18 year old step-daughter moving in...help!(6 Posts)
So, my 18 year old step daughter is going to move in with us, from another country. She's never lived with her dad, or us before. She is super lovely (from the interactions we've had, which have been limited due to distance)
We have a good relationship with the mum, and she's moving in with us to try out living in the USA while she figures out what she wants to do after high school.
We have two kids of our own, DS8 and DS5.
So, what I'd like advice on is...what's going to trip me up, that I can try to prepare for?
We're going to talk to her mum and figure out what her house rules are, DH and I are going to talk about how our rules differ (if they do), and we'll talk to her about what things we would like to see/expect from her - and negotiate with her as much as possible.
She will be dependent on us for cash, as she won't be able to work - but will be going to school and can get cash in hand jobs babysitting (my friends are already lining up), and we'll have to sort out a car for her to use as we have no public transport in our town (and everything is too far to cycle)
I'm going to talk to my boys about their sister coming to live with us (they'll be excited, she visited for a few weeks last year and they loved having her around - although I know it'll be different when it's not a holiday).
I'm going to talk to my boss about shortened working hours for the first month so she doesn't come home to an empty house after school...
What am I not thinking about?
What is the layout of your house? How big is it? What is the situation for bedrooms, public/reception rooms?
An 18-year-old does best with a fair amount of space. Just thinking about things like playing loud music if she likes to do that, or alternatively needing peace and quiet to study away from the younger children. Also, is there somewhere she can use if she wants to have new friends round (second reception room)? If not, is there any chance of giving her a room big enough to make up into a bed-sitting room, like a student room, so that she can have friends round more easily and plenty of space to study?
You´ll also need to think about how you will negotiate kitchen space. Is she used to sharing family mealtimes at home, or does she like to do a lot of cooking for herself? You won´t want to find yourselves falling over each other in the kitchen all the time, especially if it is small!
Oh, and when you say "school" do you mean high school or university...? I just realised that Americans often refer to going to university as "going to school", and a university student will have somewhat different needs and lifestyle from a school pupil.
I think it's brilliant that you're going to talk with her mum about house rules.
Are there going to be any culture shocks? Thinking about
me at that age my own DSC (18 and 20), if they moved from the UK to the States I think they'd struggle with not being allowed to buy booze until they were 21
You sound like you've got it all sorted! I would agree on the house space point though, she needs to have her own space....and you will need her to have it!
Your DC probably go to bed quite early after which you and DH have the house to yourselves, keep in mind that a) you won't want yo lose that freedom, and b) she will need time away from you also! Good luck, and by the way, she's a lucky girl, having you for a SM!
It all sounds pretty fantastic! There's a lot of warmth and good feeling from you, your kids, your DP, and DSD, and also able to communicate with her mother who sounds very reasonable.
These are very, very good things.
All the advice here is great.
Expectations, your time with DP, your rules, DSD feeling welcome - all of these things are worth considering. Good luck! Sounds great.
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