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Are we in the wrong here?(58 Posts)
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!!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
He's 20. If you can't accept that then you are better off asking him. to move out
I think you definitely need to get this sorted out before he moves back home in May.
I love the 'I'm not a kid anymore' argument, which doesn't wash really when he is relying on you for rent-free accommodation.
I would just sit down and have a talk with him - make your rules (and the sanctions for breaking those rules) absolutely clear.
At the least, he needs to be home before a certain time on a weekday, and he needs to text you if he is staying out. These rules are nothing to do with him being an adult or a child - it's basic courtesy. My DH would make sure he wasn't too late coming home on a weekday, and would text if his plans changed!
He's 20. That's what 20 yr olds do. I think you need to loosen the ties a bit. He'll come back to you in a couple of years.
Why on earth do you need to wait up for a 20yr-old?
I think you're all being unreasonable. You and your dh are treating him like a young teenager, but equally he has to accept that if he wants to stay living rent-free then he needs to follow some rules.
And if he isn't taking his course seriously he should leave, get a job and start paying his way.
I'd def go with the view that this guy is an adult. There's nothing making your DH stay up.
But coming home from uni in the week is really odd. Part of the experience surely is that you leave home (not pop back every weekend and in the week).
Time for some tough love. Stressing that the door will always be opened in an emergency you need to say you don't want overnight visitors in the week.
Then you and DH need to agree what rent for May and present it to him now so it's not a shock later this year.
He is an adult - u need to say you know you've been treating him like a child. But these are the new rules.
Your house, your rules.
Though he is 20, so I think asking him to come home early is a bit mean tbh. He's at uni, he's working so he taking some responsibility at least.
The bailing him out with money I would probably stop doing if he isn't learning from his mistakes.
But he's an adult now and tbh it sounds though you're treating him like he's 15. I accept I may be in the minority with that though
Sorry a 20 year old has their own key and comes and goes as they like.
If you can't cope with that he needs his own place.
I lived at home for the year I was 20, I had a car, I came and went as I pleased. I did say when I'd be back as my Dad worries and this was long before mobiles, but my parents wouldn't comment on what time that was.
The last five months I lived at home my parents had, my now DH, sleeping over every other weekend and me vanishing 100 miles to his place the other.
DMum just wandered in and gave us breakfast in bed.
Presumably you dont wait up during the week for a text from him at Uni to say he has got home safely so you dont need to wait up for him at the weekends. I would absolutely hate it if my parents had waited up.
Bailing him out with money is another thing and I cant see that working minimal hours pays enough for him to stay out for so long.
Before he comes back in May you should set some ground rules ie, contributing towards keep, doing own laundry, advising you will not cater for him unless told otherwise etc. Forget the coming in at certain times, that's just onto a hiding to nothing.
Of course it is your home and your rules.
But, your DS is an adult. I think rules about being quiet etc. when he comes in are fine, but I don't think you should impose a curfew.
What is the problem with him coming home when you and your DH are asleep?
tbh you are still treating him like a child because he is still behaving like one. As long as you do this he will continue to do what he is doing. he wants all the advantages of being a child and all the advantages of being an adult. he needs to man up and understand how life works. if he lives at home he pays rent (in kind if necessary doing chores) and if it is your house your rules. you need to realise too that at 20 he isnt a teenager but a grown man and waiting up for him is not reasonable any more. get this sorted out or it will escalate and you will fall out with him. he is either at uni studying or he isnt. this goes a lot deeper than just coming in late and its time for a talk or you will be posting this same thing in 10 years time when he is 30!
I think a curfew of midnight for a 20 year old is ridiculous tbh.
You're not in the wrong as such, it's your house, but being 21 myself I can tell you the main reason I moved out was because I wasn't allowed to be out late (and begrudged paying £50 a week board for half a bedroom when I could have rented a whole flat for about £70), and missed out on a lot of birthdays, work dos etc as a result. We had a small house, I shared a room with my sister, and my dad would sleep downstairs when he had to be up early, so even though I was quiet on coming in I couldn't help but disturb people. They also liked to have the doors locked up properly before they went to bed. Obviously all totally reasonable, but for me it felt like I was missing out on being a normal teenager.
