I have some questions regarding life style of those who live in USA .

India
December 27, 2006 10:10am CST
At the outset I would like to apologise if my question hurts someone's sentiment . I somewhere heard that the society of USA is so accustomed that the children above 18 years of age don't/can't ( not permitted to) live in parents' house . If they live by choice they have to pay their parents in kind ( domestic service in the form of washing , cooking etc.)or in cash . Taking some cue from this , I extended my opinion that there is very little family bond in an average American family . I humbly request the mylot members to show me the truth . Because , my above belief cannot be true in full . I have searched the web for reliable information regarding this but in vain .
13 people like this
82 responses
• United States
27 Dec 06
I think that your perception is a little skewed of what the truth is. Americans are really big into independence, being responsible and holding their own (meaning that they are not a burden to others). Most children move out of their homes once they go to college. It is a sign of independence not only for the kids (who cant wait to move out of their homes) but also for parents to let go and hope that the values that they have instilled into their kids pay off in the long run. Responsibility of helping out around the house either monetarily or with helping with chores is just a way to show that the kids can be responsible to go off into the world and are prepared to face the world on their own. Coming from a hispanic upbringing, I grew up seeing 35 year old men still living at home, the mom still cooking all their meals, etc. What I saw in that scenario was abuse. The fact that a grown man would allow his mom to still cook all his meals, do all his laundry, etc...that to me was apalling and lack of respect to a mom who has already done so much for her children. Americans believe in a second youth for older people who have led the ardious task of raising their children, done the best they can, present them to the world to be an asset to their communities, and now they (the parents) want to live life again as a couple and grow old together. I dont think this is a bad thing at all. I hope my lengthy answer helps you understand this culture. Thanks for the topic!
7 people like this
• United States
27 Dec 06
Perfect response! I see it a lot where families are living with their parents because they were never taught to be responsible or they just take advantage of family members when they can.
1 person likes this
27 Dec 06
This is very confusing, though. These teens want to be independance and responsible or they simply want FREEDOM? No offense please just curious. SMILE :D
@reinydawn (11651)
• United States
27 Dec 06
Children want to be treated like adults. That means freedom and independence. If they were brought up right they will take resonsbility.
• United States
27 Dec 06
My mom and I have the strongest bond ever! When I was 18 I got married and moved in with my husband and a year and half later we both decided to live with my parents for a while to help them out with rent. We did this because we wanted to, not because we had to.
4 people like this
• United States
27 Dec 06
I lived at home until I was 20 and didn't have to pay my mom anything to live there. I did help clean and cook but only because I wanted to. My mom and I are very close and she is a wonderful mother but I wanted to get out on my own and I thought it was time for me to. My brother is 19 and he still lives with my mom and I don't think he plans on moving out anytime soon. He doesn't have to pay anything to live there and my mom pays everything for him except his truck payment. And we are all pretty close in my family so we have a good family bond.
3 people like this
• India
27 Dec 06
sweetgirl_k1, may I ask you for some more information which , to me , is logical to your response . 1. You mentioned 'mom' only and not your father . Is he not at home normally ? 2.You also mentioned truck payment of your brother . What is it ? Does he have got a truck ?What does he do with it ?In fact for me it is difficult to imagine a 19 years old guy having a truck . (While replying please , remember , i am a low income person from India which is also not a rich country still struggling to connect thousands of villages by road or train .Because my question might sound bizarre to you .
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 06
At 18 I bought my first vechile - a '91 Chevy Blazer - cash. I didn't want a car payment. I too am low-income though, but it was a pre-owned vechilce which made it cheaper, plus the dealership made the mistake of thinking my husband was the one who was purchasing the vehicle (he was making sure I got a good vehicle), so I was MAD & threatened to take my $$$ else where, & so they lowered the price even more to not lose my business.
@Melizzy (1381)
• United States
27 Dec 06
Wrong. The trend the last few year, mainly the Bush era, is for kids to continue living at home well past 18. Some may pay rent, many don't. They may pay certain bills instead.
@vivasuzi (4126)
• United States
27 Dec 06
Yes that's what we did. I had to pay the water bill (which was mostly me anyway since I take long showers) and that was it! Now I don't have to pay anything since I bought a house and am getting ready to move out next year. So she gave me a break.
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
27 Dec 06
This trend has nothhing to do with the Bush era. It has been going on much longer than he has been in the White House
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 06
Where you live do children of any age sit and do nothing all day while the parents work? My children are young and they have to help with the work around the house. Children can choose how long the want to live with parents. If children are not washing, cooking ect before they leave home they won't know how to do these things when they live on their own. Doing these things is not paying the parents it is learning how to be an adult.
3 people like this
• United States
27 Dec 06
You hit the nail on the head! People that shelter their children and don't give them any responsibilities our accountability are hurting them, not helping them. These are families that end up in each others business because they were not taught how to be independent.
3 people like this
@natuser28 (907)
• United States
27 Dec 06
Yes, this standardly true. But most kids are starting to stay home after 18 years of age, becasue of living expensive outside the house cost to much. So they pay rent to their parents as a way to help out around the house.
