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BakersDozen

How would you feel? (kid issue)

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I'm unclear about why such a young adult was paying so much for a sibling who was still a minor in the first place. Most 22 yos are barely out of college. I'll be thrilled with my kids if they've finished school and can pay all their own bills at that age. Why was it on him to pay for a big trip for a sibling in the first place? I know you mentioned something about a birthday trip, but at least among folks I know, that would be quite a present. Most of the families I know still mostly pay the way of their young adult kids on family centered vacations. If he has the means to pay, that's amazing and awesome. It's just... not my experience. I know lots of people in their mid to late 20's who are still going on all family trips on the parents' dime. And most folks in their 20's are not chomping at the bit to travel with teenagers. Which I don't think makes them bad people.

So our son really enjoys hanging out with his siblings (well, most of them...). He has a very close relationship with The Trio (as we call our 12,14,16yo dds). He planned the initial trip for the 16yo for her bday in Feb. and the cost was to be lower as it was closer to where we live, airfare was less, etc. He decided on Boston when the first trip fell through. He knew the cost as we all discussed the options and looked into details like airfare/lodging costs. So he knew back in May what he was getting into.

We were also very taken back when he first presented the trip for his sister and shared some concerns, but he doesn't live at home (he actually lives with our oldest dd and her husband) so the decision was ultimately his to make. He was not asking us to help with that trip. It wasn't until the second dd was added to the trip that we kicked in money which, again, was to his benefit.

As for him having the means to pay...he should have the means. He should have banked literally thousands of dollars at this point. But he apparently has blown through his money on who knows what?? I know about the eating out and movies but for goodness' sake, if I was in his position (working, incredibly low cost of living) I would sock money away as fast as I could.

He's not in school (grrrrr) but since he is working and not coming to us for financial help we figured he had the trip covered.

 

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I know lots of people in their mid to late 20's who are still going on all family trips on the parents' dime.

Unless a trip is school related we don't pay once our kids graduate high school. Our ds knows that so the expectation for him to pay for his costs (and that of his sister's which he himself expressed he would) were clear.

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He must have some very good qualities. After all, you trusted him to travel alone for six weeks with two of your daughters last year and were going to let them travel together again this year. I would try to focus on the good qualities and make sure he knows how much you appreciate those. Hopefully with time, maturity, and life experience, he will experience growth in other areas.

He does have some very good qualities and yes, we trust him with our girls. I didn't even blink at the thought of them being in D.C., Philly, NYC, etc. when they were with him. But the financial issue is huge, especially as my dh and I abhor debt of any kind or having others not trust us with money. The fact that our ds made a decision so affecting my dh and our dd's is deeply hurtful, though. Trust has definitely been broken and opportunities like this won't be happening again.

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I would not have wanted to be chaperone to younger siblings at that age, no matter how much I was paid to do it and even less if I was expected to foot part of the bill.  I realize that I am an outlier here on this thread.  The problem though is he didn't say that up front but then dragged his feet and when called on it, blew up.

Our son really and truly does enjoy being with his sisters, which is why the decision he made is so very hurtful. He wasn't going on this trip as a chaperone (and was 100% willing/excited to do so last year). This was more a fun, let's get away kind of trip. They would have had a great time as they always do. Thinking on what we see in our ds we feel that he is one who allows pride to win over common sense. Even in conversation if I offer an idea/opinion he usually counters it even if his argument makes no sense. He just has to be right which means everyone else has to be wrong. So even if our request for money was right, we were "wrong" and he responded as he did. And then went on a trip anyway. And that's what has me in tears today.

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My youngest just woke up so I'm off and running. But a very quick 'thank you' to everyone's input/advice. It's been a hard day but you've given me lots to think about.

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If I were in that situation at that age, I'd have been excited to go on the trip with my sibling (and my brother is significantly younger like that) and maybe even would have been the one proposing it... but in the end, it doesn't mean that I'd have had the motivation and money to really make it happen. Same thing with in the moment, I enjoyed being around my little siblings... but if it came to making a choice between them and grown up friends vying for my time, I'd have usually not chosen them. I wonder if taking it out of his control by planning and paying for parts of it on your end maybe changed the dynamic. Or adding another sibling. It definitely seems like something went awry. Obviously his treatment of you was petty and childish. But I have a hunch his side of the story would feel very different. I think your expectations of him are just slightly out of line with the lives most 22 yos are living. And since he's an adult, just backing off having him on these sorts of trips or sharing costs for things seems like a good thing for both of you.

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18 minutes ago, BakersDozen said:

He does have some very good qualities and yes, we trust him with our girls. I didn't even blink at the thought of them being in D.C., Philly, NYC, etc. when they were with him. But the financial issue is huge, especially as my dh and I abhor debt of any kind or having others not trust us with money. The fact that our ds made a decision so affecting my dh and our dd's is deeply hurtful, though. Trust has definitely been broken and opportunities like this won't be happening again.

