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Not Worrying About Adult Kids Out Late

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DD is home for summer. Last summer I did pretty good being able to go to bed without worrying about her making it home safely.  But over winter break she had an accident at 12 midnight and totaled her car.  She was okay, but we got "the phone call" waking us out of sleep in a panic, she was at the hospital, etc. In addition we live "up the pass"... about 45 minutes from the city where she is usually visiting friends or boyfriend, dark, windy road, animals.  Dangerous road.

She is very nice about letting us know approximately when she should be home, and texting if it's going to be much later so we don't worry. So for example last night she said she would be home about midnight, but then texted at 11:30 or so to say it would be 1.30.

But I need sleep!  If I do just say I'm not going to worry, I'm going to sleep, I wake up suddenly later and wonder if she made it home, and if I should go check, etc.  I know logically this is ridiculous, she was all over the place at college at all hours.  But not driving.

Help me work through this so I can rest.  I don't want to spend the rest of the summer either staying up late or waking up in a panic.

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((Hugs))  Do you keep your cell phone near your bed?  You could ask her to text you when she gets home so you'll see her note when you wake up.  No need to get up to check that way.

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Well I can tell you that when I was about 20 my mom made a new rule for adult kids - me home by 10:30 or don't come home, stay out until 6:30 because she needed to sleep.

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I had much the same with adult kids home for breaks and before moved out. 

Convo with adult offspring:

1) Text if plans change, that way we'll know what's going on.  (I'll turn off text notifications when I go to bed, but I'm leaving the ringer on, so you can call if you need help.)  Keeping each other informed is our family culture; thank you for respecting it since you are back under our roof.

2) When you get in, turn off the hall light. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I'll need to know you're safe. No light means I can tell you're in without getting out of bed and--heaven forbid--waking your father.  (That mom-alert-brain thing is somewhat inexplicable, but it's real, and you need to be courteous about it, even if it's not entirely logical.  You'll understand when you have independent kids of your own.)

3) If I wake up and the light is still on, I can check messages to see that you've updated us, and I'll know if you're OK or if you are out later than even you expected.  I may choose to check on you (via text), depending on the circumstances.

Good luck; it's a tricky balance.  Keeping people who loved you informed is not a heavy burden to bear.

ETA:  the last time dd and her hubby were here, they were going out late with friends, and I kept my mouth shut.  They are thoroughly adults, and while it was still a bit hard on me having them out late, I thought it would be best to stand down.  I've done my job, doing my best to protect them in their formative years, so now I needed to let go.

 

 

 

 

 

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Generally, I am not very good at this, but I do think that I am getting better. We have generally had the rule that if it will be later than midnight-Stay over at the friends. Most of my older kids friends live quite a distance from us (we moved while they were in college). 

To be fair, their social lives are at school and not here, so when they are here on vacation they are working/training or gone in a week. My current high school kids must let me in on "find my friends" if they want to hang out or take the car. If they don't want me to track them, they must call or text. Midnight is the curfew here (or plan 12 hours ahead for a sleepover).

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It is so hard isn't it? When my older boys were little I remember reading this Chicken Soup for the Soul short story about a woman describing to her friend without kids what motherhood is like. One line...and I am paraphrasing but it talks about once you are a parent your heart is forever walking around outside your body. Yep, for me that about sums it up. 

With my boys I took a different approach. I didn't want them to tell me when they would be back or tell me they would check in and here is why. They were typically good about remembering but not always. If I knew I waited up, if they didn't show or text I would have them dead in a ditch somewhere. It was horrible. I left my ringer up and if they needed me then they would call. 

The letting go and trusting is hard. I would ledge talk myself. I would tell myself that worrying wouldn't stop something from happening. That the likelihood something bad would happen was small, that they would call me if something occurred. It was constant internal talk. 

 

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My darling sister in law told me about the alarm clock in the hallway they used for their girls.. I used a light in the hallway. When they got home they would turn it off. If I woke up and light was on past their expected time home, I could call them. 

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We do the Light thing too.  We leave a light on downstairs and DS22 turns it off when he comes in. If the light is on and I am up wandering around, I can check my phone messages to see if he plans to stay out all night. 

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I have the same problem. Ds is good about texting if his plans change, but sometimes I've gone to bed before that happens. I like the idea of a light. He will usually stay the night where he is if he's going to be later than 12 or 1 but I don't always get the message.

