Eighteen is the age that most states begin to recognize a child as an adult. Before that, parents have a legal responsibility to take care of their children, both finically and physically. Parents have almost absolute control over a minor (under eighteen) child. However, once a child is no longer considered a minor, and they are seen as an adult, parents lose that legal control.
While a child is legally an adult once they turn eighteen, there are many situations and circumstance that could allow a parent some control over that adult child still.
When a child turns eighteen, they may legally move out of their parents’ house, and they don’t need their parents’ approval or permission. However, it’s not uncommon for an adult to live at home with their parents while continuing school, or deciding what they want to do with their lives after high-school.
If you decide to live with your parents after you turn eighteen, you’ll need to follow their rules. However, living with your parents (at any age) opens a door of control, and allows then to continue making decisions for you.
While some parents may take this to the extreme, and continue to treat you like a minor, most will take your age into account, and loosen the rules a bit.
If you think that your parents are being too controlling, even though your still living with them, you could try talking to them about it. Proving to them that they can trust you to make your own decisions can be hard, but it might be exactly what you need to do.
If your parents continue to support you financially once you’ve turned eighteen, you may have to do what they say. Even if you’ve left home, you might still depend on your parents to pay all of your bills.
This puts you in a position where you have to follow your parents rules, or be cut off financially.
If you find yourself in a situation like this one, you could talk to your parents about your feelings. If you want to break away from your parents control, you could get a job so that you may support yourself, and then you won’t have to rely on your parents, and they would no longer have any control over your life.
If a child has a disability, and it’s been discovered and diagnosed, a parents responsibility for their child may continue past the child’s eighteenth birthday.
Many times, a person with a disability that hinders their ability to make decisions on their own, or take care of themselves, will have an appointed guardian. This could continue to be a parent, or it could be someone else. In either case, the guardian would still have legal control over the child.
If you’re in a situation that’s similar to this, and you want more freedom to make your own choices, you could try talking with your parents. They may think you need them to make decisions for you, and could even be relived to hand some of the responsibility back over to you.
At the end of the day parents just want what’s best for our children, and sometimes we feel like we know what that is better than they do. So we try to tell them what decisions to make because we hope it will lead them to a better place in their lives. Most parents don’t tell their children what to do just to be mean, and it is done with the best of intentions.
In conclusion, parents do not have any legal obligation or right to make decisions for their children once they turn eighteen. This means they really cannot legally tell you what to do after your eighteenth birthday.
However, if one of the situations listed above is true for you, they may still be able to tell you what to do because you rely on them. You don’t have to listen, but there may be repercussions if you don’t.
You cannot expect your parents to continue their obligation to you beyond when they’re legally required, without any of your obligations (like listening to them) carrying over as well.
In other words: if you don’t want your parents to have any reasons to be able to tell you what to do, then you should develop independence from them. When you’re dependent on them in any way, you’re allowing them to have a bit of control over you still.