Dealing With College Students Who Are Home On Break

Stacie - posted on 12/13/2013 ( 65 moms have responded )

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My 18-year-old son is a freshman in college, staying on campus. When he left we allowed our 13-year-old daughter move into his "bigger room" in our basement. We remodled our daughter's room for our son so he would have a nice bedroom when he came home on breaks. Ever since when he comes home he is disrespectful to us. He plays loud music slams dresser draws and ignors us. He told us that we asked for this type of behavior/attitude because we took his room away. His presence in the home right now is making me misreable. He is home for Christmas and his behavior breaks my heart. We never had any problems with him; always a good student/athlete. He currently goes to school full time and works part time. He is responsible for his tuition but we make his car, cell phone, and insurance payments along with making sure he has everything he needs. I am on the verge of kicking him out but scared he will never want a relationship with his family. I fear this because he is very strong willed. Any suggestions?

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/17/2013

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Wow...wait a cotton picking minute. This mom didn't communicate clearly, but IT'S HER HOUSE!!!!!

Seriously "Yes, an apology from you is absolutely called for. If you can shed some tears, all the better"??????????? Why the hell is an apology (complete with tears) in order? I agree that some communication beforehand would have absolved the difficulty before it began, but I'll be damned if I'm going to apologize IN TEARS to a kid that I gave birth to, I sacrificed for, I provided for... for making a change in MY HOME!

If anything, the young man needs to apologize to his mother for his lack of appreciation for her actions in bringing him to the point where he CAN stand on his own two feet as an adult, and for treating her and her home like they are worth dirt to him.

Stacie: Tell your son that you didn't realize he would be that upset by the decision that you made, but that your decision is final. Let him know that you love him, let him make the "new" room into "his" room. Its only fair that his younger sibling get the advantage of more space now. After all, he's had it up until now, right?

Savanah Elyse - posted on 12/18/2013

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I am going to answer this question as a college student myself.

I really didn't read everyone's response so I could just be repeating what they said but oh well.

Frist I think if you didn't let him know that was happening than that could be why he upset. I know when I was 17, I went for just a couple of months to get a tech certifications at a school was planning on coming back home getting another job I already had too and living at home for a while to help my mom out. I get home and she has moved my younger brother into my room where all my stuff was my bed and everything, my stuff was in this small little room and he even took my bed cuss he said it was better than his, now I know u didn't do that my moms just um well yea... But if you didn't let him know he just comes home and its like all his stuff is moved makes him fill like hes not apart of your family anymore and that u had no respect to at least let him know... College and growing up is hard enough but too come home and fill like everything has changed it just shocking and some take it the wrong way. I know change is apart of life but at school everything is changing everything is new and unfamiliar at first and when we come home sounds silly but we kind of except everything too be the same too feel like home to feel fimialr and not like we've been just tossed into another room feeling no longer important or a part of the family. Myabe talk too him about it more and be like son I am sorry I didn't let you know that we where switching rooms with your sister, we still love you and ur still in this family its just she's getting older and going away eventually too and we just thought it be cool too put her in the same room as her big brother because where so proud of you and so is she so we just thought you would like her too have your room so shed be influenced too achieve great things like you too, but this is and will always be your home. It dosent have too be like that exactly but I think I got the point acrossed.

I know that your suppose too show your parents respect and believe me if I ever talked too my parents like that even know that I have my own kid own house and pay all my own things, I would get a punishment of some kind lol

But rember what it was like when u where his age maybe your kinda own your own feel kinda lonely and unfamiliar with things and everyone else is treating you like an adult but you come home and your parents are rules rules rules treating you like your little brother or sister and they even gave them your room. Your not doing that but I did read some posts about respect and all that so what I am saying is don't be too hard on him treat him like an adult and with respect but don't let him forget you are still his mother and u deserve the same respect your giving him.

Kicking him out bad bad idea, I got kicked out before I turned 18 and I had went back too school close too home and guess what I did dropped out of school quit all my jobs but one too at least live on, and got involved with the wrong people and made not so good decisions. And wanted nothing too do with my mom or half of my family till not too long ago. I was pregnant at 19 and now at 22 am just now finishing up the degree I started. Now of course he could not get pregnant and im not saying he will do the same thing me and thousands of other teens did when our parents kicked us out. But if he cant stay with you if he cant talk too you than where will he stay and who will he go to or turn too for help, probably not good places, people or things.

That's all I have too say hope you figured something out with him already, and wish you well.

Chet - posted on 12/16/2013

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When you go away to university or college it normally doesn't become your new home. Think of your first term at college as more like going away to summer camp for 15 weeks. It's a lot of freedom and independence, but with all of that change and growth you still want the security of being able to go home. You've got a base to return to that isn't new and different. This is how kids mature - striking out for independence, but wanting to know they have some security and stability to push off from and return to. I can't speak for your son, but a lot of first year students would be incredibly hurt to lose their teenage bedroom. The bedroom you have as a teenager can be an incredibly private and personal space. Now your son has a room that probably feels more like the guest room. I'm sorry he's being hugely rude about it, but I suspect he's taken this very personally. I lived in university residence for 7 years with lots of first year students and I've lectured first year classes at several universities. Most kids get to go home to their old bedroom when they come home from college and they really appreciate it (even if they don't say so or even admit it to themselves). Usually when a bedroom goes to younger sibling it's not take away, it's handled more like the older sibling giving the room to younger one. It happens with the involvement and the blessing of the rooms original occupant. Considering how on the ball your son is with work and grades, I think his actions are really about how hurt he was by the room change.

Jean - posted on 01/12/2014

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First, I think you did not ask for this behavior because you "took his room away." Bad behavior is not a reasonable response to hurt feelings. But your son does have hurt feelings and does not seem to have an appropriate way to acknowledge them. My parents divorced while I was in college and I had no "home" after that. When my parents got new homes, my dad had a one bedroom apartment and my mom made a room for my sister, but not for me. This is all really okay, because I was a college senior and was soon engaged and off in my own life. But when my dad and his wife sold her house and moved into a new one, I told my dad there had to be a room for my stepsister, who was still in college.

Now, I know that for many families, this is not a luxury that can be afforded, but it could be for us. College is a time of great change and insecurity. It is helpful to know that while everything around you is changing, there is the security of one's own home and one's own room. Now, your son is wrong to think that the room belonged to him and he had a right to keep it. You could have decided AT ANY POINT in his life to change the rooms around. It's your house. But if you made this switch without warning him (not asking his permission--it's not his) but without telling him: "We're really proud you're going off to college and we think you'll be very successful. I'm going to remodel your room for Sis and remodel hers for you because you won't be home as much and won't need the space." then he''s been taken off guard and acting badly.

