DEAR ABBY: Should a 23-year-old son pay room and board even though he spends little time at home and eats out often? He doesn't do laundry or help around the house. His argument is, we shouldn't take money so he can save and buy a condo.
We are middle-class people and, at times, some bills are hard to pay. Our 20-year-old daughter contributes $100 a week, but she earns considerably more than he does. He is laying a guilt trip on us, and now I'm questioning whether our daughter should pay if he doesn't. Your advice will help us clarify how the household should run. -- TEMPORARILY CONFUSED MOM
DEAR TEMPORARILY CONFUSED: Your adult children should both contribute because the income is needed. Since your son earns less than your daughter and can't afford to pay as much as she does, perhaps he should pay the same percentage of his income as his sister. However, if that's not feasible, he should absolutely be doing chores around the house to make up for it. The longer you coddle him, the heavier his guilt trips will become and the greater your frustration will be.