Author Topic: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?  (Read 65660 times)

partgypsy

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #150 on: September 03, 2015, 02:58:05 PM »
I borrowed some money from my parents for a down payment on a condo, but repaid it within five years plus the agreed-upon 5% interest. Over the years we've also made each other several gifts, some of which were expensive. Such luxuries as I've received have been exactly that: luxuries that I otherwise wouldn't buy, because I get along just as well without them and they don't make a meaningful difference to me.

One of the reasons I choose to live in another country is because both my parents are extremely controlling when they want to be, and money is one of the tools they use to manipulate and control people. My brother didn't make it out. My parents routinely support him, he often lives with them although he's in his late 30s, and in general they're actively enabling his addictive behavior. For example, when he wrecked one vehicle they bought for him by driving drunk and crashing it into a median during one of his temper tantrums, they bought him another as soon as his injuries healed enough for him to be physically capable of driving. I call that a danger to public safety. They also paid his utilities and rent for years, and frequently let him live with them, often at little or no cost. This is so that he can spend more money on alcohol, and also continue working at an unusually low rate of pay for his industry due to his lack of credentials and his propensity for not showing up to work because he's on a bender.

The longer my brother lives, the more infantile he becomes. All his needs are provided for, and he enjoys a far higher standard of living than his skills or credentials would otherwise provide him. So, he's never uncomfortable enough to go to night school in a different discipline, or to leave town for an apprenticeship program elsewhere. As long as he lacks the skills to stand on his own two feet, he'll keep sucking at the proverbial tit, simply because it's available. He'll also keep pissing away whatever he receives, which guarantees he'll be broke in a year or two no matter how much he inherits. That he will inherit most, or all, of my parents' assets is almost certain. Why? Because he neeeeeeds it.

My parents have spun themselves a glorious self-image in which they are noble, angelic beings who continue to rescue their poor, helpless son. They fail to acknowledge their own role in the codependent merry-go-round their lives have become. Instead, they've basically added him to their marriage and are now some kind of trio for all social purposes. They add his name to the "from" line of holiday cards and gifts, and wherever they go, they take him along like one of Paris Hilton's purse puppies. For reasons unexplained, he tolerates this.

I don't dispute the fact that my parents' money is theirs to do with as they please, and if it was something simple like spending it, I'd shrug or even high-five them. The problem is that they've chosen to use their money to financially castrate their own son. That's just not cool.

It just seems to me that a person's right to swing their financial fist ought to end where someone else's nutsack begins. This enabling bullshit has done some serious damage.
Sounds like my parents, if they had more money.

rocketpj

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #151 on: September 03, 2015, 03:05:04 PM »
My parents have bent over backwards to present the impression of fairness - almost too much.  When my grannie died she left a bunch of jewelry to her female descendents.  I don't care (not being female) - they were her jewels to do with as she wished.  As far as I can tell she left a safety deposit bill, since nobody seems willing to wear or sell them.

But my parents felt bad that I was left out, so they said they would 'balance things out in their will'.  I asked them to please not do that - the last thing I want when I lose my parents is to get into some kind of conflict with my siblings over a few thousand dollars.  As far as I know they have taken that into account.

My folks are well beyond FIRE and every once in awhile will give us a cheque - they always call it a 'mortgage holiday'.  It is basically some of the profits from their extensive investments (which include, I think, inheritances from the previous generation).  I am always very grateful, and always just put it straight into investments. 

I have no idea if they do the same with my sister, or if it is the same amounts.  I assume they do - I hope so.  If they didn't I'd just assume they make determinations based on their understanding of our respective financial situations and needs.

pachnik

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #152 on: September 03, 2015, 03:23:18 PM »
One of the reasons I choose to live in another country is because both my parents are extremely controlling when they want to be, and money is one of the tools they use to manipulate and control people. My brother didn't make it out. My parents routinely support him, he often lives with them although he's in his late 30s, and in general they're actively enabling his addictive behavior. For example, when he wrecked one vehicle they bought for him by driving drunk and crashing it into a median during one of his temper tantrums, they bought him another as soon as his injuries healed enough for him to be physically capable of driving. I call that a danger to public safety. They also paid his utilities and rent for years, and frequently let him live with them, often at little or no cost. This is so that he can spend more money on alcohol, and also continue working at an unusually low rate of pay for his industry due to his lack of credentials and his propensity for not showing up to work because he's on a bender.

