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Old 05-02-2018, 10:48 PM
 
9,321 posts, read 14,465,707 times
Reputation: 14938

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I'm not putting this on the parenting forum, because its NOT a parenting issue. At least not any longer!


My daughter left home her last year of high school, to live with her boyfriend. The BF and his friends and social group brought her down. They discouraged her from going to school, and WE ended up with truancy charges! I worked closely with the police and school system, so we were not eventually charged, but rather SHE faced a $400 fine or 2 weeks jail, all waived if she completed HS!However, she barely scraped by her senior year, when previously she was an honor student, "bound for glory" scholarships, etc. No, she said she left "because of me" although I could never honestly see what I was doing, except trying to raise her.


Well, that's over now. She's 22, has been living with BF or others for 4.5 years. She does have a full-time job and a car and is responsible about her bills, etc, never bumming money from us. I always told her if things went sour, she could always come home, but I meant as a soft landing, not as a permanent resident!


She's been here 2 weeks, and I'm trying to help her adjust and make things work out for her. I really would like to see her go back to school, at least a trade or technical school. something beyond just HS! We will see about that!


But its the "little things" that annoy me---


She has her own bedroom and bathroom, its like her own private suite. She never cleans it! Stuff all over the floor, laundry in piles, and never cleans her bathroom! I find myself cleaning her sink and toilet daily, empty the trash, etc. I rather pointedly put a large basket of cleaning supplies on the counter,including shower cleaner, but so far she has never cleaned the shower or mopped the floor. On the one hand, its her environment, if she wants to live like a pig, go ahead. On the other hand, this is a fairly new, and NICE house, bought for our retirement, and I want to maintain it!


She never offers to help out in the kitchen, either. She usually doesn't eat with us, due to her schedule, but she could give me a hand when she sees me mopping the floor, etc, or take out trash, etc. She's with her boyfriend most of the time she's off work, so I don't know why she "lives" here




My biggest irritation is her dog! she brought home a cute little puppy, about 4 months old. Its a sweet little thing, but she leaves me to care for it all day! I don't mind helping a little animal, but lots of times I don't know the dogs outside. I do NOT want to get into grilling her every time she leaves where are you going? when will you come back? She's an adult now. But three times in the past week I've found little puppy whimpering in the yard. She has a kennel for it and there's plenty of shade, but she forgets to put out enough water! She says well, I put water out this morning, guess she drank it all Duh---that means she needs MORE water during the day! We live in Central Texas and the heat gets brutal during the Summer months, which is fast approaching. We will have to have another solution....she can't just be out there all day.


I also asked about the dog's shots, especially rabies. She claimed the man she bought her from said she had the shots, but when I pressed, no, she didn't have paperwork. Last weekend, they were doing low-cost vaccines at the local shelter. I gave her the times and locations. It was $5 for just a rabies shot. We took one of our cats in, we offered to take the dog, she said oh, no, she would do it later. Then, she spent the weekend "hanging" with her friends, dog didn't get her shots, and next low-cost vaccine clinic is in July. I know if the dog bites someone I am responsible, because she's living here with us. For our vet to do the shots would be $78, $68 for an exam and $10 for the shot. I really feel we should not be "pennywise pound foolish" on this issue and just take the dog and get its shots, some day when she's at work. she need never know it, I save a major blowup, and the dog vaccine issue is taken care of.


That's what I'm trying to do, essentially, is avoid a major blowup. I'm really glad to have her home. I missed her and just wished for another chance to help her on her way into adulthood. I don't want to digress into squabbles about dog shots and who cleans her toilet. But this is more of an adjustment for me than I anticipated. I find myself avoiding her because I don't want to provoke arguments. sometimes its best to just pick your battles.


But this is turning into how things were before she left home. I would try to overlook
"little" things to keep the peace. Once thing I've learned, its not a "little issue" if it breaks the peace.


Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter and am overjoyed she's come home so we can help her on her way. But the little things are getting to me.


Any advice for adult children moving back? How the family dynamics are affected, how to deal with them, how to recognize what's important and what's trivial? Suggestions, please!
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:04 PM
 
Location: The Jar
19,540 posts, read 13,216,273 times
Reputation: 35990
Your full grown "bird" does not belong in your empty nest. You are handicapping her NOT helping.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
10,610 posts, read 1,892,980 times
Reputation: 16078
What I notice is that you have not set some rules about your household.

She should have specific chores, cleaning, laundry, food prep or clean up. Can she contribute cash towards food? What about dog food and supplies?

Sounds like you are letting her get away with everything that is annoying you.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:37 PM
 
9,321 posts, read 14,465,707 times
Reputation: 14938
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
What I notice is that you have not set some rules about your household.

She should have specific chores, cleaning, laundry, food prep or clean up. Can she contribute cash towards food? What about dog food and supplies?

