Rules for an 18 Year Old

Updated on March 17, 2010
T.B. asks from Fresno, CA
7 answers

My son will be 18 next month. He asked me yesterday if the rules for him will change. I hadn't given it much thought until then.

What rules changed with your child when he/she turned 18 and still lived in your home?

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answers from Sacramento on

Good morning. I have an 18 yr old step son who is a good kid. When he turned 18 we just changed the basics. We told him that he could pretty much come and go as he chose but that he did have to at least call us and tell us what he was doing so that we knew that he was OK. Other then that he was responsible for cleaning up after himself and doing his own laundry. He was also still required to keep his room fairly clean. We never really asked him to pay any rent. In our case, he had just started his first job and was preparing to go off to college. He also still does not have his drivers license. Because he never really gave us any trouble, we trust him so we are pretty much easy going. Our main rule which we have told him since he bacame a teenager was that if you want to continue to live here past 18 you MUST have a job or be in school. I think though that you have to adapt the rules to each kid. Hope this helps. Have a good day.



answers from San Francisco on

Sit down with your son, ask him what he expects from you...then tell him what you expect from him. Come to an agreement together.

I have 5 daughters. Three have birthday's in the next few weeks...they will be; 14, twins 16, 18, & 20. Our house rules are firm. All of our kids will still be in high school when they turn one house rule is, nothing changes until graduation. Our twins will be 18 in Oct. of their senior year...but they too will have to wait until they graduate. We asked our oldest daughter what she felt was fair and why she felt that way. We came to an agreement together. She knows the consequences and doesn't like them. The only thing that changed in our house was her weekend curfew. She is able to stay out an hour later. We don't promote parties, we know she goes to them. If she EVER drinks and drives, she will lose her car...end of story. She loves having a car, so for her, that's enough. Until she can afford to move out and pay for her schooling and all living expenses herself, be smart and safe, then they can live with and off of us until they can afford to be on their own. Our oldest did the typical things to prepare us with our younger 4...she tried the "I'm an adult" thing with us...but we told her we would miss her living with us, but if she really felt that way, then we would support her. She can't afford that. That was a short lived phase, now she's willing to do a few chores and follow our rules without any complaint. She respects the fact that we respect her, most of her friend's are away at school, so her comings and goings are pretty much the same people. She isn't allowed to be gone overnight without telling us where and with whom.

As long as she follows the rules, which are really rather simple, life is easy. Our kids follow the rules and we rarely, if ever have to punish our kids. Our younger kids know the rules and believe what we say to be true. If my husband and I are going out, day or night, we tell them we will call them if we are going to be longer then what we think. It's about respect...we want them to know it goes both ways. We have left our kids alone overnight several times, from 2 to 7 nights. We never worry. We have friend's/family that will drop by and neighbors we trust...if anything looks 'funny', call the cops. We've told our kids, you pay the consequences of your choices. My kid's aren't little, they know right from wrong...they need to be held accountable. So far, my kids like living at home, they respect that we provide for them until they can provide for themselves. 18 is just an age, it's not a right of passage. Full adulthood comes when one can provide for their needs 100%.

The past 20 years have gone by so fast. I like having all my daughters home....they will all be gone too soon...I think they realize that their time together is limited also. I'm only 38, we had them young. I have come to the fact that they are growing up...I just never want to look back and say "I should have done it this way"....and so far, I think our ways are working...doesn't mean they would for other kids, but for us, we found a system that works...that's the trick, each family has to find the system that works within their homes.



answers from San Francisco on

Hi, I have three boys, 21,17,and 16. I really don't have to punish them. They like the rules they helped to set them up so they work for us.

The rules in my house for them regardless of age:

They must do their own laundry
Keep there things in their rooms
Be involved in a sport,and or hobby.
Be polite to everyone, discuss problems without resorting to name calling etc and yelling. I will listen to anything they have to say as long as it is with respect, and if they well thought out reasons for me to change my mind I will even if I still am not sure. I have to show them that discussions will work.
Homework and school in general are #1.
Being responsible for themselves involves accepting the consiquesnces of choices good or bad.

Everyone does house work together, including my husband. We all live in the same house we all make the mess, we all clean it up. (this does not always come without grumbles)

They must be home by 10 during the week and 12 on week ends. If they can not make it home by these times all the have to do is call.

When my 21 year old turned 18 These rules still applied until he was out of high school. If he is going to be out past midnight, he will tell me ahead of time. If his plans change all he has to do is leave me a message on my phone. My husband and I do this also, It is out of respect, no one wants to thinks about car accidents etc. late at night I have explained to my guys that if one is expecting you to be someplace at a certain time, then who will know to start looking for you if you are hurt. It also saves them from being nagged by me for the the information.

He has to have a job which was important to him (they all have been working since 15 during the summer) and go to college. No rent! Save money!Plan for the future!

At 21, He is no longer in school, but is working full time at a job he loves. He will pay rent until he can get out on his own, he is working at it. I have another "son" staying with us for a while. He is a marine just home from Iraq. He follows the house rules too!

good luck,



answers from San Francisco on

Mine aren't quite that old yet. But, I do remember the rules I had when I turned 18. The rules weren't too much different. Once we were 18, we had to have a job and pay rent, but only if we were not going to school. If we were enrolled in college we didn't have to pay rent. As far as going and doing things, he would ask where we were going but that's a pretty normal question and if we weren't going to come home, we were to call and let him know or leave a message.



answers from San Francisco on

If a child is eighteen and is going to remain in your home for
any length of time he/she should be working and/or going to school full or part time. If any of my kids is not doing these things at that age they will be booted out immediately. I will not support what I don't respect. At 18 they are (technically) adults and should take on a lot more responsibility overall.

If what he means is, will I get more freedom, I think the answer should be yes, for the same reasons above. The ties should be continually loosened the last couple years of high school to ready them for their independence.

I think it's fair to still expect them to let you know where they are/approx. when they'll be home as long as they're still in your home, because you as a parent will still worry.



answers from Savannah on

We haven't changed any rules, as of yet. My son still accepts his role in our household, and continues to follow them. We have a wonderful relationship and I guess he just knows his boundaries.



answers from Indianapolis on


We asked our daughter to be respectful when coming in at night as our lives had not changed nor had our routines. So although she's an adult now, her responsibilities to our family have changed as well. Remember that her younger sister still has a bed time and that her father and grandma still had to wake up early for work. We ask that she still check in with us when she's away from home. (ie call when you get there in bad weather conditions., call when you leave work so we know when to expect you, let us know if you aren't coming home for dinner, etc...) Just please be respectful of our feelings and needs as we are also transitioning. While you son will still be in school for a couple of months yet, you may not see as big a change as you might expect. But then again, boys are different than girls. I asked my daughter to be patient with us, because we needed time to adjust to the new dynamics just like she does. So, far we've done pretty well. Only a couple of times have I had to remind her, but that's it. It's hard to transition from being responsible for them, to being respectful of them and their responsibility. My greatest advice is ask, don't tell, remind don't lecture, and keep the lines of communication open. Ask questions, just don't pry. Try to speak to your son as if you were talking to your Father. That will help, if necessary. Hope all this helps. Sorry, I do ramble.

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