Teen's Reasons for Refusing to Get a Job and Pay Stepdad Rent Cheered

An 18-year-old has asked Reddit for advice after his "Christian and conservative" stepfather told him that he would start charging the teenager rent.

The Reddit user wrote: "I don't expect to live rent free forever but I know my step dad is coming from a spiteful place.

"I'm not his own and it's clear I'm a reminder that his wife was a non-virgin divorced woman before him so of course I'm being treated like a guest and my mum is allowing it."

The poster explains that he doesn't have a huge amount of money and his stepfather wants £100 ($120) per month between now and September, before he goes to university.

College student saving money
Stock image of a college student with a piggy bank and a degree. An 18-year-old has been supported online for refusing to pay his stepfather rent the year before he goes to college. nirat/Getty Images

The teen will be taking his A level exams (certificates for students aged 18 in the U.K.) between mid-April to July. He'll take science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects with the hope of studying medicine. "If I have to get a job it will be difficult to maintain that level of studying that I need to do," the Reddit user wrote.

In the U.K., the student loans that all university applicants are entitled to, for both the college funds and living maintenance, are covered by the government. It is entirely the responsibility of the student to pay them back. Many students in the U.K. go to university without the financial support of their parents.

The teenager goes on to reveal that his aunt has offered to let him stay with her to finish his studies in peace and for free, "so my step dad is annoyed."

"We got into an argument where he said he's just treating me like a tenant to prepare me for the real world, so I said "do tenants not have the right to leave?" Which annoyed him further. My step dad says I'm hurting my mother and taking resources from my aunt because I'm "too entitled" to pay rent. This is just what's best for me. I said I'd visit."

Cindy Shuster, founder and CEO of Partner in Parenting in Maryland, told Newsweek about the teenager's predicament.

"Without hearing from the stepfather, it is impossible to know for sure whether his motivation is the vindictiveness or his true belief that he is teaching his stepson responsibility. In the end, this is actually irrelevant," says Shuster.

"The bottom line is, the stepfather is setting his own boundary, which he is entitled to do, and the stepson is also entitled to set his own boundary, which he did as well. I applaud the stepson's action in doing what is best for him. This was a brave but difficult decision.

"The backlash he is now receiving from his mother and stepfather is unfortunate, but he has absolutely nothing to feel bad about," Shuster added. "He is taking care of himself and setting healthy boundaries, which is going to serve him well in life.

"In future conversations with his mom and stepdad, he really does not need to keep litigating his side. He can simply empathize with their perspective and state his position and his hope for moving forward."

Shuster said: "It could sound something like this, 'I understand, you were disappointed that I made this decision to live with my aunt. I know you wish it were otherwise. Unfortunately, this was something I felt that I needed to do to put myself in the best position to do well on my exams and move forward without debt. My hope is that we can find a way to move forward and respect each other's positions.'"

Newsweek reached out to cheeckypanda625 for comment.

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