The longer my brother lives, the more infantile he becomes. All his needs are provided for, and he enjoys a far higher standard of living than his skills or credentials would otherwise provide him. So, he's never uncomfortable enough to go to night school in a different discipline, or to leave town for an apprenticeship program elsewhere. As long as he lacks the skills to stand on his own two feet, he'll keep sucking at the proverbial tit, simply because it's available. He'll also keep pissing away whatever he receives, which guarantees he'll be broke in a year or two no matter how much he inherits. That he will inherit most, or all, of my parents' assets is almost certain. Why? Because he neeeeeeds it.

My parents have spun themselves a glorious self-image in which they are noble, angelic beings who continue to rescue their poor, helpless son. They fail to acknowledge their own role in the codependent merry-go-round their lives have become. Instead, they've basically added him to their marriage and are now some kind of trio for all social purposes. They add his name to the "from" line of holiday cards and gifts, and wherever they go, they take him along like one of Paris Hilton's purse puppies. For reasons unexplained, he tolerates this.

It just seems to me that a person's right to swing their financial fist ought to end where someone else's nutsack begins. This enabling bullshit has done some serious damage.

Wow, I would call this a multi-paragraph definition of enabling.  Nothing I have read in this thread has made me more grateful for being able to support myself. 

midweststache

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #153 on: September 03, 2015, 04:07:33 PM »
My parents were fair, to the point of obsession.  For example, eldest sibling got bought a used car when she left college, as needed it for her job.  When my other sibling & I graduated, we didn't need a car, but got the same amount of money.  inflation adjusted  If one of us went on a school trip costing X, the other two would also get X.  Any subsequent help on downpayments etc. has also been scrupulously matched, whether or not we need it.  We all got exactly the same help for college (a living allowance, but pay for your own tuition)  The will will be even, and has rules on how to divide up the possessions...  (we will draw lots to see who gets first pick, and then will go A B C, C B A etc)

This is my parents exactly. They gave me a check for my birthday worth the exact same amount the spent on my sister's birthday gift (some work on the house she purchased a year ago). It was so exact it was a not-round number, so I was initially very confused (VERY GRATEFUL, but also confused) until they explained how they arrived at that number.

My sister and I never wanted for anything growing up--we were pretty spoiled, come to think of it--so I think my parents are a little shocked at how well-adjusted, particularly financially, we ended up. Sister is a consumerista, particularly when it comes to conspicuous consumption, but she spends what she earns (thank god she has a job with a forced pension). I'm much more minimalist/anti-consumer, so DH and I can aggressively pay off debt and pursue FI.

Trimatty471

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #154 on: September 27, 2015, 07:06:46 PM »
My brother sponges off of my parents.  I am neither jealous or concerned about the unfairness.  What gets me is that sometimes my Mom pushes him in my direction. 

The thing his he buys what want but begs for what he needs.  And she makes excuses for him.

If that is what she wants to do then it is fine but that is not me.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #155 on: September 28, 2015, 08:02:14 AM »
My brother sponges off of my parents.  I am neither jealous or concerned about the unfairness.  What gets me is that sometimes my Mom pushes him in my direction. 

The thing his he buys what want but begs for what he needs.  And she makes excuses for him.

If that is what she wants to do then it is fine but that is not me.

One of the phrases that I've had to repeat often is: "if you want to spend your savings on him, or go without things you need so that he has more money to spend on <insert indulgence of choice> that's up to you. But you do not have the right to pressure me into doing the same."

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #156 on: September 28, 2015, 10:55:59 AM »
I found out a few months ago that my father is supporting my soon to be 27 year old brother. He has a degree, actually got into medical school but decided not to go, up until a few months ago he was working delivering pizza at the same place he has worked since high school. The pizza place shut down, and instead of using this as a learning experience that he has to eventually grow up my brother convinced my father that he has some ideas/entrepreneurial ambitions, and now my dad is paying his rent/utilities/food/cell/car insurance indefinitely while my brother sits around wasting away his 20's.

