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Cutting off adult children
Old 03-16-2015, 07:14 PM   #1
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Cutting off adult children

Ok. This subject has probably been exhausted. However I just want to rant. My 22 year old daughter lives at home, pays no bills. I pay her health insurance. Paid for the 2009 car she drives. Pay for her medical prescriptions, food at home. Everything but her phone and spending. She quit college last year. Paid for that. She works 6 days a week. (One plus). She is a great gal. Won't take responsibility though. Ok... Just got a bill for her car repairs (relative is a mechanic). She REFUSES to pay half!!!!

I am done. What to do?


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Old 03-16-2015, 07:19 PM   #2
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I am not a parent, but it seems to me that you have to have The Talk with her and provide a written list of obligations for which she is responsible. Give her a month to pony up. If no response, change the locks.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:21 PM   #3
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Prose,
You're enabling her to be the entitled child she expects to be in your household. I say, cut the cord. She needs to live on her own. She has a job. Evict her.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:29 PM   #4
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My buddy did the same stuff when he was your daughter's age. His dad rented an apartment in a crappy neighborhood, made him pack, took him there, gave him $100. Said bye, your welcome to come by for Sunday dinner.

Shook him up to get his act together.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by prose3589 View Post
Ok. This subject has probably been exhausted. However I just want to rant. My 22 year old daughter lives at home, pays no bills. I pay her health insurance. Paid for the 2009 car she drives. Pay for her medical prescriptions, food at home. Everything but her phone and spending. She quit college last year. Paid for that. She works 6 days a week. (One plus). She is a great gal. Won't take responsibility though. Ok... Just got a bill for her car repairs (relative is a mechanic). She REFUSES to pay half!!!!

I am done. What to do?


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Boy does that sound familiar! DS is about to finish his 6th year in college. "Home" is a thousand miles away and an hour from the closest small town, so I don't have to worry about him coming "home". He does some really dumb things occasionally, especially concerning money so I too have said "I'm done!" more than once. He is pursuing an engineering degree in Computer Science at a major engineering school, so the potential of him eventually making some decent money is good. He and I started down the path for him to get Sallie-May loans with me co-signing to complete his degree, but they wanted almost 12% interest and I couldn't do that to him. We are set up so next year I will have him borrow from PenFed and I will secure the loan at 2.5%. That way he will be able to get a credit rating and hopefully repay the loan. If he does not repay the loan, I am out no more than if I continue to fund his college.

I don't know that my situation will help you figure out what to do with yours, but you definitely have my sympathy.

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Old 03-16-2015, 07:42 PM   #6
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I'm sorry to say but you have trained her well. Sounds like some tough love should be coming her way.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:44 PM   #7
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Prose,
You're enabling her to be the entitled child she expects to be in your household. I say, cut the cord. She needs to live on her own. She has a job. Evict her.
This.

WADR, you are as responsible for the situation as she is. She only gets away with what you let her get away with.

Time for her to grow up.
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:46 PM   #8
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I see this with many of my friends.
My friend's daughter graduated college, but couldn't find a job (but she wasn't looking to hard.) She had access to a car, with paid for insurance (health and car) and cell. After about 6 months after graduation her parents cut off all access to spending money and asked her to pony up her share of the cell phone bill. A few months later they asked for her to pay car insurance or not use the car. She got a part time job to cover these bills while still looking for her career job. Then they asked for health insurance money.... She got a real job soon after that.

There was friction and drama - but she's off the payroll. She's at home - but at least they aren't giving her more than shelter and food - she's paying the other expenses.

