Hints from Heloise: Adults need to be self-sufficient

Dear Heloise >> For some strange reason, so many adults today seem to think that when life hands them a problem, they need to either run home and live with their mom and dad, or they keep borrowing money from their family with no intention of paying it back.

Our oldest son was in the middle of a nasty divorce when he suddenly decided, without consulting us, that he was moving back home. We said no. He asked us for $5,000 to help him get through this “difficult period” in his life, and we offered him $3,000 with the condition that he will not ask for any more money. A week later, he called and asked for another $3,000, and we said, “No, get a job.”

We have seen many of our friends hand over money to their children, even dipping into their retirement funds and, on two occasions, nearly going broke. We raised our children to stand on their own two feet, not to quit a high paying job and run home to us at the first sign of adversity. The “Bank of Mom and Dad” is closed.

We told them to get weekend jobs in high school so they’d know how far a dollar would go (or doesn’t go), and to put them through college. Life will always present you with problems, failures and unexpected situations that can come out of the blue to mess up your life. We love our boys, but as adults, they need to work out their problems.

I sincerely believe that those who hand over money and a rent-free place to live don’t do their adult children any favors. They only encourage them to rely on their parents, instead of growing up and becoming a full-fledged adult.

— Joel, Scottsdale, Arizona

Dear Joel >> In the past few years, I’ve received many letters like yours. Most of the letters asked how to say ‘no’ to their children. As a parent, it’s hard, and of course, each situation is different. So, readers, what would you recommend for keeping adult children from going to the “Bank of Mom and Dad?”

Dear Readers >> Winterizing your lawn depends on where you live, but here are some hints for the seasonal transition:

• Apply winterizing fertilizer.

• Weed planting beds and use mulch around plants.

• Overseed the lawn with rye grass in the fall to crowd out potential weeds in the spring.

• Watering depends on where you live.

• For mowing, set the mower blades 1/2 inch higher than you do with the summer setting.

Dear Heloise >> I see so many homes where women pour bleach in the toilet. I wish they’d stop doing that, because it slowly destroys the workings of the toilet. Instead, flush the bowl, and while the tank in the back is refilling, pour two cups of white vinegar in the tank and two cups in the bowl. Use a toilet bowl brush to clean the bowl, and then flush the tank again. The vinegar in the tank will help flush out the vents and will not do harm to the toilet.

— Timothy B., Lima, Ohio

Write to Heloise

P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise@Heloise.com

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