How do I get my legally adult kids to start acting like adults?

Tiffany - posted on 10/23/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I would kick him out of the nest if I thought it was the best thing. Is it?

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Debra - posted on 10/23/2009

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To start: My son is 27, my daughter is 22...I have always parented from the start with 'parents should work toward getting themselves OUT of the parenting job'...in other words, teach the children from the beginning how to take care of themselves, do for themselves...so that by the time they are ready to become independent they AND you are ready for them to try standing on their own two feet. Our son left home 2 mos after his 18th birthday, our daughter at 18 1/2 and both are self-starters. They have good work ethics and our daughter is working full-time and going to college at night to earn her degree [paying her own way]. You MUST start easing loose the apron strings while they're still minors at home so that you can still monitor them, but allowing them some freedoms, while TREATING them as the young adults they're becoming...by the time they're 15/16 your 'raising' is done. There is no changing the people they are by then, unless THEY chose to do the changing themselves. Trust of course, is still earned, but transitioning into adult-to-adult relationships can be navigated fairly well if you have a sit-down frankly straight talk with them about how you're going to go about it. I began gathering items they'd be needing for their first apartment when they got their first jobs at 16, helped them get a checking account to learn about managing/budgeting their money, and started teaching them about the bills/groceries/utilities, etc. that come with being an adult on their own...quite the eye-opener for them! But we did manage to do it without having a world war three because it IS natural for children to pull away during their late teens and begin to test/want their independence...SO, help them to get ready for it! Embrace your future empty nest with joy and anticipation! It'll drive them nuts to realize the plans you have for 'their' room after they leave, I guarantee it! LOL!

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Monica - posted on 10/26/2009

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Wow, I went through a really tough time with my young adult son. I got so bad that I packed his suitcase, had it at the door with a note. I cried the entire time. He was out of the house at that particular moment. My husband and I got on our knees and prayed like crazy about whether or not to kick him out. We decided that at least now we can kind of keep an eye on him, if he was on his own we couldn't. And that no matter how out of control he was, he still needed us. It was really hard, because our home conditions were getting unbearable. But after praying about it, we unpacked that suitcase and allowed him to stay. We tried to sit him down and talk to him and laid down new ground rules. (he didn't want to hear them) It didn't get better overnight, but it has been about 8 months or so now and thank God things have improved so much. It is a really tough decision. But I figured being a legal adult does not make you think like an adult. And on his own I know in my heart he would have crashed and burned or worse. One of the hardest things was to ignore other peoples responses to my situation, like "if he were my son I would kick him out. Or, if he were my son...)" You do what you feel is best, nobody knows him or loves him like his Mom.

Chris - posted on 10/26/2009

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i wouldnt kick him out if he isnt ready because that will set him up to fail, and i sure u dont want that for ur child. treat him like an adult, give him responsibilities .. chores, paying board if he is earning ect. if he refuses to adhere to the rules and acts like a child then treat him how he chooses to be treated by removing things from him. my son aint a bad kid but if he takes his time in beginning a chore ie cleaning the kitchen when i want to prepare a meal then i threaten him with disconnection of the internet to his bedroom!!! it always works because he knows i WILL do it
i would first sit him down and explain what u want to see from him and explain the consequence if he doesnt
good luck xxx

Barbara - posted on 10/24/2009

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I agree with Debra. My oldest is 16 and we taught him from a young age to take care of his self. He has a job and savings account and pays for most of his own clothes, phone, etc. He knows that we are not made of money and if he wants something then he has to work for it and save. He appreciates things more (I think) than most kids his age. Teaching responsibility takes time so you must begin early. I began by giving age appropriate chores. As he got older the chores changed. He is not stingy or selfish. Now I don't even ask him to do some things. He knows it needs to be done so he does it. As for Adult children. I don't know what advice to give. Now it will be harder, but I'm sure not too late. While he lives with you, make a rule list and enforce it. He must get and maintain a job, pay half the bills, show respect, etc. If not then he most go. Not because you don't love him but because he must learn these things anyway and now he must consequences. The "real" world will not baby him and you must not either. It's going to break my heart to see my son leave. We have a very close relationship, but I do know when he does, he will be a loving, caring, hardworking, responsible citizen. Oh and never forget PRAYER! Good Luck.

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