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How long should parents help?

Posted by MonaBlair (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 2, 04 at 16:06

At what point does a parent stop helping a child out? Due to making unwise decisions one of ours is always needing $$ help.We're renting a home to him at an outrageously low amount and he's still struggling. We've offered to pay for additional schooling or training but he doesn't want to go. Should we kick him out of the house? He could never find another rental at this price and I don't want him moving in with us. Any thoughts?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How long should parents help?

I guess the question is why is he needing help?

Is he spending his money unwisely or just unable to get/keep a job that pays well enough for him to support himself?

Maybe he needs to get a couple of roommates to split the costs.

How old is he? Old enough to be more stable or just starting out in the working world?

Have you ever refused to give monetary help and if so, what was his reaction?

I guess I just need a little more information....

Keli


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RE: How long should parents help?

Keli, I understand your concern. We too have a child in the same shape. We rent her a house, for a tiny amount. She is going to school though, but it still gets on my nerves that she seems to not manage her money wisely enough. She smokes, so I figure if she smokes, she MUST have alot of play around cash, or else she would quit. Smoking is expensive.
She does have a job at a very nice 5 star resturaunt, but don't work as often as I think she could. I am sick to death of footing these bills, and wish she would grow up. She goofed around and got a year behind in college, so I told her as soon as she was 21 she was responsible for ALL her own stuff. That is 5 months away. I doubt much will change, but I am still praying!!!
Seamer1


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RE: How long should parents help?

Another good question is 'How Long do we have to continue teaching them 'responsibilities'.???? Gosh I'm tired. lol Our of three grown children my youngest dd at age 37 is still learning. Waaaah! She married at age 33 (only marriage)and has a good job. She has always maintained a good paying job since finishing college but she just didn't know how to manage her money and credit cards really go her in trouble. At some point they have to be on their own and learn their own independence. Luckily she is open enough that we can discuss budgeting for her family and will talk freely about their bills and what they spend. Sometimes I almost have to bite my tongue but I continue to tell them to live 'within their means'. I tell them to bite the bullet and save a little money even if it's only $5 a week. They now have over $1,000 dollars saved and they are sooooo proud of themselves and I'm proud for them!!! And relieved! lol I guess our job as a parent is to always continue to teach our kids even if they are adults.

Dancey


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RE: How long should parents help?

I have had 30 years of this kind of experience. From that experience and at his age, I would give him the loan next time he ask, but tell him that is the last and not to ask again. Our children are almost 50 and were still asking for money until I put my foot down. The last time I told my son it was the last and it was. He asked one more time and I said no. We were smart enough not to rent to family and they knew that from the beginning so we havent' been asked. If you want him out or to raise his rent you need to give him a deadline and stick to it. My friend's husband had a good way to handle loans to his children. He had the child write out a contract for the loan and his repayment plan and a small interest, very small. They both signed it and he put it away so if the child didn't pay the loan back and asked for more money, he just had to pull out the contract.


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RE: How long should parents help?

Thank you all for the sage advice. I've just got to bite the bullet and let him sink or swim. Maybe the reality that he's truly on his own will make him act more responsibly.


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RE: How long should parents help?

Some kids learn by example, some learn by running into walls.
What do I mean by that? When my kids learned to walk I couldn't help them, and if they couldn't stop themselves, they'd run into a wall..literally, then they'd fall, learn to stand up again and do it all over again until they got real good at stopping and even better at picking themselves up again. If I'd forced my help on them, they wouldn't have learned to walk as quickly.

I have two that learn by running into walls. Hard as it is, I had to let them. Same is true in this situation. I have to let mine run into walls, unless it is really important to me that I help them stand up on their own (i.e. one wouldn't have graduated high school without help), then I do, if it's just painful to watch, I bite my tongue (you can see scars on it I swear).

Hope this helps.

Vickey-MN


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RE: How long should parents help?

How long should parents help? As long as the kids need it! Some kids need help all their lives and some are independant at 16.
I think "kids" need to see the consequences of their action....or inaction.
I would have never thought to ask for financial help once Iw as out of the house....
My husband's parents had an old airconditioner....worked but was old and noisy. They asked us if we wanted it, we said yes and they said that'll be $100. We certainly didn't have that, so we paid for it at $10 a month.
My brother, on the other hand lived at home, without a job for more than a year after graduating from college. He depended on our parents for even his spending money. When he finally did get a job, he continued to live with them until they sold the house. I used to ask why they didn't tell him to get his own place. They couldn't do that to him!! Only after he began to be responsible for himself did he begin to grow up.
I say it's a kindness to kick them out after they have their education!
Linda C


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RE: How long should parents help?

