how much to ''help'' grown kids????

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by round & round we go, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. round & round we go

    round & round we go New Member

    My 23 yr. old daughter lives on her own with two babies and another one on the way plus her baby daddy. She actually owns the place she lives in (thanks to money left her when my father passed) and only has to pay the lot rent which totals 250 a month plus a light bill. For the last four years she has let her bd live there and he has never held a job nor helps with any bills. She has always held a full time job since high school and continues to work but with one person working they can not support the household. Of course when something happens who does she run I have handed her money for everything from a/c repair, heat repair, car repairs, electric bills etc etc...most of the time the money is not returned or maybe a portion is. Told her the last time her lights were cut off I would 'loan' her the money but they would both have to sign an I O U. He didn't like that very much but he did sign it....that was for almost seven hundred dollars....well who is in the dark again....Yep they didn't ask for money but did ask if she could stay here with one of the babies so she could be closer to work while he stayed at his fathers house with the other baby....until they could get there lights turned back on. Found out in a casual conversation with her they are also a month behind on their lot rent......Now I have no problem with helping but my question is....when is enough, enough???? I have told her over and over that she and the babies are more than welcomed to live with me but he will man will live under my roof that can't or won't help pay bills. I feel if I keep helping her with loans then I am helping him to sit home and not even try to put diapers on his own babies butts....yea I help with that to.Used to give them money to buy supplies for the babies but the rule now, let me know what they need and I will get it but not handing them money anymore. Sitting here as I type this with my grandson on my lap and saddened because those babies deserve better..She's old enough to have to deal with his laziness but these babies aren't...Would you keep trying to help them or just say enough is my wits end dealing with all the drama.
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Well it sounds to me like you are on the right track... she and the grandbabies can live with you but he can't... he needs to be making a living wage and should be supporting his family. In the meantime I think a lot of the principals around enabling we have talked about on this board apply here.... she may not be an addict (to substances) but as long as you help them out financially she does not have to completely face the situation she is in with him. It is all about setting boundaries and making clear that they need to figure out how to solve and deal with their financial issues, they can't just keep coming to you. I would offer her help in terms of helping take care of the kids etc. but I would stop helping them with money....
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If they are not married I would tell her that until she gets a child support order in place she is out of luck. That goes for the fathers of the other kids if he is not the father. Then, if she won't enforce the order she clearly doesn't NEED any help. If they are married it is a bit different. If they are CHOOSING to have him be a SAHD (stay at home dad) then they need a BUDGET and to follow it to pay off the debts before they get any assistance. Either way, she NEEDS a budget. If they have other creditors like doctors, credit cards, etc.... then they need credit counseling and the $$ they owe you needs to be figured into that debt. Let her know taht while bankruptcy may help the other debts, money owed to family cannot be discharged that way. Let her know you need to see monthly payments on the debts before ANY help is given.

    We had a problem because my husband got cards I didn't know about and spent $$ on stuff I was totally unaware of. We always had a budget and I worked HARD to live within it even when not working (lots of the time, largely because no daycare would take Wiz or we couldn't afford daycare for 3 kids - it was less expensive for me to be a frugal stay at home mom than a full time working mom paying child care - even with a college degree. But he racked up debt on stupid things and then would hide from teh debts instead of telling me and stopping the services. Credit counseling really saved us. Finding a GOOD credit counseling service would be a lifesaver. even if they don't, they NEED to get and stick to a budget.

    I would totally refuse to help, including expecting rent while she and the kids stay with you to cover the food and increased utility bills, unless/until she agrees to work with a professional to deal with her debts and her budget so this is the LAST time the kids go through this. Sadly, you will have to follow through and refuse help for all things or at least the things not directly related to baby care if she won't agree. in my humble opinion getting child support and a custody order so he cannot just take off with the kids if he gets mad would be hard for her but is what the children need to protect them. IF she chooses to support his lazy ass that is her choice but shouldn't be her kids' problem.

    It won't be easy, but look at how Hound Dog is having to limit what she can do for her grandkids because the parents' refusal to be responsible. The longer you are taking care of these problems the longer it will take your daughter to grow up and be responsible. I am so sorry it has to be that way. Parenting hoovers sometimes.
  4. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't help them, why should he work when you're there to get them out of a jam all the time? And it's often. Tell them that you don't want to know about this anymore. I know it hurts, and they know it's upsetting to you to have your gradbabies go without basic supplies, so they count on that to get them from you. BD can be ordered form the court, when she files for child support or whatever, you may consider doing something...she has to "do", to "get".
  5. MyFriendKita

    MyFriendKita Member

    Totally not true (as a matter of fact, ALL debts MUST be included in the bankruptcy), and the bankruptcy trustee will order a family member who has received payments greater than $600 in the year before filing to turn over those funds to the trustee.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'd say you passed up "enough" a long time back somewhere.

