difficult children, curfews, boundaries ...help!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by dashcat, May 6, 2012.

  1. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    My 20 year old difficult child recently moved back home with me. It has been going fairly well but, well - she's a difficult child. She went out last night with a friend from work (female) to a movie and then back to her house. She got in around 3:00 and I didn't question it because she texted me to tell me that she was going to the friend's and when she'd be home.

    Tonight, same friend picked her up after work to attend a party at a local campus. She said she'd text me with an idea of when she'd be home. She did text to say she'd arrived at the party, but then ended up texting her at 2:00 with "status?" She replied "still at party". I then texted "ETA?" (usual codo for estmated time of arrival). No response. I called and left a message. She called back, sounding trashed. Didn't know what ETA meant, stumbled, said she'd be home in a "few hours". I pressed and she said she'd be home by 9:00 a.m. (we have somewhere to go in the morning.

    She hasn't lived with me - except for a very brief period - since high school. She had a curfew then of midnight on weekends, 10:00 weekdays that weren't school days.

    I can't have her staying out all night, yet I didn't want to press it tonight as I wasn't sure of the condition of her driver.

    Do you have curfews for your "adult" difficult children? If this was an isolated incident,I wouldn't be concerened, but my difficult child's patternis to take a mile when given an inch. I don't want her doing overinghts on a regular basis - can't think that anything good will come out of that. Thoughts?

  2. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Does she have a history of substance abuse? Is she working or is she a full-time student?
  3. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I have no experience with this, but I do know that many friends who have their young adults (mostly PCs) living at home have different kind of rules for that. Often kids are expected to tell beforehand, when they can be expected back to home if it is after certain time. And if their plans change, they will notify in time. And of course they will also tell beforehand, if they are not planning coming home at all for the night. Just common courtesy so that parents don't have to worry.

    But if you don't trust your difficult child's decision making ability why not be more strict? As an adult she can choose to live on her own or with you by your rules. And you can make the rules to be what is convenient for you. Give her a curfew as a requisite to let her live with you. But maybe it would be wise to make that kind of exception that if she does plan to spend night somewhere else, it is okay, if she notifies you beforehand. But it is in no way okay to keep you awake and worrying when she comes and if she is safe. That is just plain rude.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I dont have that issue of course but I clearly remember being the kid in that position. I moved back home for graduate school because I was going to the U of MN so close to home, no reason to pay for campus housing. I had lived away for four years and so just lived the same at first, coming and going and not realizing my mom was worried about where I was and not sleeping until I got home. She talked to me about it and just explained how she felt. Now, I never did have a curfew because I was not a difficult child and just never needed it, they always knew where I was and I let them know if anything changed etc. So I still had no curfew in grad school (age 21-23) but I did agree to tell her when I would be home, where in general I was and I agreed to stick to it. I never did overnights or anything and I would actually think it is ok to talk about a rule for that. Whatever you feel comfortable with.

    I did think it was lame at the time, LOL. But I respected it, it was her house and I was the oldest with little sisters to set an example for.

    I suppose a big advantage now is the cell phones, texts etc... a kid can say, well I told you, so??? We didn't even have an answering machine at that time I think. We were kind of slow to get that kind of stuff at our house.

    (I just realized I said I was not a difficult child so does that mean I am a gfd??? d=devil??? hmmmmmm, I certainly was not a easy child if P = perfect, well, maybe if p=precious, I could have been called that but only from my mom's point of view....LOL)
  5. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Thanks, Guys.

    She's not in shcool (she walked away in the middle of the second semester, got in a car with a guy she "met" on the internet, went with him to another state and then sent us an email asking for money.. uh, no.) She works about 25 hours per week delivering pizzas and acts like she's a longshoreman working 60 hours on the docks! lol. She lived with her dad (Mr. Ostrich is very permissive) and then with her doofus xbf. She said she missed home (she was raised here), missed me (and I do believe that) and wanted some time to get her act together.

    The going out thing hasn't been an issue in the past because she really hasn't had any friends since she was a sopohmore in hs. She just had a smattering here and there and the going out partying thing wasn't part of the culture.

    Well, apparently that has changed.

    This is from her tumblr post (she doesn't know I know her tumblr url). Edited for language to get past the censors:

    you guys.
    i went to a much deserved/earned party last night.
    i got so XXXup.
    really drunk and really high.
    and to be honest i’m still pretty stoned.
    and i have to present an award at a pretty big function for the Red Cross in my hometown in like two hours.
    F word.
    and i have a rug burn on my elbow? no clue.
    and i woke up with no pants on.
    and now i think i’m gonna go puke.

    Now I want to puke.

    She is going with me to a Red Cross Function. I did portraits of the awardees and she and I traditionally greet them, give them corsages, etc. They comp us the tickets because I donate my work and they've paid for her brunch. I'm dragging her sorry butt along and she'd better be nothing but pleasant.