I don't really know what to suggest in your case, since your DS is studying and not earning much, but don't feel like you can't set rules for him in your own house. If he really doesn't like it he'll have to find a way around it.
I can see your point OP but.....
He's an adult, I don't understand why someone needs to wait for him to come home - surely he has a key to let himself in.
Personally I'd lock up, go to bed and if he did make any more than minimum levels of noise (in the middle of the night) I'd give him hell the next morning or ask him to reconsider his living arrangements if he can't respect the rules.
I'm quite surprised he comes back so often if he's given a curfew.
What the fuck? You are all being unreasonable!
Why is your grown up son coming home from uni at the weekends? He should get a job at uni and be out with uni friends there.
Your husband is being ridiculous staying up for a 20year old to come home. Holy cow the boy could be in a proper job, married etc at this stage in his life.
If he wants to move back in may, you need to all get a grip. Charge a proper amount of rent, utilities, council tax, discuss rules about share of housework, cleaning, cooking etc. if he's going on the dole again you need set appropriate charges (50% + of most young people's income nowadays goes on bills). But you and your husband need to treat him as a responsible, grown up adult.
I'm afraid I've seen the likes of your son when I was at uni - didn't seem to realise they'd left 6th form, spent more time with old school friends than making new friends and taking all the social opportunities offerred. Basically stayed like an 18year old and didn't mature, then moved home for a cushy life with mum. I'm 33 and have heard of a couple who still get pissed with school pals at the weekend and life with mummy. Oh and they studied something useful like philosophy or fine art or media.
He is 20 years old. You are extremely unreasonable to wait up for him and feel that you can't relax until he comes back. I understand it's your house but that sounds very overprotective and silly and I can see why he's sick of it. You need to let go a bit and stop being so clingy. 1:30 isn't really all that late.
However, it sounds like he needs to grow up with respect to the future and look for work and not assume he can just come back in May.
But on the matter of the curfew, YABU.
You're absurd in giving a 20 year old a curfew, and one of midnight at that! There is no need to stay up for him. So the complaining that your husband isn't getting enough sleep because he chose to stay up is a non-argument.
If I'd have been told to come home at midnight, I'd have stayed elsewhere too, firstly in a "well fuck you then" way, but also with a mind of, "I'm not going to get back before midnight, and that's when they want me back, so I'm better off staying elsewhere".
You're making this into an argument when it doesn't need to be.
Is he coming home for work and to see his friends?
You are being completely ridiculous. He's 20. Why on earth is your husband waiting up for him? He's a grown man. At 20 I was living hundreds of miles away in another country. When I was home, there was no curfew. My mum has since mentioned that she never slept properly until I was home, but she recognised this was not a reason to impose a curfew and was a bit silly as I was away from home for most of the year and then she didn't have a clue how late I was out.
YABU to expect a 20 yr old to be home by midnight.
Thanks for all the replies, something to think about for now. I need to explain that my husband doesn't normally wait up each night, its generally only on a Sunday night because our son goes back then and he likes to see that he's ok and has everything, especially if we haven't seen anything of him all weekend. When he plans to move back in May, he will be living here rent free, so he can keep all of his student loan, though I wonder if he is bothered about going to Uni at all. The "curfew" is only during the week, I think he could make an effort to be in by 2am, and he has disturbed me a couple of times, and when he cannot find his key!!. We want him to try and be responsible, and expect him to try and get some extra work hours, especially if he is only studying "part time"
Either you're ok with how he is, and live with him like that, charge him rent and treat him like a housemate, or have him move out completely. Treating him like a child isn't an option, he won't accept that, understandably.
YABU. He's 20, you can't set a curfew for him. And I'm guessing that when he's away at university you have no idea what time he arrives home.
I have a 19 yo in the first year of his degree - if I suggested he had to be home at specific times because I was waiting up for him he'd think I was losing the plot. I do tend to stay awake until he comes in, but that's my issue, not his.
I feel suffocated reading the op. Loosen the apron strings. He's 20 fgs, this is what most 20 yo men do.
Can you imagine the conversation at 11.50pm
'sorry lads, I've gotta go home now'
'errr, my old man likes to wait up to make sure I've got everything'
friends roll around laughing and take the piss forever more
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