How To Handle An 18 Year Old?

Lounge By adonisthegreek1 Updated 2 Sep 2009 , 1:40am by misserica

adonisthegreek1 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 1:59am
post #1 of 32

I need some advice from parents who have been through it. My smart, kind, beautiful daughter has become the most self-centered, hard headed, irresponsible person that I know. She just graduated and goes to college and has been working for almost 2 years now. I don't think that I am unreasonable, but I set a curfew at 12:30. She claims that that is too early. I could not stay out that late at 18. I said no piercings until she moved out, yet she came home with her belly button and ear pierced. It's like pulling teeth to get her to help around the house or be kind to her young siblings. Is it time to tell her to get her finances together and move out?

31 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 2:13am
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When I was 18, my mom set a curfew for me that was 10 pm. I was allowed to have my boyfriend over but we had to sit on the driveway at least 4 feet apart. I left for school before anyone else got up in the morning because it took a couple of hours to get downtown on the bus. So my mom never realized it but a lot of nights I went to bed when I got home from work, then waited for her to go to sleep, got my school clothes and backpack and my boyfriend picked me up down the street.

My mom made me leave home because I was fighting with my younger sister. I moved in with my boyfriend and we got married a month later. It's been 12 years and we're still together, but I never managed to finish college, which I do regret at least somewhat.

I realize I'm not much help from a parent's point of view, maybe because my kids aren't that old yet...oldest is 7. But it's hard to live on your own and go to school at the same time. It's almost impossible to rent an apartment on one income when you're still working the job you had in high school, and it's hard to work full time and go to school full time.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 2:23am
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Texas_Rose, you are exactly right. It is hard for an 18 year old to afford those things. I provide my daughter with a place to live, a car to drive (she has to pay the insurance though), and more. She needs to show me some appreciation and respect, not constantly defy me and tell me that I am "obligated" to take care of her. My daughter cannot sneak out of the house, because I have alarm monitoring.

Texas_Rose Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 2:43am
post #4 of 32

So you don't really want her to move out, you just want her to be more helpful and respectful. I realize it sounds like I'm taking your daughter's side here...but she really may not understand. I thought I did everything around my mom's house, but about a month after I got married, when I was really talking to her again, she said when she threw me out, she didn't really want me to leave, she just wanted me to quit fighting with my sister and do everything I was told. She tried to bribe me to come back home too...offered me a car, wanted to pay for a divorce, etc...

Maybe, as drastic as it sounds, the best idea would be to sit down with your daughter and talk to her. Not yell, but actually talk. Tell her that as the oldest she sets the example for her younger siblings and that you rely on her to help out around the house and to be a good example to them. Tell her you've been considering asking her to move out of the house, but you're concerned about how she would support herself and continue her schooling. Explain that you don't want her out after 12:30 because most alcohol-related accidents happen around the time that the bars close, and that you sleep better knowing she's safe at home by that time of night. If you talk to her like an adult, she might surprise you by acting like one icon_biggrin.gif

And for the record, my youngest sister is one of those kids who it's impossible to reason with and who feels entitled to everything. My parents gave her a lot more than I ever got (maybe they were afraid she'd leave and get married like I did) and she abused them, even kicked my mom on the leg so bad my mom had to have xrays. Nothing we say to her ever gets through. She just left for graduate school in California and we're all hoping she grows up and calms down while she's there.

Karema Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 2:44am
post #5 of 32

Tell her what my mom told me "there is only one woman in this house and that's me! Follow my rules and respect me or get out" That was after she sat me down with all the bills and made me do a budget with the amount someone would make on minimum wage. I realized she was right and I would be broke all the time or homeless. I fixed my attitude quick. GL

Deb_ Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 2:56am
post #6 of 32

I completely feel your DD will be 21 in Nov and my DS is 19.

When she turned 18 it was as if the devil himself took over her body.......well not quite but I think you know what I'm trying to say.

She fought my husband and I on every single rule that we had. We finally sat her down and my DH put all of her expenses down on a spreadsheet for her to look at.

We told her until she could afford to be financially independent, then she was expected to follow our house rules.....including curfew, which we did extend to 1a.m....but only because she waitresses and didn't get out of work until 11 p.m.