He is enabling my brother, and it is a very touchy subject so I don't dare bring it up to anyone in my family. 
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 03:52:56 PM by 2Birds1Stone »

Kitsunegari

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Re: Parental financial favoritism. Unfairness or jealousy of help you don't need?
« Reply #157 on: September 28, 2015, 12:09:28 PM »
My younger brother is a rather passive person, and my parents, altho they don't support him, let him live with them and borrow their car for free. It doesn't bother me in the least, but it makes me sad the fact that he's 30 and his life is still without a direction. I guess the difference is that I was financially independent (by my family) very early and I've always been proud of it, so when they try to give me money I have the luxury to reply "No thanx, we're doing fine".
My DH says they should put him at the door and let him fend for himself, but I'm not convinced he'd gain anything. 

Sibley

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I am so very glad that my parents were decent. Fair, but not obsessively so. However, I am well aware that they will be moving in with me eventually. Sis and I have already discussed the future, and we're good with it. Mom is aware, though probably not how much we're planning for!

The one thing that happened recently that upset my sister was that mom and dad did POAs, and I'm on them, but she isn't. Which is not what Sis and I discussed, and sis and mom discussed. Apparently, it wasn't obvious on how to do them, so instead of asking sis (who's the legal "expert" in the family) for help, mom just got them done, wrong. We'll be redoing them at some point when my sister is around to help and get the damn things right.

Bah. Hate legal paperwork. On the plus side, sis gets to help me with my stuff! (and I help everyone with their taxes)

cavewoman

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Starting when I was about twelve and my brother was 14, my dad (single parent) sat me down and told me about how "the squeaky wheel gets the oil." This was around my brothers first stint of rehab.
 I think that if my dad were a different man, that I may have been more resentful growing up, but he had never been short in telling me he is proud of me. And emotionally supporting me through all my life decisions. I think this speaks to what the money represents in some of these family stories. My dad made sure to be there for me, or at least to talk to me about it when I was getting less attention because my brother was squeaking again.
 I wouldn't want to sit down and tally it up, but it's very likely that we came out even in financial care. I got college, he got bail, rehab, and loans. My dad forgave my brother's loans when he had a kid, and he had told me he'd do the same for mine when I have a kid (he took out all parent loans and I'm paying him back 20%).
 He also said I could stop paying him when he pays off what he owes for my schooling, regardless of how much I still owe. But I don't want to take him up on that. If he doesn't want my money when I have a kid, I'll tell him he can either put it into a travel fund to come see his grandkid, or put it into their college fund.
I have no idea how his will is set up, but my brother died a few years ago so now I'm an only child. I hope he spends it all before he goes. He should take that trip to Amsterdam he's always talked about.

It's likely that if my brother and I hadn't had a heart to heart about 5 years ago, in which I learned of some very traumatizing things that happened to him as a kid that I didn't experience (and he protected me from) that I would have had resentment towards him. But instead, I just miss him.

peoria

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I am the middle child in a family of 8 children, and I was always "the responsible one".

My parents were awful with money, and most of the time lived paycheck to paycheck, despite an annual income of over 150k.
For about two years we all received allowance of $10 every two weeks for chores that we were supposed to do.
 
The chores themselves were not split up very equally, and as "the responsible one" I was given more than my fair share. i.e. I was responsible for laundry for 10 people (with no dryer), cooking dinner and doing dishes and my older brother was responsible for taking out the trash and cleaning his room (my room was always clean, and did not count as a chore).

I saved my allowance every week, and never spent any of it. My siblings all wasted theirs on the ice cream man or similar.

4 times during the time we received allowance, my parents came to me and asked me to "borrow" back my allowance money I had saved up.  What did they borrow it for? To pay my siblings allowance for the 2 weeks.

This was a precursor for college expenses. My brother and I both went to community college at the same time.  My parents said they would pay for it, and wrote a check for us.   Two weeks later they ask me to borrow money enough to cover both of our tuitions, books, and some extra. ( I was working 30ish hours a week at just over minimum wage). That pattern continued through community college.

Later, my siblings would come get a "loan" from my parents, and the parents would turn around and borrow money from me to cover the sibling's loan plus extra. Sometimes the siblings would pay the parents back, but the parents never paid me back.

By the time I was 22, my parents owed me over $25000 and I cut them off for good.

They have found ways to continue lending my siblings money throughout the years.

I definitely like my parents were sending me a message loud and clear " Don't be responsible. Don't save your money. You will get screwed over if you do." Luckily something is ingrained in my personality that resisted that change.