I get nervous about this - my kids have informed me they're never moving out. I don't think they believe me when I tell them they will WANT to move out because living at home will mean rules (curfew, chores, etc.)
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:53 PM   #9
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Ah, Prose the solutions are so easy when giving advise about a child that is not one's one! So I will! .... I was floored by her attitude about the car bill, but then I reread and noticed you did not come out and say it was HER car you bought, but a car you bought she uses....Is it possible she doesn't want to pay because she views it as your car?
Philosophically I don't feel a parent has been successful until the bird can leave the nest and fly on their own. I say this not as a criticism but reinforcement in knowing you may have to be "cruel to be kind".
Since you say she is a good girl, that means you two aren't butting heads fighting and don't mind her living there. So maybe transitioning out of the house now is not the most immediate concern. I would have a "sit down" about being an adult and with that comes responsibility. Set a timeline where she is starting to "pay her way" (rent) and assume house responsibilities if that hasn't occurred already. Maybe then escrow that rent and when she does move out give some of it back to her as downpayment on rental and deposit costs.
FWIW- Money Mag had an interesting article on your situation a few months ago...Bottom line on all people interviewed... The kids afterwards realized getting the cord cut on them was the best thing for them though at the time they sure didn't. And the parents didn't realize how much their chronic enablement deterred the kids from reaching independence.


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Old 03-16-2015, 07:55 PM   #10
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Hermit, so glad I am not alone. Mead I agree that it is time to set firm rules.

I have created and fed this monster... I am very strong and firm with everyone but my children. I recognize it but I have a difficult time changing it.

Not to make excuses, but I am amazed at how many adult children are coddled these days. My significant other has a 35 year old that still occasionally asks (demands) his help. This was not the norm for me when growing up. My parents told me to hit the door at 18.


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Old 03-16-2015, 07:57 PM   #11
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the longer you put it off, the tougher it becomes, for both of you
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:24 PM   #12
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I would pay the repairs 100%, then sell the car.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:38 PM   #13
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She has a giant plus going for her in that she works six days a week. Yay! Praise her for that as you gently snip away the apron strings. It really will be good for her in the long run to take care of herself financially.

Would you be as upset about paying for all her expenses if she were still in college? If not, maybe she doesn't realize that her status makes a difference or why.

She sounds like a good kid and I can tell you love her very much. Kids--it's hard.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:39 PM   #14
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My daughter transitioned real slowly into real life until I shut the check book . I know a few women who are in their 60's and still being enabled by their elderly parents . Don't let that happen !
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:49 PM   #15
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I am not a parent either, so my credentials are slim to none. But, given her age and your apparent positive feeling toward her, I'd lean more towards Mulligan's viewpoint.

Can you ask her to help you figure out a plan over some timeframe to work out a real solution to this situation?
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:49 PM   #16
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I was ready to leave the nest and live my own independent life as soon as I graduated college. Until then I was grateful for my parents support. Some siblings were like me and became independent as soon as they could, some hung around a lot longer, one for decades but is on his own now. Same parents.

I do understand the urge to give a push if they haven't taken flight by themselves, but I wonder if it also depends on the kid a bit too. My son was out of college for over a year and looking for work (not too hard) with not much luck until one month he suddenly wanted to be financially independent. His friends had been long gone and moved away. No idea what triggered his desire, but suddenly for him it was the right time and his job search broadened, his efforts focused and off he went. Maybe he needed that extra year and a half? Would a swift kick have moved him earlier? Probably, but would it have been as effective as finding his own motivation? I don't know. A friend gave up on her son doing it on his own and went for the tough love push. Her son isn't thriving. He's barely squeeking by in a marginal way - not sure how he supports himself, and she hardly sees him at all. I think he's basically cut her off, too. On the other hand, an uncle didn't get pushed much and he never left home, never had much of an independent life and worked only sporadically and temporarily. Never had the spark to leave the nest, although all his siblings did. There are possible bad outcomes no matter what you do.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:58 PM   #17
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Prose3589…a couple of things come to mind. First, you said you paid for the car she drives. I assume that means it is titled to you. If it is, I suggest you "gift" it to her, and change the title to her, assuming it is worth less than or equal to the yearly tax free gift amount which used to be $13,000. It might be a bit more now. That way the car is hers, titled to her and is her responsibility. Repairs from now on are on her. So is the car insurance. Unless of course you think she will turn around and sell it for the money. From your post, that doesn't sound like something you think she will do.

