Having a blended family isn’t easy. There’ll be fights and disagreements – however, it’s all pretty avoidable if both the stepparent and biological one are ready to commit and make the household a strong and cohesive unit. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t always play out this way.

A Redditor that goes by u/cheeckypanda625 – great name, may I add – recently took online to vent about his stepfather who, out of the blue, decided that it’d be a good idea to make him pay rent.

More info: Reddit | Will Rainey

Man asks stepson to start paying rent a day after his 18th birthday

Image credits: tomson_kz (not the actual photo)

In order to focus on his exams, the schooler found a way to solve the issue, but he ended up being a scapegoat nonetheless

Image credits: cheeckypanda625

AITA for refusing to get a job and pay rent at my parents’ house?” – this internet user turned to one of Reddit’s most judgmental communities, asking its members to weigh in on the matter and let him know if he’s indeed a jerk for not wanting to get a job and start paying rent in the midst of his exam preparations when his stepdad demanded him to do so a day after his 18th birthday. The post managed to garner over 20K upvotes as well as 2.3K comments discussing the situation.

It seems like, 9/10 times, there’s always some kind of horror story revolving around a stepfamily, be it a parent or a sibling. Well, the star of today’s article is an 18-year-old student who was trying to dedicate his days to preparing for his A-levels, which, for all of our non-UK-based readers, are basically subject-based qualifications that can lead schoolers to university and further studies or work.

Now, just a day after his big birthday, the guy was faced with a request from his stepfather that he believed to be rather spiteful. He was asked to get a job and start paying rent, and while the charge was fairly doable, it’s not hard to understand why the demand severely interfered with his plans. The student was aiming for perfect marks, A* grades to be exact, which would require a lot of effort and most of his time. Thanks to his aunt, he found a way to get out of the situation – however, he was still left to blame.

To get a more in-depth view of the matter, Bored Panda got in touch with Will Rainey. “I’m an award-winning writer and speaker focused on helping parents teach their kids about money. I’m the author of the children’s book, Grandpa’s Fortune Fables. My work has appeared in the Financial Times, iNews, and The National News,” the man said when we invited him to introduce himself to our readers.

We asked our expert to share his take on parents who charge their offspring rent or kick them out as soon as they turn 18, to which he responded as follows: “I don’t believe parents should kick their offspring out of the house as they turn 18. Whilst I do believe parents should help their kids learn about budgeting and managing expenses, this should be done in a collaborative and inclusive manner. For example, agreeing with the offspring that they contribute an affordable amount of money towards the household. Even if this money is saved by the parents for when the offspring eventually moves out of the house.”

Who would’ve thought that everything we think, say, and do has consequences for ourselves and for others

Image credits: kathryn (not the actual photo)

“Whilst learning about money is important, it should not be at the detriment of the family relationship. I feel that using money as a punishment can lead to longer-term financial issues as those that see money in a negative light are less likely to engage in learning about money and seeking financial help.”

We then pondered if this sort of independence actually benefits the young adult: “At 18, I left home to study at university. I had to use a student loan to pay for my accommodation and this independence benefited me as I had to learn to budget and money management. However, I had a good relationship with my parents and they didn’t charge me rent during the holidays. Therefore, I saw this level of independence as a positive experience. The key difference between my experience and the one in the article is that I felt it was done in collaboration with my parents, rather than forced onto me or used as a punishment.”

“If this was just about the money then both parties should be open to a conversation which allows the young adult to stay in the family home and start to take on some financial responsibility. The situation in the article seems to be more focused on family tension, with money just being a weapon (i.e. I don’t believe the step-father would be happy even if the offspring paid the rent). I’m not an expert in family relationships but I think a person in this situation should seek help from family counseling or try to have an open conversation with the stepfather about their relationship without referring to money,” Will Rainey responded when we asked him what should a person do if they find themselves in a similar scenario.

Last but not least, we wondered if there was anything else the man wanted to add: “A lot of parents are worrying about their kids growing up being ‘entitled.’ I would therefore recommend that parents do find ways to help their kids appreciate the value of money and teach them about managing money. This should be done gradually over time, rather than ‘Today, everything is going to be different!!’ For example, rather than paying for certain things for their offspring as they occur, e.g. trips to the cinema, they give them a set monthly amount and let them decide when and where to spend it. If they spend it all quickly, then they will learn for the future. Also, encouraging offspring, especially teenagers, to find ways to earn money helps them appreciate the value of money.”

“The key is to make it collaborative. Help them see that you are trying to prepare them for the real world. If not, they could believe that you are just punishing them.”

What do you think about this situation?

Fellow online community members shared their thoughts and opinions on the situation


Image credits: Larry Lamsa (not the actual photo)