It’s your house, so your rules – sort of.  But you may want to be cautious about which rules you impose. Your child is now an adult and should be treated as such.  He is a member of the family and should take on adult responsibilities. This includes helping out and taking an equal share of the load with regard to running the household.  While he is not contributing financially, he can contribute by assisting with housework, minding the younger children and making meals. His job is to study and do his best at school.

Your son is an adult and should not need a curfew, nor have to tell you with whom he is spending time. He is old enough to drink so there is a real possibility that on occasion he will come home under the influence of alcohol until he finds better balance. Young people need to learn their own limits and if you impose rules and treat him like he is in high school, he will never learn to take responsibility for his actions. Saying that, you should have house rules for everyone’s civil behaviour. If he is not coming home for dinner, he would need to give 24 hours notice so that whomever is cooking will not make too much food. He may need to know it is not acceptable to entertain guests in his bedroom, nor keep the family up late if he is making noise into the wee hours. 

Your older son needs to be respectful of his siblings and be a good role model for them.  Have a conversation with the younger children, and explain that their brother is an adult now and as such will have adult privileges and responsibilities that they may have when they too are adults.  The bottom line is that everyone in a family needs to be considerate of the others living in the home and must share the space respectfully. Having an open and adult conversation with your son is the first step to his treating the family and his home in a grown up way. 

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