    I'm all for helping family, actually very huge on it. But there is a vast difference from helping someone and being used by someone. Them asking you for money ect while the boyfriend is doing nothing? Used, not helping.

    He can chose to be a stay at home dad (sorry but to me that translates as I'm too darn lazy to get a job so I'll let my girlfriend support me) all he wants, but if that ain't paying the bills and putting food on the table then that just is NO longer an option, like it or not. He needs to get off his fanny and find work.

    I dunno what is wrong with females today that they seem to have this warped thing going on where they don't pick males who act like a normal male. I know we're supposed to be all modern and such, but please, we didn't lose hundreds of thousands of years of evolution hunting for a man who can provide and protect the family in what 2 generations? phht. Lazy and users and girls falling for their garbage until they're sick of working themselves to death and give them the boot.

    And I can say I was a stay at home mom but we paid our bills, kids didn't go hungry, and if money was tight I found ways to bring more in. We were poor but we made our way.

    They are both old enough to take care of themselves. They can't learn to do that with a parent who continues to rescue them. You earned and lived within your means, time they do the same.

    I don't loan money to adult kids. I can think of maybe less than a handful of times I gave them money. And I nearly always got it back in one form or another. If not cash then they'd do something for me or some such. If they can't pay their bills that is their problem. I have enough problems paying my own. I may help advise them on budgeting or something, ways to cut corners ect. But I don't pay bills either.

    When you "help" that much, it's called enabling. Sounds like your daughter is a hard worker. Now it's time for her to realize she's the only one putting in any effort.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm more in favor of not helping grown children who make poor choices. She obviously picked a very poor partner and he got her pregnant. Ok, for the first time. But she got pregnant again? Um, wait. And now AGAIN? And she can't pay her bills?

    I put this on her as well as him. She will never learn to stand on her own if you pick her up. And I'm not sure she will stop getting pregnant either. She clearly can not afford three babies. If this were me, maybe I'd let her move back in without him, if she paid rent and didn't go out and party at night, but I wouldn't pay her lot rent. That is her responsibility. Ditto for her electric bill and other things surrounding her house.

    SAHD sounds absolutely useless. I wouldn't help HIM at all...or anything that would benefit him.
  8. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I agree that you are on the right track...but you likely need to take it steps further.
    When grandchildren are involved it does get a tad more complicated, but it is still very important to set limits, boundaries and examples.
    Makes sense to me to try to come up with creative ways that might allow her to keep her current place, without continuing to enable the bd. But, this might mean that the bd make some positive changes that he is not willing to make.
    You might gently explain to her about the lack of accountability of the bd, but it is doubtful that you can ever fully explain it to her to the point that she will "get it."
    She will have to "get this" herself.
    I would greatly limit your involvement and offer minimum help. Perhaps some minor help that will go directly to those kids. That's about it.
    Gently let her know that you are greatly limiting your involvement because you feel that she is a grown woman and needs to understand that she has made a choice to associate with someone who is not pulling his weight. And when this man doesn't pull his own weight, it negatively affects and even drags down the entire family.
    Don't enable her.
    You have made a personal choice not to be dragged down into the drama of it all and that in my humble opinion is a good thing.
    The important thing (and this is HARD) is to emotionally walk away from the drama, hope for the best, but understand that it is out of your hands.
    In the end, you will set a positive example of strength by letting her see that you have hope and faith that she can fix this on her own and
    that you are not afraid to walk away from this type of drama/trauma...that you respect your own right to a good and healthy life.
    Lasted edited by : Jul 11, 2011
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sometimes there may be a reason for a SAHD. Is he disabled at all? If so, then maybe he needs to be the one staying at home. Sometimes like Hound said it can cost quite a bit to put two or three babies in daycare and if this dad doesnt have many employable skills, it might be that he is the one that is better off staying at home.

    On the other hand, they probably could use with some budgeting help. If their home is paid for and their basic expenses are only lot rent, electric, food and other essentials, they should be able to get by on a single income if they try. We did it with our three boys.

    I think you need to step out a bit and have a long talk with both of them. Helping is a once in a blue moon thing, not a monthly thing.
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Also...I have grandkids. I want to make that clear. I also have a son who is disabled and will probably be the SAHD for the new baby being born in Sept because the mom is going to school and working and there is no way they can afford daycare and daycare assistance is years long wait here. I cant take on that task because I am disabled too.

