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Old 09-06-2019, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,551 posts, read 17,823,070 times
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I wanted to mention the comment about the mother not spending the child support checks on the child. It is possible that it was a misconception or a miscommunication between the parents.

I'll give a concrete example. The parents of my son's best friend were divorced for almost his entire life. The dad reluctantly paid child support for his two children and would usually comment to his kids something like "I'm paying so much in child support there should be enough left over to pay your entire bill for college". Dad had said that for years so when my son's friend graduated from HS he asked his mother how much was in his "college fund". Mom was shocked because there wasn't a college fund (and never was a college fund), as she was expected to do, she had spent all the child support money on the children including buying a small house so that each child could have their own bedroom and they could have a backyard with a garden, play area and could get a pet dog (instead of the tiny two bedroom apartment that she could afford on her own salary).

So the divorced dad thought it was such an exorbitant amount of child support money that ex-wife should "a lot left over" each month but she was actually using all of the money for the benefit of his children.

Last edited by germaine2626; 09-06-2019 at 09:29 AM..
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:24 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,817 posts, read 14,594,456 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
So the divorced dad thought it was such an exorbitant of child support money that ex-wife should "a lot left over" each month but she was actually using all of the money for the benefit of his children.[/b]
Thank you for that. I ran into the same problem with that with my ex. He couldn't 'see' everything I spent and it wasn't until I sat down with an itemized list of where the money was going, including higher rent and utility bills, that he finally stopped accusing me of squandering money on myself.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:43 AM
 
7,280 posts, read 2,628,366 times
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Thankfully, my ex never gave me grief about the child support. I'm thankful for that. I remember one time, getting the check in the mail one day, depositing the check, and then 2 days later, taking the money out and paying to have the carpets cleaned. LOL
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:40 AM
 
9,816 posts, read 13,684,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
I think I "get it" because, like I said, my step grandson has come to live with us, and he's 14...so similar to your situation. Plus, the reasons for him being with us are not ideal...so, saying that it's been an adjustment is an understatement.


I think you and I are working under similar circumstances...the only main difference is that I have previous parenting experience, thus the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, and you don't. I can sympathize and empathize with/for you.
Thank you. Day by day.


I feel good about having him here. I know we are doing the right thing by providing a better life than his mother could. I am surprised he stayed there so long … though I guess when he was little he didn't really have a say/didn't realize as much as he does now that he is older.


My thing is I am not an overall patient person and I get annoyed with little things sometimes … like if he takes out something to drink from the fridge and then leaves the bottle out on the counter instead of putting it back into the fridge or he just leaves plates and cups and things in his room when he goes to get snacks instead of bringing it back out to the kitchen and into the sink.


I guess that is typical teen stuff though. I'm a neatfreak … I live with 2 VERY messy men
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
8,521 posts, read 6,393,953 times
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Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
It doesn't set us back and the $400 is fine. My issue is mainly like is it normal for teens of this age to ask for more and more, after knowing how much was just spent on them? Like the $400 wasn't good enough for my stepson he has to have the bonus cash too?
You keep focusing on the $400. The truth is that none of us know what the precedent is. You've told us that Dad is better off than Mom. Son knows that. But what does it mean? How has it been handled in the past? It could be that Mom has conditioned him to think of his father as Daddy Warbucks or Mr Scrooge. It could be that Mom has indulged him every time she could. It could be that Mom blames Dad for them being poor and that rubs off. Way too much to unpack here. You're trying to distill it to a conversation about money. Money is the symptom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
I don't really know … is he testing us to see how much we'll get him or does he honestly just genuinely not know $400 is a lot of money?
The concept of money is difficult. First of all, things have to be relevant. $400 is a lot of money for dinner in a restaurant but not a lot of money for a new refrigerator. If you need a new refrigerator and have the $400, then you wouldn't think anything of spending it. If you're going to spend it on something discretionary or lavish, then it merits consideration.

Next time, maybe have a budget plan for a shopping trip for him. "We're spending no more than $350 for school supplies." Or whatever number you and your husband deem appropriate. Ask him what he needs ahead of time or talk about it so you have an idea of what is "A Lot" of money.
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Suburb of Chicago
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Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
Thank you Sass! It's been a great help.


