When he turned 18, his parents asked him to help pay rent, which he was fine with. But they said he should’ve started paying when he began working at 16 and charged him $10,000!
Or So He Thought
OP (Original Poster), 19, moved out of his parents’ house a year before he shared this story. Before he did, he believed “nothing was wrong” in his life.
After all, he had a good upbringing, loved being at home, had many friends, and his parents were loving—or so he thought.
When he turned 18, he had a huge birthday party to celebrate his being of legal age, and that meant he’d be going from being a “boy to a man.” He had a venue rented out with family and friends coming to celebrate with him.
OP wrote, “We had a blast that night. I had my first drink and almost made it my last. I don’t remember anything from that night, but from the photos I have seen, it looked like I had a good night, so I was happy.”
A few days after the party, his parents sat him down to talk, saying he was a man now and had been working many hours, yet they hadn’t received anything. They even told him they had expected him to help pay rent as soon as he started working.
OP wrote, “Obviously, I didn’t know any of that because I didn’t get told. They told me that I should’ve known better, but now that I’m 18, they expect me to help with rent.”
A Weight on His Shoulders
They live in Australia, but OP’s mother is from Chile, and his dad is from Samoa. As far as he knows, both cultures expect help, but mostly in household chores.
It isn’t until a kid turns 18 and still lives at the parents’ house that they are expected to pay rent.
Paying It No Mind
OP got his first job at McDonald’s when he was 16 and is now working in construction, and in all honesty, OP didn’t mind helping his parents if they asked. However, OP’s parents made it seem like he was in the wrong for not giving them money.
He understood where they were coming from, but as a young boy, all he saw was “green.” He added, “All I saw was a triple-digit paycheck I wanted to spend straight away.”
Helping Is Not Enough!
Despite that, he told them he’d start helping from now on. Sadly, that wasn’t good enough for them.
They told him that he had to pay back all the money he should’ve given them when he first started working, which cost almost $10,000! OP also has siblings who had jobs before they turned 18 but were never made to pay rent before they turned 18, nor did his parents ask them for backdated rent.
The Choice He Made
When OP said no, his parents got mad and told him to either pay rent and give them what they were owed or he should move out and find his own place.
So, in the end, that’s precisely what OP did. He moved out a few days later and stayed at his friend’s house for a while until he found his own apartment, and he’s been living there for about 8 to 10 months.
Parents’ Hurtful Accusations
As soon as OP moved out, he got bombarded with calls and text messages saying he “disrespected” his parents by not paying them.
OP added, “They said I was making it harder for them to live now that they don’t have someone washing or doing their laundry, taking out their rubbish and all those little stuff. They are both in their early 40s and more than capable of doing it.”
A Mix of Opinions
OP’s friends have asked him why he never introduced them to his parents and what had just happened between them was the exact reason behind his decision. Some of his friends already hated his parents, while some said it was his duty as their son.
It’s Just Unacceptable!
However, OP genuinely didn’t know he had to give his parents money or help because he surely would’ve if they had asked. But now, he feels like they disrespected and tried to “gaslight” him into giving them money.
OP noted, “It is to my better judgment that I should’ve helped out without having to be told. I will take that as a fault of mine. But what I won’t accept and can now clearly see that backdating rent to a minor, which is already bad in itself, will never be acceptable, and I stand firm on my decision of not paying and moving out.”
What Redditors Have to Say
People think it’s normal to ask a child to pay for rent when they turn 18. However, making them pay for it from when they were still a minor is too much and is not right.
A commenter wrote, “Not the a**hole. This is absolutely insane, especially since they only told you about helping with rent after you turned 18. They shouldn’t start charging you as soon as you get a job at 16. It is typical to ask to help with rent after the child turns 18; it isn’t typical to start charging your kid for rent at the age of 16 the moment they get a job and say nothing for 2 years. You owe your parents nothing, OP.”
Another one said, “So they expected backdated rent from when you were 16 to 18? Not the a**hole. They’re responsible for paying for your living costs as a minor.”
That’s Not How Parenting Works!
Some people shared their similar experiences and beliefs on the situation, and they think that as parents, they’re the ones who should be helping OP, not the other way around.
A Redditor said, “Not the a**hole. Your parents are a**holes. My oldest daughter is 23 and lives with us rent-free. We just ask that she save money while living here for a downpayment. Things are getting harder and harder—I am in the US—and it should be expected for parents to help young adults get a leg up in the world.”
It Was the Respectful Thing to Do
Redditors even told OP that his moving out was the respectful thing to do. He was presented with options, he made a choice, and it was 100% okay.
“Anyone who thinks you ‘disrespected’ your parents by moving out, ask them how long it took them to pay back their parents the entire cost of raising them. If they don’t give you an itemized receipt, they’re a hypocrite. And either way, you’re not the a**hole. Your parents said, ‘Pay rent or move.’ You moved. You took them at their word. That’s being respectful where I’m from—Canada,” a commenter wrote.
Parents’ Responsibilities and Obligations
The community also agreed that a child has no obligation to their parents since they have been brought into this world according to their parents’ wants. Simply put, they did not ask to be born, nor did they ask to have a specific set of parents.
Someone said, “Not the a**hole. Repeat after me: children have zero obligation to their parents. Why? Because parents chose to have children. They chose to bring a dependent into their lives. Children did not ask to be born.”
Did OP make the right choice to move out? Do you also think what he did was disrespectful?
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This post first appeared as He Refused to Pay His Parents $10,000 for Backdated Rent Plus $400 Monthly and Moved Out. Furious, They’re “Gaslighting” Him, Saying He “Disrespected” Them and Made Their Life “Harder!” on Quote Ambition.