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General Discussion => Welcome and General Discussion => Topic started by: YummyRaisins on October 16, 2020, 06:47:59 PM

Title: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: YummyRaisins on October 16, 2020, 06:47:59 PM
Got a call from my dad today asking asking for $2,000. He says it's to get his teeth fixed. I'm feeling familial guilt and it's clouding my judgement on this.

He's early 60s, not in great overall health, and his teeth definitely do need work. My problem is that I don't believe he's being honest with me.

He and my mom are separated and one of the primary reasons for that was money, gambling, and dishonesty with respect to both. I'm told he spent a lot his income on casinos and scratch offs and would regularly lie about it. I've been distant from my family for many years so I don't know the details first-hand, but I believe what I've been told. I'm also pretty sure he's asked other family members for money and those wells may have run dry.

He works two jobs, mows lawns on weekends, and currently lives with family at low cost, meaning his living expenses must be as low as they've ever been. Without guessing his income, I would have thought he'd have plenty of money to save. His income has got to be going somewhere.

I was caught off guard by his request over the phone, as it's the first time he's ever asked me for anything like this. I was able shake off the guilt trip and told him that if this is an earnest request, we would need to have a discussion about his finances before going forward. I'm also thinking that I would need him to get a quote for the work from the dentist and that I would somehow pay them directly.

I can afford to give him money if he is legit about wanting to fix his teeth. My distrust makes me think this would be throwing money away and that it wouldn't be the last request.

Any advice is great appreciated.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on October 16, 2020, 07:06:44 PM
If you want to help, tell him you'll do it if you can use your credit card to get points, so you will need to pay the dentist directly. Unless your dad has credit card facilities.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Frankies Girl on October 16, 2020, 07:09:18 PM
Tell him you love him and would be happy to help him out and you will come to the dentist's office or he can give you the bill and you will pay it.

You should definitely ask about getting a second opinion for any dental work. No harm in having him go see your dentist or a trusted one that can examine your dad and give another opinion on what needs doing and compare costs. Will also be an easy way to see if your dad is actually serious about the teeth thing or not.

But yeah, always pay the dentist - or any bill/services - directly. Should go without saying for anyone you love and want to help out, but has lied and taken advantage of others.

Also - don't speculate on whether he has asked other family members for money; contact them and ask. Tell them he's asking for money from you for dental work and you wanted to know if he'd been asking the same from anyone else. Communication prevents confusion, and liars are easily found out if you talk to everyone.

He knows he has a track record of poor money management and especially if there is an addiction/gambling issues he should expect you to question this. As he's not really stayed in contact until NOW, and it's because he's trying to hit you up for money, it's all kinds of okay for you to be prudent here. He can get offended and ask someone else but you're not refusing to help, you're just refusing to be taken advantage of by verifying the information and paying it directly.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: YummyRaisins on October 16, 2020, 07:29:53 PM
If you want to help, tell him you'll do it if you can use your credit card to get points, so you will need to pay the dentist directly. Unless your dad has credit card facilities.

This is a good idea if his request turns out to be real. Thank you.

Also - don't speculate on whether he has asked other family members for money; contact them and ask. Tell them he's asking for money from you for dental work and you wanted to know if he'd been asking the same from anyone else. Communication prevents confusion, and liars are easily found out if you talk to everyone.

He asked me to keep this between us, which I told him made me highly skeptical given his history. He said he's gone to therapy for the gambling and that if I couldn't do it not to worry about it. I'm sure that talking to my mom would reveal the truth.

I guess I'm trying to give him a chance with offering to pay directly, and I'll happily eat crow if it turns out he was being truthful. The second opinion is a good idea, although honestly $2k seems low for the work he needs (implants and/or dentures).

I just don't think it's going to work out that way, and that makes me sad and angry.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Frankies Girl on October 16, 2020, 08:34:04 PM
If you want to help, tell him you'll do it if you can use your credit card to get points, so you will need to pay the dentist directly. Unless your dad has credit card facilities.

This is a good idea if his request turns out to be real. Thank you.

Also - don't speculate on whether he has asked other family members for money; contact them and ask. Tell them he's asking for money from you for dental work and you wanted to know if he'd been asking the same from anyone else. Communication prevents confusion, and liars are easily found out if you talk to everyone.

He asked me to keep this between us, which I told him made me highly skeptical given his history. He said he's gone to therapy for the gambling and that if I couldn't do it not to worry about it. I'm sure that talking to my mom would reveal the truth.

