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What do you think of an adult daughter whose only excuse for not giving me a Christmas gift; BD gift; or Mother's day gift is "you're hard to buy for, I'll have to be creative"? She's going on 40 so you'd think by now she'd know what I like.
She has just texted to tell me about the expensive gifts her new husband had given her, but no mention of the ones I'd just given her and her son. I don't think this would bother me so much if it weren't for the fact that my BD will be in a few weeks; she sends a card, but it's always at least a week later.
In her other marriage money was the issue, but now that's not the case. I always felt sorry for her and the kids so I've always done way more than I should. It's hard to break the "care giver, enabler" mode, but I always forget the next Christmas or BD. I know someone is going to tell me I raised her this way and/or when giving a gift you should not expect one in return. You're all right, but non-the-less I'd still hurt.
By grossb954 from Lubbock, TX
I would spend/contribute to an individual in need, an animal rescue, your favorite charity or what strikes you. At birthday time after donation, send her a note that you donated to ------ in her name. If her son has no gratitude or shows any respect for you, I would do the same. Fill a Christmas stocking you fill with bits and pieces through the year for someone who has little, is alone, or needy. Put it on their doorstep in the night --anonymously. Believe me, you will get a beautiful warm feeling when you do a beautiful warm donation. That, sweet Mom, is priceless.
Stop sending her (and the grandchildren-when was the last time you got a thank-you from them?) gifts. Send a card (no money inside) but leave it at that. If she brings it up tell her the truth-it hurts when she forgets you on gift-giving occasions, and btw it also hurts that she consistently sends belated birthday greetings.
When she throws out that tired 'But it's the thought that counts!', counter with one word-"Precisely!" How do I know this? Raising an ungrateful child hurts. You didn't raise her to be that way but she is that way, and it hurts!
My daughter is 35, my son 30. Both of them did this to me. So when the shock of my "Precisely" hit them, they really tuned me out for a while. Which hurt even more but I figured that if all I was to them was a fount of gifts and money, then the heck with it. My son came around, the daughter still thinks I'm a monster. (Shrug. I'm over it. But it took a while.)
I used the money I would have used for them to take two Angels from the annual Salvation Army Angel Tree. (When my son finally came around I told him about the Angel Tree-he takes an Angel every year now, too.)
My son took over three years to get over the shock. We had a good long discussion about the issue-cleared up a lot of things he never talked to me about before including a lot of his behaviours after I divorced their father when he was 17.
I hope things work out for you and your daughter the way things have for me and my son. He tells me one of the reasons it was so easy to be that way towards me was because although I didn't raise him to be that, watching the way his father treated me (no gifts, no cards, no consideration, no respect) taught him to see me as something of a 'doormat' even though deep down inside he knew that was wrong. He watched my ex (and his family) treat me with disrespect, and when I continued to treat them with respect he thought I was stupid, frankly. While I didn't raise him that way, watching others did raise him that way.
So there might be something else going on with your daughter-she may have grown up seeing you walked all over as you treated others with respect that wasn't returned. There's not a lot you can do about it except to stop knocking yourself out for her, and hope one day she is ready to talk.
I'm praying for you. The most hurtful thing in parenting is thinking your kids don't care about you.
This happened to me this year at Christmas. I too have always done too much for my daughter, who is now 35 and lives in Europe with her husband and twin sons. She told me several months ago what to get for the twins as well as what to send for herself and hubby. I did this, spending several hundred dollars.
Christmas came and went, and I received nothing. Thinking the gift they sent might have gotten lost in the mail, or over the Internet, I wrote to her and mentioned I didn't receive her gift. She responded, "Yeah, I ran out of money." After Christmas, however, she left for a trip across Europe! She is my only child, and I live alone. Christmas was very sad this year. I am striving to move past this feeling of sadness regarding the Christmas gift.
My adult daughter lives 3 hours away, is a single mom and lives with her father. Her father and I divorced 19 years ago. She is 33 years old. We do not have a good relationship even though we speak regularly on the phone. Three weeks ago we had a disagreement and there has been no conversation since that day. We are also friends on Facebook.
