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Support over the age of 18?

Terryific478's picture

Well, as most of you know, I have teenage step children. Well, two of them will be turning 18 in a month. This issue does come up as the kids get older! So look out. To make matters even more complicated...let us throw in the bio daughter whom is now 21 years old. Ok, the 18 year old steps think they should not have to contribute, although they are working. I just informed my step daughter, things are a changing around here. She makes $80.00 weekly and blows every cent. Then she still feels we should continue to buy her the basics and plus! Meanwhile, she goes her merry way. In today's world, according to the courts, you must pay support in NY, until they are 21 now. Geez, what happened to the old days. I was told I had to get a job and pay room and board. I was expected to contribute. Now, I think the "new" adults expect us to give them a free ride for a few years...until they can slide into the comfey job. Anyhow, any thoughts on this?


Dawn-Moderator's picture

I think that we would expect my stepson to either be going to college or looking for a job to get out on his own after high school. If he is in college, we will probably be a little more lenient with him. Of course, even if he is enrolled in college he can still work a part time job to help out with things that are above and beyond the basics.
We would probably want to make sure that he had some kind of a plan for his future and help when we could. However, we won't be real big on just working a low paying job and mooching off of us for years on end.
Of course my stepson is only 10.5 right now, so things could change!


SympatheticBioDad's picture

Aren't you considered an adult and entirely responsible for yourself at the age of 18? How can a court reasonably hold a parent responsible for anything related to their child after they turn eighteen?

I'm already thinking about my son's college education and he's not even a teenager yet. I intend on helping him every way I can to pay for his higher education, but I couldn't imagine being legally obligated to do so.

Can somebody explain to me the flip-side of this view? Does anybody out there actually believe that a parent should be held responsible for their child's education beyond high school?

Don't get me wrong. I think that parents have a moral obligation to encourage their children to continue their education beyond high school, to graduate with at least a Bachelor's degree and beyond. Only a moron wouldn't. I just don't think the law should have anything to do with it.

Lauraine's picture

Well the weekend is here and Melanie is home AARRGHHH! First I got the "Is dinner ready yet"? That got my back up. The girl is 20 freaking years old. Last night she had a night out with the girls and made the effort to make dinner for them (woudl never think about doing that for us). Brought up the issue of room and board with my bio son and my daughter. They both laughed at us. My son and SD! Damn I feel like I need my space. I have had just about enough of both of them. I mentioned that it might be nice for them to pay 10% of their salaries on a weekly basis for room and board. Now that does not amount to much on a min. salary. Melanie stormed off in a huff and my son went to a friends house. You would think we were asking them for their life savings! I mentioned that they had it easy. Tom and I pay for EVERYTHING and that they did not know the meaning of "stress". Melanie proceeded to let me know that she experiences just as much stress as I do in life. Really? I wish she would try 40 hrs a week working in finance and then once payday comes around dish out most of it on mortgage, food, utilities, etc. GIVE ME A BIG BREAK!!!!! Well, my SD proceeded to let me know that she pays for her own textbooks and cell phone. ARRRGGGHHH! and then stormed into her room. She speaks to me with so much distain and disrespect.Oh how I wish she would get a roomie and move out! She causes way too much tension here and so does my son. Eric mentioned he is moving out in July, but at 24 it's time. Melanie is 20, but still not ready. Do you think we should persist with the room and board issue? She has told everyone that she could not put up with her bio mother. HMMMMMMM....mabye she should a a tad more greatful that it was me that brought her up HUH?! Little brat....

