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Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1744
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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JenMy son has not spoken to me now for 2 months. He is

Customer Question

Jen

My son has not spoken to me now for 2 months. He is at a private college and will graduate in Dec.

He is mad at me because his financial aid was cut when his mother remarried. He did not tell me and neither did she. I found out 3 days before the bill was due. She did not know that it would

He demanded that I agree to pay 1/2 the $16k! larger amount right then and there.
He arranged a monthly payment plan and I have made the first 3 payments. The next payment is due Nov 3rd. Any Advice?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Angela--Mod replied 10 months ago.
Hello, I am a moderator for this topic. I sent your requested professional a message to follow up with you here, when she is back online. If I can help further, please let me know, otherwise, no need to reply. Thank you for your patience.
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 10 months ago.

Sorry that it took so long to respond. I only got notification now that you were requesting me. Try putting the request at the start of your question...that may help.

 

I am saddened to hear of his behavior. you are doing a wonderful thing by paying for his college so it is unclear to me as to why he is not speaking to you. I don't believe in just cutting it off as I don't think that will bring much resolution, only further disconnect. I would suggest getting together with him to see why he is so angry and what can be done to heal the relationship.

 

Give me a few more details about it all and we can process it further.

Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1744
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Coach Jen K

Thanks for your reply. I have read some of your other responses to other clients and like your approach.

I have a very complex relationship with my son. I'd like to continue working with you.

I'm divorced. His mother divorced me when he was 3 1/2 and moved about 30 miles away. I had every other weekend and every tuesday custody.

I picked him up fridays and she picked him up Sundays. We had mostly good times together but there was some resentment on both sides. I paid child support on time every month and paid all the medical insurance and 1/2 of any out of pocket expenses. I gave her money for clothes and school expenses. I paid for all boyscout expenses and of course for all expenses, food or travel when he was with me. She took the tax exemption every year for 13 years. Christmas and Thanksgiving he would be with her most of the time. When he got a car he would drive down to my house for the weekend but that stopped pretty quickly.

During that time she remarried and then divorced but has a daughter from that marriage.

I was resentful of the divorce and missed my son greatly. We would go on Boyscout outings and do other things but I felt cheated. My son would be spending so much more time with my ex-wife. Every morning and every day after school she would see him. All the big events, first date, first car, first dance I was not there. But even so, for Boy Scout dinner functions, If Sean was getting an award I would save her a seat.

When Sean got accepted to USC we agreed to share the cost but 60/40 with me paying 60%. My Ex is (ironically) a MFT and claims to make much less than me. I'm an engineer.

When he graduated high school, the child support ended per the court order but I had already agreed to help with college costs and would give him money for clothes or take him shopping.

I paid my 60% for 3 years. USC is Very expensive. We were getting financial aid based on her income. Last year I asked her to start paying 1/2 his medical insurance. She said no. She had also gotten married (but because the financial aid was already set it was not affected last year)

So you are pretty caught up to where we are now.


He still does not respond to my texts and I don't want to be a nag so I have not sent anything for 3 weeks and I'm not going to beg.


 


He thinks that I owe him an apology!


 


There is a lot here. I know this takes a lot of your time.

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 10 months ago.

I thank you for looking through my other responses and feeling comfortable to reach out to me.

 

I must say that after reading what you wrote, I am impressed by the kind of man and Dad you are. You have never shirked a responsibility and in fact have gone above and beyond. I hear your sadness about missing some of the things in his life but I also hear some special times with him.

 

It is not uncommon when kids are at school that they begin to assert themselves and their independence....not to say he is paying for his college but more in the way of I don't need to respond to you. What does he believe you owe an apology for? For being a good dad and going above and beyond? this is perplexing to me.

 

I might reach out with a call. even if you get his voice mail saying 'Sean, I love you and miss our bond. I want to repair what needs to be repaired. Let's make some time to talk, heal and get back to our connection. I want to hear your feelings and am open to hearing what you have to say.'

 

He may be harboring something and even if you don't agree with it, he still may be holding on to some resentments of his own. Possibly the ex has filled him with things about you that have caused him to feel hurt.

 

Let me know how this sounds.

Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1744
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I think his resentment has built up over the years from me wanting to see more of him and to be appreciated more and him feeling guilty and getting mad at me because he feels guilty.


 


In my opinion he struggled with feeling like he had to defend his mother at every opportunity and justify her actions.


 


Example: She and I discussed getting him a car when he turned 17, I say I will share the cost. My son and I look at a few just to get any idea what he wants but don't get anywhere near actually buying one.


 


We are still talking about it when I find out she went ahead and bought him one with no discussion with me. And a crappy one at that. subcompact Chevy Aveo. Small and dangerous. Then she wants me to pay 1/2.


 


I say you gave it to him, you pay for it.