I guess I'm trying to give him a chance with offering to pay directly, and I'll happily eat crow if it turns out he was being truthful. The second opinion is a good idea, although honestly $2k seems low for the work he needs (implants and/or dentures).

I just don't think it's going to work out that way, and that makes me sad and angry.

He's actually dictating conditions on which you're allowed to gift him money? Wow.

Of course he can ask you to keep this a secret - suspicious as that is - but you're a grown adult and you don't have to. Asking you NOT to talk about it with other family while also asking YOU for a big favor/cash is just another red flag here. Communication and honesty are the best way forward. Don't let him dictate terms - if he's asking for help, you get to decide the level of involvement for yourself, not him.

Sucks, but remember: you are not doing anything wrong and if he was honest and trustworthy this wouldn't even be an issue. But there's a history there and asking you to forget it and trust him without question is just... gross on his part. You aren't doing anything bad by not trusting this situation. He should be completely open, honest and really humble about this, and have no trouble with you paying for it directly or talking about it with anyone else if he's got nothing to hide.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: nick663 on October 16, 2020, 08:54:27 PM
Every dentist I have ever gone to offers carecredit and doesn't ask for payment until after the work is performed.  I'm a bit skeptical that he needs the money asap for those reasons.

Is he asking for the money as a loan or as a gift? 
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: YummyRaisins on October 16, 2020, 08:59:48 PM
Agreed on all points.

Sometimes it's hard for me to be as objective as I'd like to be when family is involved. It helps to see it all laid out dispassionately by someone else.

Talking with family would give me more background on the situation. I'd find out pretty quickly if he's lying or, if not, why he's unable to afford it given his current living/working situation. Keeping a secret only helps him, since he's likely to move on to the next person when I say no and that next person would be in the same bind that I'm in now.

This is aggravating...
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: YummyRaisins on October 16, 2020, 09:02:09 PM
Every dentist I have ever gone to offers carecredit and doesn't ask for payment until after the work is performed.  I'm a bit skeptical that he needs the money asap for those reasons.

Is he asking for the money as a loan or as a gift?

A gift. Even if he said it was a loan, I wouldn't expect to get it back.

I'm skeptical for the same reason. It feels like a cover story, and a pretty bad one since it would be obvious if he blew the money never got the dental work done.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: iluvzbeach on October 16, 2020, 10:43:02 PM
I am so very sorry you are being put in this position by your dad. I know first hand how difficult this can be as I frequently (as recently as last week, in fact) get the same types of requests from my own dad. They sound similar in terms of behavior, although my dad is a shopoholic and hoarder vs. gambler.

Although I donít always follow my own advice, Iím going to urge you not to comply with his request, but if you do make sure to pay the dentist directly. But, really, please donít do it.

In my case, Iíve found itís a never ending cycle thatís very hard to break and just enables him to continue the behavior.

I wish you the best as you navigate through how to handle this situation.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Malcat on October 17, 2020, 07:38:19 AM
There are two questions here:

Should you give your dad money for his dental work?

Can you trust your dad that he isn't lying about needing dental work.

You have to answer the first question first, because if you aren't comfortable giving him money at all, then it's a moot point. Don't rush to answer this one either, giving him $2000 for emergency dental work isn't going to solve his dental problems long term. What treatment is he saying he needs? There's no such thing as an emergency implant or denture.

So if $2000 won't solve his dental problems, then are you prepared to be the bank machine for every dental emergency that comes up? What about other emergencies? Just how much are you willing to subsidize him moving forward?

If this is the first ask, you need to contemplate this very carefully, because if he is being legit, and you pay for his needs, you will be the very first person he calls for the next need.

Okay, onto the second question.
*IF*, and it's a big if, you decide you are willing to shell out thousands for your father's emergency care, then there's the matter of determining if this is emergency care.

Well, in this case it's simple. Ask for the estimate for the dental treatment. The exact expected cost should be clear, it will also explain what the treatment is exactly.
Also, you seem to assume that you would be able to tell if he had dental work done? Why do you assume that? What treatment is he saying he's getting done that you would actually see? Most emergency treatment is extractions or root canals.

Also, definitely contact your family members to see if he's asked them for money, and to formulate a plan for how you, as a family, want to approach supporting him in the event of legit emergencies.