    I wanted to go easy on the curfew thing because I've been very strict when it comes to guys (you know, the losers/strangers she meets online. oddly, I won't allow them in my home). She was out with some girls from work last night (I know because they picked her up and came in to meet me) and I even felt good about it. Gosh, at 20, I was out every single night with friends, but I was working full time and certainly not up to the shenanigans she has posted about.

    I guess I'll be doing more postingin substance abuse.


  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You started on the wrong foot. This is YOUR home, she is freeloading and in my opinion this is NOT a healthy dynamic for either of you. There should have been rules and consequences defined BEFORE she moved in.

    TIme to stop the BS. ANd htis is BS.

    Are you okay with her living with you, off of you, not working full time (delivering pizzas is nOT that hard a job - trust me, I have done it), and spending her free time partying? Where does saving $$ figure n with the partying?

    I think Lisa (Hound Dog) has it right. If they can do an overnight somewhere, then they do NOT need to live with you as they have somewhere to go other thna your home. Supporting her on ANY level right now is enabling the partying. She MUST have full time employment even if it means 2 jobs and more than 40 hrs/week. Actually that would be a GOOD thing.

    She also shoudl be at the stage of eating ramen and mac n chz from a box to be able to pay all her bills, nto the live iwth the luxuries paid for by your hard work and your $$$.

    She MUST pay rent. She MUST have a chore list and it MUST be done.

    I will ask Lisa to come and let you know the restrictions her children have to live at home. they are really GOOD and logical.
  7. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Well, now you know what she and her work friends are up to. You did say you were the parent who upholds boundaries, that ex did not; I'm sure you're going to continue to do so. I'm sorry her behavior is messing up your Red Cross function. If you say no, it means no - she's surely not used to that, and working 25 hrs/wk & not attending school is no excuse to party like an animal. She's going to walk all over anyone who allows it - that's a difficult child, and a substance using difficult child is about the worst offender in that regard. Dash, you must be strong and confident - all of the folks on the SA board will have great advice for you.
  8. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Ummm, Susiestar, you're missing a bit of the backstory. There are most certainly rules. I hadn't set a curfew as a rule because it hasn't been an issue in the past. She did freely spend the night at doofus boyfriend's house (with his parents and younger siblings, gag) when she lived iwth her dad. She knew she couldn't do that here. This overnight came as quite a surprise. I didn't insist she come home because I was unsure of the condition of her driver and wasn't about to go get her (20 miles away) either.

    Trust me, we will be having a talk today about the whole issue....especially the drugs.

  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Dash, in my opinion living at home as an adult is a privilege, NOT a right. This sets the right attitude/frame of mind for setting up rules and curfews.

    For my adult kids:

    1. Curfew is at midnight. If you're out later, you won't be let in. If you stay out all night, I hope you have someone else to live because obviously you really don't need the bed at my house.

    2. Rent is due on the first of the month. No excuses. Rent will be paid by any child NOT in school full time going for a degree. I usually charge about 150.00 per mo because it depends on wages earned. I want them left with enough to eventually MOVE OUT.

    3. You will clean up after yourself, including your room, laundry ect. I am not your maid.

    4. You will help around the house with any chore I see fit to ask you to do. And although it may be worded as if I'm asking you..........I'm actually politely telling you I want such and such done and no back talk.

    5. You will take active steps toward moving out. Such as a savings account to put back funds for deposits, looking for full time work. You are an adult, not a perpetual teenager.

    6. You will be considerate enough to let me know where you are in case of emergencies and when you expect to be home.

    7. No difficult child drama on the homefront. I don't tolerate drama. Period. Take it elsewhere.

    I've not had any issues with these rules. My kids knew what they'd be way back in Jr High. lol They're reasonable, treat the person as a responsible adult, still respect their privacy.....while constantly reminding them that the goal is to move out and they're in the home only because you choose to be kind enough to allow it.

    It was comical for Nichole to explain to Friends or her now husband why she had to be at home by midnight at 18. She was never late. Not once. She knew I meant it. I had no drama. Nichole helped me cook/clean (actually I miss that lol)

    If you don't set rules, you're going to find yourself with a kid who quickly adapts to being the perpetual teen with too much freedom.........and you'll have them coming and going at all hours, messes to clean up, difficult child drama to contend with yadda yadda. To save myself from all that, I came up with these rules long before my kids reached adulthood.

    If she doesn't like it, she can move. YOUR house YOUR rules.