Sweetie's picture

Well, I must admit after reading some of the treasures I've seen on the blogs this week about some of the older stepchildren, I am really thinking that as the kids get older, they really don't appreciate what they have. I have totally been slammed and blasted, dragged through the mud, and mind you, let's not forget I've been flaunting my husband in front of my stepdaughter for the last seven years. You would think the kid would be happy to see her Dad was finally happy with someone, HELLO. Is anyone home. But hey, it's all about me again, and being a freaking drama queen. I can say that hope all of you are on the same page as your spouse, because if you're not, you're up a creek. My SD thinks that I am "making my husband do these things, and her behavior has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he wants no relationship with her. And then she has the audacity to throw in my face, that she carries my husband picture with her every day. A picture that I gave her. HELLO again. It like the lights are on, but no ones home. We seem to be a few sandwiches short of a picnic basket. Granted, she is supposed to graduate next year, and the only thing that she is working on is shock value for gothic. Her behavior is abhorrent, she doesn't nothing that she feels she needs to apologize for, etc., she insults minorities in school and picks fights, and the list goes on. I can't imagine letting my stepchildren live here without them paying room and board and also they would have to do chores. No question about it. Otherwise, hit the road and don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out. I've had a rough weekend, and frankly and pretty tired of getting bashed. And kind of mad and myself for wanting things to be different when I know that they can't. Wishful thinking can be a downfall but I had a great day with my two new dogs--the rescue dog--Murphy (5 year old greyhound) who came back to me when I called him and 14 week old greyhound pup is just so cute it's impossible to stay mad at him he pulls at your heartstrings. I am working on my beloved Tony's scrapbook and his old rescue group is going to publish his memorial photo and write up as soon as a finish it (it's tough work). And one nice thing is that we are getting a sketch made of Tony. My hat is off to all of you who keep hanging in there---the days, hours, minutes, and seconds you put in as stepparents will never truly be appreciated for what you do--but know that you are all wonderful!
With warm regards,

Fed Up's picture

I can complete relate to your situation and I have the same frustration myself. I personally don't know how much more I can tolerate. Anyway, My SS is 21, is working fulltime, and moved back into our home the middle of sept. He broke up with his girlfriend, but they made a baby together. He has basically their entire apt. in our garage. He eats our food, drinks our beverages, sleeps on our sofa in the living room. He doesn't have a car, so he's using ours to get back and forth to work. My wife and I are also stuck babysitting A LOT!! It's been almost three weeks since he;s moved back and he hasn't paid a dime towards living expenses. He also is expecting one, or both of us to co-sign for a car loan for him. I think he needs to be a man and personally take care of his own business!! I'm also afraid if I confront him or my wife of exactly how I feel, it could go nuclear. I definitely feel your pain

Been There's picture

Fed Up,

I have read your other posts. At least I think they are yours.

You do not want to enable a grown child who is looking to avoid adult responsibilities. This battle is between you and your wife. Your SS is simply taking advantage of it. This situation is not going to change until a change is precipitated.

It sounds like your wife doesn’t want to let go of her little boy, and she is focusing on protecting her son which is fostering his lack of drive. She needs to get with the program and be a responsible mom.

I know you are concerned that saying something will jeopardize your marriage, but it looks like your marriage may be in trouble no matter what you do.

Decide what needs to be done and do it.

If you can live like this and feel you don't want to risk the marriage, then try to ignore the situation with your SS.

If you truly believe that you can no longer just stand by and not say anything, then set guidelines for getting him out on his own, go over it with your wife and suggest that the two of you speak with a family counselor about how to manage this. If she refuses, go it on your own.

Good luck.

Infuriated's picture

I have a 21 year old stepson who moved back in with my wife and I about a month ago. Like you said, he works fulltime, but doesn't have a car. He broke up with his girlfriend who he was suppose to marry. They also have a kid. So I'm a grandpa at the ripe age of 38!!! In the month he's moved back, we've been babysitting the child, housing her, feeding her, etc.. Also, my ss since he has no car, has been driving mine! Using the gas, wear and tear. He has only replaced about $10 worth of the gas!! He also hasn't paid anything toward rent,food, groceries. My wife has even purchased diapers and other stuff for the baby. AAAHHHH!! I'm trying to be helpful, but he got himself in this mess, and my wife and I both work fulltime. We cannot afford all this. My house never stays clean, there's stuff all over the house. My ss takes daily baths (water bill) He also has our garage occupied with all of his and ex-girfriend's stuff. I'm afraid if I tell my wife exactly how I feel, it will go nuclear. I've been so stressed out in the last month. Why should he be able to live for free in our house and basically bank his paychecks?? He makes $1600/month!!!! So I know exactly where you are coming from

happy mom's picture

Here in Hawaii, child support is up to age 18, but if child goes to college then support continues. I would have the child contribute to home expenses at the age of 18 to teach them to be responsible and the value of money. Yes I think a lot of the children now are spoiled.

