Aren't you supposed to kick 'em out when they turn 18?

My son’s just graduated from High School. Currently, he lives with his mom back in Texas. I’ve been trying to get him to come live with me for over a decade now, but he’s never taken me up on my offer.

Until now, that is.

Yikes. He’s arriving this weekend, and he’ll be living with me so he can go to the local college.

Honestly, when he called me to tell me he was going to come up to live with me, my first instinct was to say, “What, you thought I was serious about that offer?! Kid, that was just a joke!”

So, anyway, he’ll be living with me. I’m moving into a new three-bedroom house later on this month (hey, free labor!). It won’t have three bedrooms for long, however- one for me, one for the computers, and one for him. There goes all my space.

The new place’s mortgage is about twice what I’m paying in rent, now. He’ll be living with us and increasing our utility and food bills. There goes all my money.

He won’t have a car for quite a while, since he can’t drive- his mom never let him practice driving (even though I payed for, and sent him to, driving school two years ago). I imagine we’ll have to drive him around quite a bit, although hopefully he’ll learn to ride his bike around town (at least 'til it starts snowing again). There goes all my free time.

Oh, and he smokes. Dammit! Not on my damn property, he doesn’t. Personally, I blame his stepfather.

On the positive side, I’ll finally have him living with me (at least 'til he gets an apartment with a friend, which I expect’ll happen within a year or so). I’ll have free dogsitting. I’ll have free lawnmowing.

And he’ll go to college, and finally get away from his damn stepfather (and his mom’s psychotic family).

Yeah, I’m a little nervous. :slight_smile:

Good luck wishes coming your way - I hope you end up enjoying the chance to spend some time with your son.

As soon as he shows up, help him find a job so he can pay you rent.

My mother’s deal with me was: as long as I was in school and maintaining a decent GPA, I was still growing up and could live with her rent free. Quitting school was taken as the signal that I now considered myself a “grown-up”, and therefore should start doing grown-up things like paying rent to my landlord (her.) Just food for thought.

Have you had a family meeting about things like curfew, loud music, female overnight visitors (on both your parts) and who put away the peanut butter jar with nothing in it? Be really, exquisitely clear in your communication and boundaries, and encourage him to do the same. Make sure you’re working off common expectations. Find out, for example, if he’s aware that he’s going to be expecting to mow the lawn once a week and dogsit when you’re out of town. Come to some sort of agreement on what reasonable chauffeur duties are, and how much money he owes you for gas. Don’t assume that these things will work themselves out, or you might end up with a wretched relationship with your son. Don’t treat him like a kid. At this point, you are two adults deciding to become roommates, and things should be worked out as such.

All that pessimism about your space, your money and your free time. And then you kill it with this bit of sunny optimism:

Good luck with that.

Lightnin’, in the old days, jobs were as common as fruit on a tree, ripe for the picking.
Nowadays, things are tougher!
Getting a job today requires either a job service, or a network of friends/relatives to help you.

Is there a college/tech school near you? He may want to attend.

He may be sick of that stepfather.
Or, he may just want to spend time with you.

Don’t jump to conclusions, until he has discussed his plans with you.

I’m not too worried about him finding a job here- this is a tourism town, so there’s a lot of low-wage retail jobs. He’s also got a good amount of experience waiting tables. Towards the end of the year, I’ll probably be able to get him a job testing at my company, if he wants to do that.

He’s already planning on going to the local college- he’s already been accepted. Hey, if he doesn’t want to go, no skin off my nose; I never went to college, so I figure I’m the last person to advise him on that choice. The only thing I can do is encourage it, and make it easier for him to go if he decides to.

My mom died when I was his age, and I was pretty much out on my own as a result. It wasn’t an easy time… so I’m trying to make things a bit easier for him, whatever he wants to do.

I have to agree with WhyNot here. This is going to be closer to Oscar & Felix in NY than Andy and Opey in Mayberry. There are house rules you & he must go over…and some of the subjects have to be brutally honest. Write down what you policy is on smoking, alcohol, and drugs. Do you have an opinion on firearms in your house? Write it down. Are you putting a lock on your bedroom door for privacy? What about his? Who will have what keys?

Also, you know a household doesn’t run itself…there are chores to be split. Does one person cook and the other wash dishes? Who scrubs the toilets, tubs & floors? Will there be washers/dryers in the house? Will everyone do their own laundry? There is gong to be common household ‘stuff’ that needs to be bought & kept in supply: detergent, soap, etc. How much will he kick in…and iff he can’t kick a lot, are you setting aside some things which are only for your consumption? (liquor cabinet? Wine rack?) What are going to be normal household hours? (College kids like to stay late & sleep late…will this clash badly with your lifestyle?) Will he have/need his own room phone? He might want/need access to your cable line for internet access (wireless router?); most colleges require a computer to use. (Is he expecting to use yours? Have you password protected yours yet?)

I know I sound like a wet blanket, but these are all things that you are going to need to have an understanding on, including penalties for breaking the rules (monetary or extra household duties might be options). Believe me, I’m wishing you both well by bringing this stuff up.

Bless your heart.

I’ve read so many horrific threads from Dopers with unsupportive (even destructive) parents, it’s nice to see a dad with your attitude. I hope your son realizes how lucky he is. There will probably be some bumps, but you’ll handle them fine, I’m sure.

I hope things work out well between the two of you. It might help that you’re going to be adjusting to a new house together.

I just looked at your profile. If your son is typical of 18-year-olds, I think you’re gonna get along just fine. “Hey guys, look what my dad knows how to do!” :slight_smile:

Thanks. You gave some other great examples. I think the reason things need to be so clear is that these are all things that, had the son been living with dad all along, would have gotten worked out one by one as they came up. Since he hasn’t been living with the OP, they all need to be addressed at once.

Heh… yeah, this does have the potential to be bad. Luckily, as I said, this is a tourist town, so I don’t think he’ll have much trouble getting a job. Also, renting here is stupidly cheap, so if he does get tired of me, he won’t have any trouble finding a place to live. He loves the town, and he’s got lots of friends here- a roommate situation wouldn’t be unlikely at all.

The main thing is that by giving him the opportunity to move up here, he’s moved out of his mom’s house. I think his mom’s actually a pretty good mom, if a trifle busy… no, it’s his stepdad that I wanted him to get away from. The guy’s a real winner. I’ve got stories about the stepdad, but you probably wouldn’t believe 'em.

Also, by moving him up here, I hope I’ve made it a bit easier for him to go to college, if that’s what he decides to do.

We’ve talked a bit about what’s expected- no smoking in the house or in the yard (I’m pretty sensitive to smoke, and I really don’t like the fact that he does it, so I’m not going to make it easy for him to do so), no friends over unless he lets us know well in advance, and he’s got to help me with the lawn, the dogs, and keeping the house neat.