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I really like the idea about the hall light (or another light you can see from your bed). I tried the texting thing but found out even asleep I worried enough that I ‘heard’ texts coming in to my phone. so I would wake up thinking I heard a text when none was there. Made for  a long night when I did that repeatedly!

It’s going to take some time to rebuild your confidence after the accident. I bet in another month of her being home and coming in safely that you’ll start to relax. 

(Hugs)

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Thank you guys! It's good to know I'm not the only one.  DD is actually very good at updating, texting.  Right now she facebook messages me, which dings.  I think I'm going to adjust my notifications so it doesn't alert me but I can go check it if I'm up.  Love the idea of a light or some other signal... The Hive always has the best ideas.  

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I always used to laugh at my mom when I came home from summer breaks and ask her why she waited up and worried ... did the woman not sleep ever while I was away and didn't know where I was and what I was doing?!? Lol

But now I'm a mom and ... yeah. I get it now ?

My MIL always used to do the light thing with my quite a bit younger SIL and I thought it was the best idea and have filed it away for future use!

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We have life 360 on our phones.  If I wake up wondering if he is home I can look at my phone and see if he is without having to wander around the house at midnight.  

We also enforce a curfew.  10:30 Sunday through Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday. 

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6 hours ago, Halftime Hope said:

 

1) Text if plans change, that way we'll know what's going on.  (I'll turn off text notifications when I go to bed, but I'm leaving the ringer on, so you can call if you need help.)  Keeping each other informed is our family culture; thank you for respecting it since you are back under our roof.

 

 

 

 

 

I turn Do Not Disturb on before going to bed but ds' number is on the list of exceptions so if he texts I'll get it. It's on vibrate overnight but I usually hear it even if I'm asleep.

6 hours ago, MysteryJen said:

Generally, I am not very good at this, but I do think that I am getting better. We have generally had the rule that if it will be later than midnight-Stay over at the friends. Most of my older kids friends live quite a distance from us (we moved while they were in college). 

 

Ds' friends, like ours, live anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour away. That's a big reason why he stays over if he's going to be late. It works both ways too. His friends will stay here overnight if they lose track of time and it gets late. He's in college locally and living at home. He's an adult, almost 21. We had a talk and I told him that even when I lived with roommates we gave each other a heads up if we would be late or not home at all. It's a mom thing of course, but it's also a courtesy thing even if the people you live with aren't your loved ones.

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It’s difficult! Last night, DS18 was working until well past midnight. DD21 works as a nanny and many of her jobs are through the night so she is returning early in the morning. The rule on their part is that I have to be apprised of any altered plans. The latest kid home sets the house alarm, so most of the time I hear it and know the kid is home. If they are coming home around midnight, I will stay up, but if much later than that, I just have to go to bed. 

When they are out late, I keep my phone text tones on. Chances are good I won’t get a text from anyone else in the middle of the night, so if my text tone rings, I know it almost certainly going to be the late kid. 

For sleep in general, I am really loving the Calm app I just put on my iPad a few days ago. It has guided meditations for all sorts of things (I’m doing ‘gratitude’ right now), but it also has “Sleep Stories” you can play as you are going to sleep. Last night’s was Gift of the Magi and the night before was Sleeping Beauty. It probably seems strange that a middle-aged woman is here advocating bedtime stories being read to her, but I am really liking them so far! 

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I may be the only one, but we lived far enough away from my kids' friends that overnight plans were the norm, either at our house or at the friends'. 

What really gave me worry fits was when my late teens discovered "late night" activities: live music at a nice little coffeehouse or (occasionally) two-stepping.  The worry was the coffeehouse was downtown (25 minutes away) and in a bit of a funky area of town. (Not our *really* funky area with all the places that we'd have really had to question why the need.) If someone broke down in the funky area late at night, it would feel like a really long wait until help arrived. (This was before ride share apps.)

Sigh. I earned some grays that way. 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, goldberry said:

 

Help me work through this so I can rest.  I don't want to spend the rest of the summer either staying up late or waking up in a panic.

 

My mom can't sleep if I don't call her when I get home. I'm 40.

So, I don't know what to tell you. More naps I guess? 

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This says it all. I try hard not to be this mom but sometimes I can't help it. :laugh:

 

mom fears.jpg

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I just request that my kids let me know when they come home - even if it means tapping on my door and waking me enough to just let me know that they are home.  That way I'm not constantly waking up wondering....

