Par­ents of free-load­ing teenager turn a blind eye to son’s needs

The Tribune (SLO) - - Fun & Games - JEANNE PHILLIPS Contact Dear Abby at www. DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Dear Abby: My 15-yearold son has a friend who stayed with us for five months dur­ing foot­ball and bas­ket­ball sea­son because he didn’t have trans­porta­tion to ear­ly­morn­ing prac­tices. In the be­gin­ning it was one night, then it even­tu­ally be­came full weeks, full months and so on.

We treated him like our own, pro­vid­ing food, wash­ing clothes, giv­ing him snack money. But when I asked him to as­sist with ba­sic house chores, he would laugh and find ways not to help. It would frus­trate me but, not know­ing him too well, I let it slide.

We have never met his par­ents, and nei­ther of them reached out to ex­press grat­i­tude for tak­ing care of their kid. They have three other kids, and the pat­tern seems to be the same — pawn them off on other people.

Thank­fully, the ath­letic sea­son changed, and the boys were in dif­fer­ent sports, so we got a break from sup­port­ing an ex­tra per­son in Fe­bru­ary. My con­cern is, he is coming around again need­ing rides to school. I feel it is not my prob­lem. This has led to some heavy dis­cus­sions with my hus­band.

I feel the boy’s par­ents or grand­par­ents need to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for as­sur­ing their child makes it to prac­tice, has ex­tra money to pur­chase snacks and rides to and from school. He sees it dif­fer­ently. How can we let that boy fall through the cracks? Mind you, he wears name­brand clothes, glasses and shoes, yet his par­ents do not as­sist him in the most im­por­tant as­pects of his life.

I feel hor­ri­ble because I don’t think it is our job to pro­vide for him, but I try to teach my kids em­pa­thy and re­spon­si­bil­ity. So how do I jus­tify my­self? How do I get my hus­band to see we can’t con­tinue to be a crutch for these people? Or am I wrong? Help! — Try­ing to Help in the South

Dear Try­ing to Help:

Your “house­guest” may have name-brand clothes, glasses and shoes, but from your de­scrip­tion, he is be­ing se­verely ne­glected by his par­ents. That they would al­low him to live with an­other fam­ily whom they haven’t met is shock­ing. That they would ex­pect you to foot the bill for all of his needs while they pre­tend they don’t have a mi­nor child for whom they are re­spon­si­ble is neg­li­gence.

If he re­sumes stay­ing with you, IN­SIST that he stop act­ing like a guest and as­sume the same re­spon­si­bil­i­ties you have as­signed to your own chil­dren! Your hus­band should back you up on this. Un­der­stand that if the boy is un­will­ing to do that, the ex­am­ple be­ing set for your chil­dren is a very poor one.

Frankly, I think child pro­tec­tive ser­vices should have been no­ti­fied about what has been go­ing on a long time ago.

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