It does make me somewhat resentful of the parents and the siblings, and has strained my relationship with all of them.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 05:09:42 PM by peoria »

Astatine

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Oh wow, that is uniquely horrible. Well done for holding true to yourself despite everything.

frugalecon

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I am the middle child in a family of 8 children, and I was always "the responsible one".

My parents were awful with money, and most of the time lived paycheck to paycheck, despite an annual income of over 150k.
For about two years we all received allowance of $10 every two weeks for chores that we were supposed to do
...

By the time I was 22, my parents owed me over $25000 and I cut them off for good.

They have found ways to continue lending my siblings money throughout the years.

I definitely like my parents were sending me a message loud and clear " Don't be responsible. Don't save your money. You will get screwed over if you do." Luckily something is ingrained in my personality that resisted that change.

It does make me somewhat resentful of the parents and the siblings, and has strained my relationship with all of them.

Peoria, that sounds very painful, and I can empathize with parts of this...my sisters were routinely paid for chores I did for free, and I even had to turn over cash from my side hustle to give to them, since it was "unfair" that I was earning money. (An early lesson in paying the tax man!)

But hopefully you see now that your responsible nature is a great blessing, and it will give you so many options that your siblings will never have. The most important thing is to make sure that you are well-defended against the many requests for bail outs that will surely come your way. It is ok to offer to help them get their finances in order through education and sound advice, but ultimately it is not your responsibility to continue a destructive pattern.

Making Cookies

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By the time I was 22, my parents owed me over $25000 and I cut them off for good.

They have found ways to continue lending my siblings money throughout the years.

I definitely like my parents were sending me a message loud and clear " Don't be responsible. Don't save your money. You will get screwed over if you do." Luckily something is ingrained in my personality that resisted that change.

It does make me somewhat resentful of the parents and the siblings, and has strained my relationship with all of them.

I've never been int hat situation but if I were - and if I was of the same mind I am now I'd probably lie to them and tell them that I spent all that money on whatever I invented during the conversation. Mostly intangibles. Meanwhile - keep banking that money. Glad you got ahead in life.

peoria

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Yes, I am overall very happy that I was "born" responsible. Has made my adult financial life much easier.

I would not have been able to say I had spent my all of my money, as my parents knew that it was not in my nature.

I grew up saying I was going to live by a specific intersection because there was, a costco, price savers , and Albertsons within 1/4 mile and all gave tons of free samples- so I would be able to eat for free all the time.

I have so many other stories of being penalized for being responsible and/or being a saver, that I have no idea how it was not stomped out of me, or where it came from.



Mr Money Mutton Chops

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Yes, I am overall very happy that I was "born" responsible. Has made my adult financial life much easier.

I would not have been able to say I had spent my all of my money, as my parents knew that it was not in my nature.

I grew up saying I was going to live by a specific intersection because there was, a costco, price savers , and Albertsons within 1/4 mile and all gave tons of free samples- so I would be able to eat for free all the time.

I have so many other stories of being penalized for being responsible and/or being a saver, that I have no idea how it was not stomped out of me, or where it came from.

Well, wherever it came from, good for you for keeping it.

elaine amj

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I look at life as a team effort rather than a competition. My parents have spent much more (I have no clue how much) on my brother than they have on me. he has needed/asked for more as he has not handled his money as well. My dad paid his gas money for many, many years, they have helped him with CC debt, they have funded vacations, they bought him a car, etc etc. It has all been ok with me since I am genuinely happy when he gets good things. It does help that while my parents are not equitable or fair, I in turn have also gotten everything I have asked for. I have been given plenty of generous gifts and luxuries. I also think what REALLY helps is that I think my brother is a great guy although maybe not as good with his money as he should be :) Also, I have viewed my independence as my own personal challenge - my parents would likely have offered me similar support if I had asked.

That said, this thread has opened my eyes to a lot of potential pitfalls that could happen to my own children. I am not equitable or fair with my own kids. I have told them since they were little that "life is not fair" and that I have no interest in being "fair". I have been very clear with them that I love both just as much but that they would each get stuff according to what I feel they need at that time. When they were younger i spent wayyy more money on expensive piano lessons for my DD. My DS was not interested and dropped out. Now that they are older, I spend more money on expensive travel sports teams for my son while I spend pretty much nothing on my DD. I have never calculated or tried to balance these types of spends.

