My easy child is about to have a reality check...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by mog, May 3, 2010.

  1. mog

    mog Member

    I am so upset with her. I have let it slide all semester that she was busy studying and spending time with her boyfriend. When I HAD to speak to her I called and gave her NO option of doing anything else. When Christmas break came she said that she did not want to be here if difficult child was and things were up in the air so I didn't say anything--not happy about her staying with boyfriend ( I think that he is controlling her--she never acted like this before) I had asked her three weeks ago when finals were because I went and bought her a "study" package--favorite snacks -energy drinks--chocolate. She kept telling me that she would let me know. This last weekend her boyfriend left to go down there to see her but did not bother to check IF I had anything to send her so I text her not to worry that I would mail it. 4 hours later she text me not to because she only has one final left and it is on Monday so she is planning to be here on Tuesday BUT DON"T TELL boyfriend CAUSE IT IS A SURPRISE?????!!!! I sent back thanks I was trying to do something special to surprise you but! --I asked her then we have to come up to move you and she said no that her boyfriend has been bringing her stuff to his house for the last several trips. FINE !! she wants to be with boyfriend (in sin) but don't go around telling the rest of our small town that you can't live at home because of difficult child especially when they know that he isn't even home. All of my kids were so spoiled-- two out of four right now are sad that I am not paying the phone bill now (their own fault) -difficult child can't have his and easy child posted on face book that the most valuable thing she owns is her cell phone which allows her to talk to boyfriend all the time. Several friends and family commented that maybe she should appreciate the ones that pay the bill!! She and I are about to have it out--she said that she wants to go to school during the summer which I was concerned about because she needs a job to pay expenses too. Then she tells me that my portion of her school year is $$$$ and I said WHAT??? how am I suppose to pay that when I lost my job--husband is just been approved for SSI but it is like 1/4 of what is paycheck was. UGH!!!We still pay her phone and car insurance. The oldest two --lost there phone and ins. privileges when they screwed me over --I told them that as long as they followed the rules I would pay (they were living at home then) easy child has followed the rules but now I am hurt and upset.. she does not use "my" phone to call us unless there is an issue.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Mo, not to come off sounding harsh, but easy child is an adult. It's up to her to make her own decisions. There are times when that really blows wind, but that's just the way it is.

    I know it hurt when you went thru all the trouble to gather up her finals surprise package (do you want to me my Mom, I'd appreciate it! :D ) But at least from what you've put into the post, I don't see much evidence of boyfriend controlling her. Although she sounds fairly wrapped up in the boy, which in my opinion is somewhat typical for her age. Sounds to me like she has had a taste of independence and she likes it. easy child or difficult child, doesn't mean all her decisions are going to be good ones, or that you're going to agree with them.

    The most you can do, and it's going to have to depend on what you can/can't live with, is decide how much you can/will do for her as that adult child making her own decisions.

    As per summer quarter, if you can't afford it.......she either gets a job and makes it happen, or not. It won't kill her to wait until fall. I don't know why you're paying for car insurances and cell phones, but maybe you need to figure up if your reasons for doing so out weight the fact that they should be paying for such things themselves, especially since money is tight.

    It can be awfully hard to watch our grown kids make stupid mistakes and wrong decisions. But the most you can do is advise her at this point. The rest is up to her.

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It very much sounds like she plans to not live at home, if boyfriend is taking her stuff to his house. If she is living at home then helping with college expenses by paying for some things is one thing. If she is living with boyfriend, which you seem to object to by the "in sin" comment, then she is making an adult choice and should be given all adult responsibilities. Your income is greatly reduced. Paying to support her as she does something you don't believe in sure doesn't seem logical to me. I would let her fund her own life, esp if she is making the choice to live with someone and you don't approve.

    I don't think it is the boy influencing her. I know a lot of women who did this kind of thing in college. Some back when I was in college, some even now (I live in a college town). If she won't discuss things with you in person, doesn't have time for you, then maybe send a short note wishing her a nice summer and letting her know that the financial situation has changed and she is responsible for her own finances. Tell her you love her but do not agree with her choices and priorities, and that you have other choices and priorities for your currently much limited funds. Then if she wants to calmly and adultly discuss things, discuss them. Just do NOT let her abuse you in any way.

