One could say it’s never too early for children to learn valuable life lessons.
Particularly in regards to treating others with respect and kindness.
That being said, it’s equally important for children to enjoy their childhood, and all that comes with it.
As such, there isn’t a rush for young children to learn certain lessons.
The step son of Redditor Cantlosemyemployment was rewarded with an allowance for stepping up to the plate and helping out with basic chores around the house.
But the original poster (OP) felt that he needed a bigger lesson in financial responsibility, and felt they had just the right plan.
Concerned it might be too much for his stepson, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for charging an 8 year old rent?”
The OP shared his plan for teaching his eight-year-old stepson financial responsibility now that he was earning an allowance.
“He gets an allowance every week.”
“This is for helping with the dishes, clean up your room with help, and be tidy.”
“His allowance is $25.”
“So $100 a month.”
“However, I want to charge the boy $20 a month for living expenses.”
“Leaving him $80.”
“His mother thinks there’s something wrong with that and he’s young, so his money should be his.”
“My intention is to teach him about money management as that’s something that’s very important to me.”
“I have not thought about consequences if he can’t pay the ‘rent’.”
“There likely wouldn’t be any.”
“I am the step father.”
“I can increase his allowance?”
“But I don’t think that’s what makes me an AH.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The OP’s plan did not go over well with the Reddit community.
They all but unanimously agreed he would be the a**hole for charging his stepson rent. Everyone was quick to point out not only was the OP’s stepson much too young to be charged rent—which many expressed might be illegal—but doing so could have severe emotional repercusisons.
There were much better ways to teach him financial responsibility.
“YTA for charging ‘rent’.”
“However, having him put that money into a savings account, where he could see it grow, would be a better lesson.”
‘And $25 a week?”
“Lucky kid.”- Adorable_Accident440
‘My parents did sh*t like this to teach me money management.”
“Guess what it taught me instead?”
“That all interactions with my parents are monetized, that they did not actually care about me, and that I cannot trust them.”
“That the only thing they understand is money.”
“My father is now dead, and I barely talked to him when he was ill.”
“I essentially do not speak to my mother.”
“she only initiates conversations with me at this point about, shocker, money.”
“I can see how you think this is well-intentioned, but please reconsider and think about other options for helping him learn.”- _daikon
“This is completely inappropriate for an 8 year old.”
“If you want to teach him the value of money and saving, continue paying him for his chores and teach him how to save and budget for things he might want.”
“Show him how to save a percentage of his allowance and track it.”
“There are so many more age appropriate ways to teach your child how to manage their money.”
“Illegally charging them rent should never be considered one of them.”- PaganCHICK720
“The following should very obviously be /is:”
“Instead of rent, how about a mortgage?”
“If he keeps up his payments, teach how that builds up equity, presupposing the lessons that you’re trying to get across will help make informed decisions about financing.”
“If 8 is old enough for learning about rent, surely this won’t be over anyone’s head.”
“Or, are you just demonstrating what soulless a**holes some landlords are capable of being?”-QuietGrudge
“This is a joke, right?”
“A horrific parent, and also this very well may be illegal.”- idreaminwords
“What a way to make a child feel unwelcome in their home.”- firefly232
“He is 8, and he is legally entitled to a place to live.”
“He should not have the least or slightest worry about his living costs.”
“There are lots of ways to teach children to manage money.”
“Talk to him about budgeting and saving, identify things he wants that he can work for over time, have age appropriate discussions of how you manage household income and expenses.”
“Absolutely do not charge kids rent.”
“One way to teach kids to manage money is to not give an 8 year old a hundred bucks a month.”
“I don’t know what your expectations are on that hundred bucks.”
“tThat may mean you pay directly for more school lunches, day camp field trips, etc.”
“As a parent, I prefer that to discovering my kid has been going hungry at school because they blew their cash on Pokemon cards.”- eaca02124
“What the f*ck.”- purple_yosher
“You are fully responsible for all his costs.”
“If you want him to learn money management then teach him about saving and budgeting without charging ‘rent’.”
“He’s 8, C’mon.”- CrystalQueen3000
“He is 8.”
“He won’t take any life lessons in money management from that.”
“He will take away the life lesson that the adults in his life are fucking greedy and he can never rely on them for even the bare fucking minimum.”- False-Explanation702
“Hopefully you never become a real father!”- vj815
“It’s surprising to me that the combo of ‘I want to charge an 8 year old rent’ and ‘I’m his step father’ didn’t immediately make you sit back and realize ‘Um, maybe this isn’t going to look good’.”-disruptionisbliss
“He’s a kid.”
“That’s the kind of thing that results in kids cutting off contact and the parent wondering what they did.”- CatJudgement
“If you really want to teach him about money management, how about not giving him $100 dollars a month?”
“That seems insanely high for an 8 year old.”
“My teeth probably would have rotted out my skull at 8 years old if I had that much cash.”
‘In your case, he’s probably just losing it to predatory phone apps.”
“YTA for being a total weirdo.”- ClownUniversity123
“Are you serious?”
“Kid is 8.”
“If you want to teach money management, then once they hit middle school, have the kid sit down and pay bills with you while calculating out how much has come in and is exiting the account.”
“Have them help manage the household budget alongside you for a month.”
“But do it at like 12?”
“And definitely don’t set up some weird allowance thing like this.”
“That’s just making things more complicated.”- Mo-Makes
“That’s not an age appropriate lesson.”
“It’s also illegal.”- GlitterSmash
“Just give him $80 per month instead of $100.”- CrankyPelicans
“I saw these great pots that helped kids learn about money.”
“Something like ‘Spend Save Donate’.”
“And the kids could choose each week what they would like to do with their pocket money.”
“Without taking it back ffs.”- leb2353
Upon reading the many responses calling him out, a contrite OP later gave an update admitting charging his stepson rent would be a bad idea.
He made it clear he would not go through with it and would instead go for more practical ways of teaching him financial responsibility.
“Alright I’m the AH.”
“I’m going to give the child an allowance as I planned anyway.”
“He can save for ‘big’ purchases for himself and we can talk about the fun stuff when he’s older.”
“I have a savings account for him already I put into.”
“I had a bad idea.”
“I thought it was ‘fun’ and everyone would win.”
“For clarity, fathers out of the picture, I’m not stealing from his mother, and I’m providing the allowance.”
“I love my son, he’s been in my life for 6 years.”
‘We have a great relationship and I just want to see him grow to be better than I ever could be.”
“You all are correct in that I didn’t think of the implications of taking from my son and the emotional damage that could cause, or anxiety within him.”
“That’s the Last thing I want.”
“I hope all the parents here can learn from the comments.”
“Because truthfully, I feel like we’re all just winging raising children, and nobody knows for sure whats in their best interest sometimes.”
“There’s more than one way to cook an egg, so to speak.”
“All we can do is learn from each other and our experiences.”
“Don’t try to charge your kid rent.”
It seems like the OP was the one who learned a lesson here.
And one can only assume his heart was in the right place, in wanting to make sure his stepson learned the importance of money and financial responsibility.
Why he thought the best way of teaching him was to charge him rent to live in his own home, however, is a curious question indeed.