Why You Should Not Charge Adult Children Rent

Smart Money Debate Red

Welcome to the 8th Smart Money Debate at ReadyForZero! To see the other side of this debate, read Jana’s post: Why You Should Charge Adult Children Rent. And then let us know which argument was more convincing!

This post was written by Melissa, a freelance writer who writes about both personal finance and organic living. She blogs at Mom’s Plans, where she shares her financial adventures and love of food despite many food intolerances.

Why You Should Not Charge Adult Children RentWith today’s economy, more and more kids are returning to the nest after college, or, in some cases, never leaving. They are called boomerang kids, and their numbers are growing.  According to the Pew Research Center, “Among 18- to 24-year olds more than half (53%) live at home or moved in for a time during the past few years.”

Even more surprising, adult children moving in with their parents seem to transcend socio-economic boundaries. “Parents with annual household incomes of $100,000 or more are just as likely as those with incomes under $30,000 to say their adult child has moved back home because of economic conditions.”

The knotty issues that may come up include what responsibilities these grown kids should have at home as well as if they should have a curfew or call if they are going to be out late. Another potentially difficult issue is if these grown children should pay rent.

Why People Argue You Should Charge Rent

Opponents argue that grown children who move back in should pay some form of rent. These parents often don’t charge their kids as much as they would pay in rent if they lived on their own, but they do make them pay something. My own mom was like this when I moved in for two years between undergraduate and graduate school, and I didn’t mind paying the $200 in rent she charged because I knew her money was tight, and I knew I couldn’t live somewhere else that cheaply.

However, in many cases, not charging grown kids rent may be the better decision.

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Why It Is Better Not to Charge Rent

…unless you are being take advantage of (obviously). I can hear opponents argue that by not charging your children rent you are spoiling them and teaching them that they are entitled to a free ride – that you are not teaching them responsibility.

Well, if it so happens that your son or daughter is going out every night and wasting his or her money on dinners out and outings with friends, then yes, I would agree that he or she can afford to pay rent.

However, most adult children are forced to live at home because of challenging financial circumstances. By now everyone should realize that the U.S. economy has not been particularly kind to recent college and high school graduates who are looking for work, and many of these young adults are living at home to avoid going into debt (or adding to their existing debt).

These are the people I’m referring to – the ones who move back home because of a legitimate financial need. CNNMoney states that people between the ages of 20 and 24 currently face an unemployment rate of 15%.

And even those who are employed are often underemployed.

I moved back home 15 years ago after the only job I could find with my English degree was a secretarial job at a janitorial supply company making $16,000 a year. Meanwhile, I had $20,000 in student loans to pay off. While I don’t fault my mom for having me pay $200 for rent, my money was extremely tight.

Had I instead been able to use that money to pay down my student loans or save for graduate school, I would have been in a much better financial position when I did go on to graduate school two years later. Instead, I just scraped by the entire time I was home, and when I went to graduate school, I had to take out another $10,000 in student loan debt.

Set Boundaries for the Perfect Situation

If you still want to charge your adult child rent if he has a legitimate financial need to move back home, consider a kinder way to do so. I see two good solutions.

First, don’t charge him rent when he first moves in. Perhaps give him 6 to 12 months rent free so he can get on his feet and find a good job. After 12 months, he will need to pay rent.  Set the amount before he even moves in. After 24 months, maybe he will have a significant rent increase. Rather than limiting his progress by charging him rent in the beginning when he is struggling the most, you set clear expectations, and he can ideally pay some money to you after a year when his finances are better.

Another alternative is to charge rent from the beginning and set it aside without your child knowing. I lived with my mom for 2.5 years. At $200 a month, that is $6,000 I paid her. If she had set that money aside and given it to me before I went to grad school, I could have saved myself an additional $6,000 in student loans (if you need help paying off debt, don’t forget to try out ReadyForZero). Some parents like to set the money aside so when their children move, they have the money for their rental deposit.

Choosing to charge your adult child rent is a personal decision, and you have to do what is best for your family. However, if my kids move back home after college and need financial help because of underemployment or unemployment, I am certain that I will not charge them rent.

What about you? Share your opinion in the comments below.

