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Old 11-03-2010, 07:39 AM   #61
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I'm glad I did not have this problem ..

My parents divorced after 25+ years. Both were remarried after a time.

Any $$$ they might have had went to their respective "new" families (nope, I have nothing to do with either, and it had nothing to do with $$$).

Dosen't matter anyway. They are both gone, and I made my own way in the world without their support (financial or emotional).

Just a different POV and to point out (for some), nothing is better than fighting over "something" ...
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:58 AM   #62
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i face the opposite. BIL is very good at coaxing FIL into giving him things. For instance, a year ago I fetched the mail and there was a letter from the in laws. Turns out it wasn't a letter, it was just check for $600. DW called MIL to ask what was going on. Turns out BIL had convinced them to buy him a snowblower, which triggered a snowblower for the SIL and the cash equivalent for us since we live in houston and there is very little need for any snow removal devices. The latest is BIL has convinced the in laws to buy a new car and give the old one to him. SIL got the truck and since we live a ways away, we again get cash. We try to tell FIL that we don't need the money, but refusing just pisses him off. I believe we are also battling with BIL acquiring the piano as well (no one likes my idea of cutting it into thirds).

It's uber frustrating, as we don't need the money and since the VA apparently spits in the face of those who serve their country (FIL spent 30+ years in the marine reserves and suffers from a spinal cord injury), I would rather have FIL keep the money so he can continue to go to therapy. I think the approach I am going to take this next visit is to start to get heirlooms out of the deal. Tell them to keep the money and/or further fund our nieces and nephews 529's and give us some of the heirloom things we want (DW's great grandpa helped settle parts of southern utah/new mexico and the in laws have some cool native american "acquisitions" from great grandpa's time down there).

just another point of view. i think the BIL feels we should thank him for "getting" us all this stuff. but the sentiment is just the opposite. we take pride in not being dependent on our parents, but to be fair, those who aren't given anything only have that pride.
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:34 AM   #63
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...since the VA apparently spits in the face of those who serve their country (FIL spent 30+ years in the marine reserves and suffers from a spinal cord injury).
Interesting comment.

I'm a disabled vet (service connected) and do get services from the local VA clinic, I'm just wondering what is the story (you can PM me if you don't want to discuss on-line)...
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:39 AM   #64
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Ha's comments on the Old Testament are very thought-provoking. I feel I have a low tolerance for unfairness, brought about by the dissimilar treatment in my own family.

What parents don't realize about this kind of thing is the seeds of hate it sows between the kids. We may suck it up and try to keep the relationship patched up with the old folks, but once they are gone, our over-supplied with everything siblings can rot. Speaking for myself, anyway.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:48 AM   #65
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My former MIL had 7 children and 11 grandkids. She was totally and OPENLY impartial in the way she treated her kids and grand kids. She "helped" some with expensive private school tuition (over $30K per year for 16 years) while would not give another son/daughter and/or grandkid a piece of cheese literally (true story!). One grandkid gave up smoking received $500 reward while another gave up smoking over the same time span received nothing, not even praise. Both grandkids were high school seniors and neither had parents nor who had any differences in income levels, etc. So her criteria for helping or giving one more than the other was not "need-based." We and our daughter expected nothing. And NOTHING was what we received so we were at peace with ourselves but I know that my ex-husband did feel neglected and hurt from the lack of love and attention from his mother. The children and grandchildren who received "things" also received more love and attention as well. It's never "just" money. If one did not receive help of the material kind, one often ALSO did not receive encouragement, emotional support, or affection either---and that is why it really matters for parents to strive to be as "fair" in their dealing with their kids and grandkids as possible. Lest I not be able to live up to this ideal of fairness myself, I chose to have only ONE child. Jayc, I commiserate with you but have no advice to offer you.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:37 AM   #66
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Jay...I also have experienced same kind of thing in my family as you have. You are not alone. You have a right to feel the way you do. All I can say is try not to brood over it too much and get on with life. I know it hurts. I would just keep my distance. As I have said in another thread, (very much like this one on these forums), no sense hanging around where you are not wanted. Life is just too short. Surround yourself and family with friends who really do care.