-happy mom

joe's picture

I just signed up today and it seems that others are experiencing the same problems.

I have a stepson, six months past 18th birthday. No job. No driver's license. Expelled for three straight semesters from high school, so he is a sophmore and a half. Steals clothing, money, valuables from me at will. In addition to keeping his room like the world's second largest clothes hamper, he has now taken up the habit of leaving his feces in the unflushed toilet. Has been pinched for shoplifting, but not arrested. Listens to gangsta rap, frequently opens my house to sagging-pantsed, gold-chained, twenty-something thugs. Is now staying out all night, sleeping until mid afternoon and his mother tells me he is looking for work. I am assuming that when I get completely beyond my limit and have him removed by legal action, she'll go with him because she won't be able to stand the idea of him fending for himself.

It doesn't work and it will make you hate someone you used to love.

Candice's picture

I see it in my friends, my ss's mother and grandmother...they all want to prevent their kids from learning responsibility. I just don't get it.

If you can, talk to your wife before you blow up. Does she know that you feel this way? Does she realize that she is endorsing her son to use people? I know these questions just might frustrate you further, as if you haven't already..but sometimes people don't hear things the first 100 times you say them...

Keep his baby, put him out...

joe's picture

My wife's parents (mom and stepdad) visited a couple of weeks ago. I know it isn't the grandparents' place to do anything in terms of guiding the stepson, but of course everyone acted as if everything was just a-ok with not finishing school, having no job, not driving, etc. The kid's awful behavior is reinforced at every turn.

Before they left to go back home to another state, I gave them a virtually un-used Italian twelve-speed bike to give to my wife's nephew. His bike was destroyed in a traffic accident that he luckily walked away from. He is 21, hasn't graduated from high school, doesn't drive and lived with my wife's parents until about a year ago when they moved to a retirement community. Pattern, maybe? Of course, I haven't heard a thing from the kid-certainly no one in the program would lean on him to send a thank-you card or even make a phone call in gratitude-mind you, this bike is worth real money. The standard operating procedure is to just flounder around and somebody will take care of everything.

My wife and her siblings (she has two brothers and a sister) have between them 10 marriages, 9 divorces and five kids. None of the kids (one is only nine years old, so he doesn't count) have managed to finish high school, only one of them can drive and the ones who are employed work at the absolute bottom of the pay scale. My wife's mother has spent her entire adult life being a supplemental mother to her grandchildren and absolutely not one of them has been taught common courtesy, respect for authority, the importance of work, the value of money-any of it.

Do you want to know the real kicker? My wife is less than one year away from her doctorate-IN PSYCHOLOGY! I am so glad to know that she will be able to help others find excuses for their bad behavior and (hopefully) get paid for it.

Do you detect some resentment here? I suppose I am the one to blame for enabling everyone to just continue their insanity-my wife hasn't made a nickel in four years of doctoral study, so I am the one who covers everybody.

Reading back over this, I realize that in fact, I AM the one to blame. I am not going to do this any more. I will post an update soon.

Thanks for listening.

happy's picture

I would say you are bitter.. And with your situation I can see why. And undestand why. I praise you for taking responsibility for all the bad behavior.. Stand up and take that stance. since you are the paycheck for everyone. I look forward to hearing what happens..

Anonymous's picture

Don't feel bad, enabling runs in all kinds of famililes. I used to work with teachers and I swear they had the worst kids.

It sounds to me like your realizing its time to put your foot down, and wow you've been more patient than I could ever be. As I read so many posts on this forum theres many that just keep staying in the same rut. They'll be posting on this board for years instead of making necessary changes. What about telling your wife to get a part time job as she finishes her degree?? And for the son, I hope he's on his way out because its time for him to get a big reality check. I think your ready to take the bull by the horns, so good luck Joe!

