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Advice on How to Deal with an 18 Yr Old Living at Home

My oldest daughter is 18 and will be graduating high school in a couple weeks. My husband and I feel she should still have to follow the house rules if she's going to live at home. Once she's finished with school we are not sure exactly how to modify the rules for her. We have an impressionable 12 yr old in our home as well (a daughter).
We feel setting a midnight curfew is reasonable, she's 18, there's nothing really going on after 12 or 1. She's not old enough to be in the bars. She's not working or paying rent so continuing to do chores wouldn't be too much to ask.
She's not always up front & truthful about what she's really doing. She'll tell us she's staying with a friend (even gives us the friends name) when actually she's staying with her 19 yr old boyfriend (who lives with his grandparents). She's been lying about smoking, making it out like she's not doing it, my husband caught her. I think she's been smoking in the house, in one of the bathrooms. I have asthma and so does our 12 yr old, we're non-smokers, have a smoke-free home and that's not going to change. Both my husband & I tried smoking when we were younger so we've been there. We're upset that she's lying to us. She keeps pulling "the 18 card", telling us "well I am 18" when she gets a response she doesn't like. We had an incident on a Friday night where she sent a text message to see if it'd be ok to stay overnight with a friend. I suggested she & the friend stay at our house instead. I did this because she had told me when she was over there some friends of the mother showed up and they got pot out & was smoking it while she was there. I didn't feel that was the best place for her but she didn't see it that way. The response I got was the 18 card and she had already made up her mind that she was staying. I just felt like if you already had your mind made up and you were going to do whatever you wanted anyway then why bother asking me if you could then. Most days she gets up and leaves for school and she won't return until her curfew. One of our concerns is that after graduation she won't show up at home unless she needs necessities/essentials, to wash her clothes and to sleep/eat. Right now we pay for the cell phone and anything else she needs.
She wants us to treat her like an adult when at time she's not behaving as an adult. She's told us she doesn't like it when teachers, other adults and the parents tell her what to do. She has the "I'm 18 and I'll do whatever I want" attitude, she thinks she knows it all and doesn't need anybody telling her anything.
Any advice or suggestions?

What can I do next?

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The same rules should apply, but maybe add to them that she get a job and pay a small rent. Give her a month or two to find a job, but then maybe a token $25 a week. If she gets a job right away and seems to be doing well with it, then maybe you could forget the "rent" so she could save up to get her own place.
If she goes to live with her boyfriend, you may not like it (I wouldn't either) but she is old enough and you have to let go. Then all you can do is be there for her if things go bad.
If she were to move back home, KEEP THE SAME RULES!!!!!

My 18 year old pulled the same stuff. She made my life miserable for several years. Finally I told her: my house, my rules, so she moved out. Now she is having to find out the hard way that mom was right.
My kids pay for their cell phones by doing a certain amount of chores around the house, then if they need money there are more chores they may do to earn it.
Right now my 14 year old has decided that chores are boring, so he no longer has access to the television, cell phone, play station ect. This week he seems a little more interested in doing his share of the work in order to earn them back. We will see...

Set clear limits and write them down. Then let her know the gravy train has a stopping point. Jobs are hard to find right now but she should be looking, and then contributing to the household bills, as well as her own needs . If she is not working she should contribute to the household by doing her chores.

Mine pulled the "I hate it here, I'm moving out" card. I told her we could not stop her from moving out but she would be wise to give it some thought and planning, rather than storming out and finding herself in the big bad world all alone. She did not take my advice. Now she wants to come home, but I'm not ready to resume the battle.

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I suggest if she wants to use the "I'm 18" card the you get to use it too. She wants to be treated like an adult, the by all means start treating her like one. Make her work for her room and board. Just like any boarding house in any state there are house rules, if the tenet refuses to obey then they have to leave. If shes going to treat your home like some boarding house then you might have to start treating her like a common boarder. It's going to hurt, but it looks like you're going to have to play hard with her. You have to think about your younger girl.

Good luck to you.

2 moms found this helpful

We have daughters the same age as you. My 18 yr old will be graduating next year. While there might be some leniency for her on some things...smoking and staying out late, etc are things that I would stick to my guns about. Like you said at the end, she isn't acting much like an adult! If she refuses to follow the rules, then perhaps she should find somewhere else to live.

Also, being honest is very important in our family. That alone would probably cause us to have a sit down with our daughter and put some consequences to her actions. Yes, she old enough to smoke, but if that is not allowed in your house, then she needs to move out. Give her a time limit to find a place..maybe even offer to help. But, you are right...your other daughter is very impressionable and needs to see that your rules have to be followed by everyone.

Eighteen year olds do want to push the envelope because they want to be adults. But, even adults have rules to follow. If she really wants to do whatever she wants, then living on her own is about the only way she'll learn the tough reality of that. I know I may sound harsh, but we've discussed this with my daughter, and she understands that there isn't a free pass just because she had a birthday. Sometimes they have to learn lessons the hard way!

Good luck, Mom. Hang in there!!!

2 moms found this helpful

Hi A.,
I have 4 kids - 3 are grown and out on their own and the youngest is 17. My oldest 2 turned 18 while still at home and in school and weren't a problem as far as abiding by the house rules but my son was a different story. He did the same as your daughter, continually pulling that 18 card. I had to get firm ..... "you will follow the house rules or you can leave." Of course my threat didn't hold water either. That is until, he decided to call the police!! He told them about my threat, one officer talked to me, the other to him, and the bottom line was that the Officers told him that he most certainly DID have to follow the house rules as long as he lived here. Not only did they tell him that but they were very stern about it. It worked, and I didn't have a problem with him from that day forward. It included curfews, cleaning his room, etc etc. Normally I wouldn't suggest getting the police involved but it does seems like maybe someone in authority like that would have an impact on your daughter. 18 or not, adults have rules. She will have rules if she rents an apartment, works at a job, whatever. Just because you are 18 doesn't give you a license to do anything you want.