Have the siblings he is close to and he disappointed and hurt expressed to him their feelings about his behavior towards all of the effected family members, including you and your husband? Given the close nature of their relationship and his age and maturity level, hearing it from them might have more of an impact. That’s not to say I don’t think you shouldn’t share your feelings with him.

Edited by Frances
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43 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

Ok ok, wait, your son works IN the bank?  (I am presuming that his bank accounts are with the same bank he works at.)

Well that certainly adds a whole other level of frustration.

Having said that, I still probably would have just stopped by the bank on a day I knew he was going to be at work.  Just so much less drama than all this other stuff.  

 

 

I think that’s super nice of you. 

But I don’t think it means there’s less drama. It just means you dealt with the drama instead of him. Which hey if that doesn’t annoy the ever lovin’ crap out of you to have to do that all the time for someone - that’s great. For you. 

But it’s really not okay to treat people like that. I bet you’d feel bad if someone else had to do that for you. I bet you’d feel a bit sheepish about it and try not to do that again. And if that other person didn’t or couldn’t just handle it for you - I bet you wouldn’t treat them like poop for it. I hope not anyways. 

For me, there’s zero drama. I said X was needed, reminded and asked if that was still going to work, and they just couldn’t manage even so. No hard feelings. Now I know better so I won’t set that situation up again. And oddly enough, knowing that seems to keep people from treating me that way.  It happens but not often and not repeatedly.

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I’m presuming that his plans weren’t just changed for him and he and sibling were asked what they thought of changing things. If not, well there’s a mess to clean up. 

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57 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Oh sorry, I misread that as he paid for that trip.  

 

49 minutes ago, Frances said:

I misunderstood then. I thought he had paid for the entire six week trip last year.

 

I misunderstood, too!

I feel sad for BakersDozen and I’m disappointed for her dds who were looking forward to a fun vacation with their brother.

I think BakersDozen should definitely tell her dh exactly what happened. It’s not fair to keep that information from him.

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Is it possible your son might also have felt overwhelmed at having another sister for a big trip?  He's only 22.

"winner" isn't what I'd call him. agree your friend is an enabler of her own sons.  Hopefully your son will "grow up".

 

eta: why would you even consider not telling your dh?  I'm confused on that point.

Edited by gardenmom5

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OP, I am struck by the language you use to describe your son...and in describing your neighbor.

I would have problems with his behavior, but you seem to note serious flaws in his character.

 

 

 

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why would you even consider not telling your dh?  I'm confused on that point.

I will tell my dh...but I don't want to. He came home and did nothing but serve his family, same as he does every night. He made dinner, played with kids, went outside to do yard work, etc. and will continue to serve until long after the kids go to bed. He was up until after midnight last night finalizing details for the trip he will make with the girls - a trip he is willing to make yet should not have had to. So the idea of telling this man that his son ended up going on the trip after all...I'm crying just knowing I have to tell him. My sense of wanting to protect my dh is kicking in, I guess, at least for a little while. But yes, I'll tell him.

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8 minutes ago, BakersDozen said:

I will tell my dh...but I don't want to. He came home and did nothing but serve his family, same as he does every night. He made dinner, played with kids, went outside to do yard work, etc. and will continue to serve until long after the kids go to bed. He was up until after midnight last night finalizing details for the trip he will make with the girls - a trip he is willing to make yet should not have had to. So the idea of telling this man that his son ended up going on the trip after all...I'm crying just knowing I have to tell him. My sense of wanting to protect my dh is kicking in, I guess, at least for a little while. But yes, I'll tell him.

Because your kid is being such a butt.......what would happen if you asked him to tell his dad?

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3 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

 

I think that’s super nice of you. 

But I don’t think it means there’s less drama. It just means you dealt with the drama instead of him. Which hey if that doesn’t annoy the ever lovin’ crap out of you to have to do that all the time for someone - that’s great. For you. 

But it’s really not okay to treat people like that. I bet you’d feel bad if someone else had to do that for you. I bet you’d feel a bit sheepish about it and try not to do that again. And if that other person didn’t or couldn’t just handle it for you - I bet you wouldn’t treat them like poop for it. I hope not anyways. 

For me, there’s zero drama. I said X was needed, reminded and asked if that was still going to work, and they just couldn’t manage even so. No hard feelings. Now I know better so I won’t set that situation up again. And oddly enough, knowing that seems to keep people from treating me that way.  It happens but not often and not repeatedly.

Well I am not sure that "hey, I am out running errands, I am gonna stop by your Wells Fargo branch (or whatever) so that you can get that cash out of your ATM so I can pay this CC bill." is so much more dramatic that what the OP actually has going on right now.

But also, I already said a few posts ago that I am not talking about an "all the time" sort thing.  Even with what else she has posted, I haven't gotten the impression that the OP's son is regularly stiffing his parents on money they have fronted him.  If that's the case, that this thing is happening "all the time" then yes, I agree with you.

