JT, our oldest difficult child, is 18 and heading off to his first year of college next month. He is very bright and mechanically inclined, and he has chosen a good field. He will be living on campus in the dorms. Currently, he has a summer construction job and lives with us. The issue we're having is that he consistently pushes limits with his curfew. Here is the situation: We have established a 10 p.m. curfew on weeknights, as he has to be up at 5 a.m. for his job. On weekends, his curfew is later - usually midnight. He had problems immediately with his curfew at the start of summer, often coming home 30 minutes late and having a million excuses, i.e. truck didn't start right away, lost his phone and had to look for it before he left, etc. Usually, he is spending time at his girlfriend's house, and she is still in high school living with her parents. Her parents like JT and having him there. JT has significant difficulty planning and organizing, due to his ADHD, for which he still takes medication. Unfortunately, the medication is no longer working well at that time of night. So . . . we have determined that the problem is JT is not planning to leave at a proper time, leaving too late, and thus, ending up coming home late. Now, we have it set up that instead of telling him he needs to be home at a certain time, that he needs to leave at a certain time, which would theoretically get him home on time. If we leave it up to him to decide when to leave, he always leaves too late. So, now, he is to call home at the time he is scheduled to leave and then leave immediately so he can get home on time. Well, he's managed to figure out how to abuse that. As an example, last night, he was supposed to call home at 9:30 p.m. and then leave his girlfriend's in order to be home by 10:00 p.m. He didn't call at 9:30 p.m. He called at 9:40 p.m. Had he left at 9:40 p.m., he probably would have still made it home by 10:00 p.m., however, he didn't leave at 9:40 p.m. He ended up getting home around 10:07 p.m. Now, I know it's only a matter of minutes past his curfew, but I still consider this behavior to be pushing limits. To make matters worse, JT is very bright and manipulative. He knows how to push trigger buttons and draw us into power struggles with him. He came in the door last night, smug, arms folded and said sarcastically, "I'm sorry I was 5 minutes late!" I told him that was unacceptable, as was the fact that he didn't call at the pre-agreed upon time, as was the fact that he then didn't leave as he was supposed to at that time. He continued to argue that he "left" at 9:40 (he was supposed to leave at 9:30), but later acknowledged that he hadn't actually left his girlfriend's property, he had only left the house and was talking with her in the driveway before he actually left the premises. Knowing JT was late, husband was angry before JT ever came in the door. He got involved in the argument and told JT he was disappointed in him for not following through as we had agreed. JT yelled that it wouldn't be the first time husband was disappointed in him. You can see the tidal wave coming now. It escalated with husband raising his voice and telling JT that he was late and did not follow a simple direction. JT then threatened to leave the house and not come back. This is not the first time he has threatened this, and quite frankly, I think it's emotional manipulation. JT does have an inflated sense of his own abilities and typically overestimates himself (thinks he can win competitions without preparation, believes he is the "best welder in the state", etc., when actual results/reality don't support this). husband ended up talking JT down, apologizing for losing his temper, and getting JT to apologize as well. I also apologized, and we all agree that we needed to get some sleep and handle things differently next time. Of course, today I feel so drained and depressed. I'm upset with husband and JT and me. I have been looking forward to JT going off to college in many ways because this sort of drama is getting old. I'm exhausted from arguing with JT about everything. He thinks he knows it all, and he is so disrespectful, inconsiderate, and irresponsible right now. We are his external brain, and I wonder how he'll fare without us there to watch over him all the time. I'm posting because I would like your input on rules and curfews for college-age kids who are home on weekends or for summers. I have read a lot online about this, and I'm shocked how many parents have no curfews at all or extremely late times like 3:30 a.m., etc. I'm not comfortable with that because I just think those times of night invite trouble. Nothing good is happening at 2 a.m. I live in a state that has a serious problem with alcohol. What is reasonable regarding curfews for difficult children and similarly, what is a reasonable consequence for breaking curfew? Secondly, since we are financing the majority of difficult child's education costs, is it reasonable to expect that he be involved in campus activities? I believe that his being plugged in will benefit him academically and socially. JT is a very good runner (has run all four years in high school, performing at a high level), and he has been recruited for the college cross country and track teams. Since he graduated high school in May, he has taken every opportunity not to do his running workouts that he can, and he constantly states that he is only running to please us - that he doesn't want to identify himself as a runner. This is hurtful to husband (a running coach for years) who helped him become so successful in high school. JT certainly enjoys all the medals and recognition he's received over the years, and I believe this is again a manipulation of some sort. If he really doesn't want to be on the running teams in college, that would be alright with us, but we feel strongly he should at least do it his first year to give it a chance. Then, if he doesn't want to continue, at least he'll have had the experience of being on the team and meeting other students and forming friendships, etc. If he isn't on the team, we would like him to be involved in some other campus activity or to have a job on campus, because we think too much idle time is not good for him. Since he has committed to being on the team this fall, isn't it reasonable to expect that he follow through by doing the running workouts expected by that team? I'm tired of hearing him say that he's doing us a favor by running. Finally, we have real concerns about JT's ability to handle money. He spends everything he has all the time. He is quite impulsive. We've set up a bank account for him, and only a portion of his work checks get deposited in it, with the rest going to our savings account to pay toward his college costs. I can see that money will be a source of stress in our relationship with him. Thanks for listening.