2 moms found this helpful

Wow...that's a hard situation. Maybe you, your husband and your daughter should have a "sit down" family discussion and put out on the table all the issues that keep coming up. From her side as well. Let her know that you respect the fact that she's 18 and becoming a young adult BUT in order to maintain that respect and trust, she needs to be HONEST with you about things, especially things that could be harmful to her (smoking, pot, sex (pregnancy), etc.). She needs to know what you will and will not put up with in your home and if she cannot respect and honor your rules/wishes, then she will need to become an adult a lot faster and be on her own. I think she should definitely have a job, developing responsibilities and life skills. If she is going to stay at your house, I think she ought to contribute. Chores are not too much to ask and I would even say that she can start paying for her own cell phone bill, car insurance, etc. Let her know that you don't agree with some of her choices and it's not what you had hoped she would do, but if she's going to smoke and she's 18, then she needs to respect your wishes to NOT smoke inside, especially with you and your other daugther having asthma. Tell her to take it outside. Let her know that you both love her and want to have relationship with her, but this is a transitional time for both of you, as her parents having a child growing up, and for her, becoming a young adult and graduating. You and your husband need to be on the same page when it comes to rules, etc. and make sure that she knows where you stand and that you will respect her if she respects you. Hopefully she will appreciate your honesty and respect your rules. Best of luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Next time the "I'm 18" is said, tell her that's just a number that doesn't mean anything unless she actually behaves like an adult. That includes being responsible and paying her own way; otherwise she still has to obey your rules because she lives in your house and expects you to pay for her stuff.
I hope it doesn't sound too tought for you, but she can't have all the benefits with none of the responsabilities or she'll be surprised when she gets to the real world.
Good luck!

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A. b, its time to start treating your 18 year old as an adult. Sit her down & say "as of the day of graduation, no cell phone paid by us [the folks]; you pay rent by the week for the use of your room [this includes the use of the kitchen, bath & laundry facilities = $75.oo is the average].you do not use our phones for any calls whatsoever! No overnight guests in your room. No smoking in the house. And the big, one - you need to get a job & learn to support yourself." oh, one more thing, if you haven't given her a car, tell her no more car privielges as of the day of graduation. She should earn the money for her own transporation! If she starts to splutter over this, just let her know that you are granting her wish to be recongized as an adult. & as an adult, she cannot expect the parents to take care of her anymore, now can she? Yes, its hard to let go; but it's a part of growing up. I just wish that my folks would have let me make more mistakes from the age of 16 to 18 years of age. By protecting me, i did not know how to handle being out on my own very well. You can be there for her no matter what; but some things she just has to learn on her own. No one can help her. I hope this help some.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.! I know what you are going through. I have two daughters also. They are right when they say that they are "18". That means that the state treats they like an adult whether they act like it or not. It also means that you are no longer responsible for their actions. I highly recommend that you sit down with your daughter and have an "adult" discussion with her. She says that she is an adult, it is time for some adult rules. You should make it clear that since she is an adult and wants the adult living arrangements that she will start paying you rent. She will also be responsible for her own clothing (purchases and Cleaning) and vehicle expenses. She should pay for her own insurance, gas, car repairs, etc. She will need a job. Also, as her landlord, you have the right to inspect her room at any time and if you find anything that is illegal in her possession, you will call the police. (Whether you do this or not, threaten it) If she thinks it is so easy to be an adult and that she thinks she is one, treat her like one. No money handed to her, if she is driving your car, take it away (she should buy her own), make sure that she understands what being a real adult is all about. Good Luck! C.

1 mom found this helpful

Tell her that she has from now until graduation to decide if she will obey house rules or get her own place.
she is so manipulating you and will continue to do so as long as you allow her to set the rules.
establish your house rules. there is no need to change as she is still under your roof regardless of her age.
If she chooses not to obey. LEt her get her own home with her own rules.
change the locks on your house and let her in only during the times you have agreed upon (provided she chooses to get her own place)
Keep in mind she may move in with the boyfriend, but she is going to sleep with him either way. Show your younger child she is important to you and you must keep her safe even if it means from her older sisters influence.
BEST WISHES it will be difficult!

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As long as your daughter lives under your roof she needs to obey HOUSE RULES. If she doesn't have a job or means of supporting herself she needs to keep doing chores to earn her right to keep her cell phone and other luxuries you provide. Most 18 year olds today have no idea what it takes to be out on thier own and are too immature to focus on paying bills etc.They still have the I wants and I needs all of the time.Don't make it easy on her but don't make it rough either. I got married to my high school sweetheart at 18, We both worked and had lots of money saved up.When we decided to move to California we did it and we did very well for ourselfs.I was raised on a farm and was responsible for taking care of the animals and helping with the household chores as well as being a good student in school.Home and family came first, then I got to go be with my friends and have fun.Young Adults today are not wise enough to handle the big world they think they can. Your daughter still has a lot of growing up to do so help her along the way but don't make it easy.

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She's 18 year old. Nobody's arguing that she isn't. BUT you're still the parents, and it's still your house. Whenever we used the "I'm 18 and I'll do whatever I want" thing, my parents told us, "There's the door." As long as we were living under their roof, we lived by their rules. I know it sounds cliche' but it's true. If we didn't like it, then we were welcome to go find our own job, our own place to live, and pay our own way.