This is what my parents asked of me too. Always seemed to work. 

 

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If the road is so dangerous, I would be discouraging her from staying out so late. Just driving at dark can be hard (even if it's 9pm). Is there somewhere she can sleep if she is out past a certain hour? 

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The driving part is going to be the real issue for me.  I'm dreading daytime driving as it is.  I have a feeling we'll have an "off the roads by X" rule. The only places to be after 10 around here are in a bar, in a drug den, or hanging out at a friend's house. Come home at a reasonable hour, or stay at the friend's!  (No one should be driving after the bar or drug den, anyway. ? )

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We have an 'in by ten' rule if not a Friday or Saturday if not working. We know the friends' parents are getting up at 5 or 5:30 a.m. for work too, and there is no reason to be 'hanging out' at their house after 8:30 as they need their family time, and everything else shuts down by 10.  I've had one stretch that with the gym and a friend who wants to go out for food after, but the budget reigns that in so quickly I don't say much.

On the weekends, we expect a plan and a text if plans change. If weather changes so road is fogged or iced, we expect them to be courteous to host family where they will be overnighting.   

 

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Perfect timing because we are just starting this. I was given pretty much free reign and dh was out on his own at 18, so this is new to both of us. Oldest has been texting us where he is. He saw Avengers last night and the show started at 9 and he didn't know how long the movie was. I go to bed early and dh has tried to stay up but has to get up early so that isn't working. I like the light idea. 

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22 hours ago, goldberry said:

DD is home for summer. Last summer I did pretty good being able to go to bed without worrying about her making it home safely.  But over winter break she had an accident at 12 midnight and totaled her car.  She was okay, but we got "the phone call" waking us out of sleep in a panic, she was at the hospital, etc. In addition we live "up the pass"... about 45 minutes from the city where she is usually visiting friends or boyfriend, dark, windy road, animals.  Dangerous road.

She is very nice about letting us know approximately when she should be home, and texting if it's going to be much later so we don't worry. So for example last night she said she would be home about midnight, but then texted at 11:30 or so to say it would be 1.30.

But I need sleep!  If I do just say I'm not going to worry, I'm going to sleep, I wake up suddenly later and wonder if she made it home, and if I should go check, etc.  I know logically this is ridiculous, she was all over the place at college at all hours.  But not driving.

Help me work through this so I can rest.  I don't want to spend the rest of the summer either staying up late or waking up in a panic.

I have a solution for the waking up and wondering if she’s home. I have dd turn on the Find Friends feature on on her iPhone when she’s home. When I wake up at 3 and wonder if she’s home, I open the app and check. 

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1 hour ago, HeighHo said:

We have an 'in by ten' rule if not a Friday or Saturday if not working. We know the friends' parents are getting up at 5 or 5:30 a.m. for work too, and there is no reason to be 'hanging out' at their house after 8:30 as they need their family time, and everything else shuts down by 10.  I've had one stretch that with the gym and a friend who wants to go out for food after, but the budget reigns that in so quickly I don't say much.

On the weekends, we expect a plan and a text if plans change. If weather changes so road is fogged or iced, we expect them to be courteous to host family where they will be overnighting.   

 

For adult kids? 

I’m (sincerely) glad that works for your home. That would be exceptionally restrictive in ours. 

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35 minutes ago, sassenach said:

For adult kids? 

I’m (sincerely) glad that works for your home. That would be exceptionally restrictive in ours. 

 

Whatever works for your family is fine, its your family.  We are working people, as are some of our neighbors...we have neighborhood noise restrictions and have already experienced the social scene of  midweek 2 a.m. car doors slamming, dogs barking, engines revving, 20somethings F*ing this and that all night long as they drink, drug, and have sex in the backyard of the neighbor' homes, so we aren't allowing any version of that out of respect to our other neighbors and ourselves. 

 

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Turning off the hall light is a brilliant plan! I know, however, that it would never work here because my dc simply would forget to do it.

I have a whole series of steps I take when going to bed while the kids are out:

1) Quick text check-in to get approximate ETA.

2) Turn off notifications EXCEPT for phone calls.

3) Pray for them.

4) Fall asleep.

5) In the morning I check that bedroom doors are shut (that's how they all sleep) and car keys are on the front table.

6) Exhale.

YMMV.  ?

