How do you (or do you) parent an 18 yr. old still living at home?

Maureen - posted on 05/02/2011 ( 36 moms have responded )

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My daughter's 18 and is not just demanding but taking her independence, while still living at home. She announces plans, never asks, and continuously breaks curfew...do I just let her go? She has us all stressed out.

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Bek - posted on 05/10/2011

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IMO :) A child that lives in your home, no matter the age, should obey your rules and boundaries and there should be consequences for not doing so. Two of my adult children live at home. For the most part, they come and go as they please, but if they are going to be out late they need to let us know. However, there are some rules and restrictions that have to be followed or they will no longer be welcome in our home. The desire to be independent is normal for a child "coming of age", but if they're living in your home, on your dime, they need to follow your rules and boundaries set for the household. One of our rules is that they have to be engaged in something to further their ability to survive on their own, such as; attending college, getting good grades, following household rules, and working (depending on the school schedule) and they need to be contributing to the household either financially or in helping keep it up. (doing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning up their own messes, doing their own laundry and helping with other household chores, just like they did growing up.) If she doesn't want to follow the rules you can give her "x" amount of time to find someplace else to live. (If she's still in High School, some other punishment might be more appropriate. Turn off her phone or whatever you think is appropriate.) Good luck. At 18 they're half adult, half child and is difficult for all involved.

Mary - posted on 08/25/2012

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I am single mom of three teenagers and one 10 year old. My oldest is 19,she took off a year from college and stayed at home. She was required to attend church with us, do chores, tell me who she is with, where they are going and when she is going to be back. Due to fact she , did not want to pay for car insurance, she was not allowed to get her license. Her sister , who is 17, paid for drivers ed, car insurance., purchased her own car, pays for the data plan on her iphone, must go to church, school, work, and chores. I only do laundry for the my two youngest and myself. I wll put your clothes in the dryer and if I am folding laundry, I might fold theirs too. I dont have a set curfew, because of the work hours, church activites and school activites. If my oldest had not decided to go to college and just work, she would have been required to pay rent along with chores.



I would enforce the rules or make her move out. If your daughter is using the family vehicle then you can take it away. There is no need for the stress, in my home, either you obey the rules or move out. After all they are adults once they are 18.

[deleted account]

Wendy- gosh, my heart is breaking for you. You're so stuck in the middle....money can so screw up a household and parenting kids that have become out of control- not on their own.
I've screwed up spoiling, then worked hard at un-spoiling and succeeded until my daughter's trust fund just matured a year ago.
As I am not the trustee of this fund, all hell has broken loose- she can manipulate the trustee to give her ANYTHING she wants, is spoiling her to no end and my daughter has so much flowing ($) her way that she thinks she's better than a lot of people now, has a new bad attitude and no value for material things now.
The trustee lives far away from us, has NO idea of what is going on and believes all my daughter's lies about what she 'needs' money for. Basically the trustee is in my house running things- and she lives thousands of miles away. I feel that I have ZERO control over this entire situation and I am watching my daughter being ruined by money. (The trustee doesn't believe me that she is just spending the money for fun and not actually for what she's asked for.)
I feel powerless. It's a nasty situation.
My daughter has also just quit university and my heart is broken. Trustee does not believe that she just QUIT. She concocted a story for why she quit. I am sick that someone else is running my home, but I can also feel what your situation is like- you're sitting there, you're wanting to parent and someone has taken that away from you. Am I correct?
That's the way I feel. I'm a single mom, have worked my a__ off because we all spoiled her for years, I UNspoiled her, now someone is destroying her with money.
(I'm a single mom.)
She certainly is not the same person that she used to be- prior to having an ongoing flow of too much cash.
I reminded her- that money is the root of all evil.
The money has divided herself and I. Is pulling our relationship apart. That is so wrong.
I sure hope you get your situation figured out. That is sooooo tough. Sort of the same thing- you're wanting to parent and do the right thing for her but some else is taking your healthy parenting away. And you're watching your daughter go down from the almighty dollar.
Maybe you don't feel that way.
I sure do. And I feel powerless. Rendered powerless by an incompetent adult.

Maryjo - posted on 11/23/2012

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I have just been made aware of this blog, as I have some issues w/ my children (one nearly 18 years old and heavily testing boundaries)....LOVE and LOGIC is a great program any parent can benefit from, and can help you understand other adults as well! They have been around for about 25 yrs.



