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What's with the ads?

#101 Bluegoat

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:02 AM

My mom thinks this too - she is convinced that she offered/was willing to pay for my undergrad at whatever schools I could get accepted to, but that I wanted to go where I did (on a full ride) because my best friend was going there.

 

Nope!  They offered to send me $300/month for living expenses, that is all.  I didn't care at the time because I had known for years there was no money for college - I didn't even apply to elite schools as I knew it would be impossible to pay for - but it does irk me a bit, as she later signed up for/paid cash for something like $70,000+ for my sister's (useless) musical theater degree.

 

I wouldn't mind if she'd just say oh yeah, we weren't willing to pay, so glad you got in for free somewhere!  The revisionism drives me bonkers.

 

Yes, I had a busary for my tuition for part of the time, and they gave ma a little money monthly.  My sister got a little monthly.  I was told I had to go to a school in town unless I could come up with money for travel/accommodations.

 

My youngest sister had tuition and basic living expenses covered., and travel to another province.

 

Now - they had more money.  And my youngest sister was more of a go-getter, she also had a scholarship and my sister got her a very well-paying summer job.  So, maybe they felt like she had contributed more herself - she was more organized with money for sure.

 

But - wow - I really struggled to pay for school - I ate brown rice for a month once, I had to work all through school at two jobs.  If they had offered us all the same thing, I'd have had a really different experience.


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#102 Crimson Wife

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:34 AM

I don't really understand this. If your parents didn't have the money to take you on expensive vacations, but they still took you places that they could afford at the time, isn't that a good thing? Most people are more financially stable as they get older.

 

Once they had the money for fancy vacations, they should have either taken all 3 of their children or gone by themselves while youngest brother was off at summer camp. Instead, they decided to take him to all sorts of places that I have never been and may never be able to afford to go. I feel like Cinderella forced to dress in rags & clean the house while spoiled stepsisters get pampered & taken to the ball. Only no Fairy Godmother ever shows up to allow me to go to the ball.



#103 Mimm

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:43 AM

Did they take you on equally or nicer vacations while you were still living with them?

 

My parents only started going on trips to exotic locales AFTER their two oldest children were out of the house. That is what seemed so unfair. We got taken tent camping in Maine as vacations while HE got to jet off to Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe, etc. simply because he's quite a bit younger and my parents were better off financially.

 

I have a gap between my older two and my youngest "bonus baby." And my husband makes a lot more now than when the first two were little. My youngest is 3 and already has a different life than the older two. And they can just suck it up and get over it. Am I never supposed to do anything for Youngest I wasn't able to afford for Oldest and Middle? After all, you're resentful about vacations but those same resentments could easily apply to any number of things parents are able to afford for younger children but not older. My kids know we have always done everything we could for them. And that this won't be entirely equal between them. They know we had them when we were young and less stable and we've had some very lean years. But that we do our best for them, always. Whatever that may look like.


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#104 Crimson Wife

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:45 AM

 
And if you wanted to "jet" off to Europe in your 20s so badly you could have done what countless college grads do every year and found discount airline tickets and backpacked around Europe on the cheap. That's what my husband and I did.

 

The ONLY time I have been to Europe in my life was when *I* took it upon myself to find an au pair job in France. I borrowed from my high school graduation gift money to buy the plane ticket and replenished it with my earnings. Spoiled youngest brother, by contrast, was treated to MULTIPLE trips to Europe on my parents' dime.

 

The one time they went to Europe while I was a minor they did it by themselves while the 3 of us were at summer camp. I don't begrudge them a vacation by themselves away from their 3 kids nor do I begrudge them taking fancier vacations after they got more money. But out of fairness, they should have either continued to vacation by themselves while my brother was in summer camp OR taken ALL of us. Instead, they played favorites.



#105 Jenny in Florida

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:47 AM

I'm afraid I don't remember all of the details of your family situation, but off the top of my head (as someone who has kids in the same age range), here are my thoughts.

 

I think I would feel very comfortable telling my adult children that we (husband and I) were planning a vacation and intended to take our minor child along. If it seemed appropriate, I would remind the adults of the trips/experiences/things they got when they were younger and nudge them towards understanding that it is now the younger sibling's turn.

 

If I genuinely didn't mind having the adult kids along for some or all of the vacation, I would then lay out what expenses I would be willing to cover and invite the adults to pay their own share if they wanted to tag along.

 

For example, if the whole group won't fit in one hotel room, I would expect the adults to either pay for their own rooms (although I would be happy to contact hotels and see if there might be a discount for a larger group) or chip in for the difference between renting a basic room and renting a suite large enough for everyone. If I could afford to do so, I might volunteer to cover lunch or dinner each day for the group (at a restaurant of my choice and appropriate budget point), but expect the adults to buy their own meals and snacks otherwise. I would also expect adults to take care of their own souvenirs and any additional experiences or outings they chose outside of those in which the whole group was participating. I would look for any opportunities to get discounted rates purchasing as a larger group -- which would be advantageous to everyone -- but would still expect all of the adults to pay a proportionate share.

 

Now, if for some reason I really just plain didn't want the adult offspring to come along at all, then I wouldn't mince words trying to soft-peddle or downplay the trip in order to manipulate them into not wanting to come. Instead, I'd go back to the approach in my second paragraph and leave it there.


