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rattlesnake December 25th, 2017 06:25 AM

Overindulged the grandkids.
 
I have two grandchildren, a 7 year old girl and 9 year old boy. Because the parents were young and quite frankly immature when they were born, I have been very involved in helping them with their children who were born when xDIL was 18 and my DS was 19. Her family (especially mother) is very messed up and was not able to help in the same capacity that I did through all the years up until now.

My H and I have probably had the kids here on average about 1 or 2 days per week (over night) since they were born, but we have no legal rights and I'm not suggesting anything different. The parents are now divorced after being married for 6 years, and the kids went through a lot of additional hell during that time, which caused me to be even more protective and shall I say "motherly" to these kids. I have not tried to spoil them though I'm sure it might appear otherwise to some. I make a comfortable living and do love to get things for the kids, but I don't see that I highly overindulge them. I know these kids and know what they like to play with, and much of what I get them is educational (I'm an educator by profession). At the very least, what I get them encourages imagination.

I will leave my xDIL mostly out of this but she has some serious issues, some of which have involved CPS, but she denies this to the outside world and most probably view her as mother of the year, very sweet, soft-spoken, etc. I think for the most part she had gotten better over the years, after being with the new man whom she left my DS for. I wish I could say that I blame her for leaving DS, but I don't. I hate the way things happened, the cheating, the lying and denying of the cheating (which I know she did and how she even used me by telling me sometimes she needed to clean her house and study so would I get the kids...turns out she was entertaining a man or two while DS was traveling OTR for his job). But this is about DS, not her even though both parents are a reason I am so involved and concerned for my grandbabies. In spite of everything, I probably now get along with xDIL better than my own DS.

Last year DS was angry that I overindulged the kids at Christmas, got them more than he did, which he says makes him look bad and they would rather be with me than him.


DS is now 29. But quite frankly he gets them almost nothing, doesn't think about them when they are not around, only thinks about himself. He gets himself whatever he wants all the time. In fact, I believe it was last year that he went to see the Star Wars movie something like 5 times in a theater. I'll try to keep it brief but he has trouble managing his finances and has had his utilities shut off in the past due to non-payment.

I also believe last year he was most upset that I got an XBOX one for this household. Even though we have other grandkids besides his two, and my H and I do use it too, he seemed to lump that with gifts for his kids in with everything else we got them (mostly dolls, toy trucks, lego sets, etc.). He was angry we got them too much and made me "agree" that I would only get them each one thing this year. I half-heartedly must have made some sort of "agreement" with him but let me tell you my heart was not in in it and I argued about making the agreement before I did it. I suppose I finally agreed since his alternative was to not let me see my kids at Christmas. He never had the conversation with my H who is his step-father and "indulges" the grandkids as much or more than I do even though they are not his bio grandkids.

Well, this year came around and I was left with the dilemma. About my biggest joy in life is to see grandkids smiling and excited on Christmas. How would I get around this agreement? Well, I decided to get more than one thing, put it in a box for each kid and they would just open one box. It actually was scaled way back from last year, even though I don't think we went extremely overboard last year, either.

If only DS was not at my house when they opened it, it probably would have worked. But once again he was furious. GS's box had something like three toy vehicles sets (he loves semis with trailers and there is something on the trailer, like tractors or cars). It also had a hotwheels track toy ($10 gift) and two hotwheels vehicles.

GS asked for "all of the descendants dolls" and some My Little Pony things. I was able to find 8 different Descendants dolls (they are the size of Barbie Dolls). That is certainly not all the characters from the movies but yes I knew she would love them. One package had four of these dolls in the package and that was how it was sold. Another package had two, and the other two were ordered as individual dolls to make 8 all together. I also got her a $3.00 set of generic dollar store "little ponies."

Well, DS was furious and ruined Christmas over this but of course in his mind it was me who ruined Christmas. His exact words were that I "did not follow the rules" and he was going to make the kids pick one gift from the box and they had to give the rest to charity. Of course they started to bawl and I tried to reason with him but there was no reasoning. He took the kids and left before eating. All I could think of is the grandkids and I wishing I had followed his "rules" to avoid this. But somehow it does not stop my anger at him and my heartache for the grandkids. In the heat of my anger I told him I'd never forgive him. But the truth is that I have forgiven him for worse and I love my son even though a lot of the time I don't like him. I called him and told him to come back have the kids pick their 1 toy and go ahead and give the rest to charity. He actually came back and did just that and stayed and ate with us and said "I love you Mom" and hugged me. Inside I just wanted to scream at him, still. I guess the reason I'm writing this now is I want somewhere to vent.

Next year of course I will "follow the rules." Of course this is far more complex than I can really express here, but he knows that I know if I don't "follow his rules" he has the power to keep those kids away from me and he will do so, rather than put their needs and wishes before his own need to be 100% in control of everything. I'm not looking for advice, really, just want to vent. I already know what I have to do and that is comply with my DS's rules. Incidently his ex wife does indulge the kids. She has no money either but signs up for Toys for Tots and they get far more from that alone than what I got the grandkids. Just sayin' Believe me if he could still exert any power over his x wife's decisions on what to get the kids, he would do so.

KayKay December 25th, 2017 01:39 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
rattlesnake,

I am sorry for your pain. My heart breaks for you. But honestly, I have been where your son is. I had a "one gift per child, per occasion" rule that applied to everyone in my family and in my husband's. Everyone thought it was reasonable and everyone followed it, except my mother in law. No matter how politely I asked, no matter how much I begged, no matter how many alternatives I offered, no matter how much I tried explaining my rationale, she ignored me and inundated my kids with gifts. I tried everything I could think of, and the year she did the end run around me by putting everything in one box like you did was the year that sent me over the edge. It was a big slap in my face as a parent. Fortunately for me it was clothes and my kids weren't upset at not getting to keep them.

My dilemma here is that I think you just wanted to vent and to get sympathy. I DO feel sorry for you. Are you interested in feedback and gaining an understanding of what your son is thinking? I think if you understood how he is feeling and why he instituted that rule, you'd see that there were much, much better ways to handle it, still giving your grandkids joy and respecting your son at the same time, than the way you did.

LucyVanPelt December 25th, 2017 06:42 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Oh, dear, you really wanted to give the kids a nice Christmas, especially since you see your son failing in this. Your heart is in the right place.

rattlesnake December 26th, 2017 05:43 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KayKay (Post 85443)
rattlesnake,

I am sorry for your pain. My heart breaks for you. But honestly, I have been where your son is.

KayKay,

Thanks for your response. I do appreciate hearing your perspective and it makes sense. Believe me, I got the message loud and clear that next year I will get them only 1 gift. But there are parts of this situation that I highly suspect are different than your situation. Nobody else (other than me) was given this "rule" but admittedly, I suppose most got them only one thing anyway. The one thing my oldest DD got them probably cost 3 times what was in "the box" for each of the kids; I'm not sure if that should make any difference but thought I'd mention it.

Now even after writing what I wrote yesterday, my DD and her boyfriend were over at DS's house and her boyfriend mentioned he saw hardly anything there for the kids to play with. I knew that already but had not mentioned it nor expected someone else, an outsider, really, to notice this and comment on it.

Actually I was "allowed" to get them clothing gifts other than the "1 toy." I got them quite a few clothes because once again, I knew they NEEDED the clothes, and neither the mother nor the father seem to have any budget for clothes for the kids. I will say that DS's girlfriend does buy the kids clothes so the lack of clothes that fit is not as big of a problem as it used to be. Before the gf moved here though, last year I subbed at the kids' school and my granddaughter was squeezed into a pair of very short shorts that looked more like underpants, and the snap would not close at the waist so it was unsnapped. A staff member took her to the office where they keep a stock of elastic waist shorts, etc. for kids who don't come dressed appropriately. She was in 1st grade at the time.

It was my xDIL who sent her to school like that, but DS without the help of his new girl friend, would NOT have done any better. Part of my point is that these kids are not really overindulged but of course that is just one person's opinion (mine).

I will handle it next year by giving only 1 toy because it was my grandkids that got hurt this time and he was willing to hurt his own kids in order to "show" me who is in charge.

He posted on Facebook (before Christmas) that he told the 7 year old we were not going to Grandma's house because Grandma got run over by a reindeer. She bawled hysterically and he thought that was very funny. His girlfriend thought it was funny too. I don't think it is ever funny to make children cry. That is not how I attempted to raise my son but his father (my x) is that way. As I said in the previous post, I cannot really blame my xDIL for not being happy with DS even though she has her own set of issues and problems too. Again, thanks for sharing your perspective. I do invite perspectives. It is just that I don't want to be lambasted, (and you were polite and respectful which I appreciate). What is done is done and yes I learned my lesson and it won't happen again.

rattlesnake December 26th, 2017 05:50 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Thanks, Lucy, for your comment.

