| Adult teens           |
03/12/2012 10:00 - Teenage Issues
My daughter turned 18 in July and thinks she can do as she likes since then.she did very well in her leaving cert and got exactly what she wanted for college. Now she has reached that age she is staying out all night and not even telling us where she is or letting me know when she is coming home.she says she wants me to give her the responsibility of being an adult but she cannot even remember to bring a bloody front door key. I´m not a helicopter mum but I don´t think it´s a lot to ask to do so. It´s respect. She puts her hand out for money for bus to go to college and I pay for guitar lessons for her. I think she is lying to me about going to college some days. What can I do? Not helping when I´m lying awake for 3 hrs waiting for her to come in. We´ve had this conversation with her on many occasions but doesn´t seem to be getting through. Any advice.
| re... : Adult teens           |
09/12/2012 09:44 - Teenage Issues
Thanks this is very helpful.
| re : Adult teens           |
06/12/2012 11:52 - Teenage Issues
It sounds like you´re getting fed up with a few issues here concerning your college-going teen still living at home. Its never too late, and absolutely necessary, to lay down some ground-rules and have a very straight conversation about your expectations.
Firstly, you are supporting her by letting her live at home; on the basis that she goes to college and gets her qualifications. If she fails her part of the agreement then you would have to review her living arrangement too. (if she doesn´t go to college and fails, then you expect her to get a job pronto and pay rent, for instance).
Secondly, since she is now almost an adult and wants to be responsible for herself, I would suggest you put a certain amount of money into her account each week and let her budget herself. So she needs to budget for guitar lessons etc. Having said that, you may find it more successful to buy her a bus pass rather than handing over money for the bus every day or hoping that she´ll budget for transport - that way you know that money is not going to get spent on going out instead. No excuse not to get to college. But she needs to budget for phone, clothes, lunches or coffees out, nights out, etc. And if she fails miserably, you can help her review her budget, suggest she keeps a record of everything she spends, etc. but you don´t rescue her. She has to learn by experience, and we don´t all get things right first time.
Re the late nights and you being awake worrying - thats not fair on you. Your house, your rules. If she wants to stay out all night, fine, but she has to have some way of letting you know she is ok so that you can sleep. Either she needs to find someplace she can sleep over regularly and let you know in advance not to expect her home at all (set up an agreement that she texts you eg before 10pm); or else she agrees to text you that she´s on her way home, or whatever system you agree on. Perhaps she could turn off the hall light when she gets in so that if you wake up during the night, you know whether she´s home or not. Is there someplace safe you could leave a spare key? I think it might be time to introduce some consequences to help her learn to take responsibility. If you are awake half the night because of her forgetting her key or not contacting you - then you have the right to wake her the next morning for chores when she´d prefer to sleep!? I´m sure you can come up with something creative! But you need to be able to stick with it.
Its important that she doesn´t think she´s living in a digs. She must be expected to contribute to the household - if not financially, then by doing her part to keep the house clean or help out.
Have some basic ground rules which are there for the sake of harmony for everybody. If she keeps to these simple rules, she gets to have a lot of freedom for very little hassle, and she keeps you happy too. If she doesn´t keep to the simple rules, there needs to be consequences - talking isn´t enough to help someone learn to change their behaviour. Those consequences could be financial, or otherwise. But they must be in place for her to learn.