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Show ALL Forums  > Off Topic  > Do parents "owe" adult children anything?      Home login  
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 misscharlie
Joined: 11/5/2008
Msg: 1
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Do parents "owe" adult children anything?Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
I have 2 friends in particular..well, one is an acquaintance who views me as her best (only) friend..who are both early to mid 30's ,which is 7 to 8 years younger than me, so this may play a part in me having a different view to both of them. Both of these women are divorced and have had children. One has majority custody of her kids, the other not, as she has sent her young children to live with her parents and rarely sees them, even on Christmas day or for their birthdays.Both of them seem to think their parents owe them something in life. They have already had a great deal of support from their parents yet think the parents are not giving them enough.

The acquaintance who has given her children to her parents is on a disabilty pension for depression, has never worked, her ex husband was a loser and doesn't see his kids either. Her parents are retired, looking after her children yet she takes money from her parents and brother to top up her pension. Her parents are threatening to adopt the kids(not sure about the legalities of that) and withdraw their financial support, which she is angry about and thinks they owe her the financial support because they are the cause of screwing her life up and giving her depression and also because they own their house and have "plenty of money coming in" via board from their son, they get the child maintenance from the children's father and also the family allowance benefit from the government.

The other friend in question has parents who are comfortable enough off and lent her and her then husband a great deal of money to build a house they couldn't really afford( the banks had refused to lend them the amount they needed to build the house they wanted). Friend is now left to make very minimal re payments to parents on her own and she refuses to sell the house and pay her parents back as "why should my kids and I lose the family home just my parents can have their money back" and "they never do anything for me. My sister is the golden girl they do everything for". Such is her selfishness and immaturity that she spends a good deal of money on alcohol each week yet cannot pay her parents the full agreed loan repayments each month.

Things are heading towards crunch time as the whinging and sense of entitlement coming from both of them is doing my head in and I'm about to give them a piece of my mind.I know these 2 examples are extreme, but I'm aware of other adult children around me who think their parents owe them something. Am I being callous and harsh in thinking that parents are under no obligation to provide their adult children with financial support, especially once they have married and left home, and any support that is provided should be accepted with appreciation and grace?
 Blah_User_Name
Joined: 8/27/2011
Msg: 2
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 3:07:23 PM
Parents owe their adult children nothing financially. Parents are not responsible to bring up their adult children's offspring either. This includes acting as a free day care service 5 days a week !

Aging parents have worked to raise their children who are now grown. That is the only role of a parent - to guide your child and provide them with the tools be to a contributing member of society.

Of course, with luck, at the end of that process, both generations will actually like each other and want to spend time together - but adult children are owed nothing at this stage. Their parents job is DONE. It is now their time to have their freedom in terms of time and responsibility and they darn well should be able to spend their money on themselves too.

It's one of my pet peeves to see the elderly struggling financially and being cold in the Winter and hungry in order to protect a nest egg for their children to inherit when they've gone. They've worked for what they have, let them spend it on whatever they darn well choose too. It's not like they can take it with them when they are gone so they should benefit from in their lifetime.

I too know of people who have 'borrowed' from their parents and have no intention of paying it back - and it's disgusting. It's an absolute abuse of their parents love. That said, I think the parents are enable it too but that's a whole different thread.
 Aristotle_Amadopolis
Joined: 12/8/2011
Msg: 3
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 3:09:16 PM

Do parents "owe" adult children anything?

Yes.

Lessons on the dangers of generalizing.
 misscharlie
Joined: 11/5/2008
Msg: 4
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Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 3:23:05 PM
Sorry, not sure how the "generalizing" comment ties in with the thread....but yes, there are many life lessons that could be said to be lacking in society these days...
 Aristotle_Amadopolis
Joined: 12/8/2011
Msg: 5
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 3:30:09 PM

Do parents owe adult children anything?

This question can not be answered as it is far to general due to the fact every scenario is different and unique.

The only thing anybody should be owed, is to not to be expected to give.




Sorry, not sure how the "generalizing" comment ties in with the thread....but yes, there are many life lessons that could be said to be lacking in society these days...

Agreed, especially the ones that use stuff like "lacking in society these days".

What days where better and what criteria did you use to come to the conclusion on why they where better?
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 3:31:25 PM

Do parents owe adult children anything?


No.

The parents have done their job, and now it is up to the adult child to take care of themselves.

As for the friends that you have told us about.
How sad.

