June 24, 2010

Have You Set Up Boundaries in Your Life?

While traveling today, I was able to listen to part of the Clark Howard Show and a portion of the Dave Ramsey Show.  This is a rare occurrence for me, so I was thrilled to hear some financial advice.  It’s a shame I was driving, because there was plenty of information that I could have jotted down to share with you.  I do remember one particular bit about parenting and boundaries.

One of the callers on the Dave Ramsey Show said that her son had been living in her basement for two years, rent free.  She said that he worked full-time and whenever she asked him to help out with the bills, he said he couldn’t afford it.  The lady was seeking advice and basically, Dave Ramsey told her this:

1.  Immediately buy the book Boundaries.  Read it.  (Boundaries can be purchased through Amazon and through CBD, which also has a workbook.)

2.  Talk to your spouse and agree upon a plan.

3.  Sit down with your child and apologize.  Tell them you’re sorry that you have failed them and allowed them to live this way.  Let them know that you’re going to do the right thing and help them be responsible.

4.  Give your child 90 days to move out.  Have them sign a contract with the date to move out.

5.  As a gift, offer to pay for Financial Peace University Classes for your child.  (These are great classes!!!!) The caller said she had offered these to her son but he was not interested.

6.  Guide your child along the way, helping them to manage their money.  Do not pay their bills for them, but let them know you’ll be there for them if they’re hungry.

7.  If at the end of the 90 days your child has been working hard and you feel they need additional time, you can offer them an additional 30 days.

I think the reason that this story stood out to me so much is that I know of a few families that have been in this situation.  Let me just say, if your child is 25 or even 30 years old, works full-time, has lived at home for years and has NOTHING to show for it, there is a big problem!  I am not normally this direct and opinionated on my websites, but you are ENABLING your child to fail! You’re not doing them or yourself any favors.  We should be training our children to become adults, to be self-supporting, and successful in life.  Some people are more motivated than others.  Unmotivated children sometimes need a push in the right direction.  Paying their bills for them and not requiring anything of them is not doing anyone any favors.

The world is full of people that moved out at a young age, got married young, put themselves through college, or whatever the circumstance may be.  Many times success comes from having no other option but to succeed or fail.

Based upon the Amazon reviews of this book, it is also a good book for those that feel like they can’t say “no”, are a doormat, or those with problems parenting.  I have not read this book, but it has received positive reviews.

Do you know of a family that has failed to set up boundaries with their children?

As always, please use common sense with this approach. I don’t think this type of plan would apply to an 18 year old that just finished high school, a full-time college student, a child with medical bills, or someone going through a hardship.  This is for children whom are not in school and are unmotivated to move out of their parents’ home.

Image: CBD


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