Are we in the wrong here?

(58 Posts)
Tiggs2 Fri 22-Feb-13 12:42:50

Hello all, I am just after some advice/ opinions on this matter please. We have a 20 year old son who is on his second year at uni, and staying in a rented house monday to friday, then home at weekends. He works minimal hours on a Sat and Sun, then spends the rest of the time with his friends. He usually manages to get late morning or afternoon shifts so that he can stay out all ours of the night. We don't see much of him at all because he comes back over on a Friday evening but goes straight to his mates till the early hours, then he gets up on the Sat, goes to work and then goes out from there so generally we see him for about 15mins on the Sat, and maybe 20 mins on the Sunday night just before he goes back. He drives a car so generally he has all his freedom to do whatever he wants and we don't ask questions, but we have had to bail him out with money a couple of times. All we ask of him is to try not to disturb us as I am a light sleeper anyway. We have one rule though that when he stays here during the week, he doesn't come in too late as his dad has to get up at 6.30am and likes to wait for him to come home, so weekends are fine but not Sunday to Friday. Lately though when he is staying home during the week, he is stopping out for longer and once it gets to Midnight the stress levels start to rise here as we want him home so we can relax and go to bed. He has stayed here the last couple of Sunday nights and is supposed to get up Monday early, in order to go to Uni, but because he has stayed out so late ( after 1.30am) he stays in bed here until lunchtime, telling us lessons are cancelled or something simillar. There is now a row brewing because he came back over last night, we didn't see him, and when his dad text him to ask that he come home at a reasonable time, he said just carry on to bed and he won't disturb us when he comes in! His dad reminded him again that with it being midnight, and a Thursday, that he should be back home and that we would be having talks tonight. He then didn't come home at all, but stayed at a friends without letting us know! Our son wants to move home in May, and I am dreading it because he will just carry on as he is now, putting his social life before everything. When I mentioned all this causing problems he replied that he is 20 and not a kid anymore so if his friends stay out late then why can't he? We don't ask anything of him, be it rent, jobs, etc and always send him back to Uni with plenty of food, so are we being unreasonable?
P.S We can't ever see him doing a 9 to 5 job!!

HollyBerryBush Fri 22-Feb-13 23:03:32

I'm swathing through the whole 'he's an adult' crap - if he was an adult he would have respect for you and your home and abide by your rule rathe than treating lieka hotel or doss house.

I have similar with my 17yo - so long as he texts in to say hes safe, no problem.

Parents worry, we are programmed to worry. Its our job to worry

If he doesnt like the fact you need to lock up and go to bed without one ear twitching, then he gets a place of his own, where he can be self sufficient and come and go as he likes.

He'll understand when he's a parent himself.

Illustrationaddict Sat 23-Feb-13 00:30:50

I think I'd be more worried if he followed all your rules, being out with mates until all hours suggests he's a good socialiser which is important. I did the same, but am a responsible adult now. Cut him some slack, and a key whilst you're at it!

I may well find myself in the OP situation later this year. I find it hard to fall asleep when someone is due in in the middle of the night or early hours so we'll see how we do. I want err on the side of leaving him too it, but if he's rolling in drunk, making mess and noise then it will not be on Dh and I will be needing sleep to get to work and we still have an 8 year old with school. Creep in quiet and get yourself to bed and no problem.
Other than giving him a key and free range as an adult. Maybe you should have a talk with him about how it affects you and your Dh.
He may want to work hard at finding full time employment and his own place rather than come home and live by the rules.

livinginwonderland Sun 24-Feb-13 13:03:38

yabu to give a 20 year old man a curfew. there's absolutely no need for your husband to stay up and wait for him to get home, he has a car and a key and a job, let him have his freedom.

i moved away to university at eighteen and came home maybe once every six weeks on average. my parents never gave me a curfew, but out of courtesy, i told them when i expected to be back and i'd always text my mum if my plans were changing, just so she wouldn't worry if she woke up at say, 2am and i wasn't back yet.

i would argue, though, that a 20 year old living at home should pay rent, especially if he is working and barely attending lectures. he can't just live off his parents and student loans forever.

HecateWhoopass Sun 24-Feb-13 14:22:26

You can't give a 20 year old a curfew. He is not a child. You have to accept that.

Make any house rules reasonable. Not disturbing you is reasonable. Demanding he's home/in bed by a certain hour smacks of 'don't go out on a school night' mentality and is an unreasonable way to treat another adult.

It's also not your job to make sure he's 'got everything'. He is twenty years old. If he can't make sure he has everything he needs something has gone wrong somewhere!

He lives somewhere else monday to friday. Where I assume he has a key and responsibility for locking up etc? Yet you treat him like a child on the weekend? You have to change this relationship from parent and child to parent of adult offspring!

However, since he is an adult, he should live in the adult world. That means bills to pay. Giving him a free ride is yet another way that you are keeping him a child, isn't it?

He isn't a child. He is a man.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 24-Feb-13 14:35:18

YABU about expecting him to be in at a certain time.

But I think you are allowing him to take the piss frankly. It doesn't sound as if he is giving his course much attention, which can be a problem when people go to Uni so close to home that they stick with their existing friends rather than making new ones who are also studying to the same level.

What does he need his student loan for, if you are going to be providing bed and board?

Yfronts Sun 24-Feb-13 14:54:51

You can't give a curfew to a 20 year old. They are an adult. It's fine to ask that he comes in quietly and does something round the house to help in some wasy as payment for his stay.

mrsbunnylove Sun 24-Feb-13 16:32:08

dont have a curfew - it isn't working. but don't allow him to stay at yours during the week.

and give him notice now. at the end of his uni course he's on his own.

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