You owe me, mom and dad
My husband and I have two children, one adopted at birth and the other born to us later. Our adopted child never attended college because of unfortunate choices he made in his teens. Trouble with the law followed, but he was able to pick up a GED while incarcerated.
Our second child had no problems growing up and so was on track to attend college — which we paid for, except for a Stafford loan she applied for each year. Our son has come through his early troubles (we never abandoned him) and has his own manual labor business.
Now to our problem: Do we owe both children money to launch them on their careers?
Our son believes we owe him money now to help him build up his business, as his sister received an education (some years ago) to help her in her professional life. I’m not sure what’s going on, but he went on a tirade recently, castigating us for overlooking his needs, etc., and asking why he was adopted, saying he would have done better with his natural parents. We are now many years past being able to help him substantially in his business needs, as my husband and I have been retired for about nine years and live on a fixed income. — Mom and Dad
Just because you helped your daughter through college does not mean you retroactively “owe” your son an equivalent amount, and the fact that he is demanding as much makes this clear: The only thing you owe him is a fat stack of tough love.
Our job as parents is to do everything we can to support our children and give them strong foundations while they’re under our care. It sounds as if you did as much of that as you could.
And now he is trying every technique in the guilt tripper’s handbook to push your buttons and get what he wants. It’s manipulative and selfish. To fold would only reinforce this attitude.
Your son is an adult now, and he has the ability to make money and apply for loans on his own. It’s time to help him spread his wings, whether he wants to or not.
We live in a very popular neighborhood for trick-or-treaters. One year, I even saw a bus unload a bunch of kids onto our street so they could trick-or-treat here. My husband and I go to Costco and get two huge bags of candy for all the kids. We always enjoy seeing all of the neat costumes, but this year was a little different. We have a newborn baby. We took him out to visit some houses around 5 p.m., but as I’m sure you know, sleep is very important to a new baby, so we had him in bed around 7.
The problem is that people continued to ring our bell well past 8 o’clock. We didn’t want to be rude and put the house totally dark, so we kept giving out candy until we ran out, but we paid for it the next day, as our baby’s sleep schedule was all thrown off from waking up with the commotion. What can we do to avoid this next year?
You are so right that sleep is very important to a newborn baby. Respecting his and your schedule should take precedence over not wanting to upset some trick-ortreaters. There’s nothing wrong with setting a “lights off” time of 7 p.m. next year. You could always leave a note on your front door saying “out of candy.” Better to deny the neighborhood kids some treats than your son his sleep.