Monday, June 10, 2019
Give It To Me Now, by Wiggiaatlarge
Tim Worstall found a piece in the DT which provoked a sledge of similar comments…..
Not surprisingly they all came down one way or another on the side of the father who was “squandering” the son's inheritance. I can’t add anything to the comments as I agree with nearly all of them, yet there is a theme that runs through all this and it was not mentioned as all commenting assumed that what they said was the norm. It isn’t.
In recent years I have met many people and have family members and friends who somehow believe their offspring should receive everything and often before the parents die.
I could give various examples and not anecdotal, but I will for detail regale you with one in the not so distant past concerning a friend and neighbour who herself had been the beneficiary of as her father said “a good divorce” - not the first, either.
The father did more than his bit in the RAF as a pilot and then was successful in business. From all I gleaned over time he and his wife when alive had done everything to help their children and grandchildren.
His rather splendid house in need of serious updating took second place to financing the grandchildren and that was after he cashed in a large part of his personal private pension to help buy a house for one of them who married - that went well, as a quick divorce followed .Gifts of cash when needed went out on demand and the house was subjected to equity release to carry on funding all and sundry.
Was he helped when he became frail and ill? Only to a degree as help had to be on hand and this cost money, “their inheritance” and of course the longer he held on to this wonderful world the more the equity release ate into their remaining inheritance - it was spoken about in those terms. He did fortunately get put in a very good nursing home for his last days, some sort of solace I suppose and the daughter did really care about him but in the same breath would talk of this entitlement. There was a lot more that is not for these pages, still I think you can get the drift.
Isolated case? Hardly. I have found this attitude to be quite common. Another I know has a daughter who speaks to him like sh*t in front of strangers, me, and yet they do way over the top in helping her. It's not their fault she and her husband have over-reached themselves with a ladder-climbing house; and the demands on them which they never refuse means that (despite their limited means) all their spare time when they should be having a holiday on their own is spent taking the children's kids on holiday - and they do not live round the corner. Every time they return the stress is etched on their faces. Part of being a parent? There are degrees of of commitment in everything. I can assure you they go way beyond what is required and yet are treated as though that is the way it should be.
Another was a lovely lady we got to know years ago who after a divorce that devastated her returned to Kenya where she and her husband because of his work at the time had lived for twenty years. Her children still lived there and persuaded her to come back and make a new life there; big mistake.
I knew it was going to be a disaster after meeting them a few times in England. Nice enough to talk to, yet as anyone who has spent time in places like Kenya with ‘colonials’ knows the lifestyle is such that everyday things like chores are for someone else and a form of idling one's life away with the least effort is quite normal. My wife and I spent two long holidays out there with her and we had a marvellous time, with the exception of anything to do with the children and the extended family who were milking her dry.
The lady ran an upmarket safari business and the youngest daughter (who if she ever got her finger out of her backside would have been an asset as she spoke Swahili and local dialects, but no) just used the business for her own purposes, appropriating food and drink purchased for the safaris for parties and taking the Range Rover on a regular basis to go to Tanzania to see her boyfriend - she had her own car but preferred to use the gas-guzzler on company petrol.
The other daughter and her husband actually had the cheek at dinner one night to present a bill for milk used by the family. They had a smallholding, the mother was paying for the private schooling of their two offspring and when she said something about the bill and the school fees were mentioned the reply was ‘It is what mothers are for'; we left, as I would have said something.
I have a cousin who has a small legacy but has refused to touch it despite only scraping by for some years. When I asked him one day why this was, he said he was saving it for the children. Not one of them gives the proverbial about him and they all have good jobs and homes of their own, he hasn’t, so why this almost masochistic attitude with parents who even when abused by their offspring and milked for the majority of their lives still believe they should be a money box to be dipped into at will?
Me, I am of the bugger-off variety, but many are not. My oldest friend in Australia is not rich but they gave their son, who at best can be described as morose, their last 10k of cash after the son divorced. He for reasons only he knows has not spoken to or seen them since, an utter little sh*t as he has been all his life.
So why does this being a parent trump all common sense? The belief that parents are duty bound to hand over when they go - or before, in many cases on demand - anything they have is a growing trend. I hear older parents speaking more of this in the last couple of decades. pressure is being put upon many to pay for things the children won't save for or work harder for. Somehow it is seen as a divine right that it should all go to them and the sooner the better.
Ah but blood is thicker than water, the call of duty, the ties that children have to their parents and all the other clarion calls for one to be seen and do the right thing even when the parent knows it is not the right thing. Times have changed: there is little deference to the old. The young today, openly in many cases, call it their right, their inheritance. The modern child who is raised in many middle class families never goes without, has only to say ‘I want’ and it is delivered; no "thank you", no appreciation of any work or effort on the part of the parent to supply the goodies, just a simple expectancy it will happen and it does. When they are raised like that it is hardly surprising that the calls for more go beyond childhood.
I had a wonderful example of that in a customer of mine whom I got to know quite well over the years. The only son was lavished on: as a young child he had for example every single piece of Action Man, when he played football with his friends in the garden he would continually stop to go inside and change into the endless football tops his father had got for him, signed shirts from Brazil and Italy through his business collections; he even had his own fully-stocked fridge with lollies and ice creams. He was spoilt to the point of smothering. He also turned out in his latter teens to be a little sh*t, but the parents were blind to it. Private school, private sports coach in various sports in an attempt to find something he was good at, failed. They even got him a girlfriend as he was so obnoxious no normal girl wanted to know. How can anyone brought up this way ever appreciate what the parent did to reach this level of wealth? It is always there to be cashed in on demand.
If this sounds like a down on the modern younger generation, it is. But the parents are the ones who have create this mind set: it is they that believe giving all will make them more loved, more complete as a family. How wrong they are.