Sounds like you are letting her get away with everything that is annoying you.
I didn't want to come down too heavy-handed at first since she was, essentially fleeing a bad situation. I just wanted her to feel welcome. also, its hard to come up with "specific rules" the first night shes here. It takes a week or so just to figure out what is annoying me, then address it.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:39 PM
 
9,321 posts, read 14,465,707 times
Reputation: 14938
I don't think I like her anymore. After five years of being avoided, or smart-mouthed, I'm not inclined to start a re-do of the family years. I would like to keep the dog.....
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Old 05-03-2018, 01:30 AM
 
Location: on the wind
2,736 posts, read 957,381 times
Reputation: 9714
Sounds as if it's time for the "visit" to end and the "tenancy" to start. Tell her if she plans to stay after a specific date she will be responsible for a percentage of the utilities, that she'll need to buy her own groceries and cook her own meals, you will no longer do her laundry, clean her room (you've taught her that you will clean it a lot sooner than she does), run any errands, take her anywhere without being paid mileage, take care of her dog (I know, I know! Hard!). If she does not pay rent/her share she does not get a key to your house.

The one part of this that would be very tough for me is the poor dog. If the dog is not being cared for take it somewhere else (to a friend if you hope to keep it after she leaves) or to a no-kill shelter as a "stray". You might even tell her it went missing if you want her to think about how she has neglected it. I actually did this once. Teen dropout upstairs tenants on all sorts of assistance, who spent their days partying instead of earning a living came home with a tiny puppy one evening. The dog was cute for about a week until they gave up trying to housetrain it. They solved the problem by tying it to a tree outside my window where it cried day and night. I started feeding it, checking that it had water, giving it attention as they couldn't be bothered. Finally I overheard the boy bragging that he was going to get rid of it....take it up to the local lake and drop it off a dock. After seeing it left out in pouring rain one day and night I shredded the rope and took it to the local shelter, stating it wandered up to my door. The kids did ask me if I'd seen their dog. Nope. It must have gotten loose, desperate for a better home.

Last edited by Parnassia; 05-03-2018 at 01:54 AM..
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:00 AM
 
5,923 posts, read 4,937,406 times
Reputation: 7907
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
I didn't want to come down too heavy-handed at first since she was, essentially fleeing a bad situation. I just wanted her to feel welcome. also, its hard to come up with "specific rules" the first night shes here. It takes a week or so just to figure out what is annoying me, then address it.
Does the "bad situation" involve the boyfriend? If so, why is she still seeing him? Was she a minor when she started seeing him, and when she moved in with him? (I'm assuming so, since the truancy charges).

Last edited by Mrs. Skeffington; 05-03-2018 at 03:23 AM..
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:49 AM
 
Location: Sugarland
12,553 posts, read 11,069,220 times
Reputation: 14062
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
I'm not putting this on the parenting forum, because its NOT a parenting issue. At least not any longer!


My daughter left home her last year of high school, to live with her boyfriend. The BF and his friends and social group brought her down. They discouraged her from going to school, and WE ended up with truancy charges! I worked closely with the police and school system, so we were not eventually charged, but rather SHE faced a $400 fine or 2 weeks jail, all waived if she completed HS!However, she barely scraped by her senior year, when previously she was an honor student, "bound for glory" scholarships, etc. No, she said she left "because of me" although I could never honestly see what I was doing, except trying to raise her.


Well, that's over now. She's 22, has been living with BF or others for 4.5 years. She does have a full-time job and a car and is responsible about her bills, etc, never bumming money from us. I always told her if things went sour, she could always come home, but I meant as a soft landing, not as a permanent resident!


She's been here 2 weeks, and I'm trying to help her adjust and make things work out for her. I really would like to see her go back to school, at least a trade or technical school. something beyond just HS! We will see about that!


But its the "little things" that annoy me---


She has her own bedroom and bathroom, its like her own private suite. She never cleans it! Stuff all over the floor, laundry in piles, and never cleans her bathroom! I find myself cleaning her sink and toilet daily, empty the trash, etc. I rather pointedly put a large basket of cleaning supplies on the counter,including shower cleaner, but so far she has never cleaned the shower or mopped the floor. On the one hand, its her environment, if she wants to live like a pig, go ahead. On the other hand, this is a fairly new, and NICE house, bought for our retirement, and I want to maintain it!


She never offers to help out in the kitchen, either. She usually doesn't eat with us, due to her schedule, but she could give me a hand when she sees me mopping the floor, etc, or take out trash, etc. She's with her boyfriend most of the time she's off work, so I don't know why she "lives" here




My biggest irritation is her dog! she brought home a cute little puppy, about 4 months old. Its a sweet little thing, but she leaves me to care for it all day! I don't mind helping a little animal, but lots of times I don't know the dogs outside. I do NOT want to get into grilling her every time she leaves where are you going? when will you come back? She's an adult now. But three times in the past week I've found little puppy whimpering in the yard. She has a kennel for it and there's plenty of shade, but she forgets to put out enough water! She says well, I put water out this morning, guess she drank it all Duh---that means she needs MORE water during the day! We live in Central Texas and the heat gets brutal during the Summer months, which is fast approaching. We will have to have another solution....she can't just be out there all day.


