So my parents, especially my mother, feel the need to control many aspects of my life because "I'm not responsible", which is at least partially true. Completely ignoring the fact that I'm never going to learn responsibility if they don't let up, my main gripe with them currently is that they enforce a curfew even though I'm 23. They've been doing this for years and I'm stuck with them because of my various medical issues which force me to rely on them financially. The reason they cite for enforcing a curfew is the fact that I get moody if I don't get enough sleep. That is also true but beside the point.

Currently, the internet shuts off at 10 pm and the online pathfinder group I'm in normally goes for 1-2 hours after I'm forced to leave. I've talked it out with them and they don't mind, but I do mind. In fact, until about a year ago my curfew was 8 pm the only way I could get them to extend was by citing the fact that too much sleep is also bad for me and saying the 12 hours I was getting at that point was too much. This is one of the many problems I have with them but it's the most prominent one currently.

  • 2
    Please remember comments are not the place to answer a question. There is an answer box for that. Thanks!
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 4:43
  • Are you living at home?
    – Stian
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 8:18
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    @Prometheus I am 45 - and have roughly the same restrictions :) Although it's not my parents I have to keep informed :)
    – Aleks G
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 13:37
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    I would say that what you have is a spoken contract under which you can stay under their roof, now that you're and adult and not a child. They are free to set their rules, and you are free to move. I don't think this belongs on parenting.SE, if you're looking for a way to negotiate a better terms with your parents, that would belong on Interpersonal Skills.SE. Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 13:41
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    Please remember to keep comments civil, and to their point - namely, clarifying the question, not giving advice or, well, anything else. Thanks.
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 15:50

9 Answers 9


I also had parents that enforced curfew and rules on me past the time that it would normally be expected (until I completed college), and the thing that helped most was proving that I had moved past the need for external rules. Moving past the need for rules doesn't mean "too old to be expected to obey", but "able to know what the right thing is and do it under my own motivation (and willing to take responsibility for the outcome if I choose wrong)".

It is somewhat true that the only way to learn is to have the freedom to fail, but you definitely have wiggle room to show that you can be responsible within the current situation. For example, when your parents say "you can be moody if you don't sleep enough", that could be a nice way of saying, "being around you can be unpleasant for me when you don't sleep enough".

Prove them wrong. When you are in a bad mood and tired, don't take it out on them. Deal with it in a healthy, adult way. Take a nap or a walk, do some deep breathing, go to bed early, whatever works for you. Accept that your mood is your problem and the result of your choice, and that feeling not-great is not a reason or excuse for being snappy or prickly towards others.

Easier said than done, but very much the least-conflict and most effective way forward in my experience. If taking moods out on others is standard in your family, you may actually need to do even better than your parents.

The same principle applies to any rule that you have outgrown. For example, if your parents have a set chore schedule for you and that feels too childish, take initiative to participate in household work and maintenance in a more adult way- without being asked, and when you notice something needs done.

Try your best to act as the adult you want to be, the adult others will want to be when they grow up. Not only will you prove that you don't need to be treated as a child, this is a challenge that can be highly personally satisfying and generally improve your life.

If you've done this for a while and it doesn't seem like things are changing in your favor, you at the least have good material for a calm conversation where you remind them that at this point you've clearly outgrown these rules, and examples you can point to that prove you already act more responsibly than the minimum the rules are meant to enforce.

  • Great Answer Here/ Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 11:43

I suggest that you critically examine your own question. Because if you think about it logically, it doesn't make a lot of sense.

You start with the statement(s) that you a 23 year old adult... Well yeah, so what? That means you can legally vote, buy booze, and watch porn. You seem to be implying that "adulthood" somehow confers you wit magical rights. It doesn't, in fact you have less rights and more responsibilities.

Firstly, it's your parents internet, and they can turn it off at any time they like.

Unfortunately your claim "I'm never going to learn responsibility if they don't let up" simply demonstrates your lack of maturity

The irony is that you want to claim some form of benefit from being "grown up" that you wouldn't even want, if you actually had.

And the joke of this is, that with an internet spanning the globe, you can play your RPG at any time of the day. Simply adjust your body clock, its not that hard.

