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jca's avatar

As a young adult living at home, what did your parents do for you/provide for you, and what was expected of you in return? For parents of young adults, how does that differ from what you do for/expect from your young adult children?

Asked by jca (28222 points ) January 7th, 2014

I was discussing my friend’s young adult sons with her the other day. We were talking about what she and her husband do for them, and what we were provided with as young adults living with our parents.

When I was 18 (mid 1980’s), I paid $300 a month rent to my parents. This was more than any of my friends paid their parents. I paid my car repairs, car insurance, registration, gas, clothes, etc. and also bought my own car. I did my own laundry.

My friend had a similar experience with what her parents provided for her.

For her young adult sons, she and her husband pay for the car, repairs, insurance, phones, registration, gas, clothes, etc. (I recently asked a question on here where I discussed how her son called her a name when he was demanding that she lend him her car). She also does their laundry.

When I was young, the rules of the house were “as long as you’re living under our roof, you cannot come home when you want to. You come home when we say you do and if you don’t like it, you can move out.”

I did move out shortly after, as I thought that $300 a month was a high rent to pay, with a curfew too.

Everyone else that I knew could come home whenever they wanted as soon as they turned 18. When my sister came along 19 years later, she could stay out all night when she turned 18.

What did your parents provide for you, as a young adult? Did they pay your car insurance, gas, etc.? Did you have to pay rent? Did you have a curfew or could you come home whenever you wanted?

As a parent of young adults, what did you provide for them? How does it differ from the way you were raised?

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25 Answers

snowberry's avatar

My kids are all grown and are employed. One is living at home to pay off her education faster. Each of them are far more together than I ever was.

When I was living at home they provided almost everything (food and shelter free of charge).

tom_g's avatar

I lived with my mother for two years after high school and worked before I started college. I paid rent (I believe it was a small amount – a few hundred/mo). My parents didn’t pay for any car, car insurance, or college. Once I got to college, it was alienating to meet all of these people who didn’t pay a dime to get there, were driving a car their parents bought them, and were making travel plans for the summer rather than trying to find a job.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Mom provided shelter, food, laundry facilities and a bedroom, water, etc… At 16 she also provided me a vehicle with the understanding I got a job & paid for everything and helped her out.

My part was to help clean, help do dishes, do my own laundry, etc… I had a curfew of 10pm all through high school, and had to call home if I had to be one minute past curfew. At age 12 I began to work at the local fairgrounds in concession to help my mom, and often I’d get to keep some of it for myself. After I turned 16, I continued to ask my mom if she needed help before I spent any.

We also had the ‘my house, my rules’ saying and I obeyed it until I moved out at 17. I did not pay rent.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I was welcomed home and lived there for several years when I returned home from service in the early seventies. I was charged a nominal fee for room and board (meals included), but was expected to pay all my other bills. Before I had a car , if I needed to get somewhere, I was on the bus or on foot. When I was in college (still living at home) I was not required to pay the room and board, but the other rules still applied. I was expected to come home before midnight, to enter quietly when I came in, and to be up for breakfast. If I pulling an all-nighter (“studying” with a “friend”) I was to let them know I would not be home that night, and check in the next day. I was allowed to have guests (most of my friends really enjoyed my parents), but none overnight.

It was a “my house, my rules” type of situation. When I got my first place, I still came home most evenings, and left at bed time.

cookieman's avatar

I was home until I was twenty-five and my fiancé and I bought a house.

My parents provided food and shelter with all the attached utilities and healthcare. I did not pay rent.

My mother gave me her old car (1982 Buick Skylark) when she went out and bought a new one in 1991.

I paid my tuition through college on my own, paid for my car insurance and personal bills (credit card, school fees & supplies & books, car stuff). I worked 35 hours/week while going to college. I started working when I was fifteen. My folks stopped giving me money after that. Bought all my own clothes and accessories.

The Buick literally broke down for good (collapsed in a heap) on my way home from college graduation. I bought my self a brand new Honda Civic the next week.

I’m grateful they let me stay, eat their food, and never charged me rent.