To see the other side of this debate, read Jana’s post: Why You Should Charge Adult Children Rent. And then let us know which argument was more convincing!

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  • I understand your point. If an adult moves in with their parents because they are struggling financially and the parents are in a position to help them out, then why not. In many cultures, adult children live with their parents and grandparents forever anyways.

    But on the flipside I know a young CDN man that is 29, making a very nice income, and lives at home with mommy, rent free because he is too lazy to move out on his own. His brothers have their own lives, but he doesn’t.

    • Good point! It really depends on the circumstances, doesn’t it.

      • sally

        Charge the little brats rent and have them pay for their own groceries, toothpaste, etc. When are we as enablers ever going to learn we are not helping them by enabling them. They can get part time jobs if they really want to. I am experienced in this adult child entitlement thing.

  • Melissa

    TacklingOurDebt–In that case, I definitely say charge rent. No sense in the parents being taken advantage of.

    • TheJerk

      Thank you, no free rides!

  • Thanks for asking for a balanced perspective. I know a friend who lived at home rent free and saved like a fiend. He was working 60-80 hour weeks, leaving him basically no time to breathe! After a year and a half he had 100K in the bank to put down on a house. That definitely wouldn’t have been possible without the support from his parents. Another friend was living at home and struck a deal with his parents that the rent money he was paying would be set aside for post-secondary for his younger brother.

    • It sounds like both of them made sure that their plan would help themselves (or their loved ones) in the long run. Pretty smart! Particularly the first one – he made a very good financial investment and the fact that he lived at home was what made it possible.

  • I’ve written a book on this subject where I recommend setting clear timelines early on for eventually moving out. A plan of action, with specific milestones, should be followed to keep the effort on course.

    How To Help Your Grown Children Move Out: Ettie’s Guide To De-Nesting


    • Sounds like an interesting book, Ettie. Thanks for letting us know.

  • Max

    I still live at home, but it’s a 2 way street. I pay into the mortgage since my mom lost her job, and cover cell and cable bills, and in return my mom watches my dog during my daily 16 hour shifts. If they charged me nothing, I could pay off my debt so much quicker, but at the same time, I’m always at work anyway, and it’s still cheaper than living away at some place I’d never get to see. Plus it’s helping them out too. It’s not fun to live at home, but they’re family, so we help each other out.

    • That sounds like a very good compromise – and you and your parents seem to navigate the shared living arrangement quite well. Meanwhile, you also are saving money which is great.

    • Melinda Lloyd

      That is a positive way to work things out! I think that it’s great of you to take responsibility and accept that these things should be appreciated and reciprocated in whatever way possible.

  • brey

    I am making mine pay a bill…. pick one and pay it every month

    • That’s a good way to get them involved in the responsibilities of the household… like keeping the lights on, literally!

  • Wisedom

    Everyone seems to blame something for their misfortune. I’ve got a brother in-law (44yrs of age) and still living @ home with mom. He once took the chance of moving out with unemployed girlfriend and 4 months later returning with huge debt that lead him to try to file for bankrupcy (he was unsuccessful because he quit his job prior to filing) and his mom stated that she was proud that instead of BK he’s now repaying. Well he had no choice. I believe if you don’t charge rent your not teaching the ADULT the reality of being alive. It costs money everyday and that they need to understand this once they turn of age, at any age. Even the toilet that their using is costing someone $$. From the water, sewer to the toilet paper.

    With boomeranging a common living standard. How are they to have any respect for reality. If the ADULT keeps living a life style of not being responsible (able to use all of the $$ for disposable income). Yes, disposable income, you choose to goto college! This type of attitude is also effecting the workforce and I believe some Corp. are TIRED of this layed back work force AND that their going across the pond to where labor is cheap, no unions to fight with, and the job gets done without any fuss from the workers. We’ve all brought this upon ourselves….. keep demanding higher pay (Unions), demanding better work hours, working from where ever,…… This country was built upon “hard work” and we’ve lost this.

    This the outcome of reality when everyone is in it for themselves.