By now he's probably back at college. Is it possible to make it clear to him that you don't apologise for the room changes, but you do feel sad if it lead him to beleive he was not valued and loved? He will always have his place in your heart and your home but this is not the same as a physical space. You own your home. It is yours, not his, but he does own a piece of your heart and that is not physical real estate. (and no, he doesn't get his od room back) :-)

And even though it made you sad that he was hurt by the changes, it is important to remind him that disrespectful behavior and acting out is not how adult people deal with their feelings. Discussion and honesty are. He is hurt. He can't stop his emotional response. But he is not allowed to make others miserable with his emotions, no matter what they are.

Leah - posted on 12/22/2013

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Going away to college is a big change in life, and an unsettling period...exciting, but a little scary, though no teen will ever admit that. The home front remains their safety net, and that's a good thing. Changes during that first years should probably be kept to a minimum. Besides that, it's almost like the family doesn't see the family home as HIS home anymore now that he's in college. His room, his safety zone, should still be there when he returns home, until such time he actually moves out full time. Then its not his room anymore. But till then, it is. You took something away from him, and made him feel like he's not important, and that its not his home....it's his sister's home, and your home, but not his. I'm not sure why the sister (who obviously wanted his bigger room) would be listened to, but his thoughts about the change would not be. Again, it's like telling him he is not an equal member of the family. I'm not trying to down you...every parent should make decisions as they see fit, and your son should respect you. But in all honesty, you are asking him to respect you while you are respecting your daughter and not respecting him. He should have had a bigger part in this than the sister. I can see that he is very hurt, and honestly, I can't blame him. You can't undo it now, though, so all you can do is, frankly, get off his back and let him work through his anger, because he is entitled to some. Hopefully, he will. Or he may move out completely and not see you on breaks. And that might even mean dropping out of college to pay his bills for a while. This was a huge thing to take away his personal space, so another child could have more personal space. What's done is done, but this deserved more thought and communication, and MUTUAL respect before it happened. As parents, we feel we are entitled to respect, and to a point, that is true. But our kids learn from US. If we don't model respect by giving it to them in age appropriate fashions, they aren't going to give it to us in return.... because respect is a 2 way street. And I think it definitely was age appropriate to discuss this in greater depth with him, and really think about how he feels about what has always been HIS room.... HIS safe place. Just my thoughts. I would never give anything of my older son's to my younger son unless my older son was 110% on board. Because it may be my house and my choice and I may pay the bills, but it's his HOME too, his self esteem, and his sense of being valued, and those things cannot be replaced.

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Tanya - posted on 02/01/2014

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Umm..please do not take my tone as snappy but he IS 18. Treat him like a adult, and tell him just exactly why you changed his room, if he doesn't like it tough. Also I would ask nicely for him not to be disrespectful in the house and that you will not tolerate it. He IS 18, he is not a baby.

Michelle Duvall - posted on 01/24/2014

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I would wait on kicking him out since he only comes home a few times a year. Some parents forget that being a freshman in college is a lit harder than a senior in highschool and therefore an adjustment for them making for a stressful situation in general. They are under lots if pressure and now feels like he can't even play loud music (which I'm sure he's used to doing while away at school) or slam a drawer without his parents getting on him about why he's slamming a door or his music's loud. He has no private space. I understand if he's being verbally rude and disrespectful I would talk to him about how it doesn't need to go to a hurtful level. I just know I was a rebellious 18 yr old college students myself bout 15 years ago. Now I'm married with a 2 yr old son and figuring my own stuff out- being I'm a new mom and 3 years sober from a prior addiction. Warning to all college parents- it is possible to attend a university and have a substance a use problem. I did but now I've completely changed my life. Good luck to you!!

Maggie - posted on 01/13/2014

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He feels like you took his room away...like you kicked him out of his space. Did you discuss it with him before you did it? Put yourself in his position. He already had a big transition to living in a new place, going to school and working. He might be feeling left out because you are doing things without him (he's missing out on family time, group outings, inside jokes, etc) It might have been comforting for him to come home to a familiar situation. You should discuss it with him now. Let him know that you enjoy having him home. That you want him to have a safe place to recharge when he's not at school. Ask him what will make him more comfortable in his new space and try to comply. If he asks you can explain your reasons for moving your daughter to his room. Mainly, talk to your son...don't make excuses...focus on him and what he needs in this situation.

Amanda - posted on 01/12/2014

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Sometimes going back to your parents after having the freedom of living on your own can feel awkward and confining. So, he's rebelling against it. Get him some headphones and find someway to discuss summer employment opportunities at resorts, or amusement park or Mackinac Island that all offer housing. I'm not sure if I could cope with that for an entire summer. He will outgrow this need to have things his way in your home.

Robin And Mike St - posted on 01/12/2014

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You hurt his feelings by taking away his room. He went to college but he didn't move out . Give him his room back !

Sarai - posted on 01/12/2014

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I think you removed his place, his spot, and made him feel like he no longer had a place in your home which was previously his. I wouldn't do it to my son unless i asked him and he was okay with it. Think about how it would make you feel. Sometimes you need to take the parental logic away and remember what it felt like to be a teenager, how out of place you felt to begin with without your parents taking away part of your identity.

Nell - posted on 01/10/2014

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Spoiled young man and if you are firm with him and tell him things change and in life all things aren't always the he likes. Don't give in to him and if he leaves them let him pay for everything and see how hard life can be. This young man needs to grow up.

Lynn - posted on 01/05/2014

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And I agree. Neither Mom nor son here is horrible, but both of them need to see a list of what everyone else on planet Earth goes through, and that Mom here is far better than many of us had, and that Sonny is also probably going to get over himself, especially when he goes back to school and hears what happened to his friends. Like I said, some of my friends went home over break and their HOUSE had moved. My house hadn't moved, but I had to knock on the front door to be let in. My parents never gave me a key. I then got to go inside, go to the bathroom, and sneak in to where my dad was watching TV. Inevitably, after about a half hour or more, my mother would enter the room and start yelling at me. Why? Well, she got pregnant in college (halfway through her first semester -- got to at least finish that semester), and so she'd build up all of this stress while I was gone, and when I came back, she now had a target to unleash it on. This went on for several breaks until she finally announced that she'd stop trying so hard to be my mother. Thank goodness, because I was seriously considering just going to live somewhere else over breaks. It's not easy when your grandmother gets knocked up at 17 with your mother (she'd gotten married at 15), your mom gets knocked up at 18 with you (she got married real quick, I was an 8 lb, 5 month gestation), and then you turn 19. I started college at 17 (having started kindergarten at 4), so I had a long, rough run between 17 and 19. To make matters worse, NY state decided to raise their drinking age from 18 to 21 in the middle of this, so I was legal for one month, and most of it was spent on Break at my parents. So I had to get all of my alcohol, and car rides (no car!), from young, horny, men. Not a good situation to be in, by the way.

