Teens At Home

I was originally going to call this entry Dealing with Older Kids at Home, but I realized that the problem with that tile is defining “older kids.” In fact, “teens” may have an exact definition – those between the ages of thirteen and nineteen, but that still is too wide of a range for these purposes.

This entry is really about teens living at home who are on the edge of adulthood (at least according to them about the time they start reaching 15 or 16 and perhaps according to you, if they are reaching age 18 or so) and how dealing with and controlling their behavior gets increasingly difficult for parents at this stage.

One overriding philosophy (covered in the article referenced at the end of this entry) to dealing living with older teens and young adults is the concept of treating these adult children as guests in the parent’s home rather than the relying on the established parent-child relationship.

I thought that was a very interesting concept and not one that I remember hearing before. To clarify, the author is not talking bout waiting on them hand and foot as you might a guest, but rather having certain limitations to and expectations of how a guest would behave in your house. Another benefit to this psychological guest mentality is that it erases the sense of entitlement. Guests are grateful for your hospitality; they don’t demand more and more or feel tat you owe them something whereas adult children see the housing and amenities of what you are providing as a inalienable and continuing right – the same as they’ve had for years growing up.

Interestingly, though adult children see their responsibilities towards their parents as diminishing. They no longer feel accountable for to the parents for their whereabouts or actions.

For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, see Rules, Boundaries and Older Children.

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