They did say they would help pay for school and later claimed to have never said that, but that’s another story.

dxs's avatar

I left my parents’ home when I was 17, right after my high school graduation ceremony. But I still had responsibilities of my own from the time leading up to when I left. All of these responsibilities started when I was around 15.
First of all, I didn’t own a car. I got my license and still have it today, and I would drive one of their cars if I wasn’t walking or taking the bus. They paid insurance. Now, I am off of their insurance since I am no longer living with them.
I bought a lot of stuff for myself: my clothes, my food, my gym license which I eventually had to give up due to cost, my laundry, and other provisions. At this time, I was also trying to save up money for college, so I was very thrifty (and now I’m a pro at being frugal, if anyone needs help). I am currently paying for college as well.
I cooked for myself and cleaned for myself.
Doing all of this wasn’t because I wanted to, by the way.
Luckily, I never had to worry about curfews or anything. They went out and came home late more than I did, so they had no control over that. In fact, I would leave the house sometimes and no one would question where I was going, that is, if they were home. So that was a nice freedom. I’m a responsible person, though.

Some things they did for me: give me a roof over my head, put me in schol, keep me alive, pay my taxes, provide healthcare. I’m thankful that I have parents who kept me in a decent condition. I’m working on how to do my own taxes, now, but it’s so complicated. I have to look up the whole Obamacare thing about health insurance and being 26. I don’t want them to have to deal with those things.
It really set me up for being on my own. I pretty much felt like I was living on my own when I was with my parents anyway because I wouldn’t interact with them at all and do everything for myself. It’s sad meeting people at college who can’t do anything on their own because they were spoon-fed by their parents their whole life and now they are screwed.

filmfann's avatar

I got a paper route when I was 11. I worked from that time, to about 10 days ago, when I retired. I almost always had a job.
After High School I worked at KFC, while I was in College. I gave my parents a token amount for rent ($100, I think), which never paid for the food I was eating. My parents let me do this while I was in College, and finding my footing.
My parents weren’t of one mind here. My Dad had dropped out of school at 17, and joined the Navy. He married my Mom a year later. He felt I was drifting too much, and he may have been right, but my Mom pushed him to let me find my way. I dropped out of college at 21, got a job with the Phone Company, and moved out at 22.

livelaughlove21's avatar

As a senior in high school, even before turning 18, I was working part-time and paying for my own phone bill, gas, and car insurance. I never asked my parents for “shopping money” or anything like that, but they did pay for all of my food, clothes, etc. until I got out of high school and started working full time. When that happened, I was still in school. The rule in our house is that, if you’re living at home, you’re either working and paying rent or you’re a full-time student. Since I was a student, I never paid my parents rent. I covered the aforementioned expenses and bought my own clothes and food when I was dieting, which was most of the time. As for what was expected of me, not much. I helped clean and kept my room and bathroom from looking like a swamp. I did dinner dishes from time to time as well. I was gone a lot between work, school, and seeing my now-husband then-boyfriend.

When my husband and I were waiting on our new house to close, we stayed with his mom for one month and my parents for one month. His mom didn’t want us to pay anything at all, but we helped quite a bit with groceries and gave her an extra $100 just to make ourselves feel better. We paid my parents $300 for the month and bought our own food. In reality, we were only paying for Josh to stay there since I was still a student and the house rule still applied.

hug_of_war's avatar

All of my siblings and I live at home (we range from 22–28).

Our rules are we each pay $250 in rent and we also pay the water bill divided amongst ourselves. We all have to work full-time jobs. She pays for groceries. We all pay our own cell phone bills (though my mom and I share a plan). We have chores, but no different from when we were in school really. You can live rent-free if you are a full-time student.

Three of us live at home because of finances (despite having a college degree I make under $11/hr combined with my $200 in loans, and other bils/rent and inability to drive due to disability), the oldest doesn’t need to live here financially but chooses to for some reason.

This probably makes us all seem like slackers but this was the best job I could get after a long depressing period of unemployment.

Seek's avatar

When I was nine years old, my mother moved us from our grandparents’ house (where we stayed for a year after my parents split up) into a small camping trailer with her boyfriend. That’s five people in a knock-off Airstream.

The boyfriend had recently been injured in a work accident. He had a herniated disc in his back and frequent migraines. My mother worked.

So, from nine years old on, it was my responsibility to get the kids up for school (myself, brother, and sister), make breakfast, get us on the school bus, walk everyone home from the bus stop, make snacks, help with homework, make dinner, do all the house cleaning, and take care of mom’s sick boyfriend. For two of the first six months, we didn’t even have electricity, so cooking dinner included starting a campfire and cooking over a grate laid across a couple of bricks.

When we finally moved into an apartment and from then on, my duties expanded to include laundry and yardwork. By then my brother was old enough to start helping. Eventually my stepfather was healthy enough to take care of some stuff by himself, but by that point we were old enough that “chores” was a normal, expected thing.

