My Daughter Won't Give up Her Bedroom

Updated on June 10, 2017
J.S. asks from Wilton, CT
21 answers

Recently I asked who gets the bigger bedroom and everybody really helped. I decided who gets it but my daughter currently living in it won't give it up. She is very strong so we can't pull her out. We also can't just move her stuff out while she's away. So how do I make her want the smaller bedroom? So she's willing to move out.

What can I do next?

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answers from Tyler on

I'm unclear on her reason for not wanting to move. Is she sentimental? Lazy? Defiant? Really, if you can determine the root cause, maybe you can find a resolution. Good luck!

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answers from Miami on

What? You have a kid who tells you no, and you can't move her stuff? Who is the adult here? You or the kid?

You had better stop letting her run your household.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I read your original post but didn't weigh in on it, so I don't know what you decided.

That said....You're kidding, right? You are the parent!

However you decide to do this, that's how it gets done. I don't think physical force is the answer, of course. No, you don't even consider dragging her out by her heels. But, what do you mean you can't do it while she's away? She goes to school or work, right? Get 3 friends to come over and help you make the move. Meantime, take away all the things you pay for: computer, phone, car, rides, luxury groceries, laundry services....Simple.

If she wants to discuss this like an adult, great. That means a sensible conversation. If she feels dismissed or disrespected or less valued, then listen to that, and reassure her. But no child gets to decide what everyone else in the family does. Give her something else that she wants in exchange for a larger room so everyone gets something and gives something. My guess is, this is not about the room but about how the decision was made and how it makes her feel. Deal with that part of it.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I just read your other question and this one, what on earth? Why on earth would you even consider moving your kids from one room or another in the first place. Oh, junior wants the bigger room, um, so what? My kids only had to change room arrangements when little siblings were born. Beyond that you move out, you lose your room. No one has moved out so what are your doing?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

If she's already in her room and she doesn't want to move - then let it go. Your other child will have to adjust. We asked our kids when we moved in what rooms they wanted. One child changed their mind about 2 years in. Tough.

I don't think in most homes, people change rooms this much. I get your daughters had an agreement, but sounds like your daughter hadn't given it much thought and then went out for the day and changed her mind. This happens.

I find it hard to believe you're contemplating pulling her out physically - saying she's too strong for that.

Is this a real question?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My 18yr old son has the bigger room and I've told him once he goes to college in a few months WE will be swapping his room with one of his brothers. He has 2 10yr old brothers and I want both of them to have the bigger rooms. My son is totally fine with it. But if he wasn't I honestly don't care. He would still be swapping and he's a 300lb 6' lineman. He is stronger than most people I know but he is not in change of the home my husband and I pay for. If he would like to pay the mortgage then he can have whatever room he would like, but until then it's my decision. Good luck and stand your ground you are in charge not your child regardless of her age.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

You can too just move her stuff while she's away. Parents make these kinds of decisions. She does not have to want it or like it, but she does have to accept it and she does have to abide by it.

You tried to come up with a plan that is in the overall best interest of everyone. There's still a pretty good chance that someone is going to get the room that is not their first choice. That's the way it goes.

For what it's worth, if one of my kids in the morning said she would change rooms and then in the evening no longer wanted to I would say, too bad, you made a deal with your sister this morning, and you have to honor it. I would have insisted the room change happen as planned.

You can't let one child think they are always going to get their way. Pick her things up and move her.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

What's the purpose of making her change rooms?

I have a neighbor with 3 girls and I think it's insane because they make them switch rooms every other year so they all get the big one. What a mess.

I see no purpose in creating this type of drama when there is plenty of drama that occurs naturally.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You have two choices:

If, indeed, this is your chosen hill to die on, then hire someone to help you move her out and just do it.

If, on second thought, you decide it's better for the girls to work it out on their own, then go that route.