If you do start down the path of subsidizing his care, then your family members should at least be aware and decide if/when they want to contribute as well.

He doesn't get to set the terms of financial gifts. He can ask for his privacy OR a gift, but he can't demand both.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: bbqbonelesswing on October 17, 2020, 07:39:00 AM
I agree with the above advice to pay the dentist directly. If he really needs the work done, it is your dad after all- might be worth helping out in a time of need. Saying you want the credit card points might be a good way to go about this without directly accusing him of lying to you.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Malcat on October 17, 2020, 07:43:15 AM
I agree with the above advice to pay the dentist directly. If he really needs the work done, it is your dad after all- might be worth helping out in a time of need. Saying you want the credit card points might be a good way to go about this without directly accusing him of lying to you.

I personally would be far more direct than this and specifically say that you are only comfortable paying the dentist directly.

Boundaries are important, it's so critical that if you start giving money to an addict that they know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you are not a good target to get cash from now or ever.

He knows his history, if he's above board on this, he won't take it personally. If he gets defensive, that's a warning sign.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: damnedbee on October 17, 2020, 07:50:23 AM
This could be my dad, so I might be projecting, but I see red flags all over this. I'd decline entirely and stay far away from the whole thing.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: volleyballer on October 17, 2020, 08:09:29 AM
I'm really sorry to hear about your situation. Please allow me to offer my perspective as the adult child of a compulsive gambler.

Short answer: Given the "keep it a secret" (biggest red flag), divorce from your mother, living cheaply with other relatives, and hitting them up for money, just Say "No" and that's it. No, "its not in the budget", no other explanation. A gambler can manipulate any explanation to get a "no" to a "yes". I suspect this is only the tip of the iceberg, and if you start giving him money now it will only get worse.

(I will reply with a long answer, but my daughter is waking up right now).

Just say no.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: rantk81 on October 17, 2020, 08:23:18 AM
Money is fungible.  Even if it is for dental work.. it could have easily been afforded by your dad if he didn't piss away untold sums on gambling.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: BTDretire on October 17, 2020, 08:50:55 AM
Money is fungible.  Even if it is for dental work.. it could have easily been afforded by your dad if he didn't piss away untold sums on gambling.
Ya, that's where I was heading, give him $2,000 for dental work, so he will have an extra $2,000 to gamble away.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Fishindude on October 17, 2020, 09:09:01 AM
Got a call from my dad today asking asking for $2,000. He says it's to get his teeth fixed. I'm feeling familial guilt and it's clouding my judgement on this.

I've been distant from my family for many years so I don't know the details first-hand ...................

Given that you're not close to start with, this is a pretty easy NO.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: NumberJohnny5 on October 17, 2020, 09:13:05 AM
Agree with needing to first decide if you even want to take this on. If you pay $2k for dental work, what next? If he has the means to save up for himself but refuses to do so, how will you bailing him out keep this from happening again?

Here's what I would do, assuming I felt some responsibility to take care of an irresponsible parent:

#1. It needs to actually be urgent/emergency. Fixing a cosmetic issue does NOT equal an emergency. If neglecting getting a tooth taken care of is leading to more serious issues down the road, then that counts as urgent.

#2. It's NOT his money. You want a quote, see how much it'd cost to actually fix the issue for good. If he has really bad dental health and either needs $10k of work to fix it with implants, or $2k to take out what's left and a good set of dentures...you'll pay the $2k to get it all taken out and a good set of dentures. You're not willing to pay $2k to patch things up, with the expectation that you'll keep shelling out $2k every year or two until it's finally fixed. He has to give the dentist permission to speak freely to you (so you can be told the various treatment options, the pros and cons of each, costs, etc.). If he expects (medical) privacy, then he can pay for it himself.

#3. You have to pay the dentist directly. Assuming there's no cash discount (or it isn't that much), you can easily state it's for cash flow reasons. I.e. you can't "afford" to pay for it all at once with cash, so you have to put it on a card. Most people would understand this (hopefully you haven't disclosed that you're rolling in cash). Plus it makes it easier to turn down the next request "I won't pay for anything else until the last bill is paid" (you don't have to mention that you already paid it off).

