Parents, You Must Read This Regardless of Your Kids’ Age – Terry Pluto’s Faith & You
CLEVELAND, Ohio – A few years ago a man told me this story.
He was a retired professor. He had a healthy pension. His wife had died after a long illness. He had a troubled son, some on drugs, lots of wasted money.
“You won’t believe it,” he said. “I have money problems.”
He lived in Michigan. Her son lived in another state. Due to some decisions the teacher had made when his son was young, he felt guilty for not “being there enough” for his son.
The professor said he paid for some rehab trips for his son. He also spent thousands of dollars to keep his son out of debt.
“I gave him money,” the professor said. “I took out loans. Maximized credit cards. I even got some of these payday loans. At the moment, I cannot pay my mortgage.
His family were trying to get him away from the troubled son and help him get his finances in order. Six months after hearing this story, I heard that the professor had died of a heart attack.
NOT A SINGLE STORY
“An addict’s money problems in the family is something that a lot of families don’t talk about,” said Father Bob Stec, pastor of St. Ambrose Catholic Church in Brunswick.
Stec has worked with families of drug addicts, especially heroin addicts. He mentioned that he recently spoke to six couples in pre-nuptial consultation.
“Two of the six children had a sibling who died from heroin,” Stec said. “The impact on families is devastating. It is a terrible disease that is eating away so many people.
THE BIG LIE
Drug addicts not only destroy their own lives, but also cause chaos and pain to those around them.
This is why the comment “I just hurt myself” by drinking or using drugs is such a lie.
“You want to help people,” Stec said. “We all do. But I have seen families go bankrupt as they continue to send the person from one drug center to another.
These places can cost anywhere from $ 30,000 to over $ 100,000.
It may not be because of the drugs, but parents find themselves in the financial mess created by their children. They co-sign loans almost knowing that they will be stuck with payments because the child is unreliable.
But they do it anyway. They become dependent on help, whether through guilt or because they like to be “needed” by their children.
“Adult children came to me and told me that they now had to provide for their parents because parents were spending so much money on the struggling child,” Stec said. “It creates a lot of resentment in the families.”
Stec talks about the spiritual warfare that families face in these situations. He is involved in the Greater Than Heroin movement in his church and elsewhere.
WHO IS MOST COMMITTED?
Leslie Parker-Barnes is the minister of worship at Akron Church of God in Arlington. She was also the leader of the Youth Excellence Performance Arts Workshop (YEPAW) with mainly inner city youth for 32 years.
“Sometimes love means saying ‘no’,” Parker-Barnes said. “Love isn’t always sweet and gooey. He says to someone, ‘I can’t keep helping you hurt yourself. “”
It is tempting for parents to care more about schoolwork or their children’s work than the children themselves. Essentially, parents get the job done for those who need to work and learn for themselves.
What they learn is that someone will bail them out.
“Young adults thanked me for not helping them in a certain situation years ago,” Parker-Barnes said. “It was hard not to do it. You want to spare them the pain.
But doing too much for the person at the wrong time just creates more pain.
YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING TO SOMEONE
Because we see the world in a certain way, it’s hard to understand why others on a destructive road fail to do the same.
“Some people are going to do what they are going to do,” Stec said. “You hate to see them crash. But after you’ve tried to help and tried to help, you realize that you can’t fix the problem. “
In the meantime, you can alienate other family members. They feel forgotten.
“The kids told me they were tired of being ‘the good kid’ and being taken for granted,” Parker-Barnes said. “They told me they thought they should act to get attention. I saw it coming.
These are the children who should receive our financial support. They are the ones who can stumble in life, but who have the character to get up.
But too often, the “problem child” sucks up all the energy and resources. When others need encouragement and time, we feel empty. They lose.
PRAY FOR WISDOM
Parker-Barnes told his children, “You can always come home. Always. I don’t care what you did. You still have a home with us. “
But there is one condition.
“You know the house rules,” she says. “You must follow them if you stay here.”
Parker-Barnes insists that children seek structure and order in their lives, even if they rebel against it at first.
None of this is easy for parents facing these issues.
Stec suggests parents check out a website called relink.org. Another great organization is Al-Anon for families in these situations.
“The Serenity Prayer is important to all of us,” Stec said.
I love this part:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change …
The courage to change the things I can …
And the wisdom of knowing the difference … “
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