March 31, 2009,
V.B. asks from Milwaukee, WI on March 28, 2009
Discipline of 19 Year Old
I have a 19 year old college student that lives at home.She pays for college herself and has several jobs. She does not have her own vehicle but uses ours as needed for class and work. When she wants to go out, I tell her she can but not if it involves my vehicles. I tell her she doesn't have a curfew but to please come home at a reasonable hour as to not wake up the rest of the household. Tonight, she went out with her younger sister (17) to a concert and was driven by a friend. When I asked what time they would be home the older daughter simply replied "I don't know" I told her that her sister did have a curfew and for them to come home before I fell asleep because she forgot her house key. It is now 1:30am and they are still not home. I called them about a half hour ago and they still were not sure what time because they were not the driver.To make matters worse it is snowing out 5 inches on the ground and still falling. I offered to pick them up but my oldest insisted that they would be home soon. My daughter added that she is 19 years old I told her I was concerned for my other daughter's safety. This is really frustrating because my younger daughter is still out. This doesn't seem to bother my oldest.How can I discipline them both
So What Happened?™
Well...they finally walked thru the door at 3am. I made the mistake of going to bed instead of talking to them. I was so furious and didn't want to raise my blood pressure.A few hours later their dad got home from work and told them he was very disappointed in both of them and took the 17 year old 's phone away and she can no longer go to her junior prom.
The 19 year old can no longer use our vehicles for work and school instead I'm making her take the shuttle that is offered thru her school. We are leaving for vacation in two weeks and I wanted to leave them behind but cannot trust the both of them together so I'm thinking of just letting them stay in the house we are renting instead of having fun with the rest of the family...I don't know how long to keep the punishment in force...until I can trust them again
M.H. answers from Rapid City on March 29, 2009
This is just what I would do (have done). I would have asked to speak to the 17-year-old, and offered to come and get her since she was basically unable to get home on time. In the morning, sit the 19-year-old down. Explain to her that no matter how old you get, you still have responsibilities to the people that you live with. One of those responsibilities is to respect their sleep. Another is to let people know where you are, and when you'll be back so they don't worry about you. Those are the house rules, and if she chooses not to follow them, your roof and vehicles will not be available to her at all.
1 mom found this helpful
L.H. answers from Milwaukee on March 29, 2009
Tell your daughter that she is 19 but still lives in your home and still has to follow your rules. Let her know that it was inappropriate to keep her sister out that late.
Let her know that now you don't trust her to take your sister out again. That if her friend offered both the 19 year old and the 17 year old a ride it was the drivers resposiblilty to get the 17 year old home on time.
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J.Y. answers from Madison on March 31, 2009
I think the first thing to do going forwad is to set a curfew so that the kids know what to expect. Then, it is easy to tell whether they have followed the rules. When there is not a curfew in place, it is much easier to push the limits. As long as the girls aren't fully self sufficient, they need to abide by the house rules. When they have their own place paying all their own bills, they can make the decisions. With responsibility comes more privelege.
As far as not having a ride, your daughter does have influence over her friends. If they are trustworthy enough to be driving together, especially in the snow, then they should be wiling to help your daughter follow the family's rules by bringing her home by her curfew.
M.W. answers from Minneapolis on March 31, 2009
I would say the 19 year old had the majority of the responsibility in this. It's hard for a 17 year old to make an opposing decision in front of older kids that will cause the others an inconvenience. I would say whether she wanted to head home on time or not, there was a lot of pressure on her from the older kids to go with whatever their decision was.
I have three grown kids. These situations were so stressful to me as a "single" parent. I think taking something major, like a prom, away from the 17 year old may be too much...depending on what her attitude was. She she give you her perspective on how it all went down and do you believe her?
I would be looking to the older sister for the biggest consequence...and take into consideration any vagueness in your instructions.
J.G. answers from Milwaukee on March 30, 2009
Sometimes we have to trust our kids.
I have two children that will be 19 & 22 this April & May.
They have their own vehicles and they bought them and paid for them. They've been doing things on their own since they were 17. I trust my kids.
Yes, we had our times where we didn't agree on curfews.
But when you have someone else driving, and you have a bunch of kids going to a concert, either don't let them go to the concert, or just know that coming home on time isn't an option. That is totally up to the driver.
We all need to talk to our kids more. They are at that age when they are trying to find themselves. In between child and adult. It's a difficult time. But what I found is that talking to them, taking them out for lunch and just being mom and daughter, really kind of smooths things over.
If it were my kids and they said they were going to a concert and they weren't driving, I guess I wouldn't expect them to be on time. I know, when I was a kid, that happened to me. I couldn't get a ride home. And back then , we didn't have cell phones.!! So if you talked to her and she said it would be a little bit longer. As long as they came home safely and had a good time, I guess I wouldn't worry.
But that's just my opinion.
I trust my daughter & my son. They are little adults. :-)
Believe in your kids. You seem to be a wonderful mom. Just know in your heart that you are a good parent and trust in your children.
Trust in your girls. Trust YOU DID A GREAT JOB!
B.H. answers from Minneapolis on March 29, 2009
My dad always told me to be home at a certain time. He said it was MY job to make sure the driver got me home or that circumstances didn't make me late. If I couldn't have the driver bring me home on time I shouldn't go out then. If I was late it was MY fault not my brothers, or the driver etc. and I was in trouble usually grounded.
Sounds like your girls are taking advantage of you and the situation. Maybe they shouldn't go out together anymore.
Your older daughter lives in your house, your rules give her a curfew as well if she doesn't like it she can move out. She's not respecting you right now.
R.B. answers from Duluth on March 30, 2009
When I was 19 (8 years ago)I was going to college, had a job, lived at home with my parents AND had a baby, and my parents STILL gave me a curfew. She needs to understand (and I hated this at the time but looking back it makes sense) the fact is that it is your house, she is out with your other daughter, and she needs to respect all aspects of you and your house and your rules.
A.H. answers from Omaha on March 29, 2009
It sounds like a matter of respect. Sure your daughter is 19 and legally considered an adult, but still she lives under your roof and depends on some things from you (such as the car)so there should be more of a give and take.
I would sit her down and tell her that you were really concerned because of the weather conditions and their overall safety. She should have been more respectful of giving you a more specific time frame of when they would return home and respecting the fact that her younger sister has a curfew.
Yes, she is entitled to go out with friends, but still she should meet you half way so you aren't up all hours of the night worrying about your children.