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17-Year-Old Teen Wants More Freedom

By October 9, 2009

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Mom asks for advice on our forum: "My 17 year old daughter will be 18 in January. She is technically a high school senior, but is going full time to college this year through a post-secondary program. She has made new college friends, all older than her. She thinks that since she is in college, has a good job, and hasn't been in trouble in a while, we should treat her "like an adult" and let her go to her new friends all night, no questions asked. On the one hand, she has really grown up. On the other, she is still seventeen. Would love input on this as my husband and I are at odds and our daughter feels trapped."

Denise's thoughts: She is still living in your home and expected to abide by the house rules, which I assume, state no overnights without explanations. Sit down and talk to her about it. Tell her you may be willing to compromise on some things, but she doesn't get to do just because she think she should. Some things you can point out to her:

While she wants to be grown up and is taking on some of that responsibility, she isn't taking on all of it. She is still expecting you to feed her, provide the place and furniture/appliances for her to sleep, do laundry, watch TV, etc. Tell her that her time to leave the nest is coming, it won't be long. You know she is excited to be out and about. When she is out on her own and is taking on all of the responsibilities of her life, she can make her own choices. You hope she will make the right ones that will keep her safe and happy. Her new friends are older and on their own. They will just have to understand that she will only be there in a year.

On the flip side of this, you may want to look into a dorm for her for the January session since she will be 18.

Asking our community: Would you change the rules for a 17-year-old if they were in college but still living in your home? What if they turn 18, does that change your hues rules? Please share your thoughts, opinions and experiences in our comments area.

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October 9, 2009 at 12:57 pm
(1) renee says:

yes, what denise is saying is true but you should aslo give your daughter freedom. the less fredom you give daughter the more she will want to do when she turns 18 when she can do whatever she want she”ll exsperiment

October 10, 2009 at 12:10 am
(2) Jamie says:

I am going through the same thing. It’s tough. They want to do their own thing and they make us feel terrible for not letting them do what they want to do. The fact that they are generally “good” kids makes it even harder to say no to them when they want to do things you normally wouldn’t allow. I think I will just stick to my rules and hope that my daughter will thank me later for it. My daughter turns 18 in December…if she doesn’t like my rules that much then she can do something about it then. I hope she doesn’t though. : )

October 10, 2009 at 2:11 am
(3) Dentist in preston says:

Give freedom to your kids, be friend them, and they will be the best kids

October 14, 2009 at 7:55 am
(4) Mary says:

She is still a kid. She might be 17 or 18 and physically adult. Mentally, she is not as mature as she would like everyone to think. Stick to your house rules. After all, you are the one paying for everything. Right? When she moves out, she can make her own house rules.

October 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm
(5) Emily says:

I agree that she is still living under your rules; however, have you given her the option to be completely on her own. My eldest daughter moved out in her Senior year of highschool (she was 18 however) and she soon learned it isn’t easy. I do beleive however, that until a child is 18, as a parent, you are responsible for her actions in society, to an extend of course. I have grandchildren coming on to this age and I see the challenges my adult children face. It is great to converse with others. Thank you for being here.

October 19, 2009 at 12:41 pm
(6) Silver Fang says:

Let her move into the dorms. Then you won’t have the problem.

July 2, 2010 at 5:10 pm
(7) JuliAn says:

I’m dealing with an 18 year old son and his 16 year old girlfriend. They are both great kids, and still waiting for marriage for intimacy. They follow all the rules set forth for them, but yet the other mother keeps making the rules strickter and stricter. The kids are trying to figure out why this is happening. The other mother says that they aren’t doing anything wrong either, and sets one set of rules for them to go by, then changes them to another. She is pushing her daughter away from her and making my son and her feel as if they need to get married sooner than they should. Originally they both had plans for college first. Now they are looking at marriage as soon as possible so that she can get away from her mother. How do you respond to that?????


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