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

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  • Emily_Rachel
    Emily_Rachel Posts: 688 Forumite
    Hello,
    I really feel for you. It is a horrible situation for you to be in, but I do get the impression that he doesn't really consider himself part of your family. He is above all that. He will not talk to you, has no intention of working, expects to fed, housed and generally looked after but does not consider that he has to do anything in return. He expects to do what he wants when he wants and nobody else matters. This is quite horrifying and he obviously has no respect anyone. And now he is saying that unless you both let him free-load now, and help him out when he goes to uni next year he will drop out, you will have to support him and it will all be your fault!

    From his point of view, he has had to do nothing around the house for 18 years, has never had to consider any one other than himself for 18 years, and is now shocked at the very idea. Why have you allowed this to happen? It really is not the money part of the equation that would worry me so much as the 'refusing to do anything around the house.'

    One way or another you all need to sit down and have a chat about why you all have this problem, and what you are going to do about it. I would also talk about just how much all the bills for a month actually cost, and explain that you love him and want to help him find his way in life. Is there an aunt or uncle or grandparent who could also be included in this chat.? Someone who he respects and is close to? He sounds like a very unhappy little boy, and the lack of respect he has for you is probably mirrored by a lack of self-respect too.

    There is no way he will survive one term at uni if he behaves like this now. I am sending you lots of positive thoughts, and hope that you can all talk and sort this out. You do him no favours if you allow things to continue as they are. XX
    I am not young enough to know everything.
  • wba31
    wba31 Posts: 2,189 Forumite
    My brother in law spent a year after school getting JSA and living at home. He had no interest in gettin a job or helping around the house, I advised my mother in law to request £20 a week board + acceptance to help with chores, or £30 a week off him. He'd soon get a job to have more disposable income.

    She didnt, and 6 years on he still lives at home and pays nothing, he's now doing a degree with no intention of getting a job as he is insured on the cars, uses his parents fuel for nothing and when his sister speaks to him to tell him how he takes their parents for granted, he doesnt see why he should have to pay/get a job.

    It's about education. The best education my mom gave me was learning the value of a pound, the respect in paying her rent, that earning money was more rewarding than living off her and my dad for free. My mom did that because i am her son, and she knew that learning that as a teenager means i can handle my finances far better now as an adult...
  • Seakay
    Seakay Posts: 4,265
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    the only thing that I'd add is to suggest you don't make empty threats or he won't take anything you say seriously.
    You've told him that you will take money out of the contribution to univesity, now you are asking if you should. This suggests to me that you have made threats of action in the past and not followed through, which could explain why your son is taking no notice of you now.
    Never tell a teenager something will happen as a consequence of their behaviour and then back down. It's like those mothers of anti social toddlers who keep saying "stop it or I'll..." but actually do nothing. Guess what, the toddler carries on kicking strangers, throwing stuff or whatever.
    You have to decide what actions you really are prepared to take (lots of suggestions on the thread already), then sit him down, tell him and implement whatever you have decided to do at once and stick to it. Bearing in mind that you'll probably be struggling in the wilderness for a while as I'm guessing that past experience will lead him to expect you to cave in or do nothing in the first place.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,544
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    MSE_Debs wrote: »
    My 18-year-old son is on a gap year before starting university.

    I'm sure he’s getting jobseekers' allowance (£56/week), though he won't discuss it.

    He refuses to pay us for bills or help around the house.

    The dilemma to me wouldn't be the future - it would be his attitude at the moment.

    Has he ever had to do his share around the house?

    When I had a spell of unemployment and was still living at home, my parents said I could keep my dole money if I took over running the house. They were both working and really enjoyed coming home and not having to do housework, washing, ironing, etc.
  • I'm 22, and I recently had a conversation with my parents asking if I could move back in to do my PGCE at home. In the end we came to the conclusion that if I choose to do this I will be expected to pay for my portion of the bills, and help out with chores such as cooking and cleaning regularly which is what I do whenever I go home anyway. I moved out to go to university in the September after I was 18 and since then I've spent at most 2 months at home at one time, and I was working as a temp then but drove my mum to the train station and so on every day.

    On the flip side the summer after I finished 6th form I spent the summer doing absolutely nothing. However my parents decided to take an interesting stance (in my opinion) they left me to it, and then when I went off to uni wished me luck and said they'd see me in a month or so (my grandfather was very sick so we'd agreed that I would go back at least once a month to see him and the rest of the family). However during this time I wasn't getting any money at all - or spending money. And I think I did do some cooking/cleaning when I was asked to.

    Try and talk to your son, he's probably not realised the difference between when he was at school and now - to him it might well seem like you're his personal slave and bottomless bank account. As someone else said pick your timing, not as he's about to do something because then he'll be distracted. And if that doesn't work start taking away things such as internet access (change the password, just unplugging the router will mean he plugs it back in), don't make him meals or buy his favourite foods.

    Good luck!
  • Primrose
    Primrose Posts: 10,619
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    I don't think you'll be helping your son if you encourage him to enter his adult years thinking the world owes him a living, with him being unable to budget and manage his finances. Assume he's getting JSA and ask for a minimum contribution, or no meals or washing done!. He's an adult now and needs to learn to behave like one.
    Remember, behind every lazy husband there's an indulgent mother, so start getting him to learn the facts of domestic life now and don't allow yourselves to be emotionally blackmailed into the fact that the might drop out of university if he can afford to budget properly He's responsible for his own behaviour an decisions now.
  • tallgirld
    tallgirld Posts: 484
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    Nahhhhh don't deduct anything. He's only 18. By the time he is 21 he will be a lot more responsible :-)
  • phonoplug
    phonoplug Posts: 23 Forumite
    If he won't help round the house or contribute to bills etc, kick him out! That should be a wake up call.

    Sounds harsh, and probably you'll not be so close for a while, but several years down the line I guarantee he'll appreciate it, even if he doesn't willingly admit it!
  • p00
    p00 Posts: 824
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    18 - he's an adult, old enough to vote, drive, drink.

    Stop treating him like a child and being scared of him 'living of you for ever'.

    I suppose you cook for him, wash, even clean his room?

    Tell him to pay his way and help out or move out. You make a rod for your own back and have no-one else to blame.
  • He sounds like a right little Monkey!
    You'd be better to 'reason' with him rather than demand or threaten.
    Even if reasoning seems to have failed, give it a while longer. His conscience may encourage him to pay his way.
    If all fails and you're still where you were kick the little scroat out!
    Too many teenagers have a sense of entitlement. A few of them struggling a bit may get the word around.
    Hard work never killed anybody.
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