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If this were your daughter…

photo by daquella manera

…what would you do?

So I was riding on the metro and overheard two college girls talking about money and their lack of it.

One was talking about her $200 in credit card debt. The other replied, “Yeah, I went way over my limit, but they took it out of my dad’s account. So he took away my credit card and now I have to pay him back to get it. Like that’s ever going to happen.”

Her companion was a bit surprised that he’d think of asking such a thing.

Of course, they’d just been talking about how unfair it was that her dad didn’t buy her a new phone and unlimited texting/internet, so she just had to pay for it herself or only use the talking plan he got her.

If your college-age daughter had a credit card (that what somehow linked to your account) and went over her limit, what would you do?

It must have been more than $20 too, because she probably could have paid that back.

{ 2 trackbacks }

Paying it Forward – How it relates to bringing up our children « Father sez……
December 6, 2007 at 6:35 am
A mother’s gentle insight | On Financial Success
December 25, 2007 at 3:25 am

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda December 1, 2007 at 2:57 pm

I wouldn’t link her card to my account!


Aaron Stroud December 1, 2007 at 6:05 pm

At this point, there’s not much you can do. Parents play a different role when their kids grow up.

If this scenario happened, I would have a serious discussion with my wife about how we are going to correct our daughter’s course. We would definitely stop enabling her (no more handouts or picking up the pieces from charging sprees).

We would also follow up our discussion with a serious heart-to-heart with our daughter. I’d begin by apologizing for setting her up to fail and not giving her a better financial foundation.

~Dawn December 2, 2007 at 7:58 am

I would agree with Aaron a bit – I think the kids are off to a bad start. I would raise my kids with limits and teach them how to use money and be responsible for it so that when they were on a train with their friend, they would be able to teach their friend

wealthy_1 December 2, 2007 at 8:20 am

As parents we always want what’s best for our children. We do what we think is best with the information we have. I have two children. My daughter is 21 and my son is 16. I truly don’t think we set out to enable our children. I believe this father did what he thought was right when he gave her the credit card. At some point the daughter needs to be responsible. It appears to me the she and her friend have an entitlement attitude. They believe that the parents job is to support them and that they (the girls) have no responsiblility to support themselves.

I don’t think this is the first time that the daughter went over her credit limit. I believe that the father probably spoke to her on many, many occasions about this. I applaud him for confiscating the daughter’s credit card. Will she learn anything from this? Who knows.

plonkee December 2, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Naturally, I’d have made her pay the money back. On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t have let her have a tied account in the first place. Parents do not exist to pay their adult children’s bills.

mrsmicah December 2, 2007 at 5:21 pm

I think you’re quite right about the entitlement attitude, wealthy. It was funny (in a sad way) because they transitioned straight from why her dad should pay $30 extra a month for her cell (I mean, c’mon, it’s only $30 a month) to why she couldn’t (OMG, it’s $30 a month, I don’t have that kind of money).

I’ve been thinking more about this and I wonder if her dad linked the account because he didn’t want her to ruin her credit (which was kinda thoughtful). On the other hand, I doubt he taught her much about personal finance–not that most parents do. So in the long run it doesn’t really help.

Except that she apparently can’t get another credit card–or hasn’t gotten one–which may help her learn to spend within her means. Who knows?

wealthy_1 December 3, 2007 at 8:02 pm

I think too that sometimes you have to fall on your own and get back up. It would be unfortunate for her to ruin her own credit, but maybe if it were her own credit she would be more responsible.

I’ve decided that personal finance is a fundamental that we should teach our children when we start teaching them to say please and thank you. How easy would it be to start with 10 dimes and 4 jars. 1 dime for savings, 1 dime for investing, 1 dime for giving, and 6 dimes to use however the child wanted.

mrsmicah December 3, 2007 at 8:19 pm

My parents used to do something like that with $.25. It didn’t split quite as well, but it worked too. Gosh I had a small allowance (it was $.10 before it was $.25…I could get 10% of it just by finding a penny)!

Aaron Stroud December 3, 2007 at 9:23 pm

Wealhy_1, you’re right. It is essential that you start when your kids are just learning how to interact with people because most of their peers are going to be getting all of the wrong messages from their parents.

They’re going to see their peers getting whatever they ask for (money, presents, and activities). The odds are stacked against our kids, so it’s important to start teaching the right values from day one.

fathersez December 3, 2007 at 10:42 pm

A great story.

I have 5 kids, so an attitude like this in our family will send my wife and I to the poorhouse.

We are trying our best to teach our children a more responsible attitude to spending.

It is tough, like Aaron said. The peer groups are …….out there.

It looks like there is a lot of truth in an interesting quote I read,

“children will never be able to pay back their parents, their kids collect from them….and so on..”

Julie December 4, 2007 at 12:39 am

I’m about their age and I doubt my parents would ever even consider giving me a card like that! I got a small allowance that I could use for whatever I wanted, but beyond that I had to make the money I wanted to spend. I think it’s ok to help get your kids started and help with large necessary expenses, like traveling home for the holidays or first apartments, but after that they should be responsible for themselves!

Mom December 4, 2007 at 4:58 am

I wonder if the father and mother ever discussed their financial worries in presence of their children as their daughter grew up. Many parents don’t, possibly for fear that the children will feel insecure or perhaps out of pride. If she knew her parents’ financial concerns, surely she would feel less entitled to whatever she wants or whatever her friends have. On the other hand, children do brood over perceived problems which seem to their parents quite solvable; so, complete openness may not be the best with all children.

I remember once, when I told Mrs. Micah (not that she was MrsMicah then) that we couldn’t afford something, she asked if we were poor. I said that we were not, that poor people couldn’t afford things they needed, that rich people could afford anything they wanted, and that we were in the middle, able to afford all that we needed and many, many things that we just wanted. If she could misinterpret our financial situation so greatly, perhaps parents do have to take some care in sharing money worries. Still, now MrsMicah understands money matters better than I do.

MrsMicah’s Mom

Aaron Stroud December 4, 2007 at 6:18 pm

“I said that we were not, that poor people couldn’t afford things they needed, that rich people could afford anything they wanted, and that we were in the middle, able to afford all that we needed and many, many things that we just wanted.”

Beautifully put. Mrs. Micah’s Mother, I’m going to have to quote you on this someday because that was sublime.

mrsmicah December 4, 2007 at 7:27 pm

My mom’s deep. 🙂

wealthy_1 December 5, 2007 at 7:56 pm

Yeah, and your mom’s cool!

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