I don't care how you raise your daughters, moms, but whatever you do, give your daughter the beat up but dependable (with traction) car to go to college with. She'll be far less likely to get raped. Rape happened at an alarming rate at my supposed geeky engineering school -- one girl was gang raped at 2:30 pm at the frat (this frat was right on the main drag, 15th Street, through many of the campus' main buildings), after her male classmate offered her a ride to the grocery store at the end of a class they were in together, and said he had to stop at the frat real quick first to get his wallet, come on in with me while I get it.

Your sons? Well, in our school newspaper, one kid bragged that his parents had just gotten him the new RX-7, Special Edition. This was my dream car (I eventually, after graduation, had to settle for a used version of the year before, and not the Special Edition with leather -- my mother refused to co-sign a loan for a new car). We were all flaming jealous, with posts all over the personals section several weeks in a row (we didn't have Facebook then). Not more than about a month later, he and his friend wrapped it around a telephone pole, trying to run the light at the blind hilly zigzag intersection just downhill from the school (just off 8th Street). It just so happened that a tractor trailer was just around the bend/hill. His best friend, in the passenger seat, survived. Barely. He didn't.

India - posted on 01/04/2014

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Thanx Melanie for clearing that up...I really appreciate it and stace I really wish u well:-)

Melanie - posted on 01/04/2014

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Hi India I have been reading your posts all along and the last thing I think is that you or anyone else is horrible (those were her words for that blog, not mine). Your posts have been very positive and helpful. I copied that girl's post because I think it adds a dimension to this conversation to hear something from someone in that age group and from a different culture. Her words were quite rough but she made some very valid points that I agree with. Her last paragraph about treasuring and raising families in a loving environment said a lot. I also really like Allison's post (below)...'I put my mother through hell, but I am so grateful that she stuck by me'. How great is that outcome. That is all I want for Stacie...to have her son say that to someone else in a few years from now.

Alison - posted on 01/04/2014

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As a person who was once a petulant, disrespectful teenager, perhaps this is not about the bedroom. From my experience, I acted out when there was something else going on in the background. Its easier to use something you can grab on to as an excuse then to come clean about what is really going on. Sometimes it's easier to take it out on your loved ones then to accept that you are overwhelmed with 'being an adult' and that life is not as easy to deal with then you thought. This is especially true when you are 'strong willed'. I went AWOL for 2 years because I was too stubborn to admit I might have been wrong and that I don't know everything.

It sounds like your son has being going through a lot of big changes in his life. I am not by any means trying to excuse his behaviour, there is no excuse for being disrespectful to a loving family. But before you do anything drastic like kicking him out I would wait. He may be out on his own now but he needs your example as much as he ever did. (Although it'll be another few years before he will admit that). By kicking him out you are showing him how to deal with a problem by just getting rid of it. If you are patient with him, he will remember. (I put my mother through hell, but I am so grateful that she stuck by me.) Wait till he comes home for the summer and see how it goes then, a couple of weeks at Christmas can be unsettling.

You sound like a mother to be proud of and I am sure any son you have raised will come around eventually. Just keep loving him like you do and he will get there.

Please note, I am responding to the original post, I have only read a few of the comments. And what I say is from my personal experience and how I finally got there!

--- an almost there 26 year old!

India - posted on 01/04/2014

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In the parents that do so(demand respect from their children) shouldn't be labeled as horrible

India - posted on 01/04/2014

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Melanie it sounds as if you're calling us horrible mothers through someone else's post... All parents are not the same... Parents deal with their children The way they feel best fits their household... And that doesn't make them horrible.... Some moms pamper their children and cry while their children have fits of rage terrorizing the house and screaming "why" through their children's episodes...Oh forgot to mention we're talking about 18-year-olds here... Then you have the parents that demand respect from their young adults regardless if their teen disagrees or agrees with the decisions that has been made... Bottom line if a young adult has a problem or an issue they sit their parents down and express their feelings respectfully

Lynn - posted on 01/04/2014

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I wasn't part of the conversation that the "offended, sensible 19 year old" responded to, but I can tell you what happened to many of my neighbors. They'd come home and their loving teenage child (or his best buddy, who he happened to leave a key out for, or where the spare was kept) had stolen their TV set and other electronics to cash in for drugs. There are times when the child has to get locked out of the house on their 18th birthday, and a restraining order placed on them, so they don't bankrupt the rest of the family.

"My perfect child, stealing my house items to sell for drugs? My child doesn't do drugs!" If your child has spent one week in college, they might be doing drugs. They might also come home pregnant and with a 0.7/4.0 GPA the first semester. They can also come home with a best friend whose dad kicked him out, and when you wake up in the morning, the best friend has taken everything from the downstairs and is already at an auction with it all. I was in college on and off for 11 years, on my way to my PhD. I've seen it all.

As for the parents that love their children, but hate them? Gosh, can't possibly come up with a reason for this -- NOT! Other than the reasons above, you can have children (and these are actual examples I'm citing, from people I know personally) who get into screaming matches with you, lead you onto the porch with the argument, then run inside and lock YOU out of the house. You can have a daughter who tells social services that her very mild mannered and sweet adoptive mother is sexually molesting her. Children can oh so easily cause divorces, pitting parent against parent, esp. when one allows the child to suck their bank account dry when they can't afford to have this happen. In the end, a teenager (or twenty something, or boomerang 30 something) is a human being, who, at some flaming point in their lives, needs to take responsibility for their actions.

The woman who started this thread is apparently a really sweet person who is being manipulated by a son who is threatening to forever not love her anymore because his little sister, at long last, finally got the largest bedroom. She even repainted everything! I'm sure she's _already_ followed him from room to room apologizing. What a mean, ungrateful twit. I'd hold his head in the toilet bowl and flush.

I'm sorry, but this woman appears to have already been at the end of her rope when she wrote us. She needs to print these responses out and hand them to her son. And he needs to beg for her forgiveness.

Melanie - posted on 01/04/2014

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Hi: I was just looking at another post that was listed on the right side of these posts on my computer screen. I clicked on one that said 'how to get 22 yr old daughter to realize age does not mean grown up'. The post was about her daughter who was really acting out. The post is closed now so it is not open for responses. I started reading the responses because they were related to this post. There was one from a 19 year old girl that made me think 'that is what I am trying to add to this conversation'. I thought maybe a different way of saying it might be interesting. I copied her response into this space, so here goes.

