Holiday Gift or Financial Bailout?

Once again, Washington Post financial columnist Michelle Singletary had a timely and thoughtful piece on giving money to adult children this holiday season. Read on:

I received a note during an online discussion from a mother struggling to determine whether it’s time to cut off her subsidies to her 22-year-old son, who is attending college.

The mother says she has borrowed $125,000 to cover tuition and off-campus housing for her son, who is an out-of-state student. He has been in school since 2006, has earned mediocre grades and has had to repeat many of his courses. He recently told his mother that he has another three years of school before he can earn his degree.

Oh, and by the way, the son is working full time earning $30,000 a year. (This may be contributing to his bad grades.)

….Some of you already know what you would do in this situation. I certainly do. It’s time to cut the purse strings.

Singletary said if the son is in charge of paying his own tuition then perhaps it will make him more responsible with money. Also, she did not think it was okay for children to look at their parents as an endless money supply.

What do you think? Have you had to, as Singletary said, “turn off the financial spigot for adult children?” How did it go?


Tuesday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Thank you to all of you who have written or called to ask about my mother-in-law in El Salvador. Hurricane Ida hit the country on Sunday and has killed 124 people, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Fortunately, my MIL is out of the country on vacation and was not affected. But I did call her office in San Salvador yesterday and a worker assured me that they are all safe. The hurricane hit a nearby town, but it was poor people living in huts and shanties who were the most impacted. My heart goes out to them. Let’s keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

In healthcare news: I admit I was so happy that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill with a public option that I did not allow myself to get hung up over the abortion restrictions in the bill. But this disturbs me: According to a mom over at the RH Reality Check blog, the restrictions on abortion are so severe that even private health insurance companies participating in the exchange wouldn’t be allowed to cover D&Cs following miscarriages. Forcing women to carry dead fetuses/babies — that they wanted — is just cruel. I don’t know what I would have done if after carrying a dead fetus for three weeks — this happened to me before I had Ari — I was told I couldn’t have a D&C. I was distraught and I needed to move on. Okay, I am getting off my soapbox now.

That said, I will still support this bill as long as it has a strong public option. Granting everyone the right to see a doctor — without going bankrupt for it — is better than nothing.

Attention fellow Twilight fans: Author Stephenie Meyer will be on the Oprah Winfrey Show this Friday, November 13, Meyer announced on her blog. She will be on hand to discuss the new movie New Moon, which is based on the second book of her Twilight series.

This is, literally, horribly depressing: Suicide rates are up in the most economically depressed areas of the country, according to MSNBC.

Wal-Mart is shamelessly starting its “Black Friday” deals early, according to MSN Money. Um, can we celebrate Thanksgiving first?

OTOH, Mamapedia had a helpful discussion on what to tip — or what is a suitable holiday gift — to a nanny, daycare provider or babysitter.

Katy Farber over at Non-Toxic Kids has an informative article on how cleaning supplies at schools are harmful to children. Also by Katy Farber: Children are consuming unsafe levels of the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA), which is in canned goods and plastic plates and cups.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?