3 people like this
• United States
27 Dec 06
i don't think this is standardly true at all. there are not government regukations on this type of thing, the parents make the decisions. but at around 18 is when kids graduate high school. so i am sure that the parents want their kids to do something with their life, which is usually go to college or get a job. and if the kid is working just like the parent, why shouldn't they have to pay something to help support the household. but a lot of families don't need their kids to pay also. it depends on the situation, but i wouldn;t say that this is not family bonding. the truth is, if the kids stay with the parents and pay rent, that is because they want to help there family out.
2 people like this
@gingerjo (170)
• United States
27 Dec 06
At 18 you can move from your parents home if you chose. Most kids 18 are starting college and leaving home for the first time but many stay home until they marry.
3 people like this
@SK401001 (934)
• United States
27 Dec 06
I believe that this varies by family, I don't beleive that it is just in the USA that parents teach their children to be accountable and responsible for the home they live in. I belive having your child help them in the home teaches them the real life. You don't get anyhing from nothing. I am german and my parents raised me the same way, that I raise my own child now. It has nothing to do what country you live in, just on the action of that individual and their beilives and they way they were raised.
3 people like this
• United States
27 Dec 06
I think your perception is a tad off so I will try to enlighten. Americans love their independence. Good parents will begin teaching their children the value of independence and responsibility at a very early age. My children must do house work and keep their grades at a certain level. This is what we call chores and being responsible. Most of us pay our children an allowance when they do their weekly chores. This teaches children responsibility, accountability, the value of money, and the feeling of earning something on their own. Doing this prepares children for when they graduate from high school and go off to college. It is our duty as parents to teach these values and responsibilities to our children at an early age. They will learn respect, to follow the law, become good citizens and pass these values on to their own children. The best family bond is one that is a responsible, law-abiding one. If children are not taught at an early age how to care for themselves, they will not be able to properly care for a family of their own.
• United States
27 Dec 06
There are many children who live with their parents beyond the age of 18. I have an open door policy with my children. If they need to come back home to live, they are most welcome. It is my husband, who is Dutch, that makes this difficult. He makes it hard on them when the have to return home to live for even the shortest periods of time. He that children should not live with at home when they are grown up. This has been a problem between the two of us. I am open to having the children here with us if need be. He would rather live alone.
@nitty66 (207)
• Singapore
27 Dec 06
Wait till he is OLD. He , then might need them. This man has no love for his own children.It's a pleasure to see our children's face. I love that.
• Romania
27 Dec 06
i think coz he's dutch he's more taugh. like ... he wants to see his kids succeed with all they do. maybe he feels that comming back they proove they have failed. but we all make mistakes and i think it's ok to let u'r kids know they have their familly to count on if they need it.
1 person likes this
• India
28 Dec 06
nitty and apostrophy , your feelings are lovely . That parents have love towards their children and that they are ready to support their children in bad time is so heart touching feeling ! For God,s sake , keep such feelings for ever . Parental love , notwithstanding intermitant ups and downs , is more than "Bhagawan ka Ashirbad"( God's grace). The faith in the mind of children that there are their parents to support is the force that would forbid them from going astray .
• United States
27 Dec 06
I lived at home til I was 19. I did not pay rent but I helped with the house work just to be nice. My brother lived at home until he was 23. He did not pay rent either but helped with house work or buying his own groceries.
2 people like this
• India
27 Dec 06
Thanks for the response . You mentioned "He did not pay rent ........or buying his own groceries." Did your brother cook seperately for himself that he bought his own grocery ?
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 06
A lot of times my mom would cook - but they travel a lot or go out with friends and my brother would buy his own food and cook for himself. Even when I lived at home I did a lot of cooking... my mom did too... but there were three kids and her and my stepdad and we all ate different foods... so I would buy my own food because it was more expensive as I'm a health conscious vegetarian.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Dec 06
Wherever you heard it from, you heard wrong. I speak from experience. I am 19 years old and I live at home with my parents. Granted I attend a university as a full time student as well as hold a part time job. There is nothing anywhere stating or requiring that an 18 year old person can not reside in the home of their parents. Correct me if I am wrong but, you are not american are you? I do not think you can be seeing as though you refer to an 18 year old as a child when in American society they are considered legal adults. As for your opinion that there is very little bond in the average american family, I propose that one must understand or be apart of one aveage american family which you clearly are not seeing as though you are asking this question. American's opinions, morals, values, and the like vary by the individual. Much of american society is made up of various other cultures and I believe has a very large impact on one's beliefs and actions. In the end it comes down to the fact that the average isnt always the best measurement. whats true for one is not necessarily true for all.
• India
27 Dec 06
You seem to be angry with me . I am happy and feel lucky to find myself wrong in it . Because it was hard to me to digest what I happenned to hear or read reagrding the American family . If you please go back to my discussion post you will find that I myself doubted myself in expressing what I heard or read somewhere .