What is bothering me is that she posted a photo of herself, her son, and her father with the caption, "What I am grateful for..." I saw that and felt hurt that she did not even mention me. I know that I am three hours away, but I am also in very bad health and cannot travel. I am still upset over seeing her post and I wondered why she could not have written a comment such as, " I am grateful for you too mom..." but she did not.
I feel like blocking her on FB. She never likes or comments on my posts anyway. I would like to know the best way to handle this. Please advise.
What wonderful advice from Louise!
I wish more people could read this as I feel sure there are many who could benefit from her suggestions on how to handle a situation like this.
Many years ago I had a similar "problem" and it certainly can make you "hurt" all over. I kept all the horrible emails for a while and then one day I decide to print them all and just hand them to her the next time we saw each other. I really thought this was a "good" idea and just wanted to see how she reacted as she would usually just act like everything was okay when we met.
Thank goodness I came to my senses and did not do this - I destroyed the letters and just worked on forgetting all the hurtful things that had been said or done. It was not easy but my health improved and our relationship improved - but - it took years before we became "friends" and now we are able to spend enjoyable times together.
It takes work and forgiveness but you will feel better and who knows - you may have a good relationship or maybe not but you will feel better for trying.
Yes, I just sent her a text. She has blocked me once again on facebook. It really hurts...for so many reasons. She is all I have.
I am divorced and in very poor health. I can't work and have lost most of my friends due to my illness. I rely on the help of a friend to drive me to Atlanta for treatments every few months and have asked my daughter for help and she refuses. She is still mad at me for missing her son's birth (which I could not help). I explained to her that I had every intention of being there but her son was delivered by emergency c-section and I live three hours away. I also take care of my father 24/7 and could not find anyone to look after him so I could make the trip. She replied, "well, everyone is mad at you, they wondered why you weren't here." When I asked her if she explained the reason, she said "no." I believe she finds some perverse pleasure in making me look bad. She is upset with me everytime I miss my grandson's birthday. Once again, I explain that I can't drive myself long distance anymore, due to my illness. So, I is puzzling to me that she shows no compassion for what I am going through, she only thinks of herself. All of this is so painful to me as I reflect on my relationship with MY mother, all I can say is that it was great. It wasn't perfect and we had our differences, but I respected and honored my mother. Never did I hit, slap, curse, kick or punch my mom. Never! But I have been subjected to being cursed at, she has wished me to die, twice, has slapped my face, and hit, kick and punched my all over. So I ask you, how do you still maintain your self respect and try to have a relationship with a person like this? Would welcome your response. Thank you!
Even though you are both adults, you are still the parent. I would always leave the door open for a better relationship
I have an adult child, grandchild, and another adult family member who have come to live with my husband and me. My adult child keeps her room (and grandchild's) like a disaster area. When everyone moved in I asked them to sign a social contract regarding cleaning, cooking etc.
It lasted for a while. I love having everyone here, we have a large home, but I also like having a neat, clean house without feeling like the Mess Sargent. My latest attempt was to buy wall storage units. Our house lacks closet space. But, I'm thinking there's more to it than that. How can I get an adult to be cleaner and neater?
By EasyLikeSunday from Philadelphia, PA
Maybe you can make a copy of that agreement they signed and enlarge it and tape it to the door of the room they enter that is so messy. Maybe that will remind them in a friendly way as to what they agreed to in order to stay there.
Also you mentioned cooking. Maybe you could make a chart Mon-Friday of what days it is a certain persons day to cook making sure you have the things on the chart available for them to easily reach it and prepare the meal. For instance Tues & Thurs that person's name is on the cook chart for the meal and have it say what the meal will be (for example spaghetti & salad) and post that weekly chart to both the fridge and the door of their living quarters and on those days do not cook a meal and if they do not cook it, they don't eat.
Pretty soon they will get the message of the reminder you are giving them that they have been slacking on in their promise given prior too. If they do get involved you could even let them suggest what meals they want to cook on their days. If your doing their laundry> same thing keep their dirty laundry in it's own bin and do not do it. Pretty soon all these hints will reach home to them. If the young child is old enough to participate, make them a chart with awards given as stickers etc. You could also take pictures of the messy room and post it to their door giving them yet another hint to start helping again.
