A mum was dubbed “mean” and “unfair” after revealing she charged her teen daughter money for bills, but not her university student son.
Posting on Mumsnet, she asked for advice from fellow parents and said that she made her daughter, 17, pay her £4,000 a year out of her £12,000 apprenticeship salary for fuel and rent.
But, she would be financially supporting her son while he was away at university.
The mum asked if she was risking her daughter resenting her for the different treatment and many agreed that she would.
However, others said that her children should pay their way.
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She explained: “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… “
The anonymous mum continued: “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.”
And, hundreds of people responded.
One person said: “I’d be furious if I was handing up money and 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 [Darling Daughter’s] eyes just because he chose a third level institution.
“You can’t teach one responsibility and not the other.”
While another added: “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.”
But, others said an earning child couldn’t be compared to one who was in university.
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One such person commented: “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.”