On a personal finance message board I asked other readers to post stories of success and failure in administering tough love to deal with a money problem. One reader who called herself Gardening Grandma posted this story:
“One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my live. My son, at the time, was 19. He had dropped out of school (gotten his GED), could not hold onto a job because he would partly late, sleep in and be late for work so eventually would get fired. After nearly a year of this, I packed him up one evening, drove him to a motel, paid for 1 week’s lodging and gave him $100. Told him he was on his own. Then I went home and cried my heart out. It is still painful to recall. I’d ride the bus to work everyday, wondering if he was one of the many homeless people I saw.
He grew up, learned that he needed a job to eat and provide for himself. He told me a long time ago, that he knew I had had done what I had to do. But Gawd, it was hard for me to do!”
I know many other parents have had similar problems. (Fortunately, I have not!) This parent showed extreme toughness but it paid off. Maybe other parents need to follow this tough love example in helping their children with money problems?