Daughter on parents: "They're making me pay for my room after high school; it's been mine since I was little"

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Growing up in your parents' home will help you learn more about life without having to face major issues until later on. Still, sometimes it can also stop you from understanding how much it matters to be able to look out for yourself and earn enough money.

What happens when kids finish high school with no plans for further studies and still expect their parents to provide everything for them?

Is it ok to let them go on like before, or is it more useful to make them face life and find a solution to pay for the things they need?

My friend Carrie has been married to her husband Charles for 22 years. They had three sons and one daughter, and she's been a full-time mom for many years with no regrets.

"I didn't have to think twice when I had to make a choice between my family and the career I had. Of course, I wanted to be with the kids, look after them, and teach them all they needed to succeed. I wouldn't have been happy knowing they had a babysitter because their grandparents were older and couldn't come every day," Carrie said.

The mom did her best to instill useful principles while her kids grew up. She didn't want to create any preferences, and all her kids did the same chores and helped with everything that needed to get done around the house.

"I certainly wanted to avoid my sons believing their sister had to be the only one cooking or dusting shelves. They did all she did, and no one felt less. We didn't make them work as teens, though," the mom added.

And that turned out to be a major issue as far as her daughter Ava was concerned.

The couple's sons all graduated from high school and went to college, but Ava was undecided about her future. And she thought it would be ok to keep on living with her mom and dad until she figured things out for her future.

Her mom didn't feel the same way, though.

"We gave her everything when she was little, hoping she would realize how much work it takes to pay for the things she likes. But when I saw her expecting things to go on like always, even though she was out of high school, I knew it was time for a change," the mom said.

Her parents told Ava she could still live with them but would need to find a job and pay rent for her room. She would also have to contribute to the bills for the rest of the house and still help with cleaning, cooking, and other chores.

"We did it for her own good. We have to teach her to be responsible so she can learn the value of money and that she has to work for everything she wants," Carrie said.

Ava's dad agreed to this idea, and together they thought of the right amount to charge their daughter monthly. They are firm about it, so their daughter doesn't waste any more time looking for a job.

Ava, however, is confused by the way things are going. She feels she shouldn't be treated like a tenant in her family's home.

"They're making me pay for my room after high school; it's been mine since I was little. Why would I pay for it now? It's the same room, and I will go on to study some more. What does it matter if I get a break for a few months? I had good grades in high school; no one seems to remember that now," she said.

She's tried to explain to her parents that she's not being lazy but just needs some time off from everything, but they haven't changed their minds. Instead, her mom gave her a date by which she needed to start paying her rent.

How do you think this should be handled? Is it fair for the parents to ask their daughter to pay rent because she's 18 already and has to work to pay for her things? Should they let her relax for a while until she makes up her mind about her college plans?

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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