How to Deal with 18 Year Old Daughter

Updated on September 07, 2017
M.G. asks from Kalamazoo, MI
15 answers

She lives at home. Refuse to pay any rent or to help around the House. When i try to talk to her she gets an attitude with me. HELP

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O.J.

answers from Washington DC on

Does she go to school or is she in college? Is she working? If she's working then at least she must pay some rent. I don't make my daughter help around the house but she must do her own laundry. If she wants to clean her room, she will probably. If she wants to make her bed, which she probably wont most of the time, just let it go. She's 18. An adult. She must be responsible of her actions but you should still instill some ground rules around the house.

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T.F.

answers from Dallas on

There's a lot of background here that we've not been made aware of.

You are obligated to provide and care for her at least until she's 18. What is the story? Is dad around? Sounds like a rocky relationship that did not just start at 18.

Are you talking TO her or AT her? Do you listen to her? Did she finish high school? Are drugs an issue? Is she in college? She should be. Is she working? Why are you so strict? Are you making it so she does not want to live with you?

It's your house and your rules but in my opinion you are also part of the problem.. communication being a big one. There are always 2 sides of the story.... I'd like to hear her side.

Get counseling for the family. Show some compassion for your daughter. Remember when you were 18.

My 22 year old lives on her own and is in college. STILL... if she lived under my roof at 18, I would never expect her to pay rent.

My job is to raise a confident child who's ready to leave the nest and be independent.

Something, somewhere along the line got off kilter with your daughter. Get help, figure it out so hopefully you with both have a healthy relationship with each other. If you don't... you may not be in her life once she manages to get out from under your rule.

7 moms found this helpful

D.B.

answers from Boston on

Sounds to me like this problem has been developing for years. What did you do throughout her teen years to work on communication, responsibility, attitude, and self-sufficiency? It would help to know what you've done so far and how you got to this point.

Generally, 18 year olds don't miraculously turn into lazy and entitled adults without there being some lead-up behaviors all along. If you gave in to those and never required anything of her, you're kind of late in the game to start demanding things. But you own the house, right? You can pack up her things and put her out on the curb if you want to, calling a locksmith for new locks. But if you've never said "no" to her before, it's not likely to work.

You have given so little info here and absolutely zero background, that it's impossible to give more concrete advice.

Bottom line: no one can take advantage of you without your cooperation.

5 moms found this helpful
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M.G.

answers from Portland on

You're the parent. You own the house. Parent her. I don't know what else to say. Attitude here is met with consequences. They don't get to enjoy the privileges we do for being helpful and respectful. That's a house rule here - I suggest if she's going to continue living with you that you come up with some house rules - and then enforce them. Come up with consequences. There's no info here, so no way to give examples. You teach people how to treat you - so if she's not showing you any respect, then you change your approach.

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T.R.

answers from San Francisco on

Have you set any expectations for your adult child? My kids know the rules, and the consequences. Anyone with an attitude will be shown the door.

Expectation: At 16 you either get your license and drive to you activities.
Consequence: No license means you walk, ride your bike or take the bus. The warnings were made with plenty of notice, we are are talking years.

Expectation: At 18 up on graduating high school, you go to college. If college is not your choice, you may live at home as long as you have a job, pay rent, and help around the house.
Consequence: At you may not have a place to live. We will give a month to find a job, but its not that hard to find one. (My 15 year knows both expectations, she will get her license soon. She also has plans to attend a community college after high school.)

4 moms found this helpful

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

What's the story? You don't give any history. Is she in college? Working? Didn't you guys have a plan after high school?
You pose your question as if she's just moved in with you. It's hard to answer or give advice without knowing what has been expected and what your relationship is like.

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Z.B.

answers from Toledo on

Make a list of things that you think are reasonable: things she should do around the house, rules of courtesy, a timeline for her plans and when she thinks she might move out, etc. Tell her to do the same. Have her come of with an arrangement that she thinks is fair. Give her a couple of days to do this and agree to a time to sit down and talk about it. Be sure to hear her out. If you both come together with your ideas and really listen to each other, I'm sure you can come up with a plan you can both agree to.

You can't just spring this on her or expect her to talk to you about it willingly if you're saying it moments after complaining that she never does the dishes. You both have to stay calm and be prepared to discuss.

