51 answers

Cleaning House/Chores for 18 and 21 Year Olds

I work full time from home. I have 2 adult children - both in college - taking classes now and a husband with 2 jobs! Needless to say we are all very busy! Until the oldest one moved back home,I pretty much did the majority of the chores. I know - BIG MISTAKE! I am tired of doing it all. I had a breakdown last week - which made everyone miserable. SO I created a chore list that rotates weekly. It started last Sunday. I mentioned "light heartedly" yesterday that we all need to be checking the chore list to make sure we get our chores done. I recd some joking back. I could not stand the dog hair in the hallway anymore - so last night O swept the floor - not on my list this week! Today I cleaned the kitty litter, once again not on my list. Today one of the kids said something about others not putting dishes away. I lost it again! She was preaching to the choir! Of course, she left it on the counter. I explained that I could walk through the house right now and come up with something that each of have left out. They get mad if I clean up and throw away or move something that is theirs. I am at the end of my rope. I am tired of being walked all over. My husband is the only one that makes an attempt to do something. I told him I was going to move out for a week and let them grocery shop, plan meals, clean house, remember to take the garbage out. Any suggestions on how I can get these ADULT children to pull their load?

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Thanks for all of the advice. Just FYI, both girls do have part time jobs while attending school. They pay for their own cars, their own entertainment, do their own laundry (they have done this for the last 5 years). I did share all of the advice with my husband and we are going to discuss it with them this weekend. Basically that it is a privilege for them to live here and that while they are here they cannot take advantage of me (us). If they do not like the rules, they have the option to move out and get their own place. They have also completed their chores that are listed on the refrigerator for the week.

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Let them know, lovingly, that they pull their own weight, or they can move out and do it all on their own. They'll probably get the message very quickly. No breakdown's needed!

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Hi H.,

Congratulations! Sounds like you have a good plan. I have one more suggestion for you, in the event that they still lag on chores. It sounds like you have a lower tolerance for mess than the rest of the family; you can't stand the mess they're supposed to be responsible for, so you clean it up. If waiting for them to clean it makes YOU suffer, there is another solution: clean the mess you can't stand, but then put it where they have to deal with it. If you have to sweep the dog hair, put the swept-up hair in her bed so she has to sleep with it until she cleans it. If she left dishes on the counter, put them in her bed. And yes, if she didn't clean the toilet, clean it and leave the wipes/brush/towels etc on her pillow. That way you get the clean house they agreed to, but they and only they still have to live with the consequences of their irresponsibility -- and in a much more direct way. Good luck!

First, get rid of the "lighthearted" attitude. They don't think you're serious. Just like any roommate situation, there are common living areas and private areas. Close the door on their rooms and don't under any circumstances go in. Insist there be no food inside their rooms EVER, if they are slobs (bugs) and make them keep the door closed so you don't see the mess.

Common living areas are a different story. They should abide by the chore list plus keep their belongings out of the common areas. Meal preparation should be rotated and if they don't want to do that, let them fix their own. You could add dollar values to the chore list and deduct from their "rent" or charge them when it's not done.

I have one in college now, and I know there is ample time to work a part-time job. In fact, it makes scheduling their study/play time easier.

You are not doing them any favors by picking up the slack. At some point they will be on their own and will have a rude awakening when Mom isn't there to clean the bathroom or do the dishes.

Good luck

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I can't really respond with advice of a been there done that since my kids are still little but I can share a story from my own growing up that helped me be a better, more responsible person... for anyone who is reading this with young children and wondering how they will face it when the time comes this might help. When i was young I wanted a horse in the worst sort of way, I guess the way a lot of little girls do. We lived in the country so it was not inconceivable to have one but for some reason that I could not figure out my parents refused to buy me one. I tried and tried to figure out why, I saved my money cause I knew horses were expensive and I asked around about a place to keep it but still no luck on the parent front! Finally one night when I was 13 my dad came in to say good night and he said "do you want to know why we won't let you have a horse?" I said YES! He said "we don't think you are responsible enough. You have chores that you are supposed to do as part of the family but you complain about them or you don't do them until we nag. A horse is a lot of fun but it is a lot of work too, and we don't want to get stuck taking care of it when you get tired of taking care of it." I was stunned, it had never occurred to me that this was the problem. I was also chagrinned that my parents thought i was irresponsible.

So my dad said "I will make a deal with you, if you go an ENTIRE YEAR doing all your chores on time and anything else we ask without complaining AT ALL at the end of the year we will see about getting a horse. If we find you don't do your chores once or complain about anything we ask you to do, even once, the year starts over from that moment."

Well i wanted to a horse pretty dang bad so let me tell you I straightened up my act right quick. And shortly after my 14th birthday I became the proud owner of my horse Kala who I kept for 22 years until her death last year. Throughout my time at home I was still expected to do chores, take care of her, keep my grades up etc. When I left for college my parents promised to take care of her as long as I was working and keeping my grades up. And the year that I spent "becoming responsible" really worked... I think that since I was forced at a young age to stop and change my actions in order to get something I wanted, it helped me better evaluate my actions in future circumstances.

Most people, these days, when I tell this story kind of recoil because they can't believe my dad handed down what seems like a harsh sentence to a 13 year old. But I don't think it was harsh, I think it was an appropriate and fair response for the kind of responsibility I was asking to take on. Taking care of a horse is certainly comparable to taking care of a car, or a house, a job or a relationship. It may not be for a horse, but I fully intend to do the same thing with my kids.

anyway good luck on the chore front.

