An American mum of six posted a TikTok asking her 18-year-old daughter to sign a rental lease to stay in the family home. She called it a “valuable teaching moment” in preparing her for the ‘real world’. Did the video invite instant discussion and outrage on the internet? You bet it did.
The mum of six posted the video of her daughter Jada, signing the rental lease agreement and it’s since been viewed more than two million times. Since posting, the video comments have been rife with discussion on whether this mum was treating her daughter fairly or not and in typical internet style, a whole lot of opinions that no one asked for.
@c_d_g Rent a room🤷🏻♀️#droppinbytoshowlove🤟🏼 #daughter #mother #18 #leaseagreement #setupforsuccess #softplacetofall #saftynet #stayinhome #myhouse #myhousemyrules ♬ It’s The Hard Knock Life – Annie Movie
A rental lease for a teen, let me explain …
Later, this unnamed mum uploaded another TikTok video explaining why she asked her daughter to sign a rental lease. And I’m not going to lie, it makes good sense.
I was a single mum at the age of 16, living on my own and my parents did not set me up for success so I have to fight for every single thing that I have. And I don’t want my children to have to do that.
Everything that I do, prepares them for the real world. I do not want my children to have to depend on me for anything. And if that means they put me in a nursing home later on in life, I can live with that.
When you move out… you have to have some kind of rental history showing that you can pay bills on time, take care of the property, a good tenant. So I did make a legal lease agreement with my daughter so that way, she has that rental history, even though I’m her mum.
How much is she paying? $100 a month. That’s the only bill that she pays. She doesn’t have car payments or pays insurance or cell phone. That money pays for her utilities, her room, her food and everything else. It’s not THAT expensive. “Now she does have the right to move out if she wants to but in this economy, it will be a lot harder for her if she did move out.
When I set up the lease agreement she was in agreement with everything except for one thing that was in there, which was her curfew. Which we negotiated and she got what she wanted.
I wanted it to be legal and I wanted her to understand how to read a legal document. What looks good, what doesn’t look good, how to question it, don’t just sign something that someone slides in front of you just because you think you have to.
The mum goes on to explain that Jada is one of six children, her three older siblings have all moved out of home and lead successful, well-adjusted and responsible adult lives. Jada is the first to have wanted to stay home. And so there are rules that need to be set for adult kids. They can’t just be mooching off parents forever, right?
Just to be clear, her daughter Jada has held down a job since she was 15. Also, just for comparison’s sake, US$100 is around $145 Australian dollars.
@c_d_g For those who want to know the info #mom #daughter #leaseagreement #informational #askquestions #dontassume #thehateisreal #parenting #setthemupforsuccess #droppinbytoshowlove🤟🏼 ♬ Paper Birds (3 min) – Jordan Halpern Schwartz
Cue the internet outrage
As expected, the comments on the TikTok videos didn’t disappoint.
“My parents did this and we no longer talk! So good luck I guess”
“My mom did this and we have the best adult relationship imaginable”
“Can I get a copy of that? I’m not raising adult children. Good job mom. Our job is to teach them To be independent and self-sufficient.”
“This is actually great my parents did this to us and they kept the “rent” in an envelope and gave it to us when we moved out.”
“My parents paid for everything including my apt until I was 25. Then let me loose. I wish they had done this instead because I was NOT prepared for life.”
“I’m amazed that so many people think this is unreasonable. It’s $100. It’s the only bill she has. This is part of making a contribution.”
“No way. My parenting and support doesn’t stop at 18. As long as they are in school or working, they can stay with us. Love isn’t a condition.”
Daughter shares her thoughts on mum’s rental lease rule
If you thought the 18-year-old daughter in this scenario was plotting her grand (thrifty) escape from the parental home, you’d be wrong. She’s ALL FOR IT, even going as far as to say the rental lease was a good thing. She posted a TikTok addressing her POV (that’s TikTok code for point of view, for those playing at home).
“I came to realise that once I move out, that’s what I have to do. You know, I can’t live in a house rent-free… No one’s going to pay it for me.”
“It also makes me really responsible in the future, so I can have things better and since it is a legal document, it does help me in the future.”
Jada finishes with a mic-drop closing statement showing she was raised just right (even with a legally binding rental lease).
“My mum has raised me right and respectfully. And I have to say guys, it’s kind of ridiculous how you treat somebody on social media behind a screen.”
@c_d_g Message from her🤷🏻♀️@jaidaalize7 #droppinbytoshowlove🤟🏼 #mother #daughter #leaseagreement #foryourinformation #information #heropinion #herwords #gettingready ♬ original sound – c_d_g
Is teaching financial responsibility a case of each to their own?
OK, so waving the white flag for mercy. When it comes to what you make your kids pay for or not, it’s a case of different strokes for different folks. But with the sense of entitlement being rife in many young teens and young adults these days, teaching financial responsibility is IMPORTANT – but also different for every family (which may or may not involve a rental lease, let’s be honest).
Personally, we didn’t charge our children rent but we did make them pay their own way for ‘extras’ when they were home. They bought their first phones and maintained them, their own cars and associated costs, fuel, concert tickets, clothing and entertainment.
When they moved out of home, they did so with flying colours. And no, they’re not left out in the financial cold – they know that if they need help, they just have to ask, but they haven’t had to!
What’s your plan for teaching your children financial responsibility and independence? Will you ask them to contribute to household expenses or pay rent money? Leave a comment below, we’d love to hear!