Is this entitlement or valid complaint. - FamilyEducation
Is this entitlement or valid complaint.
03/12/2012 at 16:42 PM

Hi all,
I'm new to this forum. Thank you in advance for reading this post.

I just had a discussion with my 20 year old son, and am at odds as to what to do with information. It has left me doubting our choices in how we finance this young man.

Briefly, he lives at home and commutes to a community college. He uses our car, we insure it, and usually gas it up. He attended a university and stayed on campus, but this year found himself not able to finance his second year. We offer a contribution of $7500 yearly and he's responsible for the rest. Now he's resentful that we don't pay the whole thing, buy him a car of his own, and insure it, and be prepared to help him with his future. He said we haven't properly saved for him.

This discussion evolved because my husband received a bonus and want to take a vacation at the end of April and invited both my older sons to come along. This particular son is upset because we would choose to spend our money on that rather than save to help him??? He's upset that we bought ourselves new furniture and not help him more. I don't know, but I'm thinking maybe we should have helped him more. But, he has full use of a car, we've paid all his community college tuition, insure the car, books, fees, etc. He does have a loan he took out for university tuition. He's upset he's expected to pay that. He attends school 3 days a week, has a small job. Does nothing around the house. Is fed. Should I be doing more?? Is wrong to buy things for ourselves. He thinks it his birthright to be given all these things. I never did, I worked hard for everthing I have. He thinks his life should be better than what I had.

I have another son in college, he's gotten scholarships, has loans, etc. and I found out he thinks similarily. Yikes. Any advice??

Ask him if he could do a little research for you and find out what your legal obligations are as parents of a 20 year-old. You would appreciate it if he could find that out for you, so you can make appropriate plans and arrangements. :)

Hi Sherri123. Wow, sounds like this trip you've planned for April has really revealed some thought patterns that caught you off guard! I'm sure the fact that your son is living at home complicates the situation as well. Hopefully, you and your husband are on the same page with regard to the expectations and boundaries you both have with your son. I know from similar conversations in my own family just how delicate a balance it is between helping and encouraging responsibility - especially when they're technically adults. Everything may not apply to your situation, but my own family has found insight for this stage in a couple of articles that you can read on a site called "Saying No to Your Adult Children Without Slamming the Door" and "When Adult Children Move Back Home." In my time with Focus, I've also come across a great book by Nancy Williams called Secrets to Parenting Your Adult Child. Hope these suggestions are as helpful to you as they've been to us!