Question: Dear Luise: My son lives in another city. He is always calling me to loan him money. He has a very good job but he does a lot of shopping, partying, etc. When I say I don’t have any he immediately puts the conversation in such a way that he’s blaming me for the outcome of him not being able to get to work etc. I used to send him money but now I don’t because I ran up my credit cards getting cash advances etc. Even though he pays me back I still want him to stop asking. Please advise. K.
Answer: Dear K.: You can’t change the behavior of others. Your son is going to continue to lay a guilt trip on you when you tell him “no” until he gets that the game is over. And there’s no way to tell how long that will take. Wanting him to stop asking is a lost cause.
You know you are not to blame for his financial issues. And there is no reason you need to be his “lending institution.”
Let him know that you feel you helped creat an unhealthy situation by lending money to him that you had to borrow for that purpose. Tell him you won’t be doing it again. Also you may want to let him know that spending money he doesn’t have and blaming you for his shortcomings are attitudes that don’t reflect maturity on his part and it’s time he took responsibility for his life.
Your future relationship needs to be based on the fact that you are two adults who have the potential to become really good friends. “Mother and child” is over. Blessings, Luise