Woman fears her children will resent her because of money woes

Woman fears her children will resent her because of money woes


Mother who charges her daughter, 17, £4,000 a year from her apprenticeship salary to cover rent and bills is branded ‘mean and unfair’ for financially supporting her son who’s at university

  • Anonymous mother asked for advice about supporting her children financially
  • Posting on UK-based forum Mumsnet, said daughter is doing an apprenticeship
  • Revealed the 17-year-old contributes a quarter of her earnings to living expenses
  • However, the mother will be sending money to her son, 18, while at university 

A mother was branded ‘mean’ and ‘unfair’ after she revealed her teenage daughter has to put money towards the household bills but her university student son does not.

Posting anonymously on Mumsnet, the woman, who lives in the UK, explained her 17-year-old daughter has an apprenticeship and is expected to put £4,000 a year – or a quarter of her £12,000 annual salary – towards living expenses like rent and petrol.

However her son is about to start university and will receive financial support from the family while he was there. 

The woman asked if she was risking her daughter becoming resentful by treating them so differently, and many fellow users replied to say she was. 

But others disagreed, and said as the daughter was working she should be expected to pay her way, even if her brother is not.

A mother of two teenagers has revealed she’s torn over charging her daughter for living expenses, while providing her son with financial support (file image)


Posting anonymously on Mumsnet, the woman, who lives in the UK, explained she fears her daughter will resent contributing to living expenses and asked for advice on the siituation

Explaining the situation, the mother wrote: ‘How do you square this without causing resentment?

‘My daughter, 17, is working full time on an apprenticeship course. We are charging her rent/ keep/ petrol equivalent to 25 per cent of her take home.

‘My son, 18, up until now was planning to leave college and get a job. He announced yesterday that he is now accepting the three university offers he got a while back… 

‘So we will be in a position of taking money from daughter and sending money to son. Which has totally changed the dynamic. I’m really conscious of causing resentment from daughter who already suffers a bit with middle child syndrome and jealousy.’

A flood of responses argued an apprenticeship should be viewed the same as studying at university, therefore the daughter shouldn’t have to contribute her earnings. 

A flood of responses to the post argued it’s unfair for the mother to take a quarter of her daughter’s £12,000 a year salary, while supplying her son with money throughout his studies

One person wrote: ‘I’d be furious if I was handing up money & my older brother was scott-free and being supported just because he chose to go to uni. Lots of people work and are in education at the same time. 

‘An apprenticeship is also a form of education and you’e in danger of placing your son higher in the pecking order in your DD’s eyes just because he chose a third level institution. You can’t teach one responsibility and not the other.’ 

‘I think you should provide them with the same. So if you’e covering son’s accommodation then you shouldn’t be charging daughter for hers. If you’re covering his food costs then you shouldn’t be charging daughter for hers,’ another said. 

However, others said a child who is earning money should have to pay rent and their situation can’t be compared to a sibling doing an expensive university course.  

However many other responses attempted to reassure the mother that the daughter should be paying for living expenses 

One wrote: ‘No working adult should live rent-free, so in terms of your DD I think you’ve got things pretty much spot on. If she’s got £200 in her hand to play with each week then she’s not badly off.

‘Uni is different because it’s so expensive and your circs as parents are taken into consideration. So the onus is on you to top up the grant – he’d get more (i assume) if you couldn’t afford this.

‘It’s two different circumstances and I wouldn’t allow DD to conflate this – however I would make sure DS was taking all the loans he’s entitled to and that his walking around money (funded by you) isn’t more than DD’s – if he wants more, he can work for it.’ 

Another added: ‘I would look at it no different to one working and the other not. If a  child is earning money and has disposable income, it is only fair they pay rent. If the other is still in education, then they don’t. If they both had the same opportunities to go to university, I don’t think you are being unfair.’ 

The topic proved divisive, with many Mumsnet users saying they would never charge a child rent

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