36 answers

What Would You Do? - Newark,DE

Good Morning Mamas,
I hope all of you had a nice weekend. I have a question and I'm wondering what you would do in my situation.

Recently, my niece graduated high school. She turned 18 in May and will be starting college in late August. Currently, she lives at home but her and her mom do not get a long at all. Her dad (my brother) lives about 13 hours away. Well, she came to visit this weekend and asked if she could "rent" a room. She had already looked at another room to rent but it is a very bad section of town. After much discussion, my husband and I agreed to allow her to rent to the attic. It's a finished walk up attic that is very nice. The downfall is my stepson's room is currently up there so he will have to now share a room with his younger brother (my son). My niece then asked if we would allow her current boyfriend to stay over. Now comes my questions. 1. Would you do the same if you were in my shoes - allow your niece to rent a room? 2. Allow her boyfriend to spend the night with her. I'm ok with it because she is 18 and she is now an adult and can make her own decisions.

Thank you!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow - did I stir the pot with this one! Yes, my husband and I did speak to both our son and my step son and they both agreed to share a room so my niece could "move" in. We have decided not to allow the boyfriend to sleep over. We are a moral family and even though she is "renting" it , it's still our house and we do not want this to be around our children so there's no way we would allow our children to do this.
There is a lot of history with my niece and her mom. I've been through exactly what she is going through now. She is looking for more freedom and her mom will not allow it. Her mom is extremely hard headed. I did talk to my brother regarding this and he is in agreement with whatever I decide since it is our house. We will be setting some ground rules for her to follow.
I would like to thank you ladies for your opinions. They are greatly appreciated.

Featured Answers

A quick suggestion...get out of this now. There is probably a reason why she and mom don't get along and it is called 'a boyfriend'.

9 moms found this helpful

That is a toughy, but it doesnt really sound like you have a room to rent. I can understand helping her out for a month or two. I wouldnt do it permanently though. Does she work?
NO NO NO, I would not let her boyfriend stay over! Especially if you have other younger children in the house. If she is old/responsible enough to have a boyfriend over, she is old enough to have her OWN place.

3 moms found this helpful

No. I offered my sister a room only because we have an extra bedroom so I wouldn't have to move the kids around. If she had taken the offer I would not allow a boyfriend to spend the night because I have kids and don't want them getting confused or the impression that it's ok to do that.

I would also find out the real reason she doesn't want to live at home maybe that's one of the things her and her mom fight about.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

A quick suggestion...get out of this now. There is probably a reason why she and mom don't get along and it is called 'a boyfriend'.

9 moms found this helpful

No and No. It's not fair of you to make your children give up the space they already have as their rooms for your neice. Actually, unless you have an empty room or a guest room, I don't think it was even polite at all of her to ask you for essentially, someone else's room. I would say no to that.

The boyfriend staying over? No. You have children in the house. What kind of message does this send? I agree with you that she can make her own decisions, but if she so desires to share a bed with her boyfriend like an adult, she should rent her own apartment like an adult. It's just not respectful to your family for her to behave this way in your home, imo.

9 moms found this helpful

I realize she may be legally an adult, but you are going to have to set ground rules for your home! Letting a boyfriend spend the night is setting a very bad example for your children. Are you also ok with her coming and going as she pleases? Maybe at 3am? You have to think about how this may disrupt your family. Why doesnt she get along with her mom?

8 moms found this helpful

I think this is wrong on so many levels. You asking your step son to give up his room for your niece is wrong. Having her boyfriend staying overnight is wrong.

If she wants to play house then fine but you have kids under the age of 18 and this is not a good example to set.

If my daughter had approached her unlce and aunt with this and they said yes, we would see WWIII in our family.

Doesn't matter why the daughter and mother doen't get along, you don't live in the household so you don't know. I would highly recommend that you help her find another alternative. If she is going to college, she should be living in the dorm. Most universities require freshman to live on campus the first year. Don't do this!!!

8 moms found this helpful

If I thought I was helping family or friends out by renting them a room I would do it for sure. You probably will need to ask your stepson how he feels about it. After all he has the most to lose - his room and privacy.

