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teens at 18 what to do about curfews and the envitable drug problem

(71 Posts)
delia63 Tue 11-Mar-14 23:27:36

My eldest dd has just turned 18 and seems to spend quite abit of the time telling me her mother that she is now an adult and that she do what she likes. I try without fuelling an arguement if I can to tell her that despite being 18 she is still living w us and her younger sister so needs to abide by house rules including telling us where she is and coming home when she says rather than 3 hours later sometimes like last weekend coming in at 6.00am. I feel abit at sea with it all not quite knowing the rules at this age as she is older enough to vote, have concentual sex get married etc but it still very young in some ways. She has always been abit rebellious but at younger age have been able to impose sanctions such as grounding her for unreasonable behaviour but feel she is beyond grounding now what do others do
leavecthem to it or impose sanctions if they don't come home etc when they say.

We seem to go up and down with it but there are times when she seems very rude and unreasonable this was the case on her 18th birthday following a heavy night of partying probably smoking some dope into the equation. I couldn't reason with her and she looked miserable all day she said it was because I was being horriblec to her (I was also v tired as been up from 3-6am texting her intermitantly to find out where she was etc) I thought itvwas more than that but couldn't exactly put my finger on it (we have had another episode recently) sye always vents her anger at me rather her father who takes a much more laid back approach (which I find difficult to do in these situations) I am worriec she is smoking cannibus on a more regular basis than shecis admitting to us. I know she smokes roll ups and have had a few times when she has behaved quite strangely and last weekend I found a small stash in her room but have not confronted her about this as don't want her to shut the door and not tell me anything. We had a candid conversation about her drugs and she admitted she did smoke weed as sheclikes the affectvof being high but does notbdo ketataine which seems popular at present. I feel rather naive as I expect she has been smoking thecdope fof much longervthan we realise. Any advise about of the concerns raised would be v helpful

NigellasDealer Tue 11-Mar-14 23:33:25

well she is an adult now so there is not much you can do except point her to drug education to minimise risks. Still she should at least let you know when she will be back so you do not worry, if she wants to be adult about it.

YouTheCat Tue 11-Mar-14 23:34:13

Have a chat when all is calm. If she expects to be treated as an adult, she needs to behave like one and treat your home and you with some respect.

My dd is 19. She knows I am fine with her going out but that if she's going to be later than 12, I'd like to know she's safe getting home and if she is staying out at someone's I'd like to know before I go to bed so I don't worry and lie awake.

She respects this because she worries if I am out and texts if I'm late (once and by 20 minutes).

Fortunately mine is now through the drug stage. She'd rather have a couple of drinks.

All you can do is stress the importance of being as safe as she can be (taxis or making sure she has someone to walk with etc) and let her get on with it.

DonnaDishwater Tue 11-Mar-14 23:35:02

As long as she lives in your home she has to abide by your views. Otherwise show her the door.

DonnaDishwater Tue 11-Mar-14 23:35:22

*by your RULES. not views.

nannynewo Tue 11-Mar-14 23:36:36

I remember when I turned 18 I used to say things like 'you can't tell me what to do because I am now an adult' and my parents would say 'but you're still living under my roof' I would still say but I am an adult and they would reply, well if you want to do what you like then you need to pay rent. I must admit though, my parents had no problems as such with me as I was a really good teenager.
At the end of the day, your daughter is an adult but that doesn't stop you being her parent. You still need to be firm with her especially about the drugs!! That is not something to just forget about, drugs can become a very serious problem, hence them being illegal! She could not only get into a lot of trouble but could end up becoming seriously ill.
So you do need to still be very firm with her. she is not mature enough yet to be allowed no rules. Good luck.

DonnaDishwater Tue 11-Mar-14 23:40:53

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Nocomet Tue 11-Mar-14 23:42:41

I always had to say when I'd be back until I went to university and I almost always did when ever I was home there after.

I never came home really drunk as my DDad doesn't drink and I respected him allowing me to (local pubs served us from 14)

Drugs? I wouldn't have lived long enough to be thrown out!

(As far as I can work out DDad had a DF who died sniffing ether. He considered drugs the most appalling way to waste your life.)

Nocomet Tue 11-Mar-14 23:44:17

Most 18 are finishing their A levels or collage courses, work isn't always very practical.

SallyMcgally Tue 11-Mar-14 23:50:56

Agree with posters saying that if she is putting on her parts about being an adult, she can pay you rent and start finding out what being an adult means. She sounds as if she has a lot of growing up to do.

NurseyWursey Tue 11-Mar-14 23:54:12

When I was 18 I came and went as I pleased, I bought my own food, helped with gas and electric and that was that. I wasn't treated like a child and expected to tell everyone my exact whereabouts.

