D.T. asks from Crowley, TX on January 11, 2012
20 Yr Old Daughter Wants to Move in with Her Boyfriend and His Family
My daughter who is now 20 moved in with her father at 18 (senior in high school) basically because his house rules were much more relaxed then mine. She is now 20, has a boyfriend that she visits on the weekends (about 40 miles away) and now she wants to move in with him and his family. My issues? I'm not on board with the living arrangement or her not finishing school before she takes that big step in her life. I like the boy she is dating, that is not an issue. He is pursing his career (college and has joined the reserves). My daughter is going to school to be a cosmetologist.....I paid for her school last semester. She seems to spend $10 if she has $5 so I've tried to help her manage her money to no avail. She also works part time as a waitress and make pretty good tips. My dilemma? She needs school paid for and a new car (hers is 18 yrs old)---I feel like if she is as grown as she thinks she is then she needs to figure out how to pay for these things. I'm not withholding paying as a punishment but I just feel like if she is going to play grown up then she needs to be grown up all the way around. I've tried talking to her but it seems her mind is made up.
I'm not too happy with the parents of the boyfriend.....I can't understand how they condone and invite their son's girlfriend to come live with them. But then again, the mother seems to thing she is 20 yrs old also.
Am I doing the right thing by not paying for schooling or buying the new car?
☼.S. answers from Los Angeles on January 11, 2012
It sounds like she has a choice:
1. Not live w/ boyfriend and have parental help with school/car
2. Live with boyfriend and she foots the bill for school/car
I think this is fair -- and the choice is hers to make. My daughter is only 6, but we are all about framing things as choices and consequences, even now. That takes the "I'm the bad guy" off of my husband's and my shoulders.
5 moms found this helpful
☆.A. answers from Pittsburgh on January 12, 2012
"Am I doing the right thing by not paying for schooling or buying the new car?"
It's not about control. It's about choices and consequences.
If she is adult enough to decide where she wants to live, she is adult enough to pay for her school and car.
4 moms found this helpful
D.K. answers from Pittsburgh on January 11, 2012
I think you are using the money to manipulate her behavior. If she shared an apartment with girlfriends, would you pay for her school? If so, you should continue to pay. It sounds like she has found a relatively cheap place to live (I assume they will not gouge her on rent) and she is 20. If you don't pay for school - you and she both lose. As far as the car - I don't see that you owe her a new car. Would you be willing to cosign a car loan for her? - then she can pay it off and it will truly be her car.
I don't see why the responders below view her living with her bf as a bad decision. She is 20 - this may or may not be the right man forever. But if his parents are willing to have her live there, it sounds like a good compromise between living at home and living alone.
4 moms found this helpful
T.T. answers from Dallas on January 11, 2012
My daughter is 18 (almost 19) and living with her boy "friend" right now. I pay her insurance, but won't after the 1st. I pay her cell phone, but not after the first. And although she could get into pretty much ANY college she wants, she wants to work full time at a grocery and get an apartment.
So guess what? I'm gonna let her. I love her and will be here when she's kicking herself in the head about the fact that she didn't go to college, but she's an adult. And can do what ever she wants to.
Life is full of consequences. Some lessons are hard. And I am a firm believer in trial by fire.
Withhold what you want. But don't give ultimatums, you'll loose. There comes a time...and yeah, it sucks and it's hard, when they have to make the bad choices and you have to let them.
I'm sending nothing but good thoughts your way.
12 moms found this helpful
A.J. answers from Williamsport on January 11, 2012
When I was 18 I was out on my own and had no financial support whatsoever. Why? because instead of going to school under my parent's terms, I wanted to move in with my boyfriend. Rightfully, they didn't need to finance such a bonehead decision. Plus, as of 18, an adult child should be supporting themselves ANYWAY, regardless of relationship. However, my parents would have made the exception to that reality by helping me with school had I been smarter.
So what happened? I spent 6 years working my tail off to survive (climbing a job ladder from waitressing to garment design assistant to designer) and support a no-good boyfriend (and spending time with his lame family) before smelling the coffee, leaving him, paying for some of my own college classes and moving to NY and starting my own company. All on my own hard earned dime.
Would life have been easier if I had just ditched the dude, finished school and gone the comfy way? Sure. But my journey worked out in it's own way. I respect my parents for letting me sink or swim and knowing I would swim.
Boyfriend aside, she's 20. She'll support herself if she has to. I'd let her move in with them (cant' stop her), withdraw all support, and lovingly tell her I think she's better than that and she's wasting her youth in some ways by limiting herself to a home life with someone's parents AND a boyfriend who she may or may not start a life with. But tell her you understand she's an adult and it's up to her. Let your message be you think she's too good for this, not that you're punishing her. Letting her stand on her own feet financially is not punishing her, she needs to learn it. She needs to navigate getting herself a car. It would be preposterous for you to buy it. Same with school, if she's driven to go, she'll work it out, and if there's a small gap to fill in, you can figure it out then, but you shouldn't just pay for it.
12 moms found this helpful
T.N. answers from Albany on January 11, 2012
Well, she's 20 years old. She doesn't need your permission to live with her BF, she doesn't need your blessings, either.
Likewise, she's 20 years old and doesn't need your money either. She can get loans to pay her way through school, and new car or no new car, that's really HER problem now, not yours.
These are two seperate and unrelated issues.
So ask yourself, are you helping her financially because you want her to have success in whatever life she chooses to live?
Or are you helping her because you still want control over her choices? So, in effect, you're BUYING the right to say she can't live with her BF?
She's an adult now, so you have the choice. You can cut her loose, tell her YOUR way or the highway, or you can continue to help, just to help without expecting her to follow your rules.
That gray area between childhood and adulthood is pretty tricky, isn't it?
9 moms found this helpful
✤.J. answers from Dover on January 11, 2012
I don't think there's anything wrong with choosing not to support a grown child who has moved out of your home.
The deal I had with my parents was that as long as I was a full-time student, I lived with them rent-free, they allowed my car insurance to stay under their plan & helped me with school. I did work full-time (at a movie theatre & tutoring on campus) while going to school to pay for my own clothes, toiletries, books for college, gas, etc. Boy, did I have it good & didn't know it!
The main (and really only) issue I had was that they chose to attempt to enforce a curfew as well as just general rules about where I could go, what I could do, stuff like that. I felt as though (and now, as a married adult with children of my own, still do feel) that requiring a curfew of a 20 year old who works full-time & takes a minimum of 15 credits per semester is absurd.
I chose to move out & in with my boyfriend, not his parents, just the 2 of us. We got married 18 months later & are still together today.
My parents took a different approach to my younger sister & asked practically nothing of her & gave her everything they could think of. I guess they decided they didn't like the outcome of their oldest so they would try things differently the 2nd time around...who knows. Anywho....here we are a decade & a half later. She & I are both married with 2 children. The main difference? She, her husband & their 2 boys all still live with my parents. Yes, they have jobs, good ones in fact earning considerably more than my husband & I, but there they still are.
IDK, my point is that I just think it doesn't necessarily have to be all or nothing. I think that if you play it by ear & not immediately be hell-bent on making life-choices for (legally anyway) your adult child, you'll both be happier in the end.
9 moms found this helpful
K.P. answers from Santa Fe on January 11, 2012
Have you ever heard of "the golden rule"? -- He who has the gold, makes the rules!! ;-)
Seriously, though, as much as I disagree with her situation, she is of an age to make her own decisions, and if this is her choice, then you can't stop her. But you don't have to pay anything for her. And this wouldn't be a "punishment" necessarily, as much as saying, "All right, you wanna be a big girl? Then you've gotta be a big girl all the way, and not expect mama to pay for anything any more." If she's old enough to live with some guy (especially against your wishes), she's old enough to pay for her own school and her own car. Sometimes, there's nothing that makes a person grow up faster than being forced to grow up in this way.
8 moms found this helpful
J.S. answers from Jacksonville on January 11, 2012
Here is the thing. She isn't "playing adult", she is one. If I were in your shoes, I probably wouldn't pay for a new car, but I would continue to pay for her education.
I worked and put myself through college, something my parents wished they could have helped with. This is her future you are talking about, and in my opinion if you have been paying for it before and this is the ONLY reason why you are considering not paying for it any longer then you are punishing her for her decision. At least that is how I would feel about it.
7 moms found this helpful
D.B. answers from Charlotte on January 11, 2012
D., I would pay for her to go to school as long as you see her grades. If she will not let you see grades, no money from you. And pay the school the money - don't give it to her directly.
But no car money. Nothing will give her an incentive to work more than having to save for a car.
About living with the potential inlaws: give up on this. I truly think that you are thinking wrong about this, and you need to get past it for both your sakes. She has chosen a family she wants to be with. It is not too different from living in a dorm with a "family" away from you, except that this family has adults living in it. At 20 years old, she is old enough for a sexual relationship - be grateful that it is with ONE guy. And he is going to college. I know you are thinking about how much she needs to grow up, but really, perhaps this is the best way!
Do you know what traditional college with tuition and board costs? Many college students don't work while they go to school fulltime. And you would pay a monster amount of money for her to live in a dorm (my son is a freshman in college - I know what I'm talking about!)
Tell her that you will only be paying for school and it is her job to pay for everything else, and if you MEAN it and don't deviate, she will learn a valuable lesson in how to NOT overspend. You are worried about her spending $10 when she has $5 - well, this is the best way for her to learn about saving money. If she were in a dorm, she wouldn't learn nearly as well.
You can dig in your heels here on not paying for her school, but your reasons for doing it are punitive and short-sighted. If you truly want her to be able to make a living and learn to handle her finances, you will make it so that she CAN, and then she won't just mooch off of others for the rest of her life. You have tried to teach her certain values over the years - let her figure out how to apply these values to HER life. She is not you - she has chosen to be with this young man before getting married and frankly, I really think that compared to these girls who have sex with lots of guys, drink every night, and skate by with D's while spending "daddy's money", your daughter sounds pretty wonderful.
6 moms found this helpful
C.O. answers from Washington DC on January 11, 2012
YES!! You are doing the right thing in NOT paying!!!
she is an adult. she is making adult decisions.
she wants a new car? she pays for it.
she wants to move in with her boyfriend at his parent's house? her choice.
she wants school paid for? she can use her tip money or she can apply for a grant.
you can lead a horse to water - but you cannot make it drink. Until she REALLY has to accept responsibility for her actions? she will continue to spend more than she takes in (show her how bad our country is! We take in $6B a day and spend $10B - how's that working for us?)
6 moms found this helpful