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Should my 19 year old son have a curfew?

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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.


by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Replies (21-26):
by on May. 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

my house my rules, if he doesnt like it theres the door, nothing more nothing less, now i understand watching the baby for him to go to school and work, but for him to go be with gf, NO or to be sleeping in cuz he got home late, NO you did not help make this baby theres no reason for you to be the one watching her the whole time, if he ask u to watch her say NO he can take her to gf house with him hes a dad and if this girl really likes him she will understand that he has to take responsibility for his child even when they are together, theres no schedule or days off when your a parent. or u can start charging him for non school or work times that you have to watch her. you need time for you and ur other kids and hubby, thats not fair that he spends time with gf and you cant have that time with ur hubby, oh and just because hes 19 does not mean you cant take stuff YOU PAY FOR AWAY or give him a time to come home when he helps pay bills then he can have a small say on curfews and what not........

by Bronze Member on May. 1, 2012 at 10:22 AM

It is your house, your rules.  I know this is a stupid question for a teen boy - but with soo much on his plate - why does he need a girlfriend right now!?!?  Tell him to concentrate on his daughter, working and school.  He doesn't need a girlfriend!  The nights his daughter is in your house, than he needs to stay there and NOT leave.  If his girlfriend doesn't have a car to take her home if she comes over than she shouldnt be coming over.  He needs to hang out with his gf only on the nights he doesnt have his daughter.  Coming home at 2 or 3 in the morning isnt healthy for the whole household and your son needs to start having respect for that.  I know he cant afford it, but if he cant live by others rules than he needs to move out on his own and take his daughter with him and when you arent there for him to take care of his daughter than maybe he'll grow up and stop hanging out until 2 or 3 in the morning!  You sure there wasn't somethin else in those brownies he was makin! LOL! 

by Kimberly on May. 1, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Let me say that I think you are incredible!!!   You have managed to raise your son to be a caring Father and he is going to school and working!   Kudo's to you!!!    Your son sounds like he is trying.  

You've already received lots of great advice.   I agree that you have the right to set a curfew.  If I were in your shoes, I would let him stay out on the nights his daughter is at her Mom's....but when the baby is at your house, he needs to get up and take care of her.  Welcome to Fatherhood!      On nights when his gf is at your house, he can take her home earlier (before you go to bed).   Or she can get home herself.   

by on May. 1, 2012 at 11:13 AM

This particular sentence that i have highlighted REALLY irritates me.  (yes i am allowed to be irritated and somewhat offended by it because i had my dd at 16 and i've been there and done this...well not this I grew up the minute she was born) 

He layed down with his gf, had a good ole time doing so - now he gets to grow up and take care of his responsibilities.  If he cant juggle a gf while being a student, an employee and a father....then he doesnt need the girlfriend.  He's a full time parent now.  Theres no time to be a happy go lucky teen/young adult anymore, he lost that privilage when he had unprotected sex and got someone pregnant.  You dont get to be a normal kid anymore when you yourself have a child.  You dont get to go out at 1am and not come home til the sun comes up then sleep all day while someone else takes care of your kid.  You dont get to do anything but go to school (IF you are even lucky enough, like he is), go to work and come home to take care of your every other parent in the world.  He is taking complete advantage of you.  If he doesnt want the responsibilities that come with being a parent, then maybe he needs to step back and give her back to her mom or temporarilly sign guardianship of her over to you.  Both parents can pay you support to help out with her and still have their very desired "freedom".  He seems to be digressing...not growing into a responsible adult.  You need to toughen up some.

I know you arent trying to, i know that you just want to help and make sure your son is doing well and your grand child is safe, but in all honesty you are enabling his behavior.  It's so very hard to step back and allow your child to make their own way and handle their own mistakes when it is is so much easier for you to step in and  "help", but helping, like this, isnt always truly helpful. 

I wish you the best and hope all turns out well for all of you. 

Quoting notime4me247:

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 ????

by on May. 1, 2012 at 1:36 PM

good brother lived at home til he was 28, and I til 19, my moms rule was as long as we were going to school (college) we could live rent free, but if she got wind we were skipping out our not going we needed to start paying 100/mo.  Her reasoning being if we weren't at school, we had extra time tow put in at work.

Quoting MB13:

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! 

by on May. 1, 2012 at 4:52 PM
1 mom liked this

My girls are 19 and 20 and they both have a curfew.. They know that since they live here free that if they don't obey the rules then they have to move out.. They can't afford to live on their own so I guess they have to live by my rules.. They both go to school and work part time.

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