The weed thing is a different problem and I'm not sure there's much you can do except ban it from under your roof sad

brdgrl Wed 12-Mar-14 00:07:07

Another one for 'our house, our rules'.
DSD is 18 and has been living at home for the last year since finishing school. She doesn't have a curfew and actually we have never told her that she has to let us know where she is going - but that's largely because it has not been an issue; she's not hugely into drink or at all into drugs and she generally is very open about where she's going and what she's doing. If it started to be a problem, though, yes, there's be more rules put in place.
When we talked to her about living at home for a year, we discussed what would change and what would stay the same - that she'd have some increased responsibilities at home, and some greater freedoms, but that it would be a transition. She's not an adult - she's becoming an adult. She does need to be reminded of that sometimes. (So did I, probably)

Topseyt Wed 12-Mar-14 00:07:46

If she wants to continue living in your house, she has to agree to live by your rules. If she doesn't like that then she is free to find somewhere else to live if she wishes.

You can certainly set basic rules like no drugs, no smoking in the house, no wild parties. You can also demand good basic manners and respect. It is just basic common decency that is expected.

18 year olds (and I have one) are very new adults. They still have a lot to learn, even if many of them don't think so. I might not ground her for being late home, but I would point out that it comes with responsibilities. I would just like to be told if she is going to be late so that I don't worry (it is what mums do, after all).

My 18 year old daughter is away at uni most of the time at the moment. Funnily enough, I don't worry about her whilst she is there, even though I miss her enormously. When she comes home I worry about her if she is out though, and am always listening to hear her come home. Odd one. You just can't totally detatch.

cory Wed 12-Mar-14 10:35:28

I don't think curfews are much of a solution to the drug problem tbh: drugs tend to be around at any time of day.

But you are perfectly entitled to tell her that you will not have them in your house and that she will have to move if she insists on using them. It is your home and you should be able to feel comfortable about the way it is run.

I have a 17yo (18 in the autumn) and we are already practising treating her as more or less an adult. I would probably not be grounding her for behaviour I did not like, but would try to react in the way I would to any other adult treating me badly in my own home.

Dd knows that part of the deal of being treated like an adult is that she accepts that she needs to show me the courtesy that adults do show each other.

So I would expect to be told more or less when she is going to be home- in the same way as I expect that of dh, or she can expect that of me. It's not about me making rules for a child; it's about how adults sharing a household treat each other. I would blow up if dh had told me he was going to be home for dinner and then rolled in at midnight without having let me know. If she is going to go to some out-of-the-way party, then I would expect her to discuss with me how she is getting home- and would give her advice on safety. Again, I wouldn't accept dh coming home stoned or bringing drugs into the house, so I'm not going to accept it from her either.

I am already beginning to practise the reasoning-as-an-adult approach with 13yo ds, though he knows that he is too young for me to totally commit to this: if I need to, I will still be prepared to roll out the whole parent-in-charge and sanctions programme for a few years yet. But gradually we are moving in the direction of "this is a potential problem, what do you think would be a sensible solution".

shebird Wed 12-Mar-14 10:47:00

Its about respect really. As an 'adult' she should show more consideration towards you and inform you when she is staying out etc. so that you are not out of your mind with worry and up half the night. Yes she is an adult but she is still living in your house so she cannot do as she pleases when it causes you stress and worry. Just a simple text to say 'I'm ok, staying at xyz be home in the morning' means that you can stop fretting.

The drugs is another issue, not sure what to say about that one just keep a close eye and keep talking I think.

jellybeans Wed 12-Mar-14 11:00:11

Your house your rules. It will be the same for my DD when she is 18 (almost there). She works which has made a difference to her growing up a lot too. Lot of college students do weekend work.

ChillySundays Wed 12-Mar-14 11:40:53

My daughter is 19. The agreement is that if she is going out she must text or call if going to be later than 10.30. She's not a drinker or goes to clubs so is normally home by 10:30. I do also expect (but rarely get) a quick text if she goes anywhere after work. That is more so that I know how many to cook for so.

ladypete Wed 12-Mar-14 12:18:20

My mum never imposed any rules on curfews or drugs in the house. Funnily enough I had the initiative to realise I should let her know where I was/where I was staying for my own safety ie. I would chose to let her know I'd be back at 2am because if I wasn't.. I obviously needed finding!

As for drugs/smoking, she knew I tried a few cigarettes (about 5 times) and told me she knew and that she'd rather I didn't for my health, but didn't "punish me" as such. She did ask me not to do it in the house. I didn't, and after about 2 weeks got bored, realised I probably stank and decided healthy lungs were much more worthwhile. My friend however was screamed at constantly about it and still hangs out of her window to smoke almost 5 years later.

My sister is 18 and is the same re going out.. She can go wherever she pleases, and choses to let us know where she is.

