Wondering if this is normal?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-26-2004
Wondering if this is normal?
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 10:02am

So it's been a while since I posted on here but here I am again.

My daughter just turned 18 a few weeks ago and she is throwing the "I'm 18 and I can do what I want when I want" crap,

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-27-2011
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 10:31am

It's sounds like you are under a lot of stress. Hang in there. It will get better.

Without knowing what your daughter is wanting to do, it's hard to answer. I think the "I'm 18 and can do what I want" is fairly normal, but I'm assuming she's living with you and is a senior in high school. Since she truly is an adult, she can do what she wants. However, since she is living with you, you have every right to put down some household rules and enforce them. Like no drugs in your house. Having said that,

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 10:49am

Sorry you're going through so much stress. As the other poster said - if she's still living in your home she needs to follow your house rules. Doesn't matter if she's 8 or 18 or 28. You don't really give examples of what she thinks she should be able to do differently now. If it's a curfew thing - several posters on this board did away with the curfew if their teen turned 18 during their senior year. Kind of a 'practice run' for managing their sleep and time either at college or in the working world. Most of them said after a few nights of staying out too late and not getting enough sleep they were back to coming in at or before they had to be in prior to turning 18! If, OTH, she thinks that since she's 18 she's allowed to do illegal things like bring drugs into your home or have underage kids over to drink, that's different - that's definitely a non-negotiable situation. My younger ds turned 18 in March of his senior year, older ds didn't turn 18 until a month after he graduated. Neither one really pulled the 'I"m 18 and can do anything I want' although younger ds did stop and buy a pack of cigs on the way home on his 18th birthday. Which I promptly made him throw in the trash... Unfortunately he smokes now at 21. Maybe if I would have made him sit down and smoke the whole pack it would have been a better solution! Anyway hang in there and make sure to take care of yourself through all of this!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 1:09pm

I agree with the others that it's best to make rules that aren't negotiable and let the other stuff slide. At a bare minimum, no drinking or drugs, and she has to wake you up when she gets home if you're asleep.

There's a difference between being a legal adult and being a financially independent person. She may be the former, but I doubt she is paying you rent to live in your house. And IME, kids who pull the "I'm an adult, I can do whatever I want" card are usually much less mature and farther away from being actual adults than many of their peers are.

I'm sure she's as stressed and sad about the divorce as you are and

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 1:49pm

My daughter just turned 18 a few weeks ago and she is throwing the "I'm 18 and I can do what I want when I want" crap

It's hard to answer without knowing what she wants to do. I didn't have this problem with either dd, but part of that was that they both turned 18 while living at college- one in her Freshman year and one in her Sophomore year. So, since they were living on their own, probably not as big of a deal. ;) OTOH, dd21(who moved back home to finish her last few classes of college) still asks us to go out. Part of it is that she uses our car, part of it is just politeness. I mean, it's more a formality, but I appreciate it. We also talk to her when we're going out. We did have the no alcohol rule (although dd21 just turned 21 and so I did let her share in my birthday dinner wine yesterday :)). We still have the no smoking, no drugs, etc. There is no curfew unless they bother us (we get up very early).

If it's drinking, smoking, taking your car,etc... I would stand fast. If it's curfew, clothes, grades, I wouldn't be as concerned. At the same time, I think you can change YOUR behavior based on her behavior. If my kids were doing poorly in school, they wouldn't be borrowing my car. I'm not going to stop them from going out, but I'm not going to facilitate their lack of effort (assuming they're not going to meet their study group, lol). YKWIM - you can't prevent her from wearing a skanky skirt, but you sure as heck can not give her money for clothes. Pick your battles....

And yes, I'm SURE that the stress is affecting her, as it must be you. Don't you wish that they actually acted BETTER during stressful times?! That's when you really need a break. I'm so sorry to hear all that you're going through..


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 2:38pm

Im surprised that no one has mentioned it but have you ever talked w/ her about how she feels about the divorce?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Thu, 10-20-2011 - 11:57pm

All families have different dynamics at play.

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 10-21-2011 - 3:07pm

I would be mighty surprised if your divorce and bankruptcy didn't have a lot to do with this, in many ways.