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I got a very strange proposal today. One of the Riverdale families is moving to Europe, and their son that attends the High School wants to stay here until he finishes school. What they're trying to do sounds very weird to me. They want to have someone move into an apartment with this kid in Lake Oswego and basicly take care of him until he graduates High School (he's going to be a sophomore I think). In return, they're offering rent, a car, and $1000 a month, and they're asking me to do it.

I just don't know what to think of this. My initial gut reaction is that it's a little too strange, but the perks are too good to dismiss the idea right off the bat. If anyone has an opinion, by all means, chime in. Right now though, I really think I'm going to turn it down. There are just too many unknowns. First off, I've never met this kid before. I'm told by several people that he's a good kid and shouldn't be much trouble but still, he's a teenager, it won't be all fun and games. If this kid does happen to get into any trouble it's my door they'll be knocking on. Plus, mom and dad are thousands of miles away. If I end up hating this I can't just decide that I want to quit 3 months down the line unless I want to look like a total jackass.

If this were just free rent to live with the kid, I'd turn it down no sweat, rent isn't that much money. But a grand a month on top of that...it's a lot to consider. I'm heading to Chicago for 4 days tomorrow morning, so I'll have some time to collect my thoughts on the subject while I'm gone I suppose.

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dont do that, its lame. you dont wanna be a full time babysitter for the next 2 years.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm thinking


Kids tend to behave better around strangers, but after 3 years, you won't be one anymore. So you might get a false good impression at first. Even if you spend some time babysitting, to "test-drive" things, it'll be much different once his parents have shipped off. If you're gonna do it, you're gonna have to develope parenting skills. This is light years beyond babysitting.

Some basic parenting skills would be having to give him some amount of freedom to choose, but you strictly control his choices. You need to be consistent and clear about your boundaries, no matter how much he tries to wear you down. You have to chooose your battles and not always try to dominate. You can't let him sucker you into long, heated arguements or debates, though short ones are fine.

One of the most important things you need to have is the power to cancel the deal and ship him off to Europe at any time. You need total support and commitment from his parents on that. If he senses that they don't really mean it, you'll have no power over him. At the same time, you can't go threatening him with "deportation" all the time, or he'll come to resent you and it'll loose it's effect.

Some things to consider. What if he wants revenge on you and claims that you've molested him? What if he gets a girl pregnant? What if he dies while driving drunk or ODs on his first try of some drug, on some weekend you decide to spend with your friends instead of watching him? And having a free car might sound like a bonus but what I see is "24-hour taxi-service."

You'll be giving up your freedom to watch this kid. You'll always be worrying. You lose your free time. You'll lose mobility.

I am being quite pessimistic here. It might not turn out to be a nightmare, but unless you know this kid well enough to judge his character, I don't think it's worth the risk. And either way, you definately loose your freedom, unless that's not such a big deal to you, which might be the case.

I dunno rent + car + $1000, maybe that would equal $2000 a month, so a $24K salary. I dunno if that's worth a job which is 24hours a day, 7 days a week, the potential risks, and no 401K.

Then again you two might form a beautiful bond, close as real brothers, father and son, the stuff they write tear-jerking screenplays about....maybe.

If you're gonna do it, your decission should be based on more than money.

Well my 2cents, for what it's worth :_)

Word. Ben, go into it, don't go into it. It something that could go either way, and with this little info (for any of us), the only thing I can safely predict is that the result will be over the top. Good or bad.

But as long you're doin' it for reasons other than cash money you'll be fine.

No bones about it, the only reason I'd be doing this is for the cash money. There are no other pluses. I don't know this kid, and I have no aspirations toward guiding a teenager through life's hurdles. I doubt I'd hate it. It would probably work out fine in the end, but it's not something I *want* to do.

You're right, there is a big loss of freedom here. Having a 15 year old to think of is definately gonna cramp what little style I have going for me. I was just thinking, I'm getting on a plane to Chicago in 8 hours. How much more complicated would this trip be if I had a kid to worry about? My "spontaniously drive to Canada to eat pinapple" days would certainly be over.

It comes down to whether I think the money is worth the loss of freedom. A year ago I was working a dead end job and living at home. I'd have jumped at this. Now...I'm pretty happy with the place my life is it. I think it's gonna take a bigger chunk of change than 24K a year to get me to significantly alter it now.

My "spontaniously drive to Canada to eat pinapple" days would certainly be over.

Decision made.

Don't do it. ;-)

Sounds like a bad 80's sitcom to me. Junior And Sore-nuts.

Ask any parent and they will tell you that the years 15-18 are the toughest in terms of parenting. Even the best-adjusted, most emotionally mature teenager has mood swings, rebellious streaks, image problems, and self-esteem issues during those years, some more serious than others. I cannot believe that the parents are willing to leave him in the states during these crucial, life-altering years. I think what they are asking you to do is outrageous, at any price. Just my opinion and for the record my husband and I lovingly raised a son and a daughter, both in their last year at the university.

That is what I think. What parent in there right mind would leave there child at age 15? I know what I was doing at 15 and although it wasn't horrible, I still needed my parents to ground me every once and awhile to keep me straight.

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