-------Now I haven't read all the replies, and this is just a generalization (which is never right to do but i am going to be a hypocrite here because these issues have bothered me for a long time) but here is what I think.

You "mothers" are horrible. Why must you attach everything to money? It is disgusting. They are still your children no matter what their age. You can't just turn the house they've grown up in, their HOME, into a guest house once they become an "adult". If you treat them as guests in 'your' house, why do you expect them to respect you when it comes to curfew? You've begun to treat them as colleages instead of kin so why would they value the fact that you might worry about them at night, when you don't show it elsewhere?
You are upset that they don't clean the house and their rooms, so what did you do about that while they were growing up? You think they are just going to change because they've turned a certain age? And that now you think it's reasonable to threaten them to move out because they are still the same as they were just a couple year ago?

Everything seams like a burden for you; "they need to call me about where they are at night because 'I' need to sleep at some point" (a paraphrase from one of the replies). The way you approach problems is in such a selfish manner. This is part of parenthood, why are you so negative toward your children here? it is horrific. it is like you are trash talking about your babies behind their backs. From a person on the outside, I was shocked at the way some of you wrote about your children here. The idea of a community for mothers is wonderful, but look at how you write about them. It scares me. "I do not like my daughter", just because you add you love her in the end of that sentence, you think it is alright to say that? If you are that kind of a person, do you think you deserve respect from your child?

Kicking your children out of their home because they are acting immature and struggling through a transition in their lives??? How Dare YOU!? You 'modern' and western parents all demand your kids to grow up and move out as soon as possible so they can be 'ready' for the real world. I never understood this. Where is the feeling of family? The closeness? You live like you are on a conveyor belt in a sweatshop; everything has to happen at a certain time. Coming from a culture where we treasure our families and our values, where our youth grow into intelligent, mature, and responsible adults and spouses, and raise children in the same loving environment while instilling the traditions we've learned onto them in an enjoyable manner, I don't see the point of the cold way of living you parents practice.

- an offended, sensible 19 year old. ------

I have had lots of issues with my own two children, who are now 22 and 28, but kicking them out would never have been a solution. As I have said before, I am glad I kept them close, so I could help them work through their problems. Just because they are not living at home does not mean that you are off the hook. They are for life and even if you disown them, your heart will ache for them forever.

Rosella - posted on 01/03/2014

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well mom, this is one thing you could do: kick him out. Now it doesn't have to be for real just give him a little scare to know that you are serious about this. if he is going to be disrespectful then he doesn't need to be in your house

Lynn - posted on 01/03/2014

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Two of my college friends went home over Break to find that their parents had moved HOUSES. Now THAT would have been a shock :). One had problems FINDING her new home! Sure, it would have been nice for my mom to tell me that I wouldn't come home to a bedroom, but when it did happen, she was so giddy with her new space, there was no room for me to say hey, Ma, I wanted to kiss that old paneling goodbye! Probably cause it was still there. All she did was add a LOCK to my door. Maybe cause I didn't care much anyway. My beat up little bed was my FATHER's as a child. By the time I graduated college, I moved up to my great grandmother's authentically ancient birdseye maple bedroom set (she died at age 92). Still a skinny bed, but bigger than what I had, and an actual headboard and footboard were a major luxury! When my mom moved houses, and I moved states, she got the birdseye set back. Dresser - one was his, another a neighbor's. That paneling? I actually got to choose the darker realistic looking black walnut pattern over the icky whitish fake oak I was offered as an alternative. I was thrilled that I actually had a choice. Again, it's a different era we live in now! Parents exist solely to wait on their kids. Their kids can sue them, turn them in for whatever, and the parents can't hit them or stop them from sleeping with their boyfriends/girlfriends. Before age 18!!!

Not that my era was perfect. We always had a pregnant girl in each class learning about birth control in Health Class, which wasn't until 11th or 12th grade, depending on whether or not you were old enough yet to take driver's ed in 11th. Not that that stopped anyone -- we had a 25% baby rate in my school (pregnancy rate was higher, but there were a few abortions), but hey, at least the cops backed the parents up when they banned their child from seeing the loser again to make more!!! Each of my classmates who got pregnant and carried to term, only got pregnant once before graduation.

Now, one of the families was more progressive. One of my classmates (I'm sure not the only one) got 2 abortions (I got to run her 400 low hurdles each of the weeks she was out of school -- so she must have gotten pregnant over Thanksgiving/Christmas each time), then she got a little white dog. That dog seemed to help, for whatever reason. Then she graduated high school, got a degree, and she and her exact same boyfriend got married and had 3 more kids. Smart, pretty girl who my track coach let do whatever she wanted. I, with a flat chest, braces, and glasses, got crap (sorry, crap = 1 mi, 2 mi, 2 mi relay -- 4:59, 10:59, and I don't care what my 800m relay leg times were, I hated it). Her older brother became a medical doctor.

Cricket - posted on 01/03/2014

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I told my son to "grow up"! When he lived at home, he had the largest room of the 3. When he left for school, it became his "part time home". Both of the other kids moved up in size for their bedrooms. He wasn't happy at first, but when we told him that there would be NO more music, cellphone, wifi, tv, etc when he was at home till he straightened up, he suddenly got the picture. We, also, reminded him of our neighbors who had 1 less bedroom. When their daughter left for college the same year, the twins got separate bedrooms for the first time in their life. So, she no longer had any bedroom when she came home. Things could be worse. Be thankful for what he has. Our son is married with children, now and totally understands. He's even mentioned it to us several times.

Michelle - posted on 01/02/2014

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An apology is in order from both sides here, but I believe it starts with mom. I believe parents have the right to do what they want in their home, but a little communication goes a long way. If you had told him prior to him going away to school that when he goes away to college that the room he has known to be his will no longer be his and that it would be passed on to his sister, he may have reacted differently. He may not have agreed with that decision, but would have had the opportunity and time to accept it. He could have said good-bye to his room, something that I think is important. Imagine if you were moving out of the house you've lived in for years. You might move everything out and stand there staring at an empty house as you either verbally or at least in your head say good-bye. You wouldn't like it if your husband simply moved all of your belongings from the house to a new one without telling you and allowing you to have that closure. It may seem like that isn't necessary for a child going off to college, but it is. As others have indicated, college students already encounter a lot of changes, so coming back home to your old room during summer, winter and/or spring breaks is refreshing. My mom could have easily gave one of my two brothers (who shared a room) my room when I left for college, but that didn't happen and I wouldn't have expected it to unless she had told me that would be the case. I'm sure your son couldn't take everything from his room when he left, so he expected to come back to that room because he wasn't told any different before. I feel better communication could have and should have taken place. Now there is extra work to be done in the relationship that may be harder to mend at this point. I hope the best for you and your son, and the rest of the family.