  • mars

    my daughter had a baby and he boyfriend moved in with us. I charge him rent because he needs some kind of motivation. If I saw he was working a full time job and planning for their future it would be a different story, but he doesn’t want to go to college. I see him sleep in, play basketball and video games while we are all searching for jobs. My daughter wants to go back and finish her degree this fall. So YES I am charging him some rent. But he HATES me for it.

    • hank

      your daughters boyfriend is a dead beat dad, and you are spoiling him. If he “hates you” for this, than he is a moron and should be kicked out of your life.

  • Melanie

    My daughter and her husband moved in 6 months ago. Neither of them were working. We completely supported them for almost 3 months. Now they are working (about $3000/month) but haven’t saved a penny. They blow every bit they make and have nothing to show for it. When they moved in, it was with the agreement that we wouldn’t charge rent, but when they got jobs, half their money had to go into savings. I also assigned her the chore of unloading the dishwasher and he had to take out the trash. They don’t do those either. We sat them down today and gave them all of their options (my favorite was move out). I told them if they want to stay here, the free ride just came to a screeching halt. I am not trusting them to save on their own. They have to actually give me the money to save for them. That still leaves them $1500 just to do whatever with. I think I am being more than fair, but they act like I am the worst person ever.

    • Wow, yeah, it does sound like you are being more than fair to them. It’s a shame they don’t realize it.

    • Melinda Lloyd

      feel no guilt! Tough love is appropriate in your situation.

    • norain norainbows

      In the past, when my children would tell me I am mean, unfair or horrible, I learned to agree with them. Saves me time and energy instead of having some crazy argument trying to make a point — with someone who does not pay bills. Adults pay their own way. You are far more than fair. Let them know the rent is $1,500. Not their savings, but your money. Let them try to find what you are offering (room, board, cable, utilities) at twice the amount and I bet they could not.

    • Ed

      You did the right thing. They are completely taking advantage of you and milking the free ride for all it’s worth. They need to grow up and be responsible. I think that many kids today are so weak willed and just love to mooch if you will let them. There were many financial challenges years ago when I was growing up (46 now) but I had to sacrifice and find a way. Kids today expect to have what took their parents 20-30 years to build day 1 of being on their own. They need to grow up and deal with real life. Enough is enough, they need to be out of the nest already.

      • youallspeakgarbage

        you also forget that minimum wage 30-40 years ago was enough to sustain yourself and own a home off one full time minimum wage job. now people have to work two or 3 minimum wage jobs with no breaks no holidays just to get a decent 2 bedroom apartment.. If minimum wage was enough to get you by now as it was 30-40 years ago i heard it would be like $22.71/hr. I know people that mooch, i pay my mom rent but its not easy since i pay my phone, the internet (she thinks she’ll get hacked if its on her name), my car insurance, and if i wanted to go to school i’d have to handle that ME. not mommy or daddy. kids dont have it as easy these days man, and i’ve talked to plenty of old timers that agree that its only getting harder for the youth. i’m 23 now and still with my mom and plent of my friends are with their parents kids that are just graduating ASU or SBU or didn’t go to college at all. IT IS ROUGH and the cost of living is only going up while minimum wage is not covering it! our leaders are the one that are making it like this. invading countries that dont have anything to do with OUR PEOPLE, gaining oil, resources. having the US army protect poppy opium fields in afghanistan, Rick ross being set up by the CIA. its all a fucking shit show thats going to come to an end within my lifetime, and probably yours too.

        • landberg35

          You sound like a pussy. BOO HOO…you have to pay for stuff. Sack-up. Join the USMC like I did you jack-ass….Maybe they can beat your ass into shape. OOOHH ya, then when I was done, I got an education…not only in life, but in school.

          • youallspeakgarbage

            Haha usmc what a joke fuck that and all the United States power divisions I’m not a pawn fucking moron being used to fulfil evil agendas and get involved with wars our people could give a fuck about. So fuck you and your service you provide not only did u come at me first but you proved you have no logic in this matter and really replied to none of what I said other than saying I need to sack up. Whatever you dumb male monkey m

          • Anthony Sterling

            I’ll respond for him then….You don’t have an option to be, or not be a pawn. You’re broke, you own nothing, or you shouldn’t since you live at home. Your fear of failure causes you to take the safe route, you don’t make moves that have much impact, positive or negative, in the community you live in. Because every move you make is a small one. You’re the definition of a pawn.You feel safe and you will never be able to personally substantiate the claims you made about the hardships of today because you are sheltered from the real world.And as you stare at the “big scary world” through the slit in your mother’s skirt, true go getters will be braving it, creating the structure and infrastructure of your new tomorrow…complete with low risk low reward accommodations for chicken littles like u to scurry under…for a price of course.