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You are certainly on the right track but keep in mind that for 21 years you have taught them that you will do it for them. It will take time to get them to change. I experienced some of the same things with my then Teenage children. I created a list of 'things to be done daily' split the list into 5 catagories (one for each adult in the house) and everyone signed up for which catagory they would do for that week. I let them know that I expected them to behave as adults and do their part - same rules for me and hubby too. I allowed them to barter with each other if something came up and they could not do their chore (my duaghter earned a bit of money from the guys by doing their chores). If they did not get chore done one day, then the next day they had 2 lists to cover - what they did not do yesterday and what they had signed up for today - again same rules for me and hubby.

It did not take long for the system to work. I did not have to be the bad guy since the list was always posted on the fridge. The kids monitored each other and us. Once I on purpose did not do my chore so they could 'catch' me. Every Sunday afternoon we had a meeting to sign up for next week. Everyone could pick their chores and if necessary we would make changes to the list to make all chores equal.

My kids are now in their 30s and all have thanked me for teaching them to be ready for living independently. They learned how to plan meals, cook, clean, do laundry and negotiate with their peers.

Hang in there. Don't clean behind them and don't scold them like children. If you want them to be responsible adults then you have to treat them like adults.

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I have read all the requests and I can't believe what I am reading; 'throw your kids out', 'change the locks' 'kick them out', 'take the light bulbs out','counseling'. What? To our children?? the children WE brought into the world, the children WE raised? Do we stop being parents when the children turn 18? My question is how were these kids raised or better yet disciplined when they were younger? I see SO many parents nowadays afraid to discipline their kids, and set reasonable guidelines and rules, and then when they're older and the behavior is unnacceptable, it's somebody else's fault, or 'I don't know what happened?' Undeniably these children are adults, but as adults we are products of our environment. Who was is that shaped us as young children....was it not the parent(s) who had the most influence? Bad behaviors don't happen overnight. I have 3 adult children, one who lives with me. She cleans up, washes her own clothes,shops for food, helps prepare meals, contributes to household expenses, etc.etc. She does this not because I have threatened her, not because I took the light bulbs out of her room, not because I wrote and presented her with a contract but because she (and her siblings) have been raised to know as children there are certain expectations as far as contributing to the family and household and as adults there are expectations also. I give her respect and I get respect. Everything should be age appropriate as well. However, this is something that has been always taught to my children, so it is not a knew concept. None of us are perfect, of course not, but is not hard to have children be productive members of society (or a household). I really am tired of hearing parents complain about how their children act, but don't look inward to themselves, looking to blame everyone else. I'm sorry, I don't buy that. We as parents should behave like parents. Here are 3 definitions of the word "parent" : 1.a source, origin, or cause.;2.a protector or guardian.; 3.to be or act as parent of: to parent children with both love and discipline. I didn't make these up, they're in the dictionary and nowhere does it say we stop being parents when our children reach adulthood.

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Let them know that they aren't kids anymore they are adults I moved out when I was 19, I did my own laundry had a job paid my bills paid my own gas and car insurance. Do they have jobs? Even if they are taking classes they should be able to hold part time jobs in the evening is it a pain yeah will it cut into their social life oh yeah but this is real life, bills need to paid, I am only 6 yers older then your oldest I have a mortgage to pay and 2 kids to raise (with my husband)life is going to come at them very fast and they need to be prepared. I say either tell them they have to get a job and pay some rent, they need to do their own laundry pay for their own gas and luxaries at least continue to throw away what ever they leave out if they dont like it Im guessing they will change don't buy replacements for them, if it was important papers oh well they should of been put away for safe keeping let them go through the trouble of having to get replacements thats how it is in the real world. Its time for tough love the problem as you now know is this should have started much earlier. Have them help you cook at least 2 meals a week if they cant cook this will help them learn it can be bonding time as well. And if they dont cook they have to do dishes ( my brother and sister and I did this since we were like 9 years old) You sure can do things and help your kids a little financially they are still in school and this is a learning process but the only way they will learn is thru some tough love, dont give in or you may be supporting their bad habits for a long time.

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Time to get tough. Charge rent. It can be WAY cheap and you can even hold some back to give back to them when they leave (not telling them this, of course.) ANYONE living in a cohabitation situation would have to do basic cleaning up. Your kids need to be doing their own laundry and cleaning up after themselves. They need not to assume you'll be providing them with dinners -- that you do because you love them and because you feel like it. But, if they continue to take it for granted, you will start to NOT feel like it. Once they are paying rent -- what's fair for room and board including utilities, access to internet, and food? -- I'd say $300 is CHEAP! -- and you have established that they are responsible for their own laundry and chores, things will be much smoother. You MUST have your husband working beside you with this!

I wouldn't count out going to a third party -- counselor -- to help you to deliver the message. And, of course, make sure you and your husband are on the same page. Part of the college experience is growing up and part of growing up is learning how to live as a grown-up in the grown-up world of paying bills and keeping landlords happy, keeping bosses happy, keeping teachers happy.

You will not be a bad or mean mom by doing this. You will be doing your job as a parent in preparing them for life without mommy to do everything for them. Besides that, it's not fair for you to have to take on the responsibilities of working and cleaning up after three other adults. Martyrdom is way overrated.

