Step-Father Demands 8-Year-Old Pay Rent

Gillian Sisley

Should children have to work for their room and board?

Divorce is mentally and psychologically taxing on everyone involved, but it can get especially tricky when children are in the equation. About ⅓ of divorced couples share children, making the split of the family even more traumatic.

And for the children who must now adapt to their entire world changing around, it can be tough to see their parents start dating again, and in some cases get remarried. Nearly 80% of people will remarry after getting divorced.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a step-father decides he wants to teach his stepchild money management skills, but the child’s mother is not on board with his extreme plan.

Should children have to work for their room and board?

A Reddit post published on August 10, reported on by Ashley Gale from Newsweek, has gone viral with 7,200 upvotes and 3,400 comments.

The author begins his post by explaining that he has an 8-year-old stepson, and his stepchild receives a weekly allowance. In order to receive this allowance, he must clean his room, help with dishes, and assist in keeping the house tidy.

The child is given $25 per week if he adequately fulfills these chores each month, adding up to a whopping $100 per month, which is a pretty penny for an 8-year-old boy.

With that said, the step-dad wants to help teach his step-son some money management and financial literacy skills. While these are great things to encourage and pass along, he has chosen to go about teaching these skills in a rather surprising way.

Blended families can be difficult to navigate.

16% of families in the US consist of blended families, meaning that they are made up of stepparents, stepsiblings, adopted children, and chosen family. This isn’t always a straightforward setup.

The author’s stepson receives $100 per month in allowance, and the author wants to charge him $20 per month in living expenses, leaving the child with $80 per month. While he thinks this is a great idea, his wife—and the mother of the child—feels her son is too young, and that it would be cruel to take his allowance from him.

To take it a step further, the step-dad wants to apply a ‘consequence’ in case the child cannot ‘pay his rent’, but hasn’t thought of any appropriate punishment quite yet.

What do you think? Is the author justified in wanting to charge his step-child rent to teach him money management skills? Or is it absolutely backward that he wants to take an 8-year-old’s allowance money as a form of rent, and that won’t really teach him anything?

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