Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by CAmom, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    My son, 18-and-a-half, lives at home. He hasn't made a decision about a job and/or school yet, and we're letting that go for the moment as he needs to have two separate surgeries which will mean time off from school and/or a job on two separate occasions.

    In the meantime, we take care of his needs including a cell phone. In return, he has to follow our house rules.

    One of the rules we put in place was that he let us know via a phone call or, if past 11:30 pm, a text message if he's going to be out past midnight and/or spend the night elsewhere. Mostly, he's in by 11:30 or so and is good about texting if he's going to be out later.

    However, for the fourth time in five months, he's stayed out all night and not called or texted. I know, and he's admitted that he deliberately does NOT call or text because he's doesn't want to be bothered with explanations and thinks the rule is unreasonable to begin with.

    I'm wondering if I'm over-reacting about his staying out all night once in awhile and that maybe I am being unreasonable. What do you all do?
  2. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I remember back when my mom wanted me to call and tell her when I was going to be late. Every time I did, she didn't accept that I was calling to tell her as she requested. Instead, she ordered me to come home for whatever reason. Eventally I reminded her that I was doing as she requested -- calling to tell her I was going to be later than I expected -- but if she was going to turn each call into a major discussion or, worse, an argument, I just wouldn't bother calling. She realized I was following her rules and stopped trying to talk me into coming home.

    I kept that in mind when my son started going out.
  3. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Well, see, that's the thing. I don't MIND if he stays out later than midnight and/or spends the night with a friend. He knows this.

    I just HATE to wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning, expecting him home and finding that he isn't. Even though I'm FAIRLY sure he's alive and well somewhere, there's still that nagging what-if feeling.

    In addition, I highly suspect that, on those occasions when he doesn't come home, it's because he's having a couple of beers with a friend somewhere and just doesn't think about texting. When I've brought this up, he tells me that he's 18 and is going to party once in awhile and he might NOT call or text.

    At this point, I'm wondering if the call/text requirement is inappropriate at his age and whether I should take it off the bargaining table.
  4. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I see it as common courtesy but then my best friend and I have discovered that the men in our lives -- regardless of their ages -- don't seem to think it's as common a courtesy as we do.

    The other thing I can offer is that a lot of kids go off to college at your son's age and their moms (do dads worry like we do?) don't know what they are doing, who they are doing it with or how late they stay out. Maybe you can pretend he's living in a dorm somewhere.

    Or the other solution: I always told myself that if there is a problem, I'll know soon enough.....and I'm probably going to need a good night's sleep to deal with it. Worrying doesn't change anything.
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    My Dad was killed by a drunk driver on his way home from work one night. The scar of his never coming home will never be healed. This is a real hot button for me. Friends and family who know me know that they'd dang well better let me know if they are going to be late or not show up at all. It's a complete deal-breaker for me.

    You have bent over backwards for your son over the years. The least he can do is let you know he is okay. You are NOT being unreasonable.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are you kidding? I'm afraid the kids have been in an accident unless they call me and I can't get to sleep. Until my kids moved out, they HAD to call me if they were going to be out late. It was a dealbreaker. And they were working and going to school. I didn't care. I worry myself sick if they don't call and that was one rule nobody broke. Your son has it easy. He isn't in school and he isn't working--he's just hanging. I won't go into detail on how bad I think "hanging" is for our kids, when nothing productive is going on. As long as he lives in your house and you support him it's disrespectful for him not to give you a call so that you won't worry about him. He may be 18 1/2, but he isn't acting like a mature adult. If he was, he wouldn't be upset to call you and ease your mind about his whereabouts. You are not being unreasonable. He is. And he's kind of in my opinion acting like a brat. If he's having too much beer to remember to text you, I'd be ticked off. Isn't that sort of how he got into trouble in the first place? JMO
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    If my memory serves me correctly, your son just recently got home from a court-ordered facility for drugs or theft. Right? I don't know about you, but I consider alcohol a drug. I honestly can't believe that his staying out all night is not an issue, but that's your business.

    No matter what, you have a right to know that he is safe. If he can't bother with that basic consideration while you're bending over backwards to let him do what he wants, I'd be very angry and making some very real consequences.
  8. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I also want to add......that I hope you aren't losing your very-deserved BACKBONE that you worked so hard to achieve while your difficult child was away, CAmom.

    Remember..........no matter how old he is.........your house, your rules. Period.

  9. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Yeah, if it's a rule you want, keep it and enforce it. Don't toss it because he won't follow it.

    As to whether it's an appropriate rule for an 18 1/2 year old....well, you know this particular 18 1/2 year old.
  10. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    If it's important to CAmom and husband, it's an "appropriate" rule. And rules aren't made because of someone's age or whether they are "appropriate" for the offender.

    I guess I would feel somewhat differently if they had another relationship....ie, if he was like Meowbunny's daughter...who is working and is a "tenant." But CAmom's son is doing squat except mooching off them, thus a complete dependent still. The least he can do is ease their fears.

