Gifts to adult children

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Nomad, Mar 27, 2019.

  1. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    im not sure where to put this. Here or WC.

    Not too long ago, we moved several hours to be with our adult son and his family. My husband is semi retired. We are 25 minutes away from son. The move was extremely difficult.

    When they married we paid for the usual stuff...rehearsal dinner, band at wedding. Maybe something else...don’t recall. We also paid for their nice honeymoon. We are generous at Xmas. We gave him a very large present for one of his milestone birthdays ...something for the entire family.

    When they originally bought their home her parents helped them with the deposit. We don’t know all the details, but he may have partially paid them back. This home is five mins away from her parents.

    He and his wife are very responsible and hard working. They have two young children.

    Now, they wish to move to a larger home.

    We have been generous with them over the years, but I suppose moreso with our Difficult Child daughter. She has various special needs and is considered disabled.

    They are looking at homes about forty minutes away from our place and about twenty minutes away from the other grandparents.

    I’m torn if I should offer to help them financially. They have not asked. Since my husband is semi retired , the timing is not ideal. But, we could help a little. And I feel like it would be a lovely gesture.

    Yet, I feel particularly strained that the areas they are seriously considering are kind of far from our home. It is particularly noticeable since our son complains about the 25 min drive currently. A 40 minute drive, I suppose, would seem terrible in his mind. And he hasn’t said word one about it (the extra distance). He doesn’t truly have to...but it makes me feel sad . This distance for us was not and is not even remotely on his radar.

    Plus, we aren’t getting any younger. So, down the road that drive would be hard for us.

    I suppose, at some point we could move again ourselves if absolutely needed.

    We get along great with our grandkids.

    Any thoughts? What have other people done with their adult children? He is truly very good with money and hard working. But he has a job that doesn’t pay a lot.

    I feel strange about this. I can’t fully express why. But bottom line they hope to move twice as far away from us as they are now, even though they already currently consider the drive far. We have not been factored into their decision one bit...the distance to her parents home May have been more considered...I’m not sure. They want good value on a larger home and to be closer to work. Understandable.

    Feeling weird/awkward. Thinking out loud, I suppose.

    * Disclaimer: due to the personal nature of this post, there is a small chance I will ask for some or all of it to be removed down the road.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I would feel sad and hurt, too. Even though I think being closer to work is something that has nothing to do with you. Think about it.

    People go to work 5 days a week, back and forth. If both of them work, that's maybe up to 10 trips a week. I would guess they do not drive to your house 5 days a week. Once a week, maybe.

    Kids are different. I don't think it enters their consciousness to think about how this would affect you, especially 5 or 10 years down the road.

    It sounds like you really want to help them. There is no way that I can think of that you can bring this up without causing conflict. It would be as if you would be trying to control them. or making your help contingent upon their meeting your needs, or satisfying your priorities. I believe this would blow up in your face.

    In deciding whether to give the money I would only give it if I could do so freely, with a loving heart, and without expectations or resentments. They deserve to make their own choices about their lives and their priorities.

    As I think about it more, maybe a wonderful and generous house-warming gift would be better. That way you would not be entering into the actual buying of the place. I don't know how much money you are thinking of, but maybe even something like carpets, if they need them, or landscaping, or professional painting, or washer and dryer or fridge and stove. I think this is what I might think of doing.
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  3. Pixie Dusted

    Pixie Dusted New Member

    The saying my family goes by:

    A son is a son until he takes on a wife,
    but a daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life.

    One of my daughters moved to another state and I was devastated! Then she told me "But mom, you were the one who told me to follow my dreams, to be a strong woman, and see the world".
    I knew she was right so I said "Now sure is a hell-of-a-time to start listening to me!" JK
    She will come back to me when they have babies (Thank you Jesus!)

    What is the worst that would happen if you told them how you feel? How it hurts your heart? Be honest with them.
    Maybe tell them you will support them regardless.

    What your going through has always been a fear of mine!
    My son, my sweet son, how would I feel if they move by her parents (Florida). That's why I've always been so very, very nice to his girlfriends! I figured when he marries one, it's the best chance I'll get to see them grand babies as much as possible.
    (That, and the fact I dont want him in my basement when he's 40, so if she's willing to put up with him) JK

    I love the idea of a nice house warming gift! Whatever you do, I wish you best of luck!
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  4. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    I suppose what is on my mind is :
    1. Her parents who have money problems gave them a deposit for a home and at the same time orchestrated a house purchase five minutes from them. It was very manipulative. No one realized just how manipulative it was at the time. Not sure, but we think they had to pay some of that back due to how badly her parents were doing financially. Perhaps more interesting is that they did this because manipulating the couple was more important to them than their own financial security.
    2. As I e mentioned before, our daughter in law has an unhealthy attachment to her parents. They also tend to manipulate her. They are ok with the move. This is most unusual. We wonder if there is some strange reason for this as it doesn’t add up. One creepy possibility is that we’ve gotten very close to one of our grandchildren. They know the kids are already complaining about the 25 minute drive. Maybe they figure a 40 minute drive (worse on high traffic days) would likely mean the kids could RARELY visit us in the future.
    Her parents, sadly, are creepy competitive and jealous. Our son is only very recently beginning to see it and verbalize it.
    3. I can’t buy their affection or loyalty. Nor do I think I want to. I get this.
    4. A nice housewarming present would be good. Seriously considering this. :)
  5. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    Is there any chance that they are moving and buying a larger house so her parents can live with them? Ksm
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Others have mentioned this.
    It’s very doubtful that either one of them would be ok with her parents moving it nor is it very likely it would be needed right now.
    But, they might want the other grandmother to sleep over now and then for babysitting purposes.
    Additionally, if one grandparent on that side, should die...there might be a small possibility of one of them needing to move in down the road. But these are unlikely scenarios.