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Congratulations on getting your family on track! To the Carole F 'haters', get over it. Carole F learned a long time ago that parenting is not being best friends with your kids. Parenting can and often does require tough love. Carole F is fortunate that her children responded to her requirements; sometimes it doesn't turn out that way. But to Carole F, I say Kudos to you, too.

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My in-laws had a similar situation with their daughter. They felt horribly guilty about asking her to move out, but finally they had had enough. (She had graduated from GT and was still living there.) If it was me, I would give them the option of splitting a maid's bill in lieu of rent or moving out. This way, if they stay, the house is clean, and it is a little less burden on you. Good luck!

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I'm giving this to you straight up!
Where does it say you have to support fully functioning disrespectful college adults? Meaning they are able to think and reason(college), can walk and talk, can eat, can sleep and can complain, so I say again, "Where does it say you have to take care of fully competent adults just because you gave them birth. Just because they are your blood relative, it doesn't mean they can live with you, eat your food, (it is your food, you earned it) make messes, throw the whole house into chaos because they are so not wanting to go out and work and live on their own. I know you love your kids, but you are making them co-dependant by allowing them to stay under your roof. If they were maturely and lovingly carrying their load and contributing to the food, utilities, chores etc., then you wouldn't have written for advice, right? I could have said they are what you made them, but I won't, so my advice for you and your husband is to get a backbone and insist they make other living arrangements by the weekend and DON'T DELAY. YOU ARE NOT LEAVING, THEY ARE. Get them out so you can have peace in your home, they will be just fine. After all you're not kicking out a ten year old. Stop, think and get control of this before the stress wears you down and you drop dead.. Not good.
Much love to you both

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Wow, so many of us these days have this problem! I have two boys age 17 1/2 & 20 1/2. The younger one is still in school. He will do some chores.
The oldest is working full time and will be going to school full time in the fall and still working full time. We have given him notice he needs to leave. We are willing to pay his rent as long as he's in school full time. If it turns into part time then we'll pay 1/2 of rent, we'll adjust it accordingly. We are lucky enough to have college funds provided for the kids through a private party.
My husband and I told him he had to move out because he doesn't listen to us about chores, lives large with messes of his all around, has friends over too much and too late at night, including a girlfriend, they eat our food a lot, and we've had enough!
Both our kids have always done chores when they were younger and this changed after the older one went to college out of state for a term and then moved back home.
He knows we love him and agrees that he wants to move out too. We told him he better plan his money because he won't bail him out if he's short. I'm looking forward to this. It will be healthy for him and our family. Best of luck to you.

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As Dr. Phil would say, "How is this working for you?"
Don't be an enabler! Just don't do it and see how it piles up and then in two weeks, trash it all -doante anything good of course and have them realize this is the consequence but from then on, on a DAILY basis! Been there, did that... years ago with 16 & 19 year olds. Big changes afterwards.

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Hi H., I was wondering where your children get money for gas and clothes and other things? Are you buying these things for them? If you're unable to go through with kicking them out then you need to do something!!! If you're providing your children with money for these things then you need to make them work for it!! Put a price on everything that needs to be done! Vacuuming the house... $2, Putting dishes in the dishwasher... $1, Putting dishes away after they're clean... $2 (no one likes to put them away), Dusting... $2, Taking out the trash when it's needed... $2, Cleaning the entire bathroom... $2. When you have to pick up their stuff, take away a $1 from "their account".
This is one suggestion if you're not "MAN" enough to tell your kids to get out!!! I was 21 when I left home. I got an apartment with a friend/co-worker and went to school... School that I was taking care of on my own!!!!!!
Here's another suggestion... make them pay rent. If they don't want to pay, don't let them eat your food... shut the vent in their bedroom off... take the light bulb out of their room... don't buy them their shampoos and deodorants... DON'T WASH THEIR CLOTHES!!!!
Your husband needs to tell them this is the way it's going to be or you'll never get rid of your maid job!!!!

GOOD LUCK!!!!

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H., Welcome to the club. I am in the same boat but without the husband. My two sons did chores all their lives as part of their day and rarely complained. I thought I had them "trained" to be considerate or me (and their future wives) and to assume responsibility. Suddenly as one is college age and the other a senior . . . they stopped helping and stopped doing as I ask. My youngest resents being required to help and simply ignores my pleas and requests. I am now wearing every hat and always exhausted, have hurt feelings and am stressed about the loss of control over the environment we are living in. I have had the melt downs, the tears, the anger . . .all of it. None of it has sparked change. I eagerly await responses to your post!

D.

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Hi H.-
I just read this just now and I want to applaud you for your decision. My kids are little but I lived at home until I was 19 and the rule was that if I'm under their roof, I live by their rules. Period. My brother unfortunately when he moved back home when he was 21 did not comply and he was kicked out of the house one night after my parents gave him his last chance to quit the partying and lying. I had to make the decision early on to do what they had asked because I didn't have enough money saved up to move out yet. It sucked having a curfew but to be able to live rent-free was worth the extra effort to get along with my folks and live by their rules until I left.
Keep up the great work!

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Easy, either they help or pay or move. Give them the choice and be sure your husband stands behind you. It is a decision of the owners of the home! Either they pay for a maid or, if they don't complete their chores, they pay you. This may go on for a time or two but them they will see that it would be better to RESPECT you by doing their part as responsible Adults. Taking a mini vacation my backfire (I know!) as they have a break also from your nagging! Its simple. "Live by my rules or live outside this home".
We have "meetings" in the living room after dinner for discussions as this. Sometimes this is best because we also ask what we can do to help them. Once they feel that it is not a one-way street, they are more apt to be considerate.