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#106 TeenagerMom

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:47 AM

Did they take you on equally or nicer vacations while you were still living with them?

 

My parents only started going on trips to exotic locales AFTER their two oldest children were out of the house. That is what seemed so unfair. We got taken tent camping in Maine as vacations while HE got to jet off to Ireland, Scotland, Central Europe, etc. simply because he's quite a bit younger and my parents were better off financially.

 

No, they didn't.  Once again, I feel no resentment.  Their obligation to financially support me at all ended when I turned 18 and moved out of their house. Period. They did not owe me anything and still don't. We did tent camping vacations when I was a kid too.  I have the most awesome memories of getting to do those things with my family.  It was an awesome childhood.

 

I simply cannot fathom being pissed because a younger sibling went on nicer vacations because of when they were born and my parent's financial situation at the time.  That's crazy to me.  That's like being pissed because your parents bought a nicer house with an in-ground pool after you moved out so a younger sibling gets to swim everyday. Should they move their adult kids back in so they can have the experience of living in a house with a pool too? 


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#107 Mimm

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:47 AM

Once they had the money for fancy vacations, they should have either taken all 3 of their children or gone by themselves while youngest brother was off at summer camp. Instead, they decided to take him to all sorts of places that I have never been and may never be able to afford to go. I feel like Cinderella forced to dress in rags & clean the house while spoiled stepsisters get pampered & taken to the ball. Only no Fairy Godmother ever shows up to allow me to go to the ball.

 

So you're ok with not going so long as your youngest brother also does go? I mean, you do realize him not going doesn't ADD anything to your life right? Him missing out doesn't mean you got to go. This is where I really can't get on board with your point of view. I can understand being sad about missing out, or even thinking your parents should have offered to take you (even though I don't think they OWED that to you). But when you say that they should have left your brother at summer camp and gone alone? And then you wouldn't resent them? Even though your brother going or not going on the fancy vacation in no way affects what you experienced by not going... :huh:


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#108 Mimm

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:55 AM

The ONLY time I have been to Europe in my life was when *I* took it upon myself to find an au pair job in France. I borrowed from my high school graduation gift money to buy the plane ticket and replenished it with my earnings. Spoiled youngest brother, by contrast, was treated to MULTIPLE trips to Europe on my parents' dime.

 

The one time they went to Europe while I was a minor they did it by themselves while the 3 of us were at summer camp. I don't begrudge them a vacation by themselves away from their 3 kids nor do I begrudge them taking fancier vacations after they got more money. But out of fairness, they should have either continued to vacation by themselves while my brother was in summer camp OR taken ALL of us. Instead, they played favorites.

 

You are not entitled to European vacations you know. No, not even if your parents pay for your siblings to go on one. I mean...wow.

 

My father took two of my brothers (both adults) on a nice vacation to Vegas this year. I have no problem with this. It's a thing they wanted to do together. I don't think my father owes me a trip to Vegas or some other equal trip. :confused1: :confused1: :confused1: 


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#109 Crimson Wife

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 08:56 AM

I was the much younger child.  My siblings got to go skiing and all sorts of things that I never got to do because my parents weren't up to it by the time I came along.  I'm not bitter.  It's just the way it is. 

 

Except my parents are still active enough in their 60's to do all that kind of stuff even though my youngest brother is now 30. At the time of all the unfair vacations, they were in their 40's to early 50's.



#110 Annie G

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:01 AM

 

 

I simply cannot fathom being pissed because a younger sibling went on nicer vacations because of when they were born and my parent's financial situation at the time. 

 

Neither can I. When my oldest sister was born (1952) my parents were struggling to put food on the table. They didn't have any money to spare. Sister didn't have any vacations. 

 

When I was a teen, Mom and Dad bought a tiny used sailboat and we spent most weekends camping at Lake Lanier.  To me, that was awesome.  I was on the water, away from home...it was awesome. Tent camping with a Coleman stove in the hot Georgia heat.  But my sister was married so she rarely went with us. 

 

My little brother was a late in life baby and when I got married he was the only kid left at home. My folks had more disposable income and they did things with him- trips to Florida, museums, D.C., etc. 

 

None of us resent any of that because our folks did the best they could.  Now, they played favorites and toyed with our emotions, and we have some residual issues with that, but it's not related to money issues. Heck, they paid for dear brother to go to college but not the rest of us- they couldn't afford it. We don't resent that.    


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#111 Mergath

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:05 AM

Except my parents are still active enough in their 60's to do all that kind of stuff even though my youngest brother is now 30. At the time of all the unfair vacations, they were in their 40's to early 50's.

 

So... it sounds like you're even begrudging them their health. As if it's unfair that your sibling got vacations AND healthy parents. :confused1:


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#112 Hannah

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:07 AM

Your adult step children are privileged for being allowed to live at home as adults - you do not owe them and they certainly aren't entitled to any luxuries.

Go on vacation with dh and ds and do not give them or the in-laws a second thought.   You certainly do not owe them any explanations.

If they want to go on vacation, they can organise one for themselves.


