Help – my daughter’s boyfriend is a free-loader!

Help – my daughter’s boyfriend is a free-loader!

Dear reality chick, my daughter is frequently bugging me about her boyfriend staying over. They are both now 16 and have left school and have been going out since they were 13. However I am now a bit uncertain about the boyfriend as he is showing signs of being jealous, his behaviour is controlling, plus he is eating us out of house and home and making no financial or domestic contribution. He really is free loading.
If I try to broach this subject with my daughter she just gets stroppy so I think this sleeping over is just asking way to much and its really starting to get me down. Help! Suzie

Maybe if your daughter’s guy was Boyfriend of the Year material, you’d give her a bit more leeway on the sleepovers, but given he’s using your home like a hotel, it’s time to set boundaries. She’s still your daughter, living under your roof and that should mean living by your rules, regardless of how long they’ve been dating – or how entitled he feels to raid the pantry whenever he gets peckish.
Short of padlocking the kitchen, your best option is to hit the guy where it hurts – in the hip pocket. You say they’ve both left school. Are they working? If so, it’s time to ask your daughter to pay board, and her boyfriend to pay a contribution towards meals. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount – you can negotiate according to what they can afford – but I’d make that essential. Tell them times are tight and everyone has to contribute. Handing over a slice of their income will help you out and give them a bit of insight into what it’ll be like when they have to pay their own rent and bills. You might want to sweeten the deal by agreeing to sleepovers a certain number of nights per week, but that’s up to you. As for domestic contributions, set up a roster and tell them their ‘contributions’ will rise if jobs aren’t done.
Now, to the issue of the boyfriend being jealous and controlling. I’d think carefully before approaching your daughter with your concerns. You may hope for a rational discussion, but it’ll more likely spiral into a screaming, door-slamming hissy fit. Frustrating as it is playing the waiting game, all you can hope for is that their relationship will run its course, she’ll eventually ‘outgrow’ him, or she’ll realise she doesn’t want to be with someone who tries to control her. As her mum, make it clear you love her and you’re there for her anytime she wants to talk.
Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. laura 5 years ago

    Thank you I’m going through the same type of situation,but my daughter works at mcdonalds part time she’s 18,the lil worm is 20,he left his job now it’s been 8 months and he has her working and paying his phone bill and she gives him gas money,because he’s more than happy to pick her up from work,because then he heads out to my apt so I can feed them!!!my 18 year old shares a room with my other 17 year old daughter,these two now took over the room basically he’s a mooch he sleeps on the bed like he could care less,my other daughter has no privacy.the worst thing out of this is he’s an ass with my daughter .he has a bad temper ,constantly screaming at her……..but never in front of my husband and i,and my daughter was ready to start college in aug.well this creep convinced her she didn’t have to go to school.this is when my husband flipped just the other day,so it’s really hot here in the sf valley where I’m from my hubby hits the ac to keep the family comfortable,all summer he found this lil troll just sleeping comfortably in my daughters room ac up taking his usual daily 4 hour nap in our home,wtf!!! My husband thought,I’m just sick of him.he did not say anything at that moment,but the next morning when my husband took my daughter to work he finally told her that he’s had it with him,and that he didn’t want him in our daughter knows how my husband is so she just agreed,I guess he all of us had enough of this ordeal.we hope and wait that their relashionship will run its course and just end,there are so Ooooo many things this lil creep has done,I would be here for ever.but my advice just cold turkey boom lay down the law on these mooch boyfriends.this one had no idea what headed his way.

  2. Author
    reality chick 10 years ago

    Thanks for all the comments lately Terez – much appreciated! Cheers, RC

  3. Terez W. 10 years ago

    Dear Suzie,
    In dealing with your teenage daughter, i realize it’s a very sensitive time in your relationship. That being said, I completely agree with Reality Chick that you must demonstrate tough love and lay down the law. Since she and her boyfriend have both left school, they need to face the realities of becoming adults.

    Requiring them to contribute what they can currently afford to your household will stifle a sense of entitlement they may be developing, which will most surely hurt them later on. As far as the sleepovers are concerned, the bottom line is it’s your house, your rules. Your daughter will need to abide by them until she gets her own place.

    Being a teenager, she most likely will not like you putting your foot down, but teaching her how to be responsible is a gift she will appreciate down the road.
    All the best to you.

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