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And your children are still at home- why? Look, as a moms, we have to remember that we are responsible for teaching our children the lessons that will help them live productive, meaningful lives in society. Your children didn't start walking on you when they turned into adults. They should know better by now. But now is exactly the perfect moment for you to get down to business and teach them this fundamental lesson- Do not leave their messes for others, and help in the home. The chore list is a good start, but since they are acting like children- they need to be disciplined like children. First- make sure that the days that they are having chores are not days that they are our of the house for 14 hours of classes and work. Then- give them three chances- and KEEP TRACK! Use a red x, a frowning sticker, a note in a folder, whatever works. Let them know that after the third infraction- they have to move out. And if they won't move out- move them out. Stick the clothes and funiture outside and change the locks. Let them know that when they have found a place to live, they will be given a key to visit and that they are still apart of the family. It sounds mean- and they will be angry for a while i would imagine- but I can tell you that this is exactly the discipline I would have recieved had I ever acted in such a disrespectful way to my parents- and for that- I am grateful. I wish you the best. good luck.

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Easy as pie. Start chrging your kids every time you have to do a chore that was on their list see how fast they are going to do it Or secondly when they want something especially $$$$ say no you have not done your chores What kind of work do you do from home? I myself am looking to stay at home if I can find a job I can do from home

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I am sorry, but who are the parents/adults/homeowners here??? I have four children of my own and they all must help with the house. If you start them when they are young it will help young moms lives much easier in the long run.

By the way, my children are 22, 17, 16, & 11. TAKE CHARGE of your house!!! Don't allow them to eat unless they buy it and clean it up- STOP doing everything before you go crazy- if they don't change you move them out. Put everything they own in their cars and pray for them!!!

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Do they work as well as go to college?? If so then they need to pay some form of rent to cover the roof over their head, electric/gas usage, water, food, etc!!! Otherwise they are able to do their own landry so let them-don't do it for them!! If it is their cat, put the box in their room with the cat and close the door!! If they can't pick up after them selves and help around the house, they don't get to eat the food that you buy and cook!! It's that simple!! You may be their parents, but they are old enough to live on their own and take care of their business!! They moved home for a reason and I'm sure it wasn't to sponge off mommy and daddy!!!! I left my daughter's father and her and I moved in with my dad till I got on my feet and was able to buy a house. My rent was to keep the house clean and I paid a portion of the phone bill because I added my number to his line so I could keep my phone number. I did everything in that house except his laundry!! I also had a full time job and a infat to take care of!!

So the least your kids can do is keep up with the house cleaning if they aren't working to show you and hubby that they appreciate the fact that you let them move back home!! Otherwise they can go find someone else to mooch off of!

Good luck
S.

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I have the perfect website for you! www.FLYLADY.COM It is wonderful!!! Just give each of your kids a timer and it will work miracles for you! Even if you don't; try it yourself for a few days and see how much better you feel about your surroundings. (Really)!! Give it a try!

Good Luck to you!

Lucy B.

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H.:
I just read your problem, advice, and your decision and want to say "thank you" for asking everyone for advice. It appears to have helped you and others (me included). We as parents try so hard to teach our children everything, but it is hard when life is so busy and both parents work. We do the best we can. Yes, they are our children, but they do need to be responsible and be productive members of society. As our kids get older they sometimes revert and think they know it all and just don't get it. I am glad that some of your respondents were perfect in raising their kids. Unfortunately, we are not all perfect, myself included. I appreciate everyone's advice given to H.. I may consider implementing some of these ideas as well to deal with my 16 and 19 year old children. I think husbands/spouses are crucial in following through, participating with the cleaning, cooking, and backing up mom. I am happy to see you are on the right track and have a supportive husband.

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How much authority does your husband have in this situation? If they do not take you seriously, which obviously they do not, then what are the chances of your husband putting HIS foot down to them? If he has always been disciplinarian and you have always been nurturer, it is highly unlikely that they are going to now pay attention to your authority. If your husband has a private talk with them and tells them that this is the way it is: either do your chores as your mom has mapped out, or get out because you are killing your mother, overworking her and taking unfair advantage! If he does that, will they listen to him? If not, then you are going to have to have the backbone (hard to do for us mothers at times) and tell them that they are now adults and as such, must contribute by either doing the work themselves or getting a part-time job and paying for a daily maid (and good luck finding one). I've been through this and made all the mistakes of giving too much, so I can tell you now that making them take responsibility for their own lives is not a horrible thing to do and is a good lesson for them for their entire lives. Just do it with love and let them know that you do love them, but that you and your husband have physical limitations like anyone else and although you may both be forever young in their eyes, you are not young anymore and need some help. Use the guilt! No shame in that, H.!! Mothers have been doing it for centuries! You have gotten some good suggestions, but you must be realistic with yourself, too -- what are you willing to do to get the jobs done? I think making them take a part-time job is a great idea and paying rent to you, but let's be realistic -- such jobs are scarce and anyway, they still need to learn personal responsibility for their daily living -- consider it part of their college education. Stay and pay (in physical labor), or hit the road -- it may sound cruel to you, being a nurturing type mother, but it really is a good lesson for the now grown kids, and you will be doing them a favor to give them the ultimatum. In this case, "paying" means just their physically kicking in with their fair share of the workload. It really is not asking too much and they will survive it and be better adults for it. Go for it! If they leave because of your insistence, that's their choice, but they must be made to do their fair share or else hit the road or else you must prepare yourself to continue to be the live-in maid. You do have a choice here, so give them a choice, too and then stick with it. Are they full-time students or part-time? If only part-time, they should be doing all the housework all the time! One way of achieving this might be to put dollar amount values on every chore, and also put dollar amount values on every meal and housing, phone use, cell phone bills, and anything else that is normally charged to an adult in the outside world. They can "earn" their room rent, earn their food, (you get the idea) by performing their chores, dollar for dollar. They don't get real money for these chores, not ever, or else you will see them doing just enough to get money from you so they can eat out all the time. The "dollars" they earn must be traded for rights in the house. Again, show them you are serious by not feeding them when they don't earn their food, and if they do nothing, then put them out in the yard in a tent to sleep. Show them you are serious and they will kick in, I promise you!