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#113 City Mouse

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:09 AM

My kids are 7 yrs apart. With such an age gap, there is no way to make sure that they have "equal" experiences and family vacations. The younger has gotten to take trips that the older did not attend, but the older had trips/activities that she participated in when her brother was too young or too difficult. This past Christmas we did take both on a big trip to Disney. I did inform the older that this was her last all expenses paid family vacation. She will have to contribute to future family trips. Now, it does not look like we will have another big family trip for 3-4 years, so it may not be an issue anyway.

#114 Bluegoat

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:20 AM

The ONLY time I have been to Europe in my life was when *I* took it upon myself to find an au pair job in France. I borrowed from my high school graduation gift money to buy the plane ticket and replenished it with my earnings. Spoiled youngest brother, by contrast, was treated to MULTIPLE trips to Europe on my parents' dime.

 

The one time they went to Europe while I was a minor they did it by themselves while the 3 of us were at summer camp. I don't begrudge them a vacation by themselves away from their 3 kids nor do I begrudge them taking fancier vacations after they got more money. But out of fairness, they should have either continued to vacation by themselves while my brother was in summer camp OR taken ALL of us. Instead, they played favorites.

 

Look - this is just a really unhealthy way to think.

 

My youngest sister got to do an exchange program to Spain in hs.  I did not.  Partly because of the money, also because with more kids at home, there wasn't room for extra people in our house.

 

I in no way would begrudge my sister that experience.  How would you say that to someone - "sorry, you shouldn't be able to do that, it might make me feel like I didn't have that opportunity".  What would that gain, for me?  Nothing.  I would gain nothing, and she would lose the chance to do something really fun.

 

This kind of thing is just life.  We are born into the world in a particular place and time.  I'm lucky to be born into a rich part of the world during a rich time in history.  I am lucky to be healthy.  And so on.  There is no escaping that we have different circumstances in this life.

 

If we set our happiness, our sense of what is just, on these things, we are going to make ourselves very unhappy people, and fracture our relationships with others we think were luckier. 

 

It is ok never to go to Europe.  It's a trip.  50 years from now, I imagine no one will be going much.


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#115 Yellow Rose

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:25 AM

My kids know we have always done everything we could for them. And that this won't be entirely equal between them. They know we had them when we were young and less stable and we've had some very lean years. But that we do our best for them, always. Whatever that may look like.

 

I think being able to recognize this fact is a mark of maturity. Sure, I think it's perfectly natural to feel a twinge, perhaps, or be a bit wistful that a sibling got to enjoy more elaborate experiences. But unless there were other major inequities or a weird or abusive dynamic, I think this kind of jealousy does the most harm to the one who holds it. It can eat away at you and poison relationships.

 

I wish my parents had had the financial security to do those kinds of things, even if it meant they could only do it with my youngest sibling. It broke my heart to see my father worrying so much about finances in his last years.


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#116 Moxie

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:27 AM

Once they had the money for fancy vacations, they should have either taken all 3 of their children or gone by themselves while youngest brother was off at summer camp. Instead, they decided to take him to all sorts of places that I have never been and may never be able to afford to go. I feel like Cinderella forced to dress in rags & clean the house while spoiled stepsisters get pampered & taken to the ball. Only no Fairy Godmother ever shows up to allow me to go to the ball.


What??? You aren't entitled to your parents money. Your attitude toward this issue is pretty shocking. Sorry no Fairy Godmother came along to whisk you off to Europe. Poor dear.
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#117 Lanny

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:27 AM

"mid 20 somethings with no real job on our dime. Including them makes our costs more than double due to vehicle and lodging complications. It means less vacation for us."

 

Leave them at home, or have them get jobs, so they can pay for all of  their own expenses, if they go with you.

 

Them being along  will greatly increase your costs: Admissions to parks, meals, snacks, souvenirs, lodging, the vehicle, etc., etc.


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#118 Caroline

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:30 AM

OP, I feel for you. It's easy for me to sit here and say just say no. Tell them they aren't invited. I don't know how to make it all better, though. My oldest is 22, and has a full time engineering job that he just started so he wasn't able to go on vacation with us this year. And I totally missed him the last two weeks.

#119 ErinE

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:34 AM

Once they had the money for fancy vacations, they should have either taken all 3 of their children or gone by themselves while youngest brother was off at summer camp. Instead, they decided to take him to all sorts of places that I have never been and may never be able to afford to go. I feel like Cinderella forced to dress in rags & clean the house while spoiled stepsisters get pampered & taken to the ball. Only no Fairy Godmother ever shows up to allow me to go to the ball.


The following said gently...

Your parents took you all over the United States to visit colleges. That's a huge time and financial commitment. My mom took me to her work on the weekends (every one my senior year) so I could use the typewriter for my scholarship applications. And I'm grateful my mom had the ability and means to provide me access to a typewriter! Other kids had to ask to use the school's or didn't have the family background that could emotionally, mentally, or financially support a child applying for college funds. There were zero college visits for me.

You were not Cinderella, unless your stepmother made you sleep in the fireplace among the ashes. If this is how you feel about it, I encourage you to talk to a counselor. It sounds like you have much resentment towards something that your parents were under no obligation to provide.
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#120 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:38 AM

My little sister had more parental support as a teen, better food, the chance to do some extracurricular activities without having to work a job or three to fund her own teenage life, and slightly more relaxed parents.

Not one of the elder children begrudged her a thing.

We all left home by the day after high school graduation, having suffered quite a bit but grateful for the brains, character, and work ethic to manage the bootstrap thing...but we worried about her. She was quite a bit younger and had no other teens at home to share and commiserate with.

So when it turned out that actually, there were a few more resources and opportunities so that she could have a good life and our parents could breathe a little easier, we were *happy.*

Sometimes I'm glad I grew up poor. I mean, not often, we were really really poor, but at least I don't have to disgust myself by being jealous.
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#121 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:40 AM

Except my parents are still active enough in their 60's to do all that kind of stuff even though my youngest brother is now 30. At the time of all the unfair vacations, they were in their 40's to early 50's.


??? So? I don't know you or your parents. Why would your parents stamina and health have anything at all to do with my parents who you know nothing about? I didn't quote you. I'm responding to someone else. Since when did my sharing about my experience become all about you?

#122 maize

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:41 AM

One of my mother's favorite sayings was "life isn't fair".

My parents raised a large family. They loved each of us and tried to be good parents to each of us.

They did not try to make all things equal for each of us. What would that even mean? Life circumstances varied, needs varied, personalities varied.

As in many families, earnings went up over time--as family size was shrinking (more adult kids launched and on their own). My youngest siblings absolutely got nicer clothes, nicer vacations, etc. than I did. I admit to an occasional ping of jealousy (it's a pretty normal human experience) but I recognize that the jealousy is my problem to deal with--I don't at all think there was something wrong or immoral about my parents providing as they were able for my younger siblings even though it was in many ways more than they were able to provide for me. Because yeah, life isn't fair. For anyone.

And I have noticed that the kids who grew up with "more" did not end up with happier, more successful lives than those of us who grew up with "less".

Stressing about "fairness" between all the siblings would only make my life unhappy. Begrudging good things to my family members because I did not receive all the same good things seems to me the antithesis of love.

OP, in your circumstances I would not at all worry about unfairness if you vacation with minor children only. That is a completely reasonable thing to do.

If a young adult is resentful, that resentment belongs to them not you.

As for making it less appealing...hm, I'll have to think about that. Will there be lots of hours on the road? Lots of activities geared towards younger children? An expectation that all adults help with packing and logistics? Lack of access to preferred activities or devices (gaming?)

Edited by maize, 15 July 2017 - 09:51 AM.

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#123 Danae

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 09:53 AM

You haven't said directly, but it sounds to me like this is a disagreement with your husband. There is no requirement to pay for adult children to participate in a family vacation, but there is also nothing wrong with a parent choosing to do so. This is true whether or not the offspring in question could afford to pay their own way and whether or not the offspring "deserve" the trip.

If you're trying to convince your husband that it would be wrong to pay for his adult children to come on the trip I think you are doomed to failure. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that choice, it's just not your preferred choice.
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#124 foxbridgeacademy

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:13 AM

I'd probably figure out a way to take all the kids but for me and DH it's no fun without all our kids.  We'd never go on vacation without them (it would be boring).

 

Or you could Just do what my mom did when she and my sisters (16 and 12 at the time) went to Cancun, tell her(me 22 y.o.) she has to pay her own way..... I did get to drive them to the airport  :glare: .  20 something should have a job and enough in savings to at least pay for a good portion of their part of the trip.  At the time I was disappointed and felt it was unfair but it did spur me to get off my butt (I was between jobs) and get out there and make some money ( I found a bar tending job).  

 

 



#125 luuknam

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:28 AM

Crimson, have you ever tried just telling your parents that you're sad that you never got to go on vacation to Europe with them? I mean, for all I know, they might not even have a clue that you would've liked to go with them. It simply might not have occurred to them. 

 

Anyway, I hope you can find some peace about this, one way or another, because your resentment seems a bit out of proportion, from where I'm standing at least. And I actually agree that if they became much better off after you moved out, that it would've been the nice thing to do to offer to take you with them on some of those trips. 


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#126 unsinkable

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:34 AM

I agree with the people who said you shouldn't include them.

If you are going into this with the idea you need to make it unpleasant in order for them to opt out on their own...well, that should be an indication right there that it isn't a good idea to include them.
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#127 unsinkable

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:35 AM

Crimson, have you ever tried just telling your parents that you're sad that you never got to go on vacation to Europe with them? I mean, for all I know, they might not even have a clue that you would've liked to go with them. It simply might not have occurred to them.

Anyway, I hope you can find some peace about this, one way or another, because your resentment seems a bit out of proportion, from where I'm standing at least. And I actually agree that if they became much better off after you moved out, that it would've been the nice thing to do to offer to take you with them on some of those trips.


What a kind, thoughtful response!
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#128 Chris in VA

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:37 AM

This thread kinda makes my heart hurt because we had a situation that I wish was different--

 

For years, we talked about my husband's sabbatical--he earns 2 weeks each year that he can use every 7 years for a sabbatical--it's $ plus time. So we talked about going (as a family) to several places. But when the time came, and we had lived here 7 years, my son was in the middle of a tough addiction. He was in treatment, and we couldn't leave. Every year after that, we still couldn't go--took a long time for him to get well. When we finally did, dd was 13, eldest ds was finishing a summer of college and was not able to come the whole time, and our middle son was sober for one month. I often wonder if he decided on sobriety a month before in a subconscious attempt to be included. 

