The Boomeranger returns home to rely on its host for room, board and Mama's cooking, but the Parasite will eventually kill its host by latching on and sucking the nest egg dry while living on its own. Long distance leeching, in a manner of speaking.
In generations past, it seemed like only rich kids acted this way, expecting their "allowance." We are now seeing a new breed -- the middle class Parasite. These bloodsuckers have gotten it into their heads that the job of raising them never ends.
Many parents have concluded that they are helping these young adults and doing what's best for them. Certainly wanting the best for our kids doesn't stop when they leave the nest, but the best doesn't necessarily mean making things easy. There are no shortcuts for many lessons. Offspring of every age have to learn to work for outcomes.
Our grade-schoolers would have never learned their alphabet or multiplication tables without long hours of effort. Sometimes they failed, picked themselves up, dug in deeper and, as a result, learned to keep trying.
A great feeling of pride was achieved when a goal was reached by WORKING for an outcome. Grasping the concept of reward for effort or repercussions for transgressions is impossible without paying a price along the way.
Hopefully we taught those lessons well, so why go back on them now?
Coughing up money for an adult spawn's monthly expenses may feel altruistic, but in reality teaches nothing but reliance -- and not of the self variety. The leeching spawn learn to expect everything to be handed to them, while the parents learn that their retirement savings are disappearing into the pockets of someone who should be earning and saving for themselves.
It doesn't take long for these freeloaders to become dependent on these funds. Many times they come to expect the money to the point of being belligerent about it -- demanding payment and becoming downright surly if it is not delivered on the leech's terms. Gratitude comes to a screeching halt. All respect is lost.
These Parasite "Kids" are incapable of respect or being respected. Peers and friends making their own way independently certainly have no respect for the them. Non-parasitic siblings resent this sort of extortion and lose all regard for their wombmates. The total lack of respect reaches Rodney Dangerfield levels, except it's not funny.
Taken to the extreme, and we have personally seen this, Parasite "Kids" expect their bills paid into their 40s and 50s. How do you supposed this "kid" will get along in a few years when his or her parents die broke? Like a parasite, they have killed the host - never a good move - and everybody loses.
All good intentions aside, the parents have left their offspring completely incapable of fending for themselves. Even worse, these "kids" will have to learn how to survive in the real world as middle-aged spoiled brats with absolutely no work ethic. Good luck with that.
Unfortunately, much of the blame for this sort of calamity falls on the victimized parent. They have inadvertently rewarded this behavior through the years. Sure the Parasites, as adults, should know better, grow up, and stand on their own two feet, but who taught them not to?
The only hope is to rip off the monetary support Band-Aid before the Parasite becomes one of those despicable heirs who sits around on their oh-poor-me ass, just waiting for the parents to die. We can think of no outcome more tragic than our kids wishing we were dead, but unfortunately this scenario exists. We've all seen it.
We should add a caveat, gifts are different. Sharing the wealth with your children CAN make life better for them. The difference is in the expectations: bankrupting a parent by bloodsuck versus gratefully accepting an unexpected gift. An heir is much more likely to be a good steward and invest wisely having learned the value of a dollar by earning a few of them himself.
Life is hard. But one thing's for sure -- life is harder when one expects everything to be easy.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
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