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deeschmee

Anyone With Older Children?

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My boys are 22 & 21. The 21 year old basically lives with me, pulls out a mattress and sleeps on the livingroom floor all day because he works nights. the older one just shows up unannounced and i will find him and sometimes his girlfriend there also.

Both have jobs and neither one pays rent.

What can I say? I need help with the words

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Well when I was 18 I moved out. There were a couple times I stayed at home for a few weeks while I changed apartments or something like that but I definitely paid rent. My parents always had a 'my house, my rules' situation which was fair because it was their house! That's how it works. One of their rules was my fiancé could never come over. Ever. I would sometimes stay over at his house but their house had it's own set of rules. I may be unique in that I never ever wanted to live at home though, it was always dire circumstances that forced me back occasionally. I mean why pay rent at your parents with all those rules when you could pay rent somewhere else and live how you want?

 

If I didn't follow the rules they would have kicked me out, called the cops if need be. I mean after 18 I was just a tenant and that's how the world works you kick out back tenants. My parents are great people, we're besties we usually see each other about once a week. Being related to someone doesn't magically change the way life works. Working hard sucks and we all have to deal with it. 

 

As for words you can say "Here's the renting contract, sign it. If you aren't interested in renting here and don't sign it then don't." If they're not renting take their keys and if they break in call the cops. 

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deeschmee -

 

The words you need depend on what it is you want to say to them.  Perhaps you could explain to us a bit more about how you feel.  Is it that you don't mind them living there but feel it is unfair that they are working and don't contribute to the expenses; or that you feel put upon when they bring guests without asking; or that your daily routine is constrained because you have to be quiet because they're sleeping in the middle of the house in the middle of the day; or that you don't want them there at all and would like them to find their own places?

 

Both are now fully independent adults in the eyes of the law.  Your responsibility to parent them has been fulfilled, and although they may still need you spiritually, you are under no further legal obligation to support them.  In nature, every bird eventually gives a fledgling the ol' heave-ho out of the nest at some point.  There is no animal that continues to nurture offspring after it has reached an adult stage - to do so actually inhibits the individual from growing, expanding and achieving.

 

Statistics show that modern young people are living with their parents for longer periods, but that doesn't mean you have to foot the whole bill, particularly if they are employed.  It is absolutely reasonable that they be expected to contribute to food, utilities, and household maintenance.  It is absolutely reasonable that they be expected to respect you as at least an equal adult if not a respected elder, and take your needs and desires into consideration.  It is absolutely reasonable that they understand whose name is on the deed to the house, and where the rights and responsibilities lie in the household, and, frankly, who's boss (that would be You).

 

You might start by writing down a set of House Rules that you would like to see everyone abide by, and post them on the refrigerator door where everyone is going to see them.  Then let them come to you if they have questions.  Make sure they follow them.  If somebody complains, set one less plate at the dinner table until the complaints subside.

 

I have told both my kids, now 16 and 18, that I consider the house we live in to be theirs as well as mine, by birth and by right, and it will always be a place for them to come back to.  But I also explain that there are duties and responsibilities as members of the household, and I emphasize the "back to" part, because they need to go out and fly.

Edited by Cerberus

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My mother told us that when we were 18, we either moved out or got a job and paid room & board.  I would sit both boys down and say the following:

 

"You are both grown men now.  You both eat here, sleep here, take showers, do your laundry, and come and go as you please.  If you want to continue living here, I expect contributions from both of you to help me with the bills.  I have a mortgage, electric bill, heating bill, taxes, and a grocery bill. Do you want to pay a percentage of those bills to help me out, or would you like to move on and get an apartment somewhere?"

 

(To the older boy.)  "Although this has always been your home, you are living elsewhere now.  I would appreciate it if you would let me know that you want to come over.  If you and your girlfriend want to eat here on a regular basis, I need some help with the food bills."  I'm assuming that he lives somewhere else, but that wasn't clear from your post.

 

They won't do this willingly.  My stepson lived with us from the age of 18 to 21, and I insisted that he pay room and board.  There was a lot of screaming and gnashing of teeth, but he did it.  (He was working full time).  When he was 21 and got his own apartment, I was sure that he would be able to pay his bills and behave like an adult, because we had taught him some money management. 

 

By the way, if your sons have cars, I hope they are paying their own insurance, gas, and other expenses.

 

If he doesn't want to cooperate, I would change the locks on the door.  You are entitled to your privacy.  If he doesn't live there any more, he shouldn't just walk in whenever he feels like it.

 

The bottom line is boundaries and rules.  You need to set those rules and then stick to them.

 

olga

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Very good advice.

 

I live in a very small apartment which is partially paid for with government funding. I am below poverty and waiting for my disability hearing. I get a small amount of food stamps for myself and my daughter.

 I have since taken the key in from under the mat when the older son came in and when straight into the bathroom to "smoke". promptly told him to leave. The younger son is quite a bit more considerate. he will buy tp without being told, take out the garbage without being asked or buy a pizza once in a while. He also lets me use his car when i need to.

 

I guess the main issue was the older son and his disrespect

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I told my 2 sons (18&20) that they either go to school or go to work. 

 

They chose school so I let them ride free for now.

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Thats good also. i guess having come from such a tornado of a home myself, i have no basis for comparison.

I know what feels right but most of the time i'm like a deer in headlights

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