Melanie - posted on 01/02/2014

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Stacie's son, like every other child, did not have a magical 18th birthday and become a functioning, self reliant adult. He is in transition. Every time there is a 'rant' or 'outburst', he is redefining the boundaries of his existence, pushing him into self reliance. I am totally with you on them being respectful at all times. However, respect is not a life skill that just magically happens. It is a teachable lesson every time there is a confrontation. It is a lesson that started as soon as they could talk. It's not fun, but it is a necessary evil. Anyone who has children, has them for life. That does not mean that you have to be responsible for them forever, but a good healthy life long relationship with them requires continuous nurturing, eventually by both parent and child. The banker and other adults will teach him respect by not accepting his behavior if he is disrespectful to them. Not giving him what he wants will be their consequence for him. They have no emotional bond with him. He will learn that fast. Parents have expectations of their adult children too, that may be unfounded and unrealistic. Hopefully, as adults they will be gentle with us when they have to tell us 'no' in the future. They are learning how to do that from how we handle them now.

Karen - posted on 01/01/2014

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I went away to College and expected nothing. My parents helped out with costs over and above what I earned in scholarships - totally their choice. Had they not done so, I would have figured out a way to do it on my own. Any other expenses (in H.S. I paid my extras, too) were funded through parttime jobs. I could have gone to Law School but chose not to until I could pay it all myself, by then I didn't find it would be helpful so I'm glad I didn't go. The bottom line here is expectation. He is an adult therefore he should expect nothing. If you choose to keep his room the same it's your choice, not his expectation. If you choose to help him, it's your choice, not his expectation. However, you have expectations - that those who choose to live under your roof are respectful of you and your rules. The solution is very simple - if he chooses to live under your roof and take your $$ he chooses to live by the rules of the house, whatever they may be. He has no right to anything. If I were you I would sit him down, explain that his presence there is his choice, and what it involved in that choice. If he threatens to not speak to you again he is blackmailing you. In that case, he also chooses not to use your $$ and he figures out how to pay for all of his stuff himself. Blackmail is a childish behavior, manipulative, and abusive. He is an adult, he needs to act like it (which also means he finds a way to pay for his car, phone, and insurance starting right now). You owed him nothing beyond raising him to adulthood - if he wants more he needs to negotiate with you as to how that will be financed, part of the deal has to be respect shown to you. Would another adult tolerate that behavior? Would his banker allow him to verbally abuse them as part of the financial transaction? And, if he borrows $$ from you, treat it as a loan with written repayment terms - he is an adult and needs to act like it.

Sandy - posted on 12/31/2013

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I'm serious about this- sit him down and tell him that if his behavior doesn't change, then you're going to very seriously turn his 'new' room into a sewing room, office or what have you.
I HAVE given this ultimatum before, when my daughter kept threatening to move out when she was a bit too young.
She did NOT want to move, only to come back and find that she HAD no room to come home to!
It sounds like he's a good kid.
Explain that he's acting like a jealous child, not an 18 year old. Why should a nice bigger bedroom sit empty most of the year when he's not even home?
Can you make cosmetic changes to the smaller room so he'll like it better? Like paint the walls to a color of his choice?
Ask him if he realistically expect that big room to be empty until he is married.
His sister has probably been waiting for that room for years and would like a bit of privacy and growing room.
I feel for you, it's not easy.
Good luck.

Kelley - posted on 12/31/2013

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I think ots just the fear that he is being pushed away... but he has to realize he is growing up and things are going to change... hope things get better...

Melanie - posted on 12/30/2013

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Hi Lynn:

I don't want to clog Stacie's blog, but I do want to say that I read your post and you sound very interesting. Maybe you could start a new book about you and your mom. It sounds like your lives have been very interesting. She sounds like she overcame many obstacles in her own life and then many more to make sure that yours was successful. I can't imagine what would have happened that made her throw out your 'book in the making'. That is something that would be very upsetting. You have overcome many of your own obstacles in making a life for yourself. Having another go at the book you started all those years ago would be such a great project. I would love to see what it was all about.

Melanie - posted on 12/30/2013

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Hello India

Yes, I totally agree that we need to encourage respectful dialogue and actions from our kids. I work as an Educational Assistant in an elementary school and there are many teachable moments with these young children to have conversations on how to talk nicely to each other and sort out problems with 'nice' words. You can never start teaching these lessons too soon. I have five sisters and throughout the years we have had many discussions about the 'rants' and 'outbursts' from the kids as they grew up. It is hurtful, we don't like it, and it does not get left without being dealt with. They need to know that it is unacceptable and that they need to find a better way to deal with their stress. But that is a matter of maturing. It sounds like this is a new behavior for Stacie's son. My son once told me during one of these rants that he vents with us because he feels he is in a safe place to do so. I am thankful that he feels that way. If he does it at home, at least it is something we can help him work on. He understands that he has upset the house and like Stacie's son, always apologizes after. I can't imagine him doing that with his friends. I would think that would be embarrassing for him. I have not seen him act out like that in years.

India - posted on 12/30/2013

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You have made some very good points Melanie and I totally agree on working with our children through their transitional periods...but we as parents also need to realize that regardless of the obstacles our children may face ... We must still encourage a positive and respectful attitude through those times...this world doesn't look like it's going to get any easier to live in...so as parents we must show our children how to get through tough times as smoothly as possible and it starts by teaching them to take a breath...think...and express their concerns...any thing other than that( tantrums) will only make things worse and could easily be misunderstood by strangers or authorities and could lead to bigger problems which would only cause more heat to the situation and cause even more stress to themselves and also to anyone around them

Lynn - posted on 12/30/2013

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Hi Melanie,

I see some parallels, but I'll show you my differences, and maybe that will help Stacie a little.

My mom compensated, but not by spoiling me. She compensated for the poor upbringing her mother gave her. Let me explain. My mother became her mother's babysitter while she moved cities, swapped boyfriends and husbands, and kept adding to the brood. By the time my mom was 7, she was taking care of 3 little brothers. Her stepdad felt that the kids should work from a young age, so my mom did just that -- maintained good grades and worked at JJ Newberry's. She graduated and was all set to take that money to buy a car to commute to the 2 year school nearby when .... she found her account EMPTY. Her mom had taken all of the money to pay her bills. So my mother had to thumb a ride every day to class, a half hour drive each way, to try to get a degree in electrical engineering. Years later my grandmother commented that my mom was the only one of her children who didn't call her stupid to her face, even though my mom got dumped on the most of all of them.

