House rules question

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by mstang67chic, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I met with one of the CM's at difficult child's counseling provider last night. We worked on ideas for the house rules, consequences, etc. for when difficult child turns 18. (28 days, 3 hours, 45 minutes) We came up with two categories of rules. One is just basic, general, "this is what is expected of you" rules. The other category contains rules that, if broken, result in IMMEDIATE eviction and possible police involvement. (violence, non-compliant with medications, destruction of property).

    For the general rules, I tentatively have it stated that for every week any of those rules aren't followed, difficult child will receive one warning. If there are three warnings within a 6 month period, he's out. For those of you who have been there done that, is this a reasonable consequence? Honestly, I don't think it will take 6 months to rack up 3 warnings but I'm trying to give him a chance while still being firm. I'm still in the drafting phase so nothing is in stone yet.
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    MC, what constitutes your "general rules?"

  3. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Is there anything written into your house rules that allows him to be or feel successful about keeping a simple rule..

    Like Take the trash out without fail every day for 1 week - reward - new shirt? We didn't even tell difficult child there WAS a reward the first time - we just got in the car and headed to the movies - when we got there he asked what we were doing and we said "You've just done X so well we actually felt like REWARDING you with a movie, - he was so tickled he never asked for popcorn or a drink - and thanked us when we were through.

    Usually when I made the 'rules' I forgot the bennies - And difficult child never said a word because he figured there were no bennies- NOW - when we have a house rule - and he does well - there is a short term reward. It's doing tons for his self esteem - and we're seeing that we have to be a little LESS stringent on the bigger things.

    But my kid has zero self esteem. So that's only our goal.

    Just thinking out loud.
  4. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    The general rules are mostly rules that have always been in affect with a few additions.

    Job - has to get and hold a job. (part time if in school, full time or equal to full time if not in school). While looking for a job, needs to have put in a certain number of apps in a week and follow up for so much time after.

    School - Has to either finish high school or attend classes for GED. If not in school, will pay a % of his income as rent.

    Respect other members of the household as well as their stuff. Participate in household maintenance (dishes, chores, etc.), clean up after himself, buy his own toiletries if he wants more than what is provided, do and keep up on his laundry and keep his dirty clothes in his own room.

    I haven't finished it yet so I'm sure there will be changes/additions but mostly the general rules are pretty basic. I know I'll have to put something in there about curfews but I haven't gotten to that part yet.
  5. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Star, I thought about that but with difficult child that can really snowball. We've had similar systems over the years and he's the type that will expect something after doing something very basic that is expected of all of us. (I got up on time....what do I get?) He just takes it to such an extreme with reward expectations that it doesn't work well with him. Normally we will give him verbal praise for stuff like that. Occasionally though we will do something "special" such as go for ice cream, movie or get him something that he's been wanting (within reason of course) but generally it's just verbal praise.

    Otherwise, he just gets the priviledge of living with his weird dorky 'rents! LOL
  6. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    This part of the thread struck a chord with me. I think saying something like, "Hey thanks so much for [cleaning the tub, taking out the trash, bathing the dog, etc]" is enough. I don't think I should have to leap into the car and run out for a movie or ice cream when they do something that is expected, such as help with household chores. If difficult child were to clean my car or sweep out the garage or rake the leaves, then H usually will pay her with some money.

    When she was younger we tried the rewards calendar and it worked for a while, but eventually difficult child would basically be a huge pita for a while and then when she wanted something she'd do something special. Maybe we did it wrong, I don't know.

    MC, I think that you have to come up with whatever rules are specific to YOUR needs and YOUR household. Each of us have different things that we can live with and others that we cannot. I'd say that the best thing you can do is make your short list and your long list and go over it again and again until it includes or excludes those things. It's tough, but I've found it's even tougher to follow through. Best of luck, and hugs~
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I'm not really having problems coming up with the rules...they are pretty much ones that have been in place forever. I'm just not too sure of myself when it comes to the consequences. Take the warning system for example. I keep finding myself questioning if the 3 warnings in 6 months is too lenient, too strict or a reasonable expectation. I've been talking to husband for a while now in a real big and bad way. (If he keeps doing this....he's OUT) Now that it's come time to put it down in black and white, I'm a bit hesitant about what's reasonable.

