21 year old help

Mama C

New Member
This is not a big problem in some respects. Just looking for some opinions. My 21 year old daughter still lives at home while commuting to college to reduce costs. She is a very good, smart girl. I am a somewhat strict parent. I expect my children to help me out with housework and follow my rules while living here. This has never been a problem. Now that my daughter is going out and drinking at times, she knows she should never drive afterwards. Recently she has been using this as an excuse to spend the night at her boyfriends house. He lives with his parents. She says it's safer than trying to drive home. I agree but I also told her I don't like it. I don't want her treating my house like it is a hotel; actually even better than a hotel because she's not paying for anything. I've always told my children that if they respect me and do well in life, always trying to better themselves with school, I will do my best to help out. I can't afford college so my daughter works part time and has gotten loans. I do everything I can to help out by paying for car insurance, food, book fees, etc. up until now things have been fine. Lately I am feeling taken advantage of. When the house needed cleaning, everyone would chip in and help. I feel like I do all the chores around the house unless I scream and yell for help. Then I feel bad because I know she's working hard. Straight A, full time college junior with an excellent apprenticeship job. How much freedom do I give her without feeling walked all over?


Staff member
Welcome @Mama C. Parenting a young adult is often a confusing and difficult journey. It's never easy when you are a parent that feels you are being taken advantage of.

I'm going to move your thread to our Parent Emeritus forum where we discuss our concerns about our kids that are over the age of 18.


Really is an awful feeling when you feel taken advantage of. Sometimes we don't even realise we are making another person feel like this. Perhaps you need to sit everyone down and explain the 'rules' again.

I am going to go out on a limb here but your daughter is 21. She is a young adult. If she is pulling her weight, helping out, studying, working, polite, lets you know if she is not going to be home etc, I can't see the problem if she is staying at her boyfriends home. From what I have read, you have done a Gonzalez job raising your children.


Well-Known Member
I can only tell ypu what I do whem my very mature 19 year old, who always made good choices, is in from collrge.

I dont question what she does. Legally if she gets into trouble she is now responsible. Sometimes dhe stays eith her boyfriend at his parents house and I dont care. She comes and goes and we pay for a lot for her too. She does work when she is in. Often she is exhausted. I am very proud of her.

This is neither right or wrong. We are all different. Good luck.

New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome MamaC, I echo the above responses. There are always rules to follow where ever we go. Sitting down with daughter and having a heart to heart would be good. She sounds like a decent kid. Working, going to school, paying for it and getting A's. Smart enough not to drink and drive.
I learned of something at a coaching class called a "positive sandwich." When offering a critique, it is always good to start with a positive statement and end with one. This makes it much more palatable for the person to take to heart what you are trying to get across. So, start with letting your daughter know that you know she is working hard, but you need help with chores, end with how proud you are of her.
Good luck and give your girl a big hug. She sounds like a good kid!


Well-Known Member
I too have a daughter who is a junior in college. She also is very together, has a job, does well in school etc. She is living at school and so only comes home for visits.... And when she is here I sometimes too feel taken advantage of and yet I love having her come home too.

It sounds to me like your daughter is being sensible. She is not driving after drinking which is very important. I am sure she also wants to spend time with her boyfriend which is very normal at this age. The fact is at this age they do not think about us as much as we think about them. We are not the center of their universe nor should we be.

So yes have a heart to heart with her about how you need help when she is home.... But I would let go of the feeling of being a hotel and her coming and going.... I think that is normal behavior for her age and it is part of her gaining her independence. I do think she should help out around the house if she is living with you..... But given her age I think it makes sense to relax some of the other parental rules and roles. It is hard at time to figure out the shift in the relationship that happens when our children become adults.


Well-Known Member
When my daughter was in college, we had a rule that she had to be home by a certain time OR she had to let us know before that time that she wouldn't be home. She did her own laundry and would help out around the house when asked. Toughlovin is right. At this age, we aren't the center of their universe - they are feeling their way around the real world and our homes are a safe place for them to land, as this site is for us.

Set down the groundrules with her but let her have some input into them. It will help her adulthood skills.

Good luck.

Mama C

New Member
Thank you all so much. I let her know I thought we should talk. I do feel better that this is a normal transition. I will go with the positive sandwich approach for sure!


Well-Known Member
Since she is a successful young woman, whom you should be very proud of, I'll bet talking to her will do the trick. It would with mine.

Good luck to you and your very special daughter. I swear, at her age they sometimes need to be reminded of just simple consideration, but, if they are nice young adults, they understand and respond well as soon as it is kindly brought to their attention. You did a good job with her ;)

Everyone's Mom

New Member
Mama C,

Count your blessings and know that you're doing a great job, as is your daughter. The feeling of having a boarder is not uncommon as our kids get older and they come and go as they please. Set some basic parameters (as long as you're living under my roof guidelines), but as you do so, remember that she's an adult and acting as such responsibly, so be grateful for that.
Good luck and good job!

Everyone's Mom