R.P. asks from Belle Plaine, KS on March 20, 2007
I Need Help - Belle Plaine,KS
i have someone living with me who WILL NOT go to sleep at night. she is 18 and thinks because she is out of the system now she can do whatever she wants including not sleep. she stays either on the computer or on her cell phone or both sometimes all night long. because i am a light sleeper i hear everything that she does. i cant very well keep an eye on her 24/7 because i have a 4 yr old that likes to get up early and gets into things. at 5 this morning she was on the phone with a friend and i went off on her. im tired and frustrated because she thinks she needs to sleep all day long. its not my fault she stays up all night. and when she moved in we agreed that she would help out with house work. shes not doing that either. i am the only one in my house who really does anything as far as house work. my husband i can understand not helping because he works from 6 to 4 everyday. and in the bible it says that if the man works it is the womans job to keep the house up. but im fed up with everyone else not helping. my boys refuse to clean their room and they, i think, are too young to do the dishes. any suggestions would help tremendously. thanks in advance, R.
So What Happened?™
just wanted to give everyone an update on the 18yr old that was, and yes i said was, living in my house. she has been gone for about 3 or 4 weeks now, not because we kicked her out, but because she went to visit her fiance. she has just told us that she is planning on getting married in 2 weeks and she is pregnant with his child. she is due around dec 11, but has had previous miscarriages so we will see how it goes. neway, just thought i would let everyone know. thanks for the advise that you all gave me. i appreciated it. god bless, R.
S.J. answers from Lawton on March 20, 2007
Who is paying her bills? Who buys her food? Is she paying rent? My youngest is now 18.
In the beginning it was rather funny, I would tell her she needed to be home at a certain time ( for example) and she would say, but I'm 18 I don't have to.... My response made ME feel free. I said "Yes you are. Which means I am no longer responsible for you and your actions. If you refuse to follow my rules, when you do come home, all your things will be on the front porch. Your cell phone will be disconnected and you better not get sick, because there will be no insurance. And I hope you like taking the bus, since that will be your only mode of transportation."
After she picked her chin up from the floor, she decided it would be worth her while to continue to follow the rules.
She still gets a little mouthy from time to time. But a quick reminder is always followed by a respectful apology.
Don't put up with disrepect in your home. It sounds like your children might be following her lead. You really need to lay down the law and follow through. If it comes down to it kick her out. It might be the best thing for her.
2 moms found this helpful
A.S. answers from Oklahoma City on March 20, 2007
You didn't say why this young woman was living with you, but if she isn't in school, she needs to get a job. She doesn't have enough going on in her life if she can stay up all night on the phone.
I think you should start charging her rent. Just say that in lieu of her doing the housework she was expected to do that you were going to start charging her $300 a month for room and board. Get a lease agreement from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/TC01001423103...
and have her fill it out. You can't let her be a leech on you. It may seem like you are being nice, but you are not teaching her any responsibility or what it is like to be in the real world.
As far as your kids go, they can do small chores and can earn an allowance that way. They could sort laundry, or take out the trash, or mop the floor. You might have to lower your standards a bit, but they can do more than you would think if you spend the time teaching them. Then, take their allowance and take off 10% to tithe, 30% to save, 30% to spend and 30% to share. Or whatever percentage you see fit.
By the way, I think it is fine that you are responsible for the house while your husband works, but no where in the Bible does it say that he can't help after he gets a little down time after work. He could help with the dinner dishes or get the kids in the bath every night.
Hope you sleep well tonight.
2 moms found this helpful
W.B. answers from Kansas City on March 20, 2007
I'm gonna start by saying for the 18 yr old its called "tough love". She can either follow the rules or go live somewhere where there aren't any. And you and I, and everybody thats gonna comment on this site knows that isn't possible. So you lay down the rules, your house, your rules. If she is an adult then she needs to act like one. All of us stay at home moms, working moms, or child care provider/moms have one. Make a list of your rules that you want followed, give her a chore list (she's not getting paid to do it, its because she lives there). If she doesn't have a job she needs to get one. If shes not in school than she needs to figure out what she is gonna do with her life. I can only assume that since you said she is out of the "system" she was in foster care at one time. And now that shes 18 this is not the case any more.
As for your son's its never to late or to early to make them have chores. If it's one thing that I will make sure of, its that my 2 boys don't rely on me or a girlfriend to take care of them. They can do things like clean their rooms, take their laundry to the laundry room (or whatever the case is), make their beds, empty the trash, set the table, rinse their plate or just put it in the sink (here again whatever you choose). Things like this.
If anything they might enjoy it.