At 17 I started working. At first it was to pay for a student loan they took out in my name to attend some bullshit trade school I didn’t want to go to (since they refused to allow me to attend college because then I would “think I was better than them”). I also paid my own car, gas, insurance, etc.

Then, behind my back, they had the whole thing paid off by his father and demanded I reimburse them up front. I refused, since the agreement my name was on had monthly payments that I had never failed to pay, and they had chosen to do that without consulting me. I was quite angry.

At one point when I was 18, I had worked for three months in a temporary position with the local government, and saved a good deal – about three thousand dollars – to get me through until another job came through. About that time, my stepfather decided he needed a truck topper for his Silverado. They asked me to put up the money until my mother’s tax return cleared in the bank, shouldn’t be more than a week.

They never paid me back, and when I brought it up they came back with the student loan thing. They left me completely broke for months.

Soon after, they started asking for rent money. I shared a bedroom with my little sister, still took care of all of the housework and took care of the kids, spent most of my time at church and was not allowed to choose my own comings and goings. I wasn’t allowed to date. I wasn’t allowed to have friends over. I wasn’t “allowed” to move out. So I said “no”. If I’m paying someone rent, I’m paying for the privilege of making my own choices and having privacy. Neither of which were benefits of the space I was occupying.

When I was 20, my parents and I got into an argument, and one of the last things out of my mother’s mouth was “And you better start paying rent or I’ll make you move out!”

The next day I made arrangements with a workmate who had been looking for a boarder anyway.

Friday evening I started packing, and I spent Saturday moving my stuff out. My mother asked me what I was doing when my car was about halfway full. She immediately launched into a diatribe about how I was “abandoning the family” (taking the one full-time income that didn’t come from disability or child support away – I did the math, and every dime of my mother’s income at that point was paying for cigarettes.) and how I would never make it on my own, and would be crawling back in a week.

Less than a month later they were asking me if they could borrow money.

My son is five. I expect him to clean his own room once a week and take care of his puppy. When he’s a little older he can start on basic housework, but my expectations for him are more academic than laborial. I don’t know how I’ll feel when he’s an adult, but I do know if he pays any rent, it will be because he has his own private space and the ability to make his own decisions about it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Can I just say that sometimes after reading your posts I want a list of names and locations so I can string them up by their toes and do mean things to them?

Seek's avatar

On the upside, I’ll survive the Zombie Apocalypse. I’ve already lived with soul-sucking monsters once and survived. And I can start a fire with wet wood.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Have you ever thought about being a teen counselor? I bet you’d be great.

Cupcake's avatar

I had a kid at 16 and my mom had a kid a few months later. My parents were committed to helping me get a college degree so that I would be a good parent/productive member of society/utilize my intelligence. So they paid for school and essentials for the two kids. I worked part-time and did not pay rent, so I paid for my own “stuff”. I never asked for money. I was always good at saving. I gave them $10/month for a cell phone on their plan. I got free daycare for my kid. I would bring him to daycare/pick him up if I wasn’t in class/work. Otherwise my mother would transport. I was expected to take care of their kid whenever they wanted.

I graduated high school a year and a half early. I got married ¾ of the way through college and moved out. The money all stopped then. I had to pay for college and everything for the kid. Even though we split up 3 months into the marriage because he was a pathological lying, verbally abusive ass, I was on my own from then on.

In terms of my kids… my oldest is a senior in high school. If he gets into a 4 year school, he will need to take out student loans to pay tuition/fees/etc. If he passes all classes, I will reimburse as much of his loan as I can for the semester. If he doesn’t get into a 4 year school, he will need to either go to community college and live at home or work and financially contribute some amount to the household. He will be welcome to work and pay his way outside of my home, but I will not pay his rent. He will be allowed to come and go as he pleases, but he may not interrupt the daily routine or sleep of his very little siblings. He will always be welcome to come home to eat and do laundry (he has done his own laundry since he was 10). He is currently residing in our attic, but once college starts his space will be reduced to half and we will have a play room in the other half (we’ll put up a wall if we have to).

YARNLADY's avatar

My parents paid for my college, but after the first year, I ran away from home and got married. A year later my son was born, I lost my husband and went back home. My parents took care of me and the baby for a year, while I lived in a fog. I finally recovered and remarried.

When my son was 11, we lost his step-dad, the only father he had known. We lived on our own for about a year and met my current husband. When #1 son was 16, I had my second son. My first born joined the military the following year.

If I wrote about the comings and goings of my sons and their wives over the next 30 years, it would sound like a soap opera. We help them out whenever we can.

