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How To Get Your Adult Children To Respect Your Home Rules This Summer

Kim Muench June 2023 1

Kim Muench, Becoming Me Thought Leader

Help! The kids are home for the summer and I thought we had a few ground rules in place but they aren’t respecting them at all.

“My sons (who just finished their freshman and junior year of college) recently returned home for the next 12 weeks. After just two weeks I can barely take it! We set a few rules upfront (no weed in the house, get a job, clean up after yourselves in the kitchen) but they are choosing to sleep all day and party all night. This is not their college apartment complex; I have to go to work every morning! What can I do?”

“It’s time to sit down with your sons to have a heart-to-heart.”

Set Personal Boundaries:

By no means should your kids coming home from college be this stressful for you. The fix is a matter of setting some personal boundaries, ones you can stand behind with confidence, and then implementing them in a kind yet firm way so they are received and implemented.

First step, what are your non-negotiables? Sounds like no weed in the house, summer employment, and them cleaning up after themselves. All reasonable. Yet you say they continue to be violated. This tells me you approached it in an “old school” way and they are testing the limits (as young people do).

It’s time to sit down with your sons to have a heart-to-heart. If possible, do it over a family meal outside of the house. If there’s a co-parent in the home you want to start by being on the same page before the sit down.

One more thing, come up with a few areas where you can be flexible so your sons are more apt to respect these few important items you aren’t willing to negotiate.

Not About Controlling Your Kids:

Talk with them (it’s a conversation), not at them (the years for lectures are over).”

This is not about controlling your kids; it’s about setting them up for success by modeling and expecting accountability. This is about you deciding what you will and won’t participate in when it comes to your relationship as they become more independent.

What are you no longer willing to be a part of? Short nights with lack of sleep due to noise? Cleaning up their kitchen messes? Paying for Door Dash because they use your credit card?

During the conversation, your tone of voice (non-judgment), body language (especially eye contact), and staying calm (state the facts, steer clear of emotion) are the keys to a solid delivery. Talk with them (it’s a conversation), not at them (the years for lectures are over).

Connect before you correct. The idea is to build the relationship so they’ll want to work with you. 

You Deserve To Feel Respected In Your Home:

Begin with, “Boys, thanks for joining me for dinner. I haven’t had a chance to tell you how much I admire (fill in the blank positive part of the newly finished school year or the way they managed their personal life) there were three expectations shared with you for you this summer and I feel frustrated when you continue to ignore them. I’d like you to support me by taking ownership of stepping up.

I can be flexible when it comes to how your rooms are kept and whether or not you come home at night, but I can’t go to work every morning walking past a kitchen sink full of dirty dishes and knowing you’re both sleeping all day while I work to provide for our food and home. How can we work together to make this a win-win?”

Your sons are more than old enough to help you find a solution to this problem. And, whether they see it as a problem or not, it is a problem for you. You deserve to feel respected in your family’s home. Don’t allow the current stress level to get to a point of resentment. Give yourself permission to take this opportunity to guide them into being responsible young men. Get your children to respect home rules!

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Kim Muench Becoming Me

About the Author:

Kim Muench (pronounced minch, like pinch with an “m”) is a Jai (rhymes with buy) Institute for Parenting Certified Conscious Parenting Coach who specializes in working with mothers of adolescents (ages 10+). Knowing moms are the emotional barometer in their families, Kim is passionate about educating, supporting and encouraging her clients to raise their children with intention and guidance rather than fear and control. Kim’s three plus decades parenting five children and years of coaching other parents empowers her to lead her clients into healthier, happier, more functional relationships with compassion and without judgment. 

You can find out more about her mission and services at www.reallifeparentguide.com. She is on Facebook at Real Life Parent Guide, Instagram, and on LinkedIn as well.