That being said, there is NO WAY her boyfriend would be staying the night unless he slept on the couch! I don't care how old she is, they are not married and sleeping together, not a great message for children. NO WAY!

Our society is so sexually charged it is difficult to teach our kids morals in the first place when all that we do displays acceptance for sexual promiscuity. This not only would be a bad message for your children but you are also teaching an 18 year old that this behavior is ok to demonstrate to children. Aack!

Of course, you are welcome to chose how you like but I would be sure you are thinking of your kids not your niece in this situation.

Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful

Not only no, but HELL NO!!!!

I would NOT allow my niece to stay in my home with her boyfriend....paying rent or not....this is probably one of the reasons she doesn't get along with her mom....her mom is making rules and boundaries and she doesn't think she has to obey them...

Would you allow YOUR child to do this? You do realize that you are setting an example for the children you have in your home? That it's OKAY to have pre-martial sex and live together BEFORE you get married? IS that the example you want to set? If so - then by all means - go for it...however, I think you are thumbing your nose at your son for his cousin...why should he have to share a room now because she doesn't want to follow the rules at her mom's house?

I would also talk with the family to see what they have to say before I said yes to her...your son will be upended and sharing a room so that she can move in....is he OKAY with that?

5 moms found this helpful

If I were in your shoes I WOULD rent the room BUT ONLY with a clear contract and clear consequences of what happens if that contract is broken (rent not paid, house rules broken, etc). Be clear on whether you want her to check in with you if she won't be home and such (I had a grown roommate when I was grown but if we weren't coming home for the night we always let each other know but didn't have to give details - common courtesy). Also, have a trial period first where either one of you can terminate the contract without explanation after (for example) a month. That gives you a clause without ruining the relationship if it just isn't working.

As far as the boyfriend staying over, I would definitely say NO simply because you have younger kids in the house. She is 18 but your kiddos are not and it is fine for you to set some ground rules on what they are exposed to. Plus, what if the boyfriend is a jerk (or the next one is) and you don't want him in your house. It gets hard to backtrack. Maybe you allow her to stay at his place from time to time if you feel that is ok?

5 moms found this helpful

No.. did you talk to both parents to hear all sides of what is going on with your niece and the rift between her and her mom, I would. I would not allow her BF to stay over night her focus should be on school and working and that may take her off her path. In my opionion she is not grown until she can pay her own bills.

5 moms found this helpful

Wow--sorry you got some harsh judgment there.....this is YOUR situation and YOU have already stated that YOU are OK with them sharing a room.

BUT, this is NOT your child, so if I were you, I would find out her parent's wishes first and then abide by them...otherwise you'll be the aunt that "went against their rules and let her do whatever she wants", you know?

Also, I would make sure that your stepson isn't being slighted--give the boys the bigger of the rooms if they're going to have to share.

ALSO, I would not allow her to move in without a signed contract of what's expected by everyone...chores, laundry, meals, rent, etc.

AND you do need to consider the example it is setting your your other kids.

5 moms found this helpful

I am one of the more open minded moms here and I would not go for this.

1. Unfair to uproot your stepson. Why should he pay the price for your neice's luxury. It is sending a message to stepson that he doesn't really matter.

2. I would not rent a room to her because she is 18, family, and you don't know what is really going on. WHy is she at odds with her mom? Hmmm... maybe because mom does not allow BF sleepovers among whatever else you come up with? How well do you know her and are you willing to expose your children to whatever she does?

3. Her BF sleeping over... NO. I get it that she is 18 and I am not stupid enough to think they would not be having sex. HOWEVER, why would you expose your children to that. I bet you are teaching your children strong morals, ethics, etc and then she moves in with BF... This would defeat your parenting style if indeed you are teaching your children about sex, etc.

4. Yes she is old enough to make her decisions. I would help her find a good location for a room but keep her out of my house and influencing my child. I would let her know that I would be around for some moral support, etc but I cna't uproot my current lifestyle of raising my children to accomodate her "needs".

Just my two cents worth. Best wishes.

5 moms found this helpful

I vote hell no.