There are two scriptures that I would like to share, as God has met me w/ them head on.. Isaiah 30:15 In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust in your strength...in other words, REST ON HIM! DON'T react as the rest of the world would. You may be thinking I am clueless, but believe me, that is what edges teenagers on...they want drama. Don't give it to them.....sometimes just being silent is the best answer...they don't know what to do...it puts the responsibility back on them. It's their problem, not ours.....this is very challenging, but pray b/f you go into a conversation....and then, James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance. Perserverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all w/o finding fault, and it will be given to him. PRAY all day for WISDOM...the type that James describes as pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere (James 3: 17).



I know that I would be dead in the water if I did not have my faith. It is what keeps me alive. If you don't have it, you will not get through this time w/out major wounds. Ask God to help you...I am continually putting my children and husband b/f God and asking for grace, even when the conversation turns ugly. HE IS THE RESTORER! Blessings,

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[deleted account]

To Linda
"The only biblical grounds for divorce is adultery".
Hmmmmmm.... I'm a Christian as well. I'm sure there are divorced and single women at your church that were not divorced because of adultery.
If you were beaten about the head on a daily basis, held at knife point, watched your husband abuse the kids..... there are maaaaany valid reasons for a divorce these days and maaaany situations that a pastor of fellow church members and prayer cannot help some couples resolve major issues.
I HATE when I hear someone is getting a divorce, but sometimes it has to happen.

[deleted account]

Tori (if you're still around), 9 months have passed...how are things going? Any change at home with yr. step-daughter?
Is she your husband's youngest child? (sounds like it). Could all the spoiling be due to the fact that she is his youngest? His 'baby' so to speak?
Yes- this stuff should bug you! You are not being selfish.
Is there quit an age difference between you and your husband? Could this be a factor, as when he grew up- things were much different?
Just wondering how it's all going....
I know it's not easy.
ALSO- I'm certain that there are 'blended-family' forums online that could be very helpful to you.

[deleted account]

As far as curfew goes- I told my daughter (who is 18) that we no longer call it a 'curfew', it is now called a house rule. You are to be in at 1a.m. (or whatever you choose) because I cannot sleep when people (her) are coming and going from the house, I cannot relax. (1 a.m. actually was an hour later than I'd prefer but I know some of her friends are living on their own so I pushed it from 12 a.m. to 1 a.m.)
I told her that if she was renting a bedroom in someone else's home- she couldn't be coming and going at all hours and waking people up. No one will put up with that.
I said- even if I were renting one of our bedrooms out to an exchange student or WHOEVER- there is a house rule of 1 a.m. or I cannot get any sleep. If she stays out after 1 a.m.- doors will be locked. Period. She will NOT be let in. Walk to a friends, do whatever, and pray that she'll be okay but she never had to.
She would IMMEDIATELY call if she was a couple minutes late and say she's on her way home right now. She simply did not want to be locked out, and she knows I would have not opened the doors. She kept the 'house rule'.
That's just her though. I know every kid is different.

Wendy - posted on 12/09/2013

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i can feel your pain. my circumstances are similar, with the exception that i am her mother. i dont know what to do with her. i feel like bailing after 23 years of marriage.

Wendy - posted on 12/09/2013

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i have an 18 yr old daughter who; was purchased on my husbands dime and since i am a stay at home mom with a four year old girl and 16 year old fatherly neglected son, i had no say in the purchase of this 18 thousand dollar car {he lets her get away with murder almost}; she gets her car, insurance, medical, and spending money all provided for her..again, stupidly by my husband. she obeys no rules, does no chores, curses at me and threatens me. my husband has a chemical dependancy problem with prescription drugs and she uses this to her advantage. i raised her nearly single handidly and take responsibility in spoiling her tremendously with enormous parties, every material thing she wanted and for years up until 17 when she realized who really carried the purse, hated him for his abusive and controllig nature but now he is just out of it most of the time. if i confront my husband about all this, then i am the evil witch who is just creating problems. she will disobey him as well but most of her agression is targeted at me because since her father is mean and rude to me, she has figured out that if she does the same, he likes it and therefore gives her what shw wants. i love my daughter but dont know of any rights i have to deal with her. she did not even graduate high school and has yet to get her ged. i want so much at times to just kick her out but her father would never allow it. any advice would be so appreciated. one note, please dont judge me and be kind in your words. i suffer enough. thanks so much. my e mail is wendyb9697@gmail.com

Sky - posted on 08/10/2013

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I have raised my son up in God his whole life. Very well mannered child. He's a grad. this yr. of a 4.5 GPA. He's never gotten in any bad trouble. He stayed active in sports in school. He leaving to go off to college on
next Sat. I'm scared. Even he's nervous. I'm a single parent but i'm very clingy to my children. He's the 2nd child out of four. Well....I dnt know why I'm sharing all of this. Or maybe I just need to be talking w/someone thats had this experience. I feel sick. We are close and I don't want to be nor feel selfish and say "don't go". Whose here that I talk to.