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H.,

In response to your update. Good for you!! You stood your ground and are back on track. Keep up the good work!!

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I fear that if you go on strike it might not have the effects that you want it to. Maybe if you sit them down individually and have a heart to heart with them, unstead of kind of demanding them to do something. Tell them how you feel, but in a less hostile, blame game, guilt kind of way. Just say, "look, I'm really busy, I'm doing all these things, I need some help around here." Ask them. "Can you please help me out? I know you are busy too, but if you are staying here then you need to start pulling your load." yatta yatta. They may not be doing it because they feel like you are MAKING them like children, opposed to them WANTING to help you. They may feel like, you are home all day working so you have more time to do it or something, unless you tell them otherwise. I am probably a idealist, but if my mom asks me to do something, I do it. But if she stomped around the house pissed cause I didnt do something, I'd get pissed, defensive and not want to.

Who's pets are these anyways? If they are theirs, then threaten to get rid of the pets and some of the stresses if they cant handle the responsibility of them. Just my opinion! Hope it works out! You sound stressed!

Also- threatening to kick them out and charge them money are not good ideas for this situation, in my opinion. Money isnt everything. You dont seem to want the money, you want the HELP. You are stressed about the work, not the money. If my mom threatened to charge me, I would rather pay and not have to worry about doing the work. And I dont think you really would feel good about yourself kicking them out. Then that really doesnt solve anything and it's your KIDS! They are in college, they need you too. I think you guys just need to work on a support system.

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HI.

I think that every time you do one of their chores, you should bill them. Write up an invoice and leave it for them. If left unpaid, then start charging rent and for food. Be brutal. You did, for sure, teach them to walk all over you so You'll have to be tough.

Good luck!

S.

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H., I have a 29 y/o brother who still mooches off mom and dad. He drives their car, uses their gas card, they pay for his insurance, and the list goes on. Stop the madness now before you have middle-aged children still living with you! If the kids won't pull their weight around the house, start charging rent or kick them out. Sometimes everyone needs a little tough love.

1 mom found this helpful

Denise,
Please save your sanity! You're almost done raising the oldest child and must take a stand on it now. Since your oldest is adult age, you must take drastic steps now:
The legal way to do it is by making a tenant out of him, by giving him the lease with both of you signing. Send a copy to him registered, return receipt, etc. so that he won't way he never got it. The month-to-month tenancy will be established. In it put the rules of the house and the rent. $500.00 is reasonable for rent and board and all the food he eats (lights, gas, water, etc.). Include all chores. Do only the chores you have time for.

Make sure to list that he has 60 to 90 days to find his own place, and it's contingent on his compliance with the house rules. If he misses one thing for week or if he fails to pay the first rent, go to the county courts and file for an eviction. Send a copy of that by certified, priority mail with a signature receipt, etc. and let him know in person that his things will be put outside and the locks changed in the court's timeframe. It works and it's perfectly legal and within your rights as a mom, owner of the home and a human being.

As for the senior on your couch, cut off all conveniences, fun, etc.
Here are your top ten and a few extra: no cell phones, no cars, no gas money, no home phone privileges after 10:00 p.m., you should eat out with friends as much as you'd like or have potluck suppers with good friends and buy only the foods you like and leave the fridge with necessities only. (You deserve to eat what you like, plus it'll cut down cosiderably on your food bill); there will be no money for baseball, football, or any sporting events, movies, putt-putt or other entertainment; put all electronics i.e. Wii, X-Box, PS, PS2, Nintendo 64, TV's (and Cd players) bought by you that you don't watch and put them in storage or at a trusted friend's place. He must also contribute money to the home from his job.

If they need to be somewhere, they will transport themselves to and form the site. You transport the 18 year old only to his workplace. Period. We did. You will not pay for Marta cards, cab fare, etc. The youngest is a legal adult now, and since their schools records are private so are the issues they may have w/not completing work etc. He must pay his way, including car insurance and car repairs. You will only help him if he's ill. No friends are allowed to visit, only family, especially since you're the only one contributing to the house. Period.

Tell them that you deserve peace in your own house, and you will have it. If you'd like to discuss it, because it worked for me, shoot me a return email. Ours is now an adult-child free zone. They appreciate us two now, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

I'm here for you, or anyone else who needs help on this issue. I want you to take a stand! You've done your best and you're being taken advantage of and it's not fair and must stop today. Take a stand today and institute these rules and stick to them; they'll change or they'll find a place of their own where they can clean up when they like...but they'll pay their own way.

