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Question about adult siblings living together. Question is also posted in another catagory.

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 2:39 PM on Jan. 21, 2009 in Relationships

Level 2 (9 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • Oh boy. Well, he may not be a child, but it is your house and there should be basic house rules regarding messes, laundry, phone usage, etc. Will he be paying rent? I would also make it clear that you are a zero tolerance home, even a hint of drugs or alchohol and he's out.

    Answer by gramsmom at 2:45 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • In this scenario, it seems as though you kind of need to treat him like a child. He needs boundaries and rules since he can't seem to put them on himself. He needs to know exactly what is allowed and required of him while living under your roof. If he wants to go to school, he does that, but if he's not in school, he should have to work. If he works, he should pay you a portion for rent (this is mainly so he gets used to paying his own bills on time). Alcohol and drugs will not be allowed and if he's caught, he gets kicked out. Make sure he knows what is expected of him. It seems like he wants you to establish these guidelines for him.

    Answer by danielp at 2:59 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • Well you are an adult and I assume don't do drugs or drink so asking him to live that way in your home isn't infringing on his adulthood IMO. It is your house and you have a right for it to be the haven you and your husband want to be. It is perfectly acceptable for you set boundaries in your house. If he wants to be an adult then that means being responsible and doing chores in the house or whatever it is you expect of him. You are providing a place to live and stability it is not too much to ask him to help y'all in some way. If he is serious about cleaning up his life he will accept your terms, if he is looking for a free ride then he'll most likely have a problem with this. What is he doing to make a difference in his life asside from getting away from the bad situation? Is he going back to school or working?

    Answer by Tawanda74 at 3:01 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • While he is here he will be working on getting his GED, and he will have at least a part time job. I do drink occasionally, But I am well over 21 and so is my husband. Thank you all for your answers.

    Answer by Rebecca7708 at 3:30 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • Sit him down and ask what his plans are. Ask him what's fair to expect from him (rent, no drugs, no drama). In return ask him what he expects from you and hubby. He may not want a mother figure. He may want just moral support and guidance. Set the boundaries as soon as he gets there and not after he screws up. Also, tell him whatever consequences you are willing to give if he is caught with drugs or drinking in your home. He will appreciate the honesty. Hopefully the example you and your h set will be enough to set him back on the right track

    Answer by admckenzie at 3:41 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

  • Make SURE you make him feel welcome. I think that's #1. Asking for help is HARD and if he feels unwanted he'll be quick to run back to his old ways. I would talk to him like you already assume he knows the rules, "you're an adult and I'm SURE you already know this - but just so I've said it, no drinking or illegal substances in my home."

    I'd try to get him excited about what his life can become. Talk to him about what he'd REALLY like to do in life and help him take steps in that direction. I'm sure first he'll need a GED - encourage that. Soon he'll be excited about life and accomplishing things and you'll look back and wonder what happened to that confused little brother that came to live with you.

    I did this on a smaller scale with my younger sister and she really did benefit. Good luck!


    Answer by Katrinka_Renee at 5:47 PM on Jan. 21, 2009

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