          • youallspeakgarbage

            Oh boy it LoOks like I said something that offended somebody. While u can try and guess how my life is you will never have an idea. Guess why? I’m out of my moms! You don’t have a fucking clue about my situation. Obviously what I said about the marines took offense to you and I don’t give a fuck 🙂 . Keep trying to hurt and belittle me with your asinine assumptions. Because you don’t know my situation at all , and because you came at me so hard I KNOW you are a just another piece of shit in this cesspool. Goodbye.

          • C.S.

            Have you considered that antagonizing frustrated people on the internet may not be a productive use of your time?

          • youallspeakgarbage

            hahahahaha you are white trash at its finest like i care what you think you PAWN.. fuck your marine corps service you government pawn piece of shit. thats right i said it FUCK YOUR SERVICE I WISH YOU GOT TERMINATED ON THE JOB. too bad… .your education obviously wasnt a good one you pig brainwashed moron. fuck you.

          • Anthony Sterling

            I’d be mad at people like youallspeakgarbage, but we need these people. Their lower level thinking provides the driven with heads to step on to raise themselves up

          • Lauri Henson

            Everybody comes from different walks of life. It’s sad when you are not tolerant of someone that’s different from you. My son will never go into the service. I want him to go to college. I think it is a parent’s job to equipped their children so that are productive adults. Sure if my son later has problems. I will always be there for him. Sure hope you are never a parent

          • agentinsure

            my plan calls for room and board with credit towards monthly rent based on the number of college credits passed each quarter. If they are full time students then rent is near 0, if they are half time rent is 1/2 and so forth. When i did it before it worked like a charm, than i got side tracked and things just keep falling apart further

        • Fact Checker

          Check some facts on cost of living…Hmm…minimum wage 1981…$3.35 an hour. Average car interest loan rate 16%! No cell phones, long distance (anything out of local area) you were charged by the minute. Gas about $1.25 a gallon so about 38% of an hour of work at minimum wage…today’s gas $2.40 is 33% of $7.25 minimum wage! So many things cheaper TODAY…you don’t know what you are talking about.

        • John

          minimum wage never covered a damn thing. I earned $2.65 an hour minimum wage in the 80s and that sure as hell was not enough to pay for a home utillities and food, insurance ,gas,health care and so on. You seriously have no idea. my two sons live at home still and they are in their 20’s and both pay rent. and it does not even come close to paying for our 30 percent of our mortgage much less anything else. its just the principal of it. I paid half my mothers bills when was 19 and thought nothing of it. we needed it to survive. we shared a car, groceries and all other bills so we could make it. Kids today cry about school and so on.. gimme a break. making bad financial decisions then complaining about it is the norm these days.

          • C.S.

            Keep in mind that anyone living in a major metropolitan area is going to need to spend about 60% – 70% more for housing than someone in a less populated area, and that is a major stumbling block for people who are already not making very much money. In some areas you have to pay about $1,300 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, which is more than some graduates are making in a year.
            If you can’t afford that, or you can only barely afford it and you won’t be able to save any of your money, then your only options are renting a room in someone else’s house (who probably has their own rules you’ll have to follow) for $850 a month, or living in your parents’ house for little to no money, and what advantage is their to moving out in that kind of situation? Most want to move out, but just don’t have the money.

    • sara

      No guilt! You deserve this, in fact I think you gave them to much to ‘play with’. Realistically, they will not have 1500 to do whatever with after leaving you.
      Make sure you have a little fun for you with the 1500 dollars, show them how you can be wild with their hard earn money and how it feels to be taken advantage of.

    • Joshi

      They are taking advantage of you! They need to move out and start their own lives or they will forever rely on you, which, in the long run, is very bad for them!