As you can imagine, having a kid thrown on you is a big adjustment. I try the best I can. I love him and want him to have a good life with us and not deprive him of too much but I also want him to know that just b/c we are "well-off" does not mean he can take advantage or expect to get everything he wants.


These are hard things to teach when you have never been a parent before. It's even new-ish to my husband b/c while he has always been his dad, he hasn't had him full-time until now either. It's an adjustment for everyone I think.


My husband and I were just so used to our time together and spending money on us.
Now this is a whole new dynamic. It can be really challenging sometimes.
Do you think you might possibly be harboring just a little resentment over the situation because it's not what you thought you signed on for?
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:18 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,849 posts, read 9,227,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdawg8181 View Post
I'm a new stepparent to a 16year old boy. He believes we have unlimited money and tries to take advantage of us b/c of it … but I don't know if he is purposely taking advantage or does he really not understand that money doesn't just appear out of the sky & that we have to work hard to earn it?


My husband took him shopping over the weekend to get stuff for school for him and ended up spending $400. My stepson claimed these were all things he "needed" so whatever my husband ponied up. After the shopping trip, we got some cashback to use @ a later date b/c we spent so much (like a Kohl's Cash concept). My stepson was aware how much my husband spent yet when we got the cashback insisted on using it to buy more stuff. He didn't even ask my husband if he could have it, he just assumed he could.


My husband said he needed to ask & not just assume he could have it … b/c he works hard for the $$ & he already spent $400.


I feel @ 16 one should know enough is enough and that when your parent spends that kind off $ on you, be grateful and don't insist on getting more. I'm not sure if @ 16 does he just not realize that he or is he purposely playing games and trying to see how much he can get?


When do kids/teens start to become of aware of prices and know when it's time to lay low and not ask for more?
You know how many adults I know with no concept of money? Quite a few. They don't know about money because their parents didn't. Teach him.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:00 AM
 
Location: Southwest
70 posts, read 13,206 times
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Quote:
I feel @ 16 one should know enough is enough and that when your parent spends that kind off $ on you, be grateful and don't insist on getting more. I'm not sure if @ 16 does he just not realize that he or is he purposely playing games and trying to see how much he can get? When do kids/teens start to become of aware of prices and know when it's time to lay low and not ask for more?

Not all kids are the same on this, my parents were lower middle class until I was in high school pretty much. I was always grateful to get anything from my parents. Granted I think I was a little selfish as most teenagers are, but not unnecessarily wanting a lot. I saved most allowance I received and worked to have extra money. My city had a decent transportation system so if I wanted to go anywhere I could, or I walked or biked as we had good weather year round pretty much. I didn't care about having a car and the related expenses.

My thought is that its time for a money tutorial and lesson with the young man, give him an idea of what bills you have and what salary is going to pay that. Too many parents don't want to show kids what they make, sometimes its for the best. However, kids need to learn the truth about life, its expensive!!! They need to know house payments, utilities, food and cars take a lot of a paycheck. Also, retirement and savings come into play and then whatever is left over is what you work with!

Back to school time is expensive, truth. However, most school supplies are reasonably priced and on sale in the summers. It's great he gets an allowance as he should so he can pay for extras. He'll learn to save and budget, you can show him how long it takes to earn a laptop, a car etc and it will start to sink in, just because you get a paycheck you don't just go out and buy whatever you want whenever you want.

Also, the 16 year old should be getting a job for the next summer, most people don't understand money until they see their paycheck for the first time and what taxes are! Money gets real then! Also, may get him thinking about careers and how he is going to earn a living after college if he is going there!

Also, cost of living in different areas of the country is a good conversation to have. 80K goes further in the Midwest than say, New York or California. Taxes are a consideration also. Not enough parents talk money and savings to their kids to their detriment. I had a pretty decent Mom and Uncle school me on money which I am forever grateful for!

Last edited by FierceKaia; 09-08-2019 at 04:13 AM.. Reason: formatting
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:23 AM
Status: "Fall is in the Air!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,380 posts, read 103,528,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDak15 View Post
You know how many adults I know with no concept of money? Quite a few. They don't know about money because their parents didn't. Teach him.
Always blame the parents!
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:08 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,849 posts, read 9,227,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
Always blame the parents!
The ones I know come from families that didn't understand money. I know that's not always the case.
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