 

And in general, just so that my position is clear, I do think her son is being an immature butt and he IS in the wrong.  

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4 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

OP, I am struck by the language you use to describe your son...and in describing your neighbor.

I would have problems with his behavior, but you seem to note serious flaws in his character.

 

Well yeah. Humans have serious character flaws. 🤷‍♀️ There’s not much history of that being parented out of kids.  We have Jesus and Mary on the very short list. Sure we try to reduce how bad the human tendency is, but it’s there all the same. Even the saints had personal character flaws to work on. I don’t know about any of you but I for sure have serious character flaws and so does everyone I know.  

1 hour ago, happysmileylady said:

Well I am not sure that "hey, I am out running errands, I am gonna stop by your Wells Fargo branch (or whatever) so that you can get that cash out of your ATM so I can pay this CC bill." is so much more dramatic that what the OP actually has going on right now.

But also, I already said a few posts ago that I am not talking about an "all the time" sort thing.  Even with what else she has posted, I haven't gotten the impression that the OP's son is regularly stiffing his parents on money they have fronted him.  If that's the case, that this thing is happening "all the time" then yes, I agree with you.

 

And in general, just so that my position is clear, I do think her son is being an immature butt and he IS in the wrong.  

 

I get that. And sure it’s not like I don’t ever do a nice thing for my kids that I shouldn’t really need to, such is love and friendship. No big deal.  But her language implies he has a tendency to act this way about things. Which sucks but alas some folks we love can be this way. Hopefully they don’t stay that way forever.  I don’t think she’s crying bc there is drama.  There really isn’t any. He left them hanging. They are hurt but not terribly surprised. Dad decided he still wanted the girls to have this trip so he decided to do it instead. No drama. Just sucks. 

Edited by Murphy101
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I'm sorry that everything went awry, and that you are hurt.

I think it's unusual for a 22 year old to devote that much time and money to traveling with younger siblings. I noticed from your signature that you have many children, and often the oldest takes more responsibility than is typical in large families. While that has been okay with him in the past, perhaps now that he is working on establishing his independence, it doesn't sit as well with him. He definitely handled things poorly. I think that I would no longer expect or trust him to travel with the younger children. You say that he enjoys spending time with them, and that is fine, but he can do that while they are in town together and does not need to involve taking trips.

Personally, I would not put someone who resists taking advice and direction from me in charge of some of my children on a long cross-country trip. I realize that you have done it before, but now that it's obvious that unexpected things can go wrong, I would not do it again.

You say that you know that he must have the money, but you also mention that he is not saving and is spending unwisely. Perhaps he does not have a great sense about what he should be doing with his income. I think it would be better for his long-term success for you to not count on him to spend any big chunks of money on anyone but himself, while he is a young adult. He can (and should, in my opinion) be saving for a house, a future family, a college degree, and his retirement instead.

So I'm sorry that you are hurt. But the situation may signal that it's time to change the expectations and dynamics. You could let him know that you want him to be saving money instead of spending it, and that therefore, big trips like this will not be expected of him and will not be accepted from him as gifts. Then arrange for a fun in-town activity, so that the family can spend time together in a different way.

I know this would not change your hurt feelings. But it may keep this kind of problem from repeating itself. I would be really hurt by the fact that he took the trip by himself. But if you can work your way past that, perhaps you can see it as a nonverbal sign from him that he is wanting to launch out on his own now. It is a painful way for him to let you know that.

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I'm wondering if he didn't actually have his share of the money to send you and that is why he kept stalling and making excuses. Maybe he "paid" for his solo trip with a credit card. 

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4 hours ago, BakersDozen said:

I will tell my dh...but I don't want to. He came home and did nothing but serve his family, same as he does every night. He made dinner, played with kids, went outside to do yard work, etc. and will continue to serve until long after the kids go to bed. He was up until after midnight last night finalizing details for the trip he will make with the girls - a trip he is willing to make yet should not have had to. So the idea of telling this man that his son ended up going on the trip after all...I'm crying just knowing I have to tell him. My sense of wanting to protect my dh is kicking in, I guess, at least for a little while. But yes, I'll tell him.

I'm sorry that you are struggling so much with this.  I am afraid that I don't really understand why you would feel like you had to shield an adult male from what really is just a case of a young man being a bit on the immature side. 

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7 hours ago, Storygirl said:

I think it's unusual for a 22 year old to devote that much time and money to traveling with younger siblings. I noticed from your signature that you have many children, and often the oldest takes more responsibility than is typical in large families. While that has been okay with him in the past, perhaps now that he is working on establishing his independence, it doesn't sit as well with him. He definitely handled things poorly. I think that I would no longer expect or trust him to travel with the younger children. You say that he enjoys spending time with them, and that is fine, but he can do that while they are in town together and does not need to involve taking trips.