New Rule: She isn't allowed to smoke in or near the house because you and your other child have asthma.

Another new rule: she's not to spend time with those whose parents are doing pot. That includes spending the night over there. My parents always taught us that "You are who you spend time with". If she's spending time with them, and it's okay for them to smoke, where do you think she got it? Not rocket science.

Let her know that just because she's turned 18, the other rules haven't changed. She is expected to contribute to the household by cleaning her room, doing her laundry, etc. or whatever chores she's been assigned will continue to be expected of her. Curfew will not change because, like you said, there's no reason for it TO change.

If she pulls the "18 card" then you've got 2 choices: 1) show her the door, or 2) work it out so that she pays rent, a portion of the utilities, for all of her "essentials" like make-up, clothes, cell phones, gas and insurance for the car, etc. etc. etc., BUT, it's still your house, and still has to be in by midnight. She balks at any of the fundamental house rules that don't change (and SHOULDN't change), then "There's the door."

If she ends up moving out, let her, and then change the locks. Once she realizes that all these things require effort, time, money, job, etc., and that sometimes the grass isn't always greener and/or for smoking either. If she's smart, she'll realize that maybe following your rules are not as hard as living on your own in this economy. If she comes back, then *maybe* renegotiate on *some* things like curfew time.

You've probably got about 3-4 years left before she realizes that you and your husband aren't the idiots that she thinks you are, and she realizes that you guys really aren't as stupid as she thought. I was about 22 when I realized that.

Good luck!

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Hi A.. Personally, I feel as long as a person is under your roof, it is your rules, whether they are your child or not. If she feels she is 18 and can do what she wants then she should get her own place. I have had a step son of that age and older living with us and he had to be working fulltime or going ot school full time or had to move out.
Good luck with her!!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is now 20. Her senior year when she started to get a little high on herself about turning 18 and thinking she could do as she pleases I sat her down and told her the only difference between 17 and 18 is that the police will NOT call mommy if she gets in trouble. I suggest you monument your house rules as their selective forgetfullness will drive you crazy. As the others have said you need to stand your ground. If she cannot and will not follow as you say you need to follow through in cutting her loose. Let her know it is her choice. You ARE setting a precidence for your 12 year old. That being said my 20 year old is a dear girl and has matured a great deal in the last 2 years. At 18 our job is not done yet.

Your parenting friend in the trenches.


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Why would you want your 12 year-old to have this as an example, when in a few years she could end up the same way?
Stop paying for everything now.....she plays the "18" card so help her realize exactly what that means by putting her out on her own.
Get some Information on Tough Love and practice it.
Both you parents need to get some backbone right now.
Our 4 daughters and 2 sons were expected to follow house rules through college and until they moved out.
And why are you paying her cell phone?
Last time I looked, just because everyone has one, they are not the only method of communication.
Think of your 12 year old now, and do what is best for her.

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My advice is if she is 18 and feels that she isn't going to listen to you then she is old enough to pay her own bills and get a job. I know its hard. Been there, done that. She is 18 years old so tell her if she is going to smoke then its up to her but your house is a smoke free zone so she needs to take it outside. I believe that the parents house should have rules no matter if you are 2 years old or 100 years old. Don't let her walk all over you. She doesn't listen suspend the cell phone. so on and so forth. Good luck to you. Two daughters is enough for me I could never do 5....lol

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If she wants to be treated like and adult....do just that. She can live there IF....she pays for her cell phone, gets a job (even if it's part time, abides by the rules, etc. Sit down and go thru the rules AND the consequences! DO NOT give in. This will only make it easier for her to do it again and remind you that she got by with it "last time". You HAVE to set the example for your younger daughter, as well.

She needs to be reminded CONSTANTLY that she has to EARN trust. It's NOT a given just because you're 18. On top of that.......if she wants the privledges of "adulthood", tell her she has to abide by your house rules or find her own place and pay for it herself. THAT IS NOT being mean.

If you enable a child to continue to use you and you continue to give them what they need and provide, they have NO incentive to make it on their own. They have no idea what it takes if you continue to do it for them. It's called TOUGH LOVE, but necessary to help kids grow up and get a taste of the real world. The longer you wait, the harder it will be!

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Wow First off she has a point she's 18.
if she wants to smoke you can't stop her, you can tell her that it's not aloud in the house but if she comes home smelling like smoke there really isn't any need to question her, you already know she smokes, questions aren't going to change that.
you can't choose her friends, she's an adult, if she gets into trouble associating with someone she shouldn't be she will pay the consequences.
most people only lie if they think they have to, give her some freedom in return for some honesty from her.
if she wants to spend the night her her bf, let her, a least you know where she is and what she is doing and that she isn't out on the street. and hopefully she's careful. she's more likely to be careful though if she's not sneaking around behind your back.
as for chores if she lives there she should help out, she should pay for her own gas, food while she's not home, cell phone, insurance ect. and that is regardless of the her following the rules. as an adult those are just things she should do.
as for your fear of her just coming home to eat and shower, it's probably going to seem that way. at that age even with a job it would seem like she was never home.

sit her down, let her know you know what is going on and all you want is to know where she is, if she is coming home she's home by 12, while still in school even at 18 she is a minor so until then you are boss, period, have her home 1 night a week for dinner with the family, no smoking in the house, no butts in the yard, no smoking around her sister, ect and then explain the bills and let it go. you can not expect her to follow the same rules she was following at 16 at 18 just because she is still at home, you'll only push her away.