If they get to college and one gets a huge scholarship, I will be thrilled and thank that child - and keep the college savings for my retirement/future fun. If the other child doesn't get scholarships, they'll have the college fund to tap into.

I just can't imagine a life of keeping score. I'm not wired like that. I do hope I don't wreck my kids forever doing it my way though - a little nervous after this thread LOL! They are now in their early teens and I am now upping my efforts to teach them to cheer for each other and to be happy for each other's blessings.

Hmm...on the fairness perspective, they both whine that the other has it better than they do (has less chores, gets away with more, etc). I wonder if this is a good sign or a bad sign? (I've been telling them that it is a sign of good parenting LOL).

HairyUpperLip

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wow, interesting thread.

andyp2010

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So unbelievably relatable.

When I was a teenager, I developed a strong passion for cycling. So much so I later traveled the world as a cycle mechanic for a living. It started as I wanted a paper round for earning money so my parents, very kindly, bought me a basic bike for Christmas. After a year or so I decided that I wanted to save for a road bike, so I did. It was a 180 Raleigh Airlite so I saved at 15pw, the entirety of my paper round earnings. I was very proud of my savings so I told my family of them occasionally. Come my mums birthday, I came home from school and was told that we're going to Paris next month for 2 days to celebrate and I owe them 200 for it. I completely refused to pay, if it meant that I didn't go, fine. A huge argument ensued that was  explicitly stated as me not loving my mum enough apparently.

VS my brothers experience at exactly the same time. He was maybe 7 or 8 at this point. My stepfather was a passionate cyclist and started to take my brother to events for this sort of thing. My brother was uninterested at best, forced into it at worst. It was decided that his current bike wasn't up to standard, so he was bought a full carbon fibre road bike, aero helmet and all the top bells and whistles,a track bike, a mountain bike for if he wanted to start that and a bmx just for fun. Easily a few thousand pounds worth. If I wanted something, I was told I'd have to save up. If he mumbled about a vague interest in something, all the top gear available came through the post days later. For the last few years they've been on holidays across Italy,Greece, Spain, over to NZ for weeks at a time and have asked nothing of him in return,in fact, he's turned down other holidays with them because he didn't feel like going.

I love my brother to bits, I don't view it as his fault, but these sort of stories can be mirrored against each other from our whole childhood and it did impact on my self worth a lot.

The worrying thing is the impact its having now, he genuinely couldn't save a dollar to save his life and I can't see him leaving home any time soon. That's fine but in 3 years, he's getting a very large inheritance from my step grandparents, his grandparents whom I was very close with too. By chance, I had an inheritance at his age so there's no jealousy of it .It's rightfully his but if it's someones money that they've earned, by all means waste it. When it's someone you love's life's work, it'll really really hurt to see it squandered. I'll just have to shut up I suppose.

lostamonkey

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I look at life as a team effort rather than a competition. My parents have spent much more (I have no clue how much) on my brother than they have on me. he has needed/asked for more as he has not handled his money as well. My dad paid his gas money for many, many years, they have helped him with CC debt, they have funded vacations, they bought him a car, etc etc. It has all been ok with me since I am genuinely happy when he gets good things. It does help that while my parents are not equitable or fair, I in turn have also gotten everything I have asked for. I have been given plenty of generous gifts and luxuries. I also think what REALLY helps is that I think my brother is a great guy although maybe not as good with his money as he should be :) Also, I have viewed my independence as my own personal challenge - my parents would likely have offered me similar support if I had asked.

That said, this thread has opened my eyes to a lot of potential pitfalls that could happen to my own children. I am not equitable or fair with my own kids. I have told them since they were little that "life is not fair" and that I have no interest in being "fair". I have been very clear with them that I love both just as much but that they would each get stuff according to what I feel they need at that time. When they were younger i spent wayyy more money on expensive piano lessons for my DD. My DS was not interested and dropped out. Now that they are older, I spend more money on expensive travel sports teams for my son while I spend pretty much nothing on my DD. I have never calculated or tried to balance these types of spends.

If they get to college and one gets a huge scholarship, I will be thrilled and thank that child - and keep the college savings for my retirement/future fun. If the other child doesn't get scholarships, they'll have the college fund to tap into.

