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Should my 19 year old son have a curfew?

Posted by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 10:43 AM
  • 26 Replies

I'm in a frustrating dilemma, just wondering what other mom's would do.

I have a 19 (almost 20) year old son who lives at home with me. He goes to a community college FT, and he works part time. He is also a single dad.  My granddaughter lives with me most of the time, we have recently added on two new bedrooms to make room for him and my granddaughter to live here.  He has lived with me all his life, but recently had moved out with his GF who we found being unfaithful to him within 1 week of their getting their own place, and he moved back home.

 

My son has since entered into a relationship with an old highschool friend, and they've been spending a lot of time together.  He is a loving dad, but not always able to see the responsiblitiy in what he needs to do, and so my husband and I often pick up that slack. 

Even though he's working, and going to school, he only makes enough money to put gas in his car and pay his bills for his car and car insurance, so I do not charge him to be here, he cannot afford daycare for the baby, so I AM the daycare 7 days a week while he's at school or work.

When he gets home, he will spend time with the baby and he'll take responsiblity, but often needs to be reminded of the "right way" to put the effort forth, but he does as he's reminded.

My problem is, that on days when the baby goes home to her mom, my son will leave to go be with the new girlfriend and doesn't come home til 3 in the morning.  He will stay out late, and lately has been getting up late for classes or hasn't been getting up at all. He sleeps right through the alarm.  On days when he has the baby, the gf will come over, the baby goes to bed about 8:00 but the gf will stay until 1 or 2am and then he knows we're here and can listen for the baby so he then leaves that late to take the gf home.

I'm exhausted. I've taught him so many good morals and ethics, and when him and his ex-gf got together, everything i worked to teach him, was thrown out the window.  They're no longer together - but he still has this beautiful daughter.  I'm just frustrated cuz i'm thinking........

if he didn't live with me, i wouldn't even know he was doing this or staying out late, but because he moved home, do i have the right to implement a curfew and inforce it and then if so, what the heck to i dish out for reprimand for not sticking to it?

He pays for his own car, his own car insurance, his own gas, and he pays for his own schooling, when do you stop being able to tell them where and when they can or cannot go, and what time is too late or not to be out - at almost 20, should i still be trying to enforce a sense of groundedness - or don't i really have that right anymore? I don't want to be a controlling mom, but i do still have a 16 year old and and 8 year old in the house, plus his 2 year old daughter.

Thanks everyone.

Notime4me247

by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 10:43 AM
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Replies (1-10):
michelles
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 10:49 AM
1 mom liked this

 I would suggest sitting down with DS and the girlfriend and voicing the concerns above. I don't realy think there is much that you can to for a consequence other than withholding your services as babysitter or him having a place to live...it's kind of a catch-22...darned if you do, darned if you don't! Sorry I didn't have any more suggestions but this is a tricky situation!

jess225
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM
1 mom liked this

 I've always believed in the saying your house, your rules. 
I admire your son for going to school, working pt and raising a child although you and your dh seem to be doing most the raising.
Have you sat down and discussed this with him?  Personally I would be upset because you have to be exhausted!
I feel like you do have the right to tell him you would like him home at a decent hour.  Good luck...this is a tough situation and I also admire you for being their for your grandchild.

Cara5
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM
2 moms liked this

Wow, thats a lot piled up on your families plate.  

For starters, YES, you absolutely have the right to enforce a curfew. But he looks at himself like an adult, so to make the situation go better for everyone, I would humor him and treat him like an adult. 

Sit him down and explain that you need to have a conversation about household logistics.  Hes not in trouble, your not scolding him, but the way things are happening now are not working for you/the family, and as part of the family he needs to be part of the solution. 

I would make 2 lists. 

1) What mom/family does for DS. Include free rent, free daycare, groceries, cooking, laundry, watching baby at night when he drops gf off etc..etc.. 

2) what DS does for mom/family/contributing to the houeshold.  List anything he does to help..chores, being a good dad, being a good big brother, etc..

Explain to him that you are exhausted and overwhelmed and you need him to help figure out 8 or 10 things to knock off your list, but that the slack has to be picked up.  Things like doing his own and dds laundry, and other chores.  Tell him you cant be responsible for getting up with his dd during the night, thats his job.  