Alisha - posted on 06/24/2013

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my step daughter just moved back in with us again for the second time. Ugh!!!
I always have problems with her. She wants me to treat her like an adult because she is eighteen but doesn't act mature at all. We paid for her college trip in NYC. She goofed around for four months. I need help with that too.

Rebecca - posted on 04/05/2013

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I;m having the same problem with my daughter, & my husband left us 5 mos. ago & she is so rebellious & doing drugs & having sex... don't know what to do???

Stacy - posted on 01/08/2013

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My name is Stacy. My 18 yr old son doesn't go to school and doesn't work, and shows no interest at all. He goes to bed late and sleeps till noon. He has excuses for everything! He keeps asking me to drive him to his friends, and then he wont call me all day, until that second that he needs to be picked up. He will not listen to me at all. He keeps saying "ok bye bye" every time I talk, then he shoo's me out of his room. I know I need to stay strong and practice tough love because what I am doing isnt working, and I am not helping him at all! Any advice would be appreciated.

Linda - posted on 10/23/2012

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I didn't actually read your last reply before I posted mine. However, the only thing I would add, its that divorce is not God's plan for marriage. You took a vow of "for better or for worse". This is the worse. The only Biblical grounds for divorce involved adultery.



You can work this out. Forgive. Love. Act as Jesus would. You really can get past this, but it's going to take work, prayer, talking to each other HONESTLY and LOVINGLY.

Linda - posted on 10/23/2012

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Victoria, I'm so glad you found Dave Ramsey helpful. It sounds like you've made a lot of progress...she's out of the home now!



What you really need to focus on now is communication with your husband. Do not let this adult child damage the relationship with your husband. You guys need to talk to each other....and you both need to understand where each one is coming from. He needs to understand that you really do love his daughter and want the best for her....and that you do not need an adult child swearing at you....and that you need your husband to back you up on that unacceptable behavior. You need to understand that he loves his daughter, and that it's never easy to know what to do with our children, especially when they don't make wise choices. I always tell my friends that parenting was so much easier when my children were little because I knew what to do and what to say---my entire job was pretty much to keep them alive another day! :) Now, with the emotional issues and life challenges there is not always one clear direction...one right thing to do and say. This is why we need to pray for wisdom and God says He'll give it to us. I'm sure your husband is upset that his dearly loved daughter is going nowhere in life...and it may especially contrast with the clear direction YOUR son is taking which may make him feel like a failed parent. The hard truth is that no matter WHAT you do as a parent, our children may still choose a different path from how we raised them.



Is your husband a Christian? If so, you should pray together for both your children everyday. This will help you both get on the same page and together bring the problem before the Ultimate Problem Solver!

Victoria - posted on 10/22/2012

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taking up where I left off... updates on 20 yo step daughter drama. . . I hurt feelings am hurt and revving up to end the relationship between her dad and I. I was ready to let the past hurts go and start anew...but cant rectify his actions since the upheaval on Sept 12.



I never asked her to leave, but didnt feel I owed her a red carpet return. I felt she needed a grown up lesson with such a grown up mouth. Mind you, she had told me by texts that I better start saving money, and pack my bags to be on my own, cause her daddy would never choose me over flesh and blood... he'd roll with her as she had texted him he had to choose.



After she told me off, I waited 3 wks for an apology, at least a humble request to come back which never came. I proceeded to help her find a nice affordable place nearby (wherein she has easy [unlimited] access to her dad) for transportation, a work, ride to friends, etc.



Here's the thing... Since her tantrum where she flew the coop, her dad saw to her daily needs, transportation, $40 here, $40 there, etc. always reassuring her she had her daddy no matter what, blah, blah, while she was staying with friends those 3 wks. I felt like I was the bad guy, it hurt but I stood up for myself and something told me to hold my ground.



Fast forwarding, I then decided to rent the vacant bedroom out to bring in monies her dad is extracting from the hh budget to set her up elsewhere. So far upwards of $450-500. I found a lovely responsible 26 yo female paying tenant who rarely crosses paths with us. She wrrks 2 jobs, saves her money, very goal oriented. It has been ideal, and helped us balance things out, thank goodness for her. Esp since my guy can see how mature young women can take care of themselves.



I am pissed because monies coming from this house to hand over to her since she showed her a__, should have been run by me. I was wronged, and I pay half the bills here. Our message to her should (jointly) have been, you disrespected the house, we expect you to make things right. If not, her own money should have been used to set her up in the affordable cute room I found her. Am I missing something? I never knew my man was so unreasonable, blind. Or am I the crazy one here.? Help!



