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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom's Retirement Puts an End to Sons' Free Ride at Home

DEAR ABBY: I have two adult sons living at home, ages 22 and 24. Both are working. I have recently retired, and my income has become half of what it was before. I told my sons that if they are to continue living here, they must pay room and board of $30 a week or find a place to live with the amenities they have here.

They are now ranting and raving and calling me a bad mother. Am I being unreasonable? I feel I have provided my sons with a good life, and it is now time for them to take some responsibility for their own support. It's time to grow up. Am I wrong?

My oldest son says he refuses to help me pay my mortgage! I told him to either pay the $120 a month or try to find a cheaper place to live. Any thoughts on this? -- STRESSED-OUT MOM, LAKE VIEW, N.Y.

DEAR STRESSED OUT: You're making perfect sense to me. If your older boy was not centered so much on himself and his wants (notice, I didn't say "needs"), he would realize that you have made him a generous offer.

Because of your diminished income, of COURSE there is no question that your sons should contribute to the household expenses. It's possible they won't realize what a good deal they've been having until they try to match it in the real world. Stand your ground, Mom, and don't take any back talk.