If you keep providing that security net, whatever it may be, they will always depend on it. Give them a time limit on what you won't do anymore and stick by it. It may seem mean, but they will never ever learn responsibility in the REAL world until they're in it.


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RE: How long should parents help?

i think if a kid is in school full time its okay to help them out - after that they are on their own. thats what they went to school for. my parents had laid enough ground work that we wouldnt think of asking for money after we moved out. all of us kids, now grown, are independant and financially secure all on our own. in contrast my husbands parents were constantly giving their kids money, paying for cars, insurance, housing. they are now supporting their kids and their grandkids well past their adulthood. only one of their kids is financially secure on his own(my husband). the rest of their children (3 others) have continual money problems. mom & dad of course come to the rescue - cash in hand.


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RE: How long should parents help?

The question I would have to ask is one that I always ask myself. If you continue to do what you're doing now, why would anything ever change? He may be dependent but he's obviously not stupid. He's got an easy ride and I'm guessing he likes it and will ride it as long as it's still running. Even in nature, parent animals will walk away when it's time for the babies to fend for themselves.


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RE: How long should parents help?

In our case it wasn't a case of need it was a case of getting the pay check, going shopping, then being unable to pay their bills. How long should you help kids that join health clubs, $400 a year, buy $100 rachets, wanting $2,000 to buy a home, wanting $10,000 to buy a farm, the worst was wanting us to sign for a sureity bond for $100,000. I called an attorney about that one and he said if they defaulted and the other parents didn't pay their share we would have to come up with the full $300,000.


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RE: How long should parents help?

If they are very reliable and living within their means and then get into a little trouble through no fault of their own, I'd be willing to help a little on the basis of being paid back. Not because I'd want the money back, but because it would teach responsibility.

If they were living otherwise (like Jonesy describes in the post just above this one) I'd give nothing because they are just throwing money away.

Remember, the primary job of parents is to raise a child into a responsible adult which begins around 18, 19, 20 years old -- not 30, 35, 40 or beyond.

Jen


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RE: How long should parents help?

We can only do the best we can when raising them. I was a responsible person as a teenager and probably younger. I wanted to do thing right and I didn't want to make waves. I was born that way. One of my sons is just like his dad, the other is like my dad, there's no way I could change them.


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RE: How long should parents help?

My brother is 48,still living at home with mom, refuses to get a job, even though he has a college degree and reads the New York Times every day. He gets his spending money from mom and she bought him a truck several years ago.


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RE: How long should parents help?

The way I see it, either you're a child, or you're an adult. A child is dependant on his parents; an adult isn't. An adult gets to make decisions for himself and is responsible for the consequences; a child's decisions can be over-ridden by a parent and the consequences softened.

The decision to move from childhood to adulthood should be made, if possible, by the child. And making that transition should be considered an accomplishment -- one that is celebrated, made 'official' by a ceremony of sorts (graduation, wedding, speech) and makes the former-child feel proud.

Trouble is, society is accepting a kind of "limbo"... Adult children returning to parents' homes after divorce, college grads in under-responsible jobs still needing and accepting handouts, 30-somethings insisting on "balance" in their lives before they have "paid the dues" necessary to fund the lifestyles they expect.

If the children won't end the limbo, then the adults have to. Reasonable advance notice, an uplifting transition speech and a final financial gift are a great way to 're-enter' adulthood.


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RE: How long should parents help?

My teenage delinquent got kicked out of High school in Grade 11. I enrolled him in another school for drop outs, and he refused to do any studying. He'll be 17 next month and no sign of him doing anything with his life, never mind getting an education. So should I kick his lazy ass out when he's 18 next year (the legal age here) or wait and hope he turns around? And how long do i wait for? Eternity?


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RE: How long should parents help?

Seeker: I'd say YES, warn him (for the entire year if you have to), you have until you're 18, on your 18th birthday you WILL be on your own. I will put your posessions on the front lawn. UNLESS you are 1. gainfully employed, clean (drug free), and paying rent to me (that I decide or 2. going to school full time (high/trade/college), clean, and you can live here rent-free.