#4. While I'd view this as a "gift", I'd frame it as a loan. Tell him you'll put it on your card, then remind him monthly of the amount due. You could even say something like "it's $2k to pay it off by the 20th of this month, or a minimum of $80...they'll really get you on interest if you only pay the minimum." Assuming he doesn't pay a cent for 3+ months, just let it go and don't bring it up again. Next time he asks for money, say you'd love to help. But you need to pay off the card first so there's room for a new charge; current amount due is $4,327 (if he asks why so high, tell him it's been accruing late fees/penalties/etc.).
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: volleyballer on October 17, 2020, 09:16:17 AM
A few things to add here... I'm not sure how much exposure you had to your dad's gambling. Unfortunately I saw a lot, so I know many of the tricks that get used to separate family from their money.

Money is fungible.  Even if it is for dental work.. it could have easily been afforded by your dad if he didn't piss away untold sums on gambling.
I will +1 this. It sounds like your dad is at least still employed, with family subsidized rent, and money is fungible, so he should be able to scrape together $2000. In some cases (like my family...) the gambler steals money from their employer and gets busted, which really hurts one's future employability. It gets really fun when the gambler comes home and says "You have to give me money or else I will get in trouble at work / arrested etc and it will be your fault, and that money you gave me last week will all be for nothing!" Then what do you do and what do you believe? It always gets worse.

I would argue that gambling is a more dangerous addiction than drugs or alcohol (at least to families and finances). With drugs and alcohol, there is only so much a body can take before passing out or overdosing. With gambling, there is no way to know how deep the rabbit hole goes. The $2000 your dad is asking for could only be what he promised a bookie by the end of the week on a $20,000 debt. And that's only one bookie.

Be especially aware of urgency guilt trips, like "If I don't pay the $2000 by Tuesday I lose my $2000 deposit that I put down and will never ever get my teeth fixed and it will be your fault!" (I'm not even exaggerating here). Again, a gambler can always manipulate the explanation to separate you from your money. Just say no.

If, after all of this, you still feel compelled to help with the teeth, you should physically deliver the payment to the actual provider the day of the service. But again, I don't recommend giving money in this situation at all.

Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: YummyRaisins on October 17, 2020, 09:53:23 AM
Thank you all for your input. It's much appreciated.

I see all the red flags and, honestly, I'm surprised it's taken him this long to hit me up. From what I've heard from my mom, he's asked pretty much everyone else.

His habit, as far as I know, is limited to the local casino and scratch-offs, but again that is only what I know. Any cash he gets goes toward feeding those addictions. Not sure that he has a credit card anymore after he and my mom split off their finances. My mom handled paying all the living expenses and debt payments, so he really has not clue how to handle any of it. His attitude was always that he works hard and therefor there should be enough money to afford the things he wants, even when that wasn't the case. That has lead him to make plenty of money-disappearing financial choices over the years (e.g. new vehicles every few years, withdrawals from retirement accounts, gambling, etc.).

Part of the guilt I'm dealing with it that his life is a depressing mess. I'm probably the only one left of my family that he's on speaking terms with, and that's limited to occasional phone calls and a few visits a year since we aren't nearby. In the last few years he's been in decline. Teeth have gone missing and he's lost weight, but he doesn't appear any healthier for it.

He doesn't know any specifics about my finances, though he is aware we purchased a house and it isn't a stretch that he learned the estimated value of it. From there he could make some assumptions.

I agree that money is fungible, but he wouldn't get it. If he'd saved money, he wouldn't be in this predicament to begin with. And giving him the money would free up other money to continue feeding his addiction.

My immediate concern is what has caused him finally be desperate enough to ask me for money. My long-term concern is that he's going to have nothing and nobody to help when he's too old to work and support himself anymore.

To properly set him up for self-sufficiency going forward I'd need to go through his finances and put him on a budget. My mom tried this over the years, and it never stuck. I doubt that I would have better luck given our thin connection. Just giving him the money is unlikely to achieve anything.

Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: snowball on October 17, 2020, 10:40:15 AM
To some extent, we choose our own realities.  Your dad has chosen his reality - to be isolated, untrusted, not a welcome part of other people's lives.  Every day, he continues to choose this reality.  It would be hard, I'm sure, but...if he wanted to...he still could turn things around and actively choose a better path / make amends to the people he's hurt along the way, or at least not keep making the same old shitty choices that got him where he is.

There's literally nothing you can do to change the trajectory of his choices for his life;  only he can do that.  You can "help" on a superficial level, but it's not going to make any real difference (other than that you'll have less money, and it'll train him to keep hitting you up in the future).