So, everybody except newly sober son got to go to Israel; dd for the full 3 months, eldest for about 2 weeks, and me and hubby of course for 3 months (hubby also took 2 weeks by himself). 

 

It felt really sad. We just couldn't take our middle son, in fear of him acting out and then being caught and put in an Israeli prison, you know? It is still so sad to me that we couldn't take him. We gave my eldest money for his graduation from college, and said he could spend it however he wanted--he chose to buy a plane ticket and come with us for the two weeks, and we paid for all his costs beyond the 900 dollars. We just couldn't offer the same to our other son.

 

Was it fair? Probably not. It caused a wound that hasn't healed, and I hope one day will. 

 

And Crimson Wife--this is funny, but we were able to go camping and on trips around the country (like driving up the coast to see family, and a couple of Colorado trips, and Disney) with our oldest two before our girl was born. Not fancy, but good vacations. She got to go overseas. She got to actually live in another country for 3 months. She also got yearly trips to NC to see family. While she isn't resentful, she does wish she got the camping trips and the trips we took with the boys! So it can go either way. :-)

 

OP, you have a weird situation. It is not the same as my sabbatical story, I just wanted to share that. I guess the similarity is that my son was not "deserving." Your step kids haven't "earned" this trip. I'm not sure that I see vacations as earned, more really a grace, but I do understand your feelings. I guess I feel it would be kinda awkward because they actually live with you; if they were on their own, I wouldn't hesitate at.all. to not invite them. 

 

Perhaps, moving forward, no matter what you decide, it would be a really good time now to help them make a launch plan. IOW, I think you should sit down with your husband and come up with a team-approach plan to get them launched. You could start by setting a date for exit. Then decide on a reasonable rent. Make it enough that they have to work to pay it (and honestly, although I know some people do this, I would not save it and then give it back to them as they leave as a gift). You could ramp it up so that it increases from something rather small (so they can have time to hunt for a job) to what is the going rate in your area (so that they can practice budgeting). 

 

Also, just curious--do they have some executive function or ADD or something else going on? It may be more than laziness and entitlement. But IDK--that is another discussion. 

 

Mostly, I'm sorry this is so hard. 


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#129 Yellow Rose

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:41 AM


 

It felt really sad. We just couldn't take our middle son, in fear of him acting out and then being caught and put in an Israeli prison, you know? It is still so sad to me that we couldn't take him. We gave my eldest money for his graduation from college, and said he could spend it however he wanted--he chose to buy a plane ticket and come with us for the two weeks, and we paid for all his costs beyond the 900 dollars. We just couldn't offer the same to our other son.

 

Was it fair? Probably not. It caused a wound that hasn't healed, and I hope one day will. 

 

You did what you had to do to keep him safe. Just a thought and you don't have to answer, of course( forgive me, OP, for the sidetrack), is he well enough now that you and/or your DH could plan a special trip with him? Maybe that would help heal the wound?


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#130 zoobie

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:44 AM

The adult kids don't want to come because they want to be with you guys and have fun family memories. They want to come to make your life miserable or because they're "entitled" to it. You're not dealing with mentally stable people. If your DH will be able to enjoy the trip with just you and DS, then take the trip with just you and DS. There's no way you can frame it to make crazy people happy. There's just no way. If he can't set the boundaries necessary to protect you and DS, then you and DS should go alone. And honestly, it sounds like maybe some personal therapy to figure out where you should make boundaries of your own would be helpful. It's possible that you and DS on your own might be your only solution to many problems.
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#131 Χάρων

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:50 AM

You haven't said directly, but it sounds to me like this is a disagreement with your husband. There is no requirement to pay for adult children to participate in a family vacation, but there is also nothing wrong with a parent choosing to do so. This is true whether or not the offspring in question could afford to pay their own way and whether or not the offspring "deserve" the trip.

If you're trying to convince your husband that it would be wrong to pay for his adult children to come on the trip I think you are doomed to failure. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with that choice, it's just not your preferred choice.

No disagreement between DH and I. It is more the external expectations that I treat the mid20s both like fully independent adults while I drive them everywhere, do all the house work, pay their bills, and never make any demands of them.

Things are changing, and DH is on board, but he has only experienced this toxic dynamic and is struggling much more than I am since I came from a saner family in this area. I now make then pay their own medical bills and I make sure that we never give them rides to the store. They either walk or they take DS and pay for him to be their public transportation guide.

Edited by Χάρων, 15 July 2017 - 10:51 AM.


#132 Χάρων

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:59 AM

The adult kids don't want to come because they want to be with you guys and have fun family memories. They want to come to make your life miserable or because they're "entitled" to it. You're not dealing with mentally stable people. If your DH will be able to enjoy the trip with just you and DS, then take the trip with just you and DS. There's no way you can frame it to make crazy people happy. There's just no way. If he can't set the boundaries necessary to protect you and DS, then you and DS should go alone. And honestly, it sounds like maybe some personal therapy to figure out where you should make boundaries of your own would be helpful. It's possible that you and DS on your own might be your only solution to many problems.


