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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl Eager for Independence Isn't Prepared to Pay for It

DEAR ABBY: My 18-year-old daughter has just finished school. She now wants to take a gap year and work to save enough to travel overseas. The problem is, she's so eager to get away from home that she wants to move to another city to work.

I have advised her that staying home and working will allow her to save more to travel, and she would have to pay for her food, accommodation and transportation, and would have little left over to save to travel. She got upset with me and could not understand why I wouldn't want to pay her rent or support her. Am I being unreasonable saying that she should pay her own way if she moves out of the home? -- MOM IN JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

DEAR MOM: If anyone thinks that an attitude of entitlement is strictly a problem in the United States, your letter should banish that notion. What you told your daughter makes perfect sense. If she wants independence, she should be prepared to accept the responsibility for living that way.

I would, however, encourage you to continue the dialogue with her so you can understand why she feels the need to live apart from you, on the chance that a compromise might be possible. I'm sure it would be enlightening.

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