Now that she's been away at college for the past couple of years, she has gotten better, but I have to admit we've relaxed the curfew thing a LOT. It's hard to tell an almost 21 yr old that she needs to be home by 1.

Don't worry, it will get easier. I think when kids turn 18 they want to "spread their wings" if you will. They really think they're ready for it all.

My advice is to try and keep the line of communication open between the two of you, take a deep breath and count to 10 before speaking, and the most important thing is to try and give her a little more freedom. It's one of the hardest things about parenting.

Do you have any Sons? For some reason my Son is the complete opposite of his sister......he never challenges our house rules and he's just been the easiest kid...........knock on wood, he'll stay that way! icon_wink.gif

Good luck!

diane Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 3:06am
post #7 of 32

welcome to the wonderful world of: teenagers who think that just because they are 18, work, and go to college can dictate what they will and will not do in your home, and if you are paying for thier college, out of your home!

you are not alone! icon_wink.gif i too have an 18 year old daughter going to college, and a 19 year old son who think they are grown and don't need rules. it's a never ending battle! icon_redface.gif

AverageMom Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 4:32am
post #8 of 32

If she is 18, she can pierce anything she wants, sorry! Is that really the battle you want to fight?
If she is working, you can try charging her room and board, even if it's nominal. However, remember if she is paying "rent" she is a free agent.
If she is not helping out around the house, you need to STOP being the mommy. Don't cook her meals. Do not do her laundry. You are not her maid. I know it sounds horrible, but if she has time to go out with friends, she has time to do her own laundry and cooking.

CupCake_Caitlin Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 6:10am
post #9 of 32

I was 18 not long ago, and My relationship was very strained with my mother. She was Stricked and I lived a some what shelted life, lol

her hard parenting did make me a shy not as confidant teen, but in the end when I did come out of that rough patch I had respect for my parents and I make good decsions in life!!

Parents constantly choose the "best friend" method and let there children do as they please. But (Quote) Your Child does Not need a Best friend - They Need a Mother.

If you do end up in constant fighting, I suggest trying to talk about it, and give them boundries... If they do something wrong ground them and take away there priviliges... eventually they'll learn to try and behave to keep them

NEVER Say In my house, my rules - they will move out of home faster then they can get a house of there own.

Also Identify their friends, they could be bad influenses and actually not be very good freinds to your child at all...

Identify if your child is depressed, I have family History of Depression - I was for 5years unaware, My twin sister eventually was put on medication for it (I Strongly disagree with this) both my aunt, mother and sister reacted badly!! Having family interation and a healthy diet and exercise - good friends and alot of fun activities are something that pulled my out of the blues...

Talking To Dad is sometimes for a Daughter better then Mum. Mother tends to think they are always right and there are arguments!! Dad gives cuddles... lots and lots... and we just need to be told that we are going to be ok, not that our attitude needs changing... Mums get a little more emotionally controlled during the "talking stage"

CupCake_Caitlin Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 6:22am
post #10 of 32

took me so long to type - people eventually got in before me... to answer to what they wrote....

True - I paid board, Had to do laundry and clean up after myself, and the 5 other members in my family!! thats what it felt like being the eldest.

My Father set me up financially, from experiance, he knew I would need it in the long run, so he set up savings accounts and got me set. I saved every penny I earned and only paid $50 board with whatever left over to spend on me... I saved up and bought a Car!!

I eventually got a Boyfriend and wanted to see him all the time - to my suprise he was 22, living at his parents backyard in a caravan, he paid $120 board and was literly allowed to do as he please because his mother didnt care. He has TERRIBLE TEETH because he stopped brushing them day and night...

(My Goodness why am I with him - oh thats right, he followed me around town)

So thanking my parents everyday for who I am. I straightend him out, now I feel like his mum sometimes!!

I moved out last year, and could afford it with my partner of 2 years. So I'm house trained and have a good relationship with my parents...

Tough love people!!

Also, Curfew - what curfew, I never went out, lol... but I'd say, every year older they get over 18, add an hour onto it. 10pm then 11pm... etc.

lol... good luck!!