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This may sound harsh but if she wants to be an adult then treat her as an adult. If she is only using your home as a place to sleep and keep her clothes then she is not acting as a part of your family she is acting as a tenet. I would give her a dose of reality real quick. Sit down with your husband and come up with the ground rules you expect her to follow as a member of your family and a set of rules as a renter. If she refuses to follow the family rules then have a set of rental plans ready. Tell her what the rent will be for room and board, cell phone, and any other expenses she may have. Be tough but loving. I agree with the other posts, you need to think of your 12 year old and what influences you are allowing around her. Good Luck.

Oh wow. I dont know exactly what you should do, but I'll tell you how it was at my house after I turned 18. First off I must say I had held down a fulltime job since I was 16. When I turned 18 I still lived with my grandparents, and I had TWO fulltime jobs, I was not required to give them money, but I had to pay my home phone bill (i had a 2nd line installed), my cell bill, and car payment, which I knew I was responsible for (we went out and got a brand new car for my 18th birthday). I wasn't in school, and didn't have a curfew but out of respect, I would call my grandma before I left work, and let her know if I planned on stopping somewhere before I came home. If I came home after they were in bed, and decided to leave again, I would always leave a note on the bathroom mirror. If they were awake before I left I'd always ask how late it was ok to stay out. I kept my cell phone on all the time incase they needed me. I made sure to straighten up any mess I made before I went to work each day. I never invited anyone over without asking if it was ok. IF I was out and would call to let my grandma know I wouldn't be home, if she objected, I'd ask why, and I wouldn't argue with her reasoning, 99% of the time, I came home a few minutes after talking to her. I did the smoking bit, but NOT once did I do it in their house, or in front of them, they knew but I felt disrespectful doing it when they were around. I smoked in my car or at friends houses, never in public where someone they knew would see me. I think for me it was more about respect than anything, it's still that way to this day, I had some financial issues and recently had to move back in, granted now I help as much ad I'm able financially, I'm 22, I moved out about 6 months after I'd turned 18, and stayed gone for a couple years, but I still feel like I should ask if I'm going somewhere, it's her house. I think when she pulls the 18 card, I'd ask her, what would she do if she had to pay her own way? I don't think she could afford it, and needs to learn to respect you more as well as see all that you do for her. Good luck!

This is such a difficult age to deal with. I have always been the "In my house you follow my rules no matter how old you are" kind of parent.Fortunately there were only a few battles over the issue. No smoking at home can certainly be a rule but you know that you cannot stop her from smoking away from home.All 18 year olds think that they know everything, that is not unusual. I would discuss some compromise about in time and also talk about the trust issue. When you lie then you cannot be trusted, I f you want to be in control of your own life and live at home then trust is important. Family meetings always worked for me and my children, not just to lay down rules but to discuss options and be open to compromise.

Here's a response to the "I'm 18 and I can do what I want"---18 means you get a police record now for any trouble that you get into, and your parents aren't responsible! Hanging with pot smokers is a bigger risk when you aren't a juvenile anymore. Being 18 isn't a milestone for much else unless you move out and support yourself, and she doesn't sound ready for that. There's tons of good advice here-- all tough love. If she doesn't like the rules, put her stuff in a trashbag and set it by the door. Bye, bye, big girl!

well if she wants to lie to you, mostly likey you cant make her stop. eventually it'll catch up with her. When she keeps playing the I'm 18 card, tell if she's so grown up then maybe she should pay rent or something. If she staying with the boyfriend, keep saying if you don't be careful you could get in trouble...Sometimes the only thing you can do is hope that she will listen to your advice and be there for when she fall on her face. Sometimes that is the only way a person can learn. hope this helps. My name is L. and I'm almost 29.

The same rules should apply, but maybe add to them that she get a job and pay a small rent. Give her a month or two to find a job, but then maybe a token $25 a week. If she gets a job right away and seems to be doing well with it, then maybe you could forget the "rent" so she could save up to get her own place.
If she goes to live with her boyfriend, you may not like it (I wouldn't either) but she is old enough and you have to let go. Then all you can do is be there for her if things go bad.
If she were to move back home, KEEP THE SAME RULES!!!!!

you stop paying her bills, if she wants to be treated like an adult then treat her like one. Shut the phone off or give her her portion of the bill, if she wants to do laundry at your house she needs to provide her own laundry detergent, etc.. and pay for the water.

Insurance on the car? is the car in her name or yours? if it is yours, take it back and say now that she is an adult and grown she needs to provide her own transportation.
If she does not like this, then give her an alternative.
As long as we are paying the bills and if you want help financially for school and other items then you will follow our household rules 18 or not.

My son is 21 and is home for the summer from college, we have always given him those options, amazing, he chooses to follow our rules because he isn't ready to pay bill totally. When he works he pays his own cell bill, has done that since he was 16.

you are the parent it is okay to be one and sometimes tough love is the only way you can get through to kids these days who want instant gratification and do not want to follow rules. It is hard, but you need to be firm and stand your ground, you don't want the 12 year old doing the same thing in a couple of years.

You pay for everything for her? I believe that's your first mistake. If you do nothing but provide, provide, provide, you are actually hurting your daughter by not teaching her about responsibility. My kids are only 5 and 6, but if there's something they really really want, they save up their money and buy it themselves. It takes them awhile too because they only get $1/week for allowance. If your children want something, make them earn it. Things aren't just handed over to them when they're adults, and they need to be taught that when they're young. Since she's not respecting you or your rules, take privileges away from her. I don't care how convenient cell phones seem, we didn't have them when I grew up, and we turned out just fine. If she wants to be treated like an adult, start treating her that way by making her go out and get a job so she can pay rent and buy her necessities. After high school, my dad charged us rent. It wasn't much, I think maybe $200/month, and we were responsible for paying for all our other things like car payments, insurance, basically everything except groceries. It's your job as a parent to prepare her for the real world, and if you are providing everything for her and handing it to her without expecting her to earn it, you're not preparing her.

