Mom Makes Her Kids Pay for Their Own Food

Say What!? 250

family rulesWhen our kids are born, we want to give them the world. As they grow up and find out that there are "made for TV" products, we quickly adjust our plans. We'll give them everything ... within reason. Suddenly the question is, what's within reason? Is it within reason to expect a kid to buy their own ... groceries?

With the response one single mom is getting for her "rules" for her teenagers, it seems there are plenty of parents out there who would have no problem asking the kids to go buy their own eats.

The mother, who is going back to school herself, posted a photo of a whiteboard listing her new family rules to Reddit. On it, she declares there is no "maid, butler, laundress, cook, valet, errand runner, or other employed help here."

I'm with her. I'm my daughter's mother. Not her servant. I'm even with her on most of her rules -- from "to your dishes" to "pick up your mess." But she loses me when she tells her children:

Yes, you can buy a few groceries.

Folks, I'm a mom. It's my job to provide my child with the basic necessities. And the way I see it, that includes groceries.

It isn't fair to burden kids with figuring out where their next meal will come from because you got too busy to hit the supermarket. It's certainly not appropriate to make your kids pay for the food in your fridge. You're still the parent. They're still the kids, especially when they're still in high school (one of her children is in college, the other a high school senior).

Now, might I expect my teenager to buy her own eats if she goes out to the mall with her friends at 16 and hits the food court? Sure. If she's got her own job, extras like that might be on her.

But groceries aren't extra. They're part of the three basics of human life: food, shelter, and clothing. If you can't give those to your kid, what are you doing being a parent?

Would you require your kids buy their own groceries?


Image via Reddit

tough topics


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since... sincerelyjessxo

When I was in middle school and freshman year of highschool my mom worked all the time. We cleaned the house, took, care of my younger brother, and did anything else mom asked. We were really broke too. I often walked to aldi for my mom to get groceries especially if there was something I wanted but she usually left money. However, if I wanted to go out I tried to use my own money I had saved because my mom couldn't afford it. I learned a lot though which is why I was fairly self sufficient when I got a job at 16

jrphelps jrphelps

You are probably just mad you didn't think of it 1st!

miche... micheledo

Saying you can buy a few groceries is not necessarily saying they have to buy the food for their meals.  She could be talking about snacks or extras the kids want.  

Honestly (though not there yet), I have thought about letting our kids buy food.  Obviously we would provide for their meals, but if they want something outside of that or more, then why not encourage them to spend their own money??  My brothers spent their money on all the candy they could get since my mom didn't allow much sugar in the house. :)  

adamat34 adamat34

This is horrible. Kids need to feel secure and this isnt cutting it. Granted Im not going to let my teen boys eat everything in the fridge but no way would i deny them food. They have a lot longer to be adults than kids. Let them not have that worry. I feel so bad for these boys. How sad.

jrphelps jrphelps

And besides, she isn't MAKING them buy their grocercies.  It is merely a SUGGESTION. 

Jessie Baade

I'm wondering how old the referred to kids are ? Could just be  immature young adults living with their parents who aren't pitching in.

nonmember avatar FarmersWife

I don't think it would be reasonable to make them buy all the food, but if 3 regular meals are provided a day I see nothing wrong with them having to buy extras. Like snacks, drink mixes if tap water won't do, desserts and stuff. But I don't think they should have to pay for the essentials.

jrphelps jrphelps

For those inquiring about kid is a SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL the other is a JUNIOR IN COLLEGE.  We aren't talking 13 & 14 year olds.  Very possible the senior is 18 so she is speaking to TWO adults!


I don't think she is making them buy ALL the groceries...I took the message as if she is suggesting that they too can pitch in to the groceries account.  They could be gobbling up everything in sight before she has a chance or money to replenish  (been there with the kids eating everything so fast my head swam)'s kind of cute/funny...sounds like an over worked/over tired/just over everything parent (Again, been there done that---and then I find out it doesn't end when they go to college...when "those people" are home from college, my poor toothpaste tube looks like a mangled long tissue paper...And, why did I have to throw a temper tantrum to get folks to change the empty toilet paper holder?!?  My Gosh!!!).  Gotta love them.

Sarah Todrick

When I was in high school, if I wanted the super-expensive organic brand of chips, or gourmet food from the specialty grocery store, or some random vegan ingredient to experiment with while cooking, yes, I was required to buy my own groceries. And you know what? I learned something from it! My parents provided me with healthy, nutrititous and tasty meals and food options, but I wasn't entitled to have them buy me special snacks or food for the vegetarian diet I chose. That's not to say they didn't take my wants and needs into consideration-- but the entire household budget didn't revolve around what I wanted. I think that's a healthy thing for a kid to learn.

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