    I do help out with stuff for the baby. I ebay for clothes and I might get some stuff off of freecycle or craigslist. Also his older brother is giving them some of their used baby stuff. Once in a while we help out with money but not often. I did give him an air conditioner recently but it has been so ungodly hot here and his girlfriend is pregnant so I just couldnt let them suffer.
  12. round & round we go

    round & round we go New Member

    All of you have excellent points and I think in the back of my mind I knew what to do just wanted some back up that I was doing the right thing. A few things I feel I need to answer, yes the baby daddy is the same for all babies. She did get pregnanat with baby #2 while on the pill so I took her personally and watched as she got birth control shot after said baby was born, that shot falled. On the happy note, daughter is having her tubes tied after this delivery : ). I can't remeber the last time she went out and partied, she's just never been that kind of girl.
    I had a long talk with her the other night and told her I would not let my grandbabies strave or go without but I was not gonna be an atm loan machine to her and bd any more. The only way I would even consider helping them is if bd got a job and I actually seen the first pay stub to prove he was working.( He is not disabled in any way shape or form.) I reminded her of the saying I live by: I can do bad by myself. She knows I left her father after 18 years because of his unwillingness to help with bills although he had a good paying job.
    As someone commented, guess I am gonna have to wait until she see's her bd as everyone else see's him.
    Thanks for letting me vent. This daughter in the situation she's in and my youngest in juvenile lockup....enough to give me gray hair...opps to late it"s already gray: )
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Round and Round and round and round, and round........and (oh girl....I'm so dizzy) lol.

    Well hi from right down the road in Columbia - somewhere --

    My thoughts? She's NOT going to kick BD to da curb. Okay? Never, not gonna happen, she LOVES him, the end. They are a family. HE is not going to get a job. He's got and excuse for his excuses. Whether it's someone has to stay home with the babies or Daycare would be too much for three kids (NOT true in SC with all that TANF help and ABC vouchers plus headstart) no maam that is just phooey. Also he could be going to Day Labor every day and brining home SOMETHING. It does NOT take 2 parents to watch 2 children and a pregnant woman. ESPECIALLY when your light bill is $700.00 AND with 2 kids? No one working? They qualify for all kinds of assistance. So why are you paying the bills? He could be on the phone calling around to get help. AT LEAST. LIHEAP, etc.....come on - you are being played.

    Anyway. My other thought is - even if you are Grandma? They are adults. Granted hes not acting or behaving like much of an adult, but as my Grandmother would have said "You can't lay up in a bed with a woman, play house, eat her food, make her babies, and then call her Mother for advice on how to fix the roof. Know what I mean?? They got problems? Well - Then HE needs to step up - be a man and fix it. If she's coming to YOU for the "man" part of fixing things in her relationship and YOU are fixing them? HOW IN THE WORLD is he ever going to get the chance to BE THE MAN THAT SHE WANTS TO KEEP HAVING BABIES WITH? and how is he EVER GOING TO BE THE MAN that shows his children how it is to be the MAN that goes to work, earns the money, puts lights on in the house, puts food on the table, and clothes on their back if his wife is always running to grandma to solve all their problems?

    You want her back? ALL THE WAY? AWAY FROM HIM????? THEN LET HER GO TO HIM to solve HER and HIS problems. STOP BAILING THEM OUT ON ALL COUNTS ESPECIALLY where the GRANDS are concerned because mark my words....the first time she has to sit in the dark house, in the 115 degree heat with 2 babies, PREGNANT, worried about HOW and WHERE they are going to live and the food in the FRIDGE ROTTING.....and NOT HAVE MOM to bail her out and HIM NOT HAVE A CLUE HOW TO FIX IT???? SHe's going to really start to see him for what he is......and the more she gets an EYE FULL OF HOW HE CAN NOT AND WILL NOT SOLVE HER PROBLEMS - THE MORE SHE WILL....loathe him for NOT being the man she wants in her life.

    Right now? She's got the best of both worlds and absolutely NO reason TO change......she's got him to sleep wtih, and play house with - and YOU to run to and fix things - as long as she nods and says YOU'RE RIGHT MOM now and then - you'll toss her a few thousand to save your Grandkids....and SHE KNOWS IT. Cut her off -----financially ---let her suffer a little.......and let her see how HE takes or rather DOES NOT take care of "HIS" family. Because technically -------isn't that what HE is supposed to be doing? And when she does run back to you? SEND HER BACK TO HIM.......telling her - THAT"S THE MAN YOU PICKED WORK IT OUT. DO that about five times....and I bet you finally when she's had enough? SHe will really be ready to do some domestic violence counseling, get her self esteem able to draw her boundaries, not pick looser boyfriends and move on in her life, get a good paying job, and raise her kids.....and MAYBE someday find a good man that deserves her. IN TIME. But if she goes the way she's going now? WIth you fixing even little things?

