Should rules be set for a 21 year old if she isn't paying any of her bills? Her mother pays them and she runs all the time.

KB - posted on 12/03/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My 21 year old niece is living with my fiance, my daughter and I. My daughter is only 5. So I want my niece to be in at decent hours. Her mother pays all her bills and she has no idea of what the real world is like. She is a very good kid. She took a semester off of college and getting ready to start again in January. I feel like if she lives with us then she should have some rules. Is this fair of me and my fiance to set rules for her even though she is 21? We feel like she is taking advantage of the situation. We have recently talked to her several times about helping out around the house and not running every single night or not to bring her bf over to our house every night, We need our peace and quietness also. After we talk she picks up the slack and does alright for a couple days then goes right back to her old habits. I NEED ADVICE PLEASE!

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/04/2012

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You should have set house rules, or charged her room/board from the beginning. Since you did not, she's not going to have an easy time accepting it now.



Sit down, write up a contract outlining her responsibilities, as well as your own. Have her sign it. Give her a time limit to straighten out. Decide in advance how many "chances" she'll be given. And then stick to it.



Alternatively, since her mom is paying her bills, help her find an apartment that momma can pay for, and she's out of your hair

Ana - posted on 12/22/2012

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Umm, she needs to go live somewhere else...she is 21, and if she cannot grasp the concept of listening to your rules, for your home and the safety of your family, then she needs to go.

Why try to raise her, that is not the real world. Dish out the rules, tell her the consequences, and hold to them. She will be fine if she has to live somewhere else. She just won't be spoiled.

Patricia - posted on 12/05/2012

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I would sit her down and just be open and say look it was our mistake to have not set these rules up front, but heh look here it is. Have it written down like a contract and have her sign it. I do not think it is too much to expect a 21 year old to be in the house at a decent hour or to have a list of "chores" or things you expect. You are all family so everyone helps out.



If she throws a fit and can't handle it then I think your Sister needs to find other arrangements. Pay for her to have her own place.



I think if you are calm and adult with her hopefully she will get it.

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Ariana - posted on 01/11/2013

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In terms of her helping around the house or bringing her boyfriend over every night that is not acceptable since it is your house. Now for her going out etc. that is her own business as long as she isn't ridiculously loud when she comes home. I mean she is 21, not 17.

I would try talking to her again about the two issues, her picking up after herself and her boyfriend being over. Start it off with, I'd like to talk to you about these two things, whens a good time to talk? That way it's not out of the blue but sort of a set-up to a meeting.

Once you get talking tell her your concerns and see if she has any (but I love my bf so much I need to see him constantly or w/e haha). Try to ask HER what she thinks needs to happen to make this better. Having her input, instead of you just telling her, shows you're willing to negotiate with her and try to see things from her side. Once an agreement has come up WRITE IT OUT. That way neither of you will forget your part of the bargain. So maybe you'll decide he can come over twice in the week and on the weekend (or w/e) but the other days she'll go see him. Maybe you'll give her more specific chores (rather than clean up more) that she's expected to do by the end of the week, but her own room can look however it wants (with the exception of food or something gross). Involve her in figuring out how to make it work so it isn't her starting to help out temporarily and then stopping after a few days, what can be done to make it so she'll feel more able to do it, are there specific chores she feels more adequate to do or w/e it is she says that makes her part of the solution rather than just a bistander to you telling her what's what.

Something along those lines. With cleaning I would be fairly specific on what you expect. Instead of you telling her you want her to clean up more tell her what you want, if it's her clothes stuff, tell her by 8 if it's not cleaned up you'll move it to a pile on her bed (or w/e), you'll have this this and this chore for her (maybe make her responsible for the garbadge cleanup or tasks like that).

It's your house so you deserve for her to help out, but she's also an adult. She doesn't need rules she needs expectations. You expect her to help out and respect the boundaries of your house. Her being an adult means you need to negotite with her, not push rules on her. On the other hand she's old enough to decide if she's going to stay out late as long as when she comes home she doesn't disrupt your household (come stomping in and moving around), it should be quietly come in and get to bed as fast as possible so your daughter doesn't hear her.

That's my advice.

FoxyMom - posted on 01/11/2013

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She is 21 so you don't want to treat her like a child. Instead of rules maybe call it a room mate agreement. No mater where she lives with a person there is common decentcy and respect for those living under the same roof. Show her the bills, the budget for her money, etc in hopes she will learn and pick up something to apply to the real world when she gets her own place.

Barbara - posted on 12/06/2012

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First I want to congratulate you for taking in your niece so she can go to college, this is wonderful but I agree you should have in the beginning set down the house rules. She is 21 but sound irresponsible to know that there would be rules. Its never to late. So sit her down now and tell her what you and your husband expect and if you have to have it written down and signed go ahead and do it. Family always comes first to help but family also must know what is required. Good luck.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/04/2012

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Been there! Have a niece in the same situation, and before she even considered living with us, she had a copy of the house rules.



I decided to do that after I heard her mother telling her dad "L is going to the senior kegger tonite and I told her to drink all she wanted"...after dad had told L that she needed to behave and stay sober since she was underage.



So, since she needed a place to stay that wasn't the expensive dorms, I offered a room, with conditions. She didn't live there long, but she did abide by my rules while in my house. As soon as she had saved enough and found a couple of good roommates, we helped her move into an apartment. She's still close, still knows she can call us if needed, and she's always welcome at the house. We have an awesome relationship. She knows I won't get on her case, but that I'm still there close.



Good luck! It'll work out. I have a good feeling about it, because she does "try" even if it's only for a couple of days at a time. If she's held to the contract, she'll try harder.



I also have a contract with my 18 YO that went into effect upon graduation. Works great!

KB - posted on 12/04/2012

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Thanks Shawnn! That is helpful and good idea. You are right about us not setting rules in the first place. I don't know what we were thinking.

KB - posted on 12/03/2012

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She lives with us because in it is close to her college. Her mother lives a few hours away.

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