Working on figuring out adultren boundaries. It is harder than I think it should be due to inlaw influence that I should never have listened to. Before the great blow up at one for being a lazy bum I thought they were mentally handicap because they could not manage a task I viewed as age appropriate for a preschooler. I push for testing and it showed they can learn and are not impaired in that area. But really, I listened to the inlaws about how they really are not their age and still need lots of help. So I am fighting those voices that I listened to and allowed to shape how I viewed them.

Master of manipulation, they are.
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#133 nrg

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:05 AM

I think this is a bit bigger decision than is being presented. My children are all grown. At some point, we found that all trips/vacations were not created equal, but in the long run it would all equal out. Now is a great time for you to begin to create events to which are interest/need/age specific. 

 

Time to tell the bigs that this is a college tour trip and not for them. If there is push back, remind them of things they did before the littles were born or could remember. Let them know that now that they are adults, not everything their parents do is for them or includes them. If they took themselves on a trip, they would not include you. If they were employed full time or in school, they would not be available. 

 

Plan something to include everyone, even if it is just a quick campout or even a barbecue as a gesture of family unity.

 

A few years ago my husband and I went on our first grown up alone vacation. My people were not quite sure what to make of it. Now we have no problem; we just decide who to invite/or not.

 

Last year we all went to Kauai together, sons, wives , girlfriend, etc. It was fun, but all agreed that smaller groups would be easier to manage and provide more personal time on a big trip. It was an experiment after several years of mixing up the groups.

 

Best wishes to you as your family grows up. SOmetimes the transitions are rocky, but you will get there...



#134 Pen

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:05 AM

I wouldn't do this, but I am mean. I would let them know itinerary. They can make own reservations, pay own bills with own money. If you get in a position of paying and trying to get reimbursed... could be awful. And you avoid the problem of kids complaining about accommodations -- too cheap, too expensive. Let them choose.

Also, it can be a pain to make reservations and schedule things. If you leave it to them, it may never happen. :-)

And think about this -- you buy some non-refundable tickets, and the kids cancel. If you were super rich, it would be nice to treat people, but not so nice if it means cutting back on your own plans.

ETA
Noooooooo! Big problem with my idea. They'll come with you and say they lost their reservations. So you either make them sleep in your car or pay them.

I am having a hard time seeing a solution here. You have my sympathy!

 

 

Agree.

 

Anything other than saying some version of a clear, "No," is likely to have big problems result.  A clear "no" may also have resulting problems, but of a different sort.  I realize that the goal of the post is to present things in a way that will cause the dsc to decide against it on their own, but that is not likely to work.


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#135 winterbaby

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:07 AM

It sounds like they have some mental health issues or arrested psychological development because of whatever situation led to the loss of their family of origin and the other parent "not being in the picture." While it's politically correct to take a rosy view of "blended families," that is not a trivial loss and they may be clinging to your DH in a futile subconscious attempt to make up for what was lost. And honestly, I am side-eyeing the idea that the "toxic dynamic" is something the children are imposing on the parent. Your DH is not without agency in this. But he is not doing them any favors by allowing them to live as dependent children in a situation where they're resented. It will probably take therapy to resolve this.

 

As for the vacation, I would not take someone on vacation if I would have to be counting pennies on their food etc., even if it was someone I had a warm close relationship with.  Let alone in a dynamic like you have. What I am wondering though, is whose decision is it really? When you say "make it unpleasant" it sounds like it is their decision and your only hope is to dissuade them from wanting to go. If you have the power to say no, you just have to do it. There's little hope of appeasing them.


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#136 Χάρων

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:14 AM

Can you tell them that you can't afford the extra cost? If they really want to see the adult kids maybe they could pay?


My initial response is, "Hell, no the inlaws will pay and I do not want them tagging along the entire trip, they are too old for these free rides to continue and need to grow up, having the inlaws pay their way does not in anyway impart the lesson that a full time job is important if one desires to have the fun stuff in life."

I think that solves it. I do not want them along. This trip is very similar to one I planned and did not get to take with DS before we blended the families and I want this with him. I am not against DH tagging along, but frankly, DS is the one who have up the most during the blend, and it was all to accomadate the adult step children. And I am over it. No, I should not have missed a sporting event that my then 12 year old was in in order to deal with BS from someone old enough to drink. But I did, because at the time I was listening to the inlaws say "They are not actually their age."

Nope. I am done. DS needs to have something for him. I may have felt differently, if DS had not made huge sacrifices and done/does more work that the adults ever dreamed of. I want to look the adults in the eye and tell them that we made major life choices to accomadate them. They can deal with not going on this trip.
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#137 Χάρων

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:16 AM

I'm not from Florida, I can't even quite remember if I've ever been in Florida (I think maybe technically for a couple of hours - my in-laws live in AL), but anyway... isn't Florida full of OLD people?

Anyway, I like the college tour plan (and no, 13 is not too young). Alternatively, see above, you could frame it as retirement planning (visiting all sorts of communities for OLD people...). Okay, probably too soon for that, unless you're much older than I think you are.

They live with you, right? So, you could play up the getting the house to themselves angle.


How bad is it that I would still ask a friend to check on the house if the adultren stayed home?
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#138 Χάρων

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:21 AM

I would invite them to universal, offer the bus ticket and so on. It would be fun, a treat for them, and you'd have some nice time with just the younger boy, too.