I had been damn good to her throughout the 2+ yrs she lived with us, helping her kindly the whole way. She messed up, so time to learn tough life lessons. Free rides over, but we will help you make it out there. By help-- I mean guidance, support, love. Not our hard earned money, with no accountability as to hers. She earns $850 mo take home. When he moved her in he spent $180 in groceries. Plus misc cash gifts. Yet, every time he rides her around he buys her dinner out, before dropping her to friends, mama's, wherever.



I see the writing on the wall. She will need help buying a car when she get her $1k tax refund, if in fact that is her sincere plan. She has no motivation to buy a car, because he is easy free cab service no questions asked. He says he encourages her, but does not insist she save her own money to purchase the car. I can easily see him borrowing from his mother to help her.



The little money she has in savings he holds for her, likes she's a little girl. I dont get it. If she wants a car, let her save her money in her Chase savings account. I've come to a fork in the road. He cant hear me on setting boundaries. He only replies, I gotta do what I gotta do for her. Im her dad, Im all she's got, blah, blah. I see how eager he is to run to her every whim and I find myself repulsed, confused, angry, and ready to bail.



He doesnt want to lose me, but seems unable to change how he operates with her. He's made up his mind nobody can understand her like he does... Im not her mother, blah blah. True but still, I know what responsible looks like. She's a big baby, with a big attitude that daddy is supporting a childish princess mentality. I'm sick of watching it. I love him, but I think I have lost all respect for him, because he didnt work with me, didnt offer fair compromises. He feels if I love him I will trust his methods. I just want off this ride.



Your mature, loving, thoughts please.

Victoria - posted on 10/21/2012

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Okay, belated reply here... with updates. I (alone) attended Financial Peace University. Got so much out of it. Thank you Dave Ramsey, and you for your suggestion to check it out.



My stepdaughter hs lived with us for almost 2.5 yrs. She was working since age 18 at McD's. Often saving nothing aside toward her independence. Her dad finally got her to start casually saving $50/wk toward a car. I was her main transportation until this materialized (at that rate, maybe a while.)

Well, I had a fender bender involving whiplash treatment in the afternoons. I suggested that unless she wants to wait for us after work some days, she should consider learning the bus route. This way at least she'd never be stranded. I sensed she was deeply offended, she's far above taking the bus. I pushed back a little saying this would really be the most convenient option for all concerned, meaning be considerate of us too! (I was implying, If you won't get serious about budgeting and buying your own car, and since you turned down a great little Hyundai I was willing to hand you where you could pay us back comfortably over time- less than $1k) then at least inconvenience yourself right now, not me (or her dad for that matter.)



She told me F-You 3X loudly! This was only the 2nd time we had had words, or friction of any kind in those 2 yrs. Well 2 days later she's here in the home, I'm expecting to have a heart to heart talk... and says she doesnt want to talk about it, adding she needs a ride to work the next day at 1. I had plans, I wasnt expecting that unusual schedule for her on a Fri, anyway I had to say, I cant help you... but we need to talk anyway before any more rides.



We attempted a talk, wherein I stated kindly how I liked her as a person, I was the one who invited her to live with us (unprompted by her dad). I wanted her to feel comfortable with us, and go to college. I helped her get her GED, helped her apply for jobs, and took her to the interview at McD's where she works. I've tried to do all I could for her, etc. I knew she didnt like being pushed toward bussing but more than that prompted that stunning outburst?!



Making a long story shorter, In this little chat I was explaining that she has to expand herself and be honest about her feelings. I told her she's only comfortable, only listens (somewhat) to her dad, and doesnt seem to want to know me or heed my advice. Yet, things she does affect all of us, not just her dad. I proceeded with an ex; "when you defaulted on the Tmobile account that was in your dad's name, that left us a debt, HE AND I." They are pursuing us in collections. If they settle for a reduced amt, we owe them $990. SHe flipped out saying that's between me and my daddy, she hollered for her dad to come get me out of her room, where she lives 100% rent free.



I took my leave, saying calmly all you had to do was ask me to leave, or call your dad in to join us. I was in my room when I heard her making noise through the house... demanding he stand up to me in her defense (as if I'd attacked her.) He didnt. That night she left. He tried to talk her down from her temper, and he got called a 2 faced bitch on her way out the door.



Three weeks passed, with very little communication between she and I though I reached out a few times. Sometimes no response. Then, she came with her dad's prompting, but with attitude, and superficial stuff. I wanted us to reach understanding, to feel assured bringing her back into the home wouldnt result in more of the same. She got mouthy with me by texts, which I've read to him.