I agree with Amuck (as usual) and would just close the door if I saw it open. I wouldn't try to "remake" an adult into something they're not. It's demeaning to tell adults how to behave even if they need to be told. I would, however, insist that the mess stay in their space, not in the common living area. If that happens to be the case I'd speak directly to them and let them know how it affects you. You don't mention having a problem with the rest of the agreement as regards to cooking, etc. With any concerns I'd vote for a direct conservation rather than leaving notes, etc. I certainly wouldn't go in their rooms and clean up. If it gets too upsetting you may have to let them know you've had guests as long as you can.
I had this challenge once with two older teenage children, and this is how I successfully handled it. I asked for an initial deposit (a significant sum they would not want to lose) if they wanted to stay, explaining I expected them to hold up to their responsibilities which they were not.
One child said he'd sleep in his van rather than submit to my blackmail. I said that that was OK with me. He could come in to eat, shower and answer the phone. Otherwise he was out in his van. After three days, he relented, and he never had to replace his deposit.
My daughter did have to replace her deposit once and once only. When they left, I gave them back their unused deposits. I did not want their money, just they keep their areas clean, period.
IF you are going to do this you need to be firm. If they want to live there, they have to respect the contract they signed.
What are some of the ways that you let your grown children feel loved, special and very much needed?
I give them hugs whenever I see them, walk with my arm around them & tell them how much I love them each time I send them an e-mail. I have 3 biologic children & a stepdaughter & each one has no doubt how strongly I feel about them. I think this is because I set the foundation when they were young!
I have a funny story: Long ago when my kids were much younger I asked each child in turn individually which child they thought I loved the most. My daughter (then 16) said "Cody, because he's the baby, the youngest" & Cody (then 8) said "Melissa because she's the only girl". I then asked my oldest, Michael (then 22) & he said "Me!" This just shows I didn't favor any one of them over another & I think that this is VERY important. In fact, I've learned from my mom. She is VERY careful that she ALWAYS gives my sister the same thing she gives me or something of similar value. She makes sure never to take sides & makes sure we know that she loves us both the same. It's so important to never favor one child or leave one child out!
I have a friend that has a mom who has always favored 2 of her 3 girls & this friend has always felt left out & unloved by her mother. She invited her mom to her newly purchased home & her mom couldn't make the time to come (but she will go to the other 2 girls houses) If her mom would just take her aside & tell her that she is special to her & loved this would heal her wounds. instead resentment has built up. This gal was our real estate agent when we sold our family house & she always remarked on how nice it was my mom didn't have favorites among her 2 children. But it's also my friends fault because she also should open communication & tell her mom how left out she feels. Communication is SO VERY IMPORTANT!
Also, stop by & see your kids whenever you can. Maybe take one at a time to lunch or take one child at a time garage-saleing son a Saturday. Call them once in a week or send them a quick e-mail that says "I'm thinking about you & I love you bunches!" You don't have to talk on the phone very long, just say "I was calling to say I love you!" Be supportive of their choices (even if you don't agree with them). You can say you'd do something differently, just let them fight their own battles & don't be nosey. Treat your grown children like you'd like to be treated!
Invite your adult child over to spend the night. Have an old fashioned sleep over. Have popcorn while watching favorite rented movie. Make fudge or bake cookies (if diet allows). Hang out in pajamas. Have fun and be sure to share stories with them about their youth.
I try to show my children that they are loved and needed and appreciated, by asking for their help. We also will give them a little money, for no reason. We "hire" the grandchildren to help out with yard work and things like that.
We are taking 4 out of the 5 children (with their spouse), and some of the grandchildren (all but 3 out of 14) on a cruise in August. Just because they need a break and can't afford to go on their own.
