They have been having issues with their 21-year-old son spending mindlessly on alcohol and partying while collecting debt.
No matter how old children get, parents always play a role in teaching them valuable life lessons, throughout their lives. There is no point in life when teaching and learning begin and end, especially when it comes to finances. Reddit user u/boomerindoubt was going through a particularly perplexing parenting situation and turned to the internet for opinions on how he had dealt with his son's debt.
Father to three kids, the user begins by sharing that he and his wife had been struggling to get their youngest son, aged 21, to practice mindful spending and stick to a budget. He said, “Our youngest is finishing college, and we have financially supported him so far. As with our other two, we established a small spending allowance, with restrictions on how much he could spend. He has chafed under this restriction in a way that his siblings never did.”
He elaborated further that their youngest often spent exorbitant amounts of their money “partying” and on “boys' weekends” without hesitating to ask for more money when his pockets went empty. He also said that they had tried to sit him down and guide him through a budget to manage his expenses but it resulted in no change. He said, “When we suggested that he get a part-time job if he wanted to spend more, he was very angry with us and accused us of being stingy and cruel.”
He described an incident where their son stole one of their credit cards to buy large amounts of alcohol with it. During the confrontation, the son said that he mistakenly used their credit card instead of his debit card. At this point, the parents took a call to cut him off financially except for paying his tuition, fees and rent. They asked him to get a job and pay for his remaining expenditures. The breaking point of the parents’ patience was when their son confessed to a tense debt situation. He said that after the last incident, their son went to the bank to remove their names from his account and also took the bank’s recommendation to get a credit card which he used heavily for three months amounting to a debt of $9000.
He further explained, “He told us he had just planned to get a job and "pay it off later." He said he had learned his lesson, and asked us to pay the debt for him.” The father said that he was “dead set against paying it” but his wife felt otherwise. He then asked Reddit users for their insight into the situation and whether or not as parents they should pay his debt off.
The comments section flooded siding with the father and suggesting that their son learn an essential life lesson now or it'll be too late. u/bukunothing shared, "Exactly. Have you ever heard of the 'Love and Logic' parenting method? It’s all about enforcing natural consequences, no matter what age your kid is. It’s great for kids to say sorry and realize they messed up, but if you clean up their mess after 'sorry,' and don’t let the natural consequences follow, nothing will really ever be learned. So what you do here is be understanding and compassionate, help him put together a plan to get himself out of debt, but don’t just bail him out."