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  10. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    I love Ms Hound Dog's rules! The only one I'd add (which may fall under "no drama") is no drugs.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I still have one living at home and I never worry about curfew. I would actually feel odd about giving a 31 year old a curfew!
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    Well, it sound as if she's being responsible in the sense of letting you know what's going on. Now, it has to go a step further. I'm sure the original intention of this plan was not to have her call you at all hours to let you know what's going on. Maybe it's time to start teaching her about planning ahead. As in, she needs to let you know what the plans for the overnight are by 9pm or whatever time you set - could even be the day before. Having to wait until you get that 2 am call, or even getting a 2 am call letting you know that she won't be home until tomorrow, kind of defeats the purpose of "letting you know" what's going on.
  13. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I do not have curfews for my adult live at home kids. I just ask for curtesy as far as answering cell phone texts in case of emergency and being quiet when comming in late and of course no sleep over guests. But there are no small children here. -RM
  14. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    I went in and woke her an hour before we were to be at the Red Cross event and told her when we'd have to leave. She was pretty out of it and stayed in bed for another 15 minutes. She finally got up and staggered out of the bedroom. I very calmly said "I know what is going on." and she said "It's ok if you don't want me to go". Uh,no. They have paid for your meal, I told them we'd be there an hour early to help set up and you're going. She did some backpeddling, asserting that she was perfectly ok. I calmly said "No, you are not. But you need to be ready and ok in 45 minutes". She then tried "Ok, I DO have a hangover." I responded "It's more than that and we will talk later." She got ready and went. She was fairly worthless, but I think only I knew. She was respectful and polite and we got through it.

    I'm letting her sleep right now but I'm getting her up in an hour and we are going to have a serious talk.

    If she continues to smoke pot and drink, she will not be able to stay here.

    She can no longer keep up the up all night sleep all day schedule. There is much to do around here, and she will contribute. (When she lived with me two summers ago, she was unemployed. I got her up every morning at nine and made her work until 5., 5 days per week. When she started working, I backed off a bit, but she still helped with the yard and cleaning. I need to get back to that)..

    There is no reason I can think of for overnights...or at least no reasons that I can live with. I'm not adamant about a curfew, but she will have to let me know when she is coming home and then come home at that time.

    I am letting her slide on rent for awhile, but we will agree tonight on when she will begin paying. She does pay for her own insurance, gas, cell phone, buys her own toiletries (sp?), all of her clothes and some of her food. She does her own laundry and does an ok job of picking up after herself. She has started saving also. She hasn't asked me for money since 2009.

    Most likely she will leave to live with Mr. Ostrich who allows drinking in his home, turns his back on drugs (just as long as she doesn't bring them in the house), allows overnights and turns his head when she brings home internet dudes and dudettes. I do plan to tell her that, if she does choose to leave, I want her to do it ina mature way. The last time she left, it was horrendous and very painful. I'm putting the ball in her court.

  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sounds like a plan Dash. :)

    I do a curfew for adults because I'm not having people wandering into my house after I'm asleep. (I very rarely go to bed before midnight) And it makes it much easier to enforce the "if you're out all night rule" because it's impossible to sneak in right before I'd wake up if you didn't meet curfew the night before. Plus it eliminates the party all night/sleep all day issue. Know what I mean?? I'd do it to a 50 year old kid as easily as a 20 yr old. But that is me. I come from a difficult child family and I'm avoiding issues by having it in place. Others may not feel the need to do so.
  16. Deja

    Deja New Member

    Great list. I copied it into word, added the other suggestions both from this posting and mine. I'll go over it with my husband and turn it into a contract. difficult child hasn't asked to come back yet, but I know it's just a matter of time. He's already asking to just come in and take a shower.
  17. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    Talk went fairly well. I stayed calm and so did she, for the most part. I told her that, if drugs (even, gasp! pot) were part of her life, she could not live here. I asked her to think about it for a few days and to let me know if she planned to stay and live by my rules. I also told her the overnights were not ok. This led to a rather amusing debate. She maintained that, had she come home that night she would have done so "stumbling drunk". I pointed out that, had she come home - even stumbling drunk - she would have been less intoxicated/high by the time we were to leave for the Red Cross brunch than if she' d waited until morning. I also suggested there were alternatives to becoming stumbling drunk to begin with - something she did not want to hear.

    She tried the "you're judging me" thing. I remained calm and stated that the boundaries I was drawing were boundaries for ME ... you cannot live HERE while smoking pot ... and that I was not attempting the impossible task of telling her she couldn't smoke pot at all (much as I would love to).

    Mr. Ostrich told me that he'd told her she could not live there because she left her room in what he deescribed as a "toxic dump". I wondered about this as he cannot seem to assert himself in even the tiniest way with her. I came out and asked why she had chosen to live here instead of with dad and she said "I just wanted to be home." I then asked if dad had told her she could not stay there ...she looked astonished and asked "did he say that?" I didn't tell her what he'd said (he is such a flipping coward!!!!), but it it clear to me that he probably would let her live there - pot smoking and all -if she decides not to stay.

    She knows where she stands now. If she does choose to stay and I see any evidence of her continuing to get high she will have no choice but to leave. I think she'll go to the Ostrich farm on her own.

    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  18. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Kudos to you, Dashcat warrior mom!
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    AWESOME JOB Dash! Bravo.

    I don't know if I could have been calm through that....DF handled all the "I'm drunk" talks. I've spoken enough drunkenese to last me a lifetime. Not with Dude but I would imagine that would rock my world. You did very well.

    (ostrich farm) ? ROFL.
  20. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Great Job! :)