He insisted she was destitute, nowhere to go... but when I texted to ask her, she didnt reply. If she was homeless, seems she would have swallowed her pride and apologized, asked me nicely if she could come home. She didnt, so I didnt roll out the red carpet. Life lessons come tough sometimes. Nonetheless, I searched and found her a nice little room for rent nearby us. I showed her dad, he liked it, then we took her to see it, she liked it, and moved in Oct 1. She's paying her own way $90/wk. That's $360/mo out of the $850+/mo she takes home after taxes.



Fast forwarding... He was holding $900 (her tax ref from last yr) for her prior to all this drama. Daddy is saving her money for her, and she's 20. Any thoughts?



Anyway, I packed her room up very nicely, organized everything. Washed, folded her laundry, and he delivered them to her all nice and neat. He moved her in. He spent $90 for the first weeks rent, $180 in groceries, plus he handed her at least $30 every time he saw her in those 3 weeks between the outburst(s) and Oct 1.



To my ultimate dilemma. I have been feeling like he was blaming me-- for pushing her out. I did push the conversation, because I wanted new terms. Yes, true. I felt she needed a push to develop a mature sense of pride by taking personal reponsibility. But I did not push her out. Had no intentions there. But I was on my own at 18, and I dont see any harm in her using this as an opportunity to grow up.



I got more but gotta go. Its breaking us up.

[deleted account]

It's very refreshing to read about other parents and families going through the rough steps of parenting an 18 yr old. When you require your children, whether adolescent or adult, to be respectful and responsible - you are teaching a wonderful and necessary life long lesson.

Tracie - posted on 09/08/2012

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I have an 18 year old teen mom & her 2yo living at home with my husband(her step father) and our 11 year old son. For the last two years I have been been the supportive mom/grandma helping her more than I should have done....allowing her to sleep in on weekends and take care of the baby....stepping in and giving him baths and such. Well just over the last 6 months or so I started pulling back because it was not helping the situation any. Well since her HS graduation she has gotten this real bad entitlement attitude....we have told her if she wants a phone upgrade she will have to go and get her own plan because we are not going to be financially liable for it any longer.....I told her she needs to ask to use my car but she continues to take it whenever she wants.....She continues to talk to my parents(her grandparents) and creates drama all the way around by only telling her story rather than the whole thing about us expecting her to respect us in our house and if she chooses not to then she can pack her stuff and move out....My parents tell us that we are not helping her to succeed with going to college. I am at my wits end ...I do not know what more to do.....Any ideas or suggestions would be most helpful....some people told me to write up a letter and have her sign it.....

Tori - posted on 04/27/2012

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Sweet. Sounds just right to me. I appreciate the many good points you made here. Points taken. Thank you for listening and caring. Have a great day!

Linda - posted on 04/26/2012

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It sounds like the whole family could benefit from FInancial Peace University. You and your husband should be on the same page with your own financial goals for current expenses and retirement planning. Perhaps if you all do this as a family, your step-daughter will get on board. Even your son could benefit from Dave Ramsey's advice.

You're bugged because your son is taking responsibility and your step-daughter is not....and you can't do anything to change that. I'm not familiar with the Latin culture, but it's possible that there are cultural nuances to this problem. Also, you are comparing children with a separate set of genes and background. I personally believe that some people are just born natural savers and others are natural spenders. Either way, trying to compare your son with his daughter will probably never be a good thing. I personally don't have any experience with step-families...but even comparing biological siblings generally does not turn out well.

She needs her license...and to be fair she should pay for her insurance since your son is paying for his insurance.

At this point, perhaps you need to pray for patience, Also I would pray with your husband that she will find the direction she needs in her life--you can both agree to that!

Tori - posted on 04/26/2012

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Thank you for this suggestion. I will look into Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace Univ prog. and try to interest her in it. I've spoken to her about saving, budgeting, offering to teach her myself, suggesting she watch Biz Kid$ which teaches financial planning. ZERO interest. And why would she? She is under No pressure to do a thing. But out of love and respect for her daddy she is trying to save a few bucks to show she can. But no motivation to buy a car, move out, etc



All your suggestions above with my partner have been tried and failed. He is latin by the way and I learned recently that his whole family operates this way, with their boys too, for a while, but certainly at least with their girls. They are not to be pressured. Handled very gently, honored in every way like a princess, etc. Nice to see how he honors her as a young lad coming into her own, but wonder sometimes if it's not a bit over the top.



On this, his mind is made up. He has his opinion of what is best, and I have my mine (which I haven't felt I had rights to push mine). I don't work secularly but my home based income goes 100% back into the household so I'm sharing here too.