I have a very loving relationship with my adult son. However there are times when he distances himself from me for no apparent reason. He doesn't answer my calls or texts even after I've tried him several times. This makes my heart heavy. He lives in another state so the tendency to worry about him is always there. He is a responsible young man, but at the same time I find it irresponsible for him to not answer when I call. Can anyone help me to cut the apron strings even though it makes me sad.
I've noticed that the less I call my out-of-town Daughter the more she calls me. Oftentimes I've called her and she won't answer or return my call or will say "I'm busy I'll call you back" but won't for days. I've had the habit of jumping every time she calls so I've turned the table and if I'm busy I do what she does and either don't answer or call when I get ready. If it's all that urgent she'll leave a message. Our kids need to know we are people and have a life outside of them. I don't think they would ignore or not return calls to a friend.
I am 85 years old, so you know I have "been there and done that". The best advice I can give is to stop e-mailing and texting him. After a while he will wonder why he hasn't heard from you and will be in touch. Tell him how busy you are and have very little time to spare. He will be relieved to know that you have a life apart from him. As parents, we tend to forget that our children have lives and responsibilities of their own. I once read an old proverb that said - "First, teach your children to walk - then teach them to walk away". Be glad that you have raised a son who is confident enough to walk away. Best wishes. Joan from Chesterfield, MI
As a daughter with adult children, I will tell you why I sometimes find my mom's calls annoying. She does not phone me to tell me of the interesting things she is doing or to see what interesting things I am doing, but to "see if I am all right" or to "see if the boys are all right".
This was particularly annoying when I was a divorced mom living with my teenagers, as she didn't make these terribly concerned calls when I was with my ex. Rather than feel happy that she called, the calls made me feel like my mom didn't have any confidence in me to look after my children. Think about the calls and texts that you are sending. Are they happy calls that one would like to receive? Or do they cause your son worry and upset, or make him feel guilty and harried?
I need advice. I have raised my niece since she was 5 years old. She is the daughter of my heart. She is 32 years old, has two college degrees, and always has a job. She is in many ways a charming and delightful young woman, but she is in a very toxic relationship.
He is 30, but a very lazy man who has not worked in the 12 years they have been together. He doesn't help around the house, either. He is extremely controlling, and very mean. But she is very manipulative and an extreme drama queen. She will spend hours on the phone with me telling me how terrible he has been lately. She will reject any suggestion or advice, yet will demand suggestions, advice, and help. The next day she might tell me about something nice he did, and how good things have been lately.
If it wasn't for the fact that he is verbally abusive and treats her terribly right in front of me and others, I would doubt her word. She has lost friends who either decided that she was lying, or who got tired of it, or who said "I told you so" or "you must like it because you refuse to leave" and made her mad.
Well, after all these years, I have given her money, done many things to help, listened to her complain and cry for literally thousands of hours, and I find I am past my limit. I don't want to hear it anymore. She calls and instant messages me everyday, and he is the main topic. Some days it is hard for me to get anything done because she is monopolizing my time. If I tell her the truth, I am afraid of losing her. What do I do?
By Kiro from CA
I think I would try asking her to lunch, and telling her how much you love her and value the time you spend together, BUT that she is wearing you out. Tell her you have every faith in her ability to handle her relationship herself. Remind her that you have offered advice, which she chose not to follow, and that you just don't have any more (advice) to offer. Tell her you cannot spend all day on the telephone, and that you will only be available for calls from 5 to 5:30 pm (or whatever time you decide), unless it is a true emergency. Tell her you would like to meet for lunch (or coffee, or whatever) each week--or whatever time interval works for you.
She might be angry for a short while, but stand your ground. Remind her that you are not cutting her off, just limiting how much you have to listen to. Tell her it hurts you when she is hurting, (appeal to her selfish side) and you can't bear to hear it all the time.
THEN, you have to follow-through. Use caller ID or your answering machine to screen calls, and only answer her calls during your specified time. Be sure to tell her it is OK to leave a message, and you can call her back. (Again, unless it is an emergency, only call her during the designated time.)
Ignore texts, and if you are using other forms of instant messaging, set the default sign on to make it look like you are not on. (For example, on AIM, you become "invisible"; on FB, you can just turn the chat feature off.)
