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AIBU to think children deserve to feel a sense of ownership in the family home?

(84 Posts)
AmoIsNoLongerEmo Mon 13-Mar-17 03:32:04

Or is the home "mums and dads", they just get to live here? Along with the toys and everything in this house is "half mums and half dad's". Everything they have is borrowed iyswim.
Best friend and I both feel it's kinda a sick way to look at things.

BoomBoomsCousin Mon 13-Mar-17 03:54:07

I think that depends on how it manifests. I don't think there's generally anything wrong with making it clear to children that the standard course of things is that they grow up and leave home and go out into the world and make their own way in it, getting their own home and making all the decisions.

If that's done in a way that makes clear the parents' love and emphasizes the way the children's agency will grow as they do, then I think it can be quite an empowering message. But if it's done in a way that makes them feel like they are totally on their own and their parents resent them in the house, then that would be fairly abusive.

Trifleorbust Mon 13-Mar-17 03:55:01

Of course they own their things and should feel like it is 'their' house. It isn't, but they don't need to know that until they're older.

melj1213 Mon 13-Mar-17 03:59:26

My DD has "ownership" of everything that is hers - if it's in her room and not classed as fixtures or fittings it's hers - in that she is responsible for it and she can play with any toys she likes, choose any outfit to wear, read any book on her bookshelf and not have to worry that I will take it away for no reason other than "I paid for it".

However, I am also her parent and therefore if she misbehaves or has shown she can't look after something then I will reserve the right to remove it from her until she cans earn it back. So DDs dolls are definitely hers, but if she leaves them lying around in the living room when I've asked her to take them back to her room then I will "confiscate" them as a consequence of not following instructions.

If I choose to, I can take anything away for no other reason than because I bought it and technically it's mine, but I would never do that because I'm an adult who doesn't resort to childish powerplays. My DD is a person and deserves the same respect I would give to any other person, regardless of their age or relationship to me.

AmoIsNoLongerEmo Mon 13-Mar-17 03:59:49

Like the kids were arguing over toys and mum said "nothing in this house is yours, half your father's"

Mummyoflittledragon Mon 13-Mar-17 04:00:15

Dd has her things and dh and I have ours. The house definitely belongs to dh and me. It would be wrong to tell dd otherwise as there could be expectations into adulthood, which couldn't be fulfilled. If we sell her toys, bike etc, she gets the money. They're hers. If I sell clothes she had as presents, she gets the money. If they're clothes we bought and not a gift, I tell her how I intend to use the money (e.g. Activity or new clothes) for her so she still gets the benefit. I think most people work like this, don't they?

SprogletsMum Mon 13-Mar-17 04:00:15

I think it's a very mean way of treating your children. My house is first and foremost my children's home. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't live in such a big house, not that's it's excessively big, just a 3 bed semi but without them a little flat would be plenty.
Their toys are theirs of course, they aren't just borrowing my stuff.
Anything else would just feel wrong.

ScarlettFreestone Mon 13-Mar-17 04:07:02


It depends on the age of the DC.

My DC know that it is their home. And certainly their possessions are definitely "theirs". However they also are aware that we work extremely hard to pay for the nice home and nice things and are expected to show respect to that home.

As they get older I'll expect that that respect will translate into participation in chores, cooking, laundry etc. I'll expect that they will take care of their home and its furnishings.

My DC are 9 yo at their age that means "don't jump on the sofa, always use coasters etc, take responsibility for your guests"

Once they are teens it will no doubt mean something along the lines of "don't trash the house with a party while we're away"

In summary, it's your home, but you need to respect it and contribute to it.

Trifleorbust Mon 13-Mar-17 04:16:20


I don't think they do. If I sold my DD's clothes (that she has grown out of) the money would just go into my account. I use that money to buy her clothes, food, pay the bills and mortgage etc. Her clothes aren't gifts, they're just necessities. As she gets older she will naturally take more ownership and it will be up to her whether to sell her things.

melj1213 Mon 13-Mar-17 04:18:27

TBH I have also found that if I give DD ownership of things she tends to take better care of them. That's not to say she's willfully destructive, but if it's a "house thing" then she tends to be more careless/wasteful as she isn't old enough to grasp the larger concept of the fact that ultimately I have to pay for it.

Whether it's leaving the tap running after brushing her teeth; leaving glasses on the floor to get kicked over and smashed; using half a bottle of bubble bath in one bathtime etc. But if she has her own things then she tends to be more careful with them - so her special cup gets put straight into the sink when she's finished with it, and she uses her bubblebath in appropriate measures ... she still leaves the tap running occasionally but at least the money I save on broken crockery and toiletries can go towards the bill!

