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Question: I'm struggling with how to handle my 18 year old daughter in regards to chores and rules. I feel like I'm just floundering. My plan was for her to have additional chores once she turned 18 unless she was working full time, going to college full time or some of both. She said she would rather pay rent than have additional chores, so that's what she has been doing. She had a very part time job until the owner decided to go out of business. She's taking her college classes online, and usually spends an hour or so a day doing that. Some days she doesn't do any school. She does go to daily Mass when it's offered; she teaches CCD on Mondays, says the rosary at church on Tuesdays, and goes to Bible study and choir practice on Wednesdays. I feel blessed to have a young adult who's involved with the church, but a lot of her free time is spent on the computer. Should she have to follow the same rules as her siblings since she pays rent? They're not allowed to watch TV or get on the computer, for the most part, until school and chores are done. Also, when they skip a chore, the next day they have extra chores. I get very frustrated when she's on the computer, and I'm overwhelmed I have so much to do. I try to remind myself that she pays rent, so she's like a guest, but then I think, she's still under my roof, so she should have to follow our rules. For years I've tried to teach my kids that you do your work first, then you can play. Should I allow her to wait until 9pm to do her chores? I don't know where to draw the lines for any of this since this is all new for me. I don't want to be too controlling. I realize she's old enough to make her own decisions. I just know I want to do what's right and best for her. I'd appreciate any advice and suggestions you give.

Dear Mom,

It reads as if your daughter is a lovely person who is striving to be holy and to do what is right. She certainly makes the effort to seek spiritual renewal and growth. This is a wonderful blessing.

You asked for my opinion so I feel humble in your trust and desire to know how I would handle the situation. I would not have my 18 year old pay rent. In my mind and for our family that would send the opposite message of what it means to be a family. I would require that my 18 year old do all the chores etc. that would be expected of her because she is living at home and is still a very important part of our family. We depend on our older children and take comfort in their help and support. However your daughter does need her space and her time to do her school work etc. but that is the only consideration that I would venture. Your daughter will never be your 'guest' no matter how much rent she pays or how old she is and still living at home. She is your daughter and is therefore not a guest in the family but a member of the team. Have your daughter get another job and have her save all her money for college or a car. That says more about your desire to let her be independent than paying you rent.

I admire you very much and sense in you a woman of strength. You are working to handle a situation in such a way as to keep the peace and to provide a certain amount of independence to your grown daughter. This is a difficult walk to be sure. Keep up the good work that the Lord has begun in you and He will empower you and inspire to go forward into doable solutions that are fair and right.

Let us pray this afternoon for all those young people who have run away from home due to situations that were unholy or unsafe. Lord we ask that they find shelter and guidance and that they are able to rest in safety and holiness as they struggle to mature under adverse conditions. Amen.

Sending out a prayer,

 Rita Munn

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