BIOMOM's picture

Would have never kicked me out at 18 years old. They helped to support me until I got married. I worked, I gave them $20 a week board, yet they paid for my car insurance, food, and anything else I needed and could not afford. I know you'll be mad at me, but no 18 year old should be expected to get out of their home. I would NEVER ask my son to leave because he became "of age". Although he would be an adult, if he didn't have a college degree (couldn't at that age), he could not be expected to support himself. What kind of job would pay a high school graduate enuff to support himself. Where we live, he would be lucky to make $12.00 an hour. No apartment is available for under $800. I mean NONE!! So @ $12 an hour, multiplied by 40 hours is $480. Subtract state and government taxes, bring home would be $350. Bring home monthly equalled to $1400. Car insurance is $1400 a year. Subtract rent and insurance he is left with $460. Food? Depending on the child (my son is 6ft 7in), I would consider average 18 year old to spend what? Let's subtract $70 a week, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now he has $390. Phone bill $20 a week. Only one phone....either cell or house. Cable? $20 a week. We cannot receive reception without at least basic cable. Electric, Water and other utilities? Lets say $40 a week. Gas to get to and from work only.... $40 a week. And that is having him work very close to home and having an economy or midsize used car without payments. Okay, so he will have left at the end of the month $270. Now I cannot (or will not) divide out weekly the incidentals of more occassional puchases such as hair cuts, clothing, deodorant, toothpaste, oil changes, car maintenance (not to mention breakdowns) but I can tell you that he cannot survive without my help. Nor should he have to.

Again, my opinion. Bring it on!


PS: And the above is for a child who chooses not to go to college. I can figure out the cost for a student if you would like. However, it would be MORE.

jenny's picture

A 18 year old either needs to be attending college or working f/t and saving their money. If their ignoring the parents, engageing in bad behavior or making babies then its time for the big boot.

You can site all the math you want. 18 year old will just have to find some roomates and figure out those are the costs "WE" all have to deal with.

Janice, no offense but that is classic enabling. Sounds like my girlfriend who would tell you how wonderful her grown sons are today. Total denial at what bums they are, and one owes the irs for 4 years of not filing, among many other bad habits he refuses to give up. He didn't get that way alone.

lovin-life's picture

Hard to argue with the math....

But they should be considering 'testing their wings' and preparing for life on their own...either by getting post seconday training..or by working, contributing to the bills, like their expected to in the real world. I would support long as the effort to grow up & leave the nest was being put forward. I won't push them out before their ready...but I will make sure they are ready at a reasonable age.

But...If they can't live on what a high school education can provide many years do they sloth around your house before that reality sets in. Sometimes momma bird has to nudge baby bird to leave the nest....

If they want to sloth around in your home. HAve them contribute room & board, buy & cook thier own food, buy and wash their own clothes, complete there share of routine maintenance and/or chores like cutting the grass/shovelling the snow...doing the dishes... AND STILL HAVE TO FOLLOW MOM & DADS RULES. It won't take them long to get out, get their own place..and make their own household rules... once all the perks of living home are gone.

I left home at 18..working for minimun wage...and very quickly found out I couldn't afford myself. I moved back home after being on my own.for a year..that sucked!!! It didn't take me long to move out again but I quickly got my ass into University while on my own...

I remember living on a jar of mayonaise & a loaf of bread for 4 days until payday......I wouldn't ask for my parents help. ...but I knew that minimum wage was no way to live!!!!

It didn't kill just opened my eyes to reality... Smile

Nise's picture

I lost a lot of weight between 17-19...tuna fish and ramen noodles were a GOD SEND! It builds character. If an 18 year old "child" is not in college or vocational school or an apprenticeship program...then they need to suffer a little bit to realize that they need to be!