Could you point out the dangers of being AWOL alone at night and see if she realises it's in her favour to let you know where she is? And as for the weed, ask her not to smoke/keep it in the house, and just make sure she is aware of the long term effects. Hopefully if she's education or career focused with good natured friends she'll soon stop. Good luck OP.

juneau Wed 12-Mar-14 12:24:24

At the moment it sounds like she doesn't respect you. I would have a zero tolerance approach to drugs and tell her if I ever find drugs in her room or suspect that she's been taking drugs, I will call the police and let them deal with her.

As for coming in late, again I would ground her, remove pocket money, withdraw privileges (mobile phone, TV in room, etc), unless she is working and paying for those things herself, including rent. I would not have a teen (or anyone actually), disrespecting house rules and expecting to get away with it. My mother was way too soft on me, so I ran rings around her, but my dad was strict and I didn't mess with him. If she wants to be an adult and come and go as she pleases, you should make it clear that she can move out. You're not running a hostel FFS.

Nanny0gg Wed 12-Mar-14 12:37:02

At 18 none of my children had to ask permission to go out. They did, however, have to give me the courtesy of telling me when they'd be back (and heaven help them if they were later without letting me know, I'm a worrier). Mostly they told me where they were going too.
If they didn't want dinner or would be late, again they had to let me know.

Drugs and smoking? Not under my roof or using my money to fund. to the best of my knowledge they did neither.

There certainly were rows - we're all opinionated feisty but we all seem to have survived the experience.

MamaPain Wed 12-Mar-14 12:56:43

The way I have approached this is from the perspective of emphasising how much I love them and how we should have mutual respect. It is a case of my house my rules, they just don't realise it. I think if I said my house my rules they would just see it as something to challenge or rebel against.

I think my DC didn't realise that I'm not trying to spoil their fun/make them boring, but instead that I love them so much and I'm constantly worried about if they are fed/well/safe etc. I tell them that I know they are adults which is why I'm not going to give them rules and regulations, but that we are going to work in partnership as members of the family.

-I need to know if they will be in for dinner so that I don't waste money on food or work all day and then cook unnecessarily.
-I need to know when they'll be home so I can go to bed/put the chain on the door/relax, which I have a right to do as I'm tired too.
-I need to know that they are safe because I love them and I can't function if I'm concerned they aren't safe.
- I need to know that my younger DC aren't going to be put in unsafe situations so they can't smoke in the house, have drugs in the house or bring dodgy people into the house.
- We all should feel like we contribute equally so they need to work or be in full-time education, just as DH and I work.

Obviously they're teens and they fuck up on occasion, however I think there is a real benefit to putting it in a positive way rather than imposing rules. Obviously if the positive approach didn't work I'd have to rethink it. So far I've had lots of success, my DC let me know if they will be in for tea/staying out past 12/staying out the entire night. I presume and am OK with them drinking or drug taking outside of the house but it's never been an issue indoors and we don't have all this I'm an adult and you can't tell me what to do business.

skybluepinkwithpolkadots Wed 12-Mar-14 13:19:04

I do agree with 'your house your rules', it comes down to respect at the end of the day. At 18 i was living at home while at uni and working part time. I didnt have to pay board as i was only earning a small amount, about £300/month but i was expected to pay for all my own stuff including uni books, travel etc as well as clothes and my socialising.

My parents general rules were

Let us know if you're here for tea
No smoking in the house
Text us if you end up sleeping out
Dont wake us up when u come in
Dont bring people back
Dont do drugs, get pregnant or die.

Basically i had zero restrictions, did whatever i wanted, but had to respect the family home. They werent fussed about me going out and getting drunk etc, as long as i didnt impact on their daily life, eg didnt wake them up coming in.

I always followed these basic rules as i respected my parents and their house. I had the chance to live in halls but chose to stay home, therefore i had to deal with their rules. I was also expected to clean up after myself and do my own washing etc. so we ended up like 3 adults living in a house.

KellyElly Wed 12-Mar-14 15:26:51

juneau You did read that this is an 18 year old the OP is talking about right? This As for coming in late, again I would ground her, remove pocket money, withdraw privileges (mobile phone, TV in room, etc) is not how you treat an 18 year old. Ask them to move out or shape up, fine, but ground them, really???

Nocomet Wed 12-Mar-14 15:33:00

You can't totally detach from anyone you live with who you care about.

DF had a rented university house in a slightly difficult place to get to. All the girls sharing with her tried to remember to say if they might be late or stay over at friends because they did worry about each other.

Nowadays it really is no effort to text.

Nocomet Wed 12-Mar-14 15:35:34

Dad would have grounded me and I would ground DDs, but ..

My parents were of the generation who expected respect from their DCs regardless of age and here no car no social life.

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