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12 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

If the road is so dangerous, I would be discouraging her from staying out so late. Just driving at dark can be hard (even if it's 9pm). Is there somewhere she can sleep if she is out past a certain hour? 

No there is not a place she can stay overnight.  I have discouraged her.  She does not agree and thinks she would have no social life.  She's 19, so...

3 hours ago, sassenach said:

For adult kids? 

I’m (sincerely) glad that works for your home. That would be exceptionally restrictive in ours. 

Yes, DH and I didn't think a curfew was appropriate once she was graduated from high school. Neither of us had that, and we both lived at home after we graduated.  We switched to notification of plans or being late for courtesy and non-worrying purposes. She is very good about notifying and updating. But again, if I do by chance fall asleep, I don't want to be woken.  So I will be turning off notifications. 

1 hour ago, Scarlett said:

Am I the only one who has Life 360?

 

We have Life360 and used it the last two years since she started driving.  She uninstalled it at college because her phone  was overloaded and she was never driving anywhere.  She hasn't reinstalled it, and I'm kind of feeling I might get some push back about it if I mention it at this point. I'm still thinking of asking, but if she doesn't want to no way I can force it, nor would I think it was appropriate to.  I'm thinking I might have felt like I was being stalked at that age.  

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I'm right where you are. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only mom of a college kid who can't sleep while they are home (and out at night). I know it's illogical but oh well. How my husband manages to sleep when they are out late is beyond me. 

No advice, we are still figuring this out. Just wanted to say I feel you! 

 

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6 hours ago, sassenach said:

For adult kids? 

I’m (sincerely) glad that works for your home. That would be exceptionally restrictive in ours. 

 

5 hours ago, HeighHo said:

 

Whatever works for your family is fine, its your family.  We are working people, as are some of our neighbors...we have neighborhood noise restrictions and have already experienced the social scene of  midweek 2 a.m. car doors slamming, dogs barking, engines revving, 20somethings F*ing this and that all night long as they drink, drug, and have sex in the backyard of the neighbor' homes, so we aren't allowing any version of that out of respect to our other neighbors and ourselves. 

 

 

I don't see coming home after a 9 p.m. showing of a comic book film as a slippery slope to illicit drag racing, taking drugs, or trespassing.

We live in a very quiet, nice neighborhood and it's common for the young adults and even the adult-adults to occasionally come home after midnight due to a happy hour gone long or whatever.

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5 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Am I the only one who has Life 360?

Adult me would love that. Total omnipotence about my children!

My inner teenager has already thought of a way around it. I'm going to get a social phone and have my calls forwarded there from my first phone. The first phone stays at my friend's house. Voila. Mom's happy, I'm happy... what she doesn't know won't hurt her. And my kids are even smarter than me so forget it, why should we all waste money on apps and ways to get around them, lol.

Life 360 would be great for a middle schooler with no disposable income. Once you get to high school, you have to kind of make some choices and learn not to torture your mom the old-fashioned way: by coming home and listening to a haggard old lady in a half open bathrobe scream tearily tthat she thought you were lying somewhere in a ditch and don't you even care and if this happens again she'll call the police and report you as a missing person and are you okay?

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18 minutes ago, Tsuga said:

Adult me would love that. Total omnipotence about my children!

My inner teenager has already thought of a way around it. I'm going to get a social phone and have my calls forwarded there from my first phone. The first phone stays at my friend's house. Voila. Mom's happy, I'm happy... what she doesn't know won't hurt her. And my kids are even smarter than me so forget it, why should we all waste money on apps and ways to get around them, lol.

Life 360 would be great for a middle schooler with no disposable income. Once you get to high school, you have to kind of make some choices and learn not to torture your mom the old-fashioned way: by coming home and listening to a haggard old lady in a half open bathrobe scream tearily tthat she thought you were lying somewhere in a ditch and don't you even care and if this happens again she'll call the police and report you as a missing person and are you okay?

:)

I am not sure that would work......the ap is installed on the phone. ....the phone I pay for.  but yes I get your point, kids can find a way to break every rule if they want to.  So far I have not had that issue.  

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3 hours ago, goldberry said:

No there is not a place she can stay overnight.  I have discouraged her.  She does not agree and thinks she would have no social life.  She's 19, so...