I think it is time that you chose yourself some new friends.
 MOTD2010
Joined: 5/18/2010
Msg: 7
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 3:33:15 PM
No they do not, hopefully they were actually parents and did their job when their kids were kids.
 astrosky
Joined: 2/6/2005
Msg: 8
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Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 3:35:06 PM
I think your friends are full of entitlement issues and if they'd get that way with their own parents, they'd get that way with anyone. Be careful what they feel entitled to get from you, since they might decide you owe them something simply because you have it and they want it.

I don't feel my parents owe me anything, and I don't feel I owe my kids anything. But my heart may cause me to give them whatever I can afford to help them. There's a big difference between feeling obligated and feeling loving enough to want to. There's a very fine line to tread between having someone's back in time of trouble, and creating an entitled monster that thinks because you helped them once, you owe them a free ride forever. I'll probably never get that one figured out, but I'm certainly trying.
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 9
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Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 4:12:15 PM
You need a better class of friends.
 Viper1E
Joined: 11/30/2011
Msg: 10
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 4:16:26 PM
No they do not, hopefully they were actually parents and did their job when their kids were kids.


That will certainly be a relief to lots of parents like Sarah Palin and others with those Downs babies..

Prop then in a wheelchair and just leave them on nearest corner when they hit 18. Same thing for Jerry's Kids. Don't forget those Spinebifida babies too!

Oh wait, actually the law says you can't do that. Damn! Guess those parents will never get that debt paid!

This is why abortion was invented..
 veevee
Joined: 2/14/2006
Msg: 11
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 4:32:59 PM
I don't think parents owe their children if they can support themselves.
The rub comes when some children don't want to support themselves.

They who will remain nameless I've seen abuse a parent. Asking for more more more and the parent gives in. They lived at the parent's house for years, brought in people that stole from her, sold her things when they needed money and still had the nerve to ask for personal cash from her. They worked and paid no rent - bought no food - paid no bills, not even their student loans - she paid those. She eventually had to threaten eviction to them to which they said - well you just gave me 30 more days of no rent. When they left she paid their deposit on a new place in hopes they would stay away from home finally. They are now trying to get back into her place. She paid for them to get vehicles out of tow, buy new ones, money to pay for their fine, they still aren't driving and have her court them around places including taking them to dinner regularly. She does it because she's codependent on them needing her. I get it completely. She likes to do things for them because she can and that's her baby.

Leeches can be family members - most definitely. It's up to the parent to stop it and they usually don't, they get something from it. The person always just needs this one little boost to get on their feet is their justification.
 sweetness-one
Joined: 10/17/2005
Msg: 12
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Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 4:41:17 PM
I'm rather of two minds about this, actually, OP. Of course it's going to be like anything else, should be taken on a case-by-case basis, although I do see the general sense of entitlement becoming more and more prevalent these days overall. Do I think it's right? Hell no. But, often I'm not surprised when I see it. Why? Because...

In regards to the sentiment some have raised that "the parents raised the child and now it's up to the grown child to fend for themselves"...did the parents not instill a sense of independence and pride in working for what one wants, earning things rather than feeling entitled to them, in these children while raising them?

If the parents continue to enable, of course children such as in the examples you described are going to continue to feel entitled, no?

The children (even grown) can't learn what they were never taught, after all. And complete brats with a sense of self-entitlement don't generally spring miraculously from the ground at the age of 35, either. JMO.
 Molly Maude
Joined: 9/11/2008
Msg: 13
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Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 5:00:06 PM
my comment was going to be almost EXACTLY what Daynadaze said:

"You need a better class of friends."

that comment got my vote! why are you friends (or even acquaintances) ... with these people? I've known people who have expressed similar comments ... I give them my (sometimes unrequested) opinion and walk away ... can't relate.

I knew someone whose step-daughter "borrowed" the Mom's car (without asking permission), drove the car to Los Angeles and until it ran out of gas then left it on the side of the road, presumably to "borrow" someone else's car ...

I can't be friends with people who treat their parents like that ...
 misscharlie
Joined: 11/5/2008
Msg: 14
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Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 5:17:45 PM

Agreed, especially the ones that use stuff like "lacking in society these days".

What days where better and what criteria did you use to come to the conclusion on why they where better?

This was meant to be percieved as vague tongue in cheek, hence my use of..... to surround the statement., but perhaps that's just my warped sense of humour...