House Guests after 9 or 10 pm is seriously disruptive in a house where people are trying to sleep.  You could even cut him a really good deal and tell him that if he will put his dd to bed, and be back home from taking gf home before 10pm that you will keep an ear out for his dd for that time period.   I think telling him he needs to be in the house before 11 is perfectly fair, and this is not a hotel, if your not going to school every day that you are supposed to be there you dont get to live at home with free rent and free daycare. 

I would emphasize that your not telling him that he HAS to go to school, and be in by 11pm, your just explaining that the living her for free and the free day care are all based on him doing his part too, so if he wants to stay out late and slack off from school he needs to get another job because you are going to start charging for rent and day care. 

Does baby-mama pay child support?  That money should be coming straight to you! 

notime4me247
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Michelle and Jess.

Thanks ladies. I appreciate your feedback.

Jess you are right, I AM exhausted that's for sure.  I look like crap, i'm so tired, and then you probably know as a mom - if the kids aren't home (even for a sleep over at age 10) you just don't sleep. That darn "mom ego" gets the best of you, wanting to protect in all instances, so i do not sleep if i go to bed and he's not home when i lock that door :( 

Michelle, you feel my rath. I could take away the babysitting but then the baby suffers, because the other grandma desserted her mom and her a few weeks back and neigher her mom nor my son can afford to pay someone - so the one day when noone was available her mom was going to take her to the school and pass her off between friends between classes with a stroller - so i knew i had to step up to the plate to help to give her a foundation - because ultiimately the baby will be the one to suffer if i don't. :( 

I guess i'm just looking for a way to have this conversation becuase in mentioning it to him before, he opinionates the fact that "this is the only time he can see the gf because of all the responiblities he has between work, the school and the baby" and he's already nervous about the gf and how she's going to handle the fact that he's gotta balance their relationships between the two of them and the "three of them" - the baby.

I know he's got a lot of responsiblities, he feels like he has a lot of resentment for my guidance, but i'm seeing him be someone that is way out of alignment of who i taught him foundationally to be ????

luckysevenwow
by Platinum Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I say that on the days that he doesn't have his DD he should do as he pleases, if he is late to class or late to work that is on him. Make it clear though that you will NOT be supporting him. On the days that DD is there the girlfriend has to be out of the house by ?? you determine that time frame because there are others in the house and out of common courtesy she should leave. Until he pays rent, and becomes a tenant and not just your son living at home. You can set rules, just make sure the rules are fair to a 19 year old.

MB13
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM

I agree, I couldn't have said it better myself!!

Wow, thats a lot piled up on your families plate.  

For starters, YES, you absolutely have the right to enforce a curfew. But he looks at himself like an adult, so to make the situation go better for everyone, I would humor him and treat him like an adult. 

Sit him down and explain that you need to have a conversation about household logistics.  Hes not in trouble, your not scolding him, but the way things are happening now are not working for you/the family, and as part of the family he needs to be part of the solution. 

I would make 2 lists. 

1) What mom/family does for DS. Include free rent, free daycare, groceries, cooking, laundry, watching baby at night when he drops gf off etc..etc.. 

2) what DS does for mom/family/contributing to the houeshold.  List anything he does to help..chores, being a good dad, being a good big brother, etc..

Explain to him that you are exhausted and overwhelmed and you need him to help figure out 8 or 10 things to knock off your list, but that the slack has to be picked up.  Things like doing his own and dds laundry, and other chores.  Tell him you cant be responsible for getting up with his dd during the night, thats his job.  

House Guests after 9 or 10 pm is seriously disruptive in a house where people are trying to sleep.  You could even cut him a really good deal and tell him that if he will put his dd to bed, and be back home from taking gf home before 10pm that you will keep an ear out for his dd for that time period.   I think telling him he needs to be in the house before 11 is perfectly fair, and this is not a hotel, if your not going to school every day that you are supposed to be there you dont get to live at home with free rent and free daycare. 

I would emphasize that your not telling him that he HAS to go to school, and be in by 11pm, your just explaining that the living her for free and the free day care are all based on him doing his part too, so if he wants to stay out late and slack off from school he needs to get another job because you are going to start charging for rent and day care. 