I have some pretty dysfunctional family members myself, and just now a close friend of mine is dealing with a homeless parent (who has enough pension income to not be homeless, but...again it's coming down to choices*, and there is no amount of money she could provide that would actually change the situation).  It's frustrating to stand by and watch, but you can't fix other people's lives for them.  Or care more about their lives than they do.  They have to decide to do the caring and the fixing.

*I realize mental health intersects with all of this, but - you also can't make adults get treatment, if they're not a danger to themselves or others.  Whether their choices arise purely from their personality or are affected by mental health issues tends to be a moot point when it comes to questions like "is it actually helpful for me to give this person money?"  I do think much more should be done in this area on a societal level, and I really hope that as time goes on we can significantly de-stigmatize and increase access to mental health supports overall.

Edited to add: don't feel guilty about this situation.  You didn't cause it, and you're genuinely trying to figure out what if anything you can do to make it better.  Nowhere in any of that is a reason for guilt.  (I imagine your father would like you to feel guilty about it though, as that'll make you more likely to hand over cash, and he's probably pushing buttons to encourage that emotional response on your part.)
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: volleyballer on October 17, 2020, 11:10:20 AM

Part of the guilt I'm dealing with it that his life is a depressing mess. I'm probably the only one left of my family that he's on speaking terms with, and that's limited to occasional phone calls and a few visits a year since we aren't nearby. In the last few years he's been in decline. Teeth have gone missing and he's lost weight, but he doesn't appear any healthier for it.

You care about your dad , and that's understandable. But he can use that guilt against you. Be careful. You were right to put some distance in your relationship, whether you planned it that way or not.

Quote
He doesn't know any specifics about my finances,

Make sure you keep it that way!

Quote
My immediate concern is what has caused him finally be desperate enough to ask me for money. My long-term concern is that he's going to have nothing and nobody to help when he's too old to work and support himself anymore.

To properly set him up for self-sufficiency going forward I'd need to go through his finances and put him on a budget. My mom tried this over the years, and it never stuck. I doubt that I would have better luck given our thin connection. Just giving him the money is unlikely to achieve anything.

This is not your responsibility. He has to do for himself. The addict does not function by our type of logic, only the logic that leads to their next fix.

At some point, the adults who care about him have to make the cold, calculated decision to let him sink or swim. My mom didn't do that, to her detriment. The burden fell on me when my dad got physically violent with my mom over money and I had to call the police to get a restraining order. After the dust settled on that, my dad never asked me for a dime for the rest of his life. You have to draw a clear line in the sand, right now.

Sadly, I had to watch my dad's health deteriorate. I saw him homeless living in his van in the casino parking lot at one point. He claimed at one point to have cancer, that he then got over. He lost all his teeth. A decade later he got terminal lung cancer. Then my mom let him move back in, and in that short amount of time he managed to cash out refinance my mom's mortgage and maxed out her credit cards. We didn't find out about this until the week after he died.

I don't like speaking ill about my deceased father on the internet, but your post really resonated with me and I had to share my story. 

I was able to give forgiveness to my father a long time ago and have a decent relationship with him to the end, but only because I drew that clear boundary way back when that he knew never to cross.

ETA: make sure you speak to a family member you trust about this, possibly your mother?

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Malcat on October 17, 2020, 11:15:17 AM
^this

Do not feel guilty about not giving him money, there isn't enough money in the world to improve his life if he doesn't want to improve his life.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Roadrunner53 on October 17, 2020, 11:44:44 AM
If you should decide to go thru with this, I would definitely not hand him a dime only because of his track record. Tell him you will set it up with the dental front office to pay the bills directly and to use your CC to get bonus points. If he truly needs dental work, then you would be doing a nice thing. You could either consider it a one time 'gift' or set up a repayment plan. If he is lying and wants cash money, he will not be able to do so since you are paying the bills yourself. All of a sudden, he may not need dental work if he can't get cash in hand. Make sure it is a legit dentist and not one of his cronies at the casino!

Another thing you could consider is looking for a dental school and see if you can get him low or no cost dental work. I have a friend who does that.

You could look into dental plans. The Hub and I are on a plan that costs under $200 a year and they are not 'insurance' but are negotiated prices for dental work. It could save money on the different treatments/services he needs. It has saved us money on many dental things we have had done. If you doctor accepts the plan, they participate in the discounts.

