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He's 18 - what next? A few questions


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#1 Velvetta

Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:15 PM

It's mainly about money, what isn't? DS18 has finished year 12 and is now trying to find a job, which he'll need to as family assistance has stopped and child support from my ex.I broached the subject of him contributing to his expenses once he's working and he said that if he were earning enough to pay board, he may as well move out - but I'm sure that's optimistic, he'd need to earn a full time wage at least for that.

I don't want to be mean, but he can't lean on us for cash for transport or a social life  or his phone anymore. It's been a week since he graduated and he hasn't made any effort to look for a job at all.

What have you done once they've finished school? Have you cut their allowance if there was one? What do you still pay for? How long is too long?
He claims that his friends get their petrol or phone or even rent paid for by their parents still. They must be richer or have fewer children then is all I can think.

Not sure what to do... We earn just over the limit that he can get any centrelink help.

Apart from money, what do you expect in terms of the household? he does his own washing but that's a bout it. He is supposed to vacuum once a week but doesn't. He's too old to "punish".

Just not sure how to handle my child as an adult all of a sudden, or am I rushing things?

ETA I don't expect things to happen too fast, I imagine it's quite hard to find a job at this time of year and esp where we live, but how long is too long?

Edited by Velvetta, 27 November 2012 - 01:24 PM.


#2 yabbadabbadoo

Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

Give him a break.  I get that he should contribute in some way but if he literally just finished 13 years of schooling last week, is he not entitled to a bit of a rest?  I am not saying he shouldn't look for work or contribute once he has a steady income, but I think you are rushing him.  You are still his parents/mum and I think you should cut him some slack.  It sounds like you have been counting down the days until you can stop supporting him.  You may just have to keep counting for a little bit longer.

If he expects you to pay for things still, then maybe it needs to contribute a bit more at home.  Like - sure I will give you petrol money but can you please vacuum the floor etc.

Edited by yabbadabbadoo, 27 November 2012 - 01:25 PM.


#3 hellsmail

Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:24 PM

I have a boy in the same situation  At the moment he is having a holiday as almost all of his mates are up the gold coast for schoolies,  Lucky my boy wants to go to confest then the rainbow music festivlal where we all go any way.  I still give him money and next week I am transfering his youth allowance to him He is going to do a barista course and have next year off as a gap year.  He knows that I can't support him but I still will as he is not yet 18 will be so in feb.  Let him have a break don't rush him remeber back to when you were his age and let him have fun cos its no fun when you work full time.


#4 Laborious Nicety

Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:24 PM

I'd sit him down and tell him that things are changing, he is now an adult member of the household and that the expectations are ::what seems reasonable to you::.

I would probably continue support while he is actively looking for work although given where you live it should not be hard to pick up shifts here and there.  There would be a timelimit to this and it would only be enough money to cover transport and essentials.

It's not fair or kind to cut off all support as all this could have been known in advance so that he too had time to plan.

#5 bakesgirls

Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:43 PM

I don't have a child that age yet (though I'm not too far off), but I can tell you what my parents did  when I turned 18 and had finished school.

TBH, his saying that if he has to pay board, he may as well move out, sounds like he's trying to use emotional blackmail on you. Almost like "if you don't support me, you will lose me".

I personally would reduce his allowance, perhaps then he may get the motivation to find work. After all, who wants to be the only one of their friends to have no money to go out with. The only time I would give extra money is for things that he really needs, and money to get to job interviews. I'd also buy some clothes that are appropriate for interviews if he didn't already have some. My mother cut my allowance, I found a job pretty quickly after that, but if I was short some weeks, she would 'employ' me to do stuff and pay me for that. Money was never just handed over to me for nothing once I had finished school. The job had to be up to her standard. If it wasn't she didn't pay me and I had to do it until it was right. In saying that though, perhaps a compromise could be that you will continue to support him, as long as he is actively looking for work.

He needs to make an effort. If he expects to be treated like an adult, then he needs to act like one. That means finding work if he is not studying.

If his friends claim their parents still pay for stuff, then my response would most likely be, 'that's fine, but I'm not those parents, and I won't be. We don't have the finances to be able to do that'.

In terms of the household, I was always expected to keep my room clean, do my own washing, cook a meal for the family at least once a week, do any other chores I could see needed to be done instead of ignoring them. If I didn't do them, then my mother made it very clear where the front door was and I could leave at any time. She made it clear that although it was my home, I had responsibilities.

I don't think you are rushing things. He has known all year that this was his last year of school, and so should have started making plans for himself. He doesn't have the luxury of doing nothing. He needs to study further or work. The longer he is unemployed, the harder it will be to gain employment.

I truly hope OP that things work out for you and your son soon.