He does have another option, he can become an emancipated adult, live on his own how (of course I seem to remember an inheritance he won't have yet), real life may make him change his mind.

This will be tough on you...get counseling for yourself. Find a Tough Love chapter in your area or some other counseling. Some kids learn from seeing others, some have to run into walls to learn. I'm guessing your son needs to run into walls.

Vickey-Mn


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RE: How long should parents help?

I think a child needs guidance at that transition age. Set them on a course. I remember leaving school at 17. I was accepted into uni, but I had a complete lack of confidence, and assertiveness. My parents went off overseas, left me at home, with older brother, who was working.

Looking back now, I realize I needed help, and guidance, someone to sit down with me and look at my options, and help me come to a decision as to what to do from then on. Maybe even a shove in the right direction. I ended up getting a job, but I know now I should have aimed higher. I could have done a lot better, had a career in a more useful field. Its harder to find a career when you are older, with family, and husband, there is always something more important to put the money towards.

When you are 18 you can indulge yourself and do what you want to do.

I would say an 18 year old needs guidance, not shown the door. Help them for as long as it takes for them to be qualified in some sort of job.


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RE: How long should parents help?

Popi, in most instances I would agree with you, but if you've read any of Seeker's other post, his son does NOT want guidance, he wants to live a drug induced life, and seeker cannot help him (you cnanot help someone who does not want help). There are times that as much as you love someone, you have to let them go so they can learn. It is the second hardest thing a parent will ever have to do (the first would be losing a child to death..this would be like a living death). It is not giving up on the child/adult, it is giving them thier wings to fly..and praying the wings are as ready as the fledgling thinks they are.

Vickey-MN


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RE: How long should parents help?

Yes, I agree with you, Vicky. I was thinking about this, as I went about my daily toil. If a child doesnt want to be helped, then you have to give them other options. I spose each child is different, and each one has to dealt with in an individual way.

I think you definately have to outline what is acceptable behaviour, and if that is flaunted then no other option than to show the door.

You can only do your best.

Its heartache all the way, though.

Popi


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RE: How long should parents help?

Hello,
I know it's late, but I had to add my 2 cents. I am a 32 yr. old mother of one. My mother did not help me at all. Not even a graduation gift. I have a house, vacation property, 3 older vehicles, a Harley Davidson, a few older toys and I did it all myself. I have a high school education, took mini courses at the college when I felt I needed them. When I could not afford quality daycare for my daughter, I started a daycare. My husband drives truck for the town. We struggle, but get by. And I feel I am a better person for it. My brother and sister on the other hand are constantly asking parents for help. And are always given help. They have no work ethic and think things should be given to them. Always are taking the easy way out. They both make more money than me, have less bills, but are always broke and having something turned off.
I did not read all the posts, I will go back and do so. But wanted to add this as an example that I think is becoming more common now adays


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RE: How long should parents help?

megdagooch

You are right on.
You made yourself what you are and as you said - are better for it.

I was totally on my own and hated my parents for it. Fortuneatly I realized by the time both my children were pre-teens that my parents were right so I finally stopped hating my parents when I was in my late 20s. Is'n't that sad?

Now my kids hate me. And before anyone says "they don't really hate you" I can assure you they do. One of them goes around spreading all kinds of nonsense about me and how 'neglegtful' I was/am to her at my work place. I feel the best thing to do at this point is just keep my mouth shut and be happy that she has a good job and security. Maybe one day she will understand that she would not have had all of that if I had not pushed her to do it herself.

It still hurts though.


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RE: How long should parents help?

I think parents should help thier kids for one year past leaving school - whether that's high school or college - as a transition period. It is hard to figure out how the 'real world' works, and having some financial backup during that first year is wonderful. But I think that a year is plenty of time to figure out how things work and to make a plan for yourself (hopefully with your parents input and emotional support).

After graduation, I moved back home, but I was on my own after 6 months when I had a job and a few dollars in the bank. I'm grateful that my mom paid my insurance and gave me a place to live in that time so I didn't truly have to struggle.

Once you're on your own, I don't think there are too many reasons to ask your parents for help - perhaps serious medical problems and bills associated with them, but that's about it.


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RE: How long should parents help?

Back to my original statement....parents should help a "child" as long as he or she needs help.
But, remember the goal fo parenting is to raise a mature self sufficient adult, not a person who will be dependant on parents for a hand-out all their life.
Linda C


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