How Can I Make Him Understand

Question: Dear Luise: My 23 year old son committed to pay his part of a car payment and his own expenses by working part time while he went back to college.  We agreed on a weekly amount.  He does work part time and go to school full time but has not made his agreed payment one time. He gets financial assistance which pays for school and books.   He pays a little amount every other week or so but no where near what he said he would.  Not only that but we have to give him gas money regularly to get to school and money to eat.  My husband and I are broke, in debt, and living paycheck to paycheck.  When I try to talk to him about the situation he says he can’t believe I don’t want him to get his education and that I should get a better job to pay the bills.  What do I say and what do I do to make him understand this can’t go on? S.

Answer: Dear S.: There is nothing you can say or do. It can and will go on as long as you let it. Talking about the problem isn’t going to solve it. Your son doesn’t want to hear you.

Tell him that you are not going to back him any longer. It is something you simply aren’t able to continue. Remind him that people put them selves through collage all of the time and it is now his only option, if he wants his degree. If the car gets repossessed, that’s part of his learning curve about reality. If he lives at home charge him room and board or end that benefit as well. Stop all of the enabling by paying for anything. By that I mean that you are enabling him in abusing you…by tolerating it. And it is abuse.

Your son is of age. You did your job and you did it to the best of your ability. You’re done. He is now responsible for his own welfare and will one day be able to take credit for his own success.  My husband put himself through college while supporting a wife and two children. It took him ten years. Blessings, Luise

One Response to How Can I Make Him Understand

  1. A. January 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    We get ourselves backed into these corners and then find it difficult to work our way out. He understands what you are saying, he is just refusing to hear you. I would sit him down and tell him we want him to get his education, but financially we are broke, deep in debt, and living paycheck to paycheck. Tell him you want to be able to pay for all the things he needs and wants, but that you just can’t. You don’t have the money. Tell him you will help him work up a budget if he needs assistance, but that is all you are able to do.

    Any child who would tell there parent to get another job so they could pay the bills, is selfish and self-centered.

    I started college when I was 21. I was a mother with 3 children and a husband that felt that since he worked full time, I was responsible for everything in the home. Buying groceries, cooking supper, cleaning the kitchen, bathing all my daughters, reading them bedtime stories, saying their prayers and making sure they were in bed at the proper time. Same thing in the morning. I could not start studying until he finally went to be at 10:30. I got a part time job through the school, (work study) and it was enough to pay someone to stay with the children while I was in school. I graduated with a 4.0 average. I was honored for my scholastic achievements. But I did it primarily on my on.

    If he wants it bad enough he will work to get his degree. If he doesn’t then he will do like million of other American’s, he will work at a lower paying job than if he had gotten that degree. So many young men would give anything to trade places with him. Would treasure the opportunity to go to college.

    Tell him the truth and you and your husband present a united front. Then the decision is up to him. I will put you in my prayers and hope you have the strenght to do what needs to be done. A.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: