that arise or concerns about these rules we will discuss them at a set time using our "Fair Fighting Agreement"
-You can continue to live here as long as you are in school. When you are no longer in school, we will meet to discuss move out date and timeline.
This agreement was signed by ds, me and dh.

I know, I know. I am sure everyone here thinks I am crazy, but we did this to prevent any "misunderstandings" with our soon to be adult child - our expectations are spelled out. We have no problem with him staying here as long as he continues to grow and work towards his goals. I don't want to be so controlling of him that he resents dh and I. He needs to enjoy life and his accomplishments. But on the other hand I don't want to resent him for causing me to worry, being irresponsible, not being productive, etc, KWIM?
So far there is peace on the home front - any disputes have been discussed and dealt with.

-
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#30 of 66 Old 06-30-2006, 08:48 AM
 
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I've seen it so much in this thread, that a 19yo is an adult. I'm curious why so many are willing to just take this arbitrary legal thing and turn it into an emotional/developmental reality for all kids.

We certainly don't do that with the rest of our kids' milestones - especially on MDC. What if I said, well he's SEVEN, so he must be able to read, or he's THREE so he must be potty-trained? I'm not suggesting we lord over young adults, because of course we can't even legally get away with that, but just that we think critically about this arbitrary age thing that's so popular. Every person has their own pace/path.

I dunno... I said it in my other post way back there, but I think a lot of 18-2osomethings need parenting. Not *dominance* and "permission," but still... parenting. So, I do agree that "allowing" the OP's son to go to the beach sounds off, I don't think it's very wise to consider age 18 some magic number.
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