I always thought this was a question I needed to examine only for college breaks. Believe it or not, last year with three kids in college, none of them had the same spring break. This made dealing with the external things – extra laundry, more food at meals – was not difficult. The more difficult side to this is the more intangible items – another driver wanting the one car, curfew, church attendance.
How does a parent deal with those intangibles and a live-at-home college student? I have to say that this may be a mute issue if the college student in question had always lived at home. She would not have had that taste of freedom that comes with living away from home with a dorm roommate or teammates to answer to more than a mother. It seems she wants to be treated like she is a living-at-home member of the family. She wants to be included in meals – particularly the ones she loves – but then, will, at whim, just not show up for meals. This makes meal planning almost impossible. She will throw her laundry in with the rest of the family’s and then complain when what she wants to wear isn’t clean or dry. She thinks she can leave the house and not come home – without telling me where she is going or when she thinks she will be home.
I am toying with instituting a contract. If she is going to act like this is a dorm, she is going to pay rent. If she wants to live here and be a part of the family, that is fine but she will have to follow some rules. I just don’t know.