September 24, 2021
A father laid down some ground rules for his son when he returned home after graduating from college. According to him, his 23-year-old son refused to act like a responsible adult and freeloaded off of his parents.
Parents have their own ways of making things work in the house, and oftentimes, their principles and orders are taken lightly by children. Fathers particularly have a reputation that precedes them and are considered stern and rigid in their policies.
Something similar unfolded with a Redditor, ChrisThrow367, who got tired of his son's careless attitude. His college graduate son, Chris, decided to move back in all of a sudden because he was unable to pay for rent. Earlier, he had been living away from his parents.
He initially told his parents that he would stay with them temporarily but hasn't moved out for 4 months. The father shared that he had no issues with having his son around but was tired of his childish behavior and lack of responsibility. He also added:
"He adds to our expenses and hasn't started working and doesn't help in any capacity, In other words he's become a burden."
The Redditor then discussed the matter with his wife, citing Chris' laziness and hoping she would support him in giving their son the push he required to assume responsibility as a grown-up. To his dismay, his wife thought he wanted them to kick out their son.
When nothing worked, the father decided to take matters into his own hands and asked Chris about his plans for finding a job or helping with house chores. In the meantime, he also set out some ground rules for him to follow.
In addition to positive reinforcement, parents should lead by example, and engage in healthy communication with their kids.
Some of the ground rules included performing everyday tasks on his own, including laundry and dishwashing, no complaining about lunch or dinner, and no Netflix subscriptions or YouTube live streams unless he could afford them on his own.
As was expected, Chris criticized his father for setting unreasonable rules that he thought were meant for a child, which he wasn't. He stormed out and told everything to his mother, who immediately came to her son's defense.
The family drama that followed spiraled out of control. All the father wanted was for his son to realize his role as an adult, but his wife accused him of being unfair and said that his behavior could result in their son moving out.
The father, who is the sole breadwinner of his family, also has a younger daughter, and he doesn't want Chris' careless behavior to adversely impact her personality. However, he failed to get his point across to both his son and his wife.
Redditor ChrisThrow367's post in the AITA section on Reddit has received a large number of comments from fellow Redditors. Many people rallied in his support, saying that if his son claims to be an adult, then he should at least act like one. One user said:
"He’s 23, he’s well old enough to be expected to clean up after himself and be appreciative of the food he’s given for free (sic)."
Bored Panda also shared the father's story, citing golden bits of advice from Relationship Coach Alex. According to Alex, parents should openly discuss what they expect from their children, especially when they reach adulthood.
Moreover, whenever an adult child decides to live with his parents, they should be clear about the boundaries, expectations, and concerns that are likely to arise. In Chris' case, there was no balance between his independence and his family's support for him.
Alex also suggests that parents should reward children for their positive behavior. In addition to positive reinforcement, parents should lead by example and engage in healthy and open communication with their kids, especially in the wake of the pandemic.