Complete List of House Rules for 18 Year Olds | Guide for Parents


Parenting is never an easy job regardless of what age your kids are. As your children grow older, their lifestyle, career, and routine changes. You can’t parent grown children the same way you parent teenagers. And thus your parenting style has to change.

Setting a list of house rules for 18-year-olds isn’t as easy as it sounds. 18 is an age when your child starts making their own decisions and living their life the way they want to.

This certainly requires you to set different rules for them when they’re at the house. These rules aren’t necessarily strict boundaries.

Rather they present the idea that there should be standard operating procedures (SOPs) for every situation. And you as a family should have something to hold ourselves accountable to.

Why House Rules are Important for 18 Years Old

House rules are important for children of all age groups. However, their significance is higher for children in their late teens or those who just turned 18.

There are various factors that contribute to the importance of these house rules for children above 18 years of age, let’s dive in.

House rules structure environment

Having certain rules within your home will help you maintain the decorum and keep a safe environment. Imagine coming home from work, tired and exhausted.

And as soon as you enter the house, you hear loud music and smell tons of smoke your child has been around the house. How freshening that experience would be for you?

Having certain rules for the entire family, and of course especially for your 18-year-old child, will help you sustain an environment that comforts all members of the family, not just one.

House rules restrain their rebelliousness

It’s obvious for any Parent of teenagers, how they react at times. It’s proven to be the most rebellious stage for any person in their lifetime and in fact, this rebelliousness is considered normal by experts.

However, this doesn’t mean that you bear their bad attitude and out of control behavior just because they’re going through this phase.

Teenage rebellion

That’s where these house rules can be massively helpful.

Your 18 years old child will have to abide by these rules and at times when their rebellion is getting out of their head, these rules will assist in containing them there.

House rules teach life lessons

No matter what age your children are, the house rules you set contains the potential of becoming life lessons for your kids.

Especially for 18-year-olds, these tough rules can shape the source of shaping their personality for the future.

For example, just like we talked about teenage rebellion earlier, having your child follow these rules religiously, will teach them mental skills like patience. These lessons learned will be highly beneficial for your child when they’re out in society and are on their own.

In the same way, having rules to question their actions will teach your child how responsibilities should be handled and how one should hold themselves accountable to them.

Complete List of House Rules for 18-Year-Olds

We’ve looked at the importance of these house rules and how it helps families structure itself better.

Let’s now dive right into what a complete list of house rules looks like for 18 years old;

1. They should start working

The very first thing you as Parents have to do for your, 18 years old child is to put them to work. This is the age when your child is turning into an adult thus they have to be in a position to stand on their own feet.

The outcome of encouraging your child to start working from this age is not only the money they earn but also the lessons they learn.

18 years old working

These lessons include financial management, gratitude, humbleness, communication skills, self-motivating power, and much more.

This will also develop an urge, of being independent, in your child for their whole life which of course is never a bad trait to have.

2. If they live with you, they contribute

Although the average age by which American children move out of their Parent’s house is 19, the range still stretches out to 24-27 years of age in most cases. Taking that into consideration, chances are your 18 years old is living with you.

In this case, while they’re living with you, they should be made to contribute to the house. This may include anything they can possibly contribute to;

  • Buying Groceries
  • Paying Bills
  • Helping pay debt off etc.

The level to which your 18-year old covers the expenses is irrelevant here until it’s justifiable with respect to their income.

The idea isn’t to burden your child but to make sure they know how to pull their own weight financially and play their part in managing expenses together as a family.

3. They enjoy freedom under limits

At the age of 18, your child is no more ‘just a kid’. They’re practically an adult and can thus deserve some freedom even if they’re living with you. This means they can make their own decisions and live as they want in your house.

But there needs to be a balance between their choices and what you approve on your premises. For example, you won’t want your house to be turned into a bachelor’s party club where every night a bunch of teenagers comes to dance with loud music on.

Thus your 18 years old would need to set boundaries for themselves according to what you as their parents as well as the owner of the house approved.

4. They help to do the household chores

Before reaching this age, you were your child’s guardian and their entire responsibility was on you.

However, now they’re legally grown adults who’re just living with their adults for now. Thus you have to set some rules for how things will be within the house.

