Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-05-2008, 02:48 PM   #81
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
But I don't mind too much. 1) my sister doers not have the means that I do. and 2) I don't envy her dealing with the parents on almost a daily basis. Because I know that all those extra gifts she receives come at a cost.........

My wife and I live right down the street from my MIL while her other kids live 300-500 miles away......she told us that my wife will get the majority of her estate upon her death. Her siblings I am sure will find that extremely unfair. But, My wife and I spend a lot of time (10-12 hours per WEEK) helping her mom while her siblings' only worry is to make sure they call on her birthday and major holidays.
How can you "not mind too much" in regard to your parents giving a few token benefits to your sister yet think it's completely fair for your MIL to favor your DW? In both cases, the receiver of the so-called favored treatment won that treatment by "paying the dues" of being geographly close to the parents, helping out, etc.

It would seem you'd be completely happy with Sis getting some favored treatment after giving so much to Mom and Dad just as your DW will apparently be getting favored treatment for doing the same.
__________________

__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-05-2008, 03:24 PM   #82
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by msully76 View Post
Boilerman: No I don't intend to blatantly favor one of my kids over another. They both will continue to get whatever help they need within reason. I have put both through college and have given them financial help..........
I think you have a realistic attitude. There is no way to pass out treats where all will be happy. I managed large numbers of hourly employees for many years. The biggest lesson I learned was that nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, will piss off people more than leaving them out when passing out treats! Example: one supervisor dismisses a team one hour early the day before a holiday. The other supervisor must retain his/her team to make key deliveries to a customer commitment. Result = REVOLUTION! Really, really difficult situations to manage! Apparantly there is an analogy to passing out mom and dad's time and money (especially the MONEY!!!) to the kiddies.

I've been a little suprised at some of the posters who seem to feel they have an entitlement to a percentage of the folks' assets and feel that the folks' hands should be tied in regard to how they want to see things distributed. I'm sure in each case there is a long history and lots of baggage that isn't being told, and so be it. Or maybe it's just human nature, as referenced above.

I haven't noticed any posts regarding complaints from care-giving kids who feel slighted because mom and dad give just as much to the siblings who live far away, have more $$$ and don't make an effort to help mom and dad. You know....... Sissy lives in mom and dad's town and drives them around, monitors their finances, goes to the doctor with them, etc. Yet, mom and dad give Sissy no more than two foot loose and fancy free brothers living far away who never visit and seldom even call........ No "care-giving Sissies" getting ripped off by getting no more than "could care less" siblings?

I also haven't noticed any complaints from kids who are allowed to give more $$$ to mom and dad than siblings are allowed to give. That's the case we're in here with my MIL. The old lady counts on our regualar contributions but tells DW's younger brothers that she's fine and please, don't send money! :confused: Mom's attitude is left over from the families ethnic culture where the oldest girl was "mommy's little helper." I'm just glad we can afford it and it's no big deal. Other than that, MIL is a pretty nice ole lady!
__________________

__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 03:44 PM   #83
Recycles dryer sheets
boilerman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
Officially, my parents have a rule: whatever they give to my sister, they give to me and vice versa. We get the same amount of money for birthdays and Xmas, they paid equivalent amounts in college tuitions for both my sister and me, etc... It works... most of the time... well sometimes...
My sister lives 1.5 miles away from my parents and I live 4,500 miles away. So when I am not around my sister get a number of "gifts" that I don't get. She got to "buy" my parents' three year old car (she told me she paid $1800 for it when it was worth about $8000, but according to my parents "she paid full price"). She gets new tires when she needs them. My parents offered her to rent one of their rentals for half the amount they would normally charge (Though my parents told me she would pay full rent. she ended up refusing the offer). My parents also buy a lot of food and toys/clothes for my sister's family. My parents' lies and omissions show they feel a bit guilty about the situation IMHO.
Your parent's behavior is similar to mine and can serve as a good example for what parents need to be careful of to avoid these problems. When we were children, my parents were also very careful about providing all 3 kids the same kind of opportunities and in general being fair about gifts, etc.

After we became adults and had families of our own, they starting doing most of the things you mention for my brother's family (selling a car at a fraction of the real value, buying all their groceries...) My guess is that parents don't see this as blatantly showing favortism as they would sending more money to a child for their birthday. And if this develops over a period of months or years, it probably happens so subtlety they have a hard time recognizing it.

