Dear Amy: My 20-year-old son is about to move out of our house. Again. When he first moved out, he went to college and experienced dorm life. He moved home after one semester, and soon signed a lease for an apartment with friends.
He was employed at the same company throughout all of this time and could afford to live on his own. After this lease was over, he bounced back home. At this point, he was making as much money as my husband, who supports me and our two younger children. I let him have his former room and asked him to reimburse us for the extra expense of having him home. He did so begrudgingly. I ended up reducing the amount, but he still resented it.
Now he’s about to move out again and asked if I would let him charge a bedroom set on my credit card. I told him that I couldn’t put myself in additional debt, and he has brought up a few times that he doesn’t have a bed for when he moves out.
He says he can’t get more credit.
Because he’s 20, I feel as if I should help him, especially when he applies guilt. On the other hand, he is making a good salary for someone his age. What do I owe this man-child?
WANNABE TOUGH LOVE MOM
Dear Mom: I like your basic choices, except for one: You should never suggest that your son go into more debt. Furthermore, at age 20, it seems he is already tapped out. Why is this? Is he gambling, overspending when he goes out, giving money to friends? What is his debt situation?
If he wants a bed, you should go with him to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill resale center to shop for a bed or futon. Craigslist (or freecycle.com) are also great sources for low-cost furnishings. He could also put something on layaway or simply save money for a bed and sleep in a sleeping bag until he gets one.
In short: This is not your problem. It is his. He can’t play the guilt card if you don’t have anything to feel guilty about. And you don’t.
Dear Amy: “Meat Lovers” wrote to you, concerned about their future-in-laws, vegans who refused to attend a Thanksgiving feast if they served any meat with the meal. I suggest they ask these in-laws, “Do you wear leather shoes?” If so, then they are using animal products.
TIRED OF DEMANDS
Dear Tired: It is not up to these “Meat Lovers” to challenge their in-laws’ lifestyle.
All they need to do is be clear about what they are willing and able to serve for their feast.