Hi. I’m a 17 year old in high school. I just graduated and I’m working part time to help my parents with the bills. The only problem is that they ask for so much more to the point where I sometimes don’t have enough money for anything else. I work at a fast food restaurant so I don’t get paid much. My older brother works at the same place I do, but they always ask me because I save up my money while my brother spends most of it. I try to explain to them that it’s unfair but I always get yelled at and told off, saying that I’m being selfish with my money and that I don’t want to help my family. Any advice please-I am about to turn 18 in 3 days.
- It must be hard to feel like you’re trying to be supportive of your family and it’s not being appreciated. Thank you for reaching out for help.
- Have you tried talking to your family about a consistent, equal way that you and your brother can contribute to the household? For example, what about deciding on a set amount that you and your brother both contribute equally on a monthly basis? That may provide some flexibility over paychecks in case you don’t work the same hours every week. You may also want to try asking instead if there is a set amount that you and your brother can set aside for yourself every week that isn’t touched by household bills.
- Have you asked your parents to help you understand their rationale for the way the contributions are currently being handled, or to explain the financial situation for the household? It may help if you understand where they’re coming from, as well as help you come up with a more equitable plan to propose in the future.
- Discussions about things that frustrate us can be difficult to manage without losing patience. In any arena- personal or professional- people are taken more seriously when they maintain a calm demeanor and are able to present facts to support their arguments. It also helps to bring possible solutions to the discussion. Do you have someone whose opinion you trust that you could practice having a conversation with? It should be someone who will give you honest feedback and that you trust with the feedback they give you.
- On our website, under our “TOOLS” tab we have a section on social skills. In this section is a topic about reaching a compromise. This may be a helpful tool to use when planning on having a discussion with your parents.