Personally, I think you've gotten way too concerned about this situation and the molehill has become a mountain. A room is a room. My son wants our upstairs room-- no dice. When we are older, if he wants to buy us out, it's all his to decide. I'm going to guess that he will not be letting his future kids have that nice attic bedroom we enjoy (and paid to have gutted and renovated) just because they whine about it. :) In short, kids are kids, you give them what they need, not necessarily what they want.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Try taking the door off her room.
Who is running your household?
Hint - it ain't your kids.
It's nice if they can all work together and come to an agreement but when push comes to shove - a household isn't a democracy.
Seeing as you have more rooms than kids - I might very well take the much coveted room and make a retreat for myself out of it - and NO ONE would get it as a bedroom.
Argument SETTLED.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Why doesn't she want to move out? Is she living rent- and responsibility-free in your home currently? Who does her laundry and chores? Who buys her food? Does she have her own car and insurance, or is she driving one of your cars on your dime? If she just leaves for work and comes home, without any worries about rent/food/chores, then you've created a very comfy situation for her.

If she helps by paying reasonable rent, takes care of her room, does her own laundry, buys her own food or eats out without using your groceries, well, then it seems like she has some privileges.

If she hasn't looked for an apartment or shared housing with a friend or two, if she doesn't know how to fill out a rental application, if she doesn't have any credit, then you need to start preparing her for life in the real world. It sounds like she has a nice room at your house, and it would be kind of startling to see a studio apartment in her price range. But that's reality. Have her create a budget, and go with her to look at apartments near her new job. Give her a deadline.

Or else, keep all your kids at home and tell them to work it out among themselves. And continue to provide whatever you're providing now. Make a clear choice and have a family meeting to establish boundaries.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

my parents decided on who got which bedroom when they were building the house. when we moved in they put our stuff in the room they chose for us. there was no switches. to trading. what they picked was it. for the rest of our time living at home.
my kids didn't get a choice. we picked their rooms bsaed on closet size and needs for the gender (son has a small closet, daughter has a larger one) they don't get a choice, they don't get to switch.
why bothe switching rooms. just leave them as they are and everyone can just deal with it. by switching rooms you are only making work for yourself and have created a battle situation with one of your kids. just leave it all be unless there is a pressing necessity to change rooms.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Leave them where they are. Why make all this hassle for yourself? Tell everyone they stay where they are unless they are moving out. They won't live with you forever. Only time we move rooms is if we need the baby in the room closest to us type of change, then they stay put until they move out.
To those going on about how terrible it is for adult children to still be living at home. Why not? They will not live there forever. They do eventually move out and get on with their lives. I lived at home until a few months before my wedding. It used to be totally normal for adult children to live at home until they got married and began their own life. Why the reason to kick them out on their ear the moment the clock strikes midnight on their 18th birthday? There is nothing wrong with it at all.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I don't think you can make another person "want" anything. That's OK. She doesn't have to want the smaller bedroom. Her feelings are valid. Still, YOU are the parents, and YOU make the rules for your home space. Respect her feelings, and that this is upsetting to her. Give her a reasonable amount of time to digest your decision. Then gently let her know you will expect her cooperation in packing up her things by "X" date. Prepare your other child who is moving in to the room for a rocky transition, and ask for patience, and if this is still something worth it enough to them for potential ongoing conflict. My kids often scream and shout about things they "won't" do, in that initial moment of anger. How many times have I heard "I am NOT going to school today/tomorrow" etc. But then they calm down and actually do go, even if they are still grumpy. Don't argue in that moment because it just makes things worse. They are just angry, and need time to be angry. As X date gets closer, give one more gentle reminder that she has the opportunity now to pack up herself. If she chooses not to, it will be done for her. Keep your tone even. Maybe set out some boxes in the hallway for "anyone" to use. Still refusing? Then yes, I would start making the changing of personal belongings happen while she is away from home. Why can't you do that? You can do it in a nice way, other than just throwing all her stuff in the other room in a big messy heap. If you think a physical stand off is coming, consider locks on doors, but always carry a copy of those keys in your pocket in case of emergency. If she lives in your home, she has to abide by your decisions and rules. Consider removing WiFi access or other household privileges if she keeps digging her her heels.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

