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Hello, i have 2 boys one 12 and another one 18 who graduated from high school this last june. How do i get the 18 year old to understand life is different, for example i bought my 12 year old a halloween costume, the 18 year old see's it and is like can i get one? Um no he is 12, he is still younger and is going to have things still different then u. Then the 18 year old makes me feel guilty. But now already i have helped him with gas money way to much, he does have a job and we agreed he can live with us rent free if he helps around the house and goes to college part time and works, he doesnt have to pay rent but does have to pay car insurance and cell phone bill and gas, then whatever else he wants to buy. I cant get him to even help around the house still, and he acts like it is odd to pay anything extra akready like his cell phone even. How do i get him to understand life and not have it make me feel guilty like i am being mean? Please help!
 

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I think it is good your trying to teach him responsibility and get him to realize he is grown now things are different.

My question is did you start these teachings earlier in life or did you just throw them at him when he turned 18.

My advice is stick to your guns but don't forget to still show interest in him so he doesn't feel you will have a different relationship now that he is 18.
 

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My husband has tried to have him be responsible during high school, the agreement was he work part time and go to school but pay his own car insurance, well he was in choir alot i figured he is in high school once, so let him do that and so he didnt work much so i covered the insurance, to where now i see it was a mistake, my husband was right cuz now he sees it rude if i dont just pay everything still.
 

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My husband has tried to have him be responsible during high school, the agreement was he work part time and go to school but pay his own car insurance, well he was in choir alot i figured he is in high school once, so let him do that and so he didnt work much so i covered the insurance, to where now i see it was a mistake, my husband was right cuz now he sees it rude if i dont just pay everything still.
I really can't give advice from a mom point of view since I only have a 2yr old girl but from being a teenager not long ago. My advice is lay down the law and stick to it. Do not let him take advantage of you because once you let it go it's so hard to get it back under control.
 

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True thanks for the input, i am finding that out now, letting him run the show is not good. Cuz i think that is why now he expects me to just do everything, and he wont do what i ask like pick up after himself, i have told him if he doesnt do that we will charge him rent, in yet he still wont pick up right.
 

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True thanks for the input, i am finding that out now, letting him run the show is not good. because i think that is why now he expects me to just do everything, and he wont do what i ask like pick up after himself, i have told him if he doesn't do that we will charge him rent, in yet he still wont pick up right.
This is no different than a parent who tells there child. Do this or you will be put in time out, The child doesn't listen because they think the parent is bluffing, mostly because most parents do not follow through.

I hope it get's better for you.
 

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First, make sure you & H are on the same page - united front. Second, do you cook his meals? Pick up after him? Do his laundry? Clean his bathroom?

STOP ALL THAT!!!

Plan a conversation 1st with your H, then the 3 of you together. He needs to learn to fend for himself. It is not mean, it is healthy. Your job is to teach him to be independent and you can't do that if you enable his lazy behavior and sense of entitlement.

Also, don't forget the 12yr old. Start instilling responsibility in him now.
 

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I asked mine to leave. He thought I was kidding, I assured him I was not, that I had full confidence in his ability to make it on his own. He has. He is a senior in college, has a good position in the National Guard, has been in a committed relationship for two years and never ever asks me for money. If he needs a favor, for instance, some paperwork to help with his promotion or to obtain his new driver's license while he is out of state, he frames it as a favor, not an entitlement. Additionally, he Skypes on a regular basis with his younger siblings, and shows a sincere interest in their lives.

I think that failure to insist that an adult child take care of their own life responsibilities, at some level, represents not so much a lack of confidence in the child's abilities, but lack of confidence that one has prepared the child to deal with life on his own. Look back on what you prepared him for, and seek to fill in the perceived or actual deficiencies that you identify. Then you will be more able to cut him loose and stick to your guns in doing that.

My son told me later that after he left, he spent a couple nights in the car he was being allowed to use (his stepfather was overseas so he had that car). He decided that he could do better than that, and he did. As for me, I didn't worry about him. Among other things, he had friends to turn to. And at 18 or older, it is far better for humans to be bonded with their friends in young adult miseries than to be dependent on mom and dad. You don't want to delay this important step any longer than you need to, that is, the cutting of the apron strings.
 

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Remind him that some families kick their 18 year olds out on their birthday. He is lucky to be allowed to still live at home! He is an adult, you need to treat him as one so he can start behaving as one.
 

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Regarding the wanting things his younger brother gets, I used to say to mine that I bought them things when they were the age of the younger sibling, when the younger was their age, I would no longer buy the younger one things.
I also frequently told them life is not fair, get used to it..
 

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First I would have bought him a halloween costume, maybe the yellow power ranger outfit or something else appropriate for a 12 year old, since that's how he is acting, like a 12 year old. The phone is easy also, basic phone, basic plan, $9.99 a month with verizon, my kids had the choice, you want bells and whistles, you pay.

Teaching children to be resourceful is an incredibly important lesson, maybe one of the most important skills they will need, and an 18 year old needs to grasp that more than a 12 year old. So your kid doesn't have a fancy store bought costume or a cell phone that can ring in 200 languages, your job as a parent isn't to just give them stuff, your job is to teach them how to survive and how to achieve first what they NEED and secondly what they WANT.
 

