I have a 19 year old stepdaughter who is a child who feels as though she is entitled to any and everything. Her father and I gained primary custody of her when she was 10 because her mother had a drug problem and wasn't caring for her properly. Parenting this child has always been difficult because of the terrible relationship that she had with her mother. We have tried to be fair and teach her responsiblity just as we do with our 3 younger children. When my twins were 8 (stepdaughter was 15) & began playing sports that required alot of my time and attention transporting to practices and games. She began resenting me and becoming verbally abusive to her three younger brothers and myself. Life became hard at our house as my husband worked long hours and her manipulation caused many fights between my husband and I. He always tried to see her side of things and often blamed me for her behavior. Over the years she has had an on/off relationship with her mother. When they are reconciled she treats me horribly, but when they are at odds she is pleasant with me. At the age of 16 we purchased her a car and paid her insurance. The car had mechanical problems and we purchased her another car (with proceeds from her savings account that my husband and I started for her) and continued to pay her insurance. When she was 15 things were so bad at home that she moved in with my in-laws who live next door to us. She lived under their roof, but we continued to pay for everything that she needed or wanted and continued to make the parenting decisions with imput from the in laws. She graduated high school and started going to community college making a 10 mile commute 2 days a week. She took a job working 40 hours a week at a nursing home. Six months ago, against our judgement, she decided to move into a $750 month townhouse with her boyfriend. She harrassed us, ignored us, pouted at us because she wanted a new car. We told her no, but she wasn't satisfied with that. She had my husbands parents start asking us to loan her the money for a car. At first my husband told them no and their demeanor toward us changed. They were curt with their answers and did not speak to us unless we initiated it. They even avoided our other children. My husband has always wanted to please his parents, so after a week or so of this he decided he would loan her the money with a firm repayment plan. We purchased a near new car for her and a repayment plan of $250 per month was reached. My husband sat down with her and explained that she would have to repay the money and that she needed to think before she made a purchase like this. She stated that she could afford it but now 3 months into her new car she suddenly can not afford it. There has been no change in her school or working status. No financial changes from the time the car was purchased until now. She isn't talking to us (she has made up with her mother & currently has no use for us) but she has been complaining to the mil that she can't afford the carpayment but she has to have the car. My in laws have money, but they are tight. They do not live a live of great luxury. Last night, my mil called my husband and said my stepdaughter couldn't make the payment and that they wanted to pay us back the money we loaned her. They said she would be responsible for repaying them as much as she could afford until it was paid in full. I have a couple of issues with this. The first is that this is not teaching her any financial responsibility. If her grandparents bail her out this time, it will likely never stop. The second is that if my in laws do infact pay us back for the loan, they will be angry at my husband (he knows this and has verbally acknowledged this). And third, I feel like my husband & I are being bullied by his parents and daughter. You can't choose to be treated like an adult in some aspects of life and expect others to take care of your financial responsibilities.
I want to continue in the current payment arrangement. My husband says that if she doesn't have it his parents will pay it and he doesn't want that. If she defaults from her payment, then we will give her his work car to drive (the worth of this car is a little more than she will have invested in the new car) and we will take the new car. I don't know the answers but I want to make it as painless as possible for my husband.