    The bottom line is that he is over 18. If he doesn't like the rule, he can move out. As long as she is paying the bills she holds the cards, in my humble opinion.

  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    ICAM! This is an adult male acting like my kids acted at twelve. My kids all worked by sixteen, even my daughter who took drugs. It wasn't an option not to work. As for after they graduated, well, it was not an option to "hang out" with friends at that age. By nineteen even my drug abusing daughter had gotten her act together enough to walk to a job and work full time and this was after we made her leave our house. I personally am not sure he's doing well. He could be using drugs again. I don't know. Agree with Meow. It wouldn't be an option in my house that he did nothing, future surgery or not. in my opinion a big problem with him is being coddled and supported and not made to accept any responsibility and he's exploiting it. He has a lot of nerve to refuse calling home. In my house, they called me or they moved into their own place. That way I didn't know that they weren't home and I didn't worry about them. If they lived with me they had to let me know they'd be out so that I didn't knock on their door at 8am and find an empty bed. They owed me that much respect.
    Don't lose that spine. This particular young adult will sooooooo take advantage of it. In fact, in my opinion, he already is. He hasn't really gotten more responsible. At least he can call. It won't break his hand.
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I have a standing house rule that cerfew is at midnight, period. Not that this can't be negotiated due to a job or something special. BUT it has to be negotiated before hand.

    Calling if you're gonna be late is expected. If you "forget" to call and don't happen to get home before the deadline and I've decided to go to bed.....oh well, have fun sleeping elsewhere cuz I'm not getting up to let you in. Respect goes both ways.

    Miss cerfew 3 times without calling is grounds for finding your own place.

    Nichole is already at what I consider 2 strikes. She knows this and has been extremely careful NOT to get the 3rd one.

    However she did ask to sleep over at boyfriend's while his parents were out of town a few weeks ago. I said nope. She pulled the I'm 18 ace in her pocket. I said you sure are. But honey in my opinion if you can find other places to sleep then why in the heck are you still living under MY roof??

    I don't consider myself unreasonable at all. But I also will not sit up and worry over grown children's where abouts either or whether they are alive or dead. My Mom had the same rule as did her mother before her. I never saw it as unreasonable even when I was 18.

    Like the coffee mug Travis bought me for xmas says "My Castle My Rules." :queen:

    Once a child turns 18 in my home they transform from childhood to an adult, which means their living arrangements have become a privilege not a right.

    Set your rules and stick by them. If he doesn't like it then he can find his own place. If he doesn't have the means to find his own place then he should be eating a bit of humble pie and happy to follow house rules in order to stay at home for free.

  13. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Then the question may be do CAmom and husband want the rule or do they think they are suppose to have the rule?

    I do believe that rules should be age (and maturity) appropriate.

    And I found that having my son living on his own doesn't stop me from worrying about him.
  14. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE


  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If my kids aren't living with me, I don't know that they aren't at home and I never worried as much. I don't think there is any excuse for a grown adult kid, even an immature one, to do nothing, "hang out", and disobey rules. I had rules too at eighteen and, since I was at home, I didn't even think to stay out late without calling my parents. Even a disabled eighteen year old is old enough to find a job or go to school AND call home if he'll be late. And over my dead body would a child of mine who'd had a drug problem stay out all night and drink while on my dime.
  16. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with Suz and MWM. He is being defiant and disrespectful. I also agree with MWM that an 18-year-old off at college is out of sight and out of mind. It is a lot harder to not worry when they are living at home and stay out all night. He should be able to understand that.

    As I recall, he was given a deadline months ago to get a job or go back to school? What happened to that?

    CAmom, it seems to me that he is just doing what he wants without any responsibilities or consequences. I would be very concerned about him staying all night and admitting to alcohol use. If he is hanging around the same set of friends and drinking, there is probably also drug use going on.

    I see a lot of red flags here.

  17. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    "out of sight and out of mind"????

    I guess we're just different kinds of parents.
  18. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What was that supposed to mean, Sara? When your children grow up and move away (as they are supposed to do) it is natural to stop worrying about what they are doing every minute of the day and night. If you have done your job as a parent it is natural and normal for them to live their own lives and for you to get on with your own in the new role of a parent of an adult.

    I didn't like the implication that you made that there was something wrong with that.

  19. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    If you can stop worrying about a child who moves out, why can't you stop worrying about a child who lives with you? And if the child who lives with you is worth your worrying, what magically changes if you kick them out for not following your rules? If you can turn worrying off and on that easily, turn it down a notch while they still live with you and don't make rules about when adult children come home at night.

    I find the comment "out of sight, out of mind" about one's kids to be pretty heartless, at best flippant to the point of being offensive. Your milage my vary.
  20. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sara, you are truly unbelievable and I will leave it at that since I know that you will twist anything I say to your own skewed reality.