HELP FOR PARENTS WITH STRONG-WILLED, OUT-OF-CONTROL CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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Over-Indulgence vs. Accountability

Hi J.,

I've responded throughout your email below:


Hi Mark,

I have a decision to make and hope you can help me with it.

My son has his graduation trip next year booked and the balance payment of $1300 is due now in order to keep the booking of the spot. Originally we agreed that each of us pays a half of the fee and I will reimburse him if he graduates. He paid a half for the initial payment, and I paid the full second payment because he did not have the money ready though he was working. So I told him he would pay the third payment all by himself and he didn't. It was an optional payment, so was left with the balance to be paid all together now.

He has not working since September for he planned he would study hard. He did not do that but goes to school every day and is not doing well, hit and miss with the passing.

I have been hoping that he would come to me and ask about it because he should worry about the balance payment. He hasn't. Shall I just pay it quietly?

==> Only if you want to continue to use an over-indulgent parenting style (the type of parenting that has contributed significantly to your current parent-child difficulties). I would suggest that you stick to the original agreement. If your son defaults on his part, then he chooses to lose the trip.

Shall I talk to him and then pays it? Shall I forget about it and lose the a few hundred already paid. The counselor we are seeing thinks that I should just pay for it and tell my son that he has been trying(because he goes to school every day). What shall I do and say to him? I feel stuck.

==> We always want to set-up situations at home that are representative of how the real world operates, and in the real world, if one does not live up to his end of the deal, the deal falls through.

Whenever you are in doubt about what to do in any particular situation, always ask yourself, "Is the decision I'm about to make going to foster the development of self-reliance or dependency?"

If your decision will help foster self-reliance -- it is a good decision. If it will foster more dependency, then you should come up with a different plan.

Clearly, allowing your son to forget his part of the original deal will foster more dependency. The money you'll lose will be money well spent on teaching your son a valuable lesson.


Mark

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