And it's a comfort to know that all those nieces, boyfriends and kids will be around to support the old guy when his health fails...
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:46 AM   #67
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Ha's comments on the Old Testament are very thought-provoking. I feel I have a low tolerance for unfairness, brought about by the dissimilar treatment in my own family.

What parents don't realize about this kind of thing is the seeds of hate it sows between the kids. We may suck it up and try to keep the relationship patched up with the old folks, but once they are gone, our over-supplied with everything siblings can rot. Speaking for myself, anyway.
My experience with unfairness within families is that it has much deeper roots than money, and financial matters allow other issues to be expressed more easily. The intensity rises when it comes to financial things because they represent proof or validation of these other feelings. I also think that in some cases “fairness” is not possible simple because some participants refuse to acknowledge it and will always reframe or reinterpret any situation to suit their version of the facts.

My mother has seen this for most of her life, even among “nice families” and people of limited means. And her children, which concerns her.

I cannot control how others in my family deal with this, but I can control – somewhat - how I react to them. It’s hard at times but I try to stay above it. With my own children, however, I try to keep in mind Mr. Ha’s message that fairness is important.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:52 AM   #68
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I just hope that everyone here understands that money should not impact relationships. Once the parents are gone, there is nothing left by memories. Many seniors believe that the needy should receive and the strong should help themselves.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:06 PM   #69
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Just an observation Keith...but aren't those seniors continuing to reward the always needy for their bad behavior?
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:09 PM   #70
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In my situation, I am concerned about treating the grandkids fairly. One has cerebral palsy and I've already set up a trust for him, so the inequality has already begun. The other two are too young to discuss it with yet. I'm not sure how to handle it given that I'm more concerned about the one with special needs than the other two, at least in terms of providing for his physical needs. DW, a retired special ed teacher, also spends more time with him as she tutors him 4 days per week and acts as his advocate with the public school system. I'm sure the other two notice that. It's not an easy problem to deal with.
I think this may go much more easily than you expect. My BIL, whom I really like and respect, is from a large family, as I remember 5 boys and 2 girls, with one Down's son, B. Mom and Dad clearly had to put B's needs ahead of the other kids, at least in terms of time and physical care, and also had to enlist the sibs in B's care. Mom and Dad are gone now, and B lives with my BIL (who is essentially permanently separated from my sis) and one other brother. B is 52 now, and gets a lot of very personal care, plus a lot of love from BIL, the other brother, and all the sibs who live elsewhere around the city. Plus all their kids are very close to B, and very nice to him. B doesn't see very well, but he sure knows which women he likes, and wants his hugs and kisses whenever any of them are around.

As best I can see, there is no resentment, no thought even of finding an institutional setting for B. Incidentally, B has kept a job for over 20 years. He got some training and is a sorter at Goodwill or something similar. I have never seen a prouder guy off to work in the morning!

This is quite different medically from your situation, but I think suggests that a problem is not baked in the cake in a handicap scenario.

Ha
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Old 11-03-2010, 01:54 PM   #71
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How about looking at life this way: It isn't the problem that's the problem. It's your view of the problem that's the problem.
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:26 PM   #72
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In my situation, I am concerned about treating the grandkids fairly. One has cerebral palsy and I've already set up a trust for him, so the inequality has already begun as I don't have enough money to set aside a meaningful amount for him and match it for the other two. The other two are too young to discuss it with yet. I'm not sure how to handle it given that I'm more concerned about the one with special needs than the other two, at least in terms of providing for his physical needs. DW, a retired special ed teacher, also spends more time with him as she tutors him 4 days per week and acts as his advocate with the public school system. I'm sure the other two notice that. It's not an easy problem to deal with.
Sorry to be blunt, but if your grand kids (or their parents) can't understand a trust for a child with cerebral palsy than screw 'um. Quite frankly if this becomes the case, someone really screwed up in the raising of the so called "aggrieved" party.
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Old 11-03-2010, 02:38 PM   #73
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Perhaps in your rush to be "blunt," you misread at what point on life's timeline my dilema resides. My son is grateful (almost to a fault) for the arrangements I've made. The other two grandkids are too young to know. My concern, after following this thread for days, is that some time in the future there will be hard feelings.