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If he doesn't like your rules, then he can move out.

I also have an 18 year old. My hubby and I laid down the law in our house clearly before her 18th birthday. We stopped the cash flow and if she were to live here, she wouldn't be able to come stumbling in the house at all hours of the night. I have 2 younger children that go to school and do not need to be awakened by our barking dogs. Also, she would have to work and buy her own car. Rent and food would still be free. We would also encourage her to start college.

My daughter wasn't keen on those rules. She moved in with my parents. They are not money conscious and bought her a car. She has no curfew and they always give her money. However, my daughter is just now working 2 jobs and planning on college. Her original plan was to join the military, but my parents bribed her out of that.:/. She was so excited to join until she moved in with my parents. My daughter still comes over every week and stays with us for a night or two. It's nice to see her.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
For Iminlovewithmyhubby , is your husband your daughters step dad? When she moved in with your parents did they act like you were wrong not just letting her do what she wants still and having it be her moving out? I see my mom would act like we are being rude pushing my son out the door cuz i see if he was to leave he would move in with my mom somewhat like what your daughter did, and he would be able to do whatever he wants there also. My mom doesnt seem to get the responsible thing with a grandkid as much as with us kids or how i see it as his parent ya know?! My husband is my sons step dad, so i see it would be judged i am choosing to stay with my husband and pushing the kid out.
 

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For Iminlovewithmyhubby , is your husband your daughters step dad? When she moved in with your parents did they act like you were wrong not just letting her do what she wants still and having it be her moving out? I see my mom would act like we are being rude pushing my son out the door cuz i see if he was to leave he would move in with my mom somewhat like what your daughter did, and he would be able to do whatever he wants there also. My mom doesnt seem to get the responsible thing with a grandkid as much as with us kids or how i see it as his parent ya know?! My husband is my sons step dad, so i see it would be judged i am choosing to stay with my husband and pushing the kid out.
Yes she's his step daughter and yes my parents did just that. I know exactly what you mean. My parents are convinced we treat our other two children "different" then my oldest. Which is FAR from the truth. All our children are treated the same. We do so much more for my daughter then my parents give us credit for. There are other things that my parents do that are unthinkable. I've distanced myself from them quite a bit. I do not tell my mother any details of my personal life. She makes false accusations towards me and thinks very irrationally. That's another story in itself.
 

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Hi Jade. I am also going through the same thing.
I have 3 kids. 18, 15 and 11.
My 18 year old is living at home and goes to college. I give him a monthly allowance and pay his mobile phone bill.
What is this guilt thing about? I too feel guilty when I can't afford to give him more. It's the only thing my H and I argue about. He says he gets enough and he needs to stand on his own two feet more and I know he's right but I feel so guilty. He's such a good boy and been no trouble at all, and I kind of use this as a reason for giving in to him all the time. I know I'm wrong, but I just don't know how to say no to him! I feel so guilty! I've tried to be tougher with him in the past but always seem to give in. This makes me sound like a really weak person/parent but I'm not, but I know I'm not doing him any favours.

Another issue is weekend curfew. During the week he has to be in by 10.30 as he has college the next day. Here in the UK kids are allowed to go to clubs and drink at 18. ALL his fronded are allowed to stay out until 3am or later on a Saturday night but I have said he needs to be in by 2 at the latest! Another guilt trip!! He doesn't drink much, a few beers, and he's always quiet when he comes home, but I worry when he is out and can't sleep, also H is not happy. He wants him home earlier. It's hard though when all his friends are allowed to stay out !!
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Thanks everyone for your advise! I need to stop doing stuff for him, laundry, cleaning, giving money ect. Or he will never grow up!
I'll note that some of this depends on what exactly your child wants to do with their career.

My little one, for instance, wants to be a vet. So, that's four years of college, four years of DVM school, boards, (I assume) an internship of some kind, and maybe investing to open a practice or partner with another vet. Then, if she wants to be a researcher, there's another four years for a PhD.

My point is that while I certainly want her to learn something about responsibility, her ability to succeed in this career and enjoy life will depend on how supportive I am of her ambition. So, kicking her out of the home or making her pay rent at 18 is (IMO) a poor idea in my situation where it might be a perfectly good one for an 18 year-old child who graduated from H.S., is just working 40 hours, and not really progressing further in their lives.
 

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Is he in school?

If not, charge him rent. Don't do things for him. Make him get a job.

Or just tell him he has to go be an adult. Soemwhere else.
 

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Remind him that some families kick their 18 year olds out on their birthday. He is lucky to be allowed to still live at home! He is an adult, you need to treat him as one so he can start behaving as one.
Gotta speak up on this one.

I know some families do this, but I would never say to my child (or even think) at 18 that she is lucky to be around.

Also, the reality is that at 18 a child is not ready to do anything that will lead to a successful adult life. In some professions, even a Bachelor's degree does not get that. I personally view a gradual transition beginning in childhood and running up through college as the right way (at least for someone not going to trade school or the military) in our Information Economy.
 
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