I also asked about the dog's shots, especially rabies. She claimed the man she bought her from said she had the shots, but when I pressed, no, she didn't have paperwork. Last weekend, they were doing low-cost vaccines at the local shelter. I gave her the times and locations. It was $5 for just a rabies shot. We took one of our cats in, we offered to take the dog, she said oh, no, she would do it later. Then, she spent the weekend "hanging" with her friends, dog didn't get her shots, and next low-cost vaccine clinic is in July. I know if the dog bites someone I am responsible, because she's living here with us. For our vet to do the shots would be $78, $68 for an exam and $10 for the shot. I really feel we should not be "pennywise pound foolish" on this issue and just take the dog and get its shots, some day when she's at work. she need never know it, I save a major blowup, and the dog vaccine issue is taken care of.


That's what I'm trying to do, essentially, is avoid a major blowup. I'm really glad to have her home. I missed her and just wished for another chance to help her on her way into adulthood. I don't want to digress into squabbles about dog shots and who cleans her toilet. But this is more of an adjustment for me than I anticipated. I find myself avoiding her because I don't want to provoke arguments. sometimes its best to just pick your battles.


But this is turning into how things were before she left home. I would try to overlook
"little" things to keep the peace. Once thing I've learned, its not a "little issue" if it breaks the peace.


Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter and am overjoyed she's come home so we can help her on her way. But the little things are getting to me.


Any advice for adult children moving back? How the family dynamics are affected, how to deal with them, how to recognize what's important and what's trivial? Suggestions, please!
You sound like a neat freak to me. The toilet doesn't need to be cleaned daily. Not the sink either unless she's the type to leave toothpaste globs in it. But if you keep doing it for her, she's never going to do it on her own. Same goes for the other things you're doing for her like taking care of her dog. Is she an only child? Are her other siblings responsible? I imagine that she didn't just become this way overnight, so I'd assume her upbringing has something to do with her behavior. But if you're happy that she's home and you want to help her out, you can tell her very clearly what your expectations are while she's living in your home and hopefully things will improve.
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Old 05-03-2018, 04:31 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
272 posts, read 74,702 times
Reputation: 546
Your biggest mistake was taking her back and not setting down any ground rules. Now you're walking on egg shells around her afraid to have this conversation for fear of a blow out. You've let her take control. Sit her down, have the conversation. Let her know you're not happy with the way she's living in your house and things have to change. Ask her about her financial plan and her move out date. This is your retirement home, you should be living in peace and a 22 year old without any boundaries or rules is going to be a freaking nightmare.

As for being a neat freak, I'm a neat freak. Anyone who doesn't like it, shouldn't live with me, so I get it! Two years ago my son lived with me when he transitioned from NY to WI. I love my children too, but I let him know he can stay until he finds a job and gets his own place. He was 27 at the time. I was not making it the most comfortable for him either because I wanted him to know that staying forever was not an option. He found a job and a place and moved out in 6 weeks!

Years ago in NY, when my oldest daughter had left home and returned a year later, she had to sleep on the couch as my son took her old room when he had returned from the Army. She was disappointed to find out that she had to sleep on the couch. I also let her know that she had to pay $25 a week towards the expenses of the house. She didn't think it was fair cause she didn't have a room and was sleeping on the couch. I made it clear to her. You left and you came back. The room is no longer available. The couch is $25 a week, the park bench is free!!! Guess who paid $25 a week? Was it an uncomfortable conversation? Yes, but it needed to be said. Today, she is my most giving, kindest and loving child.

Set the rules and boundaries for your daughter or live in this nightmare for however long it takes for her to move out. Collect money from her. Use it towards the expenses or save it up so when she does move back out on her own she has a little nest egg. Take control of things now.

Good luck!
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:04 AM
 
3,104 posts, read 3,039,745 times
Reputation: 7584
I agree that she's abusing your hospitality. She's also abusing the dog. It's inhumane to leave a dog alone outside all day, especially a puppy. It's a social animal, and leaving it alone all day would be inhumane, even if it weren't also outside in the heat without water!

The dog needs to go to a better home, where it will be indoors, housebroken, and have appropriate access to water and companionship, not to mention appropriate and legally mandated vaccinations.

As for her living at home. You should be charging her rent (save it for her without telling her, and then gift it to her when she moves out again or needs it for tuition or a car or something important). Also set some chores that she can do when she is home, such as taking out the garbage.

I agree that she should, out of respect for you, keep her space clean. But who cleans a bathroom daily? Isn't once a week bathroom, vacuum, and dusting more than enough?

Set some expectations, charge her rent, and get that poor neglected puppy to a better home asap. You're not fixing her by letting her live at home rent free, without any responsibilities, and abusing an animal, to boot.
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