Sick over her attitude/values

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by meowbunny, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    How do you teach money sense to someone who thinks they know it all? My daughter is now working at a local restaurant. She's doing okay on tips, probably making between $100-150/week. Although she's supposed to work 5 days, she frequently goes in and they send her home. Her hourly wage is a joke -- under $4.00 an hour. She wants to save up for a car. Sounds good, right? Well...................

    Last night she told me she needed $5.00 to fill up her scooter. She was livid when I said no. At the present she owes me well over $500. She's made no effort to pay a single dime of it. When I mentioned this, she honestly seemed to think it was okay to owe people money and pay them after she bought what she felt she wanted or needed. I was amazed she saw nothing wrong in owing me money and then asking to borrow more.

    I've tried to get her to save money from day one but have had no success. If she has a penny, it HAS to be spent. I've shown her budgets, charts, graphs, whatever I could think of to get her to see how she needs to budget. She keeps thinking she will miraculously come up with the funds and, when she doesn't, just lets the bills go.

    Obviously, this drives me crazy on several levels. However, she is 20 and, at this point, her money is hers. If she chooses to not pay me back, I simply choose to not give her another dime no matter how dire the need.

    I was honestly in tears last night at her attitude (we'll skip the screaming, etc. because I've gotten so beyond caring about what spews out of her when she's upset and on the defensive). I couldn't look at her today without being ashamed of the person she is becoming. How do you cope with those feelings?

    So, the questions -- Do I have any right to even be upset about her lack of financial responsibility? What can I do to teach her or should I just consider it a lost cause at this point and hope reality teaches her before it is too late? And the biggie: Why do our kids so willingly ignore our values and blithely do things that are so diametrically opposed to everything they've been taught?
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    I think a lot of it is the "world revolving around me" syndrome. Some outgrow it (Copper did), some don't (I have $100.00 says Tink never will).

    You have EVERY right to be upset. You have a right to your feelings no matter what they are. How do you cope with those feelings? I do not have an answer for that. I wish I did. I'm dealing with a small child; I just keep explaining over and over again, in the hopes that it will stick. Is that something you wish to keep doing? Not.

    Then, it becomes your decision. Do you give her an ultimatum? Pay me by this date or leave? Or do you do as you are doing, she can stay, whether she pays or not, and all financial help is gone, she sinks or swims. Only you can decide what she is capable of. She does not have the same icky friends as she did before. I hope.

    We'll be here to lean on. I am so sorry that you are going through this. How frustrating.
  3. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My 22-year-old difficult child is the same way. While making some strides like going back to school, she is completely irresponsible when it comes to money.

    She is delivering pizza and making a pretty good salary for a part time job. She has to pay $250 rent, split the utilities four ways, pay her $100 a month auto insurance, $50 phone bill, and gas and food with the money. She is always short, though, and asks for money that she is "going to pay back." Of course, she never does.

    Last month she needed $50 for her rent and I made her give me her IPOD as collateral. She said that she would definitely pay me back since her IPOD in the only way she can listen to music in her car. Guess what ~ that was a month ago and I still have her IPOD.

    What makes me see red is that she is always taking off work despite the fact that she is always short money for her bills. She wasn't raised that way and sees how hard husband and I work for our money. I even worked two jobs when husband got laid off last year and yet it doesn't even occur to her to do the same thing.

    Her excuse is always "but I've gone back to school." Well, lots of people work fulltime jobs and go to school at the same time ~ like me.

    I wish I knew why our kids turn out so different than us. easy child is better about it but still kind of lazy. She is working a part time job while going to college fulltime but is taking off the three weeks during her Christmas break because she needed some "downtime." If it were me, I would be working all the hours I could during the holiday and save up some money.

    The "me generation" just doesn't think that way.

  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Meowbunny, I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with your difficult child's attitide. Like BBK and Kathy have mentioned, I think a lot of it stems from the "all about me" attitide that seems so prevalent.

