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I know that the focus of this show is on middle-class people but I think this topic is also relevant for those of us who have middle-class aspirations for our children. I am sole parent and sole support with three children ranging in age from 18 to 24. I raised them on low income for more than 15 years with no other parental support.
My oldest moved out when he was 18 and back home at 22, challenged by what may be best described as a psychotic break. After 2 years back home, he has begun to return to his responsible, loving self. He is still living at home, works full time at a well-paid job. He contributes to the household by paying a share of the bills, as well as participating in household chores and helping to meet his sisters' needs.
When I graduated from HS in 1975, my parents told me that I could continue living at home as long as I was in school, that this was what they could do to support my desire to go to college. If I dropped out, I had to start paying room and board.
This is the 'rule' that I have adopted for my kids. I wish I had known about the 20% rule because I have two college-age children now, both of whom are making more than twice as much money as I do. When thay are not in school, I have them pay a percentage of the household bills while living here.
My 19-year-old is now working and also a full time college student. She wants to keep her money for spending on her boyfriend (who incidently and ironically has been diagnosed with brain cancer and given two years to live), eating out and other luxuries, as thehousehold bills go unpaid. I wish I could be consistent with all my children but I am having to ask her to contribute to the household.n At the same time, I am holding fast to my rule that her boyfriend cannot live in our home, only visit.
Any constructive and thoughtful comments would be welcome.
posted 2 years, 4 months ago
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