Demanding My Son Repay Loan Has Caused Us To Stop Speaking

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011
Demanding My Son Repay Loan Has Caused Us To Stop Speaking
29
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 10:23am

Back story:

I have a 29 year old son and we have always been close and we talk on the phone almost everyday, he lives about 900 miles away and comes home for Xmas. And I usually visit him in the spring. But he has had been selfish and thoughtless  towards me throughout the years, ie not getting me a card or gift for mother’s day, Xmas or my birthday. I had let it go for years and suffered in silence with hurt feelings. And when I talked to others about it they complained of the same behaviors from their adult children and said they thought it was a generational thing.Finally I told my son how I felt and how it hurt me when he would tell me what he had gotten one of his friend for their birthday or Xmas and gotten me nothing. So he started to do better.

My son had borrowed $950 dollars from me 3 years ago and I didn’t brother him about it hoping he would repay me when he got on his feet. Ok now he is on his feet and recently sold the car I paid for and got a new car. He didn’t use the proceeds from the sale of the car I brought for the down payment of the new car, in fact he had two cars for about two months. But he never thought to pay me back my money. I keep wanting him to do right by me without me telling him, but it didn’t happen. (My wishful thinking)

So the final straw was when he called me telling me he was waiting outside the jail to post $500 for a friend’s bail who had been stopped for driving drunk.

I told him if you have $500 to post bail for someone then you can pay me back my money and I want my money. He then tells me he does not have it all and he will have to pay me in installments. So we agreed he would pay me $85 every week when he gets paid and he would transfer it into my pay pal account and that was over two months ago. By now he should have made at least 8 payments but has only made 4 and that has been only after I sent him a reminder text.

2 weeks ago he not only did not make the payment but asked me to make him another loan of $45 to have his cell phone turned back on. He said there was a mix up with his direct deposit and the company was going to issue him a paper check and as soon as it cleared he was going to pay me my regular payment plus the $45. I paid the $45 to the phone company to have his phone turned back on and waited patiently knowing full well he had gotten his money and still had not repaid me. So after two weeks I asked him when he was going to deposit the money in my account and he says I am going to do it as soon as I get home and that was on a Tuesday and he never sent it. Then he calls me that Saturday telling me he had gone to an outlet mall in Orlando for black Friday and had brought himself all these clothes. So I’m pretty pissed by now. I ask him why have you not sent my money? And he says oh I’m going to transfer it on Monday. Monday comes and goes no transfer, so now I’m really pissed. Because once again I come to his aid and help him out and at a time when I really didn’t have it to spare, but I charged his phone payment to my credit card. Then he goes shopping before he pays me my money, once again not honoring his word to me. So I sent him a text saying… next time you get your phone cut off don’t call me to have it turned back on, you are not a man of your word and are behaving like a thoughtless, spoiled brat. Send me my money like you said you would.

He replies…I don’t need to wake up to my mother insulting me and telling me what a terrible person I am. I won’t stand for it and I won’t be speaking to you for a while.

So that really pisses me off, since when can’t a mother tell her child they are behaving badly, especially when it is towards them. Plus he has never in his life spoken to me in that manner and I didn‘t appreciate him trying to turn this around on me like I am wrong. So I text him back saying…and I don’t need someone borrowing money from me and not paying it back. Speak to me or not, just honor your word and pay me back my money. You should have paid me 1stwhen your check cleared. Then he text me back saying…Pz stop texting me, I don’t want to talk to you. I have sent your money, goodbye mom.

For me it was not so much about the money but wanting him to be a man of his word and do the right thing by me. Now he is treating me like I am wrong for calling him on his crap. I feel a deep hurt and I can’t shake the anger I feels towards him. I know our relationship has changed forever and I love him but I don’t like who he has become. I don’t know how we can continue from here especially if he does not accept responsibility for his behavior and apologize to me.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for taking the time to read it.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004

Dear Keeping,

I do financial literacy training and debt counseling for a living. So this comes from a professional:

1)NEVER lend money to a friend, coworker, or family member and expect it back. If you have the money to GIVE to them, do so. Don't expect it back.

2)Stop being played for a fool. You gave your son life. You raised him. You equipped him the best you could to go out into the world and make his own way. STOP ENABLING HIM by "loaning" him money and paying his bills. 

If he was horribly injured or sick, I can see where you'd want to step in and help him with bills, etc. But don't rescue him from a late cell phone bill! That's NOT an emergency. 

Don't let your son blackmail you. His "I'm not talking to you" is designed to hit where it hurts the most. The best thing you can do is wait. He WILL call you again - the next time he needs money. Let it go to voicemail. Wait a day and then call him back. What you'll discover is he found another way to pay his bill or resolve his "emergency." They always do. He just plays you like a piano because he knows you'll cave in - every time.