One other parent wondered why grown kids live at home with you. WHY NOT? Americans push our kids out way too soon. Blessings to however you figure this out.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

The idea that you would even try to physically pull her out of the room is crazy. It's your home, and if you really believe this is in the best interest of your family, that's what she needs to abide by. And there's no reason you can't move her stuff while she's gone. She needs to understand that the only things you're obligated to provide her with are food, clothing, and a bed. It doesn't even have to be quality clothing. Everything else that she has is a privilege that she enjoys because she's part of your family. And, as a minor, she legally doesn't own anything. All those gifts that she's received over the years and the things that she has purchased for herself legally belong to you.

With that said, I really don't think it's in anyone's best interest to turn this into a power struggle. It doesn't make sense to win the battle if it causes you to lose the war. Can you talk with her to see what can be done to soften the blow? Maybe redecorating the room will get her excited and cooperative. If not, and you really feel it's in the family's best interest to do the room swap, give her a deadline to move her stuff, with the understanding that if she doesn't move it you'll move everything yourself.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You can't make her want the smaller bedroom. If she wanted it she would have agreed to spend her free time moving her stuff. She didn't so there's your answer.

Seriously mom stay out of it. You are teaching your children that they aren't able to handle simple problems on their own. They'll all be grown and out of your house in the blink. Once that happens then its up to them as to how much time they want to spend in your life. Don't create unneeded drama over stuff like this because it'll come back to bite you in the butt down the road. You step in on something serious but as far as which bedroom your adult and teens get to sleep in? Minor and not even a blip on your radar.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

It's great when our kids are willing to go along with the decisions that we, as parents, have to make. But sometimes they don't, and that's just too bad. I'm assuming that you took into consideration everyone's wishes and everyone's needs and you made a decision about what is in the overall best interest of everyone. If that's the case, then that's the decisions that needs to be made. It's too bad that one daughter isn't happy with it, but that's the way it goes. You're not going to make everyone happy every time.

Give her some time. Maybe a day or two. Tell her very calmly that you've carefully weighed all the options, and you are doing what is in the best interest of everyone. Remind her that we all have to learn to compromise and that there have been many times when others made sacrifices for her.

I would not try to physically remove her from the room. Not just because she is strong or might put up a fight, but because you don't want to turn this into a fight. She's disappointed. That's understandable, but that's also life. ("You don't always get what you want." We sing this to our kids sometimes.)

If you give her sometime, you'll probably find that this will work itself out, even if she's not thrilled. If you do give her some time and she's still be obstinate, you really can move her things when she's gone. That wouldn't be my first choice, but you are in charge. If you've decided that a change in bedrooms needs to be made, that's the way it goes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

I don't think I responded in the thread, but in your shoes I'd continue with status quo and not rearrange anything/anyone until someone moves out. I think this is unnecessary creation of problems.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, my opinion was that she shouldn't be forced out of her room simply because her sister, who was offered the room previously and turned it down, changed her mind.

I still don't understand why she should have to move, but if you have decided - why can't you just move her stuff out while she's not home?



answers from New York on

Based on your previous question, which I answered, I guess that now you are referring to wanting "R", your 16-year-old, to move? Well, if R is 16, is she going into her senior year of high school? Will she be going away to college next year? Maybe just let her stay in her preferred room until she goes away to college and then move her things into whatever room fits your needs at that time?

(Also - I gave a very long thought-out answer to your other room question, but now that there is a second question, I will add to the chorus of posters who wondered why you have so many grown children living at home anyway!!)

ETA: I mean, if they are grown AND causing you stress by arguing about room placement - that seems like a bad combination.

Next question: What Size Rooms Should They Get?