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Get The Hell Out Of My House!
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Those are words that you wish you could take back as soon as they come out of your mouth. When your kids reach that magical age of 18, all hell breaks out. It’s like they turn into some kind of strange creature that you don’t even recognize.

That’s what happened to my son when he turned 18. Tensions kept building between us until one day it all came to a head. We got into a huge argument and it ended with me saying, “Get the hell out of my house!”

You wonder what happened to the person you’ve just raised for the last 18 years because it sure isn’t the one standing in front of you. They argue with everything you say.

You can say that the sky is blue and they’ll say no it’s not, it’s green. You can say listen to me, I’m Your Dad and they’ll say are you sure about that? After while you really begin to wonder about that.

If there is anything I can't stand it's getting parenting advice from someone who's never been there. Their intensions may be good but until you walk a mile in someone's shoes....

I’ve heard people say that they were "Relieved" after they threw kid out of the house, I don't buy it. Take it from someone from who actually did it, you'll feel anything but relieved.

It's the worst feeling in the world if you love your kids, and I know you do. When I threw my son out I didn't sleep that night. All I did was worry about him. I knew he could take care of himself but that doesn’t keep you from worrying. It's all the "What if's" that go on outside in the real world.

Throwing them out is not the answer. I tried a different tact on my daughter when she went through it. I heard all the same thing's like, "I’m 18 now so you can't tell me what to do," and so on.

It's far better to try to keep them at home where you can keep an eye on them, but you have to give them some space.

I decided to re-draw the boundaries for her. I MADE her sit down and listen to me while I explained what these new freedoms as an adult meant. I summoned up all my inner strength, and said in a cold hard fashion I told her how things are now that she was an, “Adult“.

I started, “Yep, your 18 now and your right, I can’t tell you what to do now, but let me explain a few things to you. Your in the adult world now and a lot of things change.”

“First of all, it means that society will now hold you responsible for your actions. That means if you and your “Friends” go and do things to break the law, the cops won’t drag you back to me to deal with, they’ll throw you in jail.”

“Since you are no longer are my obligation, I don’t have to come down and bail you out. I don’t like lawbreakers so I may just decide to let you sit there.”

“You can try to give me all your old excuses like, “I won’t do it again,” or, “I learned my lesson,” but they won’t work any more. Remember, you’re an adult now and you don’t need me anymore because you can do what you want. If you don’t believe me, I suggest you try me.”

“Now, if you feel that your too restricted living here, your free to move out on your own. Let me tell you what happens then.”

“You need a place to stay, and that means that you have to either buy a house or rent an apartment.”

“Since you don’t have any money, you’ll have to get a job. And it can’t be a job flipping burgers, it’ll have to be a full time job so you can pay all your bills.”

“Your going to have to pay for rent, electricity, telephone, water, sewer, TV, gas and so on. Even if you don’t like your job you can’t quit it because if you do, you’ll be living in your car. Did I mention that you need money to keep your car on the road, and for gas and insurance.”

“Just remember, you don’t need me any more so why should I help you? If you don’t want anything to do with me anymore then I’m not going to worry about you either.”

“I’ve done nothing but love and care for you since the day you were born (tread lightly here). If this is the type of gratitude you show me, then I’ll show you the same. Because not only will you be free of me, I’ll be free of you. Then I can begin living the rest of MY life without having to worry about you.”

“If you decide that you don’t want to do move out on your own, your free to stay at home, in OUR house. Since you’re an adult now, what was your bedroom now reverts back to us.”

“It is our house because we have been doing all those things that you don’t want to do, for a long time now. But you will be welcome to stay in your old room, providing you live by the rules of our house.”

“If you decide that you no longer can live by those rules, you’re free to leave at any time. The house rules are the same as they’ve always been, with one big exception; since you’re an adult now, you are now a guest in our house. If I suspect that there is something wrong in the room you are staying in, I WILL go in and look.”

“ If I find anything illegal in there, I WILL call the cops. There’s no way in hell that I’ll sit my ass in jail just because you think that stuff is fun.”

“I know that you and your buddies think that it’s fun to drink and smoke dope, but let me remind you of a few things. First, it’s illegal to smoke dope or have drug paraphernalia in your possession - which includes your room.”

“Second, the drinking age is 21 in Pa. not 18. So if you drink your breaking the law. You know this shit, I don’t have to tell you. You also know the house rules state that we have a zero tolerance for either of those things, and the same goes for breaking the law.”

“Now that you’re an adult you will be held responsible for your actions just like everybody else. That means that if you walk in the door high or drunk we will call the police. If that happens I promise you this, I will not get you out. You broke the rules of being adult, so its your problem. I suggest you don’t try me on this matter because you will be greatly disappointed.”

“Oh by the way, the same goes for the room you are staying in, if I find any of that crap in there, your out of here.” (Personally, I think that it’s sad if a person feels that they have to drink or do drugs to have fun.)

“So there you go, your 18 and an adult now. You thought it was going to be all fun and games but, as I just explained to you, it’s not.”

“You’ve got a lot of decisions to make but let me give you a little advice, as one adult to another.”

“Before you do anything in life, think it all the way through first. You make less mistakes that way.”

“I just want you to know one thing, if you decide to walk out that door, when you close it behind you, you will rip the heart right out of my chest.”

“One thing I want you to remember, if you do walk out that door, you can at any time walk back through that door, give me a hug and kiss and tell me you’re sorry and I will forgive you, because I love you, always have, always will. Welcome to adulthood.”

That’s basically what I told my daughter and it worked, she didn’t go. That’s the best advice I can give you, but just because it worked for her doesn’t mean it will work for your kids.

I really think that it’s important to let them think they’re making their own choices, but it’s also necessary to give them strict boundaries and know that if they break them they’ll suffer the consequences.

You have to give them the freedom to move around inside those boundaries so that when they do go out on their own, they won’t be blindsided by society. We both know how restrictive society can be.

I hope that somewhere in all this you’ll find something that will help you. It’s just so hard to try to put such a complicated subject down on paper. I still think that the biggest things you need to be a parent are caring, understanding and love. And prayer, never forget prayer.

Street Talk

Sherry B.  

Very good advice. My daughter is 16 right now and it's kinda scary thinking of what to do when she turns 18 and tries the old but I'm an adult now routine.

  about 9 years ago
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