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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Our daughter is refusing help and pushing us out of her car/apartment buying

Home Forums Advice & Chat Our daughter is refusing help and pushing us out of her car/apartment buying

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  • #1109731 Reply
    Anonymoususer
    Guest

    My daughter is moving out and buying a car and my spouse and I feel pushed out of the process of trying to help her.

    My daughter is 25, and she told us around last Christmas she’d be moving out in September. She’s looked at a few apartments by herself, and then we offered to look at some with her. I told her to make a list of apartments she’s interested in and we’ll visit them as a family on weekends.

    We’ve looked at a few together as a family, but the past week or so, she has mentioned apartments she’s gone out to see and tour by herself. I know this is not a major issue. When we ask her to go see them, she just says we can come once she settles on a few and does one last final check, which is okay. But I do have to admit I feel slightly pushed out and a tad unappreciated. Not many kids get help like this, many don’t even have parents to help them or who even care, so it’s disappointing to me to see her slightly push away two people in her life who’ve gone through this before and can help her choose a safe, good place to stay.

    She’s also buying a car right now. Her original plans was to get a used car for around 10K, but we’ve looked at a few cars and a good used one is hard to find. We even suggested she try leasing a new car for a low price but the chip shortage has ruined the stock of new cars as of late.

    We have a car whose lease is about to end, and we offered for her to buy out the car. I really prefer if she does this versus buying a used car. Used cars are a gamble and unsafe, and all 10-year-old cars are at least 100K miles, compared to this buy out which only has 22K miles and warranty for the engine and transmission still. She will be a young woman living alone and she needs a safe, reliable car.

    So, buying out the lease car would cost 18K. She says she only has 21K saved right now, however, but she was willing to pay the 18K and stay a few more months to re-save a bit more. Well, I hate to see her struggle when she does not have to, so we offered to pitch in 7-8K to help. But she insists to pay for every penny even though it would be hard for her financially. Once she moves out, she will still need to buy furniture, rent deposits, etc.

    I understand she wants to feel independent, but for the life of me, I just don’t understand it. Life is hard enough and getting help is also a wise choice sometimes. It’s also a ridiculous attempt at being independent because we have already paid 14K worth in lease payments, so she’ll only be buying half the car in the first place.

    Again, it’s frustrating to watch her refuse help, especially when her parents are willing to help her out and miss an opportunity not many other families are willing to offer. How can we convince her to let us help out?

    #1109732 Reply
    bloodymediocrity
    Participant

    This is the best kind of problem because you don’t have to do anything.

    Your daughter is 25. She should be making these decisions on her own by now. You can offer to help, but you can’t take it personally that she wants to be independent.

    At 25 she should be able to choose an apartment and a vehicle on her own.

    The more you try to force yourself into her life, the harder she’s going to pull away.

    Let her know you’re here to help when she needs it and give her the space she is craving. Rest assured, she will. Life is hard.

    #1109749 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    You can’t and you shouldn’t. Let her do this on her own.

    I’ll just say this – I had two sets of parents. Money from one set was given freely. I could use it for rent or clothing – there was no judgment. Money from the other set came with strings. There were opinions, recommendations, expectations that came along with that money. You may think you’re giving freely, but maybe, just maybe there are strings.

    #1109753 Reply
    anonymousse
    Participant

    I agree that you may feel you’re giving freely but it seems like there are a lot of strings you want attached. You want to okay her apartment. You want to okay her car. She’s 25, not a child anymore. If you keep pushing hard, you may push her away. Save the money for her and give it to her for her first house or the future.

    #1109759 Reply
    d2
    Participant

    First off, I think it’s wonderful that you are willing to assist your daughter. However, at some point children want to be – and need to be – independent. At that stage, offers for assistance may be appreciated, but persistence (or worse yet insistence) on participation may be perceived as meddling.

    As much as you may want to help, at age 25 your daughter gets to be the one to decide whether to accept your assistance or to go it alone and make her own decisions.

    #1109764 Reply
    Fyodor
    Guest

    I think that it’s great that you want to help her, but your daughter is 25 and I think that it’s appropriate for her to do these things independently. I did my own apartment hunting at 20. You need to back off and give her space.