Yes, DH and I didn't think a curfew was appropriate once she was graduated from high school. Neither of us had that, and we both lived at home after we graduated.  We switched to notification of plans or being late for courtesy and non-worrying purposes. She is very good about notifying and updating. But again, if I do by chance fall asleep, I don't want to be woken.  So I will be turning off notifications. 

 

We have Life360 and used it the last two years since she started driving.  She uninstalled it at college because her phone  was overloaded and she was never driving anywhere.  She hasn't reinstalled it, and I'm kind of feeling I might get some push back about it if I mention it at this point. I'm still thinking of asking, but if she doesn't want to no way I can force it, nor would I think it was appropriate to.  I'm thinking I might have felt like I was being stalked at that age.  

 

Who pays for her phone? Her college? The mortgage of the house she is coming home late to?  But not sure why you would have to force it anyway.   It is just a way to help you feel better about her being out alone on a dark and dangerous road.  

I keep it on my boys but I never comment on where they are.  Never.  

As  far as curfews, it is not to control the young adults ( who can't/arent yet supporting themselves) it is for the benefit of the bill paying adults who have to get up and go to work. The next day.  

 

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6 hours ago, HeighHo said:

Whatever works for your family is fine, its your family.  We are working people, as are some of our neighbors...we have neighborhood noise restrictions and have already experienced the social scene of  midweek 2 a.m. car doors slamming, dogs barking, engines revving, 20somethings F*ing this and that all night long as they drink, drug, and have sex in the backyard of the neighbor' homes, so we aren't allowing any version of that out of respect to our other neighbors and ourselves.

This is bizarre -as if there aren't plenty of other reasons why young adults aren't home at 10pm, like, sports practice, or studying with friends?

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12 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Who pays for her phone? Her college? The mortgage of the house she is coming home late to?  But not sure why you would have to force it anyway.   It is just a way to help you feel better about her being out alone on a dark and dangerous road.  

I keep it on my boys but I never comment on where they are.  Never.  

As  far as curfews, it is not to control the young adults ( who can't/arent yet supporting themselves) it is for the benefit of the bill paying adults who have to get up and go to work. The next day. 

Just because I pay for my young adult children's college and the home they stay in occasionally does not mean they are not entitled to privacy.

I fail to see what any of this has to do with them being self supporting or not.

Does  a non working spouse have a right to privacy?

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1 minute ago, regentrude said:

Just because I pay for my young adult children's college and the home they stay in occasionally does not mean they are not entitled to privacy.

I fail to see what any of this has with them beings elf supporting or not.

Privacy?  What privacy do think is violated? That I know he was eating sushi? Or that he was at his friends house? 

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BTDT. I have no good suggestion, just commiseration. DS trains his sport in a city 100 miles away, and while he was living at home, he would drive there 2-3 times per week. Practice ends at 9pm, then cleanup. If they sit and chat for a bit with the team mates, he's home by midnight. I turn into a pumpkin at 9:30.

When I woke up at night, I got up and peeked into the kitchen and was relieved to see his gear bag dumped in the kitchen. there are some advantages when kids don't put their stuff away ?

I like the hall light idea, if you can get this to work.

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8 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Privacy?  What privacy do think is violated? That I know he was eating sushi? Or that he was at his friends house? 

A young adult may simply not always wish their mom track his whereabouts. 

ETA :just asked my DD. She would feel like uncomfortable and feel we are unreasonable. She said she would humor me if I were really distraught, but objects to it on principle.

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6 hours ago, HeighHo said:

 

Whatever works for your family is fine, its your family.  We are working people, as are some of our neighbors...we have neighborhood noise restrictions and have already experienced the social scene of  midweek 2 a.m. car doors slamming, dogs barking, engines revving, 20somethings F*ing this and that all night long as they drink, drug, and have sex in the backyard of the neighbor' homes, so we aren't allowing any version of that out of respect to our other neighbors and ourselves. 

 

I'm sorry that's something you have to deal with but it doesn't seem to be the norm for most of us posting in this thread. Ds 20 and his  20 something friends are very respectful in each other's neighborhoods. No revving engines late at night, no slamming car doors or house doors, they throw F-bombs at each other often but not out in front of their houses and certainly not late at night, no drinking (only a few are 21) no drugs. And goodness, no sex in the backyard of their own homes, let alone the neighbor's yard. 