As for your husband, I don't go to church, have never read the bible front to back but I do know this, that in my own house I have 4 kids, 1 dog and my husband and myself and it takes each of us to do their part to keep this house picked up bible or no bible. My husband works 2 jobs and he still helps where he can, when he can. I can without a doubt say that the mothers that stay home with their children or watch other peoples children and their own as in my case work just as hard as the people that go to work everday. I can tell you this much I'm here everyday and I don't get a scheduled 30 minute lunch or 2 15 minute breaks. So my advice communicate with everyone in your house what their jobs are. As far as I'm concerned your husband should help you, you worked all day just as well as he. And should want to help you not because he has to but because he wants to. I don't mean to sound harsh or mean but it's a group effort these days on all people envolved. Hope you work this out for yourself and maybe then you will have the time to draw again. W. mom of 4, stay at home mom and child care provider.
1 mom found this helpful
J.R. answers from Lafayette on March 20, 2007
It sounds like you need some strength in laying the law down. The system doesnt matter, shes in YOUR home and I'm assuming not paying any of the bills? So 8 or 18, she doesnt get to make the rules. I'd give her a time limit and some definite changes you want to see, and if she doesnt hold up her end of the deal, she has that time to find a job and a place to live where she can make her own rules. I agree that you're both working hard in different areas, and try not to ask hubs to work when he comes home from work, but he does need to help you present a united front in the discipline in the household. Set age appropriate consequences for the boys if they dont clean their room for example and both you and your husband have to be strong in enforcing those consequences. Its going to be tough to start, and the backlash is going to make you want to hide and cry, but it sounds like the alternative is for you to lose your sanity. Good luck
1 mom found this helpful
A.M. answers from Oklahoma City on March 21, 2007
R., I unfortunately had this same problem with a friend of mine. She was going through a REALLY ROUGH time in her life and I took her in to help take care of her. She used me and my family to her full advantage and I eventually had to kick her out of my house b/c she was costing me more money than she was worth.
That being said, I understand your girl is only 18. Is she not in school? Did she graduate? Does she have a job? Does she maybe have insomnia? Maybe, that is why she stays up all night and sleeps all day. My "friend" claimed to have that. I would just sit down with your girl and try to explain to her, adult to "adult", that you are a light sleeper and she's being inconsiderate of everyone else in the house by staying up late and being loud. Try talking to her and coming up with a compromise. If you've tried this already, let me know and I'll have more suggestions.
I know it didn't work out with me and my "friend" but, I'd like to be able and help you.
S.P. answers from Kansas City on March 20, 2007
As others have mentioned, you didn't say who she is or why she's living with you. One obvious option is to toss her out.
I assume you don't want her out on her own, or she would be, so move to Plan B. Usually you're not raising an 18 year old until you've lived through 17 years of them, and by then you have a better idea of how to handle them. I suggest that you get a book on dealing with teens/young adults and/or tough love. It's amazing. They walk and talk like adults but they still act like kids.
I vote for requiring that she get a job, which isn't that hard to do. If she doesn't have a vehicle, it might be tough though. She needs to get out there every day to restaurants, retail stores, whatever, and fill out applications. Once she gets a job, she'll be too tired to stay up all night and her hours will (somewhat) regulate themselves. However, you should realize that staying up WAY LATE is very normal for the age and probably won't go away. Maybe you can fix up a spot for her in the basement or elsewhere in your home that is far enough away from your bedroom that you don't hear her. I'm sure she's almost as eager to have some privacy as you are not to have to listen to her. In fact, if you can, you might want to create a bedroom for her downstairs... At her age, privacy is really important.
Good luck to you. It sounds like you are at your wits' end. You've been given a lot of good advice by all the moms here. Hopefully some piece of it will help you.
E.Y. answers from Topeka on March 21, 2007
I was brought up to believe that everyone picthes in around the house. I do not work, but when my house is not deployed he does little things around the house... like he rinses the dishes and I put them in the dishwasher. Your boys need to help too, even if it's just straightening up their rooms or picking up their toys.
Now for this girl... lay down the law. Go over the rules with her once more and tell her if she does not follow them that she needs to leave. And if she doesn't follow the rules then kick her out. I know it will be hard, but it sounds to me like she needs some tough love and bit of discipline. Good luck!
D.T. answers from Tulsa on March 20, 2007
To get your children's help you need to look at this age appropriate chore chart:
For the young adult living with you, KICK her out. My mother always said, if you aren't in college or highschool at 18 you're outta her. She moved out on me (low rent apartment), because I was getting married and had a kid so college wasn't in my future for quite a while.
Don't pay her cell phone bill, get it out of your name, put a time lock on the computer, change passwords, use parental controls anything to limit the usage at night.
Be firm with her, she has responsibilities as an adult now.