When parents keep giving your kid money?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bean, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. Bean

    Bean Member

    My daughter lives with my parents. This has been a blessing and a curse at the same time. Blessing because I know where she is, I know she is getting fed, clothed and sleeping under a warm roof (when she sleeps there).

    Curse because my parents enable her and she is able to make them submit to her pretty easily.

    This Christmas, as I said in one of my other posts, we got her gift cards. I even talked with my mom about it, and we were on board about not giving her any cash at all.

    Today my mom admits to me that she gave her $20 yesterday because she was going out for dinner with friends. "She wouldn't lie about that, would she?" Mom asks.

    Seriously? Yes. Yes she would lie. Whatever it takes to get what she wants.

    I told my mom that it was surely not true, and considering she didn't come home or call last night she was pretty darn surely using. So my mom's money was used to buy booze or weed. My mom heard this and ended the conversation with me, which is becoming the norm now. Once things turn to conversations about enabling, things get tense and the conversation ends.

    I'm just venting, I guess. There's not a whole lot I can do. I'm going to try to talk with my mom once more, reiterating that it is simply not helpful to her to be giving her money. Food, shelter and clothing is enough. Ugh. I just feel like crying. Sucks.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Have them send it to meeeeeeeeee.....:angel3: ROF (Hoping) hahahah.
  3. Bean

    Bean Member

    Now there's a solution... :)
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have spent the last several years in something of a similar situation. My difficult child does not have substance abuse issues that we know of, nor is he a runner. He is obsessive on other things. He moved to my parents because it was there or have a judge place him somewhere as he was abusive to me physically at any time my husband was not home.

    My folks begged me to let them have a chance.

    I have found out about many things after the fact that they chose not to tell me about. There are very few specific things I asked of them, and even fewer limits I placed on them or him. They still chose to not tell me about some things, thinking I would chose to go forward with charges or revoke their custody. It wasn't formal custody anyway.

    All that you can do it give your daughter what you want her to have. Tell your parents that if they choose to give her even $20 it will be used for sub abuse. Make it clear that if they do this then THEY will have to deal with the after-effects. Don't let her come to your home if she has gotten money from them. Make them deal with all of it, or else have her come home and deal with it yourself.

    It really doesn't owrk to try to force them to follow your rules. It sets YOU up as the meanie, not even letting her have money to eat out with a friend or go to a movie. ELt them handle her not coming home. Just don't provide a place for them to whine about her not coming home. Change the subject or end the call if they start.

    You might consider inviting them to attend al-anon with you. It will be good for you, for them, and for difficult child.

    If you put the rule that difficult child cannot be given cash into play, you then have to find a way to enforce it upon your parents. THey live with her, they may know you are right, but obviously they also buy into her "poor me" victim routine. I fear that all that is happening is discord between you and your parents, with difficult child benefiting.

    If you can back off, let your mom know it is hard, that you understand. Let her feel supported and she may start standing up for the no cash rule if she and your dad enforce it. Otherwise all it will do (the rule) is drive a wedge between you and your parents. That doesn't benefit anyone.

    This is hard. I know, believe me. In the long run it is all you really can do.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Good point, Susie.

    It's the same with kids - never make a rule you can't enforce. Never get involved in a battle you can't be certain of winning. It's the same with your parents. Grandparents especially are notorious for spoiling grandkids, they see it as their job.

    So - natural consequences. For grandparents as well as kids.

    ANother possibility - talk through with them the range of responses they can use. For example, difficult child wants to go out with friends but is broke? WHY is she broke? If she is broke, then she can't afford to go out. it's as simple as that. Entertainment is expensive. Going out with friends costs the price of the meal; of drinks; of whatever club they're going to; transport; party clothing.

    If you want to spend time with friends, there are cheaper options. You can hire a DVD (or borrow one from friends - even cheaper) then invite friends around for a movie session and make popcorn. THis also gives grandparents the chance to meet the friends (to make sure they exist!) and maybe to also enjoy some young company.

    ANother option for granddaughter wanting to afford going out - maybe giving her access to a limited amount on a credit account at the restaurant could be an option. "I've put $20 on the tab for you at Jumpin' Joe's so you can eat there tonight with your friends to that amount."

    That avoids her having the oh so tempting cash in hand.

    The other problem - the sense of entitlement. What is she doing to earn the occasional $20? I wouldn't nag Grandma for an answer, but simply ask her to consider, for difficult child's own sake, the need for her to connect getting money, with earning it in some way.

  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Especially if we're talking the 18 yo living away from home, I really don't see how the parent can impose a rule upon the grandparents. I suspect the only way that grandparents are going to go along with it in a situation like this is if they see with their own eyes where their hard-earned money went.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion, having had a drug abuser as a child, there is nothing you can do about an eighteen year old living away from home. The grandparents being told about what she will do with the money and having them deal with the natural consequences is the best you can do. If you've already spoken to them about it and they still do it, then you've done the best you can.

    Do they believe she is a substance abuser?
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, Star! LOL!

    I agree, this is a no-win situation, particularly since she's 18. My sister's daughter uses, and my sister has told us over and over again not to give her daughter cash, not even to give her gift cards which can be cashed in. I have, over the yrs, discovered which stores will issue cash refunds and which will only issue store credit.
    Sister got miffed during a few holidays when we didn't give her daughter things she wanted ... we gave her what we trusted her with. Be careful what you wish for.

    Unless you can sit down with-your parents and get them to understand, you may have to just give it up. Maybe your daughter will do something horrid like steal from your parents, or come home plastered, and only then will they understand. Or, they'll rationalize it as "just one time," and it will continue on.

  9. Bean

    Bean Member

    I think they get it, they just have a hard time saying "no" to her. And she's so good at rationalizing reasons to them, that they continue to do it.

    For instance, she owed someone money for giving her a ride home. So they gave the person the money. She owed another person money for (whatever), and they paid off her debt. They don't understand that the natural consequences (loss of friends) might not be such a bad thing. I think they are starting to come around, though, but still as a grandparent, I'm sure it must be very hard.