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter just turned 18. She had a rough road throughout high school battling several mental illnesses. She's now doing well in recovery, but will have more underlying challenges than most, ongoing. She finished high school with the summer school credits she just earned, which was a major accomplishment. She is not ready for college right now. School was very difficult for her and she doesn't know what she wants to do. So her plan is to work this year and look into community college next year. She just started a full time job. She pays for her own car expenses, clothes, and everything else, even shampoo. Between work, and time out with friends and her boyfriend, she's not home much. Her room is a mess, but she really doesn't create mess in any other areas of our house. She thinks she will be making enough money to move out soon. I'm very skeptical, but it's great to see her working towards that goal for herself. 6 months ago we were just trying to keep her alive. Yes if it becomes longer term than she lives with us, we would eventually charge rent. But for our circumstances, now is just too soon. Everyone's circumstances are not the same. You're not giving us enough information to really advise you, can you add some more detail?

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Really? Who is the parent here?
Set some rules.
1 get a job or go to college
2 if you get a job, you pay rent, make one meal per week, keep your room clean and do your laundry on Tuesday. You are also responsible for your portion of the cell phone bill, car insurance, and car payments.

If you don't pay rent of $$ on the first of each month, you have 30 days to find another place to live.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

She's an adult now.
Up until she became an adult you were obliged to provide her with food, clothing and shelter - and now you legally don't have to do that anymore.
You don't have to pay for her phone or her internet access or anything.
You and she need to have a long calm sit down (maybe a long car ride together) and talk about her goals for her future and how she expects to get there - and how much easier it would be for her to have your help while she does this - and how much harder it would be without your cooperation.
And in order for YOU to cooperate - SHE needs to cooperate too.
You can evict her.
Everyone who lives in a house helps around the house - it's something she should have been learning since she was little.
It's your house and if she wants to make her own rules and live like she wants to live - then she needs to move out and have at it.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

She is an adult, give her 30 days notice and let her know that either she changes her behavior in those 30 days or on day 30 she is out, and then follow through with it if nothing changes.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.M.

answers from New York on

Attitude?!??! Next time she gives you an attitude, you give her a written 30 day eviction notice! Time for tough love! If she's not a full-time student, she wouldn't be living in my house.

1 mom found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

Is she working or going to college? Honestly, I would sit her down and have a serious discussion with her about her future. It is time for her to start taking on more life responsibilities. Go over everything it takes to run a household: bills as well as chores/jobs. If she does not want to go to college yet, then she needs to work and contribute towards the household expenses. If you do not want her living at home you need to give her a deadline to find a place to rent with friends. If she is not going to college and does not have a job what is her plan? If she refuses to discuss things with you I suggest family therapy. Or set her up to meet with a counselor / life coach. You can plan for her and a friend or two to all meet with this life coach together to come up with a plan. If you are not there and are not a part of it she might start acting more mature and listening - especially around friends. If she refuses to listen to you and act like a responsible young adult then she needs consequences. Think about what these will be. Are you paying for her car? Her phone? Are you driving her places? Are you doing her laundry? Start expecting her to act more like an adult. But also talk to her like she is an adult and make sure to treat her with respect too.

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

You should have been working on this when she was little. There should have been milestones to help her achieve the ability to be an independent individual like doing laundry, cleaning up after herself, cooking, sewing on a button, and planning a future to be self-sufficient.

When my children were little they learned to do laundry, clean, and cook before they were in high school. In fact my son pulled the bake sale trick on me at bed time once and I told him that he would have to make the item as he did not give me notice. He went out and did it. From then on he made the treats himself. Dad said college, job or military but you have to do something for yourself.

My comment to my children was that there would be no free loaders in my home when they were 18. It was repeated on and off throughout the early teen years. Son got a job and then joined the military. Daughter started school and then got a job. Both were productive and got things that they wanted with their money and helped out around home.

They are both on their own and live in different states. So it is all in the foundation.

Give your daughter notice of x amount of days or months to move out. She will quickly see what the world is about and you can go on and live your life.

the other S.

L.U.

answers from Seattle on

I can't say a thing to help you.
You gave us no information.
Is she in college? Does she have a job? Has your relationship been good up until now? How do YOU behave? When you say you talk to her what is her response? "attitude" is a descriptive word, but doesn't say what she is saying or what her argument is.
So...give us a bit more....

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