18 years old doing chores with Parents

For example, make sure that your child;

  • Cleans their room regularly
  • Do their laundry on their own
  • Help in the kitchen from time to time
  • Goes out to buy groceries and essentials when required
  • Assist in other things like paying bills on time etc.

In short, from now on, you have to make sure that you treat your child as an adult which certainly includes putting some responsibilities on their shoulders.

5. They inform you when going out

Just like the majority of the children, your child must have always been asking for permission when going out of the house to hang out with friends, to play a game, or whatever.

This would have changed somewhere around 16-17 years of their age when instead of asking for permission they’d just let you know.  This isn’t a problem to be serious about.

However as your child grows up to be 19, 20, 21, and so on of age, they might slowly stop bothering about informing you when they’re going out for a while.

That is where the problem starts. This small act represents a weakening connection between you and your child and could translate to worse things soon.

For example, you might think that your child went out for something for a few hours but he/she comes back home 2 days later.

Having your child inform you whenever going out (with an exception of course) will keep them connected with you on a daily basis.

6. No shouting or raising voice aggressively

Establish that there should be no shouting, screaming, or raising voice vigorously inside the house no matter what the situation is.

Let’s be honest, tantrums are for kids and your 18 years old child should know that their anger, tension, or anxiety will not be tolerated as an excuse for aggressive voice raising or shouting.

18 years old girl shouting at parents

It can be the case that as teenagers your child was out of control and didn’t behave well when angry. You as parents have to communicate it properly that they’re not kids anymore.

And since they get to make their own decisions from now on, they’ll also have to stick with the house rules that demand decent behavior.

7. No bad habits in the house

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in America 23 out of every 100 high school students smoke regularly, meaning 23% of teenagers are smokers.

Thus smoking isn’t very rare in teenagers or children around the age of 18.

As your child reaches the age of 18, turning an adult, they might have the right to smoke but they don’t have to do it inside the house. This way they’re making you and the entire family consumes that smoke passively.

The same should be the rule for Alcohol consumption since consuming any of these promotes their consumption inside the family.

8. No unnecessary demands from you

As your child is finally an adult, they should start acting like one.

It’s clear that your child at 18 years of age is probably at the start of their career and might still depend on you for some of their needs. One good example of it can be the home itself.

There’s nothing wrong with supporting your child as they grow up to be adults. However, they have to be communicated that you’re going to support the essentials and not the luxuries.

Your child shouldn’t be allowed to demand stuff they don’t need or doesn’t make any sense for you to buy for them.

For example, if they’re not able to contribute to the home financially for a month or two, that’s acceptable. However, if they’re asking you for some money to throw a party for their friends, that’s not.

9. They shouldn’t control you in decisions

Out of all the rules, this one is probably one of the hardest to convey to your child. Children often take some of their habits from teenage to adult age.

For example, it could’ve been the case that your child, when younger, was controlling over you.

That time you could have found it funny and cute since they were just kids. However, this could translate to toxic behavior if your child carries it turning 18 years older and onwards.

18 years old talking to dad

Usually, Parents are so emotionally attached to their children that they don’t notice or mind losing control. However, this could result in things getting out of hand slowly.

Thus when it comes to decision-making in the house, your children must give their suggestions and feedback but the control should be in your hands.

10. They should have a game plan

As said earlier, you allowing your 18 years old child to live with you on certain conditions should ideally be a temporary plan.

Your child turning 18 should be the time they take their career and their life overall more seriously and be certain in their plans.

Teenage child thinking of future

Thus it’s important that you as a Parent convey to your child that having a future game plan is essential.

This doesn’t mean that they should try to get out of your home as soon as possible.

Rather it means that they should constantly be in the action of analyzing their life ambitions and know the exact road-map to achieve them.


You as Parents should communicate two things to your 18 years old child very clearly;

  • They’re not a child anymore
  • You’re their family, not roommates

This message doesn’t have to be communicated harshly. You can be empathetic and loving and at the same hold them accountable.

The fact that your 18 years old isn’t a kid anymore means that they have to take care of themselves by their own.

And the fact that they shouldn’t treat you like roommates means that take their responsibilities while living with you.

Parents understand the significance of setting these rules early when their grown child makes bad decisions in the future.

This entire list of house rules for 18 year olds can be the biggest source of learning and self-discipline for your child and can easily help them develop thick skin.


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