1 mom found this helpful

My sister has a few adult children living with her and since food cost even more now and they eat they pay rent. I really think since without them your light,gas, electric and food bill would be less sooooo...they need to pay something to help. The next thing is keep your list actually make a chart hang it on a wall like the kitchen and rotate the names every week, period. You are not the a hotel their is no maid service and if they want to be slobs then great they can fo that at their own place,period. Everyone works if that many people (adults) live together...mommy is no longer helping toddlers. STOP! cleaning or moving their things, if they get mad have a pink slip you give them that states they are welcome to visit but can move out at anytime freewill.... Instead of a melt down tell them there's a once a week family progress meeting and they are required to come to it. If they aren't working they need to work at least part time and I have a niece who worked full time and went to school full time, she also did her own laundry cleaner the bathrroom, mopped the floors and paid her parents $500 a month. She said and still does say while she's finishing to get her 4 yr degree "it's less then an apartment and I can have meals with them, plus I have less to clean". I have nephew who lived at the dorms, worked, played football, ROTC and just got his 4 yr degree he had all his own to do since he lived on his own. You need to tell the kids hey, others have done it and you can too chip in or chip out. My best wishes to you a mother that deserves breakfast served to her everyday!!

1 mom found this helpful

Let them know, lovingly, that they pull their own weight, or they can move out and do it all on their own. They'll probably get the message very quickly. No breakdown's needed!

1 mom found this helpful

This esy, tell them to do it or kick them out. Why are you moving out of your own house for a week. You and your husband pay the bills for that house. They are not children. They are adults so treat them like any other adult you would be renting to. If you dont give them tough love-they will continue to run all over you and you moving out for a week is not going to do anything. Most likely you will ocme back to a house of filth. Please take my advice. Stop babying some grown aduts.

1 mom found this helpful

Moving out of the house for a week is really not a bad idea. I once went on strike for two weeks and my husband finally 'got it'. Either that or the two kids move out and rent an apartment together. Another possibility is a nightly check and anything that bothers you, they clean up or do right then so the house is how you, the owner, wants it. If they get the avantage of living at home while going to college, they need to 'pay' somehow. Charge rent, too.
Hang in there! It sounds like you are not coddling them, which is great - they just aren't being responsible adults.
You are doing well. Hang in there and continue to be tough!!!
K.

1 mom found this helpful

Use a lot of Empathy and do what someone else was saying...charge them. "Oh this is sad...this will cost $2.00" or whatever.

But my first thought is to talk to your husband and talk about going on strike. Seriously. We do 'Love and Logic' with our kids and so did this other person and she went on strike and did nothing in the family. It was hard for the kids. I'd say go on strike! You don't have to move out to go on strike though.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello H., I have four adult children. I think that it will be easier for you to keep telling them to do their job around the house. However remind them that if you have to do any part of their's and something ends up in he trash, oh well. Let them know the days of you having to clean after them are over.
Sometimes I think we as parents are so use to thinking that it easy for us to do it instead of tell them again to do it. Stop doing it and let them..It won't be easy. GOOD LUCK!!!!

1 mom found this helpful

I think your kids -particularly the 21 year old -need to be living elsewhere. However, if they're going to live with you, then they need to pay you rent -you could even offer to have them pay rent or clean house -one or the other. Tell them you have to have their rent in order to keep feeding them and to pay a weekly cleaning service. Also -if they want to keep living there -impose rules they probably had when younger such as an 11pm curfew (or you take their keys away), no friends sleeping over to create even bigger messes, etc. I'm sure they'll be longing to get a place of their own in no time! Why don't you suggest the two of them getting an apartment together? Tons of people work while in school, so I don't know why they should be any different -it shouldn't be too difficult for them to pay rent on their own place if they split it.

I'm with the ones who advocate tough love! You aren't teaching them life skills if you do everything for them. Make them do their chores or pay rent/maid service or leave! Our job as parents is to help them succeed, and adults who (truly) succeed at life are responsible, respectful and considerate toward others.

Go for it, girl!

Hey girl, i just read your request, and after reading Pmallon's response i could not read anymore. I'm not sure why she had to go to the places she went with kids not asking to be here, I feel that kids should have some responsibility, if we are all living in the house together it should not be one person's responsibility to do it all, that's working together to benefit all. I'm a single parent with a 15 year old daughter, and we fus about who washed the dishes last. If i've been at work all day and you just been sitting around doing nothing, why not wash the dishes. So we had to make a schedule that we go by to avoid any problems. You have to work together as a family it makes it so much easier..But take that week off and see how they hold down the fort???

Family meeting time. Schedule it and make sure they commit to the date and time. You need to get buy in before just posting lists on your refrigerator. If it is a plan that everyone is in agreement on, your chances of success will be much better. Merely posting the chores on the fridge makes the girls feel like they are still children. Treat them as adults and they will more likely behave like them. Also, if you have an extra room in the house to call your own, claim it and demand that no one enter it...this can be the one place you can count on to be clean if you need a quiet place to escape. I understand your frustration as I feel I'm continuously cleaning up after my kids and husband. Also, invest in a housecleaner to come at least every other week. It will be money well spent. Tell your husband that you'll cut back on the grocery bill in order to make it happen. This will be good for your sanity.