I just can't imagine a life of keeping score. I'm not wired like that. I do hope I don't wreck my kids forever doing it my way though - a little nervous after this thread LOL! They are now in their early teens and I am now upping my efforts to teach them to cheer for each other and to be happy for each other's blessings.

Hmm...on the fairness perspective, they both whine that the other has it better than they do (has less chores, gets away with more, etc). I wonder if this is a good sign or a bad sign? (I've been telling them that it is a sign of good parenting LOL).

I think you are being fair. Fairness does not always mean equal treatment. It would be wrong if you paid for expensive piano lessons for your daughter but refused to pay if your son said he really wanted to learn how the piano. It would also be wrong if you paid for your son's sports but did not allow your daughter to play sports.

elaine amj

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I think you are being fair. Fairness does not always mean equal treatment. It would be wrong if you paid for expensive piano lessons for your daughter but refused to pay if your son said he really wanted to learn how the piano. It would also be wrong if you paid for your son's sports but did not allow your daughter to play sports.

Thanks - makes me feel better. And really, both my kids know they are outrageously spoiled (at least by this cheapskate mama's standards). Anything they really, really want...they typically end up getting. I see no point in trying to find some expensive activity for my DD simply to fair up with her brother's competitive sports. She's just as happy with her (free) youth group.

Avidconsumer

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Hearing everyone's messed up families makes me feel good about my messed up family. I definitely don't have it as bad as some on here. it seems like the majority see some sort of unfairness. Makes me think, we're all just as bad and will probably be the same towards our kids or we just like to whine about unfairness, because we're greedy by nature.

Avidconsumer

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Hearing everyone's messed up families makes me feel good about my messed up family. I definitely don't have it as bad as some on here. it seems like the majority see some sort of unfairness. It makes me think, we're all just as bad and will probably be the same towards our kids or we just like to whine about unfairness, because we're greedy by nature.

Warlord1986

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My parents are very good about splitting everything fifty/fifty. They haven't given me money for something that they wouldn't give give to my brother. The difference is that I have a relationship with my parents, my brother doesn't talk to them. He doesn't mooch off of them, but he does mooch off of women. He's an emotionally abusive piece of crap, and I think we're better off without him in our lives. My mother doesn't agree with me, and has emotionally thrown me under the bus to make excuses for him and how he treats the rest of us. Daddy mostly agrees with me. The only things that won't be split evenly are my mom's jewelry and their crystal. If my brother gets his paws on it, he'll just throw it away. In the case of the crystal, he might actually smash it.

The resource that wasn't dolled out fairly was patience. When the sixteen year old is getting arrested for breaking into cars, there isn't a lot of patience left for dealing with the six year old's spilled milk.

Kitsune

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In terms of inheritance... What my parents worked out is that my brother gets my dad's jewelry (his dad was a jeweler, so we're talking vintage Rolex watches and gold and whatnot), while my sister and I split my mom's jewelry (and her share of my grandmother's jewelry), and the $ and estate get split evenly. I get the antique dining room set (which was handed down to my mother 'because she's the one who hosts the family meals, so she should get the tools to do so' and it'll be passed down to me for the same reason). That... generally makes sense, estate-wise - I can appreciate objects of value being passed down to those who will use them, and money being split. Cool.

Inequality that KILLS ME:

My parents make enough money that none of us were eligible for loans/bursaries. Ok, fine. So, for me, they gave a 'living subsidy', which, on top of what I earned working, paid for rent on a dirt-cheap apartment in a sketchy neighborhood, kept heat/basic phone/internet/etc turned on, and left about 20$ for food per week. I managed it, I made it work, I did a 3-year program in 3 years, graduated, and never asked for money again (ok, untrue: I ran into a hiccup with money transfers while I was building a house and asked for a 2-day loan while transfers came through; my parents said they weren't comfortable lending me money, ok cool, I worked it out. I NEVER asked for money after the month of my graduation, other than that one time that was refused.)

My sister is now attending an unnecessary year of university (she did a 3-year degree in 5 years, and then applied to programs but wasn't accepted, so she's doing an extra year and re-applying... so that's 6 years so far on what's functionally a 3-year program.) They've paid for her rent (3 times what mine was, and this is in a rent-controlled city, so rents have gone up less than 10% in that time). Their idea of a 'living stipend' for her was to hand her a credit card and say 'put all your groceries and any necessary expenses on that!'. Meanwhile, she works part-time: enough to pay for a 200$/month Sephora habit, multiple leather jackets, a closet full of 100$ pants, an ipad 'because she wants one', etc.

