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Question about adult siblings living together.

My baby brother is moving in with my husband and I. He is going to be 19 soon. I have pretty much raised this boy since he was born. I actually have multiple questions, so please be patient. He is coming to live with us because his current situation is not so good. Lots of drinking and drugs. Obviously, this will not be allowed in my home. My first question is, How do I set rules for him, without infringing on his rights as an adult? What kind of Ground rules are appropriate for a semi-grown up? My other question is, How do I get past him being the child I helped raise and help him become the adult he should be? He doesn't have his license, he is a high school drop out and as of right now his life is heading in a bad direction. Let me be clear,he has asked for our help to clean his life up. Any advice is appreciated, but if you feel the need to be ignorant or rude, please don't post anon.

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Asked by Rebecca7708 at 2:28 PM on Jan. 21, 2009 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 2 (9 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • Well, I think since he is (legally speaking) an adult, start by sitting down and talking to him and see what he thinks the rules should be? That would give you an idea of what kind of freedoms he thinks he should be allowed so that you can then determine if you are comfortable with that in your home. At that same time, tell him what you think the rules should be. There are certain things that I think should be standard for any adult that would be staying in your home: helping with clean up (dishes, clean up after themselves, clean the bathroom they use, etc.) that really shouldn't be negotiable, and of course no drugs/drinking. Maybe set a limit (no drugs in my house, and if I find out you used somewhere else, after 2 times, you're out). I truly think, though, that sitting down with him and discussing together would be best, so that he doesn't feel like you're just treating him like a child.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 2:42 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • i agree with the person before mee.... im 21 goin to be 23 in march and i live with my brother who is 30... i moved out wheni was 20 then came back and what we did... we sat down and talked about the rules and what was goin to happen if my hubby and i didnt obay them..... and i have 2 kids on top of my hubby and i.... yess we bump heads but we r brother and sister... i get mad at him bc i do everything around the house clean cook ect........

    Answer by Dayna-Marie at 2:55 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • know what its like to run a house... anyways... when i ask my brother to help me clean he says i pay all the bill and you want me to clean that house... so it is very hard to live with him... i cant wait to move back out bc we have a batter relationship when we dont live to gether.... anyways.... im goin on and on im sorry.... just talk to him see what he thinks things should go.... and as for him goin out and havin to be back at a serten time.... give him till 12 or 1....

    i hope i helpe... if not im sorry


    Answer by Dayna-Marie at 2:55 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • Tropicalmamas answer is a good one. Your brother is an adult now and probably sees himself as one. He's going through the launching stage of development and one pitfall of that stage is drug/alcohol usage. He's blessed to have a sister who cares enough to provide him support. I would approach him the same way I've approached any adult moving into my home. The house does have rules and everyone in the house has to model appropriate behavior for the children. Your brother should help with the household chores. The part about getting past he's the child you helped raised will be a growth step. It was for me after raising two sons who lived with me for up to the time they turned 24 or 25 years old. They were most responsive to any concerns when we openly talked about them like adults rather than me pulling the I'm the mother card. Hope this is helpful.

    Answer by Tifase at 9:33 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • id simply tell him drugs are not allowed in your house and neither is alcohol because he is underage. Id put him on a three strikes your out kinda thing. Id give him a curfew say 12 oclock becuase you have children and just explain he'll be treated like an adult as long as he acted like one. Id help him get a job his license a car a ged and maybe even into a community college. && remember hes not your baby brother anymore hes becoming a man and no matter how bad it hurts tough love is the only thing that will get him where he needs to be..

    Answer by lovencasper5307 at 11:54 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • that is so nice that you are willing to help him. First off, set the house rules and be firm with them. If you don't want alcohol and drugs in your home you tell him. If you don't want his friends coming in at all hours tell him when they can or can't be there. He needs to get a job asap and help with the bills too. I layed down the rules with my son and he didn't like them. He didn't like paying the $150 rent a month. Well now he pays $450 + utilities and works 2 jobs. He doesn't have anytime to get into trouble. Since he is an adult you don't have to say because I said so you can explain the reasons why. You can say my husband and I dont (drink) so there will be none of that in our home.

    Answer by halfpint6niner at 9:50 AM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • We live in Oklahoma and he is moving from Maine, so his friends wont be a problem. He's going to get a part time job, but I mainly want him to focus on getting his GED. He want's to join the Marines. I guess my biggest worry is how to a Step out of the mother mode and just be his sister. I practically raised him.

    Answer by Rebecca7708 at 1:22 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • You make whatever rules you would make for a child living in your home. Our children lived with us into early adulthood because it helped them with expenses while they were in college. They lived pretty much by the same house rules as when they were young teens. It is perfectly acceptable to make rules that say he tells you what time he will be home and if he's going to be late, he calls. Common courtesy. I would also include things I expected him to do around the house. Write them down. Make him agree to them up front. It's called tough love, and it works.

    Answer by NannyB. at 2:07 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • I let my OLDER brother come and live with me, and he was in a similar situation. I tried to set rules like no drinking, no drugs, you will find a job, etc. It worked to a point. He did find a job, but on pay day he would come home late and DRUNK! I felt so bad I could not kick him out. He got tickets on my car and would hide them when they came in the mail, he stole money, he broke all his promised to me. And then one day he just left to go back home (I live in Cali and his home is in Arkansas). And it broke my HEART! We now have no contact, and I have no idea if he is alive or not.

    Answer by Layna1980 at 2:27 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

  • cont - And now that I look back on it, what I SHOULD have done is let him live with me on the condition that he goes to rehab for a 30 or 60 day program. Then once he was done with that he was welcome to stay if he worked and attended meetings and continued to work on being sober. You can NOT make rules and agreements with someone who is not in a state to make agreements. He will not have any intention on keeping them, even if he says he does. He wants help and is asking for it, find a rehab facility, help him check himself in and support him thru it. Best of Luck, and feel free to PM me if you want or need to talk.

    Answer by Layna1980 at 2:27 PM on Jan. 22, 2009

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