Got to pick your battles ...... But WWYD?

(111 Posts)
Petal02 Sat 06-Apr-13 18:08:08

DSS, who is 18 1/2, is taking his driving test next month. DH has been happy to agree that once he's got his licence (he already has a car) that we can finally discontinue with the access rota, as DSS will be able to transport himself to/from our house as and when he wishes. I was delighted, I've lived by a rota for far too long, and the thought of normality is wonderful.

However DH said something strange last night; that he wants DSS to have a key so that he can come over whether we're in or not. This niggled me slightly, I'd expected DSS would visit us when we're home, I've never got my head round all this "in absentia" visiting, I don't see the point. But my main, overriding concern is that DSS has a terrible track record when it comes to switching things off, closing windows, locking doors and is completely incapable of sorting out pets (would you shut a dog in the lounge when you go out?) and can't master our very simple burglar alarm. The thought of him letting himself into our empty house, and then leaving without locking up, or with the gas hob still lit, or the French windows still open ....... Well it's scary.

I appreciate its normal to be home alone at the house you live in, but I'm uncomfortable, essentially on fire/flood/security grounds, of having him hang out at ours when we're out.

So you have to pick your battles, so I'm proposing to suggest the following to DH: I accept I might have to give in gracefully regards DSS having a key, he's 18 and it is indeed his fathers house. But I want DH to have a proper conversation, not a Disney joke, about taking care of our home, and if we have any problems, that the privilege of a key is rescinded (assuming the house hasn't burnt down).

In return for this, I request that if we're going on holiday or away for the weekend etc, that we don't leave DSS to secure the house (I couldn't relax on a beach wondering if DSS had left the bath taps running) and that he doesn't visit our empty house while we're away, as there's no point. Does that sound reasonable?

I really don't want a huge row with DH over this, I know he wants DSS to feel welcome, but this needs to be balanced with the need to protect our home, and my peace of mind. And (I shan't say this to DH) I understand why you need key for the house you live in, but don't think it's mandatory for any other houses. Not when the 'child' in question has been repeatedly irresponsible with basic household procedures.

Can I reiterate I'm not suggesting we reduce visits, just that they take place when we're in, and that he doesn't cause damage to our home.

allnewtaketwo Sat 06-Apr-13 19:41:08

At what point though does your parents house stop being your home? At 18, 20, 30, 45, never? I don't consider my parents house to be my home. I would never just come and go as I please. And I would never feel a need or right to be here when they were away, exceptional circumstances excluded. There is no need at all for me to have a key.

Op, I don't intend for my eldest DSS to have a key at any point. If he wants to behave and be treated as a young child then that has consequences. Equally i can't see him ever having a need to access the house when we're out. I simply wouldn't trust him with the alarm code for example.

bamboozled Sat 06-Apr-13 19:45:24

Me and my sis, yes, my brothers - useless oafs, not really. One bro overflowed the bath there last year - he had jogged round and thought he'd have a bath before he went home, yes my parents were hacked off, but its only material stuff, no one died. My Dad says he is so lucky,(his words, not mine) that all his children pop round really regularly and feel so at home, unlike their friends who get a phone call once a week.
But no one can dictate how another family behaves, so you have o make your own blueprint - but back to my original post - I would be gutted if my DH didnt want OUR (but by blood only mine) girls to be able to have a key to our home.

DeskPlanner Sat 06-Apr-13 20:34:17

I know this isn't AIBU, but you are NBU.

DeskPlanner Sat 06-Apr-13 20:37:40

I have a key to my parents house, but I would never let myself in and hang out.

formerdiva Sat 06-Apr-13 20:49:15

What Freddie said.

allnewtaketwo Sat 06-Apr-13 20:54:39

But to Freddie's point. So if you jointly own something, it's ok to take it upon yourself to share that with someone else even if the other joint owner disagrees, particularly upon grounds of safety/security? Would that apply also to a jointly owned car etc?

It should be his HOME.

That's what makes it different. In my opinion.

allnewtaketwo Sat 06-Apr-13 20:59:53

Why is it his home though? As an adult I have never considered my parents house my home. When does it stop being his home exactly?

Petal02 Sat 06-Apr-13 21:02:14

I'd be interested to hear opinions if we altered this scenario a little: supposing I said to my mum that she could let herself into our house, anytime she wanted ...... DH would definitely get the sympathy vote! Mum's got a key to my house, but she would NEVER just let herself in to 'hang out'. There's no need!

He's been coming to the house on an access Rota for years. He hasn't moved out of his mums has he? He's not living independently of either parent.
It should always have been his home. Seems like he has always been a visitor.

Petal02 Sat 06-Apr-13 21:04:12

Allnew makes a good point. And as DSS has never lived at our house, or considered it his home, I don't see why he now needs 24/7 access to the premises.

allnewtaketwo Sat 06-Apr-13 21:04:28

So what if he lives at mums house until he's 45. Will dads house still have to also be his "home" because he hasn't moved out of mums house?

Can you not see the difference? He's barely an adult. My mum has a key. She would never let herself in. My 23 year old son has a key. This is his home. He can let himself in any time.

And he lives away at uni. And this is still his home. As is his dads. And he has keys and come and go from either as he chooses

allnewtaketwo Sat 06-Apr-13 21:05:56

BIL lived with his dad until he was 36. I'm pretty sure neither he nor his mother considered him still to have a home at her house until that time

formerdiva Sat 06-Apr-13 21:09:02

Ah - is it one of those posts where you ask for opinions and that get irritated if someone disagrees with you? Looks like you very definitely view your DSS as a teenage visitor rather than an extension of your family.

He's not 36. He's barely an adult.

I feel sad for him. I couldn't do it to one of mine.

allnewtaketwo Sat 06-Apr-13 21:09:40

No I can't see the difference. Why does he suddenly need a key now he's an adult, when there's never been any call to have one. It's not like some rite of passage into adulthood. He doesn't live there and indeed has stoically insisted on visiting only for very strict access visits. He himself clearly doesn't see it as a home either. Suddenly adorning him with a key wont change any of that. What on earth is the point?

Then we shall have to agree to disagree.

Incidentally, because they do an activity within walking distance of my parents house all my boys have keys to their house. And my mother has had hordes of random young men turn up to use the showers and get fed.

I also believe (they certainly used to) that at least the 2 oldest have a key each for their other granny's house as well.

bamboozled Sat 06-Apr-13 21:26:39

Allnew - where did you read 'stoically insisted on visiting only for very strict access visits' or are you reading more into this?
Petal do you have other children?

allnewtaketwo Sat 06-Apr-13 21:28:27

In the OPs other posts bamboozled

Petal02 Sat 06-Apr-13 21:37:32

Freddie - you say 2 of your children have keys to their gran's house, but would they let themselves into her house when she's out, just to hang out??

And someone just asked if I have other children. No, I don't have other children.

bamboozled Sat 06-Apr-13 21:40:59

Wow, why did you even bother to post this - have just l

Three do to my parents. Yes they would and they have. Without asking first. They have taken friends there too. The only thing mother and father have ever complained about is lack of hot water when they all shower. And there was a ticking off about replacing grandpas beer and not emptying the fridge, and they haven't done it since.

Two definitely used to have keys to their other granny's house. I assume they still do. And they certainly used to just go there.

It wasn't ever a problem.

bamboozled Sat 06-Apr-13 21:43:40

Looked at your other posts as realised from Allnew that youhad obviously been posting before about your relationship with your step children ,
The comment that you don't view stepchildren as visitors, more like intruders pretty much sums it up -
Am stepping away quietly now as this is a thread I don't want to be part of.

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