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Dec 06
This is true, My parents wanted me out before i turned 18. Another reason for this is american teenagers are lazy, and party too much. they take advantage of their parents good hearts, they dont clean up after themselves,they come and go as they please ect.. and when you turn 18 your parents no longer Have to take care of you. why take care of someone who doesnt want to take care of themself? If you are going to college then i say the parents should help, but if you aint doing anything... I have friends whose parents let them stay up until about 24, these kids diddnt go to college or work, now they are basicaly losers, and i am glad my parents kicked me out and gave me a taste of the real world
2 people like this
@vivasuzi (4126)
• United States
27 Dec 06
I think it has to do a lot with responsibility too! If you are very irresponsible at 18, not going to school or working, your parents are bound to use tough love to get you out or ask for rent. However if you are responsible, going to school or working hard, your parents are more likely to let you stay and live there for little or nothing because they see that you are going to be just fine.
1 person likes this
@apostrofy (662)
• Romania
27 Dec 06
u'r missing the point i think. this doesn't mean they are bondless families, but families that teach their kids to become independent and most of all responsible. u think famillies that allow their kids to become leechers are better? what happens with those kids when their parents die? how will the kids support themselves? it's ok i guess to pay an amount of money if u decide to stay with the parents. it teaches u the value of money and it also takes a little bourden from u'r parents shoulders who cared for u ever since they remembered.
2 people like this
@vivasuzi (4126)
• United States
27 Dec 06
Exactly what I was saying below :) It's about teaching your kids to survive, which is not saying there is no bond between them. Kids who leech end up having more trouble with their parents than kids who are forced to take on some responsibility.
1 person likes this
@dodoguy (1297)
• Australia
28 Dec 06
Hi, I'm Australian, but I can say with confidence that the average US citizen is pretty much in the same boat as the rest of us - just trying to scrape by. And it's the same in Australia - more and more kiddies are loitering around their parents' home for much longer than they used to. The idea of contributing to the living expenses has little to do with the issue of family bonds - it's a matter of practicality, of financial reality, to try to make ends meet. In fact, if someone was living with their parents and DIDN'T offer to pay rent or help out financially and/or domestically, then I would judge that that person is a self-centered parasite! Voluntary contribution to the upkeep of the parents' home is an indication of the STRENGTH of family bonds, rather than being a burden imposed by the parents on an unwilling child.
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
27 Dec 06
Whether or not a child moves out at 18 is solely up to the individual family...many kids go off to college and stay in dorms or get their own apts, some move in with their lovers or a friend and some stay home....There is no law or set standard in the U.S that I'm aware of or in Canada for that matter...as for paying room and board, again its up to the individual family....My kids are welcome to stay here at home once they hit 18 espccially if they are goin to college locally but if they are working etc and still living here then yes they will contribute financially to the home..but by the time they are in their 20s they need to move out on their own...they cant live with mummy forever
2 people like this
@pelya178 (694)
• United States
27 Dec 06
well most americans are immigrants from other countries anyway. thats the meaning of america. so most of the time the beliefs and traditions come along as well. Im american and 21 still living at home. The way i was raised theres nothing wrong with living at home no matter what age u are. but its only common courtesy or respect or w/e to help out around the house if ur old enough to do so, u shouldnt sit around like a bum. u contribute to the household anyway u can. but i think in american culture, n later generations i guess. we're all about "independence". so we strive to have that independence n move out becuz we WANT to be on our own. n grow up n just feel like we have made it. n have our own lives n stuff. so thats the biggest difference i can think of from other countres where they only move out when they get married n look at that as their independence. here a good job n stable income is independence.
2 people like this
• United States
27 Dec 06
I think there are a log of good answers to this question and I would agree with them. At 18 kids are considered adults. They are now responsible, legally, for themselves. Parents are no longer liable for their bills or other actions. They are able to make their own decisions. I am sure there are parents who toss their kids out at 18, especially if they've been difficult to raise but it is not an expected thing. My son can't wait to get out on his own. He recently turned 18 but failed his driver's test the first time. He will have to wait til he gets his license to move out. My oldest married at 18 and moved out, the second oldest moved out, then came back for a couple of years while she went to school, then got an apartment again, the third is my son who is itching to get out on his own. Our job as parents is to raise them to be indepent, useful people who will be able to go out, get a job, work, pay their own way and not be a burden to society but can add to or contribute positively to society.
@gknott (938)
• United States
27 Dec 06
I have a 21 year old son that lives at home he doesn't pay me anything. I do expect him to help more than the smaller kids. I also expect him to still go by my rules, I think what happens is they decide to run the home like they are the one in charge that is where we run into problems. I think as long as the daughter or son is going to school or starting a new career they should have time to get their feet on the ground but after couple years of working they should move out on their own. Most american kids go to college and either still live at home and commute or live on campus.
2 people like this
@irisheyes (4375)
• United States
27 Dec 06
If a child over the age of 18 lives at home and is not a student, it is not unusual for parents to expect the kid to pay some sort of room and board money. Also, children should be expected to help with household chores if they live in the house. What kind of a parent would allow a child over 18 to sit around all day and never make any contribution to the household? How would that create a better family bound?
2 people like this