    My easy child (sort-of) step-D seems to have this attitude in spades. She has a huge sense of entitlement. ("I need a vacation. I'm not like seem to be able to just tough it out, but the stress just gets to me and I need a break.") Give ME a break!

    Step-D has just returned to work after a 3 month break (Now granted, the first month she was looking after difficult child during the days while husband and I were at work, before difficult child moved to his Residential Treatment Center (RTC)...which was as tough as a job gets), but the last 2 months she's just been "networking" (in other words meeting up with her friends for lunch).

    Step-D wasn't raised this way, so I'm not sure where she gets this attitude, but all of her friends seem to have it as well. I can't put it down to a generational thing either, because none of them are that much younger than I am. I don't understand where it comes from.

  5. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    She is 20. You have answered your own question.
    You can't control her money, but you CAN control your money. It is not like she has a child involved who would suffer. Right now your difficult child is only hurting herself. Yes it is sad, we HATE seeing our children in a slow motion train wreck. However, you have given her all the tools and she CHOOSES to not use them.

    Yes, you have every right to feel emotion about it. It is what makes you human and a mother. Does that mean you should act upon it and give in? Nope. She will learn the hard way. As for your second question as to why? I think they think it is the only thing they can really control. Up until now, parents have always controlled everything -- or at least attempted to. Now, it is her money, her job, her bills and no one will tell her when and how to use it or not use it. I believe it is a total control thing.

    Hang in there, stay strong and remember, just because you are he mother and will always love her and care about her, DOESN'T mean you have to keep bailing her out. I know you already know this but bailing her out does NO help her. Giving her the fish never allows her to get her own food for the rest of her life. No matter how painful, it doesn't help them.

    Stay strong and hang in there.
  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I watched a program the other day that discussed this generation. They attributed their "all about me" attitude to Mr. Rogers. In Mr. Roger's world everyone was special. Just because. These kids have grown up in a world where everyone makes the team and gets a trophy. School standards have lowered to help those who can't make the grade. We have parents who do their children's homework and get upset if the child is not on the honor roll. Theses kids, the it's all about me crowd have been indoctrinated in a world where adults have been afraid of telling them the truth because it may hurt their self esteem. CEO's of companies are having to change their methods of business in order to keep employees happy. They think they deserve it because they have been raised to believe that just being is enough. And if they are not treated like they are special, then they go on to the next job. And the new companies are desperate for employees so they hire them. We are raising a nation of spoiled whiners who don't have any idea what it means to work hard!
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I don't know if you consider it a "lost cause", I think you can consider it "not Meowbunny's cause." You're doing very well not to give her any money. Baby steps for you and for her. Hopefully she'll get to where she wants her own place sometime soon, and she'll have to figure that stuff out on her own.

    Trust me, absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. For both of you. :wink:
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Oh, I sooooo agree with Kat. You said it so well. And it's happening with easy child's as much as difficult children.

    MB I know her attitude is driving you crazy. But on this one I'd simply let her learn the hard way.

    I mean, do you intend to give her money the rest of her life because she can't/won't manage it?

    I haven't given Nichole money in a long time. She blows every dime she gets as fast as she gets it. Even her school loan money was gone the day she got it. I didn't say a word. I just keep my money locked up and won't "loan" her anything.

    Now that I think about it, I haven't loaned any of my grown kids money.

    husband did this with his mother up til he was in his mid 40's. I think that's why I won't loan my kids money. I'm afraid they'll take after him.

  9. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I don't have a problem not loaning her any money. It was different when she wasn't working and actively looking after we moved here but that's not the case now. She has a job. I was just stunned that she would ask me for money when she knew she owed me and could not understand how truly awful I felt that was.

    She's seen me struggle to pay a bill. If I had to borrow from a friend for any reason, she knew that the friend would be paid back before I would buy me cigarettes. The debt repayment always came first. As a matter of fact, she once thought she had the perfect weapon against me -- my best friend had loaned me money when I was unemployed and truly struggling; my daughter got upset about something and made a comment about what a deadbeat I was that I wouldn't even pay my best friend back; she was rather stunned when I explained I had sold my engagement ring and paid my friend back weeks ago. So, she does know how important repayment of a debt is to my values. It goes with going back on your word -- IT JUST ISN'T DONE!!!!