KayKay December 26th, 2017 12:06 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Thank you for coming back with the update, rattlesnake. :)

I agree with Lucy - your intention was pure and it is upsetting to watch your son fail as a father. You wanted to right an injustice, and that's completely understandable.

There is much that you didn't mention about your son's situation that probably doesn't matter, but my perspective when I read your original post is that your good hearted attempt to give your grandkids a good Christmas undermined your son as a parent. I know you realize that now. It came across to me that your son is really frustrated; I don't know if his ex is causing problems or using the kids as weapons, or if he feels like no one lets him have any say in how his kids are raised. I realize your frustration too, that he's making selfish, poor decisions where the kids are concerned.

My perspective is that this is a sticky situation all the way around, so what's best for the kids? It is best for the kids to have you in their lives. But it is ALSO best for the kids for their dad to have some authority over them. At ages 9 and 7, they need to respect their father (I'm not saying they don't - I'm just saying that a strong father figure is so beneficial). What I would be afraid of is that your grandkids will learn "Dad won't let us have x so we'll just ask Grandma and she'll give it to us." I have known grandparents who have done that, and the grandkids end up with cell phones by age 10 or on birth control and having sex at age 14 without the parents' knowledge or consent (true story). So is there any way for you to help your son be a better parent?

What I begged my inlaws to do (and they thankfully did eventually after a few battles) was to limit the gifts but put money in a savings account for college. I wasn't trying to prevent them from having a relationship with my kids. I just wanted them to respect my rules as a parent, which I had set in place for a reason. (This was a recurring problem with my mother in law, not just with gifts, but with everything. I'd say, "Tell Grandma thank you!" and she'd respond, "They don't need to say thank you!" Sigh.)

There are so many ways for you to give your grandkids a joyous Christmas, which is really your goal! Don't feel discouraged. Just find ways to work with your son to bolster him as a parent. Explain to him that you don't feel right giving your other grandchildren more than you give his kids. Maybe he'll loosen up a little. Offer to buy gifts for him to give as Santa, if that is better. Give the grandchildren gift cards as the one gift and ask your son to take you along with them shopping. The goal is to give the kids joy without making your son feel bad about himself. :)

snafu December 26th, 2017 08:20 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
I'm going to add my own perspective (keep in mind I don't know your family's entire background/dynamic)


When I ex and I split I was poor, really poor - I didn't even have cable - I got 1 channel - the free local station (I chose to spend that money eating out with a group from church instead of on TV)

When my DS's birthday/x-mas came around ...sigh... my former in-laws out-spent me... if I got DS $$ Thomas the Tank engine set.... they'd get the $$$ set.

Broke my heart that what they got him was better/bigger. They weren't trying to hurt me - but the things I got my DS weren't special.

One time though my $15 gift was "better" (DS's favorite) over a $$$ toy set that my former in-laws got him. (That $15 mobile is still up in his room 16 yrs later)

rattlesnake December 27th, 2017 05:14 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Snafu,
Thanks for sharing your perspective. It makes a lot of sense. I am absolutely devastated about how this Christmas turned out and I wish I could go back and abide by my son's "rules."

But at the same time, yes this goes far deeper than him feeling bad that I outdid him for what the kids got from him. I would have happily given him EVERYTHING I got (which was a total of less than $100 per kid, not that extreme but still much more than what he got them which was almost nothing, maybe a picture for their wall in their room or something).

Part of the reason I do it is because he gets his kids nothing. Is he short on money? Yes, but read my first post. He does not short himself at all. I believe he actually went to see Star Wars MORE than 5 times last year, all in a theater, and he could not afford it. I have been "enabling" him to live far above his means ever since his divorce 3 years ago. I guess with this Christmas episode, it stops now. I won't enable him any more. I love my son but he has issues and I just can't help him and I don't want my grandkids to suffer because he is immature and selfish.

And this Christmas his sister got him and his girlfriend a slow cooker. He seemed disappointed it was not some big star wars mask thing (a toy for a 29 year old boy). She also gave him a cookbook and he put it aside saying I get a new one of these every year. I mean if this "boy" would set the same example he expects from his kids, I would feel differently.

I've been scouring the internet for something to relate to here, and I get it. Parents don't want their house full of toys and their kids being materialistic, and they don't want to be outdone by the Grandparents. But these kids don't have a houseful of toys, at least not at their dad's. In the past they have chosen to leave most toys I get them at my house, but this causes a different issue. They'd rather be at my house than his. He'd like to believe that is because we spoil them with stuff and just plain spoil them. But I believe it is because we LOVE them and pay tons of attention to them and do things with them and hug them and tuck them in bed at night. I know their parents (neither father or mother) do this because the kids TOLD ME.