My brother. Oh, my brother. He is on year 5 of a 2-year CEGEP program (Quebec takes the last year of highschool and first year of university and that's CEGEP, and then university is 3 years instead of 4, basically) with horrific grades. He had a decent part-time job, but he's quitting because 'he's not happy', and doesn't have anything else lined up. He lives with my parents: they pay for his schooling, housing, groceries, car, gas... and he uses his (good! The kind other people LIVE on!) pay to subsidize his restaurant/drinking habit. And then overspends and they bail him out.

Honestly: on one hand, it's FINE. It's their money, they can do what they want, if they have more now to pay for them that's fine, etc.

On the other hand: they DON'T have the money. I've seen what their retirement savings are: about equal to what they spend in 1.5 years, and they're over 60 (honestly, I'm worried about being called on to subsidize their retirement...). And the kicker (and this is what kills me): they tell me that they can't NOT subsidize my sibling's education, because they paid for mine and that wouldn't be FAIR.

And I'm like... I busted my ass (on a semi-useless program, granted), graduated on time, lived on less than I thought possible, worked through school, etc. If you want to subsidize my siblings, that's FINE, but don't use me being successful as an excuse to enable them! ARGH.

RetiredAt63

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And the scariest thing about your brother's academic history is that a 2 year CEGEP DEC means he is in a pre-university program - and anyone taking 5 years is NEVER going to get into University on that.  What a waste.

My brother. Oh, my brother. He is on year 5 of a 2-year CEGEP program (Quebec takes the last year of highschool and first year of university and that's CEGEP, and then university is 3 years instead of 4, basically) with horrific grades. He had a decent part-time job, but he's quitting because 'he's not happy', and doesn't have anything else lined up. He lives with my parents: they pay for his schooling, housing, groceries, car, gas... and he uses his (good! The kind other people LIVE on!) pay to subsidize his restaurant/drinking habit. And then overspends and they bail him out.

HairyUpperLip

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Isn't the Canadian school/college/university thing a joke anyways?

One of my cousins in Ontario told me that they only use certain classes and grades to determine eligibility for university.

<-- Canadian Citizen. Not Canada bashing, honest question.

Kitsune

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Isn't the Canadian school/college/university thing a joke anyways?

One of my cousins in Ontario told me that they only use certain classes and grades to determine eligibility for university.

<-- Canadian Citizen. Not Canada bashing, honest question.

... They remove grades from classes like phys Ed and art, I believe. Which honestly seems fair.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Isn't the Canadian school/college/university thing a joke anyways?

One of my cousins in Ontario told me that they only use certain classes and grades to determine eligibility for university.

<-- Canadian Citizen. Not Canada bashing, honest question.

... They remove grades from classes like phys Ed and art, I believe. Which honestly seems fair.

When I graduated in Alberta (mind you, this was during the Stone Age when we had to submit our application on carved tablets because papyrus hadn't been invented yet)... there were several different considerations that affected your eligibility as a student.

First, there was the question of whether you graduated and met the requirements of your particular school. Each student had to meet provincial standards and complete certain core courses in some stream or another to get a diploma, and there were also physical education and life management courses that were mandatory. Religious schools required courses in religious studies, language schools required courses in a foreign language, and so on. You also had to have enough option courses to earn 100 credit hours over what usually lasted three years, although students who did music or other after-school options could sometimes graduate with nearly twice as many credits as they needed.

If you didn't have a diploma, you couldn't get into a university. You could get a GED (by passing some tests) and perhaps get into a trade school or college, or you could go back and upgrade for a year until you met the diploma requirements, or you could even go to an adult school or night school if you had a special situation like a long illness or were a recent immigrant who didn't speak the language. But generally flunking out of high school excluded you, for life, from a university degree. The prevailing cultural assumption (which wasn't necessarily true) is that whatever problems had kept you from getting through a highly structured curriculum such as high school would most likely continue and interfere with your success in a less structured environment.

