Subject: giving you my opinion
Question: A woman wrote in to you describing her 18 year old high school senior’s atrocious attitude and you told her that her daughter was “too old for chores and curfew”. Are you kidding me?
Just because a kid turns 18, doesn’t mean they can’t follow the rules of their parents home. My daughter is 18 years old, a senior in high school and thinks she can do what she wants. This is my home and my rules. I am pretty fair about things and I don’t think there is anything wrong with having to come home at a descent hour for school the next morning. We all have to follow laws and rules no matter how old we are and a curfew is basically the same thing; my laws and rules.
Answer: Dear Carol,
An 18 year old child is to old to be bossed around by a parent. Any parent who doesn’t respect their 18 year old anymore than to “boss” them around probably has a history of non respect with their now adult child.
What I did not say was that an 18 year old should not be expected to clean up after themselves or to act like an adult in your home. If they live at home (because you allow them to) then they need to be responsible. They are capable of acting like adults because they are adults.
As for your laws and your rules….well that is certainly your choice. If parents have emphasized the relationship over control they usually don’t write to me about problems with an 18 year old child.
While you have a right to your opinion I do also and have studiously studied the research. Control rarely produces the kind of results parents deeply desire. Long term relationships with one’s adult child is negotiated not demanded or controlled unless the adult child decides on their own to grant you that control.