My DS's gf is 30 with no children and she definitely means well and is probably more likely to "tuck the kids in bed" than either parent. But one thing that she does drives me nuts. She is quite overweight herself. I'm not judging her other than to say she is not the final authority about what healthy eating entails! She is like a food nazi to the kids, stands over them watching what they eat, telling them they can't have this or that unless they eat all of whatever. My GS has had strep throat several times this year and every time she sits over him even with that, making him eat something like a lettuce based salad, which he likes when he feels well, but not so much when he has strep throat. And several times he has thrown up after eating this salad and she goes around telling me and others that he is being spoiled and stubborn and makes himself throw up on purpose after eating that.

I just know my grandson and he does not make himself throw up, ever!

LucyVanPelt December 27th, 2017 06:51 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
I think that last post is getting to the real root of the problem, rattlesnake.

I suspect this is your real motivation for being overly generous: You know toys aren't going to make up for neglect, or borderline abuse, or just plain meanness, but maybe they'd bring some comfort and let the children know they are loved.

Put the money you'd spend on the toys in an account and use that to give your grandchildren happy experiences instead, just a trip to get ice cream or something. Let them know they are loved unconditionally. Be positive with them, never criticizing their parents or the GF, but actively listening to them. You can be a place of comfort.

I am so sorry you and your grandchildren have to experience this.

Knot2loud December 27th, 2017 06:58 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
It's nice that you give your grand children presents. Giving more than the parent? Meh... That's you choice, although I would recommend limiting the quantity of items down to something they would really like to have.

You son is immature for his age too. He needs to grow up. The fat girl... I don't know what to think about her.

Grandkids are great. I'm glad you didn't complain about them staying over a couple nights a week.

I have no suggestions... Just do what you feel is the right thing to do.

KayKay December 27th, 2017 10:07 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by LucyVanPelt (Post 85459)
I think that last post is getting to the real root of the problem, rattlesnake.

I suspect this is your real motivation for being overly generous: You know toys aren't going to make up for neglect, or borderline abuse, or just plain meanness, but maybe they'd bring some comfort and let the children know they are loved.

Put the money you'd spend on the toys in an account and use that to give your grandchildren happy experiences instead, just a trip to get ice cream or something. Let them know they are loved unconditionally. Be positive with them, never criticizing their parents or the GF, but actively listening to them. You can be a place of comfort.

I am so sorry you and your grandchildren have to experience this.


Ditto to all of this.

I'm so sorry, rattlesnake. I feel horrible for your grandkids and angry at your son. I don't blame you one iota for feeling the way you do.

If you don't mind me asking, what is the custody arrangement that your DS and xDIL have? I'm trying to figure out how you can best help the kids without your DS getting his nose out of joint.

rattlesnake December 27th, 2017 08:13 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KayKay (Post 85467)

If you don't mind me asking, what is the custody arrangement that your DS and xDIL have? I'm trying to figure out how you can best help the kids without your DS getting his nose out of joint.

They have 50/50 legal custody but she has them on school days and DS has them every weekend.

It is so darn complicated and I don't want to bore you all with the whole ugly saga, but I think I already mentioned she was 18 when she had the first kid and DS was 19. They both welcomed me helping them and more than once I found my xDIL actually being such a poor mother that I should have called OCY but I didn't. Instead, I took it upon myself to be highly involved in the children's lives and took them to my home once or twice per week for overnights. Both DS and his x were fine with this when they were married, but one result was my H and I become extremely close to these kids, and protective of them. I took my xDIL under my wing and tried to be a mother to her, the mother I knew she never had since her mother was a druggie and xDIL and her siblings were in foster care for parts of their childhood. Quite frankly I've been told some horrific things (by my xDIL) about her mother.

I used to take her and the kids shopping, and to lunch. I paid someone to teach her to drive. I even went with her to buy a wedding gown, did most of the things a mother does with a daughter. Went with her for doctor's appointments for the kids, the list goes on.

In spite of some obvious glitches, I loved my xDIL like a daughter and I was just about as devastated as my DS when she left him for another man. That was 3 years ago and things are more settled now, especially with DS now having someone new in his life. There were some very trying times but I guess it has never gotten so bad that I can't talk to her.

