My 29-yr-old daughter has only texted me twice in the past 2 years when she wanted money. She does not speak to us otherwise. What should I do?

I would first call her and if she does not answer, leave a message for her to call me. That doesn’t work, text and tell her if she doesn’t call me, NO More Money Honey. Don’t bother asking, goodbye.

Then when she finally texts back or calls I would still say, sorry can’t afford to keep sending you money, have my own problems to take care of. Then Hold to that, do not listen to any excuses, any challenges, phone Guilt Trip BS, etc.

She sounds as if she is only using you for money, she’s an adult, so let her to be one.

Many kids leave home and then need money, maybe one or two times to help, No super, large amounts, or any “I’ll pay you back.” No they will not. They leave, tell you they are all grown up, love you and then want money. I know this sounds hard hearted, but I’m telling you hard facts. If they are all grown up then let them learn how difficult it can be.

If you want you can invite her back and then listen to whatever, good luck.

Let me be as rational as possible.

I am 28. And I understand the struggles, insecurities and possible WHYs for this behaviour. I am almost a parent.

One thing most parents, especially to millenials, fail to understand causality effect of parenting towards current and future behaviours of their children.

Lets review a few questions, shall we?

  1. How has your relationship with your daughter been? Parents create financial dependancy with or without their knowledge throughout kids growth. Providing solutions with: “How much do you want to do ABC…? ”or “Take my credit card and spoil yourself…” When conflict arises.
  2. Why at 29? A lady or guy at this age has needs that range from tuition fees, house maintenance fees or business start up or continuity money. Parents make initial promises and financial agreements so many times with their children, but fail to meet their bargain.Bitterness of follow ups creates fewer pleasant phone conversations and more about the financial agreement.
  3. Any possible psychological and financial issues in the family? Neglect from responsibilities as child support, withdrawals from family feuds?… etc. I have experienced such issues myself and family wrangles and the resultant neglect of kids’ tuition and child support creates dependency issues that grow deeper with age.
  4. What are his/her possible expenses? Review due dates for main expenses agreed upon or that you know of.
  5. Any possible vices? Substance abuse, gambling etc perhaps. This information can be found through friends, foes, exes, siblings and even on social media.

Possible Solutions

  1. Initiate communication yourself. It won’t hurt to do so. This way you get to know WHY and WHAT is going on.. Sometimes the lack of concern triggers psychological issues whose symptom is financial dependency.
  2. DO NOT change your number. Some advices say you should, I disagree. Breaking communication with your kids causes more harm than good.
  3. Investigate first. If he/she is estranged. By refusing to give money and dis-engaging them can cause drastic alternatives. If demands are justified and show you are are fault from not meeting your end of a financial bargain, issue money as due. And work to do so regularly as agreed.
  4. If option 3 is achieved with no prior agreement made; Create a proposal for a Sit-down. No money offer until everything is crystal for both parties.

All the best.

I am correct to assume you’re deeply hurt by the fact that the only time your 29 year old daughter contacts you, and via text only, is when she needs money.

There seem to be at least two issues here… and they seem to be intertwined.

  1. Issue with the lack of a relationship with your adult daughter.
  2. Issue with money, specifically an adult daughter asking for money and you, the parent, obliging her and giving money.

Let’s address the lack of a relationship with your adult daughter. I’d suggest you invite your daughter over for dinner (if the situation allows). If not a Skype or have a telephone conversation?

Tell your daughter how you feel about not having a relationship with her. Describe the type of relationship you’d like to have with her. Identify what you’re willing to do to meet her half way, e.g. taking the initiative to call her on her birthday, Christmas, etc. Do tell her directly that it would mean a lot if she reciprocate but it’s up to her to decide. Then model what you’d like from her by calling her on the above occasions, and during random days during the year to let her know that you’re thinking of her and wondering how she was doing… Invite her over for lunch, dinner, etc. more often.

If doing all of the above and your daughter continues to live her own life and only contacts you when she needs money… essentially treating you like a ‘bank machine’ and not like parents. Remind her you’re her parent and you’re not being respected as a parent.

2) The issue of giving money to an adult daughter. Understand that:

  • you’re not obliged to give anyone money, be they family or friends.
  • If giving money is a way of showing love to someone you’re already on a slippery slope.
  • In your case is giving money to your 29 year old daughter a way of buying her love? Do you feel you’ll lose her complete if you stopped giving her money when she asks for it?