My son currently works at a cafe that closes at 8 but before that he worked at a bar and grill on Cocoa Beach, not until closing, but until they stopped serving food around 10pm. It takes almost an hour to get home from there. Where would he sleep if he couldn't come home after 8:30? For that matter he doesn't usually leave work at his current job until around 9 after handling the closing duties. This job is also nearly an hour away.

My husband works swing shift (4-midnight) on Tues. and Wed. nights and doesn't get home until 12:45 - 1 am on those nights. It's a good thing he doesn't have to sleep at work and wait until a respectable hour to come home. 

There are many reasons to be out after 8:30 pm regardless of one's age. That's just bizarre to think otherwise.

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7 minutes ago, regentrude said:

A young adult may simply not always wish their mom track his whereabouts. 

ETA :just asked my DD. She would feel like uncomfortable and feel we are unreasonable.

Oh I didn't realize you were talking about how the young adults FEEL.  I thought you felt it was actually a violation of privacy.  

Well he doesn't FEEL like coming home at 10:30 either.  But it is the rule of this house so he does it.  

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

Oh I didn't realize you were talking about how the young adults FEEL.  I thought you felt it was actually a violation of privacy.  

Well he doesn't FEEL like coming home at 10:30 either.  But it is the rule of this house so he does it.  

Are their feelings not valid?

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

Oh I didn't realize you were talking about how the young adults FEEL.  I thought you felt it was actually a violation of privacy.  

Well he doesn't FEEL like coming home at 10:30 either.  But it is the rule of this house so he does it.  

Will you continue this rule when he is in college? Even if that means he cannot participate in study sessions etc?

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4 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Will you continue this rule when he is in college? Even if that means he cannot participate in study sessions etc?

Hmm....I guess if there is a study session that is going on past 10:30 we will have to discuss it.  I highly doubt that will be the case.

We arent unyielding....they were both out last Monday watching a movie in the city and they got home at 12:45. 

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8 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

Are their feelings not valid?

Peoples feelings are their feelings.  Feelings don't necessarily change rules though. 

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38 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Hmm....I guess if there is a study session that is going on past 10:30 we will have to discuss it.  I highly doubt that will be the case.

When do you think college students meet to study? When I finish my help sessions at 8:30pm, or when labs get out at 8 or 9pm,  the students then head over to the library to meet in their study groups. Meetings for campus student organizations often don't start until 9pm, because that is when (almost) everybody is finally done with classes and can meet.

You seriously plan to discuss whether your adult college student is allowed to participate in evening campus activities?

 

 

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38 minutes ago, regentrude said:

When do you think college students meet to study? When I finish my help sessions at 8:30pm, or when labs get out at 8 or 9pm,  the students then head over to the library to meet in their study groups. Meetings for campus student organizations often don't start until 9pm, because that is when (almost) everybody is finally done with classes and can meet.

You seriously plan to discuss whether your adult college student is allowed to participate in evening campus activities?

 

 

What I said was we would discuss the curfew.  Not all college students are going to study sessions that late.  Certainly not on a regular basis.  But I don't know why you are picking on me about our house rules.  You do yours and I will do mine. 

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35 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

What I said was we would discuss the curfew.  Not all college students are going to study sessions that late.  Certainly not on a regular basis.  But I don't know why you are picking on me about our house rules.  You do yours and I will do mine. 


I have to say I found the control over adults odd, too.  My oldest is in college.  Well, at the moment he's on break.  But when he's home, the rule is the same as for my husband and myself: be safe.  Let us know when to expect you/where you're going.  Be respectful of the rest of the house.

An adult must be treated as an adult if we expect them to grow and become self sufficient people.  By focusing on basic safety and manners, we can help them achieve that.  I cannot fathom leashing my 19yo and then expecting him to be a grown up.  Parenthood doesn't work that way, at least not in healthy relationships.

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Eh, if a college kid is living at home a parent certainly has a right to make reasonable rules. What is reasonable is going to be vastly different at a college in Boston than one in rural Oklahoma, where the night classes are over at 8pm and the libraries close at 9, and laws about alcohol are so different that there isn't really a late night bar culture.

Several of DH's coworkers complained about how everything closed at 8 or 9 when we lived in Oklahoma. If Oklahoma & Arkansas are the only places Scarlett's lived, she's going to find the, "That's not how college works! You're being unreasonable!" comments completely foreign. Especially if the boys are staying home and going to local schools instead of going off to one of the few big universities in the state.

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