    • Amanda Del Solio

      Hey they could be living with some one and getting charged half the rent or as my future mother-inlaw would put it room and board. She is not saving the money we pay her, she isnt even paying the landlord most of the time. She doesn’t bring food in the house and its a problem half the time if we try to cook or do laundry there. We have to eat out and do our laundry else where. We cant even bring a friend over. We are confined to our room when we are home. Pretty much we are paying to live in prison as some one once put it to me. So they need to suck it up bc in my eyes they have it made!

      • jen

        I live with my mother with my husband and two kids. My brother who is in his late twenty and sister who is 38. My mother dosnt charge any of us rent. She dosnt work she gets a check each month because my dad died and had a saving bond that pays the bill. My HUSBAND and two kids share a room. The only reason we are here is because my HUSBAND got layed of and can’t find a job and my part time job dosnt cut it. I would work more but I don’t have a baby sitter to watch my kids. We clean up our messes cook our food and bring our laundry at laundry mat. Most of the time we are cleaning up after everyone else and If we make a dinner for our kids someone always ask if they can have some. And we are confinded to our room. My mother is a bitch and favors my almost 40 year old sister n my brother. She is always on our case saying we are taking advantage of her and saying we don’t do anything around the house. Witch is far from the truth. But she has no problem with my brother who dosnt have a job and she buys him food or my sister who just dosnt want to get her own place b.c she won’t have extra money for stuff she wants or time to take care of her own place. But my mother comes at us all the time. We are the ones with two children trying to live of a 160 dollar pay check a week to get out and find our own place. But its ok for my brother and my sister to live there as long as they would like. I get we are a family and should be on our own witch we were till this lay off forsed us to move in here. Just really upsets me my mother thinks were taking advantage of her when my brother and sister can get there own place but.choose not to . and we can barly put food in our mouth or clothes on our kids back

        • George Rosales

          hey jen im george im 23 years old i live with my parents older sister 25 and her son and my younger brother 20 i was the only one born in mexico i cant legally work its hard for me to geta job i help my mom with the house shell tell you ill clean a shitty dirty restroom but my sibilings wont its mostly my sister she thinks shes perfect she has no job depends on her boyfriend for mny and the government aswell they help her pay her half off the rent she gets food stamps aswell n just cause she gets foods stamps she pays for almost all the food she js feels shes over powered when she not really helping the system out idk why she cant a job if she could acutally work she was born here the U.S. i actually want to work to help out im not guna sit her say im perfect cuz im not i do be askin the for mny here and there which p.s. i hate doing it i want to have my own money my own place i just need the documents to wrk be n part of society hope u have a great day

          • George Rosales

            i applied at some places hopin to hear back

          • InTheGame

            Of course he’s on your ass to pay rent! When does HE get a break? Grow the fuck up and find a job! If he dropped dead then what? You are a case of lazy ass self entitlement my dude!

          • George Rosales

            im not here for somebody feel bad for me i had said in the previous comments i have two other siblings brother and a sister they were both born here in the U.S. i was born in Mexico its much easier for them to get a job i have to work with fake documents social hole nine yards employers always seem to find out im trying find a job where i wont have that problem so get off my case if you don’t even know my situation judging and shit dont even know who the fck iam smh

          • George Rosales

            he dont get a break hes a fuck drunk looks for other women while my moms at home he beats my mom why dont u think im lookin for under table jo im trying help mo get the fuck out the situation

          • George Rosales

            my dad expects me pay rent what you think should be charged for sleeping on the living room floor its pretty fucked up what i go thru with my dad on daily basis on the rent topic

      • agentinsure

        hey if you dont like, you can always move out

    • Justis JRoy Royster

      They’re lucky. If I was married like them and had that kind of money I would’ve moved quickly. I pay my mom 240 and I make minimum wage 9.00/hr, a single father and raising my 6yr old daughter on my own. I want to move back out, but minimum wage is not enough. If I could get a higher paying job I’d be set. At 25 yes old it makes me feel like I’m not even grown.

    • Harold

      They have a right to spend a little money on themselves, probably best to be happy for them that they don’t have to worry about paying for a place to live and can enjoy the fruits of labor.