Keep reaching out to her; but set those limits and stick to them. She is an adult, employed, and intelligent; now it's time for her to put on her big girl panties and deal with her life.
chef4u, anyone asking a question here at ThriftyFun is someone reaching out for needed help and that help doesn't have to be regarding a monetary value. Have you noticed that questions have been asked here for years and years about anything from poddy training a child to keeping a neighbors pet from poddying in their yard? Those things don't have to do with money but rather needed advice.
Or have you noticed submissions of photos for beautiful scenery or a favotite pet? Those photos are sharing the heart and not a thrifty tip either. ThriftyFun is about more than pinching a penny and being frugal. It's also about hearts and souls touching one another and sharing from day to day.
I think Joslin had the best reply. To add my two cents worth I will say it has been my experience that people do not make a change until they are desperate. She might wish things were different but she is doing nothing to make that happen. As an educated woman I can't figure out why she wants this for her life. Or why you continue to allow her to monopolize your time with all the repetitive negativity. A half hour with a competent psychologist would help her immensely. Set it up, pay for it, give her the appointment time. Then move on with your life. She needs help; she is not getting it from you. You are not qualified to help her see her inner self.
My step-daughter is 32. She does not live with me and my wife and does not have a job or partner. She calls my wife 10-15 times a day and always ends the conversation by saying 'I love you' to my wife. Is this normal?
Depends on what you call 'normal'. If it is normal for a person to engage in a fad without question as to how silly it might be, then in that respect, your step-daughter is normal.
Saying 'Love you', 'Love you', 'Love you', was just a fad. I thought it had faded away. I guess not. I wish the people who do that could see just how insincere they sound.
...and I don't want to even think about the fad Don Knots started...'Sorry 'bout that'. I thought that silly quip would never die.
Depends on the reason she's calling her. My Daughter and I always end our conversations with "I love you" but we don't talk every day. I just wonder why your Step - daughter doesn't work. Could be she's just bored and/or doesn't have anything else to do. Maybe the daughter - in law is not the only clingy one maybe your wife is too. But maybe not. Just saying. If it's not bothering your wife I wouldn't worry about it.
As a woman in her thirties, i would say this is definitely not normal. I do call my mom nearly daily, but certainly not 10 to 15 times per day. That is excessive.
It is possible she does not want or need a partner but she should definitely find some way of spending her time that is more productive and age appropriate.
Volunteer work for an animal shelter or food pantry is one idea.
Is it a parent's responsibility to tell their married sons or daughters about their finances or an insurance policy (will be paid out at the end of the year) that has paid out? Any suggestions or advice?
By Dorothy from SA
I don't think there is any "should" to this question. I know about my sons' finances because I do their taxes. I tell them some of the details about mine, mainly to illustrate what they might want to do, or to suggest saving strategies. However, my sons are still in their twenties and just beginning to set up RRSPs, get into home ownership, and so on. I don't think you have to tell them about this policy if you don't want to. If you are worried that they might hit you up for a loan or something, don't tell them.
On the other hand, my 81 year old mother gambles a lot, and I would like to know more about her finances than I do, just to be sure she is not making herself destitute. I am an only child, and she is a widow.
Every situation is different.
By all means let them know details such as where to find the insurance policies and where your will is filed in case of deaths. Also you need to discuss living wills with your children--have one drawn up and give each child a copy. When you go to the hospital have a copy placed into your files or have your children do this if you are unable. My father suddenly went to the hospital unconscious and my family didn't know what he would want. It was quite awful. Think ahead to save them the work of hunting for important papers.
The only things we've told our adult children is that we have individual wills, and that insurance policies and other important financial paperwork are in a specific location, as well as them knowing who our executor will be.
Beyond that, adult kids should be told what's accessible for them to make your final arrangements and take care of any outstanding debt that may still be hanging around after you're gone. That really is a need-to-know for your survivors so there's not more chaos and confusion for them on top of the emotional loss when the inevitable happens to you.