    You say that you feel pushed out of the process, but your daughter is an adult. You *should be* pushed out of the process. She is an adult. You acknowledge that there is *some* point when you’ll be pushed out, right? When she’s 50 and you’re 80 you won’t be buying her cars or helping her find an apartment, right? Well, it might as well be now.

    I am a parent and I understand that it is hard to phase out of a role that you’ve had for 25 years, but it’s something that has to happen. A parent’s job is to be left. It’s a testament to your success at your job that she’s self sufficient. Take the W and let her do her thing.

    #1109765 Reply
    Anonymoususer
    Guest

    Thank you for the responses but I will say I do not entirely agree. My daughter is a very stubborn individual and she really does not understand the deal she is missing out on. It will probably even take my spouse and I buying out the car ourselves and giving it to her because she will and is refusing that much. We are just not going to let her pay for this thing herself, 8,000 will not break us.

    When I was moving out even younger than my daughter’s age, it was a very difficult period of my life and I had no help like she is getting now. I only wished and dreamed I had the help like we are trying to give her now and have given her her entire life in raising and supporting her. This may sound bad to say but we have already technically paid for half the car as is so an extra 8,000 will not make or break her independence.

    #1109766 Reply
    Copa
    Participant

    Give your daughter her space and independence! You seem well-intentioned, but she needs to learn how to navigate these things on her own. It’s not the slight that you feel it is.

    My parents liked to be involved. My dad was always wanting to be too involved. My sister always allowed him a higher level of involvement than I allowed did. I’ve always preferred doing things on my own because I didn’t/don’t want to deal with their opinions, preferences, judgments, questions, etc. unless I asked. My sister and I are both in our 30s now and my sister needs so. much. help. still. She has decision paralysis over everything. She moved to my city a handful of years ago, I believe she was 32 at the time. She couldn’t pick an apartment on her own so my dad literally drove six hours EACH WAY in a single day to look at two apartments with her. Either would’ve been fine. Maybe he likes feeling needed, but I do find it wild that she still needs my parents’ approval. And what will she do when they’re not around to approve?

    All this to say, helping isn’t always helpful. Let her come to you if she needs any help or advice or if she wants a second opinion. If you still need a role to play, I will say that as the more independent variety of child, it would’ve been nice to hear that my parents were proud of my ability to figure things out on my own and make solid choices.

    #1109767 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    Your response speaks volumes. It has the “I’m right, you’re all wrong” undertones, which I’m sure comes across in every day life. Maybe your daughter is responding to that?

    The car thing, I get. She is being stubborn about that and it would be so much easier in her if she let you help.

    The apartment hunting is another thing. She wants to find a place on her own. That’s not a slight against you. That’s your daughter setting boundaries and asserting independence. It’s a good thing.

    Maybe stop trying to control her. She’s 25. Let her make a few mistakes. Let her live. Be there for her when she asks for help. You’ll have a better relationship with her in doing so.

    Honestly, that’s the best gift my parents gave me. They did a nice job of knowing when to be a parent and when to let us make our own mistakes and I ALWAYS felt comfortable talking to them about anything or telling them I messed up. I still do. I’m in my 40s.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by ktfran.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by ktfran.
    #1109769 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    “It will probably even take my spouse and I buying out the car ourselves and giving it to her because she will and is refusing that much. We are just not going to let her pay for this thing herself, 8,000 will not break us.”

    Maybe she’s smarter than you give her credit for and knows if she holds out that you’ll just give her the car and she can keep her money.

    #1109770 Reply
    Fyodor
    Guest

    “Thank you for the responses but I will say I do not entirely agree. My daughter is a very stubborn individual and she really does not understand the deal she is missing out on. It will probably even take my spouse and I buying out the car ourselves and giving it to her because she will and is refusing that much. We are just not going to let her pay for this thing herself, 8,000 will not break us.”

    You are playing with fire here. Tread carefully.

    #1109771 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    When I got divorced (young) and had to buy a car but had very little money, my dad gave me some advice to do a lease and put $500 down of my own money. I valued that car and cared for it way more than any car that they’d given me outright in the past. When the lease was up I bought it. Then I had the value of the car to put down when I bought my next one. That was a good way to do it, and I got to pick cars I wanted. I learned about leases and loans and credit and monthly payments and what I could afford.

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