Whether good or bad, our relationship with our parents is important throughout our lives.
The father in the family traditionally plays the role of support, teacher, and reliable adviser. He is, or should be, someone we can always count on.
As much as modern times bring new definitions of parental roles, the basic purpose of any parent is to provide us with security.
However, what happens when your father not only does not provide you with security but also puts you in a situation where you have to choose between your needs and his?
Do you have the right to be angry with your father?
Is it okay to help dad solve his financial problems?
In which situations is it okay to help dad, and in which is it not?
When you are in a situation where you ask yourself these questions, searching for the right answer and balancing between guilt and responsibility can take a lot of energy.
In this text, you will find answers to the most important questions in this situation.
Should a Parent Ask Their Child for Money?
In most cases, a mature and responsible parent will experience the very fact that he has to ask for money from his children as a defeat.
It is natural for a parent to have the need to provide their children with everything they need to be capable, fulfilled, and mature members of the community.
Even in the last stage of her terminal illness, my mother did not want to ask for anything from us. Of course, as her children, we did everything to make her last days as bearable as possible.
And of course, in situations like this, when the parents’ lives are in danger, it’s okay for the parents to ask for money from their children.
However, these situations are not the ones in which the dilemma arises about whether we should give money to our parents.
If you have a father who asks you for money because he is irresponsible with his finances, has some disastrous habits like gambling and betting, has unrealistic desires, or the like, you will feel bad whenever you answer your father’s request.
On the one hand, it is normal that you want to help him, and on the other hand, you know that it is not good for him to help him either.
And on top of everything, it’s hard for you because he was probably never a figure you could rely on.
In normal, standard situations, parents should not ask their children for money, even when the children are a million times richer than them.
Parents who are mature in personality will not even think of it.
How to Turn Down a Parent Who Keeps Asking for Money?
Assuming that your dad is asking you for money for unreasonable reasons, you must know you have every right to turn him down.
This kind of father will likely try to guilt-trip you into giving him the money he asked for.
It is very difficult to approach a parent not as a child but as an adult towards an adult.
The point is that these parents act and behave like children and demand that you treat them like a parent.
It’s a complete role reversal, and there’s no reason to go along with it.
You can express sympathy for your father, show understanding for his situation, and emphasize how much you care about him, but know that you are under no obligation to give or lend him money.
Be firm in your position. There’s no need to justify yourself or why you don’t want to give your dad money.
Just as you would constantly say no to a child who tries to stick his hand in the plug, tell your father no as many times as it takes to stop asking you for money.
It will be difficult for you, but remember that it is the best for both of you.
The 5 Do’s and Don’ts When Your Dad Asks You for Money
To protect yourself from the feelings of guilt and inadequacy that often accompany situations in which parents ask you for money, here are some practical tips that will help you conduct these complicated conversations more effectively and resolve the situation with as little suffering as possible:
Set Your Boundaries
It is essential that you set boundaries both financially and emotionally.
If it is too hard for you to say no to your dad, you can create a rule where you can only provide him with a specific fixed amount of money.
This amount must not be so high that it poses a threat to your everyday budget.
If you don’t have clear boundaries and don’t communicate them, you are in danger of facing a financial and emotional rollercoaster.
You will constantly find yourself in the same situation where you are either having huge financial or emotional problems.
Don’t Criticize Your Dad’s Spending Habits
Regardless of the fact that your dad acts like a child, this approach won’t work out well for you.
It’s unhealthy to dwell on past errors; you can only learn from them.
You will go nowhere if you end up scolding your dad about his spending patterns because he will become defensive and try to defend his behavior.
If you choose to go down this path, you may give him a chance to guilt trip you into giving him the money after all.
When our parents seek financial assistance, it’s simple to point fingers and become angry right away.
However, be composed and give them space to speak without interjecting or interfering.
Avoid getting angry, irritated, or yelling. Clarify the issue by asking questions and being aware of it.
If you do, there’s a good possibility your dad will be more open to your suggestions and remarks, allowing you to advance toward a resolution.
Talk About It With Your Special Someone
Whether you are married, share funds, or are engaged in a committed relationship, money is a topic of conversation.
It would be a good idea to talk to your significant other about the problem before handing your dad any money.
Take into account your partner’s opinions and worries before deciding on a course of action that will satisfy both of you.
Imagine how your partner would react if a large amount of money went missing from your home budget without any explanation.
If you have kids, consider that you are responsible for them first, not for your father.
Don’t Enable His Bad Habits
At first, it may seem like the easiest thing to do is just give money.
And though this solution brings the least amount of guilt in the first moment, that way, you’re only supporting your father’s bad habits.
The habits that led him to the situation where he has to ask you for money. You don’t have to be your father’s therapist, but don’t be his accomplice either.
He will just keep apologizing while repeating the same pattern over and over again.
Accept the fact that there is no solution to this situation in which you will feel good.
Each solution carries some discomfort. You have the right to put your interests and needs first. Your father should know that.
Is it Possible to Maintain a Healthy Relationship with Financially Toxic Parents?
An important part of growing up and maturing is accepting the fact that our parents are not perfect.
But it is even harder to face the fact that our parents are not good parents.
Does that mean that they are bad people? Are we the way we are because of how they treated us? A thousand such questions run through our heads, which drains a lot of energy from us.
The point is that parents should be our support and not a problem.
There is no need to cut off the relationship at the root, but maintaining a relationship with financially toxic parents can be very demanding and exhausting.
Keep in mind that you have the right to distance yourself and withdraw from the relationship whenever you want. You have the right to protect yourself, your interests, and your family.
The fact that your parents gave you life does not give them the right to complicate it.
If your relationship with them drains you of a lot of energy and makes you feel depressed, don’t hesitate to seek support from a friend or an expert.
That’s especially important if you feel like you can’t talk to your parents about anything.
If your dad has bad spending habits, pouring good money after bad is more harmful than jeopardizing your relationship by simply saying no.
Unexpected costs do occasionally pop up for everyone, and you can also end up being unable to pay the debt. Since every circumstance is different, it is hard to use a general strategy.
But, if you follow the advice shared in this article, you can protect yourself from worst-case scenarios.