Is this easy? Nope. It's necessary. Sooner or later "jr." has to figure out that mom isn't a bank. And you Mom, have to resist the urge to rescue your little boy from his own mistakes and foolishness.

Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010

 << it kind of shaped me into being a more responsible adult>>

YOu are absolutely correct in that it DID cause you to be a grownup faster than many people of your generation.  More people of MY generation were like you.  I knew at age 18 I would be on my own and was.  Plus, my parents didn't have much, so couldn't help me anyway.  My children were entirely opposite knowing their parents would pay their college costs and help when needed.  

Can I adopt you??  :)  I WISH any of my DDs would contact me in ANY way just because they want to.  I'm like YOU, but reverse.  I'm tired of being the one to contact my DDs and they don't recipricate.  I know since they don't like me now that I'm remarried to someone who has taught me to stand my ground and set boundaries and say no when needed.  They blame HIM for changing me, but, in my opinion, I needed to change and now allow my children to walk all over me.  I always put my DDs feelings first and now they don't like it that I expect them to do that for me.  It still should be all about THEM.  I know I failed some as a parent...didn't teach them respect to their mother (they NEVER would speak to their father like they do to me) and yes...their father spoiled them monetarily.  It's sad.  I do step back every now and then from them.  One time my DD27 called me and asked me if I was alive which was nice.  In the last 3 months, I texted DD28 (who lives far away) and asked her if she was alive and she just texted me back "Barely".  Well...I know my DDs find me difficult since the divorce as I find them and then add a new stepfather they don't like into the mix and it's just not good.  

I'm sorry for you about your father.  My DDs have a good relationship with their father because he's the favored one who gives them everything. He also has been unemployed for 5 years, so probably IS the parent who calls them and doesn't wait for THEM to call him since he has no life.  I would do the same, but feel a relationship is a two-way street as you do, so get tired of being the one to put forth the effort.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

It is nice to have someone respond from your generation who is not a selfish taker and I guess it proves the point that the more you give kids the less they appreciate it. I am sorry to hear about your problems with your parents and quite surprised that you paid their first mortgage payment most parents like myself would ask or accept it. Unfortunately sometimes the child that is the most responsible the parents take them for granted and do not appreciate them and give the trouble ones all the attention. And you are right there are ungrateful and disrespectful parents as well. Try writing your parents and telling them in a respectful manner how you feel. That it is not right or fair how they have treated you and that the fact that you have no kids without the benefit of marriage in facts makes you the most adult and responsible. No one should accept being treated in a way that is hurtful to them rather it be the parent or child. I just hope that once you tell your parents your feelings that they will come to realize that they need to change the way they treat you and make an effort to do better by you. Good Luck to you and thanks for the view from an responsible adult child prospective.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2012

I have to say I'm actually really surprised about how everyone's adult children treat them. I'm only 24 but there is no way any of this behavior would fly with either of my parents. From the "kid's" perspective I think you all need to give your kids some tough love or these behaviors will continue. I want to move in with you guys! I pay for everything including groceries and I help with household items even though my parents make really good money.

My younger brother does things similiar but no where near these dollar amounts. He was in a habit of blowing his entire paycheck then he wouldn't have money for food and gas. My mom would give him like 20 dollars here and there for doing chores but he continued to do this for a few months so eventually she stopped giving him any money and now he is starting to budget better.

My one good friend is very smart and has always had a good head on her shoulders but her parents spoiled her rotten. She did not have a job until she was 20 and even then it was only for one month a year seasonly. Her parents paid for everything! They bought her a new car, they paid her tuitiion in cash, they paid for her food, her clothes, and pretty much everything under the sun. She moved out a few months ago and was completely shocked how much things really cost in the real world. She is always running to her parents to help her with this and that. I don't think it'll end until her parents cut her off.

My mom has always taught me the value of a dollar. I grew up in poverty and really understood what it was like to not have everything and my mom has always had an open dialogue about money with us so we don't have unrealistic expectations. I do live at home rent free and she does pay my car insurance but I cover everything else. I pay for college on my own, my own bills, I work, and there is no running to mommy or daddy for money because they just would never help me so in a way it kind of shaped me into being a more responsible adult. I started working like a week after my 16th birthday because I was expected to pay for everything of mine from that point on. In high school I paid for my dance classes, my band camp, my clothes, my car, my car repairs, and etc.