And here is why: She is family. She is wanting to live on her own so she should be able to...elsewhere. She wants to have her boyfriend stay over which is probably why she doesn't get along with her mom. If your son has to share a room you'll never hear the end of it.

I allowed my neice to live in my house for 3 months. It was HELL. Like I am AWESOME with young adults but this child drove me COMPLETELY INSANE. (ie: she was a slob, had HORRIBLE hygeine and hibernated unless is was to eat and was RUDE to my young son)

Save the animosity with the family (yours as well as her mom) and just say no.

Sending good thoughts your way.

4 moms found this helpful

I dont think its a good idea. The boys will resent losing their privacy and I doubt you would be comfortable with your niece having guys in the attic in the long run. Renting to family can be just as bad as loaning money. It can get really messy.

3 moms found this helpful

That is a toughy, but it doesnt really sound like you have a room to rent. I can understand helping her out for a month or two. I wouldnt do it permanently though. Does she work?
NO NO NO, I would not let her boyfriend stay over! Especially if you have other younger children in the house. If she is old/responsible enough to have a boyfriend over, she is old enough to have her OWN place.

3 moms found this helpful

If she is starting college in a month, where is she going to be going to school? If it's nowhere near where you live, or she's going to be staying on-campus in a dorm, I guess I don't see the point of her moving into your home for a month. In that case I would be telling her to suck it up until she's off to college. But if she is going to be renting the attic from you instead, while going to school, I would still have some ground rules established and have them in writing and have her sign a contract, just like if she were renting from anyone - but I would not allow a boyfriend over for overnight visits when this is your own house where your family and children live. I would not want them "taking over" the house and taking advantage of your generosity. She may be 18 and an adult now, but this is also when they start learning about making adult choices and living with the choices they make - she can choose to take the crappy apartment if she wants the freedom to do whatever she wants, or choose to rent from you guys, have a nicer, safer place to live, but also have more rules to follow and certain expectations of how she is to conduct herself.

3 moms found this helpful

This is going to be a moral judgement on everyone's part.

1. There are a lot of factors with allowing her to rent. First, what's your relationship with your step son? Is he going to feel slighted that you're basically choosing her over him? (he's your responsibility, not your niece) How does he and his stepbrother get along and what is the age difference? Is this going to be short term for the summer until she goes to school and then your stepson gets his room back? How much will she be paying? She must have a job and pay her own way as she is 18. This is something I could not answer as I am not in this situation. How will her mother feel? Why are they not getting along? Is the daughter the angel and Mom a witch, or the other way around? Do you want to get into the middle of things or help them sort through their problems so you won't have to take on the responsibilities? Just because she's legally 18 and an "adult" does not mean she's equipped to be on her own and really is an adult. She is still a child.

2. Um, nope, she would NOT be allowed to have her boyfriend stay over at my house. Yup, she's 18 but what does that have to do with me? This is MY house and I have certain standards and rules to uphold and have minors living in the house. So my answer would be NO she cannot have her boyfriend stay over so they can have sex. I mean, what other reason would they have to want him to sleep over in her room. If they want to have sex let her boyfriend flip the bill for a motel room. They're adults. They need to figure out how to have their own play time and it'll be away from my home, thank you very much. I'm sure her parents would be angry if she get pregnant on your "watch".

My son was over 18 and we would not allow him and his girlfriend to share a room together. She stayed with us but weren't allowed to share a room together. They ended up camping out on the living room floor with interruptions often because we still had 4 kids at home, lol. My son was angry but oh well. My house, my rules. He was upset mainly because he knew we did the same thing when we were younger. And our reply was, yes, and it's called learning from bad mistakes! A year later we found out that our son was lying to us, was not living in his barracks room but living with his girlfriend at her parents house... for a year straight! In her bed! She ended up pregnant, on her parents watch, by my son that they allowed to sleep in her bed for a year. Then later her mother told me how shocked they were when she ended up pregnant. HUH?? Her two older daughters went through the same thing and got pregnant. Shocked?? We never knew what they allowed. We were the shocked ones! They set them up for failure and refused to accept any kind of responsibility. *sigh*

Maybe you would think differently if it were your daughter and not your niece. That makes a big difference. Would you allow your son to bring home girlfriends to have sex with? Whatever your standards are must be set in your house. That includes telling her that she must be in the house by a certain time because you have minors in the house and the house should not be in an uproar because of a "renter" who is actually family, not just a renter. You do have a level of responsibility to this young girl.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

*I wanted to add that when my son and his girlfriend came to stay it was when they came to stay the weekend from out of state. They married after she got pregnant and my granddaughter will be 3 tomorrow. They're marriage is on the rocks as they both weren't ready to marry.