It was almost a relief when Mom got pregnant, because my father didn't want to use the icky spermicide. It was only two days after her period, so it's okay, right? Nope -- my dad was really, really fertile, and combined with my mom's (and later my) early ovulation, I was conceived from semen that survived 6 days. Let's just say there was a 100% chance I'd be a girl. Boy sperm can't live that long.

So, my mom made sure I wouldn't get the gypsy treatment her mom gave her. She insisted that we stay in the same school district all 13 years, and she helped me study my spelling and my Latin. I returned to favor to my classmates by reviewing their homework before class started, telling them what they were missing, and in return, adding a few things to my essays that I'd missed :).

My mom made sure I was completely prepared for everything, My purse was like a supply cabinet. every child in my grade could rest assured that I had a spare pencil they could borrow, clippers for a hangnail, and change for lunch --- but they owed me an ice cream as interest ;).

I was salutatorian only because I took Furniture Making class and the teacher thought an 80 was a mighty fine score. I had beaten Karim in every single class but language -- he took Spanish and got a 98 there, and his dad was Puerto Rican and a professor at the local college (as was his Indian mother), and I took Latin and got a 95. That shop class score destroyed my overall average. My mother also made sure to be affectionate toward me, giving me many hugs. Her mom had her trim, file, and paint her toenails. That was their affectionate interaction. I returned the hugs favor to my elementary teachers, and was class pet 1st and 2nd grade.

There was one thing my mother did that I couldn't forgive -- I had a paper bag filled with my text and charcoal drawings for a book about some horse herds on an island. Once day my mother sorted through the bag, despite the big words on the outside DO NOT CHUCK. She threw out all of the text and images and saved the blank sheets for me. To this day I have no flaming idea why she did that. Maybe it was to sabotage my one creative work, just before I was to submit it, so she could, in some small way, get back at her mother and what she did to all of her creative attempts (which I won't get into here). To this day I have never submitted a book for script, despite many ideas in my head over the decades. She crushed it. There is a small possibility that our subject boy's room had something in it that was thrown out. Something that a parent wouldn't think twice about, but to him it was special, Now it is lost forever. I have to admit, I will never forgive my mother for what she did to that book.

Melanie - posted on 12/30/2013

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Hello Lynn:

My doctor explained something to me when my son was very little. She knows how I was raised and that it was not great. But, it was how things were done back then. She told me that I will always do 'overs' for my children to make sure they don't grow up feeling like my sisters and I did about our childhood. It was easier for us than what my parents had to work with, because I had two children and they had seven. We had the resources to expose them to many different things, put them in all kinds of lessons and give them things that were fun. All the things I never had the opportunity to experience. We got to enjoy raising them. They were not spoiled, but they had a good life. We had time for them and they were not neglected. There were always kids out there who had more and many who had less than they did. They were very middle class and I am very grateful that we could provide that life for them.
However, now that they are moving away from the security of having their needs met by us and going out into the world and trying to maintain this lifestyle, it is really hard on them. We did what we thought was best for them while we had them with us, but now they are out in a world that is very hard and demanding...and they are doing it at a very young age. So, I think that we need to work through their 'tantrums' with them, because that is there coping mechanism for things that they are experiencing that they don't know how to handle. This is all new to them. We don't have to put up with the 'tantrums', but we need to help them work through them. We went through a lot with our son when he started making his own decisions and we had no control any more. We had a lot of consequences from his actions to work through with him and it was not fun...for any of us, including him. But, now that he is settled, I can see that if we would have used the 'school of hard knocks' on him, he would not have had the opportunity to have the job he has now, because he would not have had the choice to work on his mistakes and would have had issues getting hired. This is a different world. The cards are not stacked very high in their favor and I would hope as parents we would be more sensitive to what this world is demanding of them. I know parenting is a crap shoot and we can only take our best guess, and maybe we could all be doing things to toughen them up along the way, but Stacie's son is 18 and many of those teaching moments are not available anymore because he is an adult and away from home. I know that this generation is very different than how I was raised and I can see the difference in how they work and all the expectations they have. After providing them with 18 years of a good life, they want to start their own life at the lifestyle that we have created for them. They will get a handle on their next stage of life, but there will be a transition period and I hope that as parents, we can be part of their experience, good and bad.

Lynn - posted on 12/30/2013

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First I head your story, and started giggling. What a crybaby. Then I went and read other posts, I realized oh no, it's such a more sensitive era we live in now. Gosh, now I realize that I should have jumped off a cliff with the treatment I got! My mother didn't warn me when she took my room! She was supposed to? Really? I was frankly surprised there wasn't a Jacuzzi bubbling where my bed used to be!

When I went to college, my mother took over my bedroom as her new big spare walk-in closet and put all of my model horses in two large boxes. The shelves were great storage. I come home for Thanksgiving Break and get to sleep on a guest bed in the front room. I said nothing -- it wasn't my house. I simply asked where my model horses were, and they were safely stacked.

I studied hard in school and for my SATs, and won several scholarships to go to college -- my parents' bill was a shopping $15K total -- not bad for a 4 year private engineering school in NY state. I never phoned home for money -- I lived off the money I earned working summers. I had no cell phone, no car, and no car insurance, until I got engaged and bought his spare mini pickup (he was from Long Island, they get TWO used vehicles there -- he kept the old mustang muscle car). Before that, I had to beg for rides to the grocery store. My dad died of cancer while I was on co-op between my junior and senior year, so just 4 years after I got my bachelor's degree (while working and taking master's classes), I bought my mother a new car for $18K. Debt repaid.

I got a 57 on my first college exam (Physics), ack!, but redoubled my efforts, got tutoring, and squeaked out a B. I somehow managed to get a 3.0/4.0 that first semester, despite competing against a bunch of private school kids who were collecting A's for classes they'd already taken in high school. Oh, and quite a few were a bunch of jerks who would go out of their way to try to destroy your reputation just for kicks. Despite all that, I got a 4 year degree in 3.5 semesters, co-op and summers worked between, thanks to taking a class while working each summer, having taken two classes the summer before college (we didn't have AP college classes in my poor high school). I also was an officer for my class (secretary) and VP for Friday night lesson plan skiing, where I had to weekly herd 600 skiers, many of them foreign grad students and their spouses, onto and off of a hill, with all of their belongings and bones intact. Oh, and I got to ski for free - good thing, since I was broke! I got 4 hrs of sleep M,T, &W. One semester I had 7 classes (one 1 credit, another 2 credits). Life's rough, suck it up.