    If she is old enough to decide to live with someone with or without benefit of marriage, she is old enough to pay her own cell phone and car insurance and school tuition and other bills. If that means she cannot go to summer session, boo hoo. These are choices that adults make.

    Don't you dare feel guilty. This is yet another lesson that she has to learn. If you do not insist that she treat you with respect, then she will not learn to. It is a lesson parents have to teach even adult kids.

    She will not be happy. She may try to guilt you into giving her money using difficult child and the problems that go along iwth having a difficult child in the family. Turn it back on her. It is HER choices that have her not living at home. If she is not living at home then she does not need to be figured into the household budget.

    Hugs. This won't be easy. But it IS an important life lesson she needs to learn and you need to teach.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Maybe this is another cultural difference between how we do things in Australia compared to how you do things in the US, but here, our kid generally are responsible for their own expenses once they are adults. Especially college fees. It's up to parents if they want to help out, but in general, kids here really appreciate it when parents help out because it is NOT the norm.

    We do have various assistance options for kids going to college. Uni fees can be held over until the student is earning enough to pay it back - it's called a HECS debt (pronounced HEX with good reason!) and it can really cramp the style of our kids when they get married and want to buy a home and start a family, but still have tens of thousands in HECS to pay back to the government. Or they can get a student loan to cover various expenses, but again they have to be responsible and pay it back themselves.

    Kid wants a car - kid has to pay for registration and insurance. And fuel. OK, maybe kid borrows parent's car. That again is up to parents.

    If a kid is really committed to study, he has to own the expenses. easy child worked two jobs while studying full-time in order to cover her costs. She still is paying off her HECS debt, I believe. We did not give her any money, she managed by herself from 17 years old.

    However, there are still Aussie families where parents do what you have been doing. Sis-in-law has paid the uni fees for her daughter and I feel this was a mistake. Niece has not had the same sense of "I have to make sure I don't waste the money invested in my fees" and so has spent a year simply not studying, refusing to work. She failed the year because she goofed off and has now declared she doesn't want to continue. Sis-in-law feels betrayed because SHE spent the money on a wasted year of uni.

    I remember back in my own student days, I had to manage like easy child. But a friend of mine had her parents pay her college fees and she simply lay around and did nothing. Eventually she dropped out, when the course threw her out for failing to hand in any work.

    As our kids get older, they begin making their own decisions. We don't always like those decisions but we have to understand that we have done the best we could teaching our kids the right way to live. Once we get our kids to a certain point, we've finished. There is nothing more we can do in order to guide them - they are off and running on their own. All we can do form that point on, is be there for them when they come to us and say, "I need to talk." You can't force it, the more you try to, the more they will become secretive about their choices.

    As for "living in sin" - it's almost the norm these days. For the year before we married I actually lived in a three bedroom place with husband and our mutual best friend who ended up being Best Man. What husband & I chose to do (sharing a bed or not) was our business, nobody else's. My parents were happy I had males there for protection but also wanted to know, but also NOT know, if husband & I were sleeping together. So I made the decision to never tell them what they didn't want to hear.

    With easy child - when she was 17 she had to live away from home in order to go to uni. She moved in with mother in law (who back then lived an hour's drive away, near the uni). After two years of this, mother in law sold up and moved to our village. At the same time SIL1 moved to go to the same uni as easy child so they moved in together. Back then there was no hint that they would ever marry, although it was obvious they were a coupe. They had to register on our welfare system as a de facto couple, so SIL1 could get the welfare payments he needed. For the next four years, easy child & SIL1 lived in a defacto relationship in the uni town. easy child graduated a year ahead of SIL1 and got a job. She supported them both. Then SIL1 graduated and got a job in another city. They moved together to stay together, easy child changing jobs to move with him. Then SIL1 moved to be near his mother - so again, easy child moved too. Then they got engaged, then married, last year.