    The thought that she can go so against such a basic principle and do it without any hesitation or even understanding how awful it is is just beyond me. It really does make me sick to my stomach.

    I know that considering the things she could be doing wrong, this is small but to me it is her moral fibre and, right now, it is sadly lacking. She wasn't raised with the "Mr. Rogers' philosophy." She was taught that while life wasn't always fair, it could be fun and worthwhile. She earned her grades, the extras. I did not try to solve every problem she had. I tried to help her find her own solutions. But if her solution is to take the easy way out, totally deny responsibility and think she is entitled to things she hasn't earned, I've seriously failed as a parent and I don't know how to fix it at this point. For me, this is heartbreaking!
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You haven't failed her as a parent. You taught her valuable lessons.

    But as an adult it's up to her to put those lessons to use.

    I was the same way with my kids. Yet I have 3 that spend money like it grows on trees. And even though easy child and sister in law make really good salaries..... I swear they make me cringe. (although easy child makes sure all their bills are paid)

    I can't fathom why my kids have this mentality. They sure as heck didn't get it from me. :rolleyes:
  11. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    I think this is part of the 'pulling away' process. They want to differentiate themselves from us. Clinically speaking this is a normal part of growth and autonomy.

    When my daughter was about 17, she declared, quite loudly I might add that she was an atheist. Being Christians, she knew this was the the one value that was 'diametrically opposed to everything' we stood for. It was painful.

    I tried not to let my disappointment show. She has come full circle and has now embraced her faith - as her own.

    You have every right to be upset about her irresponsibility - especially is she counts on your to buy groceries, and have a roof over her head. Does she live with you? Does she help with rent?

    You have give your daughter a foundation through lessons you've taught her and by being an example of those lessons. There is not much else you can do.

    Some kids learn their lessons the hard way - through negative experiences. Some kids learn by heeding parental advise. Sounds like your daughter prefers the school of hard knocks. Bummer for her and you.
  12. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    My daughter will start paying rent again in December. It is the rule here that if you're not in school, you pay rent. However, since she was having difficulty finding a job, I let the rent issue go. Now that she is working, she knows that if she does not pay $300/month, she will be living elsewhere.

    I don't mind her having her own values but she honestly doesn't get it that paying off a debt is important, that not paying is using people and that's what I find upsetting. She feels that if she thinks about repaying a debt that makes it okay to do it at her leisure, if at all.

    I'm sorry but I just don't get it.
  13. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    Add my difficult child to the crowd here. When it comes to rent (she is supposed to pay a pretty nominal amount) she's "a little short right now but I'll get it to you next week" but she thinks nothing of turning around and buying a pack or more a day of cigarettes and enormous quantities of junk food, pop, and large Cappucino Blasts every day. Not to mention the shoes and clothes that she "needs". (wife claims that she does pay her rent eventually; I never see the money because she pays in cash and wife keeps it for her pocket money. wife tends to be more indulgent than me -- I have my doubts that she always remembers to collect the deferred amounts, but it is not worth the marital strife for me to audit them.)

    When I was in college, I worked full time every summer and winter break. I made $240 per week and was allowed to keep $30 for myself.
  14. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My Oldest is like this, as well. She is very slowly getting better, at 23 .. partly because now that she is married, she sees her husband wasting "their" money and bills not being paid.

    Just a year ago, thouigh, I came across the blog of one of her friends on Myspace, talking about how much she had hurt him by borrwing hundreds of dollars, then going out to clubs and spending money on drinks left and right, in front of him. It just didn't occur to her NOT to get that tattoo, NOT to go out partying, NOT to buy that new outfit, when you are behind on your car payment (it got reposessed), your car insurance (her license got suspended), or your rent (she got evicted). All preventable consequences, but she didn't learn much from them (except to find someone else to "borrow" from).