The only thing I would add is I think, since they are your dh's kids, he gets a say in this, and he should tell them.

This is what I want. I want to take the olders to Universal, I know they will love it and I can see us all having a great time.

I do not want them for the entire 3 week trip. I have many reasons, but first of all, in your mid 20's, even with one employer, you have not worked enoigh to earn 3 weeks vacation time. Being rewarded with something that people work full time for years at one employer is just wrong IMHO. It is NOT something people who barely work get.

Edited by Χάρων, 15 July 2017 - 11:50 AM.

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#139 gardenmom5

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:23 AM

Impaired is a good word. Mentally ill? Probably, but they deny any depression and while not appropriate behavior, it is not off enough to merit forced intervention supported by all. I believe the intervetionn needed has a name, "Swift kick in the rear." You might have heard of it. I am not making light of mental illness, I really feel this is a dysfunctional dynamic mixed with apathetic young adults and they have been allowed to flounder where as in a healthy setting they may be apathetic, but would be pushed to functional adulthood.
 

 

this - It bothers me the number of things people will blame on "mental illness".  especially when it's more entitled spoiled brat child who were indulged by those who should have been teaching them how to be functional.  that's not the same as mental illness - and I feel trying to equate them does a disservice to those who are mentally ill..

 

I have a gap between my older two and my youngest "bonus baby." And my husband makes a lot more now than when the first two were little. My youngest is 3 and already has a different life than the older two. And they can just suck it up and get over it. Am I never supposed to do anything for Youngest I wasn't able to afford for Oldest and Middle? After all, you're resentful about vacations but those same resentments could easily apply to any number of things parents are able to afford for younger children but not older. My kids know we have always done everything we could for them. And that this won't be entirely equal between them. They know we had them when we were young and less stable and we've had some very lean years. But that we do our best for them, always. Whatever that may look like.

 

when my adults were kids . . we had times of living below the poverty level.  it was a stretch just to go tent camping nearby. but we managed it, and we have positive memories.

during the same time period, my mother was paying for my niece to go to a $40K per year private school for her entire k-12   (big. huge. eyeroll.)  I don't feel resentment - I feel pity for my sister never learning to stand on her own feet and the sense of entitlement she developed becasue she was treated this way from the day she was born.  - and she's five years OLDER than me!  (I was a 'third".. .  an 'extra'.)

 

when 2ds was born - mom gave me $500 as a baby gift to go buy supplies. I was grateful for her generosity. and, I'm good at stretching a dollar. (finances hit the fan when he was 18mos). My sister started whining about how she didn't get a baby present . .  um, what was diaper service for the entire period the kid was in diapers called?  according to her - that wasn't a baby present.  it was "owed" to her.  

 

because of our poverty - when 1dd got into an elite university (where she flourished) - nearly everything was paid for.  my sister was insanely jealous and sent out e-mails to the family badmouthing the school. . . it was utterly bizarre.

 

now, we have a good income.  we can do things we couldn't when the adults were young.  none of them resent the things we can do for dudeling we couldn't do for them.  they had each other to play with, they had younger parents.  dudeling is surrounded by adults - not kids his age.

 

CRIMSON WIFE: this is gentle - please for your sake, let go of your hurt and resentment.  the only person it is hurting, is you. when it rears it's head, please refuse to give it an audience. I've seen what it leads to in my sister.  she is so jealous of anything anyone else gets - she's not capable of being happy in herself. this has now adversely affected her relationship with her own children.


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#140 chiguirre

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:35 AM

The ONLY time I have been to Europe in my life was when *I* took it upon myself to find an au pair job in France. I borrowed from my high school graduation gift money to buy the plane ticket and replenished it with my earnings. Spoiled youngest brother, by contrast, was treated to MULTIPLE trips to Europe on my parents' dime.

 

 

We seem to have similar life experiences but with remarkably different take-aways. The summer I spent as an au pair in France my parents and younger sister went on a tour of Scandinavia. They didn't invite me because I'd already applied for the au pair job and saved up my money for the plane ticket. But, they told me how proud they were of me for making all the arrangements on my own and paying my own way. It's a really happy memory for me.


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#141 luuknam

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:38 AM

How bad is it that I would still ask a friend to check on the house if the adultren stayed home?

 

 

I actually was going to write some more about them having the house to themselves. Based on what you've written before, they sound kind of like teens, in a bad way (by that I mean that not all teens are like that). So, I was guessing that the "having the house to themselves" thing might be quite appealing to them... but that you should count on your house being trashed by the time you get back. I even considered suggesting that you take pictures of the house before you leave, just so you have proof (for yourself, your husband, the in-laws, whomever) that *they* trashed your house while you were gone, and it wasn't like that when you left. Which might make it easier (psychologically) to kick them out... like, can't live with people who don't respect your property at all. 

 

Of course, I don't know if they'd trash your place... maybe they won't (other than some dirty dishes in the sink or w/e). But, the thought definitely crossed my mind. 

