Dealing with Adult Children at Home

I am under a lot of stress at my house right now. I have a son-in-law, his girlfriend and their 7 month old baby living here. They refuse to take any of my suggestions to heart in caring for the baby. It is driving me nuts and I am at my wits end. Any ideas on how to de-stress my life while they are here?

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Liz from FL

March 12, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

I agree with everyone else, you need to keep your comments about the baby to yourself. I know it's hard because you care so much. So, every time you see something you don't agree with and you are tempted to tell them what to do, turn it into a game in your head and try to think of something kind to say. It can be about anything; a butterfly you saw outside the window or how much you appreciate the way they help you in the kitchen, etc.

The other alternative is to leave the room. Go to your room and read or get some fresh air outside or take up a new hobby so you'll have a project to work on. You need to DO something every time you are tempted to correct them. I hope this helps. I ache for you. Your frustration is normal, and as Dr. Laura says, "I can't fix normal!" Good luck and God bless you! -Lee in FL

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March 11, 20090 found this helpful

I am not sure what you mean by "refuse to take any of my suggestions to heart in caring for the baby" but as long as the baby is not neglected or abused I would leave it alone. I know it is very difficult but really giving advice is all you can do since they are the parents. My best advice is to try and not get too involved in the baby's care so you do not get upset. I admire you for taking them in and I hope they appreciate you. Do take care of yourself and try not to get upset or stressed out.

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March 11, 20090 found this helpful

I think you are a wonderful person for letting them stay with you but I think on this you are gonna have to keep mum and let them live and learn! We all had to do that at sometime and unless you see something that is neglectful or harmful bite your tongue!

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March 11, 20090 found this helpful

I know it's hard to stand by and watch young parents learn to parent but maybe you can teach by example. Almost anybody would object to being told how to care for their child but we can all learn from watching a more experienced person do things. As somebody already said, unless it's very harmful or dangerous you just have to turn a blind eye....or ask them to move.

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March 11, 20090 found this helpful

You have stress because they are there. You can and should get them out with definite time limits/dates and realistic compensation for rent and living expenses while they use your home.

Second-This is your son-in-law and his girlfriend? You aren't dealing with family and can not approach them in quite as close a manner even if they are living in your home.

I hope they aren't trying to scam public assistance and save money they shouldn't be receiving (while you pay their bills) instead of working and paying their own way.

My big question is why you're taking in your son-in-law and his girlfriend??? If you lost your daughter and try to maintain a relationship with your former son-in-law; you have my deepest sympathies but having them in your home is VERY unhealthy for you. It's making you miserable and you have to stop allowing them to take advantage of you.

You might want to think about doing some foster care when they're gone because you obviously have the room and the desire to mother someone. The state would pay the bills for the children and God knows foster care could use some good moms like you.

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March 11, 20090 found this helpful

I remember being a young mother (35 years ago) and how irrelevant and ignorant I thought the previous generation was. So, I agree with your other Feedback. Try to remove yourself from the situation.

For goodness sakes, try to keep your relations with your in-laws positive. Boy, can that make problems. Let this be a time they will look back on with pleasure, not anger.

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March 12, 20090 found this helpful

I would use the following script: "Dear __, I have made the following decision. You have one week to find a new place to live and to get there." They will wail, want to know why but you don't say anything but keep chanting over and over, "Please be gone by Saturday. I will be forced to take other action if you are delinquent. I hope you find a place you like." Then go to another room. They will blow up, be mad, but you will breathe again when it's over and be surprised that they weren't as blowhard as you thought. In about a year, they will be friends again.

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March 12, 20090 found this helpful

I would write them a note then go for a walk or somewhere till they had time to cool off. Tell them just what you want them to do. Do not get up set with them, be calm,as you know our blood pressure goes up when we are up set. take care of yourself, good luck.

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March 12, 20090 found this helpful

Take the stress off yourself by understanding that this is their baby and accepting that we all do things differently. I assume they are there because you agreed for them to be there.

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March 13, 20090 found this helpful

See if you can go out for awhile and enjoy yourself for once they are older and have a baby. If they are living their because of money ok but make sure they clean up after themselves and around the house and also help pay some of the bills. Do not be a babysitter all the time make sure they asked you and if it gets crazy watch Reba at least you don't have a bj living next door (ha-ha)

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March 16, 20090 found this helpful

If you have a son in law and his girlfriend and their baby, where is it you are required to take care of them? This relationship is NOT related, give them the want ads and a deadline.

If this fails, set up a meeting with rules of the house going to be enforced--rent, helping manage the house, cleaning, bills, laundry, dishes all with out being asked to do so on a regular basis. You are not a hotel. I assume it is your house, if all else fails, put it up for sale (or make noises to such.)

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March 17, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with T&T Grandma & dh8: since none of these 3 are related to you by blood, why do you have to take care of them?! While it's kindhearted of you to take them in, I don't understand why they're your responsibility. And like dh8, I too hope they're not getting public assistance at the same time you're paying their bills. I say, give them a deadline and ask them to leave.

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March 27, 20090 found this helpful

Give them a realistic time limit to move out. Whatever you feel comfortable with. (Say a month?) It's frustrating because you genuinely want to help them but you need to put your own health and wellness first. (mental, physical, emotional etc.) Let them know you love and care for them but the living situation isn't working out. Your in YOUR home. It needs to feel like YOUR home not like your a visitor in their world. It sounds like you still really want to help them and are torn. Think of other ways you can help besides financially and putting a roof over their head. (babysitting once in a while?) Best of luck in whatever you decide.

These are hard kinds of situations to deal with. Things can be taken very personal when you live with someone even though it isn't meant that way. All I can say is be very clear the living situation isn't working out for you but don't dive into specifics. You can not change other peoples living habits. You can not change other peoples living habits and life styles. (and I will say it a third time) You can not change other people's living habits! (I am saying this as much to you as I am to myself! believe me I've tried! The more you push the more others push away even if you are helping them out! Best to skip that step.)

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April 1, 20090 found this helpful

You have received good advise. I've had my son and DIL and their 3 kids living with me for a while. I know it is hard to keep quiet but it is better for you to take a "keep out of it" approach. I wish you luck. If it gets to be too much why not take a ride to a mall or store. Get away for a while and you'll see how that helps.

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