If she doesn't follow your rules, lock her out. She's right, she is 18, so let her find her own place to stay. When she wants her clothes and other things, she'll learn really quickly that in order to have access to them, she has to follow your rules.

I have a 17 yr old daughter who will be 18 in June. We have already discussed the "new rules". First off she has a cell phine and pays her bill. We still of chourse cuy her everything she needs. She puts half of her check into savings and the other half is hers. When she turns 18 she will not have a curfew, however, it has been made very clear that she is not to stay out all night. Her father gets up for work everyday at 4:30, so she better b home. There is absolutely no staying out all night, if you are going to be later then 2:00am, she must call us and let us kknow where she is. She goes to the local college and no matter what time she gets home is required to go to work and school on the scheduled days.

Your daughter needs to get a job first off and secondly, you are enabling her by paing for everything. if she wants to play the 18 role,then treat her as such. She is responsible for her bills, no staying out all night and if she does then she has to leave. You are the parents and need to still keep boundaries with an 18 yr old. They are by law an adult, but by parental standards, they are still kids.
Good Luck

My 18 year old pulled the same stuff. She made my life miserable for several years. Finally I told her: my house, my rules, so she moved out. Now she is having to find out the hard way that mom was right.
My kids pay for their cell phones by doing a certain amount of chores around the house, then if they need money there are more chores they may do to earn it.
Right now my 14 year old has decided that chores are boring, so he no longer has access to the television, cell phone, play station ect. This week he seems a little more interested in doing his share of the work in order to earn them back. We will see...

Set clear limits and write them down. Then let her know the gravy train has a stopping point. Jobs are hard to find right now but she should be looking, and then contributing to the household bills, as well as her own needs . If she is not working she should contribute to the household by doing her chores.

Mine pulled the "I hate it here, I'm moving out" card. I told her we could not stop her from moving out but she would be wise to give it some thought and planning, rather than storming out and finding herself in the big bad world all alone. She did not take my advice. Now she wants to come home, but I'm not ready to resume the battle.

Okay, this is a tough one. I was 18 only 9 years ago. Now, I'm married, and I have three daughters. It's very tricky when a child is 18, yet still living at home. I know they think they are adults, and they think they should be treated like adults. You need to have a serious talk with your daughter. Adults work, pay bills, take care of their homes, pay for groceries, and a million other things. For adults, it's almost all work, and no play. Your daughter wants to play and break the rules (something adults don't do). Your daughter is disrespecting you and being dishonest. Even though she is 18, she still has to follow the rules. She needs to come home after school, check in with her parents, eat dinner with her family, do her homework/chores, and follow all the rules everyone else in the family does. Honestly, how simple is all of that to do?! If she can't follow those simple rules any child should obey, there should be consequences like no going out. As for staying out at past midnight, staying out all night at her boyfriends house, being around pot, and smoking, she is harming herself, and making awful decisions. The pot and cigarettes are dangerous to her health, and she needs to know that smoking is not cool! Smoking puts your health in jeopardy, and you can be arrested for having pot. It's not that hard to see why she should be avoiding these things. Also, she needs to know you don't stay at a boyfriends house all night because you will only be tempted to do things that a married man and woman should do. Is she ready to be a mother after graduation??? I doubt it. Maybe encouraging your daughter do get a job or hobby to do in her free time would help her make better decisions and use her time better. Honestly, at this point with your daughter being 18 and graduating, her life can go one of two ways, and it's her decision. All you can do is help guide her down the right path. I hope she chooses the right path (college, a job, or something along those lines) rather than going down the wrong path where she seems to be heading ( cigarettes, pot, and staying out all night with her boyfriend). Best of luck to you!!!

I would apply the "tough love" method. cut off the money supply. if she wants a phone, vehicle, ect. make her work for it. just handing over money & whatnot is enabling her to come & go & do as she pleases. if she has no car, it'll be harder to get where she's going, and if she has no money, then she can't buy what she wants when she gets there. if she plays the 18 card, then tell her to start paying rent & buying groceries, no more free loading. see how far that gets her.don't pay her for doing household either, you'll still be giving her money. in my family, if you want to buy something you get a job. my son is 6(almost7) & he knows that if he wants money to buy a small toy or snack, he has to earn it, he asks our neighbors to pick up sticks & things in their yard. he cherishes the things he buys, because he had to work to get it. just remember, as with most kids, if you give an inch-they take a mile. stand your ground. if they don't like it, oh well. you're not there to be their best friend, you're there to be their parent & teach them that the world is going to answer their every beckencall.

My advise would be if she wants treated like an adult give her a reality check. Start making her pay for things like groceries, laundry, food and other things. Maybe she will start showing some respect and appreciation.