In July I plan to take a pt job, which would leave her in a position where she'd need to get her Driver's license, and share transportation with her dad or myself just to get back and forth to work. Our car insurance will go up. If he feels we should pay hers so her money can go to keeping pretty hair, nails, and clothes, that would definitely be a deal breaker. But for now, I wont borrow trouble. One day at a time.



By the way his 35 yo son has never asked us for a penny, til a few mos ago, when we learned he was paying his 33 yo sisters electric bill. He needed us to back him up when his own bills got tight after carrying her load for a time. This same 33 yo sister (my husbands daughter) got us this week for some $150 "emergency."



We went through foreclosure, financial issues, etc a few yrs back. I've sacrificed plenty these past few yrs to stabilize and reestablish myself. I use coupons and budget efficiently to make a dollar stretch. I have dreams of getting out of this rental townhouse and owning a home again. We could be saving money toward that if we agreed on how to approach. Guess that's whats buggin' me... our goals-- my dreams-- are not being prioritized, yet we can afford not to charge an almost 20 y.o. a penny in rent nor accept a dime in gas money, and we can help his grown kids w/ $150 emergencies when they come calling. And he can afford to smoke $150/mo.



Something feels off in my spirit to see the casual way he's approaching our goals. His top priority is that his daughter feel completely relaxed to stay freely as long as she wishes, to do things her way, in her time, no questions asked. His feeling is that our job as good parents is to let her take all the time she needs to decide if and when she'll bust a grown up move. So it feels that our life revolves around hers plans, or lack thereof, at least to some extent. That can't be right, yet he is always known for his sound mind, and loving approach to matters. He's a good boos ant work, a great brother, to his sister and brother, a great son to his mother who he calls regularly to keep her from being lonely. I do not see as a fool who has no wisdom about rearing children, but that's how this looks to me how it seems to me. Anybody agree?



Comments welcome even if you think I'm being totally selfish.



She acts like a responsible adult with all the freedom that comes with it. She works 35 hrs/wk (no more mention of college) pays for all her own stuff; medical, clothes, hair, phone, etc. There's always a hot meal waiting and we provide her rides when she calls which is 1-2 times a wk, plus back and forth to work.



Is this cool? Does anyone else see this as catering, or does anyone have a mate who caters like this to their grown daughter? Is this a latin thing?



She sees who she wants and comes home when she wants. Stays out of trouble and keeps her head down. Nice, sweet young lady by all counts. We mind our business as she is a very private person. She moved in with us when she was nearly 18y.o. She wasnt being pushed to do anything while living w/her mom. I helped her every step of the way to get her GED, and find her little job. She waited a yr before entering a college, then quit after 4 mnths saying she wants to take something else. I hate that we are not pushing her to get a great career and that she is satisfied almost 2 yrs at a fast food chain. Again, puzzled to see precious little reaction from dad.



Why does this bug me?



Mere mention of this surfaces weird tension between us resulting in a little tit for tat (he misunderstands my discussing this and proceeds sometimes to attack my 18 y.o. son). He's a little irresponsible too for his age. But to be fair.. he's worked a pt job since he was 16 saving nearly every penny, bought his own car for $2k when he turned 18, paid his own car ins, and had $1000 in his acct to spare. He paid for his own prom, yearbook, etc. He graduates in June (low gpa, totally burned out senioritis) but graduating nonetheless, and has enlisted in the National Guard.



I told her, this took planning, goals, commitment. She nodded politely uninterested. Am I missing something?

Linda - posted on 04/26/2012

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Well....if it's your step-daughter, then there really may not be much you can do if your husband is willing to wait. However, I like the $150 rent plan. That's exactly what my father-in-law did with all their children who had graduated and were still living at home. They collected rent and then gave it to them when they moved out to help them start their new life. I've already told my son that when he graduates, if he still lives at home, he'll pay rent...though I'll probably charge him closer to $400/month!

I would gently continue to discuss this with your husband. It's hard when children grow up, and I"m sure he likes having her at home. He probably doesn't want her to grow up either! However, you need to make him understand that he's doing her no favors in the long run. She needs to be taught budgeting, not just encouraged to save. It would be a really good idea for her to do Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University program. Kids don't know how to handle money if they're not taught...and unfortunately, they are often not taught and end up deeply in debt. Teaching her money skills is not ïnvading her privacy" any more than teaching her to drive the car (which she needs to do as well!) is invading her privacy. Living at home at 19 is fine. Is he still going to be okay with her living at home at 29? What age does he think is appropriate for her to be on her own? That would be a really good discussion to have with your husband.

Tori - posted on 04/26/2012

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Thank you for this reply. I have been away from my email.



For a little more background... I was referencing my stepdaughter's situation. I've been rolling with it... but its her dad who feels she should have "time" to make her life choices, careful not to rush her into the world where she's not ready to face challenges of :budgeting, etc. He figures when she's ready she will. Whether he's right or wrong remains to be seen.



