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HORIZON BLOG

Dad Spoils My Teenaged Son

 

Question

"My father likes to be the man. He thinks nothing of giving my son very expensive gifts. I mean, really expensive, like a car, a jet ski, and an ATV. To be very clear here, my father can afford it. 

The problem is that my son has become reckless and irresponsible. I don’t think these gifts are appropriate for a 16 year old, and I’m trying my best to raise a responsible adult. I wasn’t raised with an overabundance of toys or expensive gifts. I was required to work and pay for part of my college. I expect the same of my children. Dad, on the other hand, seems to have forgotten about those days.

My son needs a reality check, and I need my father to pull back. Please advise."

 

Answer

It sounds like grandpa has done well in life at a later age and enjoys the opportunity to see others reap the benefits. Unfortunately, the largesse can be problematic in the wrong hands, and you’re experiencing it via your son. 

As the parent of a minor, you have the right to control what comes in. That’s easy to say. It’s much harder to tell your father that. 

I recommend you schedule an appointment with your father to talk with him about the situation. Explain the challenges you’re facing. Remind your father about how he raised you. Let him know that as an adult, you now appreciate how you were raised, and desire the same for your son. I suspect your father will feel good about your compliments, and be willing to partner with you to raise a responsible adult. 

Tell Dad you appreciate the hard work it’s taken to achieve his success, and then ask him to work on an appropriate plan for distributing his wealth to his heirs over time. It can be done without harming your son in his formative years.

You can consult financial planners and estate experts who work in this area. You can read about wealth distribution. Get good advice and get it now from all of these different sources.

Having money is great, but with it come challenges. Work closely with your father to resolve and plan. 

This is a challenge for the three of you. I hope you will continue seeking solutions until you find a satisfactory balance.

 

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