I personally am in the same boat, with a few differences. Just reading these responses make me know though that I am not alone.

My son (19) & my daughter (23) live with us. Son hasn't left yet, but promises monthly.

Daughter has lived on her own, but last year had lost her job, so she moved back in to play catch up, find another job etc. She found a full time job & also goes to college. She has a goal to move out within a few more months.

Son, who hasn't moved out got involved with a relationship. We challenged it and offered her to move in for a couple of weeks to see if she would leave the situation. She did.. well, its been 6 months!! She is still here. Does NOTHING! No job etc. He works part time and does odd jobs. She brought her cat, and just a couple of weeks ago, he got her a puppy as a gift to her. Of course they said they would move out by 8/10??? She doesn't do anything to help, and he will do things for her, but he argues to do anything for us etc. And he came home last nite and said he quit his job.

Hubby & I have tried everything. We too are at whits end to get through to him. He feels we love his sister better, etc. He doesn't see what we are doing for him?

I want you to understand that I am in the same boat. If you need to talk just yell. And yes, we are getting to the point that we feel that it is now a point of nothing else but tough love.

Keep in touch.

It is your house. You know what standard you want to
live, so you make rules. The girls must be aware of what is expected of them and agree that they can pull their load. If the rules are not followed,
your want for your perfect existence is a priority over
waiting for "your visitors" to perform their "agreed upon
part". So you have to hire a maid ---- YOU. And YOU are
not cheap. Charging rent may be cheaper that hiring YOU.
Check on apartment rates. It will give a good idea what
is being offered to them. Good luck. Wish I could have heeded my own words.

In response to Carol F, she apparently didn't perceive that you were asking "Well, what do I do now?" Some of
us would change the way we raised our kids in hindsight.
Some of us, like Carol F, seems to be the fortunate one.
I didn't hear that you were blaming someone, but just purely asking for advice. I say it
is fortunate that you still have an opportunity to teach
your children life lessons, which in this case, is
"if you don't like my rules, move, offer to pay rent, offer to pay a maid, or offer to pay YOU, or the biggee....
live in my house by my rules. I wish you luck on decifering between productive responses and the punitive ones. We're all in the same boat. With luck, 2nd, 3rd and more chances make their way back into our lives.

First, get rid of the "lighthearted" attitude. They don't think you're serious. Just like any roommate situation, there are common living areas and private areas. Close the door on their rooms and don't under any circumstances go in. Insist there be no food inside their rooms EVER, if they are slobs (bugs) and make them keep the door closed so you don't see the mess.

Common living areas are a different story. They should abide by the chore list plus keep their belongings out of the common areas. Meal preparation should be rotated and if they don't want to do that, let them fix their own. You could add dollar values to the chore list and deduct from their "rent" or charge them when it's not done.

I have one in college now, and I know there is ample time to work a part-time job. In fact, it makes scheduling their study/play time easier.

You are not doing them any favors by picking up the slack. At some point they will be on their own and will have a rude awakening when Mom isn't there to clean the bathroom or do the dishes.

Good luck

Well Gee, Carole F. you are one of the few lucky ones. Just because your kids turned out as you wish doesnt mean that the rest of us have not struggled to teach them all along growing up. My 19 yr old son is stubborn, set in his ways and yes I have been trying to raise him to be responsible and do chores all of his life!! So to H. H. fight on, and to Carol F. don't be so judgemental of others.

Hi H.,

Congratulations! Sounds like you have a good plan. I have one more suggestion for you, in the event that they still lag on chores. It sounds like you have a lower tolerance for mess than the rest of the family; you can't stand the mess they're supposed to be responsible for, so you clean it up. If waiting for them to clean it makes YOU suffer, there is another solution: clean the mess you can't stand, but then put it where they have to deal with it. If you have to sweep the dog hair, put the swept-up hair in her bed so she has to sleep with it until she cleans it. If she left dishes on the counter, put them in her bed. And yes, if she didn't clean the toilet, clean it and leave the wipes/brush/towels etc on her pillow. That way you get the clean house they agreed to, but they and only they still have to live with the consequences of their irresponsibility -- and in a much more direct way. Good luck!

One thing that I noticed is that your husband is working two jobs. Is this by choice because he is saving for retirement or trying to play catch up on some bills or is this because he is supporting the woman-child and man-child? If they are adults, they need to be pitching in at home, not just cleaning up behind themselves, but financially as well. Water, groceries and electricity all increase as the number of people grows.

I am afraid there may be bad patterns and habits that need to be changed, but the only way you will make that happen is for you and your husband to be united on how to change it, what is going to change and what the consequences are if they can't follow the house rules.

They are old enough that you can reasonably tell them if you continue to do xyz, then you will have 14 days notice to find a place of your own. The only drawback is you have to stick to your guns on it. If you don't they will have won and will continue to treat you the same way they always have.

Good luck, this is no small chore.

I would make the chores constant not rotating. so and so does the dishes monday, wed , and friday, and so and so does the dishes tues thurs sat. That way there is no excuse for not getting chorse done, they cant not no it was their week to do it. or blame it on someone else. dont rotate it, there is no chore rotation in the real world, you do it all or it just dosnt get done. AND Id' charge them rent on top of it, thats the way my dad did it , it was just 100$ a month but it was still rent.