I don't know what your medical conditions are, and I DO sympathise with anything that obviously renders you financially dependent. All I can suggest is that you try to make plans for the future, and think of ways to use your time productively. Maybe learn some skills, and try picking up some work via freelancer or similar.

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    "you can play your RPG at any time of the day. Simply adjust your body clock, its not that hard" - there's quite a lot wrong with that. OP plays with a group, so this is comparable to saying "make new friends to hang out with, possibly in another country". Of course it could be possible, but it's far from trivial. It may also be that OP is busy with other things most of the rest of the time, there are too many interruptions for online games or the internet's also shut off during the day. And adjusting one's internal clock is quite hard for a lot of people.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 13:14
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    While I think this is basically a good answer, And the joke of this is, that with an internet spanning the globe, you can play your RPG at any time of the day. Simply adjust your body clock, its not that hard. is infuriating to read. Parents who can't be bothered to spend 5 minutes learning the first thing about things important to their kids aren't funny. Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 14:42
  • "And the joke of this is..." followed by a blatantly ignorant statement about the querent's hobby is not what I wanted to see in an answer like this. Mistakes are mistakes, yes, but please take into account the above comments and correct this answer.
    – kviiri
    Commented Dec 14, 2020 at 14:33

Use your mobile phone data when the Internet goes off.

Leaving aside the interpersonal issues that some other answers have suggested, there's a very easy technical solution for this problem.

If you have a mobile phone with a suitable level of mobile data, you can use it as a substitute for your family's internet connection. Simply plug your phone's charging cable into one of your computer's USB ports, or activate its WiFi hotspot functionality and connect your computer to the resulting WiFi network. Either way, you'll be able to continue using your computer to access the Internet after the house's Internet connection goes down. I have done this myself, when the house's Internet connection goes down because something's gone wrong at the ISP.

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    As always with a technical solution to a social problem, this will only ease the symptom in the short term and become even worse later on. Even if this is technically viable, how long until the parents find out and take away the phone during night hours as well? Will that improve the situation? What does it say about the relationship and the OPs maturity as perceived by the parents? Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 11:45
  • Mobile data typically isn't cheap. Depending on what you actually do on the internet, this could end up being quite expensive (which could be a problem even if OP weren't financially dependent on their parents). Video uses a ton of data, voice less so, but still a substantial amount, action games tends to use a lot more data than turn-based games, some applications send a lot more data than necessary. One should approach this cautiously.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 13:25
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    Although this does solve the immediate problem (Op's need/desire to stay up later using the internet) it may be directly counter productive to the larger issue-- Op's parents see them as an irresponsible child. Sneaky circumventing of the house rules is more likely to reinforce their impression of OP's lack of maturity than help them make a healthy transition from a parent/child relationship to an 'adults respectfully cohabiting' relationship.
    – Meg
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 15:26
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    I think this is actually likely to lead to a real solution of the problem. It will simultaneously make the OP more independent (not reliant on parent's internet) and give the OP a responsibility (paying for the cell bill) which will help the OP develop skills for dealing with said responsibility...hopefully leading to the OP transferring even more responsibilities from parents to self, ultimately leading to an independent life. Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 15:44
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    A large number of my childhood friends who had "failure to launch" ultimately became functional members of society through getting annoyed with their parents and finally cutting the parental cord. It wasn't very pretty while it was happening, but I don't think they would have made it any other way. Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 15:45

because of my various medical issues which force me to rely on them financially

My main question here is whether you are purely relying on them financially. If you would be capable of fully-independent living, then that's one thing. If you are dependent on them for some elements of your personal care due to your medical issues, answers to this question would be very different!

I'm assuming that you don't have medical issues which require frequent medical/personal-care interventions from other people. Depending on your medical issues then, many employers (especially in the customer-service area; Target or places like that) will offer part-time work which may be suitable. Most countries/states also have some degree of social security benefits, especially if you have medical issues which prevent you from working. This will not give you a high income, certainly not to the level which would finance a house like your parents'. However it will give you some income, demonstrate your ability to be independent, and even potentially allow you to move out. Chances are you'll be renting a small apartment, or perhaps renting a room in a shared house. Your parents may be prepared to subsidise you a bit if they can - after all, they aren't paying for your food and electricity bills any more. We all started that way.

If there aren't medical reasons why you can't do that, then you are staying at home because you have chosen not to be independent.