Show this poor little child my note here and let him know just how rough he has it. What a spoiled brat twerp! What on earth ARE we raising for children anymore? Please, someone answer me! Are these people actually going to run our country someday ????? >> Bangs head on wall <<

India - posted on 12/29/2013

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It's always sad to hear when children are going thru difficult times because sometimes it's harder for them to express themselves which In most cases results in disturbing behavior...but there comes an age where they must reflect on their up bringing and ask themselves " how did my parents teach me to deal with things I don't agree with or things that upsets me"... Because honestly there is no excuse for a young adult of his age to display behaviors of a 12 year old...he needs to learn how to use his words...he needs to be sat down and told that he is loved very much....and that you all are proud of him and the big steps he is taking in life...but as a young adult if something is bothering or upsetting to him .... He needs to come to you all and express that issue in a respectful manner and in trusting that you all will come together and resolve the problem accordingly...Not by lashing out and having tantrums...As parents we are never really done training and advising our children...and with the proper balance of love and discipline ...that itself helps them to respect themselves and others around them

Melanie - posted on 12/29/2013

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Hi Sorry to hear that things are bumpy. Maybe things have been really stressful for him at college and he really needed to come home to normal and predictable. He may have counted on his room in the basement to be there for him if things at college did not work out. The fact that it is no longer an option for him to come home to may be very upsetting, especially if he his not liking college or if it is not going very well. While that is no excuse for his behavior, it sounds quite normal. He just needs some time to get used to the changes. As excited as he may be to move on to the next stage of his life, he needs to grieve and let go of the great life he has had so far. He sounds like he is trying to hang on to what ever part of it he can. It is a big adjustment. He probably feels out of control with so much changing all at once. My son is now 28 and has settled down very nicely into a really good life, but from about age 15 to 25, when we had to both let go and redefine the boundaries so he could grow up, it was very hard and sometimes very hurtful. Maybe changing things as soon as he left made him feel like he was being replaced. We all know that is not true, but if he is tired and stressed, it is an easy place to go to. You will figure it out. Keep him talking. He will eventually let you in on what is going on. It's just a bump in the road. :)

Jennifer - posted on 12/29/2013

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It sounds as if you are worried about your son and confused about his behaviors in which he's demonstrating.
A child's first social interacts begins at home. They are taught how to deal with life issues. Also, a child's home is a place where they will always feel they belong, loved and appreciated for who they are. It seems as if your child is very angry. Anger is stored hurt so I would spend sometime with him alone and talk with him. You can begin by using" I" statements: What " I" statements are is a way of communicating so the other person doesn't feel your attacking them but at the same time expressing how you feel in a positive way. The way "I" statements work is that you state, I feel ( state a feeling) ex: upset or hurt than you say when. Google using "I" statement to communicate and learn how to communicate effective with your son.
He seems hurt about many things but he needs to feel comfortable to talk with you to express himself. Boys are quiet different how they communicate and share their feelings. You can get more out of him by doing something like playing basketball or whatever hes interested in an at that time talk with him. Boys will communicate more better that way.

Also, you need to find out if he's displaying those same behaviors at school too. There can be alot going on with him besides home. It's getting to the root of the problem. You'll have to do some searching on your own without letting him know.Just let him know his behaviors hes demonstrated has you worried about him. Regardless if hes saying everything is okay. He's words and behavior should line up together when they aren't something is wrong.

There are other things you can do for him to feel as if he still belongs at home such when you do things make sure something is set aside for him too eventhough hes not there. Also, send him something at college from time to time and say you're missing him at home and you were reminded of him the other day.
Your doing a great job at reaching out for assistance...way to go mom. As a mom of four, I can understand your concern. Stay positive and don't overreact to his behavior. Try to find out what the function of his behavior is such as attention, escape etc. Good Luck!!!

Sheila - posted on 12/28/2013

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Hello, I will keep you and you family in prayer. Some young people are ready to move on and live away at college. Some young people may not be ready, but they do not want their family to know. They are not ready, he may be showing you that he is not ready yet and he feels like he is being forced out with his room being taken away.
Sometimes it feels good, to come home to your own space. Where you feel safe, keep in mind kids at college pick on the freshman. So taking away his space or his safe place, is not good. You may need to take the time, to spend some one on one time with him. Take him some place he likes to go, or do something he likes to do. Allow him to get in a good mood and let him know you love him. Let him know, you will always be there for him and he can always come home. Maybe you should see if he would like to live at home, and drive back and forth to school; if that is possible and school is not too far away. You may have to talk to your daughter, she may have to wait for that space. She will get her turn, she may or may not have to wait a little longer? it's not to hard to show some love and understanding. Plus it's an adjustment he has to make and she should know, she will have make that same trip. I am sure she would no want to feel pushed out? My be your son will ok with just having a talk.
From: Open Ear

Jennifer - posted on 12/27/2013

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He feels neglected and pushed aside, like he doesn't belong anymore. I know you have tried to accommodate this new room for him, but it's not "his" space. He's not going to tell you about his feelings, but I'm pretty sure this has alot to do with his behavior.

Jo Ann - posted on 12/27/2013

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Sorry too hear this about your son. His behavior sounds unusual for sure. It may be the results of drugs at college. 18 year old at college is too young and he has picked up a bad habit. I suggest taking away some of his benefits, until he is respectful toward you.

Alice - posted on 12/24/2013

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Do not allow you son to disrespect you. We, in Africa, would not accept such a situation. Have an honest dialogue, not mere discussion, with your boy.

Felicia - posted on 12/23/2013

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Why should adults ask permission from a child what to do in their own home? He/she can move out if they don't like it.

Debz - posted on 12/23/2013

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Two wrongs do not make a right . I start with this as I think maybe you should have told him your plans before moving him. The second wrong is no way should he bahave like this! Ask him now, how long has he had this room? Maybe it is his sisters turn for more space. He is behaving like a child, so unfortunately you must treat him like one. No music and even no draws if he bangs them. Very sad situation.

Christina - posted on 12/20/2013

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Is he mad about the rooms being changed out? Did he know that little sister was going to get his room or was it just a surprise to him? If you didn't tell him prior to his departure I am sure he feels he is no longer part of the family since you truly invaded his room, even though he wouldn't use it full time. Even though its your house your rules he is lashing out at you for not including him.

Stacie - posted on 12/18/2013

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Thank you Savana. Your comments were very thoughtful. It was nice to get the side of someone who's experienced this. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Jeannie - posted on 12/18/2013

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I have an 18 year old boy and a 13 year old girl. I haven't seen what the other moms have posted. But I would have talked with my son first about the change. Did he know that you were doing that? I asked my own son what would he think if I did that without telling him... he said that he would feel violated and would feel unwanted. Not that he would be because we love him. But with that in mind that is what he said. He also said that his room has been his "home", his "space", and it's like we don't love him and were glad that he moved out.