I'm needing help to find a support group or someone to talk to that is going thru the same thing that I am going thru at this time. I just lost my daughter (29) in April. She had just given birth a week earlier to a girl, and she left behind, 2 other girls ages 5 and 11 and a husband that is struggling.
I need someone to talk to/or write to that may be going thru something similar or who has gone thru it. I'm in desperate need.
Please anything that you can share with me would be deeply appreciated.
Thanks again readers.
By Teresa C. from VA
I found a few other grief organizations that are recommended by the New England Organ Bank:
Alive Alone: www.alivealone.org; an organization which benefits bereaved parents whose only child or all children are deceased.
Bereaved Parents of the USA: www.bereavedparentsusa.org; an organization that offers support, compassion, and hope to bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings.
One Bright Star: www.onebrightstart.org; offering resources and support for families who have experienced the death of a child.
For your grandchildren:
The Douggy Center for Grieving Children: www.dougy.org; 866-775-5683
an organization which provides loving support in a safe place where children, teens, and young adults and their families grieving a death can share their experiences as they move through the healing process. They have a National Center for Grieving Children and Families, too.
"When a Parent Dies" advice from Hospice: http://www.hosp html/parent.html
"Helping Children Cope with Grief and Loss": http://www.nasp ety/griefwar.pdf
Mister Rogers Websitewww.misterrogers.org See booklet, Grieving for Children, for ages 4-10.
My heart goes out to you and your family. I hope you know a lot of people are thinking about you all. :)
Teresa, I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine. :(
Along with the other helpful ideas, I would contact your personal physician and see if they can refer you to a therapist or group counseling that is covered by your insurance. I know lots of people who have received temporary support in this way.
All my best to you and your family.
May your daughter rest in peace. I am praying for you and your daughter's husband and family. May god give all you comfort and strength during this difficult times. Try to check call some hospitals as for a social worker to see if they can suggest any support group. I can feel your pain.
I am under a lot of stress at my house right now. I have a son-in-law, his girlfriend and their 7 month old baby living here. They refuse to take any of my suggestions to heart in caring for the baby. It is driving me nuts and I am at my wits end. Any ideas on how to de-stress my life while they are here?
Liz from FL
I agree with everyone else, you need to keep your comments about the baby to yourself. I know it's hard because you care so much. So, every time you see something you don't agree with and you are tempted to tell them what to do, turn it into a game in your head and try to think of something kind to say. It can be about anything; a butterfly you saw outside the window or how much you appreciate the way they help you in the kitchen, etc.
The other alternative is to leave the room. Go to your room and read or get some fresh air outside or take up a new hobby so you'll have a project to work on. You need to DO something every time you are tempted to correct them. I hope this helps. I ache for you. Your frustration is normal, and as Dr. Laura says, "I can't fix normal!" Good luck and God bless you! -Lee in FL
I agree with T&T Grandma & dh8: since none of these 3 are related to you by blood, why do you have to take care of them?! While it's kindhearted of you to take them in, I don't understand why they're your responsibility. And like dh8, I too hope they're not getting public assistance at the same time you're paying their bills. I say, give them a deadline and ask them to leave.
Give them a realistic time limit to move out. Whatever you feel comfortable with. (Say a month?) It's frustrating because you genuinely want to help them but you need to put your own health and wellness first. (mental, physical, emotional etc.) Let them know you love and care for them but the living situation isn't working out. Your in YOUR home. It needs to feel like YOUR home not like your a visitor in their world. It sounds like you still really want to help them and are torn. Think of other ways you can help besides financially and putting a roof over their head. (babysitting once in a while?) Best of luck in whatever you decide.
These are hard kinds of situations to deal with. Things can be taken very personal when you live with someone even though it isn't meant that way. All I can say is be very clear the living situation isn't working out for you but don't dive into specifics. You can not change other peoples living habits. You can not change other peoples living habits and life styles. (and I will say it a third time) You can not change other people's living habits! (I am saying this as much to you as I am to myself! believe me I've tried! The more you push the more others push away even if you are helping them out! Best to skip that step.)
How can I show my daughter I support her? She just graduated from high school and I have been offering suggestions and giving her advice about her career because she is undecided ...