3 moms found this helpful

Don't forget you have your son there too. All Her actions will be seen by him. B/c of this I would not allow the boyfriend to be able to spend the night.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

In my home we have a standard. If I were to rent to anyone, there would be no boyfriend spending the nights or being entertained in the bedrooms.

I know most 18 year olds think they are grown and while in the eyes of the law they are legally adults and can vote, join the army, and enter into a contract they aren't even close to being adults and paying their own way in the world.

If you are prepared for her to spend the nights with her boyfriend in your house, would you also be prepared for a teenaged pregnancy or prepared for her to catch an STD in your house? Are you prepared for your sons to want to have their girlfriends spending the night at your house when they turn 18. It just sounds like a slippery slope of doom to me and I wouldn't want any part of it.

Even boarding houses have rules about guests being in the bedrooms after a certain time and that is for the benefits of all those living there.

Do you even know the character of her boyfriend?

It is also kind of funky to displace your stepson for her. If anything I would probably not displace him and find some other place in the house for her to stay. What is your husband's position on this? Rhetorical question.

3 moms found this helpful

No and No. Period.

Why? Stacey B.'s comment pretty well sums up what I think.

3 moms found this helpful

I can understand wanting to help her out and rent her the room. That would be fine. Discuss it with both boys that she is going to school and going to come live with you all before things get moved around.

But as far as the niece goes-have set guidelines for behavior and such. Yes, she is renting the room but it's your home.

I wouldn't allow the boyfriend to spend the night. Yes, she's an adult and can make her own decisions but it's your home and you have children there that are under 18. You probably don't even know this boyfriend. I wouldn't let a stranger spend the night in my home. And honestly, even after you meet him and get to "know" him, you don't really know him and I wouldn't trust him around my children or inside my home while I'm sleeping.

Will she have chores/responsibilities? If not, make sure their are guidelines about cleaning, keeping things clean, buying groceries, food prep, etc. Will she help out with utilities? These are things that need to be clearly laid out before you seal the deal.

3 moms found this helpful

I think by allowing your niece to rent the room you are setting yourself up for some tension with your stepson. Kicking him out of his room to share with a younger child? That's bound to cause some resentment in my opinion, but maybe he's ok with it. As for the boyfriend staying, it wouldn't be allowed in my house, but that's me. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

I think with some very clear written boundaries and rules, i would allow her to rent from us.

i would not allow her boyfriend, especially one i haven't met, to stay over. Number one you are telling your kids it's fine. Number Two, who is going ot deal with the fall out when she gets knocked up, or dumped,???? she need to be focusing on school, and life with a baby is hard.

In my opinon you aren't an adult until you have a job and can support yourself well enough that you aren't counting on Student loans or credit cards to feed and clothe yourself. In short, You are an adult when you ACT like one.

I don't know your neice and she may be as sweet and innocent as apple pie, but if she isn't and is doing drugs up there with her BF do you care abou that??

2 moms found this helpful

Before deciding, I would approach her mom and let her know (if you think that she can handle it w/o going ballistic and w/o taking it out on her daughter). Realize that if the mom is not a well balanced and emotionally aware person who recognizes that this might be the best for everyone/her & daughter's relationship, the mom and/or dad (your brother & SIL) may very well end up angry with you about this. You should know that ahead of time, so you know that it may damage your relationship with them, possibly, if they feel you're "interfering" or whatever.

Second, before agreeing, a family meeting in your own home needs to take place. If you want to involve and have the kids have a say whether cousin comes & stays, then if they are vested in the decision, they will be less likely to be resentful/angry when you all hit bumps in the road with this arrangement. If it's a "done deal" and she is staying, you still need to have a family meeting, so that everyone is aware of what's going on and why this is needed/necessary, and why you feel that the cousin's needs outweigh the kids (by moving them to another room).