I know it's tough to deal with a child who isn't a child anymore. We have gone thru the same thing with my sister's 3 girls. It's pretty normal for her to want to take charge of her own life even though she doesn't know HOW to do it. There is an urge to spread her winds, in a manner of speaking. She feels that now that she's an "adult" the old rules shouldn't apply to her anymore. If you've tried talking to her and she doesn't want to listen to your point of view because she think she knows better then you need to try to put your foot down on some things. Start treating her like a real adult if that's what she wants. My one niece came to live with my mom because she didn't like that house rules applied to her after 18 at her mom's house. She set up a little "apartment" in the basement for herself and was so happy to "have her own place". My mom gave her 2 options. She could either be a grandchild or a tenant, not both. Here's the difference. A tenant pays rent (not much LOL Like $50 a month to cover the change in bills, but enough to teach her responsibility), a grandchild does not. A tenant has to find her own rides wherever she wants to go, a grandchild can get rides from them as long as she asks nicely. She didn't have a license or car then. A tenant can come and go as she pleases with no curfew, no rules, and no chores other than keeping her "apartment" clean and doing her own laundry. A grandchild will tell them HONESTLY where she is, who she's with, and when she'll be home. A grandchild will call if she's going to be late. If she doesn't call, the door locks at midnight and if she's locked out it sucks to be her. A grandchild has free use of the phone and access to whatever food is in the kitchen. A tenant has to get her own phone and pay the bill herself, also has to buy her own food. She decided that the perks were worth the sacrifice. LOL Sometimes it's hard to draw the line with your child. I understand that. But you need to teach her some responsibility. While she's still in school tell her she has to "pay" for her phone and roof over her head by doing her chores and stuff. That is what my sister did with her youngest and it worked pretty well. And you have to remember that she is 18 now. If she wants to smoke or stay at her boyfriend's or hang out with her friends without telling you where she is...she does have that right to. I'm sorry to say that but it's true. Now you have to remember that she's 18 and legally able to do that. You have to keep in mind that you did the best you could to teach her right from wrong and hope she makes good choices. I'm sure she'll come around. Everyone goes thru that urge to rebel at 18. Try to find patience with her and be there when she needs you. Good luck! Hope this helps you.

My parents went through the same thing with me. I lived and learned and got through it, and your daughter will too...

You really can't control what she does when she's not in your home, and it's not healthy or productive for you to try. Every attempt you make to control her will be met with resistance and frustration. It sounds like you've raised her with good values, and at this point, you really need to just let go of those efforts to control her life and hope that she's taken to heart the lessons you've given her. However, it's perfectly reasonable to have rules about behavior in your house, including respect.

I'm not sure that a strict curfew is a good idea. She needs to have a safe place she can come to no matter what time of night. Besides, 12:00 doesn't really make sense; it seems to be more an attempt to exert parental control than a matter of respect (since I imagine the household is in bed at that time). You will probably feel at times like she is using your house like a pit-stop. Try to look at it like your home is a safe haven for her, and remember that she is family, not some stranger using your house.

As far as your concerns about her lying about smoking, it sounds like you resent her dishonesty. I might just bring it up with her to get it in the open. Let her know that you understand that you can't keep her from smoking when she's not in the house, but tell her that you'd like to have a more honest relationship with her. If you know for a fact that she is still smoking (not just the time she was "caught"), let her know that you have more of a problem with dishonesty than with her smoking outside the house, and that you're sad that she feels like she has to lie to you. If she admits that she is smoking, express your appreciation for her honesty and then let that be the end of the subject. She obviously already knows you don't approve. If she denies smoking, try to believe her and let that be the end of the subject. If she's around people who are smoking her clothes and hair will reek of it, and maybe that is what you're smelling. If you know she's still lying, at least you've expressed your feelings to her, and maybe eventually she'll feel safe enough in your relationship to be honest with you.

If she's staying with her boyfriend, it's unfortunate that you don't have a relationship in which she's comfortable enough to share that with you. I hope you've had good conversations about birth control and that she is using a reliable method of BC. If you aren't sure, you should really try to talk to her about that. Has she been keeping annual Gyno appointments? If not, it's definitely time to start.

I agree with the other posters who have said she needs to get a job to pay her own bills. If she can't find a job, give her one. She can be babysitting for your kids and for your grandson, as well as doing other chores around the house. If the job has early morning hours, that might be a good incentive for her to be getting a little more sleep at night. Be aware that if she finds a job outside the home with evening hours, she should not be expected to keep a "normal" daytime and sleep schedule.

The one exception I would make to the "pay her own bills" rule is the cell phone. I think it's really important that she continue to have a cell phone, even if she can't afford it, in case she's in a situation that she needs to call you or 911. However, if you're paying for the cell phone, I'd look into something like this: http://www.cellphonesecure.com/
or this:
I haven't tried either product, and I don't know anyone who has, but it looks like it would restrict incoming and outgoing calls to limited approved numbers- a beautiful concept if you're paying for a phone that is supposed to be just for emergencies.
For more info and options on parental controls for cell phones, you can google "cell phone parental controls".

Good luck! :)

Hi A.,
My girls are 8 & 2, so I don't have experience yet, but I was a teenage girl once! My sisters & I absolutely had to follow our parents' rules. If not, everything they paid for ~ gone. I must say that we had jobs ~ besides babysitting, I started my summer job & working nights & weekends when I was 14. My sisters & I were expected to pay for some things (i.e. a phone line in our rooms ~ no cell phones then & the phone bill every month). One big thing was they paid for college. If we didn't follow their rules college wasn't paid for. One sister didn't like our parents' rules & moved out on her 18th birthday, the other one & I followed the rules (with a few bumps in the road) & have college degrees. The 3 of us turned out OK. Good luck!

Hi, sorry to hear your troubles.... We too have an 18 year old in the house...isn't it fun?

We have had some of the same issues as you. Thinking she is so entitled to having everything HER way....well, we got pretty sick of that in a hurry. So, we wrote up a contract of the things we expected of her and what the results would be if she didn't agree. When we had a calm day without any issues, we sat her down and showed her the plan. We were open to her suggestions so she didn't feel we were bossing her around and even made some changes to include her input. (which by the way, has been a good plan for us - she just wants to feel grown up and we treat her with respect like we do any adult.)