    Only time will tell if your difficult child will "get it" one day. In the meantime, do your best to let it go, and don't "lend" her any more.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    GFGmom has always been willing to work and has done so. The problem was, and is, and always will be...she wants "her" money in her hands and "her" control because it is "hers". She turned
    44 this month. She "wishes" she had enough money to "give me"
    something for raising her sons. She has "given" me approximately
    $1800 in twenty years for easy child/difficult child and gave me $189 three weeks ago
    for difficult child. That was the first dollar I have received in 2007!

    She is "sorry" that she "hasn't been able to help more".
    She truly believes that her siblings "should share because they both have so much money and nice houses...and I am
    their sister".

    My favorite?? "Just remember Mom that when you are old and need
    someone to care for you, I WILL DO IT!"

    OMG, please call Dr. Kevorkian for me if I even begin to run a
    fever! PLEASE! DDD
  16. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Both of my difficult child's are like this.

    My difficult child son spends his money faster than he can make it always has and it is always on things he doesn't need then he complains that he won't have the money for his rent and restitution.

    Then there is my difficult child daughter. After her beautiful mansion wedding, not only did she not thank her father and I she complained that the 21K budget we gave her was not enough and that her husband's parents had to pay for their photos. In addition many people from our side traveled long distances to attend. They stayed in hotels and gave her expensive gifts. She never even sent out thank you cards. Not even when I offered to help her address them and even bought the stamps. Yet she still expects these people to open their homes to her when she feels like visiting NY to go clubbing etc. UG!

    I have so many examples it is sad.

    My daughter actually called me a week before her birthday and asked if I was going to have a party for her yet hadn't even given me a card for mine.

    At Christmas two years ago I gave her a $500 framed art print that she wanted for her new home... I got a $12 dollar frame with a scanned picture inside in return. Why? she ran out of money because she gave her husbands family thousands of dollars worth of gifts.

    On her thirtieth birthday she was having a party and the children of my dear friend who lives 200 miles away were flying in for it. My daughter told me in no uncertain terms that I was not welcome to even come over and say hello. She said that it was young people only. (But her in laws were allowed to stop in). My daughter promised that they would come on sunday to say hi but they never did. She never even asked the friends if they would like to. They had no car and were at her mercy and she was tired so she slept in.

    When she didn't invite me to her birthday I went out and bought the duplicate of the $12 frame she gave me for Christmas three months prior. I then scanned a couple of her photos from her growing up years and made a collage. Alhough I did it out of spite, it came out really cute and she actually liked it LOL. The point was entirely lost on her. Typical of a narcissist.

    For my birthday this year she didn't even give me a card, though she did come here for dinner with her husband. Her excuse? She said she was going to take me out to dinner at a nice resturant. Of course that never happened. She and her husband went on a European vacation for 3 weeks shortly therafter. When they got back they conviently forgot. In addition they whinned that didn't have the money for all kinds of things when they got back.

    Needless to say I never mentioned the dinner. I already knew it would never happen the day they promised it.

    This is who she is. to top it all off, according to her, it is all MY fault she is like this.

    Mine were not raised like this and they definately are no reflection of me.
  17. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I understand. My easy child daughter last year before she got married was like that. She asked for money about the wedding all the time. It was actually more than her Dad and I could afford. Her fiance at the time I believe put a guilt trip on her that his parents were paying more. For Christmas, I worked a second job and got her a Kitchen Aide mixer and some jewelry. For a gift from her I got a $25.00 gift certificate at a restuarant. It wasnt even enough for husband and I to go out to eat! I have never seen her wear the jewelry. I loved the necklace. anyway - they did get married. He is a control freak. I hope it works out though. I was hurt for a long time but I didnt let it show. I just kept on being the person I was and telling the truth. I didnt raise her like this either. she sees the inlaws more than us. But since she has been married she has called me more and we have gone shopping. I ususally dont spend any money though!