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New Jersey teen needs a job, not parental support

by Greg Belfrage

An 18-year-old New Jersey girl is making news this week for suing her parents.

Rachel Canning says her parents threw her out of the house two days before her 18th birthday last November. They haven't paid her tuition at a private Catholic high school since December 31st. Canning sued for $650 weekly child support, plus legal fees and future college tuition.

Canning's parents say their daughter chose to move out. They claim she was disrespectful to members of the family, wouldn't follow her curfew and refused to do assigned household chores. Her parents say they want Rachel to come home, but follow the rules.

A judge denied Canning's request on Tuesday for financial support and legal fees. However, he promised to revisit the issue of college tuition in a few months.

The girl's sense of entitlement is pretty staggering. She is disrespectful and disobedient, yet thinks her parents owe her more.

However, I have been most disgusted with the family helping Canning in her lawsuit.

Canning has been staying with a girlfriend and her family since moving out. The friend's father, John Inglesino, is an attorney and is paying for Canning's lawsuit against her parents.

Inglesino said he and his wife fear Canning will lose opportunities for college and a happy future without the financial support from her parents. Inglesino expressed concern that Canning's parents had not called or visited a single time in the four months she's been staying with them.

Canning's lawyer said the parents also had "not sent a penny to her or to her benefactors".

Wow, that takes a lot of nerve. You decide to take in someone else's spoiled 18-year-old daughter and expect her parents to help foot the bill? Forget that noise.

I cannot imagine putting myself between an 18-year-old girl and her family by offering to pay the costs of her lawsuit. 

It would have been far more productive if Inglesino had gotten Rachel and her parents together in a neutral setting to try and reach an agreement. No lawsuit among families has ever brought people closer together. Lawsuits tend to have a very chilling effect on relationships, especially among family and friends.

If Inglesino and his wife are worried that Canning will lose opportunities, why don't they just step up and pay the freight? Let them pick up the cost of Rachel's college tuition. Let them support her for the next four years. Let them pay for her food and clothing. 

In my view, the Inglesinos are total hypocrites. I hope they don't see Dollar One in repayment for the lawsuit.

I never expected my parents to pay for college for me. I took it upon myself to get college loans. I also joined the South Dakota National Guard to help defray educational and living expenses. My parents certainly offered help and support along the way as they could, but I'm the one who made it happen.

Its an absolute crime to tell Canning that she will lose opportunity if her parents don't support her. 

If that's the case, let's just make her a government dependent right now. Because she'll never learn to make opportunities happen for herself as long as she's taking that kind of misguided advice. 

Greg Belfrage (@belfrageshow) is heard 6am-9am on KELO 1320 AM and 107.9 FM in Sioux Falls, SD. Greg can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com.