Here is our list:


1.Pierce or tattoo any part of my body while living at home.
2.Use drugs of any kind unless prescribed by a doctor.
3.Drink alcohol at home or any where and will leave any situation if drinking is going on, until I am of legal drinking age. Then I will be a responsible drinker and limit my use. I will never drink and drive and never let a friend drive while drinking.
4. I will not have anyone in my house while my parents are away without their permission.
5. I will NEVER sign any contract regarding ANYTHING without my parents knowledge (lease,etc)
6.Be responsible with my driving a car. I will not text, speed, drive reckless, etc. I am responsible for not only my own safety, but for anyone in my car and the people around it.
7. I will not Let anyone drive my car because it is NOT my car,it is my parent's car and I am borrowing it.


1. Either be a ful time student (12 credits) in college or work a full time job with medical benefits, while living at home.
2.Pay for my part of the car insurance and cell phone bill
3.Pay for my own books for college (she has a part time job)
4.Work hard in college and always do my best, even when it gets hard,and it will
5.Tell my parents about any problems that arise that concerns them such as legal or medical issues.
6.Be respectful to everyone in my home/family. (dress/act responsible)
7. Take responsibility for myself and the things I do.
8.Pick up after myself because my mom is NOT the maid
9.I will try my best to balance my life between family/fun/faith/work

I WILL RECEIVE (if I follow these rules):

1. Clean/safe home - rent free as long as I am a student
2. Use of a working car
3. Cell phone/internet/Cable use
4. Good food
5. Privacy, support and respect from your family
6. Help with cost of college as much as we can.
7. Medical/drug benefits
8. Love and support from an awesome family (*you get this no matter where you live)


p.s. We added another one later, stating:

"This boarding house closes @ 11:00 pm S-TH 1:00 am F-SAT (unless worked out in advance)

We had to add this because she missed her curfew right after our signed contract and was being a snot about it telling me on the phone that she WAS NOT coming home at the set time.....so, we taped the above notice to the door, shut off the lights and went to bed....and waited. She quickly discovered that we were not kidding and spent a long time trying to figure out what to do...I think she was a little shocked that we would really follow through. She did call us on the phone and asked if she could come in....YES!

So, there it is, all laid out without any question. (I'm sure we could have put in a ton more, but this was a good start.) She and my husband and I were OK with the plan. The trick is to follow through on things and DO take away the privileges as she messes up (and she will)

We do expect that she will make mistakes, but at least we are all on the same page and there are no questions as to what is expected.

Finally, we decided right after signing the contract, that we would look at her as a roommate and our home as a boarding house that her payment is to follow our rules. That she did not have to stay there, but the arrangement was a pretty cheap deal.

Good luck, hope this or at least part of this can help you!


Hi A.,
Our oldest will be 18 in July. She has been pulling the 'I'm almost 18' card since she turned 17! She lived with her real mom for a year and in that year picked up some very bad habits (smoking, cussing, smoking pot). When she decided to come back to us, we laid down the rules- no smoking ANYTHING, no cussing at us or around the little kids, ect. I know she smokes ciggarettes, but after being confined to the house for almost 2 months for continuing to smoke pot, she has (hopefully) stopped that. We have done everything we know to do as parents to prepare her for the 'real' world. She was dead set on moving out the day she turned 18. She still has a year left of school as well. After having many arguements with her over the last few months about doing chores, paying for her cell bill (we've made her pay her portion since she came back to live with us), getting a job, ect, my husband told her that after school let out, she was free to go before she turned 18. This was about 3 weeks ago that he told her this. In those 3 weeks, she has gone from moving out the day school let out, to staying until she turned 18 (so she can save up, she says) to maybe staying past the time she turns 18 so she has time to save up. We've already laid out the rules for her when she turns 18. If she wants to live at home, thats perfectly fine, but she has to choose how she wants to live there. Does she want to live there as our child or as our tenant? She pulls the '18 card' constantly, so we told her that if she lives at home, there will still be house rules, she will still be responsible for chores, helping out, paying her cell, and having curfews. If she doesn't want to follow any of these things, then she will start paying rent, buying her own food, ect. Obviously, we would rather it not to get to that point, but we have 4 younger daughters and thus far, our oldest has not been the best example, so we try to make up for that in the way that we parent. That way our younger daughters know that we will not tolerate behavior, rules, ect. I was a good kid growing up and when I turned 18 my mom gave me the same choice, live at home with certain rules, or pay rent. I learned that the rules were much better than being a 'grown up'.
It won't be easy if you have to practice tough love, but it's going to be your best bet. Once you're rules are set, and she starts paying her own way, not only are you showing your younger daughter that attitude will not be tolerated, but you are also showing your older daughter a glimpse of the real world that eventually, she will have to enter completely on her own.
Good luck!

Wow! Well for someone who has parents who do so much for her, she doesn't seem to see how good she has it. You pay for her cell phone, let her live there rent free with no job. She comes and goes as she pleases basically. What about her car? Does she drive? Who pays for the car/gas/insurance? Is she going to go to college? When I graduated high school my parents were more than willing to help me get started in the adult world by letting me continue to live at home. But I had to have a job and continue to help out. I had to pay for my own cell and car and they helped with paying for school. I think she needs some tough love and its time for her to have some responsibilites. Tell her that her cell phone is on her now as well as other spending money and such. And she will quickly realize that she still needs some help from you. Tell her that you are glad to have her stay at home but she will abide by certain rules and if she is not ok with that, then let her do some research to see how much she really would need to do things on her own. So many times kids think that if they can find money for rent, then they can live on their own and they don't think about allllll the other little things that cost money. You need to have her respect and she needs to see that she is lucky to be able to continue to live there. If she cannot abide by the rules of that household, then she needs to get her own household where she can do as she pleases. Give her a deadline for when she is going to be expected to take over her expenses. And if she doesn't have the means to start paying for them, cut them off.

