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Old 10-31-2010, 11:06 AM   #21
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I have not gone to any family functions because I think it makes me feel like a fool. I (did) work 2 jobs, make good decisions and the BK niece1 husband and niece2 internet boyfriend will be sitting at the table yukking it up. Watching my parents fawn over these 2 losers is more than I can stomach.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:09 AM   #22
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I have not gone to any family functions because I think it makes me feel like a fool. I (did) work 2 jobs, make good decisions and the BK niece1 husband and niece2 internet boyfriend will be sitting at the table yukking it up. Watching my parents fawn over these 2 losers is more than I can stomach.
So, whatdaya want your dad to do now? What would make you feel better going forward?

Or....... and sorry to be so frank....... but is this just about hurt feelings and venting?

I'd truly like to have you feel better about all this. Families and family relationships are important to me and most folks on this board know that. But you need to identify some actionable solutions in order to move ahead. It sounds like you just want to establish that dad (and apparently mom) were wrong and have them admit to that as well. Ain't gona happen.

What do you want them to do now? What action on their part would make you feel better about your family's relationship with them?
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:20 AM   #23
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Is this what you would like him to do for your children?
I don't think he should help any of the grandkids. They all have jobs and need to save up a down payment.

When he helped niece2 because her rent was $1000/month, I pointed out that my son's rent is over $1200/month and he has to have two roommates to make ends meet. That is when I asked about helping him. The response was 'never', help them yourself. That was the last I talked to him.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:31 AM   #24
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I don't think he should help any of the grandkids. They all have jobs and need to save up a down payment.
You've listed a long litany of what you deem to be poor behavior by your father. It's also pretty clear that you're unhappy with the choices he's made.

It appears that you have three choices:
1. Change your father's behavior.
2. Change your attitude.
3. Continue to complain here and elsewhere about how unfair this situation is (and I agree that from your description it appears to be unfair).

Which one of those choices is most likely to make you feel better?
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:33 AM   #25
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IWhen he helped niece2 because her rent was $1000/month, I pointed out that my son's rent is over $1200/month and he has to have two roommates to make ends meet. That is when I asked about helping him. The response was 'never', help them yourself. That was the last I talked to him.
Looks like jayc sees it a lot like I do. A power tripping old man, who apparently doesn't realize that he needs his kids more than they need him.

Never? Slam, crash, bam "it's all over now, baby blue."

People should just read their Shakespeare and Trollope and they wouldn't be so hopelessly dense. My mother's family had plenty of those highlander family skills. Enough that I got real good look at the devastation. My Dad's family made good sense and realized that people's feelings and attitudes will be affected by what you do, so they took better care not to damage relationships.

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Old 10-31-2010, 11:41 AM   #26
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I don't think he should help any of the grandkids.
But now you are telling him what to do, and it is his money. Sorry, but from what I've just read I think you've already pushed too hard and created a divide.

These things must be handled delicately.” (Had to throw in a Halloween/witch reference).

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I have not gone to any family functions because I think it makes me feel like a fool. I (did) work 2 jobs, make good decisions and the BK niece1 husband and niece2 internet boyfriend will be sitting at the table yukking it up. Watching my parents fawn over these 2 losers is more than I can stomach.
Ahhh... OK, I've got an approach for you that avoids the direct conflict of who gets what - and I bet this gets closer to your "heart" (and closer to my situation also):

This is along the lines of samclem's suggestion of discussing how your will will affect your children. You can tell your parents that it is becoming very difficult and awkward to attend these family gatherings. You are afraid that those nieces and their significant others are setting a bad example and are a bad influence on your children. You want your children to learn that they need to get educated and/or learn a skill, work hard, and be productive and responsible for themselves. Yet, they go to this gathering and see people living the high life by taking from others rather than contributing. It concerns you, and you want to do your best to surround your children with positive, not negative role models.

But you have to get the lines of communication open, sounds like they've been shut down. Nothing's getting fixed in that case.

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Old 10-31-2010, 11:47 AM   #27
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DW still communicates with my mom. She spent a couple of hours discussing it and declared, 'She just does not get it.'.
Sorry about your situation...if you can't talk to your folks, maybe you should tell your kids to ask for their inheritance early...
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:49 AM   #28
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OK, that adds some clarity. I thought your request for help for your son was more hypothetical than an actual need. I'm assuming you asked sincerely and not sarcastically.

That seems to boil down to a relationship problem between your dad and your part of the family. Or, your dad just feels that you could help your son if that is what is needed and he could then save his resources for the other grandkids who he might feel are in greater need.

These are tough situations. I'm sure your dad feels like he is doing the right thing and probably can't understand your concern since you are doing well in life. There's little you can do about that. Despite the fact that you dislike your nieces, who you view as irresponsible, receiving aid from your dad, you'll probably either have to blow it off or carry it as a grudge. I know what I'd do, but I'm not you.