  • Chuck

    We are helping two children and a grandchild. They do not help out around the house, they do pay $100 per month to help out. But that does not even cover the extra food costs, let alone their shampoos, toothpastes, etc which they require the top brands. Same with food, coming home and wants dinner ready for them. We are taking out between $600 to $1,000 a month from our retirement account to pay for the extra costs. So I see a big issue of you and other adult children that want more from your parents. Most like us will give until we lose the house. Then they will be out on the street shaking their heads of what happened. We have talked until blue, but they just do not get it.

    • Hi Chuck, thanks for the comment. I don’t think Melissa, the author of the post, or anyone else would advise you to keep spending $600-$1,000 per month that you cannot afford. I think it’s clear that you need to talk with your two adult children and tell them that while you can continue letting them stay with you, those extra costs will need to be paid by them from now on. Hopefully that will give them the motivation they need to get start helping you out.

    • norain norainbows

      Have a sit down with the children who are using you. They must do what they can to “earn their keep” or leave. You probably sacrificed vacations, expensive clothes and cars, etc. to have a savings and a home. If they don’t get it, give them a 30 day period to move out. Mean it, don’t be wimpy. Next month, spend $100 on some moving boxes and plastic bags, maybe another $200 on a Uhaul Truck. Pack them up and send them on their way. They will stay as long as you let them.

    • Kylie

      I agree with the above. I am 20 years old and living at home, and while I don’t pay rent, I do pay for my own car insurance, car repairs, phone bill, gym membership, and toiletries (including shampoo, toothpaste, tampons, etc.). I would never dream of making my parents take money from their retirement account to pay for me — that is not okay!! Definitely talk with your children. In my opinion, they should definitely be picking up basic costs like shampoo and toothpaste. No one here is going to advise you to spend money you don’t have in order to accommodate your children.

      • Mikismom

        Your car, your phone, your gym….. you couldn’t afford if you didn’t take rent & utilities from your parents. Living room & board free when you should be contributing IS taking advantage of your parents when you’re 20. Do the right thing & pay them for the roof over YOUR head..

        • George

          What, you want her to sit at home all day with no way to get to work, no way to call about job interviews, and get fat? I’ve got an adult parent and an adult sibling living with my husband and myself, and I don’t begrudge them one penny of the phone and car use.

      • rjo

        I totally agree! “adult children” who cant even pay for their own toothpaste will never become thriving responsible adults if their parents continue to treat them like they are actual children by providing everything for them

    • Ed

      You are sadly misguided if you are taking money from your retirement account to help them. Who will help you when you are an impoverished elderly citizen? I am sure they will have moved on with their lives and will have a million excuses as to why they can’t lift a finger to help you.

    • Joshi

      You are being an enabler and your kids will not become independent. The time to kick them out is now, even if you have to sell your house and move into a smaller house so they can’t follow you! Do what you have to do to get them out. Once they are out, they will get jobs or whatever they have to do to survive. Do not enable their bad behavior. A loving parent will always do what’s best for their kids even if it’s hard!

    • Rachel Catherine Dodd

      They just want help getting back on their feet. There’s a difference between that and just plain mooching. And I’m sorry, but you put yourself in that situation by not asking for more in rent or for letting them take advantage of your hospitality.

  • mj6837

    While I agree it’s necessary to provide some support to our children graduating from school, IMO what needs to be attached to any arrangement is a defined beginning and end date. For example, stay for free for 6 months, following that $xx rent will be charged. I’ve personally seen way too many kids give up on pursuing a job because it’s tough work and there’s little to no pressure…
    While (for you) it would have been great to have lived rent free to pay down your loans…they’re your loans – no offense, but I find your point of view somewhat selfish. What about the burdens on your Mom providing you food, the extra utilities? I think you may have missed the point of being charged rent.

    • Krystal Galaxia Void

      It all depends on the circumstance and situation.

