Maternal generosity is a problem for daughter
BY Ask Amy
Monday, October 15, 2012
10/15/12 at 3:54 AM
Dear Amy: My daughter seems upset with me because she perceives that I give my other daughter (her sister) too much help. She does not want to discuss it, so at this point her feelings and concerns are unknown.
The first daughter is married, with a home and a full-time job with health benefits and a retirement plan. She has two children who are also married. They have jobs and are self-supporting.
The second daughter is divorced, rents and is unemployed. She also has two children, but neither is married or employed. Her children use drugs and have leeched every available cent from their mother.
Over the past few years I have helped the second daughter with apartment rental guarantees (she has always paid all the rent). I bought her several cars averaging $3,000 apiece. I helped her children (before drugs) with cars that the first daughter's children have not needed.
I think the first daughter should be thankful she has a strong financial future and does not need help, rather than be enraged with sibling jealousy. When the conversation finally comes up, what could I say to the "prodigal daughter's" sister? - Upset Mother
Dear Upset: Let's imagine that your first daughter doesn't care about the money, but that she does care about her sister. She may see your financial support as "enabling" rather than as an expression of need-based generosity.
It's hard to know which came first, your support or the instability. But this is a tough question that you should honestly explore.
Your financially stable daughter might be quite frustrated that your loving support may actually be holding this family back.
She might share this new perspective with you if you ask her, but, until then, it is your money and your right to make choices about how you want to spend it.
Dear Amy: Your advice to "Anonymous in New England" was way off. This 16-year-old said she and her boyfriend were having sex. She said they were being "safe." Duh, Amy. "Safe" means they are using birth control. And if they were both virgins when they began having sex with each other, they don't need STD counseling. So why the lecture from you on teen pregnancy?
Honestly, you are so judgmental! Leave it alone! - Disappointed
Dear Disappointed: "Safe" doesn't translate to "birth control" for me. "Safe" might mean this couple uses a condom, but it might not. I don't think a 16-year-old necessarily knows what is or isn't "safe," which is why I suggested the couple receive professional advice from Planned Parenthood.
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