There isn't that much money involved, keep that in mind as you go forward.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:55 AM   #29
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:56 AM   #30
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Q2. My son lives in Colorado and pays over $1000/month rent. Can he expect some help like you have done for my other 2 sibling’s kids. A. You have plenty of money. Help him yourself. I don’t plan on helping any of your kids
...
That is when I asked about helping him. The response was 'never', help them yourself. That was the last I talked to him.
Your old man has clearly made up his mind. I don't think there is much to discuss anymore (it's his money after all). You've been slapped in the face, and now it's up to you to decide whether you're gonna take it or not.

I am a family guy, but this would seriously spoil even the strongest of relationships for me.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:03 PM   #31
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I empathize with what you are going through. I had a power-tripping old man in my life (FIL). I saw the angst he put his children through in order to hold and manipulate the reins of power in their lives.

I just kept focusing on my own life, my work, retirement savings plans, etc. I don't want to dance with a dysfunction family system. Doing so diminishes me on a very deep level.

For my own children, "even-Stephen," (as Grandma used to say) is what my plan is. Inheritances will be distributed evenly, not based on behavior.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:11 PM   #32
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So, money = love.

"Well, the old man's gone now. I'm sure glad I decided not to go to Christmas over at his place all those years, I really showed him. Yep, I could have been bigger and let him know that his relationship was more important to me than money, but that would have showed I was weak--nothing but a patsy. Those other kids eating turkey that they didn't earn--I just couldn't bear to see that.

I still can't figure out why he cut me out of all the goodies . . . "
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:14 PM   #33
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So, money = love.

"Well, the old man's gone now. I'm sure glad I decided not to go to Christmas over at his place all those years, I really showed him. Yep, I could have been bigger and let him know that his relationship was more important to me than money, but that would have showed I was weak--nothing but a patsy. Those other kids eating turkey that they didn't earn--I just couldn't bear to see that.

I still can't figure out why he cut me out of all the goodies . . . "
Yeah...... ! You were entitled to your share from the bum, but he just didn't get it! Now your periodic trips to pee on his grave are much more fulfilling than those ugly holiday family gatherings could have ever been.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:28 PM   #34
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... You've been slapped in the face, and now it's up to you to decide whether you're gonna take it or not.

I am a family guy, but this would seriously spoil even the strongest of relationships for me.
Can only speak for myself, but I'd still make an effort to communicate how this affecting all involved (your kids see slackers get the 'goods'). Focusing on the actual $$ isn't going to help, IMO.

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I empathize with what you are going through. I had a power-tripping old man in my life (FIL).
It's not clear to me that this is "power tripping" on the old man's part. It might be, but I suspect it is really more of he sees a "need" in one area and not in the other. I agree that causes problems, but I won't attribute it to "power-tripping" rather than just not looking at the big picture w/o further evidence.

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So, money = love.

...

I still can't figure out why he cut me out of all the goodies . . . "
If it's all about the money I agree, gotta get over it, shutting them out of your life is not a "solution". But if it is about setting examples for your children, and depending on just how blatent the bad behavior is on the part of these relatives, I can see just having to "say no" to family gatherings. But then, make a n extra effort to visit when those people are not around.

Hey, didn't Ann Landers get paid to write stuff like this??!!

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Old 10-31-2010, 12:30 PM   #35
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Beginning with college my folks did not treat us (5) “equally”, and even now some get substantial help they don’t need. I have discussed this in detail with my mother, understand how some folks can be manipulative, see how clearly (and painfully) she is aware of this, and reassure her that she should not feel badly for not wanting to reject some requests, regardless of their nature.

This is a situation where everyone loses. It takes a lot of effort, maturity and a selfless attitude to avoid that. Jayc, you may never feel good about this, and it may indeed be manipulation. The question is – already asked above – what are you going to do? Your father has made his choice. You know he is not infallible. Is the money so important is comes between you?

What about the niece? And her parents? Perhaps it's my background, but when I see a situation like this I take a hard look at the beggars, not the donors.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:44 PM   #36
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Situations like this can rip families apart. Unfortunately, "fairness" is not a requirement for parental decision making. So long as he is not doing anything illegal, Dad has the right to do whatever he wants, even if it's stupid.

My concern would be to ensure that Dad knows he is putting himself in the way of elder abuse by giving in to the demands/requests of his less financially savvy relatives. In the OP's situation (which I have never had to face) I would ask the hard questions about protecting Dad's finances. I would make sure Dad knows that since he is making the decisions, I would not bail him out if it all goes sour. I would advise him to discuss it with a lawyer. I would outline the risks and document my ideas in a carefully worded letter. And then I would back off.

Unconditional love is very difficult.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:49 PM   #37
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Unconditional love is very difficult.
And highly theoretical.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:50 PM   #38
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Hopefully he'll only buy the house and let them live in it rather than actually transfer ownership. That will allow him to sell it later if /when things don't work out.
And I think a good son would try to ensure that happened, rather than just "hoping" it happened. Again, it must be done delicately, and if despite that you start getting "none of your business" responses, well, you decide where to draw the line.
And if 'grandpa' does need money guess who he will be calling.
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:00 PM   #39
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And if 'grandpa' does need money guess who he will be calling.
And the answer should be "go get it back from those other relatives you gave it to".
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:20 PM   #40
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And highly theoretical.
Sir, I submit that you are in serious need of a dog.
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