What ever you do, do not hand him any money.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: RedmondStash on October 17, 2020, 01:14:21 PM
I'd say the first place to start is by talking to the rest of your family, including your mom, about your dad's request. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. I know he asked you not to mention it, but as others pointed out, that doesn't obligate you to honor that request. Your speaking with the rest of your family is actually in your father's best interest, whether or not he sees it that way.

After you talk to other family members, you may get a clearer sense of what's going on with your dad, and that can inform your decision about whether or not you want to give him money at all.

If you do, I agree with the previous suggestions to speak to the dentist's office directly, pay directly, get a quote from them directly (with your dad's permission), etc.

If you don't, it's okay. You're not responsible for your dad's situation; he is. It is so hard as an adult child of a dysfunctional parent to deal with guilt that doesn't go away no matter how many good arguments you have. If you do decide not to give him money, you might consider going to AlAnon meetings, or whatever similar thing there may be for family members of gambling addicts, to get support for yourself and whatever emotional ups and downs you may experience in dealing with this.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Malcat on October 17, 2020, 01:35:15 PM
^agreed.

The best way to handle the guilt is through support and or therapy for yourself to handle the guilt, not to engage in u healthy financial dealings, which in the end, will not end up making you feel less guilty because shit with him can and will always be able to get worse.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: YummyRaisins on October 17, 2020, 05:09:40 PM
Therapy would probably be a good idea generally. Even though everything discussed in this thread makes sense logically, it still stings to have to give your dad tough love and even turn him away, if necessary. It's not something I thought I'd have to do.

Right now I think I've got my head straight and a plan for how to handle this request.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Focus_on_the_fire on October 17, 2020, 05:15:41 PM
I don't have any advice that isn't already mentioned. I just wanted to let you know that I feel for you. This is really hard. I hope it works out for you.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Villanelle on October 17, 2020, 05:20:22 PM
Ask him if you can attend a therapy session with him.  Assuming he says yes (which I'd probably get against), bring it up there.  Let him know, in advance, that you plan to do that. 

His response will be very telling.

In the future, "I'm sorry, but I don't have $2000 available.  I could help you find a dentist that does payment plans of see if there is a dental school in the area that does low-cost work.  We could also see what other programs you are available for that might help cut costs. Things like SNAP, senior apartments, etc. might be available."

I know it's easier said than done, and I think being prepared in advance can help with some of that.  Just keep repeating yourself, with slightlydifferent words, even if it's not actually a response to his question or statement.  "You are my son; why don't you love me?"  "I do love you, but I don't have $2000 just sitting around.  There may be lower cost options.  Would you like my help in finding them?"  "Why won't you help me.  "I will help.  Many dentists offer payment plans.  I can help you find one, if you'd like."

Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on October 17, 2020, 11:11:43 PM
If you're going to pay the dentist, I'm not sure there's a good reason to discuss this with other family members. Take it at face value if you want to help, because you know where the money is actually going.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: snowball on October 17, 2020, 11:54:04 PM
Therapy would probably be a good idea generally. Even though everything discussed in this thread makes sense logically, it still stings to have to give your dad tough love and even turn him away, if necessary. It's not something I thought I'd have to do.

Right now I think I've got my head straight and a plan for how to handle this request.

I've done a few therapy sessions to deal with some lingering threads of my dysfunctional upbringing and it was quite helpful.  Even if you've mostly overcome the messed up thinking patterns you were bequeathed, it is still helpful to talk things through and get that outside perspective.  The therapist helped me reframe a few things that I didn't even realize were still bothering me.

On the tough love topic:  you only have one loving choice here, and that's to set healthy boundaries.  Giving in to what your dad wants is enabling him and supporting him in his bad choices, and is not a loving act - it's just contributing to his self-destruction.  I think you should keep that in mind when he turns up the pressure.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: kanga1622 on October 18, 2020, 07:37:08 AM
Just for perspective - it cost us $2000 for DH to get a root canal and crown this summer. So no way that is covering much for extensive dental work or dentures.

I agree that if you go forward you should pay the dentist directly. But Iíd be doing a lot of digging to see how the gambling problem is making this emergency happen. If he wonít stop gambling, you are throwing money into the abyss.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: saguaro on October 18, 2020, 08:30:11 AM
Therapy would probably be a good idea generally. Even though everything discussed in this thread makes sense logically, it still stings to have to give your dad tough love and even turn him away, if necessary. It's not something I thought I'd have to do.

