"If a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there's anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it." --Howe
LATEST ADVICE: Young Adult Must Keep Debt, And Dad, At Bay
(taken from 11/8/19 "Ask Amy")
LETTER: I'm 23 years old and currently in a lot of debt. I've been doing my best to pay it off.
For the last year, I've held a well-paying job. However, my dad is constantly curious about how much money I have.
I loaned him $1,200 nine months ago. He said that he just needed a little help with some bills.
How my parents handle their bills is none of my business. I've talked to my mom about it and she thinks it's wrong of him to be asking his youngest daughter to pay his bills. She is also lending him a lot of money. Amy, I just gave him another $400 to pay his cellphone bill.
A couple of days ago I was on the phone, telling him about a situation I was in. He interrupted me, asking me to put more money into his account.
He has never paid me back anything, even though he says he will.
I don't even want to answer his calls anymore because all he wants from me is money.
I love both my parents very much. Any suggestions?
Amy wants you to have a reasonable discussion with Dad. Skillz presents an alternative:
SKILLZ SAYS: Seriously, does your father have an addiction??? I know I'd personally have to be on drugs to even consider borrowing that much dough from anyone, let alone my kid.
Let's assume for the moment that he is not an addict, because the problems stemming from addiction go well beyond the scope of our expertise. Let's just say he's a financially-stunted human being.
The first thing I want you to do is make your dad feel as small as possible. Yes, I can see where you wrote how much you love him but your goal is to stop him from seeing you as his personal ATM. One of these days, YOU call HIM asking for money. But before he can stutter out an answer, immediately add, "Oh, wait, I forgot. All your money comes from me already." Then quickly disconnect.
Send photos of you with things you want but cannot afford, with passive-aggressive messages attached: "Wanted this car, but was $1200 short of the down payment. Darn!" Post to social media if possible, especially if Dad has an account.
Another social media avenue to travel down: make it known you are turning to others for help besides your papa. "Dead broke and ran out of gas today, luckily I can count on my (pastor/dentist/landlord/butcher) to come through in a pinch!"
And if none fo this stops Dad from again sticking his hand out, make him do stuff for the cash. Make him mop your apartment, change your oil, something. Even if it's just for your amusement. Remember: the guy is asking you for hundreds of dollars so it's not unreasonable for YOU to want HIM to perform a little dance for the money. (And if he IS willing to humiliate himself for the $, I say he's earned it; don't ask for it back. You probably wouldn't get it anyway.) WIN! You're welcome.
Helicopter Dad Won't Leave Son Alone
(taken from 9/10/19 "Dear Abby")
LETTER: I'm a 23-year-old man living in Texas. I am a college graduate and on my own now. My parents are very caring, but my father has an unhealthy obsession with me.
He messages me multiple times a day. It never stops. I'm currently looking for teaching jobs, and he tries to intervene by looking for them for me. He's like a wasp that will not go away, and it is making me very uncomfortable. Even though I am an adult, he tries to tell me what to do and how to do it. I am so confused; please help me.
Abby said talk to your parents, which Skillz doesn't think will work:
SKILLZ SAYS: Confused? There's nothing confusing here. t's pretty clear the first thing you should do is tell your father you have a job, even if you don't. That eliminates what sounds like the biggest part of the problem.
As for the overall obsession, pretend to be your own girlfriend. When he sends a barrage of messages, angrily respond "This is (name's) girlfriend and I'm trying to pleasure him sexually BUT YOU KEEP BUZZING THE DAMN PHONE!!!" The one risk here is your father beginning to pester you about your relationship, but I feel the odds are low and the risk is worth it.
Another option: pretend to take his (likely useless and outdated) advice, but report that it backfired horribly. For example: if he tells you to change your own oil, report that your HOA busted you for a $1,000 fine. If he tells you to get a guard dog, report that said dog bites you in the junk multiple times a day. Do this enough times and you'll have the perfect avenue to tell Dad "ENOUGH with your crappy suggestions!" WIN! You're welcome.