You said she works 6 days a week but don't mention how much money she may be making. If she can afford her own health care policy on the healthcare.gov exchange, move her off of your insurance and onto her own. You may be able to use "a qualifying event" to get her signed up since it is past the enrollment period. She has to pay the premiums - but she might get a subsidy and it may be cheaper for you anyway. Yes you can keep her on your policy until age 26 but you don't have to and these are "teachable moments" sliding by.

Regarding those suggestions, you can make it part of a sit down conversation regarding "a plan".

All of that said, only you can decide if this is reasonable considering what she makes. At the same time, let her know should she go back to college you will help her.

I'm not sure I would kick her out of the house - not enough information to suggest that and it can often cause more harm than it's worth considering she is still rather young.

Best of luck. I was lucky with my daughter and youngest stepson who both got jobs right after college and started taking over everything. Not so lucky with oldest stepson who dragged his feet getting a job so of course, he needed a lot of monetary support for like 2 plus years, (after 5 years of college, 1 year off, then back to grad school). Those 2 years came after grad school so he was like 26/27ish before his first real job.
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Old 03-16-2015, 08:58 PM   #18
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The major problem an article I read cited, that causes the issue is no definition of roles when returning from college and moving back home. If ground rules are not established the offspring quickly resumes the role of "child" and parents as the provider. There is no incentive for the kid to do anything else and the parent already has 20 years experience in "providing". My daughter will be graduating soon, but I imagine I will sidestep the issue as she is more "mommas girl". But I don't think the ex will allow "adult age mooching" to go on.


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Old 03-16-2015, 09:07 PM   #19
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My parents always told us that we'd have a home with them whenever we wanted, and i knew they'd always help my siblings and me financially if we needed it. That was a level of security and comfort that helped a lot during difficult times. But none of us ever took advantage of it, and we always supported ourselves once we graduated from school.

It's great that she's working 6 days a week, but I think it would be helpful to be clear what you'll help her with and what you won't. Also, what responsibility, if any does she have around the house? If she's going to stay there, she should be expected to do her share of the work that goes into keeping a house running. You and your spouse need to agree on what is expected, and then be firm about it.

If she were responsible and contributing to the house financially and through her work, would you be ok with her staying? Could you require her to pay something for rent and then save a portion of the amount to give her when/if she moves to her own place?
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Old 03-16-2015, 09:30 PM   #20
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We paid for everything during college but once they graduated we paid nothing. Both sons stayed here for a while and paid a "household contribution". I think it was 30% of take home pay. This covered living at home, groceries etc, but not car expenses or health insurance or phone or anything personal.

One son had a nice salaried job and paid us quite a lot. The other son is self employed with a widely variable income, so that's why we did it by a percentage of income.

They are both out on their own for many years by now. I like to think we helped them learn to save and live within a budget.

The younger son went away to college for one semester and decided to transfer. He skipped one semester and came home and worked. That's when we started the percentage of income contribution method. He went from full time student to working and living at home and paying into the household. He was only 19 so we felt this was appropriate. After skipping one semester he went to a local state university and finished in 8 semesters total. We paid everything until he finished college.

When he graduated and still lived with us he paid us a percentage again to live here. It allowed him to build up his business and budget and save.

As for the OP and what he should do.......

Establish a written agreement as to what will happen going forward. Do you want a monthly contribution? Are you willing to have her live at home if things change? If the car is hers, then she should pay for the repair. If it's your car, pay for the repair and it's the last time. Sign the car over to her and be done. Stop paying for her health insurance and medical bills. When our son was self supporting but still on our health plan he reimbursed us for the cost every month. Same for his car insurance.

Set up some boundaries so that you and she both know who pays for what. Write it down and both keep copies. If she doesn't like the arrangement, she is free to move out. Or go back to college.

At 22 and working she needs to be financially separate from you. Her bills are hers. She should be paying to live somewhere, if it's at home with you then she needs to feel the impact of that (even if you give her a really good deal because she's your kid )
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