I mostly agree with this.  By reading online and listening to other people irl, I know I’m blessed that my older kids are close to each other and very interested in staying close to in house younger siblings even though they don’t live together.  They are very aware that they have to put in a lot more effort to have a close relationship to their younger siblings because they aren’t growing up together with them. They call, text, come by to visit or pick up younger siblings for fun times together.  They’ve gone out of town a few times together. But nothing hat expensive or far or that long.  But if they can’t manage the cost, for whatever reason, then oh well I certainly understand that bc I can’t either.  If they acted like this about it, I wouldn’t okay the trip and frankly, my younger kids would be too hurt to want to go with them.  It’s repairable damage over time but I’d have a sit down talk with my older kid about this.  Or have dad or someone else have he conversation with him if he wouldn’t listen to me  

Personally, I would not put someone who resists taking advice and direction from me in charge of some of my children on a long cross-country trip. I realize that you have done it before, but now that it's obvious that unexpected things can go wrong, I would not do it again.

You say that you know that he must have the money, but you also mention that he is not saving and is spending unwisely. Perhaps he does not have a great sense about what he should be doing with his income. I think it would be better for his long-term success for you to not count on him to spend any big chunks of money on anyone but himself, while he is a young adult. He can (and should, in my opinion) be saving for a house, a future family, a college degree, and his retirement instead.

So I'm sorry that you are hurt. But the situation may signal that it's time to change the expectations and dynamics. You could let him know that you want him to be saving money instead of spending it, and that therefore, big trips like this will not be expected of him and will not be accepted from him as gifts. Then arrange for a fun in-town activity, so that the family can spend time together in a different way.

 

Edited by Murphy101

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I don’t think it’s your fault at all, and he’s handling this irresponsibly, but...I am reading between the lines that your expectations of him don’t really line up with most 22 y/o.  I also suspect he doesn’t quite share all of your values, like abhoring debt.  He probably couldn’t figure out what the big deal was in owing you money, didn’t really want to chaperone three mid-teen girls(it sounds like he invited two and you decided to send the third as well?), and possibly(probably?) didn’t really have the money to pay you when you asked. Obviously he should have just been up front that he didn’t have it.  But he’s 22.

My personal feeling is a trip like this he should have only been paying his own way anyway.  He’s only 22, it doesn’t sound like he has a college education, and he can’t possibly be making a ton of money. My younger sister came with me to Hawaii when she was 17 and I was 23. I didn’t pay a dime of her expenses; they were handled by my parents.  But I am from a family where my parents(and my in laws) still occasionally spring for family vacations.   I also wasn’t chaperoning her at all.  I have younger sisters, but there is no way I would have wanted to take three teenage girls on a trip with me at that age.

Edited by Medicmom2.0
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I don't care how old he is, what he did to his sisters is unacceptable and I would call him out on it.  I would bring sister's along because he needs to apologize to them.   I'd have a frank talk about what kind of person he wants to be.  What kind of spouse does he want to be?  Things like this.  Yes, he's immature, but at 22 he needs to work on some character building.  

IOW- it's one thing to be a selfish jerk with your parents, but to treat younger siblings like that is mean spirited.  

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His behavior and going back on his agreement/disappointing his sisters and jerking around his parents are all not ok.  Whatever his issue, he owed everyone better and earlier communication.  

That said, like Farrar, I am having a hard time understanding this gift.  I don’t know any 22 year old bank employees who can honestly afford to give $1000+ birthday presents to their sibling. Entry level management at a bank just doesn’t pay enough to make that a financially prudent gift and I assume that’s the highest level a 22 year old could be at.  If my son suggested such a gift at that juncture in his life, I might have suggested a less expensive alternative instead if it were appropriate for me to do so.  Or else just bite my tongue hard and let him make his own terrible financial decisions in the hope he learned sooner rather than later. 

None of that makes his shitty behavior your fault though.  

Edited by LucyStoner
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18 hours ago, BakersDozen said:

Our son really and truly does enjoy being with his sisters, which is why the decision he made is so very hurtful. He wasn't going on this trip as a chaperone (and was 100% willing/excited to do so last year). This was more a fun, let's get away kind of trip. They would have had a great time as they always do. Thinking on what we see in our ds we feel that he is one who allows pride to win over common sense. Even in conversation if I offer an idea/opinion he usually counters it even if his argument makes no sense. He just has to be right which means everyone else has to be wrong. So even if our request for money was right, we were "wrong" and he responded as he did. And then went on a trip anyway. And that's what has me in tears today.

To answer your question I would be very annoyed and yes very hurt.  I believe you that he does like spending time with his sisters.....it is derailing for people to assume that the real problem is he doesn’t want to hang out with his sisters .  The real problem is he ruined a trip for his sisters and he broke trust with his parents.  Those are not small things.  It does sound like he has a pride issue and did not like being told what to do——-which he could have avoided if he had actually just done what he agreed to without having to be told.  

