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2 x step children: 25yrs and 22yrs...still demanding everyone pays for them. Is that normal?

(20 Posts)
SwissCheese Mon 14-Sep-09 21:37:52

I have 2 x s/DD 25yrs and 22yrs both of whom have left our home and currently at Uni or looking for work. They are very cold with DH and I since we had DS 3yrs ago and will only communicate via email or text, normally to ask for money or slide in caustic comments about how much they are having to pay out to get qualifications to get work.

I don't begrudge anyone the fact that it's tough getting jobs, or that indeed qualifications aren't generally free. What I do find rather frustrating is that at their respective ages, they expect to live the high life, going travelling, holidays to various beautiful locations, partying (students rights, I know!!) and then become beligerent when we are reluctant to stomp up £100's at a time when they hint in our general direction.

I feel guilty, and no idea why (??) and DH is fed up with them both.

I know every situation is different, but when should they really stand on their own two feet? Our budget is tight and they look down at us when we say we're having to go camping. I want DH to be happy and included in their lives, but am I banging my head needlessly on a brick wall? Should I just let them get on with it and ignore their snipes?

echofalls Mon 14-Sep-09 21:42:15

I agree they should really be standing on their own two feet...by their age I had a mortgage and a baby...not that Im saying thats what they should do by the way. They are adults they should start acting like one

mrsjammi Tue 15-Sep-09 08:34:59

Message withdrawn

FarkinBarkin Tue 15-Sep-09 13:49:01

Not only are they old enough to fund their own holidays and parties, it sounds as they don't appreciate what you are doing for them.

3littlefrogs Tue 15-Sep-09 13:54:40

Ds is 20 and has had part time jobs since he was 16. He is at uni, and works all through the holidays to earn money to supplement his studant loan. I have 2 other dc to support, and when their turn comes I will expect them to do the same. As I did when I was their age.

Your SDDs sound greedy and lazy IMO.

randomtask Tue 15-Sep-09 13:59:07

It sounds like they've been spoilt and now expect it.

I'd explain to them (by email of course) that you can't afford to pay for your holiday, let alone theirs. If they want money, they should either earn it (which admittedly is more difficult at the moment) or, just spend less.

My Mum's theory was if at the age of 16 our parents were killed and we could look after ourselves, she'd know she'd done a good job.

As a result of that attitude (and no payouts from them) I respect my parents as well as love them.

SwissCheese Tue 15-Sep-09 20:24:42

It's really difficult as their Mum has made them believe and expect that we (DH) are entirely responsible for their education and they have a right to demand it. She has even told them to tell us that she'd seek legal advice if we failed to pay up. We haven't stomped up for everything (we can't - it's that simple!) but we have tried to help with books, courses, some fees and deposits etc.

My Dad told me if I wanted any money he'd loan it to me at 18% APR (at the time - he's passed away now) and of course I thought twice then. Never forgot that and actually respect him for saying no.

So difficult when I want my DH to be happy and yet it seems very hard to come to any form of understanding. Is it just us?

BitOfFun Tue 15-Sep-09 20:27:52

The mother is a loon. You aren't legally responsible for anything. I would be fuming and tell them to sling their hook, but you sound more measured than me. So yes, just ignore the sniping.

FarkinBarkin Tue 15-Sep-09 20:49:30

The mother sounds either completely mad or clutching at straws. No your dh does not have to pay this money. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when she seeks legal advice about this.

RGPargy Tue 15-Sep-09 21:01:57

Tell them (and their mother!) to sling their bloody hooks!! Cheek of it!!!

Georgimama Tue 15-Sep-09 21:04:51

They are spoiled. I no longer got pocket money and worked part time from the age of 15. At uni I worked 2 or 3 days a week, including term time, in a shop. I went to a Russell Group uni and got a 2:1. In order to study to be a solicitor (nearly there) I worked full time whilst studying and paying my own tuition. At 22 I was married.

Problem is they are completely used to it and will just turn really nasty when the gravy train stops.

SwissCheese Tue 15-Sep-09 22:13:27

So proabably a case of he'll never be popular as they'll choose what to believe as it suits and will hate us forever more? (I'm sort of guessing that as I evidently park a broomstick and wear black hats)...

I have tried to tell them to sling their hooks in a subtle way. I just find it cruel the way they treat DH as dirt.

ElenorRigby Wed 16-Sep-09 09:25:30

There mother has taught them dad is nothing but a cash cow, she is responsible for how they are behaving. Sadly there is nothing your DH can do now to change that brainwashing. He need to tell them he loves them, they are always welcome but they are adults and have to look after themselves.
The mother is talking out of her arse, your DH does not have to pay a penny now they are adults.
They may hate you and your DH but that is not your fault, the mother has done to bad a job on them. Very sad.

ElenorRigby Wed 16-Sep-09 09:26:24

Their mother... sorry!

mrshibbins Wed 16-Sep-09 11:05:35

i got a paper round when i was 14 and my £1 per month (!) pocket money then stopped. I worked part-time all throughout the rest of my education, until I left uni. I worked weekends, evenings and holidays - everything from pulling pints, cooking pub grub, working in shops and supermarkets, labouring on farms, and cleaning laboratories. I had to do this to get the new shoes / holidays I wanted. Anything over and above the basics. It taught me the value of earning your own money and the value of hard work. I am really grateful for that.

2rebecca Fri 18-Sep-09 23:05:27

I don't mind helping kids through university, my parents helped me. I wouldn't do it if kids treated me like dirt though. The 25 year old wouldn't get money. He/she needs to be financially independant. I also would have expected the other parent to pay for university.
The oldest that the CSA says you have to give money is 19 if still at school (university doesn't count) I think when we looked into it.
It sounds as though the dad feels guilty so is happy to be financially used in this way. Would he still be expecting a 25 year old to be financially dependant on him if he still lived with their mum? I doubt it.

theworldsgoneDMmad Sat 19-Sep-09 00:50:16

"She has even told them to tell us that she'd seek legal advice if we failed to pay up."

She should have sought legal advice because making such a stupid demand: your step DDs are mature students and you are thus entitled not to have a thing to do with a penny of their student finance, IIRC.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sat 19-Sep-09 01:19:26

Going against the flow here a little, but an absent dad was made to support his adult children in full-time education - I can't remember all of the details of the case, but IIRC he was wealthy and had paid nothing while they were children - but as adults they were able to sue for support, up until the age of 26, as long as they were at Uni.

He, however, could afford it, you (OP) cannot, so it's not quite the same thing.

nooka Sat 19-Sep-09 03:20:30

I think you need to decide what you and your dh will pay for for the child at university (and it probably needs to be fairly similar to the amount or things the older girl received when she was at university) and then let her know clearly what support you are offering and then be really clear that that is it. It is really unhelpful for children to grow up thinking that there is someone who will bail them out, or sub them when they are short because it stops them learning how t manage money, which is a crucial skill for a successful life. With the older girl I think you should be very clear that she has grown up and should be supporting herself. If they think there is a chance that your dh will pay up if they nag enough then they will go on doing so I am afraid (dh was brought up like this and it was very bad news).

anniemac Wed 23-Sep-09 16:05:47

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