I can see where your son is lashing out. Maybe sitting with him and talking about the change might help. And don't give up. Ultimately it's because he probably feels insecure of where he stands in the family.

Angela - posted on 12/18/2013

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Please don't worry too much, I'd agree with Tonya Arnold-Tornquist, sounds like he is just using that as an excuse. The very second most siblings move out, someone will claim their bigger room. Not many people have a house so big they can spare large rooms for every sibling to sit as a "museum" until they come home.

I would not, if I were you, be afraid to remind him who pays for his car, cell phone etc and this can be stopped because if he is rude to you, he needs to understand that is not acceptable and there are consequences attached. You open your doors and heart to him, he has no right to repay you with disrespect.

Hope you have a lovely Christmas x

Tonya - posted on 12/17/2013

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I don't think you did anything wrong...and honestly from reading the story it suggests that your son was using this situation to vent some other feelings of frustration he was having. Teenage boys tend to transfer frustration from one situation to the most immediate irritation. Being a freshman in college, any number of things could have triggered this. Rejection from a girl, other friend/relationship issues, an issue at work, school/class issue. Suddenly he is now responsible for his life and its success and this is a BIG adjustment. I imagine that this was a classic case of snapping at the one you love most situation. He is adjusting to alot of changes in a short amount of time.

Sounds like your relationship is sound...it'll blow over...and will be able to joke about it in no time. In the meanwhile...remind your son that even though he on his own doesn't mean you are not available for some good advice or even just a listening ear if he needs to vent about something. (and even though his old room is gone...it doesn't mean he has lost his place in the family) This is an important transition time where you get to be a pseudo-friend now that he is emerging into adulthood.

Take Care:)

Jodi - posted on 12/17/2013

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Yeah, if you'd already discussed this with him no apology is needed at all really. I'm glad he has apologised for his behaviour. Even moving him too soon doesn't excuse it, especially if it was suggested to him beforehand. As I said, I can understand him being upset if it had been a surprise, but it clearly wasn't.

I will say, now that I think about it, I left home to move to the city as soon as I finished school at 18, and my mother moved my brother out of his tiny, poky little closet of a room into my room so he'd have more space for studying for his final year at school. She didn't even ask me, she just did. I don't remember being too upset over it. I was hardly ever home anyway. I'd forgotten that until just now (it was 25 years ago, but clearly it wasn't of significant concern in my life or it would have been very vivid in my mind). I'm sure he'll get over it.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/17/2013

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Funny how Anne compared a situation with an 18 YO going to college and returning for a break to a Husband moving a wife out of his bed for a new wife...A bit of a LOOOOOOOOONG stretch there for a comparison, wouldn't ya say? LOL

Stacie, I had a feeling that you'd discussed the change with your son prior to his leaving for school, and he was a typical "do whatever" kid at the time. Mine's the same. That's why I didn't advocate you apologizing to him. Yes, we all expect a little continuity when we first leave home and return for visits, but we all know that reality differs from expectations. I'm SO glad that things worked out for you and your son got around to getting his head straight.

Jeri - posted on 12/17/2013

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Tks, I agree with shawnn, it still doesn't not excuse his attitude. I'm not going to give advice again if its going to be attacked and made to seem incomplete. We all have our own ideas on how to deal with our children, just because its different doesn't make it incomplete or wrong.

Stacie - posted on 12/17/2013

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Diana: You hit the nail on the nose when you mentioned "Is this what it feels like when a family falls apart" I said those exact words to my husband as we were going through this last week. Thank you for your kind and helpful words. I too hope you have a great holiday with your family too. :)

Diana - posted on 12/17/2013

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It looks like he really just did need a little time to think about it. It is wonderful that you have such a great relationship with your son. Even the best behaved kids lose their minds a little now & then. :) I think sometimes we are so used to them being so responsible, well-behaved, and reasonable that when it happens it really takes us by surprise. Our battle-royale with our daughters was before Thanksgiving & I assure you that when it is happening it seems like there is no end in sight and you think, "This is it...this is how it feels when the family falls apart." Then for some inexplicable reason (who really cares why) everyone finally calms down, seems to see reason and everything is good again.

I'm really glad to hear that things are better. Have a great holiday & enjoy the rest of it peacefully with your family. :) ~hugs~

Stacie - posted on 12/17/2013

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I guess I should have made my self a little more clear. We did speak with our son about trading rooms. We had this conservation prior to him leaving for school. The conservation did not go well as he did not want to give up his room. He basically ended the conservation with "Just Do Whatever You Want" So he was aware that this was going to occur. We respected all of his belongings and even keep them organized in a nice way so that when he came home for break he could decorate his new room the way he wanted. Looking back I think my husband and I should have at least waited for him to complete his Freshman year before having the kids trade rooms. My daughter had been so excited to get the big room and my son was excited to go off to college. So we got wrapped up in the moment and moved too fast.

With that being said it still did not give him the right to disrespect his family. I was alarmed because this was so out of character for him.

Since my origional post things have gotten better. My son actually applogized for his behavoir as did I for moving too fast with moving him upstairs. I appreciate all of your comments I have learned a little something from all of them.

Diana - posted on 12/17/2013

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It never hurts to apologize & squirt some tears. Sure it's your house & you shouldn't have to ask permission to make changes, but kids don't see it that way. To him that was his room & he has had all of these new changes this year starting college: moving out on his own, new school, new friends, new routine, new classes, new job...those are a lot of changes for an adult let alone a teenager. The fact that he came home to discover he had another new room when he was expecting something comforting and familiar probably was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm not saying that a tantrum by your son is ok to have (believe me, I feel your pain because my daughter has anxiety issues and change is often met with resistance), but once he calms down he will probably realize that he is behaving like child after all it wasn't that long ago that he still was a child. Lol. I think if you sit him down and say, "Look, I want you to know that I really didn't think about how you would feel about us moving your room and it would have been nice if we would have asked first. Sometimes parents forget too what it is like for you to be going through all the changes that you have been going through and doing all of the new things that you have been doing. It is stressful. We are so proud of you and all that you are doing. It's hard to believe that you have grown up so much. We figured that most of your stuff was out at school and next thing you know you will be getting a place of your own. You loved the bigger room so much that we thought that your sister would love it too. Besides, she misses you too and it is a way for her to feel like she is a little closer to you by having your room. If you really want us to switch the rooms back we can talk about that." I would be willing to bet that after he thinks about it he will volunteer to let his sister keep his room. He is probably just looking for acknowledgement of his feelings and reassurance that he still is part of the family.

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