Ask Terry Questions How to help, not enable our 32 year old daughter

How to help, not enable our 32 year old daughter

By Terry Savage on August 30, 2019 | Wild Card

Our 32 year old daughter has ‘borrowed’ thousands from family , never repaid any, and now isn’t paying her rent. She has 2 small children. We will GIVE the money, but how can we make sure it’s used to pay necessities? Is there a program to help us? We tried to get her into credit counseling a few years ago but she refused. We want to help, but we refuse to be guilted into enabling her. She now has a part-time job and spends her earnings on herself. She is also married, but she kicked out the husband and will not divorce him. He pays her $400 a month and is no longer on her lease. Please help.

Terry Says

Ugh — this is a tough one.  And I feel your pain.  If there weren’t grandchildren involved it would be a lot easier to let her sink until she recognizes reality.  But she has it figured out that she will be rescued because of those grandchildren — and yes, it is likely money down the drain.  Try again for counseling by calling National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 800-388-2227.   And now that I’ve given you my professional advice, I’m going to go out on a limb and give you a radical, personal response.

Have you considered hiring a lawyer and filing for custody of your grandchildren on the grounds that she is unable to care for them properly?  Of course, that would burn all bridges. But if she realizes she might lose them, maybe she would accept the counseling as an alternative.  I know this is drastic, but if your concern for your grandchildren is great enough then stop wishing and hoping for her to change. It’s working for her as it is, so she is not about to change absent some real pressure!  So don’t just threaten — take action if you can stand the consequences (and if you could consider having your grandchildren in your home).

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