If there are medical reasons why you can't do that though, then I'm afraid there are also medical reasons why your parents are limiting your independence. In that case the conversation also needs to include how your medical issues affect how much independence is practical for you.

  • Many employers are also more than willing to make (reasonable) accommodations for people with disabilities or other medical issues, allowing you to be employed on the same level as any other employee. Some may even be willing to provide full-cover insurance, if medical expenses is the problem. Although the above is probably more common for "high-skill" jobs (those typically, but not necessarily, requiring a university degree).
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 13:32
  • @NotThatGuy True. I didn't want to get bogged down with details too much though, simply to state that part-time work often is possible. And the ability to work is a good proxy for the ability to live with relative independence.
    – Graham
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 14:42
  • Often people in OP's situation are already getting disability benefits and their parents are pocketing them and insisting their adult child isn't mature enough to move out so that they can keep pocketing them... Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 14:56
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    @R..GitHubSTOPHELPINGICE That doesn't happen "often". Disability benefits really aren't handed out like candy - that's a lie put across by the right-wing press. Generally it's hard enough for people to get any benefits at all. Of course with roughly a billion people in the "developed world" it's going to happen occasionally, but to say that the number of times it happens is even statistically significant within the number of disabled people in the world is simply not backed up by evidence.
    – Graham
    Commented Feb 18, 2020 at 18:31
  • @Graham: I don't subscribe to right-wing bs. I've known people in that exact situation, perpetually prevented from moving out because parents are pocketing their disability benefits. It's a sad situation and I don't in any way mean to imply that people who need the benefits are exploiting the system; rather that their family members are exploiting them and keeping them from getting the (already very meagar) benefits they're entitled to. Commented Feb 19, 2020 at 3:54

As a purely technical solution: if you are located in the United States, find a group that is located in the Great Britain - they'll play by their local time zone, on which midnight comes earlier.


Maybe instead of expecting things all at once you should try gradually earning their trust.

Ask for something small, like each week you get 5 extra minutes, but if you get "moody" or whatever you give up those 5 minutes for a week and then try again.

Also changing your sleeping habits all at once may set you up for failure. An extra hour all of a sudden may actually cause moodiness problems, where as a gradual increase won't be as jarring.


I can totally understand what you are going through. My parents were super strict with me growing up. They tried to shelter and control as many aspects of my life for as long as I can remember, however I continued to work hard in school and my part time job to make the best of the situation. Instead of arguing with them about curfews, rules, chores etc. I instead used that energy to save up as much money as possible so that can I move out (with the intention of never moving back in) and I was able to do that by the age of 22. Now as an almost **cough cough 30 year old with an infant daughter,I can totally understand that my parents just wanted me to be safe and focus more on my education.

If moving out isn't in your near future, figure out a strategy to gain their trust. Slowly start taking more initiative and responsibility to show that you're an adult.. for example the biggest game changer for me was getting a job in addition to being in school full-time. I am not sure about the medical issues you have, so maybe do some research to see if there are some remote part-time positions that you can balance and of course are safe for you to fulfill.

Best of luck!


Consider yourself well off. They are putting rules because they care. You are actually well off here, I know of others with curfews and rules that may seem for children but they are just house rules. Meg and Floyd gave good answers at the top and if you live at some hostels or organisations like the army you have more strict rules. Behave as an adult and treat them as you would like to be treated and you may very well benefit from better circumstances.


While you live with your parents you adhere to their rules. Think of it from their point of view. They committed to looking after your every whim until you were 18 and could look after yourself but they're still doing it 5 years later. If you're immature enough (and I don't mean that in a bad way) that you still haven't worked out how to handle yourself when you've not had a good nights sleep, or indeed how to get a good nights sleep because you know you'll be moody, then I don't think you need question why your parents put limitations on you. I'm severely physically disabled, and autistic. I've run a home and had a family since I was 17 years old. I'm not saying I'm better than you, we are equal, just that you need to realise that unless you're severely mentally impaired, you're responsible for your own life once you reach adulthood. You should be paying for your own house and your own internet and your own finances. Because you can't do just now, and your parents have been kind enough to continue doing so for you, then you need to realise that you're not going to get to just live the life of riley scott free in their home, giving them attitude because you can't be grown up enough to go to bed at the right time.

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