Make a GREAT Day!

sheila's picture

I had my own apt at age 18 and was making 2.50 an hour. It wasnt the best place, but it was mine. I don't know what the answers are for anyone but myself, but what about roommates? I lived in a house for a couple yrs with 4 other people. It was a blast!!!! Kids these days are raised to believe they are ENTITLED to everything. Sad thing is, most parents GIVE them everything so they never learn the value of working and providing for yourself. My parents never bought me a car....i survived. My parents didn't provide for me after high school....i survived. I was never GIVEN a dam thing and I am just fine. I worked for what I had/have. Don't get me wrong, my mom would be there in a heartbeat if there were no other way, but she would not and will not "put out" because she does not owe me. What i learned was more valuable than anything they could have GIVEN me. I learned to save....i learned to value of good work ethics, (you don't work, you don't get paid), i learned the value of an education, I learned to do for myself and to be responsible for everything that i did do. By giving your offspring everything on a silver platter, you are doing them more harm than good. They learn to expect this behavior from everyone in their life. They learn it doesn't matter if you work or not, no big deal, cuz mom and/or dad will take care of ya. They learn that they don't have to provide for themselves, ie: a vehicle and related expenses, because if they whine long and hard enough, someone will GIVE it to them. I see it everywhere. Especially in the legal system and scary enough, the probation office. And even when it reaches that point, guess what...they still don't believe they are responsible.

hopeful's picture

I teach college students and work with new staff in a hospital and have a twenty year old and twenty three year old. My husband has three kids ages 20, 26 and 29. I don't thing that it is reasonable to generalize about youth. Sometimes I wonder how desirable we make adulthood look.

sheila's picture

to "generalize". Perhaps I should not have used the phrase "kids these days". I work on the other side of the fence and see the ones who are now involved in breaking the law. I hope i did not offend anyone with my own frustration. :o)

hopeful's picture

I feel badly for kids these days...they are up against a lot of nonsense. I am glad that I grew up when I did!

Anne 8102's picture

I'm just curious. I'm 36 now and I was gone by the time I was 18. I moved out at 17, got two jobs and an apartment and paid my own way through college. I worked full-time, plus overtime and went to college full time. It was awful and yes, I did eat a lot of PB&J sandwiches, but I made it. That was 1988, not all that long ago.

I think there's nothing wrong with helping a kid who is actively making progress towards becoming self-sufficient, but again, I'm not financing a deadbeat, whether it's my kid, his kid or one of our kids.

~ Anne ~

sheila's picture

I wasn't "kicked out" and hope I didn't imply that in my post. I don't necassarily agree with ousting a kid either, unless its obvious that they are not willing to take care of themselves. There is a huge difference between "support" (not only financially) and "Enabling". What I was referring to is enabling. Making any decision out of frustration and anger is never a good choice. What i am frustrated by are parents who dont parent and then can't understand why their young adult creation has no ambition, motivation or desire to get off the couch and find a job that they can support themselves with. This topic always ruffles my feathers. lmao

BIOMOM's picture

While I posted the math up above, I did not mean that we should keep our kids, lying around, eating Dorito's and playing PlayStation and sponging off of us with no goal to get out. I just meant that at 18 it seems next to impossible to live on your own. Although I did realize that the child could get a roommate and split costs. Duh!


joe's picture

Since when does the apparent desirability of adulthood have anything to do with its arrival?

My parents didn't throw me out when I was 18-I had already been gone a year! And because of nothing negative-my parents had reconciled after about a year of being apart and had decided to move out of state. I had my high school by the short hairs and wasn't going to pull up stakes and move a thousand miles away for my senior year. I lived in a teacher's basement. Sometimes I ate right, sometimes I didn't. I still went to school, graduated well, etc. The following year, went to college, did badly, bailed out, started working, lived with roommates...I am here to tell the tale.

Janice, you are a champion enabler. I suppose you won't mind subsidizing your child for the rest of his life, because that is what you are bound for. I am amazed at the number of people who do no parenting, teach precisely zero life skills, fret about how awful everything is and therefore protect their children from it all and just expect their kids to suddenly come out happy and successful.

The minute you stand in between your child and anything unpleasant but necessary, you have done him or her the worst disservice imaginable. The notion that whatever you don't like you don't have to do is the most pernicious idea alive today.