    They lived as de factos for 7 years. We had to accept this. They made the choices and knowing SIL1's past and how he was verbally abused and bullied by "Christian" people for being the "b*stard son of a crippled mother", we chose to not pressure them in any way. Instead, we set the example of the right way to treat him both as Christians and as the parents of the girl he loves. We laso set the example of how marriage is a good thing.

    Now, in this time we still copped flax from other Christians. The hypocrisy of it still takes my breath away. One man, an elder at our church, works as a local builder. He was doing some work at our house and he said to me, "How do you and husband feel about your daughter living in sin? Surely you have shared with them how you disapprove of their living arrangements?"

    Yes, I was polite. The best way to handle blokes like this is to help them learn that such views are wrong, judgemental and hypocritical. after all, his own kids are younger than ours and he simply hadn't had to deal with these sort of issues himself. Yet.
    I simply explained to him about SIL1's past experiences and how he needed time to value marriage, as he really didn't have any decent benchmarks. I also suggested to our builder friend that he needed to be careful about his views because one day he might find himself needing to get back off the end of the limb he had just crawled onto.

    Mog, if anyone gives you grief over your daughter's choices, tell them that you have raised her the best you could, and now it's up to her. She is your daughter, you love and support your child in the choices they make even when you don't agree with them. That way, when the midden hits the windmill, you are still on good terms with your child and they feel safe in coming to you. Otherwise, if you do the "never darken my doorstep again!" routine, where will your kids turn when they get into strife?

    I am a firm believer in keeping open the channels of communication, as far as possible. Obviously there are times when you have to cut ties for your own protection. I don't think you're anywhere near that, with easy child.

    Back when I was 18, I had a boyfriend who was pressuring me for sex but also claimed to be a Christian. It was my first real experience of hypocrisy. My mother didn't like this guy but she made him welcome and she didn't interfere. She was polite and friendly to him, she didn't hassle me about him being unsuitable - none of it. I knew how she felt but I also knew she was biting her tongue. So when I broke up with this guy, I was able to turn to my mother without feeling she was going to crow about it.

    I saw my parents in law openly disapprove of sis-in-law's boyfriend. They were polite to him but frosty at times. They openly told sis-in-law that they felt he was a bad choice. They kept telling her. And sis-in-law moved further away from her parents and further towards this guy; when her relationship with him got rocky, she didn't feel she could confide in her parents because she felt they would pounce on the knowledge and use it as leverage.
    Sis-in-law eventually married the guy, and I do wonder if at least part of the reason for her choice, was her parents' disapproval. She painted herself into a corner with him and was unable to ask them for advice.

    Keep the doors open for your daughter, but also I would begin to make it clear - you have lost your job and therefore can't afford to pay her way. You have enough trouble paying your own way. Perhaps sit down with her and draw up a budget as well as give her some suggestions on how she can finance her ongoing expenses. At the same time, show her your own budget (as an example).

    Perhaps that could be the most effective reality check.

  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Marg for the nth time I think I love Australia. :D

    Here the system "assumes" that parents are footing the bill for their adult kids education until something like age 23 or that child marries/has a child of their own. Ridiculous. Stark raving mad if you ask me. The system is set up that no child under age 23 can get grants and loans on their own if their parents make a decent wage. Parents may file for loans, many do. Not sure if the kids do, but I know their parents income here counts toward their income until they reach the age limit.

    Nichole was fine because she was/is considered an adult due to having a child, although she is only 21 in June. Travis has had a devil of a time and the only thing that helped him was that husband lost his job.....and that he didn't make a substantial amount before then. He turned 23 last year, but it was something to do with deadlines and cut off points. And now it no longer affects him.

    While I taught my kids that they first had to get thru grades k-12, then college, then marriage, then children.......... They also were taught Mommy and Daddy won't be paying for that college education. If you pay for it yourself, you appreciate it all the more and are less likely to goof off and mess it up. Besides, if you're an adult, then you're an adult in all areas, including finishing your education.

    My kids have all found ways to make college possible. Grants, loans, working, ect.