The overwhelming feeling expressed in this thread seems to be that unequal distribution of wealth means grandpa is a mean, controlling old tyrant bent on destroying the family. But perhaps you're correct, if the other interested parties can't understand (as in many of the examples in the posts above) just screw 'um.
Perhaps in your haste you misread my comment. I said "if" this becomes a problem...
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:34 PM   #74
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I've chronicled my own dysfunctional family a bit on this site. This thread makes me happy that none of my kin have any money to fight over. I don't *think* I'd give a hoot about it if they did, but who knows?

Here's a thought for the OP to ponder: DW and I each have a parent who fully supports one of our adult siblings (my Dad supports my sister, and DW's Mom supports DW's sister). We're both concerned about this arrangement, because our parents have limited means, and certainly don't need to be supporting able-bodied, intelligent adults who don't choose to work. In both cases, the sibs are held back by emotional problems for which the parent feels responsible. My Dad doesn't even like talking about the arrangement, perhaps because in his mind it highlights some sort of "failure" on his part. DW's Mom has essentially said that this is true for her.

I have no idea if this dynamic could be happening in the OP's family, but if so, it might frame the situation a little differently, at least in terms of your Dad's motivations. It might also explain the cold response you got when you pressed the topic (very few people want to sit and examine something they feel guilty about).
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:52 PM   #75
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I've chronicled my own dysfunctional family a bit on this site. This thread makes me happy that none of my kin have any money to fight over. I don't *think* I'd give a hoot about it if they did, but who knows?

Here's a thought for the OP to ponder: DW and I each have a parent who fully supports one of our adult siblings (my Dad supports my sister, and DW's Mom supports DW's sister). We're both concerned about this arrangement, because our parents have limited means, and certainly don't need to be supporting able-bodied, intelligent adults who don't choose to work. In both cases, the sibs are held back by emotional problems for which the parent feels responsible. My Dad doesn't even like talking about the arrangement, perhaps because in his mind it highlights some sort of "failure" on his part. DW's Mom has essentially said that this is true for her.

I have no idea if this dynamic could be happening in the OP's family, but if so, it might frame the situation a little differently, at least in terms of your Dad's motivations. It might also explain the cold response you got when you pressed the topic (very few people want to sit and examine something they feel guilty about).
Be aware of the possibility that after your parents die, said siblings will come sniffing around you.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:00 PM   #76
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Be aware of the possibility that after your parents die, said siblings will come sniffing around you.
Yeah, we've discussed those possibilities at length. In my case, I no longer have contact with my sister, and am content to let her fend for herself when that day comes.

Things will be a bit harder on DW's side. Her Mom has a very limited income, but does own a home and has some assets that will need to be divided. When the time comes, I'm going to try to stay as far away as possible from that inevitable mess. Fortunately, based on family history and her general health, MIL should be with us for at least 15 or 20 more years. A lot could change in that time.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:15 PM   #77
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Well, if you go to the bible do not forget the story of the prodigal son.
But that son asked for forgiveness before he was welcomed back.
And there is also a jealous brother in it.

My in-laws use this one for unfair treatment between kids, IE enabling a deadbeat BIL and breeder wife for a time years ago. I throughly enjoyed explaining this story to them as it is a parable. We, all people, are the prodigal son and GOD is the father. It is his unconditional love for us that is being taught and not how to parent. The OP probably has heard this but it is worth mentioning. It of course is an interpretation of the story as is interpreting to be direction on how to raise a family. Some may not agree with either interruption. In-laws have since realized that keeping BIL on the dole just enables the same living way way way above their means and thus needing more help. They have cut them off finally. This concept is well taught and documented in the Millionaire next door. Maybe JayC could give a copy of that book to his father.
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:44 AM   #78
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Fisherman, I agree. Often people use the prodigal son as an example of "forgive and forget". But the father assuerd the jealous brother that "everything I have is yours". So the prodigal son was welcomed back, but not reinstalled in his former position and rights. He did not get a second chance to screw up. This is very different in the families we read about in this thread.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:49 AM   #79
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Just an observation Keith...but aren't those seniors continuing to reward the always needy for their bad behavior?
Yes but that is one of the follies that those of us with saner minds have to accept. For a parent to believe that we are OK and not needy is high praise.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:00 AM   #80
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For a parent to believe that we are OK and not needy is high praise.
I think that's an excellent way of looking at this situation.
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