CupCake_Caitlin Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 6:48am
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Should add...

I was a horrible, Opininated, stubborn a$$, [email protected].. who hated everyone and everything... And it was my Hair that suffered being every colour in the rainbow... Though, not many minded, my choices were extravigant, by they liked... lol

So no, Not an Angel.... icon_smile.gif

Jen80 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 10:21am
post #12 of 32

I left home at 18. I was the only one of my friends that was still at home at that age.

In such a small town all the kids had to leave town for work or further schooling. We all survived.

Up until then I was treated as an adult, not as someone who still had to be looked after.

I was pretty much independant except that I lived in the same house as my parents.

I had my own job so I paid my own bills, washed my own clothes, paid rent, cooked tea a couple of nights a week for everyone and I didn't have a curfew.

Pretty much what I would have done if I was living by myself.

But Mum was still always there for me when I needed emotional support.

It was great for me. I had my independence, but I also got to learn what it was going to be like when I did leave.

My 17yo Step-D has her own washing basket in her room. She will also be leaving at 18. Not because we'll make her but because she'll want to and probably have to, to find work or further education.

peg818 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 10:32am
post #13 of 32

Well, i have an 18 year old son, and with his attitude it made it very easy to leave him at college.

When he hit 18 it was like i'm an adult and i can do as i please. Well you might be able to vote, but you certainly can't take care of yourself. He is basically a good kid, and doesn't do 1/2 of what his father did at his age. So i'm really hoping that being away at college helps him grow up. Lord knows he needs it.

Oh and my biggest rules are talk to me with respect, and let me know where you are.

Oh and the best thing we did was to pull the plates off all the cars before going to work so that he had no choice but to ride the big yellow bus when the attitude got way out of hand.

Jen80 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 11:12am
post #14 of 32

I just wanted to add that I came home with my belly button pierced and two tattoos.

Mum never made too much of a fuss.

She later told me that she thought if she did I would have rebelled and got more.

She was probably right.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 1:20pm
post #15 of 32

Thanks everyone for all the advice. I am taking it all in. I think I will sit down with a budget and talk to my daughter about the cost of living independently. I will let her know that she is welcome to stay at home, but only if she can abide by the rules and respect her family.

To answer some other questions: I don't do her laundry. She has to do her own. I cook for the entire family, so she is welcome to eat whatever I cook. She has full use of my car. I provide the plates and registration, and she pays the insurance. I drive my van. She has her own room and connecting full bathroom. They booth look like a dump. Her bathroom looks like something from the corner gas station that no one cleans. No matter how much I am on her to clean it, it is never really clean. All eating in the house is to be done in the kitchen, dining room, or the basement with snacks on movie nights when we run the projector. I often find food scraps or wrappers in her room. I don't want and infestation due to her laziness. None of us wear street shoes upstairs, because that level is carpeted. The other day she wore her gym shoes upstairs after jogging and tracked dog poop all over. Of course, I had to force her to clean it. She really though she was too good to clean it and I was supposed to. WTF? I bought her an iPod for her birthday. It was broken several months later. I bought her a second digital camera for Christmas. It was broken in about 6 weeks. I told her that it was under warranty so call and get it repaired. She called, but hung up because she couldn't "waste time" on hold. I really want to give her absolutely nothing this year.

LaBellaFlor Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 3:31pm
post #16 of 32

I'm sorry, but it sounds like your daughter is spoiled. And from what it sounds like, you'll still be giving her stuff. You said you really don't want to give her anything, but not I'm NOT going to give her anything. Our kids are the creatures we create. I do have an 18 yr. old. In fact she just left to college today. My house, my rules. Your 18, I CAN & WILL kick you out. They turn 18 and they think they really become true adults. HA,HA,HA! Yeah right. I say give them that reality check and let them be adults. Cut her off. Yeah, she'll think your mean and a terrible person, but hey, I always like to let them be that adult they think they are. And like I tell my girls (and there is 5 of them) you may be queens and princesses, BUT I'm the empress and your little kingdoms reside in MY empire.

peg818 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 3:55pm
post #17 of 32
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

And like I tell my girls (and there is 5 of them) you may be queens and princesses, BUT I'm the empress and your little kingdoms reside in MY empire.

