14yo DD wants to move to basement?

Avatar for arwen12
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
14yo DD wants to move to basement?
5
Tue, 10-07-2003 - 2:40pm
My 14yo DD wants to move into the basement and of course, in the process, redecorate the entire thing.

The pros are all on her side of course.

Mainly, in our basement and as the only child (she has a stepsister who we see every other weekend, but that's it).

But, ultimately, she'd feel like she was living in her own studio apartment!!!

I don't think it is really necessary, but she heard about her friends living their basements plus she wants to take on the financial responsibility which I think is admirable and a pro, but the con is that I don't want her wiping out her savings for this - then again, it is 'her' savings account.

She hasn't used anything from it yet and has been saving for a new bedroom set on her own.

I had previously told her I wasn't changing her bedroom because it was just painted last year and her bedroom set isn't even 5 years old yet! But, she decided she hates it and I told her if she wants to change it, she'll need to save for it herself.

Well, one thing led to another and now she wants to move into the basement, too!

Boy, give her an inch....

Anyway, there is also the door from the basement that leads outside.

I've seen some posts on this board of teens sneaking out and I think that this might be something that my teen might inclined to do if the situation were right and she was in a "mood".

But, the dog sleeps in her room and would bark constantly if he were left alone so I'd know immediately if she weren't there after just 5 minutes. Similarly, he would bark his head off if anyone "snuck in".... so, even if she wanted to, I think I have a built in security device.

Then, of course, there is the cost issue and it would have to be painted and the rug changed - not because they are in bad shape, but because they aren't "cool enough".

So, needless to say that I'm going crazy with trying to make this decision and thought I'd ask the boards opinion.

Do you have any experiences with your teens wanting to move into the basement?

Thoughts?

Thanks!!!

Avatar for louannems
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 10-07-2003 - 8:19pm
I have a son who is nearly 24 and has been moved out and living on his own for 3 years now.

But when he was about 16, we moved him down to the basement, at his request. His above basement bedroom was tiny and the basement was very large. It also had a bathroom and a door leading to outside. In the main part of the basement, where he slept, it was pitch-dark, which made it VERY hard for him to wake up and get to school. He actually had to take an extra year to finish high-school because he didn't have enough credits, due to loosing credits from tardiness.

We didn't worry about him sneaking out, since his best friend since kindergarden lived right next door, and if he wasn't at home, he was next door and vice versa. We did have to worry about other kid's coming into our home late at night and that did become a problem.

Also, the huge basement became a huge pig sty very quickly! It started to stink and the smell started coming upstairs. I would get disgusted and spend days digging out the basement bedroom.

If your teen is motivated to keep her basement bedroom clean (well, clean enough anyway!!), is a good student who would'nt sneak out or have others sneak in, whe would really love the extra space.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-07-2003
Tue, 10-07-2003 - 11:29pm
I haven't dealt with this personally, but here are a few things I'd take into consideration. First of all, if she can save her money and use it toward this, I think that would be good, and she would be proud of herself for having done so, which MIGHT be an incentive to keep it clean, treat the furniture/carpet kindly, etc. My concern would be how much would she isolate herself from the family? Would she have her own TV down there, her own computer, etc.? Would you see even less of her than you do now? When friends are over, would you feel uncomfortable not really being able to "overhear" their conversations or know what they're up to? I think this is where the lines of communication can break down, when kids have almost everything they need in their own rooms (some even have those mini fridges). After you've considered this point, I'd discuss it very thoroughly with her, what your expectations are, what your concerns are, including the possibility of her sneaking out or having friends sneak in. I would make it abundantly clear that if she sneaks out even once or has friends sneak in, she would have to move back upstairs...period! Make it very clear that there would be no negotiating that point. Also, I'd just make it a rule that the door down there to the outside not be used except for emergencies...thus she comes in through the front/back door of the main house and leaves that way, too. Good luck and let us know what you decide!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2003
Wed, 10-08-2003 - 1:05pm

You may want to let her give it a trial run for a week or two.

Avatar for arwen12
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
Wed, 10-08-2003 - 3:16pm
What I have decided so far that there 2 options that she has to go with before we think about her moving into the basement.

Option 1 is to think about redecorating her room - this would cost much less than redecorating the whole basement. She can move all her furniture out if she wants to give her more room. She can put her mattress on the floor, not sell anything and if she decided she hates it we can move to option 2.

Option 2 is a trial run in the basement. She can move her mattress to the basement on the floor, make some non-structural changes (no rug or painting) for about a month. She can move all her clothes.

But, she has to stay involved in the activites of the house upstairs.

She can't isolate herself completely.

That was another great point - I hadn't thought of that one.

That is actually why I've never allowed a TV in her room, because I want to see her face!

(Actually, I don't think she would, she is too social... but, you never know how things actually shake out sometimes... )

And, yes, I have a built in alarm - it's our little dog. He would bark like a lunatic if she left him alone. (he is such a needy dog).

And, he would also bark if anyone came in - especially men - he hates men! (he is also a very jealous dog... ) :-)

But, if it comes down where she loves it downstairs, then yes, I like the matching idea so that way she doesn't wipe out all her savings on this! Good idea!

And, I also like the cheap but noisy alarm idea, too for the basement door. It is actually a storm door that leads out and it has pretty rusty, noisey and squeaky hinges (which are now a good thing!)

So, this is the plan for her to go with if she wants to ultimately get into the basement.

Sort of in a "phased" approach.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thanks for the posts!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-07-2003
Thu, 10-16-2003 - 5:21pm
When my daughter turned 13 she also wanted to move into the basement. My husband and I really didn't want to do it but we caved. We were lucky in a sense because that was where our guest bedroom was. So we hauled all the things out of the room and moved all of her things into the room. It didn't take her long to go back into her old room with her sister. She had told us that her sister was afraid. It took about 3 years before she actually stayed in her basement room. Now that she's 21 she told us that the noises from the burner scared the living daylights out of her. She said that basement noises were the scariest.

Maybe give her a chance she seems like a level headed kid to me. It's great to hear that she wants to save up for her own bedroom set. You have a great kid - I say just sit back and enjoy her!