  • zDCdoc

    My son has two college degrees in a competitive but well paying field. He had a 3.8 GPA for one degree and a 4.0 for the other. He wanted to study a year in Asia and I gave him the $35,000 with the agreement that I was done. He has only had one work study job and just for one year of college. No summer work, no temp jobs no nothing. I am sick of paying for him to sit around my house saying he wants the year off. He is now going for the third degree and it is only two days of week in class. That gives him five to work. He still buys video games and overspent his money while in Asia. Sorry but this is called being an enabler. He needs to pay rent as he is a well educated adult. He has the skills needed but why bother? If not rent then the best solution is being put out and let him have a taste of real life. Went to school with too many rich kids and it will not fly with me. Both his father and I worked for years and are retired. I still work for FREE. I thought I had taught him to give back but it is not happening. Not a great economy for my 65 plus age bracket either!

    • Very interesting, thanks for sharing your experience! Sounds like you are ready to make a change. I hope it all works out well for both of you!

      • zDCdoc

        He may not be ready for a change but we are. It may not work out well for him but he is an adult and must take responsibility. Even in my golden years as they are called it might not work out for my husband and I either. Retirement funds tanked and who knows how long SS will be around. Investments are no security these days either. No individual is going to take care of us. We are adults. My son is too and needs to step up to the plate and take his knocks. This economy is fair to very few. That is a reality and these kids need to learn to cope. It might not be the life their patents provided but we had to work from the ground up. Medical school was expensive for both hubby and I a hundred years ago. We sacrificed and sorry but that is part of growing up.

        • too old to runaway

          Here here!!!!

          • zDCdoc

            I tossed him out. Letting him back was stupid on my part. He is doing just fine w/o me!

        • Melinda Lloyd

          I completely agree that your son has overstayed his welcome. He needs to take some responsibility for his life.

          • zDCdoc

            It has been two months since he has left. He has landed a job paying six figures within two weeks after I said enough was enough. He would stay in school the rest of his life if I had let him. With me allowing him to stay all I was doing was enabling his behavior. If he wants a year off he can finance it. My biggest mistake was not doing it sooner. While the economy is not great I remember hubby and I struggling and a very high interest rate on our mortgage that was considered great at the time but still very expensive. We had student debts from medical school. Very few individuals did not start off struggling. Allowing him back home was the biggest parenting mistake I made. He had an education, brains but no motivation. That was not going to come from a vaca at my house!

          • Melinda Lloyd

            Glad to hear it worked out!! I do think that there is a big difference between a helping hand and an enabling shoulder!! When they stop helping themselves the burden falls entirely on you, and that is not ok. I am sure you are very proud of his accomplishments so far. Remind him of all the help you provided him when you start needing help yourself!!!

          • zDCdoc

            He knows-:) he has three older brothers and they have done a beautiful job at reinforcing my strategy. I am proud BUT I knew he could do it and I expected nothing less. All of our kids are in different fields with different abilities. All we ever asked is that they live up to their potential and set the bar to push themselves. I don’t advocate burning yourself out or getting so OCD you can’t function but we will never reach our full potential unless we try. Even at my age I am still a work in progress. I am now heading back for more training even though I will be the oldest “kid” in the group. It is also in a foreign country and a very rough environment but I will grow. Beats sitting in my comfort zone aging. I need to practice what I preach!

    • norain norainbows

      Son, you can take the year off if you like. Just not in my house.

  • zDCdoc

    Planning for graduation and the job market need to start in college! It might not be your dream job and odds you are underemployed high BUT this is not unique to your generation. We all had to start out at the bottom. After college if you planned correctly and lived frugally you should be independent. School debt is a fact of life for most. Yes it would be great to be debt free so you can continue on to grad school but that does not prepare you for adulthood with house/rent, utilities, food, medical, car etc. and learning to balance that yourself teaches those skills. I taught college, med school to be exact and higher level science undergrad classes. Those that they site as being unemployed are underemployed for a reason. Most did not show up to class or were too hungover to study. I see this from both sides. Many wanted it given. Trust me if you work for it you will appreciate it more when you get it. We struggled for years with incredible med school debt and working 36 hour shifts with lousy pay. The world owes you nothing! You have to make your own way. Harsh perhaps but that is reality. You will survive even if not to your initial liking.