Caprianna Mon 13-Mar-17 04:37:49

The house belongs to us all but my children seem to think its only the responsibilty of their parents to keep it clean and tidyhmm

JonesyAndTheSalad Mon 13-Mar-17 04:54:53

When my DC were small, they're not 12 and 9...I used to let them have a box of toys in the sitting room, their play cooker etc. Not now though.

There are certainly children's books on the main bookshelf though.

There stuff goes in their room.

If they bring things out, that's fine. But they must put them back before bedtime.

MMM3 Mon 13-Mar-17 04:59:14


Op, are you saying your kids could paint their walls and carpet with puffy paint at will, or live in the house aged 40 with nary a comment? Even their own toys- if they started breaking and smashing all their toys, that's cool?

Because that sounds pretty sick to me. Otherwise, it's just a matter of degree and not much sense in being judgy...

LaPharisienne Mon 13-Mar-17 05:03:50

House as much my children's as it is mine and DP's.

SparkleSunshine201 Mon 13-Mar-17 05:12:19

I think the house is for the whole family. I would never make my children feel that is expected of them to move away from home when they are older; they will make that choice for themselves, but I'm against trying to push my children to fit the "standard" way of living, they can do what makes them happy. It's very sad to me that parents push an agenda of moving away, getting married and having 2.4 children on their kids. They might not want to do any of that and they should feel free to many possibilities in life.

Expatosaurus Mon 13-Mar-17 06:24:58

I think you've missed out two vital pieces of information before anyone can make a call on this one.
How old are the children?
How many times in the past few days has mum had to referee arguments over sharing toys/space on the sofa/which part of the room sibling is allowed to breathe in?

AGrinWithoutACat Mon 13-Mar-17 06:32:45

The house is mine and DHs - we choose it and we pay the mortgage, part of the fun side of that is we get to decorate and furnish as we like (don't have to live with our parents tastes anymore!!)

The DCs get to give opinions and put forward suggestions but the decision remains ours

However - this is their home, they don't have the option to move out (yet)

We gave suggestions but they choose how their rooms were decorated, they are responsible for their toys and clothes and if they get sold the money is theirs (usually it's either bin or charity shop depending on condition)

Mumzypopz Mon 13-Mar-17 07:11:59

Not many people actually own their home these days, so I often wonder what children in rented homes think. Do they feel settled or stable? We know one kid who had to move three times in a year, and another family who are moving again because the landlord is selling the house. I suppose it's inevitable these days, but I do feel sorry for them.

Mumzypopz Mon 13-Mar-17 07:14:36

PS, what on earth are people doing posting at 3am in the morning?

lavenderandrose Mon 13-Mar-17 07:15:20

It is the child's home.

My mother used to rifle through my things. If I ever objected and said "but it's my room" she'd say, very snootily, "No. Its not your room. It's my room, because it's my house."

Lovely confused

skerrywind Mon 13-Mar-17 07:16:19

Not many people actually own their home these days


64% of homes are owned in the UK.

Trifleorbust Mon 13-Mar-17 07:22:12

How many of the people saying their house belongs as much to their child as to them would let their child bring home their smackhead mates, draw genitals all over the walls, litter the house with cans, shag strangers in the porch? These are all (extreme) examples of acts you, as the legal owners of a property, are perfectly at liberty to carry out. But would you be saying, "Well, it's their house" if they wanted to behave like that?

There is a difference between treating someone like the place they are living in is theirs, and genuinely believing - and allowing them to believe - that that is the case. The bottom line is that the person on the mortgage/rental agreement is the property owner or tenant. Anyone else is a guest, however dear they are to you.

Mumzypopz Mon 13-Mar-17 07:24:20

But do all of those 64% who own them, live in them? A lot are rented out. I can count at least five rented homes in our small street, all with young children in them. Not many young families these days can afford to get on the property ladder.

Mumzypopz Mon 13-Mar-17 07:27:54

I happily tell my children the house is mine and their Fathers. It will be theirs when we die. So it's theirs in waiting so to speak. They know that if they want a house of their own, they have to work hard at school and get a good job.

Lweji Mon 13-Mar-17 07:28:42

I think it makes sense in the middle of an argument about toys. grin

The alternative would be to remove the offending disputed toys.

Do you have children, OP?

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