Her Daughter Moved Out of the House, But Not Out of Her Wallet

Dear Relationshipper,

My adult daughter recently moved out of our house. She lives just a few miles away from us in an apartment with friends. She and I have always been very close, but lately, the only time I hear from her is when she wants money. It hurts me that I only seem to be a bank to her, but at the same time, I don't want to see her go without. What should I do?

Fresno, California

Dear Cash-strapped,

I understand your difficulty with your situation.  It’s unfortunate that your daughter is taking you for granted, and sees you more as an ATM than the wonderful woman who brought her into this world.

I’d venture to guess that her behavior is just the result of her leaving the nest.  When a baby bird makes its maiden voyage from the security of its home in the trees, it doesn’t turn around to thank its mother – but instead enjoys the exhilarating ride.

Your daughter probably doesn’t intentionally mean to use you for money.  She is probably more focused on her newfound freedom.  She may have wished she went out on her own a long time ago, and is making up for lost time.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that you should give her cash every time she asks for it.  I agree that it’s tough to let your child “go without”, as you say – but what exactly does she need money for?  To pay her rent, or to buy a new TV?  Some of us didn’t have parents to hand over cash, and most of us have found some way to make it in this world.  If she ever starts a family of her own, she’s going to have to learn to take care of herself.  This is why you shouldn’t give her everything she wants, or else she may never become a fully independent human being.

I think it’s great that you care so much about your daughter – but instead of giving her handouts, you might consider small loans.  And don’t forget to invite her over for dinner every once in a while, maybe on a Sunday or Tuesday night when there’s not much going on.  When she comes over, you may want to mention that you heard the local bank is offering a great rate on loans if she ever needs to get one.  The rest of the night, serve up her favorite pasta dish and just enjoy her company.

She will return to the nest in earnest eventually, but right now she needs to fly around a bit.  With patience and some restraint she will learn to fend for herself, and you will learn how to let go and let your daughter begin her new life.

Here’s wishing you the best!


Email me any of your questions to: lisa@relationshipper.com


Post a Comment