Does baby-mama pay child support?  That money should be coming straight to you! 


DianeJ40
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 11:12 AM

I wouldn't implement a curfew but I would have a family meeting with him.  His behavior is disruptive to the household so that needs to be addressed and if that includes the time he is coming home then so be it.  I would have a real problem with him leaving to take his gf home in the middle of the night because he is making a lot of assumptions about you listening for his dd in the middle of the night.

It seems like he is depending on you too much with his dd when he is home.  I understand why you watch the baby when your son is in school or working but when he gets home she should be 100% his responsibility.

He might not even realize that this is bothering you as much as it is.  Some guys are oblivious until you point out the problem.  Good luck!

notime4me247
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Cara,

when you put it that way, it's seems so easy, like "why didn't I think of that?" lol.

Thank you for taking the time to help forth with such an important answer.

Right now, we have no standing custody order. My husband and I met with an attorney who advised us we could do one of 3 things

1. do what we're doing now. Absolutely nothing. Just getting along and sharing liberal visitation.

2. go to mediation req. liberal visitation, but with liberal visitation (us being able to decide the schedule, which we need because of the chaotic work and school schedules) there is really no difference, except the fact that it would be on paper and cost us $1000.00.

3. Req a specific visitation schedule and pay the attorneys to adjust it in the courts each time it needs to be changed.

We chose to keep it as is, so there is no child support paid. 

My husband and I pay for most of what she needs on my son's end, and her mom takes care of anything on her end.  The medical is covered as of now, but any balances are split between my son and her. Other than that, there aren't really any large expenses to worry about.

I like your recommendation though. It seems quite logical and your right, if he's gonna just lie in bed, then he can get another job to cover daycare expenses, because i can't work because I have her all day, so i'm stuck working at night, in which keeps me and my husband from being together or me seeing the other kids after school.

notime4me247
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 11:24 AM

you're all wonderful.

thank you for your replys.

luckyseven.....the thing is, I have her EVERYDAY.

Originally before the fallling out between the baby's mom and the other grandma, I had her on Tues, Thurs, and Sunday.  I would get her Mon night at 8, then i'd watch her all day tuesday.  My son would get home from school at 1 and return her to her mom at 8  - 8 being the drop off time.  On Wed night because i had to have her so early thurs, she'd come back at 8pm and she's spend the night and i'd take her all day thurs.  On sat night, we'd get her back at 8 and i'd take her to church with me and keep her all day son, while my son & the gf both worked the breakfast shifts at work.  So i only had her 3 days and the mom's days were mon, wed, fri, sat.  But now, I have her EVERYDAY because noone else will take her, so like even right now, i'm watching her, and he hasn't even gotten out of bed yet and completely blew off school today.  I text him at 1:50 last night and said, what time can i expect you home, he replied at 2:53 that says i'll be leaving soon - we're making brownies right now and going to save them til tommorow. The whole time i'm thinking to myself - "this new gf's mother must think i'm ridiculous and what does she think of my son, thinking it's ok to bake brownies in their house over there at 3am?" i know i'm not the only one who thinks this is just ridiculous!  I have no clue what time he actually got home, because he used to tell me "mom, i'm home" so i could relax, but when it started getting later and later, it's like he knew he'd be accountable so he stopped waking me - not to mention THAT would break my sleep pattern anyway - what little bit i was getting!.

I hope i don't sound like an ignorant mom. I really am educated and smart - i just feel too close to this siutation and overwhelmed to even know where to begin. :/

fantasticfour
by Grumpy on Apr. 30, 2012 at 11:32 AM
1 mom liked this

I would sit him down and discuss with him what he wants in life.  He has a 2 year old daughter who loves him and believes he is the worlds greatest thing alive.  Does he want to ruin that?  You are also day care but I would tell him that you are only going to be daycare during work and school hours.  THe rest of the time is on him.  He is a parent now, not some teenager who gets to do whatever they want.  If this girlfriend is the one for him, she will understand and WANT him to put his child first over their "fun" and understand that he can't leave in the wee hours of the morning to take her home.

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