Real-life MMD: Should we deduct rent from future uni contribution?

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  • I agree with all previous comments and have had 2 of my 3 spend some of their gap year at home (earning to travel). The boy has to DO something! If he thinks a gap year is a year to loaf around he's either very lazy, immature or depressed. Whichever, Parents, you've got to help him see the light! Assuming it's not depression, then he has to contribute in some way; if paid employment is hard to come by where you live he can at least do some work in a charity shop AND cook supper for the household a couple of nights a week. Both will teach him some useful skills; cooking and a work ethic for a start. You have to make him responsible for some aspect of the household running that affects you all. WHY is he taking a gap year? What did he hope to gain from it? Did he just want a breather from education? Fair enough if he does but he's an adult not in education and therefore needs to be prepared to be self supporting. Be firm, don't mollycoddle him, don't ASK him, TELL him what he has to do if he wants to continue to live at home. Good Luck!
  • browny5678
    browny5678 Posts: 13
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    On the one hand, the fact that he isn't bringing in a great deal of money then it would be difficult to pay the going rate for rent. However, his attitude sounds disgraceful, and it seems like you should take steps to correct this ASAP!

    I was very lucky that my parents provided for me while at university, and I wasn't expected to contribute towards bills while home for holidays. My parents made it clear from the start that if I were to drop out of uni, or live at home once I had finished, that I would have to pay £300 in rent. This felt unfair at the time as I didn't want to pay to live somewhere where I felt I didn't get any freedom. So when I left university and got a job I chose to move out. 5 years on I totally understand where they were coming from, and that it was a fair deal, as you shouldn't rely on getting a free ride from your parents forever.


    It sounds like your son should also be given a choice, to either live at home while contributing to the household, be that financially or by doing a decent share of the housework if he isn't earning much, or, if this doesn't suit him he can move out and learn that you can't get where you want to be in life by sitting on your bottom and refusing to do anything!

    Also, the point re UCAS is definitely valid. If your son does not yet have a place, or decides to get a job instead, the gap in the CV will not help him!
  • oldtrout
    oldtrout Posts: 129
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    You need to deal with it now, rather than pushing the consequences into a distant and hypothetical future.

    Agree. Deal with the present situation. Forget next year for now ... he might decide not to go to University anyway!

    No matter how hard it might be, and how much you dislike it, you really do need to be cruel to be kind at this stage in his life. No doubt you'll get some flack from him, but keep your cool, stay calm but be firm, and don't lose your temper with him!

    If he won't talk with you about it, slowly withdraw his 'luxuries' as others have suggested. When he questions this, ask him again to sit and chat. Hopefully, he'll get the message.

    I do think it's more difficult for young adults to make decisions these days, and quite often, 18 yr olds who still live at home are slightly less mature than those who have already left home.
  • joannie
    joannie Posts: 45 Forumite
    Sounds like he neds a short sharp lesson in money. Not only should he be paying something, he should be helping around the house. Better to teach him now.:T
  • Put an ad in the paper! 18-year-old available for odd jobs... He'll soon learn to pull his weight.

    Alternatively, if he doesn't pay, he doesn't get. Take the fuse out for electric in his room, cut the internet connection, don't provide him with an evening meal and when he tries to help himself, stop him as he hasn't contributed.
  • Fluff15
    Fluff15 Posts: 1,440 Forumite
    Try and clear the air with him, you don't want things to be uncomfortable at home, but his current attitude is going to just land him in deeper waters when he actually attempts to go out in the world without support. He is acting very selfish, and it seems he's taking you and your husband for granted.

    If he still refuses, like others have said you should refuse all his privileges. This includes washing for him, cooking and feeding him, giving him lifts etc - all things he would have to do for himself if he was at university anyway. Force him to earn his keep. He wants to go into the adult world at university, so force him to act like an adult. After all, a gap year is about gaining experience!

    I've just left university, and in between me leaving and finding my own place, I paid my Mum £300 for rent and bills, plus contributed to the food shopping. This was because my Mum brought me up with the attitude of 'you want something, work for it' and I can't fault her for that. If in a few months your son still refuses to contribute, then you can think about reducing your contribution at university, or removing it altogether. Plenty of students do it by themselves, why should he be any different? He should be grateful to have such loving and generous parents. Good luck!
  • Androcles
    Androcles Posts: 77 Forumite
    As others have said, if he is not working at something specific and is (probably) collecting Job Seekers, then he is NOT on a gap year, he's skiving.

    In this case he needs to be taught a very rapid lesson about there being no free lunches, so don't do or provide anything for him. Those of us who left home at 18 to work had to provide a roof over our heads, our own food, cook it, and do our own washing and cleaning, or pay for it to be done if you were in digs. Explain to him that this is how it will be when he leaves home so he might as well start learning to do it now!

    Time for a bit of tough love!
  • Oh dear.

    Unfortunately you've brought this upon yourselves.

    At 18 I wouldn't have dreamed of not contributing or helping around the house. I was paying towards my keep from the age of 16, not because I was asked to, but because I was brought up to respect my parents.

    If he's telling you he won't help and won't contribute, its because he's calling the shots, not you. You need to reason with him, tell him you love him and will always feed him and put a roof over his head, but you cant afford to 'keep' him.

    Any luxuries/allowances above food and shelter need to go, and he needs to be self sufficient.
  • scotsbob
    scotsbob Posts: 4,632 Forumite
    This is family.

    When you are a little older and he no longer lives with you, you will wish he did.

    Why worry over a few pounds a week from a teenager.
  • thebigbosh
    thebigbosh Posts: 298
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    Treat him as an adult: sit down and have a serious conversation about your, and his, finances. Get him involved in your household financial planning, and encourage him to do his own.
    School is important, but Rugby is importanter.
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