I called her today! We talked quite awhile. I felt better after talking to her, and after sharing here too so thanks to you and others here on this forum. I knew the kids would have told her what happened on Christmas and I wanted to talk to her about it because apparently he has "informed" her that she is to only get them 1 present too. I just told her that he can tell me what to do but he can't tell her what to do in her house, when it comes to Christmas presents for her own children.

Quote:

Put the money you'd spend on the toys in an account and use that to give your grandchildren happy experiences instead, just a trip to get ice cream or something. Let them know they are loved unconditionally.
We've been doing that for 9 years. My H and I took them camping, took them for ice cream, take them to amusement parks and fairs and more stuff than you can ever imagine. Plus we actually play with them and do things together at our home. I have so much of it captured in videos; my hobby is taking videos and editing them. The kids even love watching these home videos with me. I will say our relationship is far deeper than material things and I say that without reservation.

KayKay December 27th, 2017 08:54 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
That makes me happy. I know you are doing the very best you can with this unfortunate situation.

LucyVanPelt December 28th, 2017 06:54 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rattlesnake (Post 85475)

We've been doing that for 9 years. My H and I took them camping, took them for ice cream, take them to amusement parks and fairs and more stuff than you can ever imagine. Plus we actually play with them and do things together at our home. I have so much of it captured in videos; my hobby is taking videos and editing them. The kids even love watching these home videos with me. I will say our relationship is far deeper than material things and I say that without reservation.

I suspected that was the case.

You're doing all you can do. You're trying to provide love for your xDIL as well as your grands. In all honesty, reading your post, I was thinking, "Your xDIL found the right MIL but the wrong DH." I hope she can hang on to you.

I hope your son gets over his anger and his need to control things.

I hope you can can see that you're doing so much good for those children!

Knot2loud December 29th, 2017 06:45 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Rattlesnake... You and your DH are awesome grand parents!!! Your grandchildren will remember these things you do for them. You two are definitely making a phenomenal impact on their lives.

rattlesnake December 30th, 2017 07:40 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Rattlesnake... You and your DH are awesome grand parents!!! Your grandchildren will remember these things you do for them.
Thanks for saying that. I can't help but think of the complicated dynamics ever since those two kids were born. I relate a lot with grandparents who raise their grandchildren but neither the mother or father is so extreme that they would lose custody, in this case.

It does not stop me from my intense love for the kids and wanting to make sure they are happy and well cared for. Yes, at times I feel I'm too close to them, but what should I do? Try to detach? It is not that easy, nor am I sure it would be the right thing to do.

KayKay December 30th, 2017 10:44 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Have you talked to your son since Christmas, rattlesnake? How is that relationship going?

rattlesnake January 1st, 2018 11:48 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KayKay (Post 85502)
Have you talked to your son since Christmas, rattlesnake? How is that relationship going?

I have not really talked to him since then, except briefly about some holiday plans that had to be changed due to horrific weather. And he made a point to tell me that he "still loves me" blah blah blah. I still love him too but I'm not going to pretend what he did on Christmas day did not anger me or that I'm "over it." I was working on editing the Christmas video yesterday and it was very painful. I've made a DVD every year since the grandkids were born but was thinking maybe this was the year I can't do it. Seeing the "box" that was designated for GD and GS and then seeing the part where DS said they could only choose one gift from those...Somebody must have shut off the camcorder (which was on a tripod) because fortunately I did not see either my reaction or the kids' reactions). I still remember it though.

I mentioned before that I have been enabling him financially for 3 years, ever since the split from his wife. He asked me to "loan" him $200 this December, but I transferred $800 to his account, knowing as always I would never get one red cent back from him. Now I know his check for his car payment bounced so he spent all of the 800, all of his own paycheck, and then some. (But could not spend $20 on his own kids for Christmas presents). I'll soon likely be getting a phone call from my XH (his father) who also has enabled him far too much and he cosigned this loan for DS's car, and he always gets notified when the car payment is not made. It has happened in the past, and my XH calls me to "fix" the problem. Not happening any more. Wish me luck and strength sticking to my guns with that.

LucyVanPelt January 1st, 2018 12:07 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Oh, dear. Cosigning is NEVER a good idea!

Your XH is an adult who took on the risk of cosigning. You don't need to enable him and your son with financial support. Let them work it out.

Figure out what you are willing and able to donate to "the cause," and stick to that limit.

New year, new you!

KayKay January 1st, 2018 12:55 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rattlesnake (Post 85509)
It has happened in the past, and my XH calls me to "fix" the problem. Not happening any more. Wish me luck and strength sticking to my guns with that.