Adult kids are difficult sometimes.  I am not in a position to offer advice . But I do want to say I feel bad for you and your husband.  

Edited by Scarlett
Did not mean to t/j

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I know this is not the main point of your concern, OP, but I think that both you (meaning you and your husband) and your son should re-evaluate the way that you think about his spending. I've been trying to teach DD17 how to think wisely about finances, and I'm finding that my lessons are not exactly sinking in with her, so I'm attuned to seeing red flags with young adults and spending.

One of the things that I'm trying to impress upon DD is that just because money is in the bank does not mean that it is available to spend. In your son's situation, I really agree that someone with an entry-level low end salary should not consider spending $1000 on anything really, other than basic needs, such as transportation and living expenses. And I'm really sorry to say this, because I know you are already in a low place emotionally, but I don't think the parents of a young person in that financial position should be encouraging or expecting large expenditures like that either. I think you can give him guidance about his spending habits, but I think it's worrisome that you are concerned with him spending $20 to go to the movies but think it's okay for him to pay a huge sum to pay his sister's vacation expenses. It doesn't add up to me. If you are involved in his finances at his age, I think it should only be to encourage him to save. And then you could help him budget, if he asks for your help. There should be no expectation for him to use his hard-earned money for his extended family; he needs to be using it to start a good foundation for his own long-term financial life. If he chooses to spend it on a trip for himself, as he has, I would consider that an unwise decision, yet one that he is entitled to make, given that he earned that money for himself.

One of the things I am trying to teach DD is to use her hourly rate of pay to help her decide whether something is a worthwhile expenditure. I imagine it must require WEEKS of work for your son to pay for that kind of gift to his sister. I don't think that anyone, much less a sibling, should be dedicating that portion of their wages toward gifts.

I know money advice is not what you asked for, but I really think it's part of the overall problem and is worth all parties involved to do some rethinking and prioritizing.

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15 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

OP, I am struck by the language you use to describe your son...and in describing your neighbor.

I would have problems with his behavior, but you seem to note serious flaws in his character.

Yeah, I guess that's part of what rubs me the wrong way. I feel like I'm missing something all the way around. He screwed up - especially in how he treated his sisters. In my family, these types of promises were often made and gone back on and it feels cruddy. But on the other hand, the expectations for his behavior and monetary situation seem really off. And that seems to be leading to a belief that this wasn't him messing up, but that he's got fundamental issues. I guess I don't see that necessarily. Obviously, we're not there. And I totally agree that his behavior sounds petty toward you and unkind to say the least toward his sisters. But... when you set up the expectation that paying for a big trip and playing chaperone on trips in general is something that a 22 yo should be doing in the first place, I think that's going to create an issue as well and skew a person's view of what's a mistake vs. what's a deeper flaw or issue.

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10 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

One of the things that I'm trying to impress upon DD is that just because money is in the bank does not mean that it is available to spend. 

 

This is a critically important lesson.  

My 16 year old son has quite a bit saved up but he has short and long term plans for the money as part of a budget that we work with him on.  

At 22, a good gift for a 16 year old sister is taking them out to the movies or buying them a book.  

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I only have one adult sibling, who is 8 years younger than me, but we have both flaked out and failed each other at times.  I'm just realizing at age 36 (and I think he's realizing, too) that the root cause of this is that we don't want to be as close as our parent wants us to be, or tries to make us be.  We like each other and get along well, but we are not friend-siblings and are okay with that.  We are not going to call or text each other out of the blue and chat.  We aren't going to ask each other for favors except in real emergencies.  He's my mechanic, but I take the cars in through the front desk at the shop and use a different tech if necessary.  We aren't inviting each other to non-holiday barbecues, and we certainly don't vacation together.  We just have very separate lives, and have evolved into this in a way that I would never have been able to see or articulate at age 22, because at that point we could have grown closer.  That didn't happen though.

This summer, DH sprained his ankle and couldn't mow the yard.  My mom asked my brother if he would come over and mow it for us and he said, "Sure!"  He never showed up.  I knew that would happen (and actually had already mowed the yard myself), because a) *I* didn't ask, and b) we've been through this before where he agrees to something after being caught off guard by the request and feels like he can't say no.  It hurts my mom's feelings that we don't help each other and bail each other out and plan to see each other often the way she does with her sibling.  But that's not the where we are right now, and I refuse to let that stuff cause problems.  I'm sure someday we'll come up clutch for the other when needed, but I don't want the pressure to be "close" to damage the cordial-with-distance sibling relationship we do have.  Maybe we can meet up weekly at McDonald's for coffee and biscuits in our 80's.

