Woman Who Was On Her Parents' Phone Plan Until She Was 21 Says It's 'Not Normal' For Parents To Hold What They've Given You Over Your Head

Parenting should always be rooted in love and compassion, not control and manipulation.

Teenage girl in difficult mood with angry mom. AstroStar / Shutterstock

A woman has sparked a conversation around parents who financially abuse and hold control over their children.

In a TikTok video, Casey Smith shared that she had been on her parents' phone plan until she was 21, not of her own volition but because her parents insisted, which she admitted was one of the more confusing aspects of her childhood.

She acknowledged it isn't normal for parents to hold what they've given you over your head.

Smith explained that she had only been on her parents' phone plan until she was 21 — not because she was incapable of paying a phone bill on her own, but because her parents had attempted to control certain aspects of her life and would hold the things they did for her over her head.


"So many of the things that they do on the surface seem so incredibly kind, thoughtful, and generous, like paying for your phone or paying for your car insurance or insisting on picking you and your friends up and dropping you guys off, and complaining about these things in any capacity makes you feel incredibly ungrateful," Smith said.



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However, the real issue arises when parents are only doing these things as a way to control you.

Smith provided some examples, including when you're out with your friends and your parents can't reach you, so they turn your phone off or cancel your phone plan if you don't answer them quickly enough. They claim they have the power to take away your car keys because they pay for the insurance if they don't agree with the places you're going or the people you're hanging out with.

"What I realized was to fully get out of that situation and to not allow them to have control over me anymore, I had to remove the things that they could hold over my head and it was only when I did that then I was free from their control," Smith added.

In another TikTok video, a content creator named CC broke down the reasons why so many adults often emotionally shut down because they feel their independence is being questioned by their parents.

Stitching a clip of a woman talking about a similar incident while on "The Steve Harvey Show," CC explained that these feelings often come from being in an enmeshed family.


"Where there is no boundaries, there is no separation. You're not allowed to be independent, you're not allowed to correct your mother, you're not allowed to correct your father, especially if you pay no bills," CC said. "You're essentially being bullied by the people who have raised you."



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She claimed that these type of parents will often berate their children to get a job, go to school, or do anything to become their own person, but then will prevent them from doing just that. These types of parents feel that their children owe them respect, no matter what because they've given them life, a roof over their head, food on the table, and the clothes on their backs.


Just because a parent has brought you into this world, doesn't mean that they suddenly have a right to control every decision and feel obligated to have the final say in whichever direction or path their children want to pursue.

Parents signed up to be providers for their children, and to hold those things over a child's head is both abusive and manipulative.

One woman explained how her parents' financial abuse affected her in romantic relationships.

In a TikTok video, a content creator named Edgar Salcheecha explained that she found herself fearful of accepting help from other people, even if she really needed it, and didn't like her partners doing nice things for her because she grew up thinking those gestures were meant to be transactional.

"Eventually I just had to learn little by little to accept help or nice things from people, but it definitely took a lot of work. It affected my romantic relationships a lot. I was always very scared and struggled with accepting basic kindness as well," Salcheecha shared.




She continued, saying that for years, she was always the one who was adamant about doing everything on her own because she was "strong" and "independent," but that led to her being taken advantage of.

"It took me a long time to get used to someone being so kind to me, and being generous with me because I've always had this fear of, 'They're going to hold this against me. They're gonna turn around and cut my phone off or something.'"


This type of behavior exhibited by parents does nothing but ruin the relationship between a child and parent and inevitably causes long-lasting scars and trauma.

Parenting should be about nurturing a child's independence and supporting them to become self-sufficient adults. Most importantly, parenting should always be rooted in love and compassion.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.