Right now I think I've got my head straight and a plan for how to handle this request.

I've done a few therapy sessions to deal with some lingering threads of my dysfunctional upbringing and it was quite helpful.  Even if you've mostly overcome the messed up thinking patterns you were bequeathed, it is still helpful to talk things through and get that outside perspective.  The therapist helped me reframe a few things that I didn't even realize were still bothering me.

I will second the therapy sessions.  I finally decided to see a therapist to deal with dysfunctional family patterns.   Even though I had recognized them for a long time, the process of finally have to hire an attorney to force one sister to quit messing around with our parents' estate made me decide it was time to talk it out.   The outside perspective helps lots!  And it prepares you to think about what you will do down the road with regards to the family members in question.   
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: clarkfan1979 on October 18, 2020, 08:59:00 AM
I'm sorry to hear about your story. Growing up, my father always paid his bills, but all of his extra money went to drinking and gambling (about 40% of his paycheck). Now he is retired. His income is less, so he does gamble less. However, he complains about not having money and other people have all the luck. They inherited about 300K in 2012 and it's all gone. I'm surprised that doesn't count.

They have never asked for money from family, but I think they are pretty close. I think the perfect opportunity will be is when they have a need for a legitimate medical procedure. Out of the 3 kids, I make the least amount of money, but ironically have the highest net worth. They know about my rental properties ask me every year why I don't sell them and use the money to buy nicer stuff. I hope I'm wrong.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: fuzzy math on October 18, 2020, 09:07:18 AM
I just wanted to say that "putting the bill on a credit card for the points" makes it sound like you have money but you're choosing to put it on a credit card. It sets you up to be an ATM. Saying " I do not have cash, but I can put a truly urgent dental bill on my credit card" lets him know that you're not his cash cow and it will be at some cost to you to pay it off for him.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: wenchsenior on October 18, 2020, 09:14:30 AM
Just for perspective - it cost us $2000 for DH to get a root canal and crown this summer. So no way that is covering much for extensive dental work or dentures.


I agree with this.  My mom got full extraction/full custom dentures a few years ago, and it cost ~10K, with a good discount for paying cash.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: iluvzbeach on October 18, 2020, 10:32:06 AM
I just wanted to say that "putting the bill on a credit card for the points" makes it sound like you have money but you're choosing to put it on a credit card. It sets you up to be an ATM. Saying " I do not have cash, but I can put a truly urgent dental bill on my credit card" lets him know that you're not his cash cow and it will be at some cost to you to pay it off for him.

I agree with the above and, from my own experience can say, even offering to put it on a credit card indicates youíve got credit available and are willing to use it. My father has stooped so low as to ask me to take money out of my 401K, get a loan from the bank that heíll supposedly pay back, etc. I believe people in these situations (caused by their very own actions) donít give a damn how or where you get the money and whether it causes you any hardship, they just want someone to keep funding their spending. It is an addiction.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: BTDretire on October 18, 2020, 10:57:45 AM
I don't recommend that you give him money or pay the dentist, but if you do, How about making him prove himself a bit. Make him a deal, have him send you $50 a week until he has accumulated $1000, then you will match it and pay the dentist directly. If he won't save his own money to get a free $1000, he doesn't need it as much as it seems.
 Or some scenario like that.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Much Fishing to Do on October 18, 2020, 01:29:11 PM
I wouldn't try to change him or even believe you can in any way, he's not gonna change.  I do think this is a unique opportunity to actually help him in a real way, given its for his health (I assume there's a real health component here...bad teeth really suck and just get worse as you age) and you can control the payment directly to the dentist, and it sounds like you want to help him and can, so I'd say why not.  Of course he may ask for help again (its not like you're opening that up, he's already asked), so do go ahead and count on that.  I don;t think there's a need to be dodgy around paying for points or whatever, just say you'll pay the dentist directly.

You've got to work on the guilt thing though, that's all you and you can't let it control you.

Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: BTDretire on October 18, 2020, 02:56:28 PM
I wouldn't try to change him or even believe you can in any way, he's not gonna change.  I do think this is a unique opportunity to actually help him in a real way, given its for his health (I assume there's a real health component here...bad teeth really suck and just get worse as you age) and you can control the payment directly to the dentist, and it sounds like you want to help him and can, so I'd say why not.  Of course he may ask for help again (its not like you're opening that up, he's already asked), so do go ahead and count on that.  I don;t think there's a need to be dodgy around paying for points or whatever, just say you'll pay the dentist directly.