He is nudging her gently to save some money aside to one day buy a car and move out on her own. He does hope he's motivating her to be wise and become independent through regular chatter on topic but he doesn't "invade her privacy" (his words) by asking how much she has saved, nor do we have any proof she is saving. So I don't know why this makes me feel so personally vulnerable. It's like if and when she leaves, no biggie, we are (together) expected to keep a roof over her head indefinitely.





As I said, she costs us very little. She has a social life so she isn't here that much. I would say toiletries, food, gas to get her back and forth to work, and to her friends (when she doesn't have a ride) plus household misc-- all total-- are probably under $150/mo. It's not that it's so much.



When I suggested we charge her the $150 monthly, and put it aside for her so when she moves out we can hand it back to her like a savings plan, the idea was shot down quick.



I think it's the indefiniteness of it that makes me wonder if this is the right approach.



How much should this matter?



Does this change anything about your advice?

Linda - posted on 04/18/2012

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Tori, you see the replies right here. We don't always respond right away! As far as your situation goes, I don't think it's good to let her get too comfortable living at home and working at McDonalds. She needs to come up with a plan for her life. It's great that she's being respectful and responsible....but what is she going to do in 10 years....20 years? I would sit with her and have a serious discussion....maybe even take her out to eat. If she likes hair and nails, why not go into cosmetology? If she's still working at McDonalds in her 20's, it's going to be increasingly hard for her to ever get any meaningful job. If it was my child, I would honestly give them a deadline or at least a schedule of when I expected them to find a career path/move out/start life as an adult. I have friends whose 30 something year old son is STILL living at home, trying to figure out what he wants to do when he grows up! At this point, it will be very difficult for him to ever get a job. And what does he (or your daughter) do when you retire or die? I know it's tough to grow up, but sometimes our children need a little push out of the nest. My son told me when he was 18 that he didn't want to grow up! I told him "Too bad--you already have!" Our job as parents is to bring our children to the place where they don't need us anymore...because we will not be here forever. I think the end of that path is the most difficult and probably requires the most prayer!

Tori - posted on 04/18/2012

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Where do I look for replies to my post of one day ago. I see nothing on this main page. Does that mean no one replied? Lol. Thanks.



PS. Believe it or not, first time on a discussion board-- right here. : )

Tori - posted on 04/17/2012

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Our 19 y.o. daughter lives at home and seems in no hurry to move out. She was in college (online) but dropped out, now thinking what else she might want to take up. She does her own laundry, pays her cell phone bill, covers anything she needs medically (bc pills, eyeglasses, etc). She respects us and our home 100%, keeps her room up and the bathroom clean.



She's been working 35 hrs/wk for McDonald's for almost 2 yrs, earning about $200+/wk. She's no problem, and cost us almost nothing, except gas to take her back and forth to work, and to her gf's on her days off. Gas monthly prob runs us about $40 maybe. We provide household toiletries, laundry detergent, etc. She doesn't eat at home that often.



But... she's not saving her money toward future goals, not making any moves toward getting a license or a car. Loves looking pretty; new hairdo's, nails, brows, clothes, shoes, etc.



I want her to feel at home while she figures out her life path w/o (undue) pressure, but feel a bit concerned that's she's getting too comfortable, and we're really offering Zero incentive to pursue a forward moving path.



If anyone is in a similar situation, with a great kid, I'd like to hear from you. Only calm rational replies please. I want to hear from mature, loving parents.



P.S. There's a little more to the story I would share in response if a good conversation ensues here. Thanks.

Maureen - posted on 02/26/2012

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Update: She's now 19 and in her 2nd semester freshman yr. at college. Some of her choices break our hearts, but we have had to let her make them,.no choice really. She neither wants or heeds any of our input. (Except for financial) I feel like I've failed her bigtime..set a good example as well as I could and tried to set boundaries, but nothing made any difference.

[deleted account]

I have a different view that most people that posted here and I'm sure many people won't agree with me - but I let my daughter have her freedom at 18 and I don't have any set rules while she is living here. She tells me when she's not going to be home but not because it's a rule, just because she knows that it's respectful and I do the same with her if I'm not going to be home. She works full time and will be starting online college classes soon so I know she's on the right track to establishing her future. She keeps her room clean and takes care of her pets. We have an open and honest relationship and could talk about just about anything. And I raised her well - she's a good kid who stays out of trouble so there was no reason for me to create rules. I guess if my daughter was coming home drunk every night or stealing or not working/going to school then I would have to enforce some set rules. But she's not - so what's the point?