    • Melinda Lloyd

      I don’t agree with this. While, yes, we note that current applicants are not as professional or ready for the job market as previous generations, this is not the main reason for un/underemployment. The job market is much harder on the current graduates than on previous generations as there are many very experienced professionals who are older, having lost their jobs, willing to step in for the low salaries often reserved for these new incoming young adults. To say current unemployments are always the fault of the young adult is ignorance to the situation. Yes, there will be a few that fit your description, but there are many cases that do not. Parents should be able to tell which category their child fits into.

      • zDCdoc

        I get 50 year olds saying they were replaced by young kids because they cost them less in salary and medical claims experience which determines rates. You can argue both ways. If you don’t think kids have changed come spend a day with me at school or a night with me in ER. The change is dramatic from our generation to this one. If your child is too drunk to go to class or even get a GED you have a problem. It is a huge problem in society that these kids are way beyond the maturity curve. College is the new high school as far as behavior and grad school the new college. I live in DC obviously and we gave very low unemployment yet kids get jobs if they go after them. If they don’t sell themselves and push you are right. Parents should be able to tell but if your high school student has yet to see his career/college office at his school and has no plans when he has his cap and gown that is the child’s fault as well as the parent’s

        • Melinda Lloyd

          completely agreed in those cases. I am merely stating that there are many kids not fitting that scheme. It is not a one size fits all. I have a lot of friends struggling and taking any low paying job that will accept them at the moment. They have good degrees that should be useful to them, and are hard workers, but the opportunities promised when starting those college programs just are not there.

          • zDCdoc

            If you get a history major or art major yes you are going to have a harder time. Right now we are importing STEM majors, (science, technology, engineer and math) from Asia to fill the openings. I guess my point when one decides a college major they need to explore options. College is no longer about being trained for a job but getting a skill set and being able to take skills like the ability to extrapolate and apply it to any field. Again, it might not be the dream job but there are high demands in certain fields. If you land in one with little or no demand consider grad school If you can afford it OR just take a few classes at your community college in computer science or IT. The starting pay is tolerable and it will pay the bills. The days if going to college, getting an English major and landing a job as a writer are long gone. Department of Labor Statistics has great info on where the job needs are.

          • Melinda Lloyd

            hahaha no. None are history or art… While my husband is an engineer, a lot of jobs were recently cut from the DOE in that field and he knows how lucky he is to have anything let alone something stable like he does. My friends were in biology or other science related fields which when we started college were promoted as growing fields that would never decline. Personally I went with Education only to find that I wouldn’t be able to get a job anyhow, so changed to “liberal studies” A major that typically has a harder time finding work. However I have the better job out of my friends who are much more qualified in their fields which still are promoted as “growing”. It’s all luck out there right now.

          • zDCdoc

            I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree. I have given you a site but if you are not interested there is little I can do. The jobs are there. They are given by geographic location. You can call it luck but I think it is hitting the ground hard and fast, networking, volunteering to gain experience, intern while still IN college. I do think one very interesting point is here. Are you willing to relocate or are you waiting for a job in a depressed area? Engineering is in high demand and only 4% of our last graduating class failed to secure jobs. A few had convictions ranging from drugs to assault charges so that is a no brainer. With an opening like “hahaha no” I don’t think we are going to get too far-:) have a pleasant rest of your week and

          • Melinda Lloyd

            You did not provide a site. You also said “agree to disagree” yet then continued to try to have the last word. Sorry Sir, but that was rude. Networking is, yes, the basis for everything nowadays. As I said, skill and actual hard work have little to do with success in your field, it is about who you know, and how you socialize. That has much more to do with your economic bracket than your abilities or laziness. Also many of these children who move back in (what the article was about to begin with) will not have gone to college, or will have majors you believe to be poor choices. That may be, but the fact remains that trying is the key factor to whether or not a parent should extend a helping hand. Your son wasn’t trying, so you rightfully cut him off. However many kids are trying, maybe they made poor choices, but that is completely besides the point.

            Also the reason I started with “hahaha no.” was because I found your frank assumption that either 1.) Any individual doing poorly was an art or history major; or 2.) Any friend of mine had to have made poor choices in this regard; to be quite prejudicial and rude in whichever way you meant it. While I didn’t want to blatantly point that out, you forced the issue.
            So yes, the argument is over, please feel free for one last rant back at me, even though you said you would not. I am done. Goodbye.

          • zDCdoc