You've got to work on the guilt thing though, that's all you and you can't let it control you.
  You could be 100%, but then we don't know for sure he will use it for his health. We don't know if he will pay off a bookie. We don't know that he just needs someone elses $2,000 to pay a dentist and continue to use his money to gamble. I want him to prove he will save some of that money himself.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: Much Fishing to Do on October 18, 2020, 03:11:16 PM
I wouldn't try to change him or even believe you can in any way, he's not gonna change.  I do think this is a unique opportunity to actually help him in a real way, given its for his health (I assume there's a real health component here...bad teeth really suck and just get worse as you age) and you can control the payment directly to the dentist, and it sounds like you want to help him and can, so I'd say why not.  Of course he may ask for help again (its not like you're opening that up, he's already asked), so do go ahead and count on that.  I don;t think there's a need to be dodgy around paying for points or whatever, just say you'll pay the dentist directly.

You've got to work on the guilt thing though, that's all you and you can't let it control you.
  You could be 100%, but then we don't know for sure he will use it for his health. We don't know if he will pay off a bookie. We don't know that he just needs someone elses $2,000 to pay a dentist and continue to use his money to gamble. I want him to prove he will save some of that money himself.

I hear you, but I wouldn't want to be that involved in someone that is not my own underage kid.  I would 'bet' (heh) that he eventually will place another bet at some point, or waste some of his money at some point in the future, and of course thats money he could have used for his own good, including this dental bill (money is all fungible).  If the OP feels that way about it (that the dad has to prove something to him like a 10 year old, like he is being a good boy, bettering himself, etc) I'd say don't do it, who would want to be involved in that kind of crap.  All I'm saying is if OP pays for it directly that may be the only reason it get done, and that will prevent his father some pain, which might be a good enough reason to do it even for a lost case (lost cases are still there).
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: nick663 on October 18, 2020, 07:52:29 PM
Just for perspective - it cost us $2000 for DH to get a root canal and crown this summer. So no way that is covering much for extensive dental work or dentures.


I agree with this.  My mom got full extraction/full custom dentures a few years ago, and it cost ~10K, with a good discount for paying cash.
Very true.  I didn't want to reference exact numbers (because I've tried to block it out) but my implant was more than 2k by the time I was done.  That was for 1 tooth and the process took more than a year.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: YummyRaisins on October 18, 2020, 09:07:48 PM
I haven't spoken with him yet. Still giving him a chance to call back on his own since that is where we left things.

I don't really want to follow up with him, either. After a lot of thought and reading everyone's comments (thanks again everyone), I'm convinced that this ask isn't really for dental work. With that in mind, there isn't really anything to discuss other than why he really needs the money, and that's going into territory I'd rather not venture. For all the reasons I've mentioned, these are problems of his own making and me trying to fix them will likely only hurt me and my own family. One benefit could be establishing boundaries, but he likely already knows that I won't immediately hand over what he asks for.

He's a stubborn man and me chastising him or trying to modify his behavior isn't likely to change that. Those "discussions" tend to devolve into an awkward father-son " you're my kid and you don't know what you're talking about" dynamic.
Title: Re: Advice - dad asking for money
Post by: TheFrenchCat on October 18, 2020, 09:17:15 PM
I think others have good advice for if you do want to try to help.  Though I agree that the amount of money sounds low for the amount of work. 

But I want to reiterate that I really don't think you should feel guilty if you don't want to help him, for any reason at all.  Maybe my view is harsh, but I think he should feel guilty for coming to you for money.  I know my parent's would feel terrible, and my daughter's only 5, but we're doing our best now to have enough that we can help her in the future, not the other way around. 

And the fact that it's known that he's been dishonest before makes it worse to me that he's putting you in this position.  And then asking you to hide it!  I suppose it could be embarrassing, but if he's being honest now, then he needs to realize his past dishonesty means you need to do your due diligence to protect yourself.  He shouldn't be trying to hinder that.

And I think you're right not to try to change him.  That's not your responsibility and just sounds like it might drag you into problems that shouldn't be yours and that you probably can't fix.  I'm a strong believer that people won't change until they want to.

I'm sure it's much easier said than done, but I hope you don't feel guilty, whatever you decide.