Parents can respond by saying that they can damn well do whatever they please, but they risk alienating the remainder of the family. And don't think it could never happen to your family because it could.
__________________
boilerman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 03:53 PM   #84
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
It would seem you'd be completely happy with Sis getting some favored treatment after giving so much to Mom and Dad just as your DW will apparently be getting favored treatment for doing the same.
Isn't it exactly what I said? I said that my sister deserved a more favored treatment because she takes care of my folks. What else you want from me?
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 04:04 PM   #85
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
Isn't it exactly what I said? I said that my sister deserved a more favored treatment because she takes care of my folks. What else you want from me?
Oh......sorry......I thought you said "But I don't mind too much." I took that literally. I guess you meant to say "But I don't mind at all." Gotcha now!

And, IMHO, great attitude on your part!
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 04:06 PM   #86
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by boilerman View Post
Parents can respond by saying that they can damn well do whatever they please, but they risk alienating the remainder of the family. And don't think it could never happen to your family because it could.
I would never complain to my parents that they favor my sister over me (as I said I don't envy my sister's situation). I understand this is their money and that they can spend it however they want to. I understand I have no claim on that money whatsoever. This is why I am building my own wealth and don't count on their money to FIRE (though it would help tremendously as I found out during the holidays. If I were to inherit half their estate I would be able to FIRE immediately).
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 04:10 PM   #87
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
Oh......sorry......I thought you said "But I don't mind too much." I took that literally. I guess you meant to say "But I don't mind at all." Gotcha now!
Well that's just the way I speak. When I eat something good, I never say "it's good", I say "it's not bad". If a feel really good, and someone asks how I feel, I never say "great", I say "OK". So I wouldn't say "I don't mind at all" (which is really what I meant), I would say "I don't mind too much". Gotta thank my father for that. It drives my mom crazy.
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 04:26 PM   #88
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by boilerman View Post
Parents can respond by saying that they can damn well do whatever they please.
There's a lot of distance between "damn well do whatever they please" and not being able to get the MONEY (or other assets) distributed exactly equally. Some of the examples, such as the folks selling a car at a discount to a kid that will use it to do errands for the folks, hardly seem blatantly unfair.......

I'm all for providing parental unconditional love and nurturing to all the kids and grandkids in near-equal proportions. But, you seem to have a fixation on the monetary side of things. You mentioned in an earlier post you were comfortable using MONEY as the yardstick of parental devotion because it's measureable. Are you taking this too far? Perhaps too much of a quantitative background from your years in West Layfayette?

Let me ask you, if your folks called and said they'd like to move across country to your neighborhood and spend lots of time being involved with you and your family, would you welcome that? If in the ensuing years your folks required some effort from you and the family due to geezer issues, would you do that unconditionally? Would you feel you should receive some compensation for that if they had the money and could afford it?

Not trying to be argumentative with you boilerman, but it does seem you have a tendancy to measure mom and dads love in $$$ and I wonder if you need to think about that a little, perhaps over a cold one at Harry's Chocolate Shoppe. I'm not saying you're actually that way, just that you seem to be coming across a little that way.
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 04:41 PM   #89
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREdreamer View Post
Well that's just the way I speak. When I eat something good, I never say "it's good", I say "it's not bad". If a feel really good, and someone asks how I feel, I never say "great", I say "OK". So I wouldn't say "I don't mind at all" (which is really what I meant), I would say "I don't mind too much". Gotta thank my father for that. It drives my mom crazy.
You from Minnesota? I've noticed everyone in Lake Wobegon likes to use terms like "not bad" and other forms of understatement.

BTW, "A Prarie Home Companion" starts in 19 minuntes!
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 04:48 PM   #90
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
You from Minnesota? I've noticed everyone in Lake Wobegon likes to use terms like "not bad" and other forms of understatement.

BTW, "A Prarie Home Companion" starts in 19 minuntes!
Nope, not from Minnesota, but from an equally cold place...
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 05:11 PM   #91
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Has anyone said "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" yet?
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 06:34 PM   #92
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 228
In my family the inequalities started when the kids became teens and yup, the most disfunctional kids got the most money, time, free babysitting, etc.