My post is 2 fold, asking for opinions to very directly help me decide how to deal with the 2 very particular examples I have given. One is a close friend and I need to raise the issue with her as it is something she goes on and on about, so even by asking her not to talk about it anymore, I will be making it an issue and she will get defensive on it as she is quite reactive in personality. The other is an acquaintance who has no friends , latched onto me and I have not been able to be cruel enough to tell her I don't want or need her in my life,,but am covertly hoping by getting her offside on this issue, she will decide I am also the ememy and will leave me be.

Secondly, I was looking to see if I was being harsh in my opinion of those adult children who have moved out of home and exhibit anger towards their parents for not providing/withdrawing financial support when said children choose to live outside their means. Am happy to have my awareness increased and apparent generalisation debunked by being given examples , either particular or general in nature, of when an adult child is entitled to be angry.


But my heart may cause me to give them whatever I can afford to help them. There's a big difference between feeling obligated and feeling loving enough to want to. There's a very fine line to tread between having someone's back in time of trouble, and creating an entitled monster that thinks because you helped them once, you owe them a free ride forever.


Well put, ..will put this to the 2 people in question and if they disagree, I will ask them to not raise the complaint again in my presence or I'll remove myself.

note...There's a bit of a New year thing happening here it seems..decluttering of the house is in progress, culling of online contacts... and real life friends/acquaintances as well, it seems
 Viper1E
Joined: 11/30/2011
Msg: 15
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 5:24:16 PM
I ind of had the freedom to dump my kids by the side of the road..

But then i chose not to, because I loved them..

This thread kind of reminds me of:
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/22/local/la-me-kelly-thomas-20110922

The guy's last words, before he died were cries for his father.
 Damselffish
Joined: 10/15/2011
Msg: 16
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 6:24:24 PM
The answer is yes...cuzz>>>>>>>>> we didnt ASK to be born (( incert stomping
foot sound ))
 kailania
Joined: 4/10/2008
Msg: 17
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/10/2012 8:14:34 PM

Am I being callous and harsh in thinking that parents are under no obligation to provide their adult children with financial support, especially once they have married and left home, and any support that is provided should be accepted with appreciation and grace?


I agree that any support provided should be accepted with appreciation and grace.

but I think as for the rest of the post every situation is different.

what if the parents never gave the child the "tools" in life to teach them how
to make it alone in the world and just leave them to do so?
what do you think about those cases?
 Gwendolyn2010
Joined: 1/22/2006
Msg: 18
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/12/2012 2:40:21 PM
No, parents do not "owe" their grown children anything, but most of us are willing to help a grown child if we are able.

But we need to stop giving financial, and even emotional, support if we are co-dependents that allow offspring to continue in destructive or non-productive lifestyles.

I have heard a plethora of grown-ups whine about how they were raised and blame their parents for every negative thing in their lives, but at some point, we need to truly become adults and take responsibility for ourselves NOW.

My son and his wife are living with me now, rent free. They will pay their part of the utilities. They are in a financial crunch and my son is a student. It is not easy for them or me, but they accept my help with appreciation and grace--and that makes me WANT to help them.

They also pay back loans--something almost unheard of in parent-offspring money matters.
 912ladyb
Joined: 1/5/2012
Msg: 19
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/12/2012 6:31:58 PM
Parents do not owe their adult children, who are capable of supporting themselves, a living. Children do not come with manuals so parents do the best they know how with what they have. It sounds to me like the only thing the parents owe these children now is a good lesson in tuff love. Some kids never learn manners and respect no matter how hard you try to teach them. Those girls will never learn. The tuff love is to protect the parents.
 Viper1E
Joined: 11/30/2011
Msg: 20
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/13/2012 6:50:07 AM

Parents do not owe their adult children


Some state laws disagree.

http://www.childsupportguidelines.com/articles/art200003.html

http://disabilitylaw.blogspot.com/2007/02/buhai-on-support-of-adult-children-with.html

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/pubs/2002/reports/essentials/c9.html

 femaleconnection
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 21
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Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/13/2012 8:35:09 AM
Well, if as a parent you raised people who are selfish, feeling entightled and too lazy to support themselves? Id hope they keep supporting the blob they brought into the world because as tax payers we shouldnt be on the hook for them doing a bad job in teaching thier kids what is expected of them.

It all starts at home.

These parents are reaping what they planted.

I would never make my parents accountable for my choices, however, they raised me to support myself and make good choices! They went through hell with 7 kids, being 'mean parents' while thier counterparts were experimenting with allowing freedoms and giving the grandest of things to thier kids. Who is laughing now? My parents dont have any adult kids living off of them, we are all independant. Thier more 'hippie friends' homes are revolving doors for thier adult children as well as thier grandkids. Not saying every child who is given too much will turn out bad...but seems to be what I have seen more often than not. Humans just dont seem to appreciate what is handed to them on a silver platter, appreciation comes from earning things.