My dad on the other hand might feel similiar to the parents on here. We don't have a great relationship because he never really makes an effort to be in my life. I'll call him, text him, facebook message him and still he doesn't reciprocate. This past fathers day I forgot to call him. I actually was very busy and did forget but I didn't intentionally forget. My younger brother was in the hospital for a few days, I was at work constantly, and my long term boyfriend was coming home after being aboard. My stepmom feel it was her duty to send me a long facebook message about "how I never make an effort" and etc. I was really offended because I shouldn't have to chase after my dad to have a relationship. Anyways that went off on a tangent... My dad has secretly told other relatives that I only come around when I need something or it's the holidays. I kind of laughed because I'm going to school full time and I work but yet he doesn't attempt a relationship with me so why should I chase him around.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2012

I have to say I'm actually really surprised about how everyone's adult children treat them. I'm only 24 but there is no way any of this behavior would fly with either of my parents. From the "kid's" perspective I think you all need to give your kids some tough love or these behaviors will continue. I want to move in with you guys! I pay for everything including groceries and I help with household items even though my parents make really good money.

My younger brother does things similiar but no where near these dollar amounts. He was in a habit of blowing his entire paycheck then he wouldn't have money for food and gas. My mom would give him like 20 dollars here and there for doing chores but he continued to do this for a few months so eventually she stopped giving him any money and now he is starting to budget better.

My one good friend is very smart and has always had a good head on her shoulders but her parents spoiled her rotten. She did not have a job until she was 20 and even then it was only for one month a year seasonly. Her parents paid for everything! They bought her a new car, they paid her tuitiion in cash, they paid for her food, her clothes, and pretty much everything under the sun. She moved out a few months ago and was completely shocked how much things really cost in the real world. She is always running to her parents to help her with this and that. I don't think it'll end until her parents cut her off.

My mom has always taught me the value of a dollar. I grew up in poverty and really understood what it was like to not have everything and my mom has always had an open dialogue about money with us so we don't have unrealistic expectations. I do live at home rent free and she does pay my car insurance but I cover everything else. I pay for college on my own, my own bills, I work, and there is no running to mommy or daddy for money because they just would never help me so in a way it kind of shaped me into being a more responsible adult. I started working like a week after my 16th birthday because I was expected to pay for everything of mine from that point on. In high school I paid for my dance classes, my band camp, my clothes, my car, my car repairs, and etc.

My dad on the other hand might feel similiar to the parents on here. We don't have a great relationship because he never really makes an effort to be in my life. I'll call him, text him, facebook message him and still he doesn't reciprocate. This past fathers day I forgot to call him. I actually was very busy and did forget but I didn't intentionally forget. My younger brother was in the hospital for a few days, I was at work constantly, and my long term boyfriend was coming home after being aboard. My stepmom feel it was her duty to send me a long facebook message about "how I never make an effort" and etc. I was really offended because I shouldn't have to chase after my dad to have a relationship. Anyways that went off on a tangent... My dad has secretly told other relatives that I only come around when I need something or it's the holidays. I kind of laughed because I'm going to school full time and I work but yet he doesn't attempt a relationship with me so why should I chase him around.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-05-2008
may I just add my two cents...???? I understand you all are having the worst time with your children and feel that they are disrespecting you, in regards to "this generation" and their behavior.. I am 29 and in all honesty I would love to have some parents like you. Ever since I have graduated from HS I have been on my own and supported myself. When my parents moved into a new house when I was 20 I paid for their first mortage bc they did not have the money. Don't get me wrong I was more than happy to do it and did not put up a fuss at all. But I barely got a thank you. I have three other siblings whom I have seen my parents hand them out money when they needed it. When most college freshman and sophmores were out partying on the weekends... I was spending my days working... But now at the age of 29 I have to put up with my mother telling me that I am not a grown-up bc I have no ring on my finger or a baby on my side.. But she has no problem telling and convincing my younger sister that she is more "grown-up" than me bc she has a ring on her finger and children... Mind you she is 24 got pregnant at the age of 19 while she was living at home...and barely even finished a year of college. and pretty much has had everything handed to her on a silver platter. Not to mention my parents paying for her STD check at the age of 16 when she met some 30 plus guy on the internet! But no! I am the one with the "problems " bc I am not married! My mother things that just bc someone doesn't hurry up and get married out of HS then there must be something wrong with them! Or just bc they are not married means they are out screwing anyone they can!!! I have tried my hardest to have a relationship with my parents but if the world doesn't revolve around the youngest than who cares about anyone else!! For everyone who thinks they have ungrateful children out there I feel for you.. bc their are also some young adults who have disrespectful parents out there also... :( sorry.... as I spend every night crying my eyes out bc of my younger sister and her "antics" I can not have a relationship with my parents"
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010