    She's going to either stay with him.......or forever pick loosers. Right now? The choice really - is yours. That's a lot of enabling power over someones life. Lots to think about.

    If you don't believe me - call a D.V. shelter and ask them - it's a free or night. been there done that..lived it. Got a good life......15 years of therapy later.

    Hugs -
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well...........I agree with Star to an extent. But I can't let a grandchild starve, no matter how lousy a parent they have. Still, I didn't step in to donate some food stuff to katie until I learned what the food pantry gave them, or without knowing myself what shape the food pantry was in to help them. Otherwise, I'd have let the food pantry handle it. My kids lived off a food pantry for a year, didn't hurt them a bit cuz Mom was more than creative with meals. They didn't even realize it until much much later when they were older. However this is one reason I'm generous when it comes to food pantries when I'm in a position to do so.

    Food pantry gave her 1 package of chicken breast, 1 box of spaghetti with 1 jar of sauce, 1 kraft mac and cheese, a package of hot dogs, and a jar of applesauce, oh and a package of egg noodles. No way that was going to make it through until August. And I made M walk 5 miles to get it. (if the dumb*** hadn't gotten himself fired ......)

    If they try to make this a habit, I'll have to rethink the whole grandkids going hungry thing. Because I'm no better off than they are financially. I simply can't afford to be their food pantry.

    Grandkids make it really hard to draw that line sometimes. I'm the sort of person who wholeheartedly believes I have just as much responsibility for my grandkids as I did my own kids. Which of course, makes it even harder at times.

    In the end you have to do what allows you to be able to live with yourself. With katie's kids I try to keep the "help" to a minimum level as best I's a level that allows me to sleep at night.

  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    rm, I am NOT speaking of legalities. I am saying that debts to family need to be handled before more debt is given. Yes, legally is should be included and she couldn't sue for the money after bankruptcy. she CAN tell the kids that even if they file bankruptcy they ahve to address her debts with her or she won't do anything else.

    Do to get is EXACTLY what round's difficult child needs to experience from her mama. After all, if you DO pay the electricity, you GET appliances that work. If you DO pay the store, you GET groceris. And if you DO refuse to pay your momma back for any of the things she does for you, you GET nothing but hugs and love.

    For the rest of it? What Star said. Do NOT tell her you won't let her kids starve. Do NOT. Tell her if she cannot take care of them then you will drive her to social services to put them into foster care so that they will be cared for while she gets her life in order. Right now she, and likely he, are using the "babies will starve" as their atm card. Babies will suffer in the heat. So you let them move in. Babies have diaper rash - they are crying because their tushies hurt. Gma buys diaper cream and diapers. Then she and bd have $$ for whatever stupid stuff.

    Star is right about cutting them off. She needs to start seeing him for what he really isn't. If she wants to live with a man who doesn't work, do all the home chores, pay all the bills, etc... then she needs to fully live that lifestyle. That means that she cannot go and get you to pay for what she cannot afford. If she wants to live the way YOU live, then she needs to change whatever in her life that is holding her back. If that means getting more education, ditching bd, making him step up, whatever, those are HER CHOICES.

    YOU chose to work hard, chose a father for your kids who wasn't like bd or to not have him around when/if he was like bd. You chose to save money and pay your bills on time and make sure you had enough to feed your kids etc.... So YOU need to live YOUR lifestyle and let her live the lifestyle she chose.
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    No. Do yourself a HUGE favor, do NOT tell HER you won't let them starve. Showing up with the occasional gift is one thing. If the bd believes for a minute you won't let those babies go might as well grocery shop for them each week. I don't do diapers and such things. I think I did too much washing cloth diapers by hand and hanging them out to dry when I was young.......Yeah, it's a yukky job but still cheaper than pampers when you don't have much money. I do clothing under extreme circumstances, and trust me they're 2nd hand yard sale finds.

    Katie has been with M since she was 14. She's now 31. They don't always "wise up".

  17. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I sooo understand the need to vent.
    It does get complicated when there are grandkids.
    I know I have a good friend who is so enmeshed with two of her children due to grandkids and now it has totally changed her life (and not in a good way).
    Sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. Again, generally speaking, I would set major limits and stick to them at all costs. Maybe you will provide food for those kids at your home only (just an idea).
    And avoid getting your heart into this as much as possible. Flee from the drama and boost your personal life away from this child and grandkids as much as possible...keeping it healthy and whole.