Wishing you much luck and strength!

Just in case it helps - whenever I have had to stick to my guns over the phone, I find it helps to have an index card by all of my phones with a script of what I want to say. Maybe that would help you?

"Sorry, XH, but I have realized over the past couple of weeks that I have been completely enabling DS. He is irresponsible with money, and I keep giving him more thinking that it will help him. In the long run, it doesn't help him. So it stops now."

If it were me, I'd be careful to not express any judgments on how DS spends his money. Not that you are wrong, but it gives them a toe hold on how to argue that you're wrong and chip away at your resolve.

rattlesnake January 2nd, 2018 03:30 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Thanks for sharing your insights Lucy and KayKay.

I'm not worried about dealing with my XH. If he calls me I will tell him to deal with DS on his own; it is that simple. My enabling has gone far beyond DS's car payments.

In the past when I have discussed these issues with DS, he will often manipulate by asking if I would rather he was a drug addict. He loves to change the subject and make this seem not so bad, or seem like a non-problem. He has used that little ploy since he was a teen. He does not use drugs, does not drink or smoke and of course I'm glad for that. But it does not mean he should simply be excused for being a 29 year old entitled, spoiled brat who can't even begin to figure out how to support himself even though he has a job that is about average for our area (as a diesel mechanic).

Now he says he blew up the transmission in his car. It is just one thing after the other.

KayKay January 2nd, 2018 03:52 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Do you have any idea what he spends his money on? I mean, I know he went to see the Star Wars movie way too many times, but that doesn't account for $800 plus his paycheck.

I don't mean to imply that he needs to account to you for his spending, or that it's any of your business (except for the fact that he keeps asking to "borrow" money). I'm just wondering if maybe the best help you can give him is a copy of a Dave Ramsey book. :)

LucyVanPelt January 2nd, 2018 07:52 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rattlesnake (Post 85519)
But it does not mean he should simply be excused for being a 29 year old entitled, spoiled brat who can't even begin to figure out how to support himself even though he has a job that is about average for our area (as a diesel mechanic).

Now he says he blew up the transmission in his car. It is just one thing after the other.

My YDSon is going to be 22. He's in college. I pay his tuition and his rent. He pays for his car, insurance, all repairs, food, heat, electric, and entertainment. I am sometimes tempted to help him a little more financially, but then his boss calls to offer him extra hours at his part time job and he declines. So I figure he doesn't need the help. ;)

ETA: His car broke down. I drove him to work today. He just found out the repairs will cost $850 and he'll be without a car for a few days. He can work from home with his one job, and the other is in walking distance. Maybe next time he won't decline the extra hours. For now, he can struggle a little with turning down the heat at his apartment, declining social invitations, and eating ramen noodles.

I very much agree with KayKay: Dave Ramsey is a good idea.

snafu January 2nd, 2018 08:47 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
((Hugs))

Could you continue getting the kids the clothes they need, and maybe paying for some extra activities whether they like soccer if it's school trips that they don't have the money for those things so they don't miss out. You seem like a very loving woman and maybe this will make the kids lives easier without putting you at odds with their dad.

rattlesnake January 4th, 2018 12:26 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KayKay (Post 85520)
Do you have any idea what he spends his money on? I mean, I know he went to see the Star Wars movie way too many times, but that doesn't account for $800 plus his paycheck.

I don't mean to imply that he needs to account to you for his spending, or that it's any of your business (except for the fact that he keeps asking to "borrow" money). I'm just wondering if maybe the best help you can give him is a copy of a Dave Ramsey book. :)

I keep thinking I don't want to go into all the back story of the past three years since his wife left him but I guess I cannot really answer your question without getting into it some so here goes. Yes, I am deeply involved in his life, too involved and I want OUT! But I will say most of my involvement has been out of concern for his kids, more than him. I love him but think I could let him suffer the consequences of his actions if it did not also bring down his kids.

DS has always been scatter brained, disorganized, likely has ADHD but has never been tested or medicated for it, but it definitely causes him grief in life. He is also very gifted which is extremely frustrating to me since there seems to be fully half of his brain he rarely uses. The good thing is he does not drink, smoke, or use any drugs.

He has his own house, it is not a great house but it is the ONLY thing that he has of any value. He has been spending a lot to fix it up as I believe he pans to ask his gf to marry him and they will live there. As of now she has her own apartment. They bought all new appliances (on credit but his total credit card bills are getting up there too).