 

That said, unless there are living things in your house that would die if not checked on (i.e. plants you really care about that need to be watered on a regular basis, or any animals), I would not have anybody check on the house. I don't think treating the adultren like kids is a good for them, and the obvious (and deserved) mistrust isn't helping them - people tend to live up and down to expectations. I'd try my best to act like they're responsible mature grown-ups, and leave them. Hopefully, they'll live up to the challenge. If not, and they completely trash your place, kick them out (I know, easier said than done). 

 

Aside from the distrust that having someone else check on the place conveys, I'm not sure it'd really do any good. Unless you were to have someone else check every day or something, which is really way too often. 

 

FWIW, I'd make sure your home owners insurance is up-to-date (good to do anyway). 


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#142 Χάρων

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:49 AM

Didn't you just do a whole family camping trip? I thought there was a thread on that.


Yes. I took 100% no cook food. It was the bags of soup, ready rice, and similar foods. Did not even have to heat if I did not want to.

Stepadult did what was asked in the most assinine, crappy way possible. Like who sits at a picnic table and washes dishes in the seat next to them and does a crappy job to boot? Other than that they did nothing. They could have stayed home and done nothing, no clue why they even came.

#143 luuknam

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:52 AM

I even considered suggesting that you take pictures of the house before you leave, 

 

 

I should clarify, without them noticing, maybe while your husband talks with them outside, I don't know. 


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#144 Moxie

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:55 AM

Yes. I took 100% no cook food. It was the bags of soup, ready rice, and similar foods. Did not even have to heat if I did not want to.

Stepadult did what was asked in the most assinine, crappy way possible. Like who sits at a picnic table and washes dishes in the seat next to them and does a crappy job to boot? Other than that they did nothing. They could have stayed home and done nothing, no clue why they even came.


Trying to remember, is DS DH's child or is he yours from before the marriage?

#145 Χάρων

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 11:58 AM

I should clarify, without them noticing, maybe while your husband talks with them outside, I don't know.


I have oppertunity to take pictures. I have taken pictures in the past to document the state of their room, how they have intentionally put things away wrong, and other behavior that falls under the umbrella of passive agressive and is aimed at me. And then I show the inlaws and am blown off.

Re: your previous post, we have living animals in the house who need food and water daily and will die without proper care.

#146 Χάρων

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:00 PM

Trying to remember, is DS DH's child or is he yours from before the marriage?

DS13 is mine from before the marriage.

Edited by Χάρων, 15 July 2017 - 12:00 PM.


#147 Moxie

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:08 PM

DS13 is mine from before the marriage.


Do you guys have a therapist involved? It seems like they are putting in a lot of hard work to drive you and DS out.

SIL dated a guy with adult children he supported (paid for a grown child to fly around the world to run races for fun, lots of stupid stuff). She has young kids and they were terrified he would marry sil and cut them off. They went to shocking levels to drive her out and it worked. Sil decided no man was worth a lifetime of drama. Her boyfriend had really ruined his kids. It was sad to watch.
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#148 luuknam

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:10 PM

I have oppertunity to take pictures. I have taken pictures in the past to document the state of their room, how they have intentionally put things away wrong, and other behavior that falls under the umbrella of passive agressive and is aimed at me. And then I show the inlaws and am blown off.

 

 

See, pictures can't tell whether something is *intentionally* put away wrong, and the state of *their* room is going to be kind of a w/e issue to most people. Them trashing the entire house would be more convicting. 

 

That said, if you think there's a decent chance the animals would be hurt by being left in their care (not just occasionally not being taken out for a walk or something), you'd have to do something to protect your animals, whether it's having someone else check on them, or have them stay at someone else's house, or w/e. It is what it is, in that regard. 



#149 Χάρων

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:18 PM

See, pictures can't tell whether something is *intentionally* put away wrong, and the state of *their* room is going to be kind of a w/e issue to most people. Them trashing the entire house would be more convicting.

That said, if you think there's a decent chance the animals would be hurt by being left in their care (not just occasionally not being taken out for a walk or something), you'd have to do something to protect your animals, whether it's having someone else check on them, or have them stay at someone else's house, or w/e. It is what it is, in that regard.


About the animals, yes. I am glad you brought it up. We have a bird and while it may look like the food dish is full, it is full of seed shells and the bird would probably die. I have a bird friend I will take the bird to. The cats and dogs I will play up somehow to get proper care.


I can ony say that intentional or not, the first time DH knew they put away the dishes so horribly wrong and I had a fit the behavior stopped.

Anyone but the inlaws can conclude that by the mid 20s if they have not figured out that spoons go in the spoon drawer and so on, and have been tested and it shown that yes, they aree capable, then it was a jerk move by them.

#150 gardenmom5

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 12:20 PM

I have oppertunity to take pictures. I have taken pictures in the past to document the state of their room, how they have intentionally put things away wrong, and other behavior that falls under the umbrella of passive agressive and is aimed at me. And then I show the inlaws and am blown off.

Re: your previous post, we have living animals in the house who need food and water daily and will die without proper care.

 

you'll never convince them.  ever.  they've already decided these adultren are . . . precious dears. they could treat their grandparents like garbage - and the grandparents would say "aren't they cute?"

for them to acknowledge the little dears for the big brats they are - would require an entire paradigm shift.  until they are ready to even go there, they will ignore reality to support their rosey view of them.

 

so  - don't try and teach the pig to sing.  it wastes your time, and annoys the pig.


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