I really don't know what you can do though if he refused or can't be bothered with the household. I always just did as I was told by my mum, it just wasn't worth the trouble if I didn't do it.

Edited by bakesgirls, 27 November 2012 - 01:46 PM.


#6 CountryBumpkin

Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:48 PM

Definitely cut back his allowance, maybe pay him while he is loing for work, as an incentive? He may have just finished 13 years of schooling, but it will do him no harm to go straight into work.

#7 statua angelam

Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:57 PM

My DD isn't that age, but I can tell you what I did.

I went straight from school to uni (no gap year), and I worked a casual job the whole way through.  I think he should scrap the gap year, go straight to uni instead of bumming around, and get himself more work (I think you said he worked as a waiter?)  I'd be making it very clear to him that you expected him to be applying for a minimum of a job per day.

I contributed significant board (forget how much exactly now), but he's right in a way; when I moved out of home and shared a crappy student rental with other students it didn't cost me much more than my board.  I could do that on my casual job around uni classes.  I certainly wasn't getting an allowance or my phone bill/public transport costs/petrol paid for me while I was still at home!

Housework...I didn't do that much...I think that's the least of your issues, though.


#8 SeaPrincess

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:02 PM

While we were still studying, my parents provided a roof over our heads and our meals, but when we were working (including while we were studying), anything else was our own responsibility - car and running costs or public transport, hobbies, social life, etc.  We were still expected to also contribute to the running of the household, so I would make dinner on the nights that I finished uni early, get washing in and fold it, those sorts of things.  Mum paid me to clean once a week as well (and she was fussy!)  If we weren't at school or uni, we were expected to contribute financially as well.  They certainly wouldn't have paid rent for us!

Your DS needs to learn that not all families have the same rules or financial situation. I would probably let it go until the new year - I agree with PP, he does need a break - but make it clear to him now, decide on a weekly sum that you can afford to give him until then, and after that, he's got to get himself moving.

#9 boatiebabe

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:07 PM

You seem very business like with your child.

Now the money from the Government and your ex has finished the pressure is really on him isn't it! I wonder how that makes him feel?

I think you should be encouraging him to look for work, and helping to facilitiate that.

I don't think you should be badgering him incessantly for money though. I'm surprised that you guys haven't had a plan already in place - you know some expectations at the end of the year etc.

It has only been a week. I don't think I'd be giving him too hard a time until the New Year hit.

Let him know what your expectations are and perhaps give him some space to figure it out.

#10 fancie

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:16 PM

QUOTE
Now the money from the Government and your ex has finished the pressure is really on him isn't it! I wonder how that makes him feel?



hmm .... like an adult?



#11 RealityBites

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:26 PM

I think that you are a bit mean, he has only just finished school!

#12 ellebelle

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

Did he ever have a part time job? If he didn't, it seems to me his time in school was pretty cruisy anyway. Time to grow up....and let him move out to find out how much more rent is than board. Most kids make this threat.  When we finished school we either had to study or start looking for full time work straight away.

#13 froggy1

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:31 PM

I'd give him a little more time just to rest up, it's probably been a busy year. But all systems go in the new year. I started working for my father after finishing school (and not easy work - getting out and building fences and shovelling dirt and innoculating sheep type of work). He paid me the money by helping to fund my rent so I could move to the city and go to uni 3 months later.

#14 Mummytoyou

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:33 PM

.

Edited by lifehacker, 13 January 2013 - 12:32 PM.


#15 Becstarinator

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:37 PM

I don't see anything mean about making him pay board.  I started work casually at 16 and always paid a percentage of my wage as board to my parents.

When I wasn't earning much it was $5 or $10, once I was earning more it was $50 to $100.  

It was probably more of a token payment, as they were still feeding and putting a roof over my head but I still paid it every week.

It made it less of a shock when I moved out had to pay rent and bills as I was use to paying my own way to some extent.

Oh and I had mean parents who didn't give me an allowance.  I worked and earned money to buy clothes, go out and other things I wanted/needed.

#16 Bedge

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:42 PM

My two cents worth ...

I was working part time/casual jobs since I was 16. After school I started working full time as was expected to pay a little bit of board (it was a very minor amount). Of course I moaned and groaned about it ...  original.gif although I think this is the way it should be.

I did my own washing, cleaned my own room, paid my phone bill, and helped out Mum around the house. She still cooked for me, did the food shopping, paid household bills and she did most of the house work.

I am thankful for my Mum (and Dad - they were seperated at that point) for teaching me responsibility, they always provided well for me .. although as I grew older, if I wanted 'extras' I had to work for them. And I am thankful for this ...