It doesn't excuse his behavior and flipping out on you, but it's possible this is the start of the process of him and his sisters growing apart for now, and he's having a hard time seeing it and putting words to it.  I don't know how I'll feel about this watching my own sons grow up and hash out their relationships as adults, but I know it's really, really hard on my mom to see our lives not intersect the way she always hoped and expected they would.  I think she worries that someday she'll be gone and my brother and I will text each other on Christmas and that will be it.   Maybe?  Who knows?  Even now, I'm not sure I'd ever say to her what I just typed out above.

 

Edited by BarbecueMom

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How would I feel? Bad for the girl who didn’t get her birthday trip. (The tag along wasn’t part of the gift so I doubt she’s as emotionally upset about it) And probably a little bad that I encouraged such a large gift. Just because he spends money on burgers and movies doesn’t mean that he should be encouraged to spend so much on a sibling gift. There are lots of ways to bond and spend time w siblings without being overly extravagant.  No, you cannot dictate how he spends his money, so if he wanted to gift the trip, I agree that you shouldn’t micromanage his choices. But that line between helping him learn to budget and save and micromanaging is so difficult because it’s different for every kid.  

I would also be irritated that he didn’t pay as agreed without you badgering him. (That’s something that really irritates me- ds is on our phone plan and sometimes he doesn’t pay me until I ask for it. Yeah, that’s not how responsible people handle their bills, son. )

And if he was having second thoughts or couldn’t afford to pay for dd or whatever, I’d be annoyed he didn’t speak up. And then I’d be super annoyed that he took the trip alone.  

I’m not trying to make you feel bad...just answering the question in the post title- ‘how would you feel’.  

Hope you can tell dh without hesitation. It’s a reflection on your ds, not your parenting. You have to remember that. Our adult kids’ choices are just that- their choices. 

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My 22 year old son has great qualities much of  the time and is fairly good at this adulting thing but he’s not perfect. And the trouble spots are often in communication and with finances. I just tell him,  “Next time I would appreciate it if you told me if you were having second thoughts about a trip. “ (or whatever). But given the intensity of your emotional reaction he might have been scared to do that. 

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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There is nothing  to indicate a) ds22 changed his mind about taking his sisters b) the parents encouraged him to spend a lot of money on his sister.  In fact,  they paid a generous amount toward a trip that he had offered to pay for himself.  

He obviously had the money because he went alone.

i don’t know why we can’t take BD at her word that he tends to get angry and prideful when he feels he is being told what to do.  The parents obviously feel it is a character issue and they have known him for 22 years.  

Of course ‘his story’ might be different.  Of course!  He isn’t here asking for kindness and support.  BD is.  

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Just now, Scarlett said:

There is nothing  to indicate a) ds22 changed his mind about taking his sisters b) the parents encouraged him to spend a lot of money on his sister.  In fact,  they paid a generous amount toward a trip that he had offered to pay for himself.  

He obviously had the money because he went alone.

i don’t know why we can’t take BD at her word that he tends to get angry and prideful when he feels he is being told what to do.  The parents obviously feel it is a character issue and they have known him for 22 years.  

Of course ‘his story’ might be different.  Of course!  He isn’t here asking for kindness and support.  BD is.  

At 22, I don’t try to parent my son and shape his character. I communicate clearly what I am willing to do. I answer questions when he has them. But my role has shifted to that of an adult mentor. I don’t know BD’s belifs, but my own belief is that God will now be primarily shaping his character, not me. (At mid-fifties, God is still shaping my character as we are never quite done in our growth.). 

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4 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

At 22, I don’t try to parent my son and shape his character. I communicate clearly what I am willing to do. I answer questions when he has them. But my role has shifted to that of an adult mentor. I don’t know BD’s belifs, but my own belief is that God will now be primarily shaping his character, not me. (At mid-fifties, God is still shaping my character as we are never quite done in our growth.). 

Agreed.  But that doesn’t mean his character isn’t evident to BD or that she and her family is not affected by it.  If they speak to him they do......I know some parents would do that and others would not.  

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20 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

There is nothing  to indicate a) ds22 changed his mind about taking his sisters b) the parents encouraged him to spend a lot of money on his sister.  In fact,  they paid a generous amount toward a trip that he had offered to pay for himself.  

He obviously had the money because he went alone.

i don’t know why we can’t take BD at her word that he tends to get angry and prideful when he feels he is being told what to do.  The parents obviously feel it is a character issue and they have known him for 22 years.  

 

I don’t think anyone is excusing the 22yos behavior.  He didn’t communicate well.  He cancelled on his sisters and left them hanging. He’s acting like a jerk in a lot of ways from the sound of it.  

Still, there’s something odd about the gift to me and others. That’s a lot of money for an average 22 year old to spend on a gift for a sibling.  

1. If my young adult son proposed a very expensive gift like this trip for his little sibing, I would compliment his generosity but try to guide him in a more affordable direction if it were possible to do so or I would step back and let him make what I saw as a financial mistake, hoping he learned from it.  

I would not make the trip larger by asking him to include another family member or endorse the spending by paying for it upfront myself.  