While you love your daughter and want to help her, the best response to this situation is start treating her living there as a business transaction. If she wants to be treated as an adult, then she needs to behave that way. Say "ok, you want us to recognize that you are legally an adult, so you act like one and get a job, then you can pay rent." If she is unwilling to act like a part of the family (which is temporary, she'll come back in the fold) then that is your best recourse.

In many states the "legal" age is 21. we have 5 children the youngest is almost 24 and he is still home because he is in college. Our kids were welcome to live at home as long as they were in school or paying rent. An "adult" supports themselves and are contributing members of the household and to society. As not to wake up the working parents or other school children, curfews were expected to be honored as well as household chores. If 18 year olds want to do as they please and sponge off everyone else, they are not mature yet and must be treated as children. Our house rules don't change just because someone is a year older. They won't hold a job long if they slack off! they must learn responsibility at home!

If she is 18 and wants to do what ever she wants then I say let her. Let her pay her bills, let her find ways to get from point A to point B w/out mom and dad driving her. If she has her own car let her pay her car payment and insurance. Let her pay her own rent on her own house/apartment.
Now if none of that sounds like anything she wants to do just now then she can OBEY your rules and CONTRIBUTE to the house (chores, money, what ever you all agree to).
Honestly if she wants to smoke then you can't stop her BUT what you CAN do is tell her that if she wants to smoke ok but NOT in YOUR house or around you and her sister!!! And once again if she wants to be 18 and act like an adult make sure she has the option to get her own place where she can do what ever she wants and come and go as she pleases.
The biggest word of caution I would give you is if you don't plan on STICKING to what you say then DO NOT say it in the first place, just like 6mo-1year ago before she turned 18 and she was still a minor and 'had to' listen to you.
GL my prayers are with you.

Yeap tough love..... cut all contributed you have given her..money, cell, car, car insurance, clothes...etc. It will be tough as a mother.. but you have to do this!!

A., I would put it out there that living there is an option, she is no longer in school and she is 18. Its not nice but she can be removed from the house. She either follows your rules or finds another place to live. Best of luck to you! C.

It is very difficult to deal with this age. My first thought is, what are her plans after High School. You need to address this, if you want her to grow into a contributing member of society. Is she planning to attend college or some type of trade school? If not she needs to get a job, any job will do. It is very important to sit down with her and talk to her about your expectations, now that she is beginning a new chapter in her life. Have a "planning meeting". Schedule it, so it is not done when you both are angry. Adulthood comes with a lot of responsibilities, including a less selfish lifestyle. If she is not continuing her education, she needs to contribute to the finances of the family if she is planning on staying with you. Being an adult is not about doing what you want to do, but being more responsible to those around you. Good Luck!

im a mom i threw my kids out at 18 when there was no more school.sorry there was no option.if they are already living with their bf in his grandparents home there is something you can do/.. tell his grandparents welcome to her now.
.. let her go

:) I'm only 26 and the oldest, but my brother is 18, and my mom said something about the 18 card the other day. My parents were strict in a sense.
School nights you were home by 10p, and you had to have a actual reason to be out: School projects, sports and I had the once a week girls night out. My two siblings that are 2 and 4 years younger than me did a little more on the evenings, but my parents ALWAYS encouraged them to hang out with friends at our house. They went through great lengths to make our house one that teenagers would want to be at: having pool table, basketball hoop, "open back door" policy if you needed a place to sleep. (Never beer or anything like that). We had a midnight curfew when we were in school and 18, but after highschool we had a 2a curfew.
They paid for everything, but if you wrecked the car you didn't have one anymore, if you went over minutes or text you paid for it, and recently my brother lost his phone except for weekends entirely and wasn't allowed out during the week at all.
Setting rules and limits and then enforcing them by taking things away--like finical support for unnecessaries (phone, car etc).

well my son just turned 18 he is in high school but wants to go to agora home school he is due to graduate in june 18th we had a mager fight telling me he already applied for agora school that tells me he is not doing good in high school he did tell me that but now that he is 18 he thinks he knows everything an i have no right getting in his concerns iam very upset with this his father does nothing for him now iam the bad guy cause i work all the time an have no time for what my son wants me to do so dad comes to the recuse to make himself look good iam so hurt over this what should i do tomake myself feel better.

I know I am late on answering this.. I actually signed up, just to answer this question.

First you have to realize that is 18, and you really don't hold any control over her.. legally. You really can't tell her where to go, what times she can and so forth. What you can do is tell her exactly what is expected.
She has to become accountable since she is playing the "18" card. Here is the deal my kids have. Until you graduate or quit school you can live in my house, following the house rules. When you break the rules, there will be consequences.

If smoking is a deal-breaker, she has to know that your house will not allow her there while she is a smoker.

The curfew you cannot enforce, but you can enforce a 'House is locked at' time, after that she is on her own. Remember she is 18 and can handle it.

If she decides to be around people breaking the law, again you cannot control it, but you can control your reaction. Let her know that you are NOT going to bail her out when she is arrested.

Basically she wants to show you that she is an adult, she is pushing the limits and it hurts... I know. But she will do it no matter whatt. Be loving but not enabling.

She will learn about life sooner or later, time to let her start.

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