#17 protart roflcoptor

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:45 PM

Mine all had a part time job from year 10-11 at school so working wasn't a shock to the 2 who have finished school. They always increased their hours at work during the holidays.

How did he get to 18 without doing that if money is so tight in your household?

#18 Julie3Girls

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

I would continue with the allowance into the new year. Give him a bit of time to simply be after finishing school.

New year, new start, new rules.

Given that he is isn't going to qualify for other money on his own, I would continue with some sort of allowance. PROVIDED he is actively looking for work. The allowance would be a set amount, not just a blank "I'll pay for your phone and petrol". Teach him to budget. Once he does have a job and some money coming in, the allowance stops. And board starts - how much would depend on how much is was earning.


QUOTE
.I broached the subject of him contributing to his expenses once he's working and he said that if he were earning enough to pay board, he may as well move out - but I'm sure that's optimistic, he'd need to earn a full time wage at least for that.

Sounds like he is trying a bit of emotional blackmail on you. I'd call his bluff.  I'm assuming the board you are asking for is less than what he would be paying for rent (and all the other expenses of living on his own!)

I would expect him to be contributing to the housework. Helping with the laundry (wouldn't make him simply do his own, but if he is home, he can throw on load with whatever clothes are in the dirty clothes.  Things like vacumning, general tidying. If he doesn't do it, the allowance would drop.

#19 steppy

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:54 PM

Don't worry about him moving out. He is 18 - if he wants to move out he can move out. Might teach him a lesson or two about how cushy he has it having parents to feed/shelter and look after him.

I would not pay allowance anymore and I'd up chores. However, food/shelter/power/etc would be provided (not phone though - he can pay for that himself). I wouldn't necessarily start charging him board straight away - wait until he gets more work - but I would definitely make the situation better for him to get more work than to not (i.e. no allowance, no mobile, garden variety things instead of luxury things, no monetary help with external entertainment). He'd definitely be responsible for all the areas of the house he occupies (bathroom/bedroom etc) and his own maintenance (clothes washing).


Edited by steppy, 27 November 2012 - 02:55 PM.


#20 Charlies Angel

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

I think that it is a bit of a transition stage having just finished school and lifted his head from his books.

I would suggest that you have a chat with him about how things are changing - but not implement any major changes until after Christmas. Talk about your expectations - not just about money, rather about making the most of his opportunities, developing a sound  and realistic plan for 2013 (gap yr or study), making a contribution to the family and setting himself up for being an independant adult.

He'll soon realise that the one shift per week is probably not covering his expenses now that he has more time and opportunity to be doing stuff with his mates. I imagine that this will prompt him to find more work - just as most of us did at his age.

Good luck working through it.

#21 *Lib*

Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:17 PM

I get where you are coming from, I was just thinking about CSA this morning. We only have 12 more CSA payments to go, and I was thinking about how this will affect my husbands ex. She currently gets $700 a month from us, so I can imagine it would be a massive loss for it to just stop at 18.

#22 Velvetta

Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:24 AM

QUOTE (ossim roflcopter @ 27/11/2012, 02:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Mine all had a part time job from year 10-11 at school so working wasn't a shock to the 2 who have finished school. They always increased their hours at work during the holidays.

How did he get to 18 without doing that if money is so tight in your household?


He has had a few part time jobs since he was 15.  And up until last term (exams) he worked every weekend. he had saved $2000, but somehow, he is down to $8. I don't know what on earth he spent it on, though granted, he did by his own dark suit and shoes for his school formal. So, yeah.

Yesterday, he printed a resume and I dropped him at two big resorts to hand them in, will do a few more today.

Thanks for all the excellent advice. original.gif as usual.


#23 belindarama

Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:53 AM

Sounds like he is in the right track now. If you find it hard to enforce chores here and there you could try what my mum did with me. I was expected to do a full clean of the house each Friday. Like what a cleaner would do I guess- vacuum, mop, bathrooms etc. it only took a couple of hours but my mum had a sparkling house for the weekend.

It wasn't the only thing I did by any means as I was happy to help her out. I used to do other stuff for or with her but this was expected each week.

That way you only have one thing to hassle about even if it covers multiple jobs. It just concentrates the nagging to once a week!

#24 qak

Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:00 AM

I think I am curious what he expected to be doing after school?

Did he have plans for more education or to get a job?

#25 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:02 AM

I worked a PT job from 15, and moved out at 20, having started uni at 17 I think?

My dad (mum died) was of the opinion he would provide the basics, and I would pay for anything I wanted above that, and I would contribute board also.

I worked all through uni, and don't think it's too much to ask that any child of mine does similar (altho mine is only 18 months, so lets wait and see what things are like then!) and lived away from home.

The situation at home had been the same since I got a job, so it was certainly no shock when I turned 18.





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