Two years ago, DS had all his utilities shut off due to non payment. He rarely directly asks me to borrow money, and didn't ask that time either. But if he didn't take care of his house, he would lose it, and as I said, it was the only thing he has. And if he didn't keep utilities on in the house, this could affect his custody situation. So I took it upon myself that time to pay all his back fees and overdue bills (which were huge) but I made sure I have access to his banking to make sure those bills get paid now. To put it bluntly I don't trust my DS to take care of it and I want my grandchildren well cared for!

Though he did ask for $200 this past month (but I put $800 in his account). Usually, instead of him asking, there are ways I find out about his binds and I rush to the rescue! I'm kind of disgusted with myself to even write that but I guess it is the truth. It has to stop. The Christmas incident is my wake up call.

I do see his bank account and know how he spends his money. A lot of it is spent on late fees because he rarely pays anything on time. He overdraws his account and every time that happens it is another $25 out the window, plus you'd think he would be embarrassed. He pays for everything late so late fees get tacked on and that doesn't seem to bother him either.

He has to pay child support and pay for health insurance for himself and kids. By the time he makes his house payment and pays necessary bills and normal car upkeep, payments and insurance, and buys groceries, I understand there would be little left over. But it seems to me that he doesn't even try to save money, by cutting back on entertainment, maybe eating a few PBJ sandwiches at home after work instead of going out to eat all the time. He's very spoiled and entitled. I'm going to check out the Dave Ramsey book myself. I'm actually VERY good at managing money and I have done it in good times and bad and DS knows this. But if there is something he could learn from a book, anything is worth a try.

I work full time and worked hard to get where I am. I should not be spending a large portion of my pay on this entitled spoiled DS, especially since I see that it does not help him learn anything.

KayKay January 4th, 2018 12:55 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Oh, rattlesnake. I feel for you. I have a kiddo (in college) who is not-quite-as-conscientious about watching the bank balance as need be (or at all). It drives me crazy and I keep telling myself that letting the debit card be declined at some point is much needed. And then I transfer money. :rolleyes: Rushing to the rescue? Guilty as charged!

Don't be hard on yourself. You are a loving mom and a loving grandmother and are trying to do the right thing. It's a difficult balancing act.

It sounds like he could make pretty good headway just by finding a system whereby he paid everything on time. Do you think that's something you could help him with? If he just flat out doesn't have the patience to do it, you could start out by managing his bill payments for him (LucyVanPelt is rolling her eyes at me right now reading that :D) to get a system going, then train him, then turn it over when he has mastered it. Hopefully his girlfriend/future bride will be a good influence.

Is there a way you can help without turning over cash? Maybe that's the way to start. Buy groceries before the kids get there. Pick up the tab at Home Depot for a home improvement he's doing. That kind of thing?

Knot2loud January 4th, 2018 01:26 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
You probably don't want my recommendation... Tough love. If I were you I would tell him no more financial aid. Utilities go out - then they go out until they're paid (by him). Late fees - Same thing. Creditors calling him - his problem. He's intelligent, he owns property, he has a job, he made babies... Rattlesnake... You're just enabling him and as long as you keep bailing him out... Well... He's going to keep right on going the way he is right now.

Oh! One last thing...

Would be so kind as to make my truck payment for me? I'm taking my wife to an Eagles concert and I could use the extra cash to eat in a really nice restaurant before the concert. :)

rattlesnake January 4th, 2018 01:43 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
KayKay,
Thanks for your kind words.
You said:

"Hopefully his girlfriend/future bride will be a good influence." (The quote tool is not working for me for some reason)
This is what I am hoping. I hate that he seems to have a woman do this for him, but better her than me! Lol!

As I mentioned she has a few quirks, mainly being the food police to the grandkids, and I feel it is extreme. Maybe someday she will be more mellow about that.

One thing I am sure of she is that she is not the type to pile the dining table high with unopened mail and bills while the uitilities get shut off one by one.

rattlesnake January 4th, 2018 01:53 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Knot2loud (Post 85560)
You probably don't want my recommendation... Tough love. If I were you I would tell him no more financial aid. Utilities go out - then they go out until they're paid (by him). Late fees - Same thing. Creditors calling him - his problem. He's intelligent, he owns property, he has a job, he made babies... Rattlesnake... You're just enabling him and as long as you keep bailing him out... Well... He's going to keep right on going the way he is right now.

Oh! One last thing...