 


He defends her.


 


A few years later when he is tired of the Avo, he and I shop together for another car. I keep his mom informed on what we are looking at and let her know we intend to buy one, a Honda Accord. He uses half the money from the Aveo and I pay half. That was this summer !!


 


The next payment for school is due on Nov 3rd.


 


I don't know what to say to him I'm afraid that anything I say will just make him more mad.


 


But I feel like a sucker for just sending him thousands of dollars.


 


I'm also reinforcing the idea that he can play victim and get away with it.


 


 


 

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 10 months ago.
I certainly hear how you feel and you have done so much for your Son, and it is as I expected that your ex may have filled his head with things that just aren't accurate. If you step in and try to correct those falsities you will still be the bad guy. I would sit back and let him come to terms with things on his own and as he matures and develops he will see you have done an amazing job as his Dad.

I would pay the bill for his school as if you don't it just hurts all involved....you want him to finish school and he is at a wonderful place full of opportunity.

you are not a sucker but rather a Dad who cares and is trying to be there for him and I am not talking about money, i am talking about love and care. I would still let him know how you care and love him and can see he is upset and may have resentments but you will always be his Dad and you desire to reconnect. I would not rehash or bash your ex as that will back-fire.

You can have limits on how you are treated but I guess I am never a fan of using money as the bargaining chip.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1744
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Jen, Thanks for helping me have the strength not get too discouraged, It is pretty tough. I paid the 4th payment to him for school and rent this semester with not one word of thanks.


 


It's like he is brainwashed. At least he is not joining a cult or putting on his Nike's, drinking the kool-ade and waiting for the mother ship.


 


I wish there was something else I could do. I don't know how long to wait.


 


On the one hand, I'm worried that the more he does not speak to me the more he just gets used to it and wont care.


 


On the other hand, if I write or call him and do not say anything, isn't that accepting his behavior ? And it that teaching him to do it again?


 


But If I write or call and say I'm not happy with his behavior that could just start a fight which, based on how he is apparently feeling right now, he wont speak to me for a year.


 


Help!

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 10 months ago.
I hear your struggle and yes it is very hurtful to be ignored in this way by him. Now that the bill has been paid and you are left without a response from him, I do hear that you need to get this off your chest with him.
Yes, you run the risk of him not talking to you, but that is already the case. I do not hear that you will be settled until you do so. Having a talk or a letter to him man to man and explaining how the world works and how gentleman behave may be the way to go. It can also be stated that he just expects you to be there to pay his bills while he treats you poorly, but that stops now as you have an end point.
I didn't think the time to have that conversation was at the time the bill was due as the feelings could have been confused. But that is out of the way and you will not feel better without getting this off your chest. I would be open with him about all of it and try not to make it about just the money here as it runs much deeper.
Tell me your thoughts.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1744
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Thanks Jen


The bills are not completely paid.


The bill for the semester was split into 5 payments. The first was due right after he told me about the loss of financial aid. I paid my ½ of the payment right away. His mother paid the other half. I have made 3 more payments + rent. The most recent payment I reduced because I agreed to the 40/60% his stepdad proposed. Of course 40% of the larger amount is still much more than 50% of the original amount so the mistake his mother made has cost me bundle.


 


There is 1 more payment to make of about $1100 due Dec 3rd. Following your advice I will pay that one as well.


 


I do need to get this off my chest with him. I’ve been waiting for him to get over it and to calm down but it has been a while now.


I plan on writing him an email and letting him know how I feel. I will keep it factual but firm and tell him that his behavior has been unacceptable. He needs to learn that he can’t treat people this way. I will post a copy here before I send it.

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 9 months ago.

I would love to see it. You can also share your feelings with him not just the facts. This is very hurtful and a great life lesson for him. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

 

I support you fully on this and I can hear the deep pain you feel. At some point as he matures he will understand all of this and hopefully your relationship can heal and develop a new understanding of one another.

 

I am here for you.

Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1744
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Jen


 


I'm not ready to talk to my son about all our issues but I do have address keeping him on my health insurance. I intend to call him. I don't expect that he will pick up. Here is the message I will leave. Tell me what you think.


 


***


Hi, It's Dad. I hope that you're well.


It is open enrollment for my insurance for health, dental and vision coverage. I expect to keep you on the insurance but let me know if you do not need to be. Since you are over 19, In order to keep you on, you will have to show that you are a full time student . Just like last year.


Please let me know what you want to do.


Take Care

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 9 months ago.
I think it is excellent. I am sure you have thought about what you will do if you don't hear back from him? I certainly feel for you and how you feel a hostage to him and to paying his bills. So, when you are ready, it will be good to get all of this out and express truly how you feel. Let me know how it goes.
I appreciate your wonderful ratings.

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