Next, there were the "core" courses, which were Math, English, Humanities, and one science which had to be Biology, Chemistry, or Physics as opposed to a general science course. Each of the courses had to be from the matriculation stream, not the survival stream which was watered down and focused on things that applied to everyday life (as opposed to university prep). The system allowed people to take an extra year to upgrade and get through the matriculation stream, so as to proceed at a slower pace if they needed to. Slower streams existed in Math and English, and possibly other courses, but only the last year of the matriculation stream counted toward admission. The grade in each course was half based on your school work and half based on a province-wide Departmental exam which was given at the end of the year. This was to help combat grade inflation and to ensure students from across the province were assessed based on their actual skills, removing the teachers' subjective bias and judgment. The arithmetic mean of your grades in these four courses, your "core" grade point average, was the primary number that affected your eligibility.

If any of your grades in core courses were too low, or if you were in a special program such as a fine arts program that justified your acceptance without having the basic skills to get by, you would be flagged as needing remedial 100-level courses in that area in addition to your regular course work. These remedial courses would act as extra prerequisites and did not count toward your university degree.

Third, there was your overall grade point average in your final year, including your option courses (which didn't have departmental exams). Because of the lack of objectivity in awarding grades, nobody cared much about overall GPA compared to your core grades. Fourth, there was your cumulative grade point average across grades 10, 11, and 12. This mattered even less than your final year GPA, because nobody cared how well you did in make-work classes. In some cases it was a decision factor affecting whether you were eligible for scholarships, or could be used to show that an otherwise good student deserved an opportunity despite having had one bad year.

Fifth, when you applied to some programs like music, engineering, pre-medicine, or athletics, there were extra entrance requirements but also some scholarships you could apply for if you were well enough qualified. Individual departments could require you to pass an audition or entrance exam, to have specific option courses, to be fluent in a particular language, or to have higher grades than were required for general admission.

Finally, if you'd earned an "A" ranking in your amateur sport, you could apply to a university that had an athletic team and obtain sponsorship for competition if you studied there, but only if you qualified for admission. There was no such thing as relaxing the rules to get a special athlete to sign up.

There was no such thing as a mandatory essay, mandatory volunteer work (a conflict in terms if ever there was one), or special consideration because your parents or elder sibling went to the school. Also, the tuition rate was the same for everyone. There wasn't a sliding scale based on parents' perceived ability to pay, and a parent's income did not influence whether a student was eligible for a student loan.

Trudie

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I am definitely the one sibling out of three who has not gotten any cash infusions over the years, either due to my parents doing things for my one sibling with money problems or helping out with kid expenses such as college, cars etc. to help my siblings out (I don't have kids).

From that perspective, my quarrel with the article is that it's not simply greed that fosters the slight resentment I do feel. It's that I still have a childish desire to be treated equally by our parents. Yes, there is a little greed there, I admit it. But truthfully, I can recognize in myself that when my brother or sister get big gifts to use for their kids or get bailed out of hardship caused by bad judgement, that I feel sort of like they are getting attention and care from our parents that I'm not getting. The irrational part of my brain sees that and starts to wonder whether Mommy and Daddy love me as much as them. Of course it doesn't make any sense, and I know they love me just as much.

Second, it's their money. They can do what they want with it.

This is the way I feel.  For years my one sibling (with kids) has been gifted substantial amounts of money for the kids -- five figure college funds, money for sports and lessons, and finally loans for their business.  We don't "need" the money, but it has fostered resentment on my part because I probably am jealous of the attention and concern.  They live within one mile of one another and their lives are quite emmeshed, sometimes to a degree that isn't healthy.  Translation:  not enough emotional boundaries.  Basically, I want to throw the phone across the room whenever my dad brings up their business.   It's almost like another child.  My sister has a college degree and they have a business, and only when her kids were in their late teens did she go back to work.  I struggle with the enabling that happened when her kids were young... when the parents (capable of saving money for college and working) weren't and my parents footed a huge chunk of the bill.  There were ski vacations, meals out, expensive extracurricular activities and class trips during those years.   Now her kids are almost out of the nest and she's returned to work part time but seems to struggle with its demands.  She gets worn out easily.  Doesn't sleep well.  And when she works a long stretch feels like she needs to reward herself with vacations or massages or whatever. 

We've lived a few hours away... close enough to see them, but far enough to be shielded from it.  Still, I get concerned about the "emmeshment" that has occurred and how things will play out when my parents get older and have needs.  I have recently vowed to talk to my mother about this, very directly and kindly.