    We don’t feel comfortable because of the unhealthy relationship, manipulations, jealousy issues and so

    Our son after many years is only very recently starting to see obvious manipulations and strangeness. Something very unfair happened to us just the other day totally due to the daughter in law’s parents and their creepy jealousy issues. It was bordering on shameful ...we quietly stepped aside. Our son acknowledged it. Thanked us. But didn’t particularly help us.

    But of course We want our son and his family to be happy and do what is best for them.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Nomad. I think the ONLY thing you can do with this is to set boundaries for yourselves, so that these people stay out of your space and your minds, to the extent that you require to have peace and safety. I don't think you can (or should) do one thing to handle or to comment upon or to advocate a position to your son.

    Somebody very wise in my own life made the comment, "we can't learn lessons for others; they have to learn their own lessons." I think this is so for son. And thankfully, he is learning:
    I think that your having a (public) position on all of this can only backfire. He would react and push back against you; or alternatively it could affect his marriage. You would not want this ultimately, I think, because in time he would have resentments against you.

    And finally, you do not want warfare, one set of in laws against the other. These people, these parents, may in fact (consciously or unconsciously) be competing against you, but your interests I think are not served by competing against them. Rather, I think your best interests are served by stepping out of the way, and letting these people show their true colors, for son to see, as seems to be happening.
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    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Yes, Copa.
    We can’t truly win. And we won’t cause more stress for our son.
    It’s not a good situation. Sort of the lesser of the two evil choices. And we are saying very little to nothing to him re her parents these days or
    Our son’s move
    Being positive on the idea of a larger house.
    But, the other day when they (in law family) showed their true colors and we stepped aside, our son gently acknowledged their jealousy issues and thanked us for stepping aside. They showed that they will hurt others and manipulate etc. do whatever they deem necessary in their minds, to “outdo” us. I am no longer upset. More sad. But , it was VERY nice that our son acknowledged that he sees it and thanked us. We were looking for some of this at Xmas time.we were aghast that we got nothing but hysterics. We are accepting of this new attitude from our son even if it’s not ideal and we are likely to lose out and maybe often. :( But it just seems healthier and more honest what he did this go around with what I have said Even though I didn’t say specifically happened, but I think you understand. We were treated unfairly due to their jealousy issues in a recent situation. He gently acknowledged it and thanked us for letting it go. Again, better.
    Love the ideA of boundaries. I’m a boundaries person!!!
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    If they do not ask for financial help then I would not offer it.

    I would do a nice housewarming gift. This could be anything from planting a tree, a new appliance (if needed), patio furniture, new cookware, new set of towels, etc..............

    I wouldn't worry about their reasons as it's their reasons. Even though they will be farther away you can still plan things with your grand kids. Have them come stay a weekend with you. Or plan lunch dates or dinner dates with them. Who cares if your daughter in law's parents are jealous, that's their problem.
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  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Nomad see my PM.

    Sometimes we need to stop petty fights and move in another direction, even if it means another thinks he or she "won " Or that they gain more than us. Life isnt fair. So what? I have learned to just let go. I did it with my FOO and have no idea what any of them do or dont do. It was a healthy decision

    I would not mingle with those other in law people and not bother son over it. Just move along :) Make the best of the times with your grands and bring new friends into your life.
  11. Pixie Dusted

    Pixie Dusted New Member

    I dont know your specific situation. But maybe the distance can be the reason to have MORE time with them? We live about 45 minutes away from both sets of parents. When they want grandkid time, they come and pick them up for the weekend or week...

    I completely agree. my mother in law is full of drama and thrives on crisis. She always complains about someone the second they walk out the door. In the beginning I knew she was saying crap about me behind my back too. at first it upset me, but that just gave her more fuel. I quit playing into it, didn't care what she said, always hugged her and told her I love her. I took all the drama and crisis away and she moved on to someone else.
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  12. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Agree. What we ended up doing was pull away from something. It was actually unfair to us. But, it would cause them to step all over people and create havoc in the family to compete with us. It is sad. Especially the hurting others part. Our son saw it clearly this time. I know it puts him in a bind. I guess it was creepy for us to have outlandish things happen to us and him not say a word. I’m proud of him for figuring out a way to acknowledge the situation and even thank us for helping out... I guess you might say for the better good. It’s all a bit sad...but it is what it is. We are lucky they are really good and hardworking kids. But it’s mostly because it is not coming at a good time for us.

    We are doing our best to enjoy life having met nice people here and there etc.

    Life is good. :)
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