Unaffordable housing means more and more grown children are living with their parents. But not all of them appreciate the roof overhead.
A Toronto single mom drew up an invoice to show her ungrateful 23-year-old son the value of money, including a $1K charge for being "being an *sshole and not appreciative of your mother’s support financially or otherwise.”
Because "Kevin" proved unhelpful, his mom produced a bill of all the expenses he'd incurred in the past five years. She included his share of bills like gas and Hydo, health costs and house cleaning - for a grand total of $39,254.17.
While the intent of the invoice was simply to make Kevin aware of the many ways - financially and otherwise - that she supports him, his mom claims she doesn't expect him to pay up.
"This was a very effective parenting technique and it has helped me to realize what an entitled little shit I have been," he wrote on Reddit. The post has since been removed.
As tactics go, the invoice is not new. Other parents have tried it before and though Kevin claims it was effective, I beg to differ.
From time to time we parents joke about how much "our services" cost, yet it's hardly the way to teach kids to be accountable and appreciative. All it does is pit parent and child against each other - with an added element of public shaming via social media.
After all, your child is not your tenant. Your child is your dependent. You can't put a price tag on love or a value on child-rearing. It comes with the territory. We mustn't calculate what we do for our children and what they do for us like it's some passive-aggressive game of Monopoly.
One person doesn't "owe" the other. I'm no money expert, but I doubt very much that sending a mock invoice will impart the kind of lesson about appreciation and accountability children need to learn.
If your child is an adult still living at home, as in this scenario, then that's a somewhat different story. You either let your child stay for free - no strings, or guilt, attached - or else you agree the terms and conditions beforehand.
From an early age, kids start by contributing at home by doing chores. Then, when they're old enough, they learn the value of money by getting a job and saving their own money. Parents don't have to wield the silver spoon. But we don't have to be spiteful or grudging about our finances, either.