My post is making the assumption that the kids are healthy, able to work, and not disabled in any way other than how they were raised.

I dont think its completely fair to allow your kids all types of freedoms and expensive things without making them earn them, and then expect those same kids as adults to be responsible bread winners who always take care of thier own business. Just doesnt work that way.

Even though my parents never lavished any of us with the things money can buy, I do see a difference in accountability between us older kids and my baby sister. By the time she was coming of age my parents had more disposable income. They were now living in a better neighborhood, could afford nicer clothes etc...and my baby sister, although I love her, is not quite as responsible as the rest of us. She is no where near what the OP described...but if you had to rate us all on being responsible, she would get the lowest rating. The only difference in her upbringing and mine was that my parents had a bit more money to spend on her than they had when I was in my teens. It did give my baby sister the impression that money was easy to come by and her first few years on her own, she struggled a bit more than the rest of us. She blossomed into a fine young woman, but she had a hard time the first few years because she had different expectations of what living as an adult was like than the rest of us. We were a tad more prepared to 'go without' if we couldnt afford some things, where this realization hit her a lot harder. However...my parents did not bail her out, and she learned to paddle pretty good to stay afloat.

So, while I dont think the parents 'owe' those adults anything materialistically, I do believe it will be a long, difficult road to teach those adults how to budget, how to forsee expenses and how to live within your means. And the parents are the ones who failed to teach that lesson when it needed to be taught. This is what is OWED to those 'children'.
 grizzelda
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 22
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Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/13/2012 9:22:13 AM
I have to agree with Femaleconnection. Many parents have created the monster and now have to deal with the monster they created. However I dont think that it was done deliberately, many people have bought into the idea that children should be raised differently that previous generations.

As parents we are constantly given the message that our children should have a better life than we did, and for many people that means having more things, and having less responsibility. Where else could you make their lives better? They have a place to live, they have clothing, they arent walking up a hill in deep snow, both way to school. The only place left was to cater to their "wants" as their needs are pretty much filled.

Why else are parents subsidising adult childrens educations well into their 20's? Why else are parent allowing their children to live with them for longer and longer because it is "hard" to live on their own. When you think back to when you were a teenager, most of us couldnt wait to get out on our own, we expected to have room mates, we expected to live in crappy apartments, if we were lucky enough to have a car, it was a crappy car because that is what we could afford. We were happy with an entry level job because we knew we had to work our way up.

Todays parents dont instill those values into their kids any more, these kids want to have the same lifestyle as their parents have after 30 years of hard work right out of school.
 Viper1E
Joined: 11/30/2011
Msg: 23
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/13/2012 10:28:55 AM
I swear this is really true.

I talked to someone who's spouse had died not so long ago. She actually said: "Well, there's no way I could ever start dating again without permission from my children.."

I didn't know what to say!

Talk about a failure to pop the nipple out!
 Blah_User_Name
Joined: 8/27/2011
Msg: 24
Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/13/2012 2:30:24 PM

They also pay back loans--something almost unheard of in parent-offspring money matters.


The lack for re-payment for a parental loan just stuns me. I was lucky in the sense that my parents provided a good financial education.

Loan made to both my sister and I, were of course interest free :-) and had very lenient repayment terms but that money had better be on the table when it was due or we knew that any future loans would not be forthcoming. It certainly taught us about not over committing financially and about paying our debts on time.

But I see adults (one 52-year old comes to mind) who 'borrow' money from their parents and have no intention of repaying it based on the logic of 'they can afford it' !

WTF ? These very people will buy their cigarettes, furniture for their apartments (things whey have managed without perfectly well to date), new kittens, and all manner of things and it doesn't occur to them that they have an outstanding debt which should be settled first. I don't understand it.

Often these people have guilted their parent into the loan in the first place.
 five-marie
Joined: 7/31/2011
Msg: 25
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Do parents owe adult children anything?
Posted: 1/13/2012 3:45:51 PM
I think we do owe our adult children something just as I think they owe us. Families should be there for each other whenever possible.
I don't think we owe them money. I think it's nice if kids run into trouble and we're able to help them out. I think it's nice if children help out their parents if they run into financial trouble.
Trouble with your friends is it's a one way street. A loan is a loan no matter who gives it to you. Only person that should be raising your kids is you.
Sounds like you should maybe find friends who share your values.
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