First things first… as a parent you’re not obliged to give your adult child any money. In fact giving her money may have the opposite effect, she’ll learn to be dependent on you and not take responsibility for being an adult by saving money, living within her financial means, etc. You’re feeding into something that is not healthy. Granted, there are certain situations where you might wish to give her some money simply because you’re feeling generous, etc. It’s a whole different ‘ball of wax’ when an adult child asks parents for money and a parent obliges without conditions for repayment.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Instead set boundaries and ask her to get a loan from the bank.
  • Or give her a small % of what she asks for and ask her to get the rest from the bank.
  • Better yet, loan her a smaller amount of money and set a monthly schedule when she has to pay you back, with interest or no interest. If your daughter fails to pay the set monthly amount back… this will be reason not to continue loaning her money. Be firm, set your boundaries and stick with it.

Your situation is complicated… I’m not sure my response gives justice to your situation. Seeing a family counselor or discussing this matter with someone may be best.

Dear inquiring Mother,

Have you been in touch with each other at all beyond only 2 text messages? What does your heart tell you? What does your gut tell you? I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to your question, however there are INDEED issues to consider before following up on any decision about this situation. If you WANT to truly help your daughter, then you have some important issues to face within this family dynamic before you can proceed in a healthy and respectful manner.

I understand how you would feel loving toward your daughter, and how you might want to help her out, and also to connect with her, and to do what seems best for her. But her signal is clear and you seem to be overlooking a serious dynamic, which will continue unless you face it and decide what your priorities truly are.

For whatever reasons, your daughter wants your assistance, without being required to have any mutual personal involvement. She does not feel that she needs to have a relationship, yet she feels it’s okay to ask for money without any mutual relationship. This is disrespectful and inconsiderate on her part. Apparently, however, from the situation which you describe, she has come to expect that she can treat you however she wishes and there will be no unpleasant consequences for her to face.

I am not suggesting that you USE this request as leverage to get her to agree upon to a visit in return for receiving money from you (as if it were a business arrangement). However, I am suggesting that she can only continue to ‘use you’ if you agree to allow this to continue. You are teaching her that it is acceptable to “use another person” for her own selfish ends. I am suggesting that it is past time for you to let her know how it feels to be treated this way.

It may well be that if you told her that you would like to have a mutual relationship together, she might still ignore your request. And that it seems she still might only want to receive a large monetary form of generosity from you without needing to return any sort of MUTUAL involvement together, like time spent with each other OR an official loan draft via the bank which would require her to pay off whatever amount you felt was appropriate.

However, if you would like to spend time with her personally, this could allow you to at least broach the possibility of experiencing normal opportunities to spend time with her. Her offer appears to expect things to continue as they are (with her own disrespectful and inconsiderate behavior on her part to remain unchanged).

It seems to me that you need to stop ‘enabling her’ to be disrespectful. It also seems that this request she is making (as disrespectful and dismissive as it is, of your options for having a mutual relationship together) feels perfectly okay from her perspective to propose! So she has been led to hope you will accept her one-way request.

It would be ideal if you said something like “I would be glad to help you with your car purchase if it felt like you valued my assistance. What would you think about getting together and spending some time with each other, so we can enjoy some time with each other? You never seem to have time for me and you are asking for a large favor, Maybe we can take this opportunity to readjust things so that both of us can feel that our relationship is mutually beneficial.

I hope that it works out for each of you in some way that allows for a mutually healthy and caring relationship.

I’m sorry for your frustration…I used to do that to my parents.

I didn’t borrow money from them. I didn’t want to call them, they always asked questions about my love life, etc. I found myself calling them less and less as a result.

Then one day I grew up. I finally understood…that I should keep up communication with my quirky parents. I saw how sad and disappointed they were with me. After all, they took care of me and love(d) me. I realized I should be loving and visit and talk, have fun and help around the house…cuz you know you have to do that, lol.

What I’m trying to say is…she’s going to have to grow up…you have to put your foot down & not give her money, period. You don’t have to be angry just tell her no.

If it makes you feel any better you can save the money, use it when necessary, but don’t throw your hard earned money away.

These are suggestions and my heartfelt opinion. I hope the best for you & your children.

I see a couple different options. Let things stay as is, and respond to any future requests however you see fit – a simple “ok” or “no” in response to a request for money, for example. If you say yes, be prepared for that to be your level of communication until you decide differently.

Or, you could initiate a conversation with her. Maybe your daughter feels totally alienated from you. Maybe your daughter is selfish and inconsiderate. Or any number of other reasons she may only communicate with you when she wants money. Only way to know what’s going on is to talk with her. It would probably need to be a delicate conversation. And even the most carefully worded start to that talk may prompt defensiveness, hostility, or some other negative reaction.

If there is someone who is in both your lives, someone that you each trust and respect, maybe that person could help. But be aware that that person may have no desire to get caught in the middle.

Good luck!