A good life is not one without struggle or discomfort or inconvenience or misfortune. A good life is one lived through in defiance of those things and the earlier you start fighting those monsters, the better.

Everything in life costs money. Do you expect a kid to grow up and suddenly be money-savvy if he has never had to cover his own expenses on anything? How do you expect him to hold a job when he finally does move out if he is accustomed to the insurance that your purse provides?

Nobody wants his or her kid to live on the street. I am here to tell you it isn't going to happen-when human beings are pressed upon by circumstances, they really start to shine.

Where do these utterly misguided ideas about parenting come from?

I am quite fed up. I had the "conversation" with my wife last night. I am too frustrated to even go into it now. I will continue at a later time.

happy's picture

You are correct in everything you said up there.. At what point if you are always there to bail them out and you lost your place how will you ever get to live without the constant taking care of your children. My mom god bless her was a tough love mom and thank the lord she was because I would not be as independent as I am today. There is not one person who doesn't wish that there child could have financial freedom for the rest of there lives but I am sorry its not as easy as it was a long time ago. You have to work.. Look back at when mothers always got to stay home and raise the kids and everything was taken care of.. Not in todays society.. What happens to these kids god for bid anything happen to you? they will not know how to deal with life.. You have to let kids learn.. Sometimes you have to get knocked down to learn something valuable..
Joe I believe in what you say..

jenny's picture

If would be different if they were attending college full time and preparing to be on their own (saving money), or having a good job.

This is different, and your right and you may have to just piss off your household to do the right thing. In fact, I have no doubt his mother has very well wrecked his future. I have a girlfriend who is much older, and I could never get her to understand how she enabled this good for nothing his entire life. From paying his bills down to his vacations. He is now 34, and its a long story but he'll never get it together. Its a cyle effect and now his kids have problems.

Joe, I'm afraid all you can do is set the dead line and stick with it and let your wife and inlaws be angry. They'll get over it, and just maybe this adult man will change his ways. Either way, HE will have to support himself and its amazing how motivated they get when the enabling stops.

Anne 8102's picture

...between helping out a child who is struggling but TRYING and helping out a child who is not even making the effort to pretend to try. I'm not kicking out any child who follows house rules, works and contributes financially to the household and is actively working towards becoming self-sufficient. But I'm not housing deadbeats.

~ Anne ~

lovin-life's picture

One brother & I were raised one way...and 14 years later our much younger brother was raised differently... to be an irresponsible bum....

No chores, everything handed to him, whatever gadgets or "stuff" he wanted. BAMM here it is. What did he do in return SFA... He is 27 and irresponsible to this DAY!

When he was 16/17 living at home..our father was is a very bad helcopter crash. Mom needed wood hauled across the yard, up the front steps, down the basement steps, into the basement and stacked for the winter. The only means of heat was a wood/oil combo furnace but they only had it set-up for wood.... so no wood no heat.

Nothing wrong with him, physically..... I got tired of my mother crying to me hundreds of miles away because she didn't know what to do. Me and my then 3 yr old...brought her winter wood into thier house...while he did nothing!! I would let him freeze his ass off...but my mother was an emotional wreck...and I did it to save her sanity. If he was my kid!!!!! They created a lazy slob....

He also got them to co-sign for student loans...he then quit school & defaulted on them. Twice. They said no more. He got another one from his GF's mother to co-sign...he dumped his girlfriend and stiffed her mother...

And as disappointed as my parents are in this son....they helped make him what he is today!!!

Parents have to make the connection....
Your job isn't to coddle them but to teach them the skills they need to become productive members of society.....

To value hard work, honesty and to enjoy the self-esteem that comes with being productive..

I'm going to fall into this from time to time with my own kids..then I'll step back a re=evalute what I'm doing right what I'm doing wrong....I don't want then to turn out like my brother.

Deep down he is NOT a happy soul...
He is struggling in his life....

Looking back, I'm sure he would rather have been a successful,productive person..than have that Playstation and another day on the couch....if he had to do it over....

