Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Conditions of Residency

Mrs ERJ and I discussed the possibility of a boomerang kid on one of our recent walks. 

We decided that we would use the same Manifesto of Family Rules that was put in place four years ago.  This list evolved over time as various behaviors were demonstrated.  It is not a perfect list...different families will have different tolerance levels for various activities.  This list has the advantage of applying to the kids who are already living here.  Life is easier when everybody must abide by the same set of rules.

To:                              Our Children

From:                         Your Parents

Date:                           Now and future

Regarding:                 Conditions of residence

Rules are required for the orderly running of our household.  You benefit from these rules.  Our house is safe and there is always food in the refrigerator.  You must follow the five rules listed below if you intend to live in our house.

1.)  No illegal drugs may be brought onto our property.  That property includes our vehicles.  You may not be under the influence of illegal drugs (nor drunk on alcohol) while on our property, driving our vehicles or riding in our vehicles.  No, having your drunk friend drive our car is not an acceptable way to avoid this rule.  We refuse to be accessories in activities that can get you killed or thrown in jail. I don't mind if you drink a few beers while you are cutting the grass (assuming you are over 21).  Just replace them when you drink the last one.

2.)  You must go to school or paid work every day.  If you do not have a job you must be looking for work at least 36 hours a week.  Expect to show us evidence of your job search; resume's, job applications, interviews scheduled.  Volunteer work might be considered an acceptable substitute for paid work at our (the parent’s) discretion.

3.)  If you have been diagnosed by a doctor as having “issues” you must attend counseling at least once a week and take your prescriptions as directed by the doctor.  “Medical marijuana” is included under the illegal drugs condition.

4.)  You have a responsibility to either be in our house or to have informed us before 10:30PM with your plans for the evening. We need to know if you plan to stay out all night or if you will need a ride. Use the alarm on your cell phone.  Calling us at 2:30AM is not OK.

5.)  You will respect us.  That means you will abide by the values we demonstrated in front of you for your entire life.  That means no sex-partners in our house unless you are married to them.  That means no abusive language.  That means that you will not invite “friends” that steal things into our house.  You will pick up after yourself and do your own laundry. It also means that you will fill the gas tank of the car occasionally. 

We do not “kick kids out”.   However, we will honor your decision to live elsewhere, a decision you will announce by violating any of these rules.  Because we value a tranquil and peaceful house we (your parents) require a minimum of a week to consider any “re-entry”.  That means that you can violate a rule and it will be a minimum of a week before we will even talk about you moving back in. 

We will not have a “moving back in” discussion unless you can bring a week’s worth of evidence that you are complying with the rules listed above.  That is, the clock will reset if you call us on the phone and bitch us out.  The clock will reset if we hear that you are partying.  The clock will reset if you miss a counselling session.  The clock will reset if you skip school or blow-off days at work. 
Evidence that you are attending a 12 Step Process will be considered an acceptable substitute for weekly counseling if logistical issues prevent you from attending your regularly schedule sessions.

The significant possibility exists that a boomerang kid might be seriously bruised and battered and may not be capable of some of these conditions.  For example, we have a neighbor whose daughter was beaten by her husband to within an inch of death.  Many kinds of healing needed to happen before that woman could even think about going back to work.

Those exceptions will be dealt with if they arise.


  1. It's a pretty sad state of affairs when one HAS to even write them out, much less enforce them... sigh

  2. The insane live in the world of "should". The sane live in the world of "is".

    Everybody is different and sometimes it is the oddest things that really twist me sideways. I hate it when my kid brings some "friends" into my house and my kid does not even know all of their names. I am moderately observant. Sometimes their complexion and skin tones and sometimes it is sick/wrong. Sometimes their neural synapses seemed slow and disorganized. OK, you are bringing this person who looks like walking death into my house and you don't even know his name????

    Another event that gave me willies is when a kid entertained "a few friends" in the basement. We have a no smoking rule in the house....but it smelled like smoke/marshmallows roasting. Somehow a small, cylindrical object fell behind my reloading bench and set a magazine to smoldering. That kind of crap gives me nightmares.

    That child has since moved out and it seems highly unlikely that they will ever want to boomerang. We have too many rules.

  3. Given that the state of affairs is sad, this is a good set of rules to have written down. There's nothing like a signed agreement to confront somebody with the error of their ways. I'll remember this.