Lastly, before she moved it, I would write up an agreement, like a lease agreement. This would state the "rules of the house," including rent and when it's due, what happens if it's late, what she can and cannot do to her room/bathroom (if she has her own or shares a bathroom), whether overnight guests are okay (ie boyfriend), late night noise, use of common areas (like living room), food (if she will have free access to all items in the fridge, and/or if she is expected to chip in for food), if she is expected to chip in for utilities, etc. Have her sign it and you sign it and have it witness by another adult.

2 moms found this helpful

I am a pretty open person but I would say no just as any landlord has a say in who is allowed to rent. I am sure she is wonderful but she needs to prove she is up to the responsibility of renting before she takes on roommates. If it turns out badly you will have to go through the same proceedure to kick her out as any landlord. Don't bite off more than you can chew.

2 moms found this helpful

1. Yes, rent the room b/c it sounds like it's only going to be for the summer? If it's going to be for her 4 years of college, I would talk with your sons about the arrangement. If they are okay with it, then go for it.

2. No. Adult or not, she's living under your roof and you have assumed implied responsibility for her. If she were renting somewhere else, then she could do what she wants. Renting from you, the implication (whether you think so or not) is that she will be living with you and you will be caring for her in the absence of her parents. If she gets pregnant or an STD, the blame will fall squarely on you for allowing the sleeping arrangements.

In this case, perception is reality and the "perception" is that you are condoning her behavior and therefore assuming responsibility for what goes on in your house!

2 moms found this helpful

No. I offered my sister a room only because we have an extra bedroom so I wouldn't have to move the kids around. If she had taken the offer I would not allow a boyfriend to spend the night because I have kids and don't want them getting confused or the impression that it's ok to do that.

I would also find out the real reason she doesn't want to live at home maybe that's one of the things her and her mom fight about.

2 moms found this helpful

I am not sure I would take on any of my nieces. They have been raised completely different than I am raising my kids. There are 18 year olds that I would rent to though. If you allow over nighters understand that whoever she brings home will have contact with your kids. Some of your nieces choices may be fine but she is 18 and 18 year olds don't always make the sounded decisions. This boyfriend may be someone you would trust around your kids, but once you open it up to sleep overs you open it up to whomever she wants to sleep over.

Personally I would never allow my own to have boyfriends or girlfriend sleep overs and I sure wouldn't let someone else's child to have sleep overs at my house either. I wouldn't want that example for my children.

I also would consider that I wouldn't want to get between her mother and the niece. I make it a fast rule to respect the rules of parents. If your brother wants to take this up with his X that's one thing but you are another. I think kids should respect their parents and I would never want to encourage them not to.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you met the boyfriend? If not, then I would require a meeting with him before you agree or disagree. I do have a sneaking suspicion that this boyfriend could be the cause of many issues with mom, as someone else mentioned, so you need to check it out. If he's "normal" and you feel he's an overall good guy and would respect your house and your rules that you have set for her, then it's probably fine. But, then it gets into whether or not you want a "live-in" in your house and what your kids will think/say about it. I don't really know what I would do, honestly. I feel like I would have to go back to saying that you must meet him first before you can even consider a decision. Good luck, this is tricky!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, Mama:

First of all, with my experience the answer for your niece would have been, "no."

Then the next request would have been someone else's problem.

Unsettling the two boys was really inconsiderate for a girl who has no respect for her mom and no respect for you all to have the audacity to
ask y'all to allow her boyfriend to sleep over.

When she goes to college return the boy to his room and let the niece learn to fend for herself.

good luck

1 mom found this helpful

Even though I talked with my husband about the niece it is not a good idea. She the niece came to you about staying with you after finding a room in a "not" so hot area of town.

First off you have a family that is pretty settled in in what they do as a routine. Now you want to turn this upside down by moving the stepson in with the stepbrother. Have you talked to these to guys first?!?

Why did the niece come to you? Did you talk with the mom to find out why she doesn't get along with her? How well do you know your niece? Does she have the same moral standards as your family? These questions need to be answered before I would consider any family living with me.

