Do you agree with charging a teenager rent?
Texas couple Cody and Erika Archie, whose daughter paid a monthly fee to live at home past her high school graduation, doesn't regret their rule — and, according to her parents, neither does she.
"Do you make your graduated high school student pay rent in your house if they aren't going to college yet?" Erika asked in the video originally posted last year and re-shared May 17 on the couple's TikTok account, Bar 7 Ranch. "Tell us what you think."
Cody explained that because daughter Kylee Deason, then 18, was uncertain about attending college, the couple would charge her $200 per month to live at home while she mapped out her future and, ideally, became financially independent.
“That’s plenty cheap to live like a grub in your parents’ house," said Cody.
Their rule got "Parents of TikTok" talking.
"Yes, great idea. Teaches them to pay bills," "Builds character (and) makes them responsible" and "If they're not going to college, then yes," wrote backers of the arrangement.
"Yes! We gave my oldest son a tent and sleeping bag at the age of 18," one added.
Several parents diverged, writing, "A definite no for me. I know it's rare but I will forever help my kids no matter the age" and "It would be different if I needed the help but 18 is not an adult!"
Others bargained: Charge rent but store it in a secret savings account for the child's future down payment.
"We didn't want her to go to college 'just because,'" Cody tells TODAY.com.
"Her plan changed all year long," recalls Erika. "All kids are not ready at the same time to go to college. If you don't know what you want to do, work until you figure it out."
Kylee eventually decided she didn't want to go to college so the family drew up a plan that satisfied everyone: The Archies were landlords and Deason was their tenant, paying rent from her job as a clerk in Coryell County. As a renter, Deason didn't need permission for many things, including socializing with friends. She did have a nightly curfew to not disturb her 14-year-old brother; and if she wasn't coming home one night, she had to inform her parents.
"We see it as our responsibility to raise productive members of society," says Cody. "We want our child to realize that if they want something in life, they have to work like mom and dad to get there."
"We see it as our responsibility to raise productive members of society."
Deason's rent was occasionally — well, frequently — late.
"Nearly every month," recalls Cody. "I’d call to remind her and she'd say, 'Can't you pull it from my bank account?' I wouldn't do it for her."
Charging children rent should be a family decision, says Emily Kline, a clinical psychologist and author of "The School of Hard Talks: How to Have Real Conversations with Your (Almost Grown) Kids."
"If parents are struggling to make monthly payments and might otherwise be able to rent out the room, it might make sense for a young person to pay that rent," Kline tells TODAY.com. "However, if parents own their home outright or don’t need the money, it might be reasonable for the child to save her earnings or invest in her education."
"Whether they pay rent or not, young adults who live with their parents should think about how they can contribute to the household, either financially or by doing chores, cooking, or caring for children or aging relatives," adds Kline. "Families should discuss expectations and create solutions that work for everyone, revisiting those discussions over time."
Deason, 19, moved out in February 2023 and briefly rented an apartment. She currently lives with her aunt and babysits her nieces and nephews in return in lieu of paying rent.
The Archies say that charging their daughter rent motivated her to start the next chapter of her life.
"Kylee doesn't have any hard feelings toward us," says Erika, "and she learned that living as an adult isn't free."