Question:

My parents are too overbearing. They are allowing me to live home, but when I am out with friends and a particular girl I like, I miss curfew and my dad told me the next time I was home late, he he would punish me. I work a part-time job and they are paying half for me to go to the community college. Do I have to obey them even though I am 18? There's no way I can afford to move out while going to school without going into a lot of debt. Between church, work and everything I like hanging out with my friends and this girl. Mom and Dad said that I need to watch how I speak to them because my younger brother watching. I told them it is just sometimes they get on my nerves. How can I get along better?

Answer:

You'll have to make a choice. There is nothing magical about the age of 18. It is just the typical age selected in this country to consider a person to be responsible for their own actions. At 18 you can legally sign contracts so you are able to move into your own apartment or get a loan to purchase a car.

As you pointed out, your parents are allowing you to live in their home. They are also financially helping you through college, though there is no requirement on their part to do so. I suspect there are numerous other benefits they are providing for you at the moment as well.

What they are asking in return for all of this is relatively minor. They want you to set a good example for your younger brother, included in that is speaking respectfully to them and obeying house rules, such as being in by a certain hour.

If you think those rules cost you more than the benefits you are receiving from them, then you can always move out. In your own home you are able to set your own rules. But it also means that you are volunteering to take on the additional financial responsibilities for yourself as well.

Is it impossible? No. You can easily take on a full-time job to meet your rent and other expenses. Most community colleges have classes at various hours of the day so you can manage your classes around your work schedule. You can apply for government grants and scholarships to lower the cost of your education as well. What you will mostly lose is your free time. But ask any adult and you will soon realize that a lack of spare time is a part of the adult life.

But if you are not ready to take on adult responsibilities, then you can't whine that your parents are still treating you as a child when you are living as one in their home.

I'm glad you have friends and that you have a girl that you are interested in. But these are not reasons for being disrespectful to your parents and ignoring the rules they have set up for their home. I suspect the limits are there mostly for your safety. Young men, like yourself, who aren't ready for adult responsibility tend to get themselves into trouble because they rarely think about being accountable for their actions. You are less likely to drink, do drugs, or commit fornication if you have to be home at a reasonable hour. You are more likely to be alert during classes and have your homework done if you get adequate sleep consistently. And to your parents that is important since they are paying a good portion of that bill. People generally want a good return on their investment.

You see, you get to make a choice. Each option has its pluses and its minuses. It is rare to find a choice that is either all good or all bad. But you know, there is absolutely no reason that your parents would be forced to punish you. Breaking rules and being disrespectful isn't necessary. All you need to do is decide whether you are ready to be an adult yet or not.

I was able to talk with mom and dad. I told them I wasn't able to afford living on my own, and I didn't want to have them take support away in college. My job has cut my hours and has left me with less money. I told dad that I would be in by the curfew they established. Man, it was easier years ago to get away with things. Seriously though, what did it for me was when you mentioned about having a choice. Mom said she only wanted what's best for me. I apologized to her for being smart and have worked on selecting my words. Thanks for listening and for your help.

Now you are talking more like a man.