    On a slight side note...difficult child's counselor sat in on part of my meeting with the CM. He flat out told me that difficult child will be kicked out. While he's wanting to do what he (difficult child) wants, he also knows that he is in no way prepared for the real world. But at the same time, he doesn't want anything to do with the rules that all of us follow. He told me that it's going to be very difficult for husband and I but that we have to do it. Logically I know all of this. I've been saying it for months. But to actually hear someone else say it? :sad:
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    House rules function to maintain safety and help the house run smoothly.

    When you're thinking of the consequences, try visualizing difficult child living there and not doing whatever it is you're trying to come up with the consequence for. How annoying to you, husband, and the family will it be? Is it a safety issue? Is it something that enables the home to run smoothly? I think the more realistic you try to be will difficult child's possible non compliance with whatever the rule is, the better you'll be able to come up with a just punishment for the rule.

    But if this has been a big problem in the past, odds are in favor that difficult child is gonna test the rules eventually. You have to be prepared for that and willing to stick by the consequences you have written down.

    by the way I could never use a reward system with either of my difficult children. It always backfired into them believing if they did anything they were entitled to something in return.

  9. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I have a problem with the three strikes and you're out policy. Always have had. To me, there are certain things that will get you out the door immediately -- violence, theft, hurting the animals. For the others, there are set consequences.

    You stay out late and don't call or don't answer your phone when I call, you lose your phone. You take my car without permission, if you're lucky I'll only take the keys to your scooter -- keep the car too long and I'll call the police and report it stolen (too long is at my discretion).

    As I'm sure you know, right now she is a tenant in her own home. She refuses to help with chores, which, to me, are part of being a family. So, she has lost the privileges of family life. Mom doesn't take her fun places. Mom doesn't help her with her wash or iron her clothes. Mom doesn't fix her her favorite foods (but I'll happily cook them and let the smells waft through the house hehe). She has to keep her door closed which means her cat doesn't visit her.

    If she chooses to not shower, brush her teeth (neither of which are issues any more) or wash her clothes (big issue), her problem. She can go to work in dirty clothes or buy new ones. Her choice. She is on the border of losing the privilege in eating in her room -- she keeps leaving dishes in there.

    So, I prefer specific consequences for actions that are not immediate removal. I can just see a chart (otherwise, how are you going to keep track?) -- X was done twice; Y was one; Z was twice; oh, you did A 3 times, out you go. Consequences can be changed as needed for survival of all.

    I can't say I agree that you have to work if you're going to school fulltime, either. Sorry. My opinion for my daughter was, you may want to work to get the extras you want, but if you're happy just having the very basics, don't work. School, homework and high school activities are enough to keep most kids busy. Totally agree that part-time school or no school and you work and pay rent. I never made it a percentage of income, I made it a flat rate. Imagine if he got a job as a server -- how would you ever accurately calculate his income?
  10. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    The whole problem with making/keeping track of the rules, is that it only makes more work for you! We really tried to keep it simple, no drugs, no violence, no reason for the police to be looking for you.....I didn't even check on the room thing as long as there weren't nasty smells or cause for exterminators to be called. Yep, even with these few rules he couldn't handle it. There is no reason for 18 to be the magic age when "sense" kicks in and difficult child's miraculously realize how good they have it at home. By making all these rules you will have to keep track of whether they are obeyed or prepared with consequences because I can almost guarantee he won't tow the line....
    I will be interested in seeing how the "tenant" idea works for meowbunny.....this actually makes more sense to me. It's better to be the "landlord" than the "warden".......but then depends on the difficult child, if they really want to be a part of the family......good luck in whatever you choose......our son left home at 18 and never lived in our house again....we also haven't talked to him in 9 months......still can't figure out if this is bad or good.......
  11. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    We never had any success with contracts at our house. They meant nothing to difficult child 1. If we tried to enforce it she just left or huddled in her bed doing nothing. She never bought into the idea that we had authority over her. I was so glad when she turned 18 and we could finally have enforceable rules--if she didn't want to abide by them she could leave and that is what she did.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Contracts dont work with mine either. Neither does anything else and mine is in NO hurry to leave home! I read with envy all of you whose 18 and older kids shout to the heavens "Im 18 and Im leaving home!" because mine seem to think that at 18 the apron strings get stronger and become permanently attached to my left hip! (I was gonna say something else but you get the

    Maybe Im just too dang nice to them and I cant blast them out with hand grenades. I think I may have to move out from under them in the middle of the night. Think they would notice?