2. Having the money =\= being able to afford something.  Unless he’s got a trust fund or a much better job than typical for a 22 year old, that’s just a lot to drop on a birthday.  

 

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I'm hearing the complaint that he's willing to spend other people's money but hoards his own (as a character flaw).  A. This is a very Dave Ramsey character trait, possibly if you listen to him that's where DS22 got it and 2. letting your 22 yo non-degreed son pay for your minor daughter's travel and lodging costs for a major trip is nothing if not willingness to spend other people's money.

He did act in a jerky manner.  

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2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

To answer your question I would be very annoyed and yes very hurt.  I believe you that he does like spending time with his sisters.....it is derailing for people to assume that the real problem is he doesn’t want to hang out with his sisters .  The real problem is he ruined a trip for his sisters and he broke trust with his parents.  Those are not small things.  It does sound like he has a pride issue and did not like being told what to do——-which he could have avoided if he had actually just done what he agreed to without having to be told.  

Adult kids are difficult sometimes.  I am not in a position to offer advice because I have failed as a mother.  But I do want to say I feel bad for you and your husband.  

 

Totally off the topic of this thread, but...

Scarlett, please don’t say you have failed as a mother!!! Even if your son made a terrible, awful, worst-possible choice in his life, it’s still ONE really bad decision. He’s young and immature and he is so strong willed that when he decided to get rebellious, he had to do it in a very big way. But that doesn’t make you a bad mother and it doesn’t mean you have failed. 

You have always done everything within your power to be a good mother and a good role model for your son. But you can’t control his personality, so please try to give yourself some grace. Also, whatever happened, I’m sure he still loves you in his heart even if he’s angry right now, so please don’t lose hope!

You're a good mom, Scarlett, even if your son has strayed from your morals right now. 

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Does she mean "winner" sarcastically?  My mom uses that all the time to mean loser.  (Not that I think your friend should call your son a loser either.)

Assuming she meant it positively, she is probably trying to help you feel better about something you are very disappointed about.  I tend to do that.  "Oh well, but look at the bright side."

Your son will have to learn the hard way about life, because he apparently isn't disposed to learn the easy way.  Some people just aren't.  It will be OK.

What I would tell my friends/relatives about this:  don't ever put your trust in him like that again.  Hurt me once, shame on you; hurt me twice, shame on me.

Thankfully this was just a recreational trip he screwed up.  A relatively cheap lesson if you think about it.

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2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

 

Adult kids are difficult sometimes.  I am not in a position to offer advice because I have failed as a mother.  But I do want to say I feel bad for you and your husband.  

 

That is so much of a final statement as to be a cop out. What can people do when they've failed someone who is still alive and less than 25 years old? Apologize for your part of the conflict. Admit that parents can make mistakes, too. Make amends. 

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After thinking about this some more, I am wondering if the young man was already quite nervous about other aspects of the trip and the "pay now or we will cancel" was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back.

If it had happened very recently, I would wait for a calm moment and ask him.  It might be enlightening.  What he did was still wrong, but getting him to talk about why he lost it (over a reasonable request) might help him to think about better ways to handle that overwhelmed feeling.

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Oh - and I have a relative who cancels on us all the time.  I have taught my kids to not count on her; if she shows up, it's a bonus.  I also have another relative who blows up for irrational reasons and acts a fraction of her age.  Thankfully these are two different relatives who have other redeeming qualities.

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18 minutes ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

 

That is so much of a final statement as to be a cop out. What can people do when they've failed someone who is still alive and less than 25 years old? Apologize for your part of the conflict. Admit that parents can make mistakes, too. Make amends. 

While I generally agree with your sentiment that both sides here need to apologize for their part , admit mistakes, and make amends, unless I’m misunderstanding (and that’s entirely possible given the nature of that thread), the wedding just happened on Friday. So I’m assuming very strong feelings are still being experienced by everyone involved. Everyone needs time to cool down in their separate corners before attempting reconciliation, otherwise I think more hurtful things are likely to be said or done. I would hope Scarlett will not feel the same way about failing after some time and distance.

Edited by Frances
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I'm wondering, also, if it's possible that the son could not get a refund for his airline ticket. Or was facing a large charge to change the ticket. Or would have to use it soon for another trip, which he does not have plans for. And so he thought that he should use the ticket instead of letting it go to waste. Especially if he already had the vacation time approved from work. He may have been trying to rescue some good from a situation that had turned sour.

That's not to say that he handled things well. Just that there may be things related to his decision that were logical and were not communicated to the rest of the family.

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I had to stop reading somewhere in the middle of the first page. It sounds like you REALLY  don't like your son and it was hard for me to keep reading.  You called him stubborn and opportunistic. You also sound very judgy about how he spends his own money. You didn't say one nice thing about him.  There are always three sides to every story and while he might not have behaved in the best way, he is still only 22, but you, as an adult, seems to be fuming with soooo much anger towards him.....