Cheryl - posted on 02/23/2012

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Hi Maureen, We have six kids and four have made it to adulthood (no not a blended fam,lol) We have dealt with your situation and it's a rough one. What we came to is that as long as our child in under our roof they have to respect our boundaries. It is not ok to disrespect and cause undue stress on the rest of the family. You have done your job with your daughter. You have raised her to be an adult, and independent. It's time for her to fly. We have had to sit down with two of our kids; to let them know that we realized that they would be much happier living some where else. We gave each of them two months to find a job and a place to live. The time frame was not negotiable. And we never helped them financially. Those things are part of being an adult. Our kids are always welcome to come over for meals & some times Ill fix them a care package to take home. All these things may sound a bit harsh, but if you think about it you really are helping your daughter grow into maturity. I will be praying for you as I know this really can hurt a moms heart.

Ellen - posted on 02/08/2012

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who know I'm haveing a problems with my 17 yrs old son who got me at my wits end.

Angie - posted on 01/26/2012

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Hey Maureen,

My 20 year-old son is still at home while he does the college/working/figuring out what he wants to do with his life thing. It's a blessing to me as my husband is out of the country for long periods of time as a civilian contractor. The way we handled this situation was we have a contract that clearly defines expectations. We've used this for other teens that have lived with us over the years, and just spelling it all out allows you have a conversation without all the heated emotion and makes it very clear. Unfortunately, kids do have the freedom to make dumb choices (they are teens after all, that's kinda' their job description. To learn hard life lessons by doing it wrong. Do you remember what it felt like when you were that age? I couldn't get away from home fast enough and made some doosies in the decision department.) and you do have to hold up your end in the consequence department.



The tough thing is the relationship you create right now with your young adult will be the one you'll enjoy for their adult life. Personally, I want to be a friend and trusted confidant that's invited to be involved in his future...so I give him a lot of space. He might not be living the way I think he should perfectly, but he's growing into a responsible, kind, pretty cool guy...in his own way. We do ask for help (shoveling, firewood, feeding pets, washing dishes/laundry when needed. He has to answer texts/calls from me-because it might be an emergency! (but i don't bug him unnecessarily). He has a few chores around the house, has a few bills he's responsible to pay, and we do expect him to do "something for others"(volunteer his time)--He has chosen to help with tech and drama at our church (his choice--how cool is that?!) He isn't involved in all the ministries for kids his age, and he doesn't go to church every week, but he is seeking God in his own way, and is there about 2-3 weekends/month.



If she's not being respectful you can in a loving way assist her to look at a budget and make a plan for her to step into "freedom". If she sees how not ready she is (financially/life skills) she may see there's more to value/learn by still living at home. We've very clearly, and in a not yelling way, said that we did our job--fed him, clothed him, provided insurance & gas money for the first 18 years...we did our best to teach him right and wrong...now it's his job to make a life he's proud of. He's not "owed"/entitled to more, but we love him and want to give. We'll help whenever we can - but this is the home we've worked to create...and we want to enjoy it. He's welcome to be a part of the family, but is also welcome to make other living arrangements if he can not treat those that live in our home with respect; kindness, helpfulness. This has gotten much better in out home over the last couple of years when we've treated him the way we want to be treated.



I know it's hard, because you've give so much to get her to this point, but try not to take it personally when she acts disrespectful, independent, and stupid...it's her job to pull away and become a self-reliant adult. We want them to show us that all we've poured into them has been worth it. Lord willing, that will be apparent as time passes. Just lay out fair expectations and let her test her wings. Breathe deeply, love kindly and pray, pray, PRAY! ;-D

Ellen - posted on 06/27/2011

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Remind her it's your house your rules stand and if she can follow the few rules you have she can get an apt. Plus I know how hard it is to deal with teens as a mom cant help but go crazy worrieing about our teens. I can tell You something it works for me I pray the rosery everyday for my family. My son always says hes sleepin out an i get that call everytime come pick me up pray works.Pray Pray Pray for your daughter and you at least wont worry so much an feel calm.

Linda - posted on 05/04/2011

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This is a tough situation. I have a 19 year old son. We have given him a lot more freedom since he turned 18...but he still has to follow some basic rules as long as he lives in our house. He still needs to help out with the chores, he still needs to go to church with us, he still needs to let us know where he is and when he will be home. However, I have not given him a strict curfew as to when he would be back. I've basically come down to the logical conclusion that if I can't enforce it, then a rule probably doesn't make sense. Also, of course, he knows that we would never permit any alcohol, drugs, etc. Also, his girlfriend is not allowed to be in his bedroom. I have given him the freedom to watch the movies he wants to watch...he needs to make his own judgment calls about that now.

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