Giving her the gift of, “No”
I just wanted to let you know that I love your column and I am a weekly reader. Just a quick personal question: I have a 25-year-old daughter and even though I’ve put her through college and she has the beginnings of a successful career, she always looks to me to save her from every financial crisis in her life.
I am really getting tired of this Rosie. Why do we prepare our kids to become adults if they keep falling back on us as a safety net? She makes good money, still lives at home, gives the minimum towards the household, shops like an athlete and drives a fancy new car. When she hangs out, she and her friends spend their money and use their credit cards with free abandon. So when she comes up “short” she looks to me or her father to dig her out of the hole. I’ve had enough! Should I cut her off, this is difficult because she’s basically a good kid with no money sense.
Sick and Tired
Dear Sick and Tired,
Thank you for being a weekly reader I do appreciate it. Well I have to tell you that I do agree with you, I would be sick and tired of this give, give relationship as well. I understand how hard it can be to cut the proverbial apron string, but in your case, you will have to do it and soon.
She knows that no matter how much she messes up, Mommy and Daddy are there to the rescue. So this lifeline must not be made readily available to this young woman. You and your husband both did very well by her, she has had a good education, she has a very cheap roof over her head and of course she knows she is loved…forgive me, she may be a little spoiled as well.
I think one of her final life lessons on becoming an independent adult is you giving her the gift of, “No”. Let’s try it:
‘Mom I am $150 short this month for my car payment can you help me?’ Your response (first give her the look like she has just lost her mind) and then say, ‘No I don’t have it’. Even if she tries every tactic from guilt, yelling or begging, stick with the never fail answer of ‘No’. Listen if she’s in a desperate situation (you would know it because you are her mother) you can help her, but she must pay you back, and you must follow through. Oh yes, please have Daddy involved with this new plan as well. Everyone should be on the same page.
This may cause a period of some icy silence and some hurt feelings, but sometimes you have to be direct in order to get your point across. Remember you love her and you’ve done right by her to set her on her road to independence. It is now time she learns to fly solo in this area. Good Luck.
Send questions to Rosie at: [email protected] or PO Box 152, Kingstown,St Vincent & the Grenadines