My oldest is now 50 years old and living in London. He is permanetly disabled due to a stroke he suffered 5 years ago.

My youngest is 33 and living in a house we bought him, with his two sons, his wife, her mother and her grandmother. Sonny is unemployed and living on welfare and SNAP with the grandmothers paying rent from their Social Security and Disability checks and food from SNAP.

Two of my adult grandsons from my oldest son are living with us, plus one girlfriend. The boys have part time jobs and help out with the expenses as much as possible. We have three cars, two for our household and one for Sonny. We pay the insurance, which has gone up over $1,000 because of moving violations by two of the boys.

We also supplement Hubby’s mother in her assisted living apartment, and provide help for my Daughter In Law when her car needs repairs.

bolwerk's avatar

My parents paid for my car, cell phone, and housing through college. The first two pretty much guaranteed I’d be able to see them, and back then I mainly used such things for communicating with them or visiting them anyway. I didn’t live at home, but was always welcome back.

It was the early dot-com era, but even then the idea of a well-paying job without college was pretty much obsolete.

nikipedia's avatar

My daughter is a total freeloader! She won’t even wipe her own butt!

Here’s the freeloader stealing my bed.

Seek's avatar

Ugh. Get a job kid. Amirite?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@nikipedia Good thing that daisy was well-placed-lol! Your daughter’s a cutie bootie!!

livelaughlove21's avatar

I guess this is relevant as well…

My older sister is 31 years old and just recently moved out of my parents’ house – and I doubt she’ll stay gone long. She’s still not on her own but living with a couple friend of hers and their two kids. My sister has a 10-year-old daughter that was practically raised by my mother. My sister has been from shit job to shit job and has absolutely no direction in life. She also happens to be addicted to narcotics, which doesn’t help. Her daughter is now on what I call “split custody” between her mother and my parents. It’s absolutely ridiculous. My sister supposedly paid my parents rent but I suspect my mother let her slide way more than she should’ve. I know that she was constantly behind on bills even though she was “working constantly.”

I, on the other hand, moved out of my parents’ house at 19 and, aside from that one month I mentioned above, never looked back. I got married, bought a house, earned a degree, and recently landed a fantastic job. It’s amazing how two kids that grew up in exactly the same environment could be so incredibly different. Since my graduation, my sister has gone off on what my mother calls a “jealous streak” and doesn’t talk to me much. It might sound awful, but it doesn’t bother me much. Her drama is more than I’m willing to handle, anyway.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Wow, and she’s the elder right? Quite a role reversal, usually the older one is the high achiever personality and the second is the more laidback.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yep. I’m 8 years younger (I guess that makes her 32, not 31). Not quite sure what went wrong, but it must’ve been a doozy!

hearkat's avatar

I’m about the same age as you, and if I was a full-time student I lived rent-free, but had to cover my own expenses. If I was not a full-time student, I had to pay $150.00 a month for rent, which included groceries. I had to clean up after myself, but didn’t have any chores. She gave me a junk car when I was 18, and when that died, she let me use hers because she commuted by bus. I came and went as I pleased, but only used the car with permission.

My son is 22, and I offered him essentially the same deal, but rent is cheaper for him relative to inflation—I just raised it to $250/mo. from $200/mo for the past few years – it includes groceries and his cell phone is on my Family Plan. He cleans his room and bathroom and laundry.

When he turned 17, I gave him my car that had 45,000 miles on it and bought myself a new car. I kept him on my insurance and paid it for him until he traded it in with almost 110,000 miles on it when he was 20. He used the trade-in towards the down-payment plus money he’d saved. He got the loan all himself – no co-signer, because I had taught him to be responsible with money and credit. He also got his own insurance then.

He’ll often take out the trash and recycling without being asked, and once in a while even cleans the litter boxes! He’s working as a mechanic, so he does maintenance on our cars and we reimburse him for the parts. He comes and goes as he pleases, and I sleep soundly because I know that he’s got a pretty good head on his shoulders. When he had a girlfriend, she had a key to the house and often spent the night. They were together for more than 2 years.

hearkat's avatar

@dxs – When he has about 17, my son started to recognize how clueless and dependent his peers were and he began thanking me for having been tough on him and making him pay for and take care of his own stuff since he was about 10.

I forgot to mention that I cover my son on my health insurance plan. Thanks, Obama.

dxs's avatar

@hearkat Albeit frustrating at times, it was a great learning experience! It just took me a little longer than it should’ve to realize my responsibilities.

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