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My son has just turned 18 and thinks that now he is automatically an adult who can do what he wants without any consideration for others! How can reason with him?


Posted anonymously, 15th April 2014


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  • Age 18, they legally can please themselves. But if he’s still living with you, he needs to know there are rules and boundaries that he needs to follow. Your home, your rules


  • Legally they are and they can so really you don’t have much of a leg to stand on, I would say if you are living here you need to do this but be prepared if they don’t like it they may just decide to move out. I would be thinking about whether the things they are wanting to do are so important and choosing my battles wisely, allowing them some freedom and being clear on what you are going to be strict on


  • My son has turned 18 and is the same, it’s hard especially since he has high functioning autism. I tell him fine as long as he can deal with Housing, Centrelink, his schooling, pay all his own bills, take himself to appointments etc he can he can do what he wants. He gets quite mouthy but usually settles as his not prepared to do nor wants to do any of it himself. So He eventually listens. I do however encourage him to make decisions for himself but he gets stressed at the simplest things. Other times he will surprise me.


  • We have told our son it does not matter how old you are, as long as you live under our roof you need to respect what we have to say. We really have never had a problem, i don’t think I could have got a better son. He is messy though.


  • The sad thing is you can’t reason with them they will always think they know best.
    My son hasn’t long become 18 and he’s the same, thinks it’s ok to come home when he wants and still expect tea on the table.
    We had to set some ground rules like if no phone by 3pm then no dinner would be made we aren’t a hotel, he has to be home by 11pm or the doors get locked and he has to sleep in his car unless he’s made prior arrangements with us.
    I’m afraid you have to be tough and set some rules.


  • I’m going through the same problem but my daughter is only 14yrs and has no respect etc I’ve told her to step up or things will be changing if she doest pull up.


  • Perhaps give him some of the responsibilities of what an adult must do for themselves if he cant be considerate towards others. Maybe charge a little bit of board and get him to be self sufficient in terms of own washing, cooking etc as an ultimatum if his consideration of others doesn’t change. Do agree with others though, it can be hard as it’s also a time of finding yourself as an adult.


  • it is a very hard time. give him 2 choices – one which you want to do and the other what he wants with the consequences. Let him know being an adult comes with responsibility and respect and you are happy to give these to him if he reciprocates and behaves like an adult.
    They can also need a lot of support as they are trying to find themselves too. good luck


  • if he wants to be an adult, then let him. Charge him board and make him buy his own food and necessities


  • If he thinks he is an adult – does that mean he has now made the adult decisions of moving out, with a job and taking care of himself food/rent/car wise? If he wants to be an adult he can act like one because as an adult we have responsibilties not just he can now drink or smoke or go clubbing legally. Ramming rules down their throats don’t work but boundaries, respect and compromise often do.


  • From experience when you say No they just want to do it to spite you … so you have to have some give and take… tell him about drugs and drinking the good the bad and ugly but don’t tell him he can’t do it … just say I have informed you of the consequences. Allow him to go out but if he wants some dinner he must be home at a certain time …. set boundaries


  • I very quickly explained to my 18 yo that things don’t change overnight. We have allowed a bit more autonomy and independence, but with that comes responsibility. 18 yo’s are not mature enough to go it alone and still need guidance and boundaries. Drinking problems and driving worries can start at this time so keeping an eye on your 18yo is essential.


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