1. Parenting
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

18-year-old Privileges?

By December 22, 2006

Follow me on:

Ettenn is wondering: “My daughter has been looking forward to turning 18 so that she will have "freedom". I'm wondering what should change when she turns 18 and she is still in HS. She will be 18 the summer before her senior year. She recently told me that she thinks she shouldn’t have a curfew. She also feels that I am being unreasonable now, to not allow her to go to her BFs home when parents aren't home, "just to talk". I think that she is sincere, but naive. I have told her that things wouldn’t change until she graduated, but based on her reaction, I'm beginning to think that it might be good to have some small changes, but I don't know what I can live with for a year. Any suggestions?
April 1, 2008 at 5:48 pm
(1) Megan says:

As a senior in high school right now, and having just turned 18, I am okay with many of the rules that I have because my parents are very respectful about it. I think the most important change for me is just being treated as an adult. I am okay not spending time alone at my BF’s because I know that we wont “just talk,” I have a big future and i dont want to ruin it. I have had fun with other privledges thought! I took my grandma gambling at a local indian casino, its legal in california as long as no alcohol is sold on the floor. I no longer have an actual curfew but my mom will call and ask if I will come home, because I respect her advice, as it is often well placed I do.

October 28, 2008 at 2:34 pm
(2) Faer says:

your daughters 18.. if u stop her from going to her bfs.. she’ll just sneak out.. or do something somewhere else.. wudnt u prefer to hv her tell u the truth. than lie? and its no use sticking your head in the sand about sex.. i know shes ur little girl..but shes an adult.. and u cant stop her.. just let her make her own mistakes she’ll learn. you cant shelter her forever

December 28, 2008 at 11:44 pm
(3) Becky says:

I have a daughter who is turning 18 in Jan. she too thinks she should be able to come and go as she pleases. I don’t think I am a very strict parent but until she is paying for her own car insurance and taking care of other responsiblities I believe I should have a say in when she comes in and where she is going. It is mostly for safety reasons but also for just I feel there is a time and place for everything and she can go bowling or see a movie earlier in the day. Maybe I am sounding like my mom when I was 18 but hey I turned out pretty good and I only want what is best for my daughter.

April 6, 2009 at 10:44 am
(4) Linda AKA The Grammie says:

My grandson who i’ve had custody of for 10 years will be 18 this month he says he is leaving and getting out of this prison he lives in. he is in 11th grade at a christian school that I pay for and is still going to leave on his 18th birthday. His attitude is aweful he thinks the rules will change after turning 18 he is so immature and don’t work or have a drivers licence. He is in for a big surprise. the real world is out there. rules apply everywhere, home work. school and other peoples homes too. I can’t wait for him to get the real deal of living life on lifes terms.. life goes on after 18 but with rules too. wake up teenagers, i know it will be hard but he will have to learn some things the hard way.. oh well education the lifes way.

June 27, 2009 at 2:41 am
(5) doit says:

in response to LINDA AKA THE GRANNIE SAYS,blahblahblah…how do you expect a teenager to be happy when they are constantly conformed to rules by parents/gaurdians,we grow up our whole lifes being tools to the rules. being 18 should be an oppertunity to let your children have freedom every so often. a lot of people think it will “payoff” for the future,but happiness is a neccisity,and i find often people who had no life while they were young because they’re parents don’t want to change some rules,aren’t happy in the life they lead then and aren’t in the future. you have to be able to live freely sometimes and turning 18 should be a big thing with changes,because its an oppertunity to grow,and actaully BE a teenager with responsiblities.your all just raising tools.

August 31, 2009 at 12:25 am
(6) Bethany says:

I just turned eighteen this August and will soon be a senior in high school. My parents brought me up telling me that as long as I don’t give them a reason not to trust me, I will be able to do anything. They have held their end of the bargain. But, they aren’t crazies or anything. I tell my mom where I am going, who will be there, and what kinds of things will be going on. She respects me for telling her the facts that help her sleep at night and I respect her for letting me be a young adult. I’ve never had a set curfew, but I’ve never pushed the limit because I know my parents care about where I am. I don’t want them worried into all hours of the night wondering where their “little girl” is. So I think that it completely depends on your relationship with your daughter. But I will leave you with one thing. Good things never happen when a young couple is alone together. I don’t care what kind of promises they’ve made to each other or to themselves. If they wanted to “just talk”, they wouldn’t put themselves in a situation where more than talking could occur. Things can happen very quickly. It’s definitely something to pray about.

