My friend’s oldest son started Uni two weeks ago. He went to a very expensive private school till grade 12 and his parents paid all his fees. He was told from the beginning that he would be in his own after grade 12 and being a typical Asian mother, I waited to see how this would pan out. Can parents really kick ( for want of suitable words) their children out just like that?

He finished his exams in Nov and his parents had a talk with him and told him the options.

1. He can move out, find his own share house, pay the rent etc

2. He can stay home, but must go to Uni and pay 200$ rent /month to his parents ( half the amount of what he would have paid if he takes up share accommodation) and all his Uni expenses are his own, but he gets all the meals, can use the laundry etc at home. He must also do the chores assigned to him and must follow a decent curfew hours.

He took option 2. He got admission to do law at the Uni, applied for the student loan which only covers his tuition fees. He worked full time all of December and most of January, so he could save enough money to pay rent to his own parents the first few months.. He is now in full time class and can only work part time and he is desperately looking for a job.He is thinking of getting a graveyard shift in a cleaning company. ( His parents have two Lexus and a Range rover and live in an expensive neighbourhood)

I was in their house few days ago and saw the drama that enfolded.

Younger sibling wanted to check something on google and used the older brother’s laptop. All hell broke loose because the older brother spent his own money to buy the laptop for uni and wouldn’t allow anyone else to touch it. Last year, he was tossing the laptop ( expensive one) his parents bought for him around as if it was a toy and when he bought a laptop with his own money, he suddenly learned to take good care of it.

Yaya has been on a buying spree since the beginning of the year. She is buying more clothes, shoes etc and I know she is trying to make me spend as much as possible so when she leaves home end of this year, she will have to buy less. A part of me wants to tell her, I will not stop buying things for her, just because she is 18. But then again, she needs to learn to stand on her own feet. But then I think of all my cousins’ children in US, every single one of them who are in Uni are still supported financially by their parents..

I hate being in this cultural dilemma..

16 thoughts on “Spoiling

  1. Since I have only one sibling and she is settled in Australia, I was also planning to move there by next year. But this post made me rethink about it. 🙁

  2. Among the Indians I know, the upper middle class ones who can afford it pay their kid’s tuition and other expenses. As for middle class Indians, for some their kid’s education is priority, and they work hard, plan their finances accordingly, and pay their tuition. When that is not the case, or when parents simply can’t afford tuition, kids work and study and their education may drag on for a long time and student loans can pile up. I generally found all these kids to be focused and responsible. There are a few dropouts everywhere, and this was because the kid wasn’t interested/couldn’t keep up. But still, kicking out usually doesn’t happen and parents and kids share the same relationship before and after 18 pretty much like how it is in India.

    • Anitha: Every single one of my cousins are fully dependent on their parents for financial support..and every single one of my friends kids here are on their own..with very little financial help from their parents.

  3. It’s a topic for discussion.

    I certainly think it’s just wrong to just kick your children out of the house once they turn 18. First of all they have no idea how to live in the real world and live on their own, and I certainly don’t think most of them are mature enough to handle all that responsibility without any guidance. And I certainly don’t support having parents do the financial education for their kids either. I do admit my situation I am a bit guilty of that.

    For me, ideally for me, maybe it’s a good idea to first let your kids stay at home first (unless they want to dorm-that’s different then) and then perhaps get them a apartment close to home (so if something happens, it’s convenient for parents to reach their kids). Once they show they are mature and responsible enough, let them do whatever they wish.

    I lived on my own before..wasn’t exactly what I stated since I wasn’t entirely financially independent, but it helped me become more responsible and wise though I had to go through some hardship lol. My parents weren’t there so had to figure and solve things myself lol.

    Good experience though and it made me stronger 🙂

    • My friend K moved to her own place after grade 12..She self supported herself through medical degree, got married in between and had 4 children. She is one of the happiest persons I have ever met. She always said that moving out and standing on her own two feet made her who she is today. When she moved out, she was working as a check out chick at the super market and at the age of 18, she felt she was making big bucks.. till she faced reality of life. She learned that with her grade 12 education, the maximum she would grow in the company is to be a shift supervisor and she saw it herself that most of the senior staff were not happy with their work and were stuck because of lack of qualification. She figured quickly enough that is not what she wanted.

  4. I think I would be more comfortable in “Kicking them out” financially only after their Graduation from undergrad. I guess my thinking is this – I got this support from my parents so it would be remiss if I didn’t pass it along to my kids. Further the fact that they supported me at least until I was through the 4 year undergrad didn’t make me any less responsible. I think putting them on a strict budget and making them accountable for their spending during their undergrad should teach them to be fiscally responsible in adult life.

    • Goutham: Most of the parents who financially supported their children will eventually end up financially depending on their children, because higher education fees are very high and you are paying it at a time when you really ought to save for your old age..

  5. When you say not helping them financially, is it zero dollars or do you have a college plan for the kids? We invest in a tax-deductible college plan for my son since he was a toddler but that money can only be used for education. It will not cover all his undergrad, but only a portion of it (probably a third or something going by the rate of increase every year). He’ll have to work part time for the rest of the money or get some form of scholarship or a student loan (not sure if he’ll qualify). My coworkers tell me they still have student loans to pay off, which make me wonder if you don’t have any sort of financial help from parents, how your life will end up with all the loan payments you need to make in later life (cars, mortgage, student loans etc.). Btw, this college savings investment is after we max out our retirement investments. We are not taking any chances on that coz we do not expect our son to take care of us in any way and we value our freedom too much. 😀

    • Thumbi: My best friend has 4 kids and is a GP and is still paying off her student loan, her parents didn’t support her while she was doing medicine. She worked and studied. I took out education policies for the kids when they were brn. So yaya will get the money from her policies. Plus the 17 gold coins I bought one every year on her birthday. Nothing else.

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