  Thanks for the advice, however, in fairness to all my children, this daughter needs to GET A JOB as her older sisters did in college and pay for her own things.  I was married to their father when my older 2 were in college and we told them all we could afford was tuition and room & board.  Period.  They paid everything else and always had part-time jobs.  I have NO idea what's wrong with my youngest other than yes...every time she needs money I give in regardless of how she treats me.  She doesn't even always contact me when she DOES come home as she lives with her father as dh's 19 year old son lives in our basement, so no comfort THERE.  I just want some respect and an actual relationship with this child and NOT only hear from her when she needs money.  I may just use your line next time she wants money.  lol

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998

StartingOver, I don't recommend cutting her off completely but definitely setting and enforcing some boundaries. Tell her exactly how much money she will get per month and what is has to cover. If she runs out, too bad. If she asks for more, too bad. After a few times of you letting her suffer the effects of overspending she will learn to manage her money. Or if she doesn't, too bad, but don't let it be your problem. I always thought that college was about getting a well rounded education, including about living in the real world of making ends meet and learning that we often cannot afford everything that we want and need to make hard choices sometimes.

We handled the financials a little differently for my ds, I paid the tuition directly to the school and gave him a monthly stipend to cover rent, food, books, everything else. It was enough for him to live frugally including sharing a room. If he wanted to live more comfortably/have a private room he needed to fund the difference. He worked summers and saved $ to use during the academic year, and he had PT jobs during school--about 10 hrs/wk which did not interfere with studying. Even with that extra income he had to be careful about spending. A few times he called saying he was out of money and food. I helped a couple of times, then said "sorry, you need to learn to manage your money better. See if one of your friends or roommates will loan you some money until the 1st when I send your stipend". I did this because I remembered how my niece called for more money pretty much every month of her 7 years of college and her parents always gave in, after a lecture about budgeting. Our kids learn how to tune out the lectures to get what they want, with no reason to really change their behavior. Anyway my ds did eventually learn how to manage his money--which would have taken a lot longer if I kept bailing him out.

I would have been pi$$ed if I had read my kid tweeting the things your dd did. Maybe next time she says something about getting away from you, you can respond with "so far away from your mom that you actually pay your own car insurance and cell phone bills?" Her friends would probably get a laugh from that. And it would teach your dd that all those words she puts out on the internet are being seen, sometimes by people she didn't expect, and those words can follow her for years.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2011

Boy do I feel your pain! When my son went to college he, ran up credit card bills on an account that was to be used for his books and school supplies. He used that card for expensive dining out dinners, hotels and jet skiing and the list goes on. I asked him many times to stop using the card for what it was not intented, but he kept it up . I finally closed the account and paid it off, then he open another one in his name that the university approved him for and they had the nerve to call me to pay on it. I refused saying they gave the card to him and not me so they would have to collect from him.He kept overdrafting the bank account that I had established for him and as soon as I would deposit money in it he would spend it. I finally had enough of his spending and the overdraft charges and closed the account and give him an allowance and when that was spent it was just too bad. Then I too went on  his then myspace page and read all these lies he had written about me and his father. It hurt me so bad and I unlike you confronted him and at first he tried to tell me I had invaded his privacy and that I had no business on his page. I then went completely off the rails, I told him the whole world could read the lies he was telling on me and his father and that I didn't appreciate it.Then he said it was no big deal he was just writing a fictional story, the I told him if that was the case he should have used fictional names and that what he wrote about his father and I is out there forever for the world to read.  We did not speak for over a month until he admitted he was wrong and said he was sorry for how he had hurt me. These children think they can do what ever and say what ever and we are to just take it and be so grateful that they even visit or call. This is one parent who is fed up and not taking it anymore. By the way my son never did graduate from college he was kicked out because he would not go to class and partied all the time. Now he is back in school completing his degree on his dime and not mine

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010

<<In my life I have alway pushed people out of my life who did not respect me and treat me as I wished to be treated but for my child I have made an exception. I will no longer make that exception, I am 55 years old and I have more life behind me than I have in front and I can not allow my son or anyone else take from me and make my life miserable. I will not pay to have my child be apart of my life or keep my mouth shut when I feel my child is wrong.>>

I totally agree and also about a generation of "selfish takers"!  I've watched enough Dr. Phil episodes to know that we parents are far from alone.  This generation has a feeling of entitlement and we parents have only enabled them too long.  I, too, suffer disrespect from my children and I have told my 21 year old more than once that I am MORE than just a checkbook!  Granted, she's in college, but she also has not done enough to find a job and keeps coming to ME when she's broke since her father pays her tuition and rent.  I've about had enough...especially when I read derogitory things about me on her Twitter account!  (No...she doesn't know I have access.)  Most recently, she retweeted..."I need to get away from my mom."  Who on these boards think I should cut her off?  Right now, I pay her cell phone bill, her car insurance, and bail her out when she runs short.  

I