If you have an adult child living at home, you might be wondering what types of rules to set for them. It might be difficult for parents to set house rules for a 19-year-old because they are afraid of limiting their child’s freedom but not implementing a set of rules can lead to many problems.
You as a parent will feel frustration and resentment when you see how careless they are when it comes to the structure at home. It’s important to set boundaries and create firm household rules to make sure that everyone’s needs are met.
Setting house rules for a 19-year-old also teaches them how to become disciplined which is a very important skill to have in all aspects of life.
What Are House Rules?
For some families, house rules are a list of things that a person must follow. Some of them might include being home every night for dinner, respecting others in the family, or a set curfew.
For other families, house rules might include what chores a person is expected to do, or even what household responsibilities a person is to take on. For example, a 19-year-old might be expected to pay part of their expenses.
Just like when your child was young, rules establish boundaries for the household. Each member of the house has responsibilities, household chores, and rules to follow.
Just because your child has grown and is now an adult does not mean that they don’t have rules to follow. However, the rules and work that they do in the house will be different than when they were younger.
Household rules establish a working order to the home so that everyone’s needs are met. No one person should be responsible for cleaning the whole house themselves or maintaining a peaceful environment. Each person needs to take on part of the household responsibilities so that everyone can thrive.
How Do I Create Household Rules?
Here are a few things that you should consider when creating your household rules:
1. Do I resent my 19-year-old child living at home?
If the answer to this question is yes, the first thing you need to do is sit down and consider why you resent your child living at home. This can be because of things like them appreciating the hard work you do, them using you for money or many more things.
Sitting back and thinking about this will help you to create effective rules that will allow you to enjoy your child living there while not having any resentment.
There are a variety of reasons why an adult child may live at home. They can be living there while they go to school and get a degree, they can be working to save up money for their future, or because the child isn’t independent enough to move out on their own yet.
If your resentment comes from your child disrespecting you or your property, then you can enforce a rule relating to this, however, if it comes from your child not cleaning up after themselves, you may want to create a rule related to household chores.
2. Are There Any Housekeeping Related Jobs That are Often Overlooked?
If household tasks are often overlooked, you may find yourself constantly feeling like it’s up to you to get everything done. On the contrary, everyone in the house should have some responsibility for the household.
If tasks are often forgotten, setting a house rule to help remind your adult child that they have a responsibility to take care of can help the house run more efficiently.
These rules don’t have to be limited to household chores. For example, your child can help with other tasks like making phone calls, writing reminder notes, and cooking dinner.
3. Is There Anything you have to keep asking your 19 Year Old to stop doing? Do They Continue to do it Anyway?
If the answer to this question is yes, then you have a firm rule that needs to be enforced. This is a starting point for creating household rules.
For example, if your child brings over their friends and they make a lot of noise interrupting the household, you may need to set a rule about house guests. You can limit the number of guests in your home, what time they may come over, and whether or not you need to be consulted before they arrive.
What Types Of Rules Should I Enforce?
If you have taken the time to consider what types of house rules your 19-year-old should follow, then you may have already found a good starting point. If you are overwhelmed by the idea of setting rules in place, you might want a few rules to start with.
Here are four examples of rules to consider.
1. Respect Others And Their Property
This rule reinforces the idea that each person deserves respect and so does that person’s property.
Everybody in the house should treat one another with kindness and respect. Your child should ask before using someone else’s possessions and treat them well so that they can be given back in the same condition they were received.
One aspect to consider when enforcing this rule is respect for your values and beliefs. If your values and beliefs differ from your child’s, they need to respect your values and beliefs while they live in your house.
For example, if you don’t like swearing, your adult child needs to respect that value of yours while at home. Another example would be if you’re religious, your child needs to be respectful of your religion. That doesn’t mean that they need to engage in those religious behaviors, but they shouldn’t say anything offensive about your faith.
2. Contribute to the Household’s Chores
Each person should be responsible for cleaning up their messes. As a parent, it is not your responsibility to clean up after your child’s messes once they are old enough to do it for themselves especially at the age of 19.
Additionally, your child should be helping with communal chores like doing the dishes or cleaning the bathrooms.
Another reason contributing to the household is an important task is that it prepares your 19-year-old for embarking out on their own. When they move out into their own home, they will have to prepare meals, clean their own space, and organize their appointments and time.
Encourage them to help cook, grocery shop, organize family appointments, and more so that they can actively be involved in household contribution and preparing them for their future.
3. Contribute To The Household’s Expenses
A great way to help mature your child is to make them pay for some household expenses. Things such as personal hygiene items, food, part of the electric bill, or even rent.
Whether or not a family decides to do this is a very personal decision. However, contributing to the family’s expenses can help your adult child prepare for having bills to pay.
Also, some parents save the money that their children pay them and they end up giving it to them when they are ready to move out. But whether or not you choose to do that will ultimately be determined by whether you are financially able to continue supporting your adult child.
4. Set A Curfew
Setting a curfew can be a good way to enforce boundaries and help your 19-year-old to consider others’ needs.
Parents often worry when their child is out late and setting a curfew can help you be sure you’ll get a good night of sleep. Besides, setting a curfew can help your child be responsible so that they can get to work or school on time, as well as help them to have a healthy sleep schedule.
Setting house rules for a 19-year-old should be well thought out and should have a particular reason for why it’s set.
Setting rules for the sake of setting rules will just lead to disharmony amongst you and your 19-year-old. If you think about the reasons why you’re setting rules, it will be easier for you to enforce them, communicate them clearly, and stick to them.
These rules will also discipline them to become independent and be ready to move out because living with your parents as time goes on can lead to problems down the line so it is our job as parents to make sure they are ready for the next step in life.