A child forever?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
A child forever?
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 10:14am
My brother has my mom at her wits end. Let me start by saying he is the only boy and middle child so my mom has always babied him. Our dad left when he was 2 so she used that as an excuse to baby him too. He is now 20 and will be a Junior in college this fall. First of all when he was in HS he picked a school, applied, got accepted then changed his mind due to the guidence counselor at his HS. All fine and well be he doesnt have a car and the college while in town (a big city with very limited public trans)is clear at the other side of town and he expected my mom to drive him up there everyday and pick him up when he was done. Well I convienced my mom that he should get housing up there because at the time her car was a 15 year old lemon without working AC in Florida. Also whenever she would take him there and back she would have to bring our handicapped sister that has a hard time with the heat. Then he jerked around and waited til the last minute to apply for housing and almost didnt get in. He did the same thing last year too.

He takes classes only to drop them and pick them up later usually after the drop deadline which means he is still charged for it. So as you can see he is pretty irresponsible and self centered.

Anyway he decided he wanted to make up one of the dropped classes this summer. Nice but they had to clear out of housing at the end of Spring semester, his financial aid doesnt cover summer courses, and it turns out his "job" is an unpaid internship. Well he managed to get housing, an apartment that is shared with 2 people, and he has rent of $550 a month. Since his course isnt covered by financial aid he has to pay for that out of pocket. He put the course on his Amex ($1000) and only had $800 in his bank account which covered his rent + security deposit.

My mom doesnt make lots of money and he expects her to cough up the 1000 for the course. Of course my mom wants to do it and i keep telling her "No, he needs to deal with these situations on his own". My brother calls me self centered and very rude names because I think my mom shouldnt help him out and that at 20 he should be able to think ahead and assess his situation. Of course he is the one who whined that his "maid" (ME!) left and went to college (He is 10 years younger than I am). Yes he called me his maid.

Any suggestions on how to get him some common sense before he is over his head any further? Or how to keep my mom from assisting him when she can barely make ends meet herself?

Avatar for leslie2353
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 9:18pm
First of all, your brother only twenty, can't be THAT poor, in order to AFFORD AMEX. He can get a no annual fee CC without showhing off like a big shot.

My son is 26, but making $26,000yr. it's OK for him to have AMEX. But your brother doesn't even have a job.

Second, internship is a job experience, you don't get paid, but you get free tuition, depends. With that you will add to your resume "you've worked for so and so. . . and you are RECOMMENDABLE / not recommendable to work anywhere else". If you did great there, they might even hire you to work for them.

Third, he should bike to / from school. There's nothing wrong with sharing rooms, it's the only way to get a lower rent.

If you're mom isn't making much money, then YES, he should help pay for himself. He's no longer a baby, he's an adult.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-06-2003
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 12:01am
ok first of all i have my 19 soon to be 20 year old niece living with me and it must be in this generations genes cause she is just as selfish. she works at taco bell and expects to be able to pocket her $$ while we put a roof over her head, food in her mouth and take her back and forth to work.

as well as buy her monthly pads and personal items because we did it for 5 previous years.

well i finally got tired of spendin my $ to buy things while she run around with cash all the time and told her she was going to pay rent andbe responsible for her own personal items, of course this pissed her off but like my mom always said better her pissed than me!

your brother needs to learn responsibilty, it might be a tad bit different if your mom owned a money tree, but of course she don't.

its hard to cut the cord and make our children stand on their own 2 feet bt it has to be done,your mom will get tired eventually of paying for things she cannot afford for him and will make him learn to stand on his own. i hope it happens soon before it wears her out and before he becomes accustomed to the pampering.

i would love to buy my son everything he ask for but in reality i just cannot.

just try to talk to her and if she still insist then al you can do is step back till she has had enough.

good luck
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 4:41am
OK his Amex is a student card. It doesnt have to be paid off at the end of the month but still with out a paying job its hard to pay dont you think?

"Second, internship is a job experience, you don't get paid, but you get free tuition, depends." Nope he still has to pay for those summer classes. Ive asked him because my mom was concerned. Job experience is good BUT so is a decent credit rating, money to buy food (no food service during the summer living off campus), clothes, being able to give your friends money for gas since you bum rides off them etc.

"Third, he should bike to / from school" I guess you havent lived in Tampa? :) That is suicide. I dont get along with my brother but i dont want to see him dead. Bicyclist have a low survival rating (killing bicyclist is like a sport there) plus with the temps and the distance he would never make it that far. Its about 25 miles one way from the south end to the north east corner of town where the Uni is or more.

"There's nothing wrong with sharing rooms, it's the only way to get a lower rent." Ok i know that I lived in a dorm in college and shared and am still good friends with my ex-roommate. However maybe im spoiled because I didnt and still dont have to pay through the nose for a nice apartment. I mean DH and I dont pay that and we live in a large, lovely place for €375 ($438), my mom pays $600 for hers, my other friends play about $500-800 none of us share. I think sharing an apartment is great if you pay LESS for rent and it saves money. This place charges $500-650 per student so the complex is getting upwards from $1000 per apartment.

Just seems like a lot when I know places in the same area (he wont consider because they arent trendy enough) for the same price and he wouldnt have to share them if he really wants to spend that much money. Beleive me he COMPLAINS like crazy about his roommates because he never knows them and doesnt make an effort to either. If he would plan for housing before the end of the year he could probably get people he knows to room with.

Thanks for listening

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Thu, 05-29-2003 - 6:30pm
There is really nothing you can do. Your mom is an adult who will do as she sees fit. And it is her money, so you have no say.

That being said, you do have some course of action. Sit your mom down, tell her you are concerned, and that you love her. Then assure her that it is her money and she can spend it as she sees fit, however, if she continues to spend her money friviously that she will eventually run out. And when she does run out, you will NOT be there to help her. You don't support her enabling (catch word) your brother's errant money ways and that if she does this to her financial ruin, you won't help her. You won't let her go into the poor house, but you will not be helping her or your brother as you have your own family.

As for your brother, he is 20. Nothing you say will get through!

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