I love it!!

I have always told my boys we may live in a democracy but this house is a dictatorship and i'm the dictator!!

BTW: my snot nose 18 year old just left for school and i miss him more then i care to say.

Mike1394 Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 4:22pm
post #18 of 32

She treats you like crap, and you keep giving her stuff? Take your foot, and put it in her butt. Look at your posts, and ask yourself WHY should she change? She has full rights to a house, food, and car. Your not her parent your her sugar momma. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but that kid has one helluva deal. Sit her down, start charging her rent, if she don't like it MOVE.


LaBellaFlor Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 4:32pm
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I likes how ya keeps it real Mike1394! thumbs_up.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 5:26pm
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Originally Posted by peg818

I have always told my boys we may live in a democracy but this house is a dictatorship and i'm the dictator!!

My dad told us that once and we used to repeat it whenever he got mad, but we shortened dictator a little bit! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

TheDomesticDiva Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 5:35pm
post #21 of 32

The only advice I can give is that if you don't want her to move out, don't tell her to get her stuff and get out. Because she probably will, and it will probably be with someone other than you'd want her to live with. If you think you have trouble controlling her now, just wait til you kick her out and she goes off and really CAN do whatever she wants. Then all you'll be able to do is sit on the sidelines and watch it all happen, because you'll be the bad guy for "not wanting her" to begin with.

CupCake_Caitlin Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 11:27pm
post #22 of 32
Originally Posted by TheDomesticDiva

The only advice I can give is that if you don't want her to move out, don't tell her to get her stuff and get out. Because she probably will, and it will probably be with someone other than you'd want her to live with. If you think you have trouble controlling her now, just wait til you kick her out and she goes off and really CAN do whatever she wants. Then all you'll be able to do is sit on the sidelines and watch it all happen, because you'll be the bad guy for "not wanting her" to begin with.

thumbs_up.gif and her life could end up MORE F***up if thats the way she leaves... I was constantly told to move out if I dont follow rules, and it just left me feeling unwanted. Any chance I got I would have taken to move out. I was only 16 when me and a friend had planed to leave. But no job, so I couldnt afford it. I still would have went if she didnt bail out as well.

In the end, leaving when I WAS READY. is a better way!! as there isnt a strained relationship and they wont cut you out of there lives...

LaBellaFlor Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 11:35pm
post #23 of 32

My daughter did not want to follow my rules, cause she's now 18 and think she's an adult, and also felt entitled, then yeah, she can leave. I'm gonna have that discussion one time and if that makes tehm feel unwanted, I don't have time for the teen drama. I have other kids to think about. I laways tell my kids "I don't love you less then you brothers or sisters, but I don't love you more". And yes, I remember being a teen. I lived in a bad evironment and got it together for myself at 14. She can certainly do it much easier at 18.

JodieF Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 11:59pm
post #24 of 32

My daughter is 26 now, and my sons are 21 and 18. Honestly, my daughter was a drama queen to a certain extent, but she knew we couldn't be pushed too far. Her hair was every color of the rainbow. She got a tattoo. She pierced her tongue and had more holes in her ears than I could count. It made me cringe, no doubt. But, it was her hair and her body. If I'd made a huge fuss about it, she just would have done more. As it was, the tongue stud was out in less than a year and she's let most of the holes in her ears grow together. Her hair is beautifully normal now.
I've always told my kids that respect works both ways. I expect it, and I'll give it, as long as it's deserved.
They had to be home at a certain agreed upon hour or I'd better get a call. It was simple. I didn't sleep if I didn't know where they were. I had to work so I had to sleep. It was a matter of respect. If they called with a reasonable explanation, that was okay. If they'd been drinking and were going to crash on a couch, that was even better, but I'd better get a phone call saying so.
I wasn't stupid. I knew they were going to lie to me, because that's what you do at that age. And, I told them that. I also told them that they were going to get away with it, 9 times out of 10. The problem was going to be that 10th time. They were gonna get busted and then I wasn't going to trust them again for a very, very long time. It was up to them to decide if it was worth the risk.
My kids' paid for their own cars, but I didn't have a problem taking their cars away if they deserved it. Not one of them argued with me when I did either. Shoot, I took Amy's car away for 6 months once, because she lied to me about where she was going to be and got pulled over after curfew. I got a call at 2 a.m. from a police officer. She lost her car.
She took to slamming her door when she was ticked. We took her door off the hinges for a few weeks. It was a natural consequence.
I would talk to your daughter, but be calm. I'd tell her that you're more than happy to treat her like an adult if she acts like one. That has to be a two way street. It's all about respect. You need to pick your battles. Decide what is most important to you, decide the consequences and then follow through.

