My son is 18 and still in highschool. He has always been a pretty good kid. Since turning 18 he has used "but Im 18 now" several times when he is not getting the respondse he wants from his parents. Also, his girlfriend (of 3.5 years) tells him he is 18 and needs to tell his parents that. She tells him we treat him as a 10 year old... She wanted us to let him spent the night with her at her older sisters home (who started having babies at 16, both of her sisters. I mean no disrespect, but their lives were hard... and they are still having babies. We did not feel comfortable with that. He only asked about it once, we explained how we felt, to both of them, althought we did not say anything in regards to her sisters, they are nice young ladies. We just did not think that would be very responsible right now. She nagged my son about it, since then I have had to hear him tell me, as I am folding his underwear, cooking his dinner... letting him drive my newer car as he wrecked the one I GAVE him.... that he is 18, so on and so forth. Ive always like his girlfriend, although I have caught her fibbing before. She can be snarky and rude, I over look it for my son. But, enough is enough. Idont know how to handle this or what to say to him. I know there isnt much I can say that will make it reasonable in his mind, especially since he has a girlfriend whispering nonsense in his ears. Im at my wits end.... and as much as I like the girlfriend, I really dont want her around for a bit (she is at my home every day that my son is!) They expect but they dont respect... and I am worn down and out.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/15/2014

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And, Angela, remind him that, because you are expecting him to take on some responsibilities, you still LOVE him...LOL...because that will be his next card.

My eldest will be 20 this year. He was more than happy to pay "his share" before he got his own flat. He paid from his 18th bday (his choice, as he was still finishing HS) until the day he moved out shortly after his 19th bday. So you can honestly tell him that you're not the only parent requiring this either ;-) Feel free to use me as an example if needed :-)

You can do this. Its tough, because we spend the first 18 years nurturing, and then are expected to be able to drop that at the drop of a hat...but it will work out for you in the end, I promise!

Jodi - posted on 01/15/2014

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Yeah, I wouldn't bother including the girlfriend.

This whole "with rights comes responsibility" is something I'm pretty big on. I guess because, as a teacher, I see kids play the "my rights" card ALL the time, and I then place it back on them as focusing on their responsibility in order to make sure they understand that many of these so-called rights they have are actually privileges based on what they earn. This is one of those things. So while the law and society may view 18 as legally and adult, that doesn't mean you necessarily have all the rights when you aren't the one supporting the lifestyle.

I remember being 18 and playing that card with my parents. I did end up leaving home, and it all worked out just fine.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 01/15/2014

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What Jodi said. With rights comes responsibility.

However, I do have to dispute one thing: you assumed that "they were going to have sex anyway"...Just so you know, it's not a GIVEN that young people will engage in sexual activity. But, that's beside the point.

Your kid wants to be treated like an adult. Fine. He pays rent, and his share of utilities, any extras such as cable & internet. That's what adults do. He drives the car he wrecked, or he walks. That's what adults do, or they pay to have the vehicle fixed. He does his own laundry. That's what adults do. Actually, my boys (16& 19) have done their own laundry since they started middle school. That one always gets me :-).

You need to present him with a contract for rent, utilities and extras. The responsibilities of both parties should be spelled out, and both need to sign it. Of course his father should be involved, this is a family, not a dictatorship. But, the gf needs not be at the family meeting. They're not married, and her input won't change a thing, will it?

Jodi - posted on 01/15/2014

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OK, unfortunately, he is right, he is 18. If he chose to move out, he could. It's a bit difficult to prevent them from sleeping with a girlfriend.

So, this is the point at which you let him know that if he is going to play the 18 card....those rights come with responsibility. He will be paying rent. He will be paying his share of utilities. He can cook his own food (and buy it too). He can wash and fold his own clothes.

Let him know that when he can prove he can do all of those things (permanently), then you will accept that he is an adult.

Or alternatively you could tell him to move out, because these are the rules of your house and you are not ok with it, so he needs to find somewhere else to live where the rules are his.

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Angela - posted on 01/16/2014

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Thanks Shawnn.... Thanks for the advice. I do want it to be known that I didn't assume they were having sex and ran out to get them condoms, pills and a hotel room, although Im sure they would have thought I was wayyyyyy cool, . We had "the talk" with him when he started noticing girls.... he had "the talk" with me after he and his girlfriend thought the pull out method was 100% doable... Needless to say, they got scared and came to me. I didn't get the chance to assume, they just told me and then asked me for help. I called her parents and we all had a nice chat in which I discovered that she was my sons first... but my son was not her first... or second. That was the point that I knew they were going to have sex, regardless of my many talks and warnings... and seeing most of their friends waddling around didn't seem to stop them either. Again, thanks for the support. We intend to have a talk with him tomorrow when his father will be home from work, to establish some new parameters.
I did not mean for that to sound like I thought all teens were out having sex.... I wasn't at that age. However, I have to tell you, in the small town I live in I would say if you went to the school to drop off a child, you would see mostly students dropping off their children and running to their own classroom.

Angela - posted on 01/15/2014

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Thanks Jodi... Darn 18 card... I have been very careful not to play all the cards a mom has had 18 years to collect!
As far as he and his girlfriend having sex, that's an oldie! That happened when he was almost 16. We provide condoms and we told her parents and they put her on birth control! I hated to doing it, he is my child, but they were going to have sex anyway... Im just not going to play hotel concierge! ;)
We started giving him freedom once he could drive, he has just always been a good and responsible boy... but now he is rude, disrespectful... 18!
I just recently discovered that not only is he playing that card when not getting his way... she is putting him up to it when she is not getting the response she wants (i.e. wanting a ride to a friends house, or the mall (the minute he gets paid, she wants to go shopping, she has no job and wont drive to him, he has to go get her.)... when I wont give in. Its getting tense as well as stressful.
Im going to try your advice, should I let them both know how this is going to go down?
But your advice makes sense; "those rights come with responsibility. He will be paying rent. He will be paying his share of utilities. He can cook his own food (and buy it too). He can wash and fold his own clothes."
I do miss my 17 year old.... I miss my son. 18 cam up and hit us both in the face.
Should I have this conversation with just him, or should I involve dad and the girlfriend? d

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