Lil's picture

Did anyone see the movie? I've known guys like that. 3 of them are around 50 and living with their parents again. My ex included. I blame it on the parents (mostly the mothers for allowing it and needing to rescue their babies) and these 3 did not come from divorced homes.

My oldest SD soon to be 26 was living with her father since she was 14. She did not get along with her mother. She was 20 when her father and I started to date. I remember when I met her she was talking about getting her own apartment. A year went by, she was still living with him. He did not make her pay bills or rent. Only clean her bedroom/bath. "Just save your money" is what he told her. He bought the food, cooked it, did the dishes. She had it made. Then he asked me to move in with him. Why pay for 2 places and traveling between our homes was getting old. We were so in love and wanted to be together 24/7. So I did. Needless to say his daughter was not too happy about this decision. She knew her life was about to change and boy did it ever. We all suffered for about 2 more years, trying to live together but it just finally exploded one day and she moved out. He always trys to act like it was her decision to go but in reality he set me up to be the bad guy to get her out of his house. So fine. She moved in with her boyfriends aunt/uncle/cousin for a few months, but then they came up with some good excuses for her to move.....once again she was back crying on daddy's shoulder. So HE called around, found a really nice efficiency apartment for $400.00/mnth. We both helped her get furniture and whatever else she needed for HER place. Anyways, she forgets how I helped her and I think still blames me for having to get out on her own. You see, she anticipated her boyfriend marrying her within a year, buy HER a house and live happily ever after. Four years later and he is now telling her "He's not ready to get married." Did I mention he still lives at home and is 23? Her grandmother has been toying with the idea of letting her move in with her since her husband passed away. I advised against it. I believe my SD has issues that no one has addressed over the years and because of (I believe) her father's guilt for divorcing her mother 15 yrs ago they continue to rescue her. She's a very strong person and I'm sure can take care of herself. She just hasn't realized that yet because of her age and all the enabling. I have watched and listened to her actions and she's still a hurt little girl. But no one will deal with it and I don't think it's really my place to do that. On that level I can understand her feeling that I'm a threat. After all I took her daddy's attention away her. Who will take care of her? Her boyfriend? Grandma? Mommy can't, she can't even take care of herself from what is said.

My husband is the type that wants to take care of you, do everything and I think he has overcompensated in that area with his daughter. His ex actually called the police on him when they were together because he didn't have dinner started and coffee on when she got home. Did her spoil her too? It's like they demanded this treatment from him and showed no appreciation for it. I'm just the opposite. I've been on my own since I was 19 (now 46) and he just doesn't know how to act when I just go ahead and take care of things. He recently tried to make it out that I can't do anything without him....I need him to take care of me essentially. Maybe that's a need in him, I don't know, but I think if it is, it's hurt his daughter in more ways then one.

I believe as a parent you need to guide and teach your children to become responsible adults. Help them out when necessary and show them the way if need be. I knew one young girl, whose parents died when she was around 18. She had such a great happy personality and was certainly not wondering who was going to support her. She was living life and being happy even though she was dealt alot of unhappiness at that age. She must have had really good caring parents for her to be able to continue on with that spirit. It sometimes irks me to have to deal with someone like my SD and her spoiled, selfish behaviour. She just can't let anyone else have some happiness and Lord only knows her father deserves it.

Enough said....sorry for the rambling...I just really needed to unload today.

BIOMOM's picture

Did I say that a child should not feel the discomfort of being broke. I do not enable my son. You have taken my post all wrong. But I can tell you that I will not have his bags packed and bedroom turned into an office on his 18th birthday. If he follows the goals he has laid out for himself; college for a specific interest; internship for that field; graduation; working to save and then moving out, I WILL ENABLE HIM WITH HIS GOAL!

Where anyone feels that they should have their children on their own so that they may experience the real world while going through with plans that they have made towards a positive future is only hurting their chances of acheiving that goal.

Look, as I said in my second post, I will not allow loafing, laying around, playing PlayStation and going out til all hours of the night.