Would be so kind as to make my truck payment for me? I'm taking my wife to an Eagles concert and I could use the extra cash to eat in a really nice restaurant before the concert. :)

LOL but no I won't make the truck payment for you! Actually your advice is exactly what I'd give anyone in my situation! We all make excuses where our situation is "different" and I will admit, mine is concern for the grandkids.

LucyVanPelt January 4th, 2018 02:55 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rattlesnake (Post 85562)
mine is concern for the grandkids.

They do change everything! You're doing the best you can for them by giving them unconditional love and welcoming them into your home. You can help them set a good foundation.

When you enable your DS, you're teaching the kids that his behavior is acceptable, and that you exist just to be used.

When you stop enabling DS, but you continue to love him and give him emotional encouragement, you'll teach them responsibility. That's the best you can do.

Eventually, the kids will be big enough to make decisions, and that's when you'll see what impact you've had with them.

Knot2loud January 5th, 2018 08:19 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Oh well... Guess we'll have to settle for Taco Bell. LOL

I think you can figure out a way to be there for the grandkids when they need you, yet let your son know his definition of responsibility and behavior to it is not appropriate for a father.

rattlesnake January 6th, 2018 08:37 AM

Update!
 
Well, my DS got engaged last night. I did know this was about to happen but now I am a little surprised they are saying the tentative date is on Easter, April 1st!

What this means is I will be (hopefully) OUT OF HIS FINANCES forever. They will get a joint account and they will either sink or swim together, financially.

As I said before, she is NOT the type to let utility bills go unpaid, I hate to keep bringing it up, but to me that is an extreme show of irresponsibility for a single father with half time custody of his children. So I really believe that some things will be much better after they are married. It is funny how this thread got a little side tracked into the back issues as I really started it based on the scene that happened over me getting the kids "too much stuff" for Christmas. Anyway, thanks to you all for listening and providing thoughtful insights and understanding! (and maybe even a little tough love).

LucyVanPelt January 6th, 2018 11:46 AM

Re: Update!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rattlesnake (Post 85581)
Anyway, thanks to you all for listening and providing thoughtful insights and understanding! (and maybe even a little tough love).

You are very welcome! I hope you'll stay around and help others with your own insights and understanding, and the tough love!

Congratulations to your son. I wish you all the best of luck.

KayKay January 6th, 2018 01:50 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Congratulations! Good luck with it all, rattlesnake. :D I am delighted that his fiancée will take over the responsibilities. I hope she knows what she's getting in to! LOL.

rattlesnake January 8th, 2018 04:22 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by KayKay (Post 85583)
Congratulations! Good luck with it all, rattlesnake. :D I am delighted that his fiancée will take over the responsibilities. I hope she knows what she's getting in to! LOL.

Me too. She knows some about his disorganization, but I'm certain there are things he feels it is unnecessary to tell her.

Quote:

You are very welcome! I hope you'll stay around and help others with your own insights and understanding, and the tough love!
Lucy, I plan to do just that. I like finding friendly places for family related discussions. I'm glad I found this site.

snafu January 9th, 2018 12:27 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Keep us updated about the grandkids

rattlesnake January 10th, 2018 01:25 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by snafu (Post 85592)
Keep us updated about the grandkids

I will do that. :)

rattlesnake January 30th, 2018 01:26 PM

Update!
 
Well, I posted in another part of the forum about the wedding plans so I will try not to repeat myself too much.

The Christmas fiasco has not been forgotten by me because DS all but ruined that day for me and for his own children, and for what? Interestingly, most of GD's gifts were "given" to her mother to "give to her nieces." Well it sounds like these gifts never made it to the nieces, or they all play together with them anyway.

And I know that they gave some of my grandson's stuff to his one friend from school, but when I went in GS's room last week, lo and behold one of the gifts I gave him was set up in his room. He would have even likely needed help to set it up so "somebody" must have decided he could have that gift. (It was not the "one" that he chose as his only gift he could keep from what I gave him). I was not about to ask any questions, but was happy to see he was happily playing with it.

Well, I've said it many times already, I for sure will only get the kids "one gift" for any future Christmas unless I get specific instructions from DS that I may do otherwise.

LucyVanPelt January 30th, 2018 02:52 PM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Actions speak louder than words. Perhaps he had a softening of the heart?

rattlesnake February 1st, 2018 01:18 AM

Re: Overindulged the grandkids.
 
Quote:

Actions speak louder than words. Perhaps he had a softening of the heart?
Or maybe his fiancée; like I said, I'm not going to bring it up or discuss it, but I'm glad they get to play with some of what I got them. He still really spoiled an otherwise lovely Christmas though.


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