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Advise on Tough Love

My 18 year old niece lives with me. She doesn't help around the house and says she cannot afford to give me $50 a week. I am currently not working and am strapped for money. The worst part is she used her Christmas money on a $300 sidekick (cell phone) and a plan that is $100 a month.I need help on how to deal with her.

I feel like I am being used and need support in ways of dealing with this problem.


Asked by donna65 at 10:52 AM on Dec. 27, 2008 in Adult Children (18+)

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Answers (9)
  • contd.
    She's old enough to have her own job (if she doesn't already) or work around your house. Yard work teaches some good lessons.
    Put your foot down, be firm, and don't let her walk over you. She'll cry, she'll say you're being cruel and unfair, and threaten "I don't love you, you don't love me" bs. Show her what being an adult is, there's bills to pay, things to be done around the house, and you need help.
    If she threatens to walk out because of the "new rules", let her! You have been more than generous, family or not, more than generous. Family should respect you and love you. You love her and you want her to a productive an adult, there's nothing wrong with that. Be strong, auntie!

    Answer by lilmommy0416 at 11:55 AM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • Start makeing her pitdh in for groceries and electirc bill she has to understand that you cant afford everything on your own. Have her sit down with you when you are figuring your bills. Do you have any other children? If so make her babysit for free, like when you go to the store or run errands. She will hopefully notice that you are strapped and wont want all the extra responsibility and either start helping or move out!

    Answer by CMead02 at 10:58 AM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • I assume, since she took on the cell phone bill, that she has a job? If she does make her sit down with you and a paycheck stub. Help her work out a budget that includes the $50 a week for rent. Then make up another one that includes rent on an average apartment in your area. After the two are done tell her it's her choice which one she lives on.

    Answer by desert_diva at 11:00 AM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • At age 18 she is considered an adult and needs to start acting like one or find another place to live. You are ARE being used.

    Answer by companygoddess at 11:31 AM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • Please do something about your spoiled neice. They won't grow out of it (obviously she 18yr) until you make them grow up. They just stay selfish and snotty until you make them realize they're punkheads. My mother has that problem with my brother and his lazy wife, they're almost 24!!

    Answer by lilmommy0416 at 11:55 AM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • I am 20 I can give you advice from someone close to her age. If she thinks she is adult enough to buy a cell phone and all she should have to pay for a percentage of everything like an adult does. Treat her as a roommate seriously. Give her some ground rules and tell her if she doesn't she will have to leave. I know it sounds harsh but if she is acting like a child when she isn't then I say she needs to have some hard tough love. Tell her get a job, clean up after herself, pay for some water/electric/phone/cable-satt./ and etc..., tell her if she doesn't complete or show effort then she will have 30 days to move out and pay you the remainder of what she owes you from what she hasn't. I am married, pregnant, clean up after myself, live in a house with my hubby fil and bil and still can go to college and pay for things. She has no excuse.

    Answer by Ellie4040 at 5:15 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • Don't feel bad , she knows things are hard. Tell her she needs chip in or needs to reconsider her living arrangements. I know it sounds hard but tough love is needed sometimes.

    Answer by genna71 at 7:22 PM on Dec. 27, 2008

  • the best thing to do is tell her that she needs to do housework and pay you at least $25 a week, the rest of the 25 can be put in an IOU, if she's not willing to give you even that... you need to tell her to find another place.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 7:28 PM on Dec. 28, 2008

  • you are being used. set down rules. Give her a time frame (30 days for ex) to get a job and pay rent or find another place to live. If you are only charging 50 dollars a week then make her pay for her own food. That is too cheap to expect room and board and I'm sure she wants maid service. Nope, she pulls her own weight cleaning up after herself and shares the chores just like any other room mate or she has to go.

    Answer by admckenzie at 9:03 PM on Dec. 28, 2008