The same year I started college, my pregnant sister dropped out of high school and married her (oaf) boyfriend. My parents paid for a lavish wedding and gifts, and helped the young family out with loans. When I timidly suggested they contribute to my college expenses, my parents said "college is frivolous; getting married and starting a family is important." Later on they spent more money bailing my brother out of jail. I couldn't get a support for college, but my bro could get them to cosign for a car. That is when I saw my priorities and my family's had diverged.

I did get married later (after finishing college and getting a good job) and paid for the wedding myself. My parents gave me a check for $100. When my other sister finally married the father of her two illegitimate children, my parents paid for the wedding and bought several gifts.

And so it went. It took me a long time to get over the hurt. I am now truly glad that I was forced to be financially independent, and to achieve whatever I wanted on my own. My sibs' lives have been trainwrecks. I wouldn't trade with them for anything.

I am using my parents as an object lesson as I raise my own kids ... NO favoritism.
__________________
LRS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 06:55 PM   #93
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
cute fuzzy bunny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Losing my whump
Posts: 22,697
Sounds like your parents knew exactly how to treat you so you'd become the most successful.

JOHNNY CASH LYRICS - A Boy Named Sue
__________________
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
cute fuzzy bunny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 08:34 PM   #94
Recycles dryer sheets
boilerman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
There's a lot of distance between "damn well do whatever they please" and not being able to get the MONEY (or other assets) distributed exactly equally. Some of the examples, such as the folks selling a car at a discount to a kid that will use it to do errands for the folks, hardly seem blatantly unfair.......
Every situation is different. In mine, my parents basically gave a car to my brother (and then lied about it) to be used by their granddaughter. My parents have not entered geezerdom yet and do not need any help, so our situation is a little different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
I'm all for providing parental unconditional love and nurturing to all the kids and grandkids in near-equal proportions. But, you seem to have a fixation on the monetary side of things. You mentioned in an earlier post you were comfortable using MONEY as the yardstick of parental devotion because it's measureable. Are you taking this too far? Perhaps too much of a quantitative background from your years in West Layfayette?
It's a fair question...but I can honestly say that I don't really want any money at all from my parents. I mentioned earlier that I felt uncomfortable with the prospect of them giving me their share of a condo sale we had split. Our family problems started because of what the family members felt was unfairness of the time and money the parents were doling out. And since money is easily measured, it becomes the easiest way to explain it to others without providing 25 years of family history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
Let me ask you, if your folks called and said they'd like to move across country to your neighborhood and spend lots of time being involved with you and your family, would you welcome that?
YES

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
If in the ensuing years your folks required some effort from you and the family due to geezer issues, would you do that unconditionally? Would you feel you should receive some compensation for that if they had the money and could afford it?
Realizing that I have not had to face that yet, my answer would be that yes I would be willing to help out unconditionally. Does a child deserve some sort of compensation for that help if the parents could afford it? I would not expect it myself but I would not resent it if either my brother or sister received compensation for care-taking. In my mind, we've veered off to a different topic entirely now. A parent paying a child for care-giving is not showing favoritism, they are simply paying for services rendered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
Not trying to be argumentative with you boilerman, but it does seem you have a tendancy to measure mom and dads love in $$$ and I wonder if you need to think about that a little, perhaps over a cold one at Harry's Chocolate Shoppe. I'm not saying you're actually that way, just that you seem to be coming across a little that way.
I can understand why you might think that. It's hard to condense 25 years of family background without boring the pants off of everyone who's not a member of the family.

But I am very proud of the fact that DW and myself have built a wonderful life together, including FI, without any help from our parents after we became adults. They did a wonderful job of providing me the opportunity of a fine education just down the street from Harry's Chocolate Shoppe and I would be pleased as punch if they left their entire estate to charity.

Let me repeat, that the interaction in this thread has done a lot to help both me and DW gain a better understanding of the parents' perspective and we are both well on our way to "getting over it" - defined as coming to terms with the fact that our relationship with our parents has changed now that we are adults, and that fairness is not really a term to be used in the same context (or maybe at all) as when we were little kids.

Still, as you can see from several other people's posts, this is potentially a very serious family issue that can cause much pain and suffering. I sensed in the post from MSSULLY76 earlier today the same kind of attitude my parents have and wanted to warn him of the potential dangers.

