Saturday, August 21, 2010

Teens in my apartment when I am not at home.

Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Timeliness Politeness Nomination?
10                       10                           10            10            Yes
Comment: Very helpful and quick to answer. Supportive as well.

Questioner: Anonymous

Subject: Teens in my apt.

Question: I am a working mother with twin teens, a boy and a girl. They will be 15 in July. Their father and I are no longer married, so I have to care for them myself. My daughter is depressed, so all that goes with treating that has been exhausting, and finacially draining. I feel very old and tired. After working all day, I go home to a house full of teenagers.

I have repeatedly told my children I don't want other kids in the house when I am not home. It is usually my daughter that has everyone in. All day they eat and drink everything in the house. I go home to outrageous messes, because no one cleans up. Having only one income, I am seriously finacially strapped. I can't afford to feed all the teens in the neighborhood.

After I get home, I have to tell them all to leave, or they will stay until I go to bed. I don't mind them coming over once in a while, when I'm home, but not every day. I really hate having them there while I am at work. If anything happens I will be responsible. Issues like drinking and sex worry me. I have no privacy at all. Some of them just walk right in without knocking. I know it will sound odd, but I feel almost violated that they are going through my home when I am not there.

I am really getting overwhelmed by all of these teens. Basically, how do I keep all of these teens out of my house when I am at work? How can I get them to find somewhere else to go evenings too? I hate that my apt. is where everyone hangs out. If you have some advice, I would appreciate it.

Thank you.


Answer: Deb, First I know it is overwhelming to be a single mom and then it is more so to be a single mom with teenagers! However, the good news is they are hanging out at your house which gives you an idea of what they are doing. Second they are hanging out at your house which means they are comfortable at your house. Teenagers are making their way into a new developmental stage which means they are practicing their social skills and your daughter sounds like she is really practicing hers.

If you kick her friends out however this may add to your problem and her depression problem. However, they need boundaries. You are right to be concerned about teenagers being at your house when you are not home as there is a liability issue should they get hurt. Although you need to figure out what you do want. If they cannot be there when you are not home and you are too tired when you are home when will your twins have a social life? Only you can answer this question.

Next. As for the food issue. A simple solution is to tell them they need to bring their own food AND they need to clean up after themselves or earn some money and pay a maid service either way the mess is up to them. Put some signs up around the house which say something like your mother doesn't work here please clean up your own mess. Any of these messages can be delivered directly to your teens friends with a sense of humor and they will respond to you accordingly.

If they do not then say no friends over until you all get that you need to stop eating me out of home like a swarm of locust and leaving the remains. As for whether or not they have sex and drugs implement a no use rule. There will at no time be any sex or drugs under your roof. You didn't mention if your already suspect this behavior. If you don't then don't overreact if you do then you need to make sure you let them know who can and cannot come to your house and make it clear no drugs and sex are to be under your roof.

 Now does this mean they will not do sex and drugs somewhere else? Certainly not however they will know where you stand on the issue and your disapproval goes along way whether they let you know it or not. Hope this helps.

Remember to take care of yourself when you do have the house to yourself as you sound like you are on burn out.

M Kay Keller