Parenting sure isn't for sissies, is it???? icon_rolleyes.gif


LaBellaFlor Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 12:05am
post #25 of 32

Did I ever mention that I love you JodieF? icon_wink.gif

JodieF Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 12:10am
post #26 of 32

Awwww... I LOVE being loved!!!!!

Of course, my first thought when reading the title of this thread was to answer "with cattle prod set on stun!"



Deb_ Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 12:31am
post #27 of 32

To the OP, if it's any consolation these horrid years will pass and she'll end up thanking you someday for putting up with all of her BS.

It just really sucks when you're going through it, but you're definitely not alone.

I agree with Jodie on the respect has to work both ways. You guys need to sit down and have a calm conversation. If she starts to elevate her voice, tell her that you'll come back when she can speak in an even keeled voice. Try not to let her get you to the point where you're shouting back at her.

As far as the car, IPOD, etc......those are your "bargaining" tools if you will. She certainly wouldn't be getting ANYTHING from me if she were my daughter and was acting that way.

It may be tough on you at first, but take the car away until her attitude changes. Why reward bad, unacceptable behavior?

Is she going away to school this year?

ElectricCook Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 2:19am
post #28 of 32

My son is 9 and this is what I tell him. Everything you have is a privilege not a right. Everything you have I own because I (we my husband and I) bought it. I know that he is only 9 and not a teenager, but I have to start somewhere. Where I live most of the kids have too much money and not enough parenting going on and this is at the age of 9.

When my son gets rude or pulls some stunt (temper tantrum) that I know that he learned from one of his friends I take everything away. My son has a lot of stuff (all the better to take away). I don't say anything they just disappear all at once without warning or me giving him a hint before he notices it himself. I hide them somewhere hard that will make me think about giving them back so easy.

I say take things away and don't give them back until you are ready. I say sit your daughter down and give her a breakdown of what it costs you to let here live in the lifestlye that she has been accustomed to. As far as the car goes your rules only or like someone else said remove the plates. Don't feel any pity that she really needs the car, because you really need to be respected. Respect is a two way street.

mrspriss0912 Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 2:44am
post #29 of 32

OMG!!!!!!!! I have to say this is a situation first off I was that same bratty teenager and let me tell you after I moved out got married and started my own family man I called my mom just to tell her what a genius she was and that I was really a stupid kid who didnt know anything.... Life teaches us lessons the hard way but in all honesty we tend to bring it on ourselves. Im 18 and know everything attitude.... Yeah it sucks when your the parent but its pretty funny when they find out that your not so dumb after all.

I now have a 14 yo DD I love her dearly but sometimes I catch that little attitude popping up and I have no problem cutting her off mid sentance and just tell her I was your age not that long ago and you MAY try it but I have already done I have proven it a couple of times already and she cant figure it out thinks i spy on her anywho I have a word of wisdome a friend of mine uses .....
I am required to take care of you for 12 years of school after that you are on your own!

myslady Posted 26 Aug 2009 , 2:54am
post #30 of 32

a past co-worker of mine went through the same thing with her daughter. She gave her a freedom contract that made her responsible for all decisions she made.

I do not remember all the details but below are the things I do remember.

In the contract, bills (rent, car payment (even though the car was owned, the daughter still had to pay a fee to use the car) insurance, etc) were due on the first of every month. She had a ten day grace period with a $25 late fee added on the eleventh day. After 15 days all services were cut off.

Curfews were lifted and she was asked to give notification if she would be participating in family meals. From the date the contract was signed, the family would not provide any financial help. The daughter could still request it, with each request being considered but not guaranteed.

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