If my parents thought that poorly of me, I would very much try to stay away from them.

Edited by SereneHome
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8 minutes ago, SereneHome said:

I had to stop reading somewhere in the middle of the first page. It sounds like you REALLY  don't like your son and it was hard for me to keep reading.  You called him stubborn and opportunistic. You also sound very judgy about how he spends his own money. You didn't say one nice thing about him.  There are always three sides to every story and while he might not have behaved in the best way, he is still only 22, but you, as an adult, seems to be fuming with soooo much anger towards him.....

If my parents thought that poorly of me, I would very much try to stay away from them.

Maybe you should have kept reading. She did say nice things. She says he is a great older brother and enjoys doing things for his sisters and that he is very close to them. 

The  post was  about something  he did that greatly upset her and that she sees as an ongoing pattern in him.  And she is  still really upset. Give her a break. 

Good grief. 

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1 minute ago, Scarlett said:

Maybe you should have kept reading. She did say nice things. She says he is a great older brother and enjoys doing things for his sisters and that he is very close to them. 

The  post was  about something  he did that greatly upset her and that she sees as an ongoing pattern in him.  And she is  still really upset. Give her a break. 

Good grief. 

May be....

but once she called him opportunistic,  I just didn't want to anymore.  I will stop reading this thread completely now.

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Did you warn him that you'd cancel the AirBnB if he didn't give you the funds by a certain date? If feels kind of jerky and passive aggressive to just spring that on him without warning. I wouldn't do that to other adults. He may not have been able to rebook a comparable place for the same price and I can see how an immature young adult could be a little freaked out, insulted, and impulsive. 

I'm not excusing his behavior. He was definitely rude in the way he handled it, but I see some issues going on both sides if I'm reading this correctly.

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I do agree that telling him at the last minute that he has nearly no time to save the trip would be unhelpful.  It would not promote clear thinking and planning.

I did assume it was not a last minute surprise though.  And even if it was - that is not something that can be un-done.  Depending on the facts, an apology from OP/DH may be appropriate.

Edited by SKL

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1 hour ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

 

That is so much of a final statement as to be a cop out. What can people do when they've failed someone who is still alive and less than 25 years old? Apologize for your part of the conflict. Admit that parents can make mistakes, too. Make amends. 

 

She didn’t say there was nothing to do. She said she didn’t fee she could give advice bc she feels she didn’t do it right herself. 

And sometimes you can’t make amends. Sometimes you just have to move on and try to do better. 

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56 minutes ago, SereneHome said:

I had to stop reading somewhere in the middle of the first page. It sounds like you REALLY  don't like your son and it was hard for me to keep reading.  You called him stubborn and opportunistic. You also sound very judgy about how he spends his own money. You didn't say one nice thing about him.  There are always three sides to every story and while he might not have behaved in the best way, he is still only 22, but you, as an adult, seems to be fuming with soooo much anger towards him.....

If my parents thought that poorly of me, I would very much try to stay away from them.

This really bothered me, too.

OP, you have referred to your son as prideful, stubborn, opportunistic, disrespectful, ungenerous, lacking any humility or remorse, and a person who cares only for himself. If you want to maintain any kind of relationship with this child, I would urge you to try to reframe those feelings in terms of (immature but changeable) behavior instead of seeing them as evidence of a failed moral character that is integral to who he is. He's only 22! Many many young adults are rash and self-centered and immature at that age, but they do eventually grow up. If you make him believe that his own parents think he is, by nature, just a terrible, selfish, opportunistic person, then you may not have much of a relationship left by the time he does grow out of it.

I'm sorry he hurt your feelings and disappointed his sisters. I'm also sorry his mother feels such anger and disdain towards him.

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OP. For clarity. 

How did your son pitch this idea to you? Did he suggest it from the start? What did he agree to at the start?

Who broached the topic of changing those original plans?  How was it brought up? How was that received? Was there equal enthusiasm? Or did he hesitate?

When the plans were changed, did you state up front that you needed his portion by X date? (I would have given a date several week earlier than I actually needed to allow wiggle room, but I wouldn’t have shared that fact.)  Did you state exactly why you needed it by then and what the results would be if you didn’t get it by then?  

Did you discuss if this fit his budgetary needs long term and let him know you would understand if he needed to plan a more fiscally prudent trip?

All of this info would create a better picture to base opinion and future encounters. 

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I think perhaps one of the reasons that the OP was using such negative terminology is because she's really p!$$@d off at him about this, and justifiably so.  If this had been a good friend, or a guy she was dating, I suspect most of us would have advised to dump that friend/SO.  And, if this had been her DH, most posts probably would have been full of recommendations to see a marriage counselor.  And terminology like disrespectful, selfish, and opportunistic would totally be used to describe any other adult who did this to her that was not her own offspring.  

 

 

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