    Even if I made loads of money, I seriously doubt I'd consider paying for their college. I've watched way too many college students who were funded by their parents not giving a darn about grades and partying til dawn.:tongue:
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Ditto, Hound.
    easy child 1 has technically moved back home, but with our blessing. He stays in his camper (fully self contained, by the way). He buys all of his own groceries, does his own laundry, even buys his own soap for it. His cell phone is on our family plan, and hit auto insurance is also on our plan, but he reimburses me for his part of both. And he is paying off the last of his student loans.
    I'm with the others. If she wants to be grown up, then be grown up. Grown ups pay their own insurance and cell phone bills. If extenuating circumstances happen, families often help if they can. But being an adult is not an extenuating circumstance.
    Hugs, Mog.
  7. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    After Son #2 graduated from college, he came back here till he could find a job. He was actively looking, as well as helping around the house, so I didn't fuss him too much about paying for things. Once he started working, he paid for his share of cell phone and insurance. He paid for college himself, and has over $100,000 in student loans.

    With Miss KT, we are fortunate that her grandfather set up an educational trust for her before he passed. Her previous job didn't pay much, but we felt that as long as she was going to school full time, maintaining good grades, and working, we'd cover cell phone and insurance. With her new job, she'll be paying us for her car insurance, partly because it will help us financially, but also to help her learn to pay bills.
  8. mog

    mog Member

    I think that the reason I am so upset is that she has always been the most responsible child. I did not mind paying the cell and insurance because she is getting good grades and I know that she is working hard at it. She also was lucky that I lost my job because that did help her this last semester. In 2008 she was working and paying her insurance and bought stuff for around the house or even dinner several times and she saved up enough money that in December she said she was going to quit her job and focus on the end of her senior year but she has paid in advance all the way threw July 2009. When summer came I asked what she was going to do and she said she didn't know. She had applied for work study but boyfriend's dad said he would get her a job and that never happened so by the time she got around to "looking" all the jobs were taken. I told her and the other kids that they would have to pay for college themselves --I did. She knew this but then when time came to buy books her financial aide was not available yet so I had to pay and she did not pay me back. We have paid for a lot of stuff but she goes around telling everyone that she has to do it alone that is why she doesn't have any money.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My comments on the living situation were not because I have any problems or make any judgements about her or anyone else's living arrangements. I inferred that you do not like the living situation based on your comment about living in sin. Personally I don't feel it has ever been my job to make that decision for others or to judge them.

    I grew up with many friends who's parents would not accept that they lived with people. Most of the friends just lied to their parents, largely for financial reasons. I don't really understand it, but it wasn't my life. With the current situation, where the easy child still owes the family for books that they paid for, personally i would not be paying for her insurance, cell phone, etc.... I know my mom wouldn't either. If she wanted to help out after that was paid back she would total the amt spent and subtract the phone and insurance cost each month. When the amt was 0 then she would pay for the items again. But not until the monthly cost of the car ins payment and cell phone bill had whittled that larger amount to 0.

    Most of the people I went to school with got some financial help from their parents for college or whatever they pursued. Largely because it is so hard to get financial aid as a student if your family earns anything approaching a living wage. Our parents usually spelled out living arrangements ahead of time though. It was the norm that as long as you were at home you got some help, even if it was just a low cost rent payment to cover housing and food at home. If you moved out you had to pay the bills, with sometimes help for a specific bill. If you lived with a boyfriend then you were on your own. If you moved out because the program you want was not offered close to home, often more help was given as long as you were not living with a significant other. It seemed to be the norm.

    I think that letting your easy child know that you simply cannot help her is fine. You could call it a self-fulfilling prophecy if you want. She has been telling people that you can't/won't help her, that she cannot come home because difficult child. Let those be true. NOT that difficult child should be able to keep her from visiting (esp as he isn't even living at home now!). There is no shame in letting your child pay her own way. But if she is going to brag about it when it isn't true, well, maybe it is now time to make it be true.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    That is appalling!

    I would think that some lobbying now, especially given the economic situation for so many people, could institute some change.