No, I would not let the boyfriend anywhere near my home.

There seems to be more there than we are being told and I wouldn't want to be the one that gets blamed for any errors or mistakes. The age of 18 is rough an adult but still a child. Contact your brother to see what he says as it is his child.

I just feel that there are bad vibes that will come out of this if you do rent the room.

Best of luck.

The other S.

PS Don't bite off more than you can chew with someone else's child even if it is family.

1 mom found this helpful

How about just helping her find her own place in a true rental housing? Like you said, she is an adult now and keeping her "in the family" will be like having another child but one that wants to do as she pleases. On top of that, you don't know this "boyfriend" do you? He could be scoping out the silverware and come back (with a key!) to clean you out. Rentals do background checks and have security deposits for a reason. I would say a big "no" to both, or say a TEMPORARY yes to letting her be your guest for a month until she finds a place she can rent with room mates. This would be putting way too much pressure on your family in my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

I think the issue becomes is she a renter or your niece. I know she is one in the same, but if you were renting to someone else would you care if a BF came over and if she rents from someone else BF is going to come over anyways. . .
If it were me and my niece (I have two this age) I would lay down some ground rules, make out a contract and get you both to sign it. IF the rule/agreement is no guests except for weekends due to your family's schedule, etc - that is your choice as the person renting the room.
I think it showed a level of maturity and respect for her to ask you about the BF and not just assume it was ok.
I would allow her to rent from me and I would lay down some ground rules for any guest (friend or BF) and I would also speak to her about safety and I might even mention it to my brother/sister, (the parent) and get their take on it.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

This sounds like a bad idea. 1. To kick you step son out of his room is going to be problematic. 2. What kind of example will your neice and boyfriend be setting for your younger children? 3. Next, the boyfriend will probably want to move in too and that's really going to put you and your husband in a bad situation.
Just from reading your post, I don't think you should do this unless you want to add extra stress to your household. Sorry!

1 mom found this helpful

Honestly I wouldn't do it. You are setting yourself and family up. Yes your neice is 18 and an adult now but you know nothing about exactly how she was raised and this may indeed cause havoc on your families lifestyle. Furthermore the step-son my become resentful but maybe not. If she doesn't make some sound decisions as most young people do at some point or another then you might be the one blamed since you allowed her in your home rent or no rent. What if she ends up pregnant?? Even if she was responsible enough to take birth control measures-what if she ended up pregnant? Number one the mother and father can certainly point the finger at you and then on top of all of that you would be faced with having to help her out when she decides to keep the baby sha cant support. Now these are all what if situations and you know what maybe just maybe her moving there might do her some good.......I think if you do it then some boundaries need to be set up and understood. Inviting the boyfriend over and letting him stay the night-big no in my book. Sounds like she wants to play house with the boyfriend and the mom doesn't want any part of it and the whole reason she wants some freedom......but just my opinion and of course we don't know the entire picture.

1 mom found this helpful

Is your son ok with leaving his room? Your own kids wants and needs should come first. Don't kick him out of his room to help your niece. Whether she pays rent or not or has a boyfriend sleep over or not is unimportant compared to that.

Umm. Hmmm. I'm no prude, but I wouldn't like this. I think you get to have boys spend the night when you are living independently and paying your own rent. It's "not quite there" imo at a family member's house even if rent is being paid. Sounds like she needs her own apartment in whatever part of town she can afford. The boyfriend thing can snowball and you'll have him there all the time NOT paying any rent. Plus I wouldn't like to kick my step son out of his room.

Then again if we REALLY needed the money, I guess I might do it, but would not like the boyfriend thing. This is horn dog age and "new tenants" often flake on school and rent etc especially with boyfriends in the picture. She needs to be working for money in her "spare time" not having slumber parties-unless she's truly independent. I'm guessing she's getting a way better deal from you than coughing up a deposit on a real place which is why she wants to do it. That doesn't mean her boyfriend needs to be involved. In theory, if he visited now and then, it wouldn't be a biggy, but that's never what ends up happening.

Why can't she stay in the dorm at the college?

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