Wow, I know this is hard for you! I would sit down with the family and have a heart to heart. Some things I would mention...If the cat or dog is theirs, suggest getting rid of it if they cant give it the proper care it needs. Harsh, but just enlighten them.. If they did move out, would the animals be with them? Then they would HAVE to do it all by them selfs. Remind them that you are letting them stay with you because you love them and WANT to help them but you DO NOT have to anymore. That is reality. They have to respect you. You laying down the law will only help them when they are on their own. The money ideas are good but I would take it out of the money you are already spending on them. For example, if you give them money to go to the movies, out with friends, gas, anything, tell them they have to earn it. Make them stick to the chore list (great idea by the way) or they loose the money movie, etc. If all else fails, suggest that they get an apartment together. Get your husband on board with you and they will know you are serious. Good luck to you guys:)

Unless their undone tasks would make the house burn down or would be a real disaster - STOP DOING THEIR CHORES. If their chore is to clean the kitchen you cannot cook in a dirty kitchen. - So make yourself a sandwich. You could also meet hubby somewhere for dinner for just the 2 of you. As long as you keep on doing others chores they will leave them for you to do. You also need to consider some part time help. Maybe these young adults need to take a part time job to pay for the "maid" since they do not take the cleaning seriously. Only wash your clothes and your husbands if that's part of your agreement for his working 2 jobs. We cannot be taken advantage of unless we allow it. V.

I too work from the home, and my house is also on the market. My 21 year old moved back in about a year ago (I still have a 14 year old at home). I feel for you! I know exactly what you are going through!

Here is what I did. I told my daughter that if she did not start helping around the house more, cleaning up after herself, etc, that I would start charging her rent. Not a lot of rent, but about $50 a week. (this is what it would cost me to hire a maid lol). She got the picture and has started cleaning up after herself more. It is not perfect, but she knows that if she does not help out, she will have to pay me rent, or move out! I know, harsh, but she is an adult and needs to learn how to take care of her things, house, etc. So far, it has worked out.

Good Luck!

Hi H.,
Get the kids out......that isn't easy....maybe you can rent them an apartment, take all of their stuff over there while they're gone, rearrange their rooms at your house, and when they come home, hand them the key, and say "you'll be much happier, think of the freedom". They can get part time jobs to pay the rent afterwards.

My friend had a similar problem.......he and his wife let the son move back home, wife died....son is now 31....Dad finally had to tell him to move.....Dad bought son's cars, son had lots of wrecks his fault, he rear ended others....meanwhile, he used Dad' car. He's say, Dad I'm using your car..he never asked, and guess who paid for son's car to be repaired. Dad paid for cell, insurance, everything...Dad cooked the meals, Dad works hard long hours, son didn't do anything......(as in ANYTHING) his room and bathroom were like pig pens. He slept late. Dad finally had to insist that son get a job........(at 31) Son went to college too. That was a joke, He slept late and partied. Wouldn't help at all. Then after he got the job, the excuse was (I worked, I'm tired, I am going out) No respect for Dad at all......
Some things are easy to get into, and hard to get out of. You love the kids, but they can destroy your life....Sometimes, Love has to be tough. It's for their own good, and they will respect you for it. (they won't tell you, tho)
Good luck, stay safe.

Do exactly what you said. Pack your bags and tell your two young adult children why you are taking a "vacation." Move out for a week and let them survive on their own while you get some relaxation. When you come back,if there is no change in their attitudes about being responsible and willing to help out with chores at home, then give them a choice. Either they change and help out or they need to get their own apartment. That way they can live how ever they choose. Make the decision that's best for your health and well-being, sanity and your marriage. I'm sure you love your children, but it's past time they grow up and be responsible young adults. Take care.

H. its time you deserve a women to come in and clean your house for you , all is really busy, I applaud your pre adult kids, a job & college, wow sounds like great kids... I always did my kids chores while they were in school, but I demanded excellent grades, you all work hard, is this the battle you choose to do, one battle a year is all us moms get. Have the girls chip in for a house cleaner to come in, once a week its like $ 40.00 then you & dad & the girls can have a tiny bit spare time to do things together, Or not. then you dont have to be the bossy one, dad doesn't have to listen to you , and the girls will keep there loving relantionship with mom, you already taught them how to clean house, they know how, its all the other stuff they do, house work is the last thing to remember.

Good luck

Best of luck to you. I suspect that when these adult children were not adults, they probably acted very similar. Tell me, do you have to house them now that they are adults who act like helpless children? Is it fair to you and your husband to live in dispair? Are you making a mountain out of a mole hill? Can these children move on campus? or to an apartment of their own? Are you willing to help with rent on their own apartment? Have you all had a family conference or counseling? What is your husband(the father) saying about this situation? It sounds like your frustration level is not healthy. You will need to decide what has to be done for you. Know that you can not make anyone do anything. However, you can make decisions in your home that may cause them to make a decision to compy with your wishes in your home or make that move that all adults must make when they no longer want to be in the role of a child in their parents home. Good Luck!!!!

I would charge them a considerable amount of rent up front each month for "room and board." Then, if they are helpful during the month, refund some of their money or apply a discount to the next month. That way you're not nickel and diming them for each chore. Obviously, this is not the best answer. Having them be more responsible and helpful is the best answer. You may want to try the Love and Logic book for teens. www.loveandlogic.com. It applies to your adults as well since they are living with you. www.flylady.net may also help. Good luck.

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