September 11, 2009 at 2:12 pm
(7) Robert says:

Many parents are overly protective of their children, as is obviously the case in this situation. The fact that your daughter cannot go to a friend’s house without parents being present at the age of 18 is rather ridiculous. I am not a fan of “curfews” but all people any age must be aware of their surroundings and where not to be at certains times of the night. It can be very dangerous out in the world.

March 5, 2010 at 4:10 pm
(8) Evan says:

Hi, I just turned 18 and am a boy. I have always been without rules because i sheltered myself my entire life. However, senior year I decided to get out into the social world and get a life….As soon as I did this my magically understanding parents flipped out and started setting curfews and other useless nonsense. I have always been extremely independent and fiercely enforce this in my own life. My parents took away my car, my phone and everything else for the most part assuming it would stop me. Bottom line, once your child realizes that they are already set and ready for college and nothing is holding them back they will do whatever they want because if you haven’t taught your child how to live properly by 18, they will never learn from you. When it all comes down to it, your child will be sitting on a college mattress come august and you will have 0 and I mean 0 control over where they are, what they do, or who they are with…. you are better off letting them learn and experience the ups and downs of the world when you have them under your wing than for them to go buck wild in the real world.

April 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm
(9) Anonymous says:

I’m 17 turning 18 this coming august. I’m a female college student at some college in Philippines. Don’t think I have no clue as to what kind of life a teenager runs in the States (USA) because I spent half my childhood and the majority of my teenage life in the US, so I’m pretty much knowledgeable about what teenagers are like in the US. Frankly, I have to agree with Evan and Bethany. It all depends on the relationship you have with your daughter, and the kinds of privileges you have given to your child before she turns to the wondrous age of 18. Even I can’t wait to turn 18, however I understand fully well the things I will face… thanks to my parents lecture and rules. I have to agree that rules are there to guide you to the correct and ‘righteous’ path, a path were you rarely face problems and the things of the like. I also believe that parents should still have some hold on their child until their minds properly adapt to being an adult… if you heed your daughter’s want and let her have her way in life as an 18 you old, I think you will mostly likely regret ever doing that. A suppressed teenager would likely become wild once they gain this ‘freedom’ they speak of immediately… people may say that that’s unlikely since some teenagers manage to control themselves and avoid those rash actions… but that really depends on how they were raised by their parents. For instance, I believe that Bethany would likely lead a successful teenage life and avoid those wild actions because her parents gave her some freedom while at the same time able to know what she is doing while away from the family… I believe it’s about trust between parents and children that allows them to lead such a successful teenage life, and possibly their life in its entirety.

So in my conclusion, I believe that giving some freedom, but not in its entirety, to your child while at the same time having control over her would likely help her avoid actions that she will regret later. Don’t be too much in control, give her her freedom but you are obliged to know where she is, who is she hanging out with, and what she will do in that place with those friends. Trust and respect her decisions as well, and lecture her about the pros and cons of being part of the society. This absurd thing she speak off, about her staying at her boyfriend’s house “just to talk” while his parents are away… for me, it’s like seeing her holding up a sign saying “Let me go so I can have sex with him”… I think that everyone with a logical mind would agree with me that THAT “just talk” farse would lead to “just kissing” and eventually “just having sex”. Unless you want grand children early, I suggest not letting her go to her boyfriends house at all… be it with parents or not. However if you trust the boy, then it is your decision to let your daughter be or not.

June 1, 2010 at 11:48 am
(10) Jim says:

You need to make new rules at 18! It is time for new responsibilities for your young adult. A new pact. Make them pay for everything they need and use. They need to get off their butt and earn a living or go to College, no freeloading anymore!

As long as they live under your roof, you make the rules!

Legally, you are not responsible for feeding and clothing them once they reach 18. You can’t destroy their property legally ie: throw away the cell phone, but you can kick them out without a moments notice and the police will remove them if need be.

Don’t let them walk all over you, you hold the cards. If they stay, they pay a portion of the rent or mortgage or other bills they use. They can pay their car insurance etc.

They need the real world scenario, you are doing them no favors sheltering them and bailing them out all the time. They need to feel the gravity of their actions and misactions.

Pray for them, but don’t live their life for them…

January 16, 2011 at 3:10 am
(11) Josh says:

just let them live there life how they want.. kick them out if he/she is an ass, they will understand what its like eventually and will probably come back apologizing.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.