The mom said that she made the decision because the kids are on two different paths of life.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 23, 2021. It has since been updated.
Some parents ask adult kids to pay rent as a way to teach them the responsibilities of living on their own before they actually do. But one mom was put under the spotlight for charging only one of her two kids. The mom sought out advice on the popular mom blog Mumsnet. She asked if she was being unreasonable for her decision to charge her daughter rent, but not her son. The reason behind the decision was that the two were on two different paths of life. Her post was titled titled “One at uni, one at work…”
The mom wondered if her choices for her 17-year-old daughter (whom she refers to as DD) and 18-year-old son (DS) would cause resentment. She explained that her daughter was undertaking a full-time apprenticeship course. Mom decided to charge her fairly independent daughter “rent/keep/petrol equivalent to 25% of her take home.” As for her son, he has decided to accept university offers and start a degree there. He recently broke up with his long-term girlfriend, as well. So the mom has decided to not charge her son. Now, the mother is "conflicted." She said that "we will be in a position of taking money from [daughter] and sending money to [son]. Which has totally changed the dynamic. I’m really conscious of causing resentment from [daughter] who already suffers a bit with middle child syndrome and jealousy." The mom went to ask for some advice on what to do: If you’ve been in this situation what did you do? I want DD to contribute for lots of reasons, none of which go away just because DS now needs three more years of support.
Some people were shocked at how much she was charging her daughter. One person wrote: I’m blown away you’re charging when she’s on £12k a year! Another added: 25% seems harsh. I don't know how I'd feel if I was in her shoes. I'd expect DS to get a job and pay his own rent for a start. Another user criticized: An apprenticeship wage at that age is very very low and I’d consider her still in a form of education. I think funding one at uni whilst taking money off a low wage apprentice is pretty shit frankly. Does she plan on saving the daughter's money? The mom said that "ideally we’ll save it for her but I don’t want to let on that I am. So there’s every chance she’s going to get pissy at some point that she’s paying and he’s not. I might be overthinking. There was a lot of inequality between me and my siblings (house deposits, first cars etc, I had none of those) and I’m a bit over sensitive to it." A few people also agreed that it was unfair to the kids that the mom was choosing to help one over the other. One person suggested, "Perhaps your DS should get a job and pay some of the shortfall himself, or go to a cheaper university." However, the mom did find some supporters with one siding with the mom saying: I would look at it no different to one working at the other not. If a child is earning money and has disposable income, it is only fair they pay rent. If the other is still in education, then they don't. If they both had the same opportunities to go to university, I don't think you are being unfair
What do you'll think?