House rules 4adult kids

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by christianmom, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. christianmom

    christianmom Member

    Does anyone mind sharing their house rules? My husband wants to ask my 20yo where he wants to live. He is gone about half the time, only works odd jobs to pay for gas. We think he is getting back onto something worse than marijuana (that is bad enough). Thanks
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Our rules were very simple and easy to follow. The child had to either be in college or working full time and paying some rent (trust me, nothing earthshattering). They had to be respectful and do some minor chores (keeping room clean, mowing lawn) and not breaking the law. We didn't give them a curfew, but if they were going to be out all night or late they needed to leave us a message about where they were so that we didn't worry and they needed to be there if we I'd say honesty was important. They also had to pay their portion of car insurance, whatever the extra fee was that made our insurance higher...where we live that could be maybe $50 month. Nothing illegal in our house.

    Unacceptable was any illegal activities or any sort of abuse toward other family members or not going to school or working (one or the other). In other words, you can't just lay around the house, eating, watching TV, texting, etc. No pot in our house or other drug use, no coming home drunk repeatedly, no swearing at us or calling us names or assaulting us or destroying our home. Swearing was fine. Using it at us was not. "I had a b**** of a day" was fine. "You are a b****" was not ok. We didn't call them names and expected them to reciprocate the favor. My kids did not smoke, except for my daughter for a few years. Smoking in our house was forbidden so she had to smoke outside. I don't know if she always did, but smoking in her own room would not have made us make her leave, however it would have been addressed.

    Amazingly, two of my kids couldn't do it. My daughter turned to drugs for a while (thankfully she has quit) and 36 was scary and abusive and,a lthough he did not do drugs, he liked to steal and was a good thief and he was a threat to my daughter, who was then only eight years old.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wish I could give you a list of rues we had that worked but quite honestly things were so out of control with our difficult child that rules made no difference to her. In fact ever since she was very young she never followed any rules anywhere. At the end we got to the point where the only rule we could enforce was no drugs in the home.
  4. Childofmine

    Childofmine one day at a time

    I created several contracts for difficult child early on. The first ones were longer and spelled it all out as best I could. The later ones were simple. I had him sign them.

    None of it worked.

    They weren't worth the paper they were written on.

    I wish I could be more positive because I understand where you are coming from.

    With my son, the addiction and all that came with it were the only "rules" he was willing to live by.

    Once I finally realized that, there was no way he was living in my home again.

    Sent from my iPhone using ConductDisorders
  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have to second what childofmine said. Rules and contracts never worked with my difficult child. You can stipulate things like keeping his room clean but what happens when he doesn't? Throw him out for a messy room? We all know it is all part of the bigger picture that our difficult children refusal to follow rules but when push comes to shove, can you really throw him out for something like that?

    My difficult child would promise every time that it would be different and that she would follow our rules and there would be a short honeymoon and then she would slip right back into her old bad habits.
  6. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Our rules were keep room clean, work or go to school, let us know if you will be home late so we don't worry, no drugs or alcohol in the house. We wrote them down and had him sign them too, after so many "misunderstandings." It didn't matter, like Kathy and COM said. I don't think he had any intention of following them when he asked us to move home the several times.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  7. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Rules wouldn't work for me and mine.

    If they respect your life and your home then you don't need rules.

    If they don't respect your life or your home then they need to live somewhere else.
  8. christianmom

    christianmom Member

    Thanks everyone. My son is respectful. He has been hanging out with his druggie friends. Mostly coming home for a few hours a week or to sleep here a few nights a week. The only thing we require basically is no drugs, etc. in our house and text us to let us know what he is doing. But he has only been sporadically texting us and has a flimsy excuse for that (on friend's phones). We don't give him money, cell phone, etc. He does his own laundry most of the time but lets it pile up.
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Christianmom, one rule I'd make is that when he comes home, he comes home alone. He doesn't sound like he'd hurt you, but you never know about his (cough) "friends."
  10. christianmom

    christianmom Member

    They don't come. They have their own places without their parents, so he just goes to their house.
  11. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    The only way contracts worked for us was to set up a list of requirements and consequence if they werent followed.... and then when the rules were not folflowed the consequence was clearly laid out and he knew exactly why the consequence happened.

    When he was 14 we had him sign a contract that if he got in trouble with the law or school he would willingly go to a wilderness program. It took him 4 days to have both happen and so then he went to the wilderness program!!

    So yeah to me the reason to set them out clearly is to also set out clearly what will happen if the rules are not followed. Fully expect that to happen and be fully prepared to follow through with the consequence.


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  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Adults and house rules just seem not to go together because if they are being an adult, we shouldnt have to tell them what the rules are because they are well aware of how we brought them up.

    One thing we did always ask was for them to let us know if they werent going to be home by my bedtime. I couldnt go to sleep if I was worried about one if I didnt know why they werent home. Im a worrier.

    Now that we have left our main house and are renting it to two of our grown sons we do have basic rules we expect. They have to pay rent and they cant move anyone else into the home. Other than that, they can fight out the day to day rules themselves.
  13. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    None of our rules were ever written down because the kids pretty much knew what we expected. It was pretty much what most parents expect of kids who are eighteen and up...we didn't ask for anything special. They knew we didn't want them bringing cigarettes or drugs here or staying out all night or engaging in illegal activities and they knew that Mom would worry her head off if they didn't check in if they'd be late. I've been none to drive all over hello and back looking for them and stopping at their friends homes, etc. to ask their parents and them if they were where they were (in a rather hysterical way)...that embarassed them so that was one they all complied with.

    Sonic and Jumper, who have never really broken the rules much, never had us sit down and talk to them...they just usually do what respectful adult kids do in the home. The others didn't need to know they were not following our house rules...they knew it. 36, in particular, was shocked when he was tossed out even though it was his own decision to leave and he behaved in a very erratic and often threatening way at times. He knew it was not acceptable and that it scared me, but he did it anyway. difficult children will be difficult children.
  14. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Smart! Wish I'd thought of that!
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Not to make light of this but one time when we wrote out some rules for difficult child and tried to get her to sign them, she wrote out a contract that said she would pay us a certain amount of money each month to live there and as long as she paid her rent we could not make her leave. Fat chance.