I am very proud of my son. My ex, his wife and I did the best we could with what we had. He is a strong, smart and good kid. Why would I put him out of our house because of a number? Oops, your 18 now...good luck to ya! Can I wait until 12:18 pm on that day? After all, that was the time he was born? Or should I just hold the door open with his bags packed at midnight of his 18th birthday?

Nah, I'll stand by my original post. I think I'll keep him if he wants or needs to stay!

Furthermore, life's circumstances sometimes actually force our adult offspring to move back home......let's all come down on those parents too!


Sympathetic: I had to come back and edit this post because after logging off, I wondered from where your judgement on me comes from. Why would you feel I would hurt my son by helping (not enabling) him. I probably know more about enabling and tough love than most people, by the way.

I went back and read your comments regarding my opinions again. And then it hit me!!! You are looking to stop child support of your own child(ren)!! Now I get it!!

My defense and justifications to you are no longer necessary. Your own words said it all....

Bobbi's picture

Janice, I don't think SympatheticBioDad was the one commenting on your post.

Anonymous's picture

I have been reading through some of these posts and some are down right nasty and judgmental of others. It then makes me chuckle and think how in heaven's name can people expect to get along with everyone in the stepfamily circle and what example do we as adults set for children when people can't even be civil or nice with people that they don't even know about their own individual life stories. That is gross! Is these really helpful or is it a way of subjecting ourselves to further scorn and hurt? Some of the advice is so mean and spiteful and involves so much game playing...I was hoping for support and interest in resolving issues. One person said on a post a few weeks ago that people talk and talk about the same issues, with no realistic opportunity for resolution...then it just gets to be a bitch session with no opportunity for change. Think about the words that are written and the harm that this could do to someone who may be feeling vulnerable and hurt. The last thing that people need is to be slammed and hurt by people here.

Dawn-Moderator's picture

It's called venting. Sometimes there are no solutions. Sometimes it just helps to tell other people what is happening.

There is a lot of support here. We're not experts. We're human.
I for one feel better because of all of the support I've received from the people here.


lovin-life's picture

SBD said in his post....

"I'm already thinking about my son's college education and he's not even a teenager yet. I intend on helping him every way I can to pay for his higher education, but I couldn't imagine being legally obligated to do so."

I don't think that he is looking to stop CS.....he makes a legitimate point....

I don't want to be legally obligated to pay for my childrens education either. My parents weren't legally obligated to pay for mine!!! Many households just can't afford to send their kids to university....My province has the highest tuition rates in Canada.

Help them out....Absolutely I will do whatever I will my X.....

In my hubby's situation ... when he was still married. They could not afford to pay for the oldests post secondary education and she found a way to do it..on her own..through having a job; being responsible with her money; and using student loans..which SHE paid back.

Why upon divorce should either one of them be ORDERED by the court to pay for the youngest education. Especially Now that their incomes are have to cover TWO households and not just one....

I'm not totally comfortable with the concept....
I shouldn't be forced into backruptcy in my late forties; or be forced to refinance or sell my home to pay for my kids education: I've paid my dues and for MY education and MY home and I'll looking toward my retirement options.. The kids wouldn've had to find away to finace it themselves f thier parents remained married

If we remained married NO judge could force us to pay their way..if we didn't have the means...

I floundered around when I first left the nest....and went back (breifly) Hubby's olderst girl floundered around when she first left..and went back (for a year or two) WE did more growing up becasue of was a reality check and it's a lesson that I value today...I don't see anything wrong with it!

My X lived at home until age 27 and would probably still be there ...if I hadn't come along and he moved into my each there own!! He was the at home...and he did alot around the house for his parents..who were aging...he was productive..and helpful..and I think his MOM wanted to hold onto him. (It worked for her...but she wasn't ordered by the court to pay for him either, or forced to have him in HER home if she didn't want him there...)

No one here is advocating..throwing the children to the wolves..we all support our children..we just have different ideas on how best to do it!!! Smile

BIOMOM's picture

I cannot believe I did that!!! Help!! I am too insecure!!