Although my initial intent when I started this thread was to help myself work through my own problem, my hope now is for other parents to see the dangers ahead as their kids become adults. I wouldn't wish our family problems on my worst enemy (as of today, my sister and her family are barely on speaking terms with my parents.) I hoping this dialog will help.
__________________
boilerman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2008, 09:23 PM   #95
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,386
I have no uissues here as a son; my parents were very fair.

But I am trying to learn about it as a father. Every life stage has lessons for us, and trying to be evenhanded with little kids, teenagers, and adult children is not quite the same process.

As Milan Kundera said, "This is the planet of inexperience." We do our best, and hope for the best. Every time I go to do anything that I can perceive as something that might be on my sons' radar, I try to imagine myself in each of their skins.

So far, I think it has gone well, because in spite of divorces,(mine and one of theirs) and differences in job progress and wealth, they are nevertheless very good friends with one another, and with me.

My parents are long dead, but the good relationships that I have with sibs are sustaining to me, so I am happy to see that my kids are getting set up for this lifetime satisfaction too.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2008, 11:34 AM   #96
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
You from Minnesota? I've noticed everyone in Lake Wobegon likes to use terms like "not bad" and other forms of understatement.

BTW, "A Prarie Home Companion" starts in 19 minuntes!
Not bad means good. Not half bad means excellent! Pretty good means bad. Interesting means terrible.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2008, 12:24 PM   #97
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha View Post
Not bad means good. Not half bad means excellent! Pretty good means bad. Interesting means terrible.
Of course......... Would you like ketchup with that? Those natural mellowing agents help calm frayed nerves when Mom and Dad are showing favoritism towards one of the kids....... Later, maybe a piece of rubarb pie? Not half bad!
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2008, 01:09 PM   #98
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
Of course......... Would you like ketchup with that? Those natural mellowing agents help calm frayed nerves when Mom and Dad are showing favoritism towards one of the kids....... Later, maybe a piece of rubarb pie? Not half bad!
Hum, that's interesting...
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2008, 01:37 PM   #99
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by boilerman View Post
my hope now is for other parents to see the dangers ahead as their kids become adults. I wouldn't wish our family problems on my worst enemy
And we appreciate that!

The dynamics of family relationships are strange to behold, to say the least. Some anecdotal examples I've come across do agree with your experience that if parents show extreme favoritism, it's likely to bring on trouble between themselves and children or between siblings. Something to be avoided when possible.

Children cause some of the problems too. Horror stories of mom and dad rotting away unvisited in a medicaid nursing home while junior and sissy piss away the money they pryed away from them years ago abound. And junior and sissy's actions infuriate their siblings. Or children who know how to put mom and dad on a guilt trip if they don't help raise their grandkids. Or kids who start to explode with stress fretting over what their share of the inheritance will be........ It's certainly a road heavily planted with mines!

In the case of our extended family, I spend more time and money on my oldest grandson because he has cerebral palsy. While at first I thought of my involvement simply as me being part of a team that was doing whatever it takes to help him eventually be able to lead a "normal" life, I now realize that eventually this unequal distribution of my time and money will eventually cause problems. I should try to cut back and divert more resources to the others, but that's a difficult action to take.
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2008, 06:37 PM   #100
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 24
Hi Boilerman,
In my job as educator I think I have seen it all rergarding family dinamics and I can say that nobody knows how they are going to respond until they are in a particular situation so don't let me or anyone else criticize the way you handle your situation. I will admit that my earlier post applies to very genral circumstances. It is obvious that there are variables beyond what you post so I can only say that you are the only one who can deternine if the way you deal with your children is fair. You need to feel compfortable with decisions you make. My earlier post is based on the fact that every year I see that my students are more and more entitled and we parents feel that if something goes wrong in their lives it must be our fault. I used to hate it when my father said " When I was a kid" but as I look at our the youth of our country it appears that we may be stuck with the same quote. Good luck.
__________________

__________________
msully76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Bank error in your favor" .. so we decided to pull the plug .. but .... Alan FIRE and Money 4 11-18-2007 10:29 AM
Retail Out Of Favor - Opportunity Knocks? Danny Stock Picking and Market Strategy 15 09-13-2007 01:41 PM
Getting a Kid to See the Light TromboneAl FIRE and Money 35 08-08-2006 04:43 PM
Stupid Little Kid yakers Life after FIRE 15 10-28-2005 03:12 AM
The Kid$ $uestion.... Tommy_Dolitte Young Dreamers 10 08-20-2004 12:08 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:12 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.