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should my husband and I cease paying for grandson's college?

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Replies to: should my husband and I cease paying for grandson's college?

  • younghossyounghoss Registered User Posts: 3,050 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    thank you for pointing that out, 3puppies.
    I went back and re-read posts 1 and post 70.
    Here is what shaped my opinion:
    Post 1 says "8k per year" so the word "per" indicates plural and positively means more than 1 yr, but I can see it may not obligate all 4. They also ask about "ending" the arrangement. If it was a 1 yr plan, there would be no "ending" the arrangement, because freshman yr has come and gone, the arrangement would already be over. Also, debating about ending it now because of a lack of gratitude tells us the arrangement was expected for more than 1 yr. What should a prospective student think if offered 8k per yr(and no timeline mentioned) when discussing costs of a 4 yr school? Are the grandparents ready to say- It was NOT their intent to pay more than a yr? If so, then why didn't they tell student a deadline? Are grandparents willing to say they deliberately misled student about deadline? If student thought it meant 4 yrs, but grandparents didn't mean that, then why didn't they correct the student?

    "Inferred" may indeed be the best word. If I were discussing costs of a 4 yr college, and someone mentioned giving 8k per yr., I would infer it meant 4 yrs, unless of course they gave some other specific timeline, such as 8k per yr for 2 yrs.
    You are also right, 3puppies that the wording in post 70 does modify post 1, adding some "wiggle room" that wasn't stated in post 1. Post 70 alters it for the grandparents to pay more than 1 but possibly less than 4, and still be keeping their word.

    Clearly, the easiest thing for grandparents to do is stop the money. But finding the right thing to do is not so clear, and darn sure isn't easy.
    Grandparents know what their intent was. Did they intend to stop after 2 yrs? After 3? Student knows what was expected based on conversation. If student had been courteous and grateful would they be considering ending the payment now? We weren't privy to the conversation, nor do we know what was in the heart of grandparents when they made the offer. We only know what has been told to us. The 8k per year was modified to "there was no agreement" we can only guess if this is really true or if it is rationalizing to feel comfortable about stopping the money.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid Posts: 83,270 Forum Champion
    This may be the last teachable moment that they have with their grandson. Take advantage of it by having a talk with him...
  • Waiting2exhaleWaiting2exhale Registered User Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    The Talk:

    Grandma: Sweetie, do you know why I am called 'Grandma'?
    College Student: Because you are my [mother's/father's] mother.
    Grandma: And do you know what that means, to be your [mother's/father's] mother?
    College Student: Uhhh, I don't get it, Grandma. What does that mean?
    Grandma: It means I am your mother twice. And I expect twice the love, twice the hugs, and twice the respect.
    College Student: Yes, I understand, Grandma. I'm sorry, Grandma. I love you Grandma. Thank you for all that you are, Grandma.

    Grandma reaches arms out to College Student - her Grandson - and he does not spit nor growl at her, but takes her in his arms and embraces her. They smile.

    (Curtain)
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 26,465 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    I still don't think this is any sort of "whole picture."

    I do believe a clear thank you is what's called for. I just don't take this OP at face value. Re-read what she did say. "we never received one genuine thank you" can be interpreted a few ways. She doesn't want to speak to the parents and get what she assumes would be faux appreciation. He doesn't respond to texts/calls "promptly" doesn't mean he's completely out of contact, does nothing for them, is some sort of rotten kid.

    For all we know, something else is afoot. If she wants to build a better relationship, she works on this, speaks to both her own child and her grandchild. I think some perspective is missing.

    Which of us would not speak to our own child first about this? I do wonder if this is just about the money and no appreciation is enough. Not "genuine" enough, no answer is "prompt" enough. This is so one sided I just feel we have to consider that.
  • HarvestMoon1HarvestMoon1 Registered User Posts: 6,176 Senior Member
    I still think the parents should have some involvement here. If my parents were directly funding ant portion of my children's education, I would make it a point to host a lunch or dinner at the end of each academic year to bring everyone together and to thank them personally. That would be a perfect opportunity for the grandson to re-cap his school year and let the grandparents know how he was doing.

    Gratitude and manners are something that families teach their children and are learned best by example.
  • 3puppies3puppies Registered User Posts: 1,416 Senior Member
    @younghoss I think when you said
    Clearly, the easiest thing for grandparents to do is stop the money. But finding the right thing to do is not so clear, and darn sure isn't easy.

    you have it mostly right. I don't think it is so easy to stop the money. The only easy thing is for the rest of us to tell her to stop the money.

    Maybe we'll find out if she posts again. But I do suspect a dreaded conversation with this young ingrate will go much easier than she fears.

    He can't be a complete and total loser now, can he? We haven't heard that he's flunked out yet, or gotten kicked out.
  • 1or2Musicians1or2Musicians Registered User Posts: 1,282 Senior Member
    You know, my parents aren't contributing anything to my son's college. As his mother, I still drop hints or sometimes flat out tell him "your grandmother would like to see you next time you're in town" or whatever. And my mother has told me she'd line a visit. Only once I think. He's pretty close by so he comes home 2-3 times a semester at least.

    So agree there could be better communication here, and the student's parents should probably be a part of the whole conversation

    I also can't imagine that my mom would quibble much about how "prompt" replies to her texts were.
  • younghossyounghoss Registered User Posts: 3,050 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    the rest of us to tell her to stop the money
    (post 111)
    not all have suggested she stop the money.
  • MomofJandLMomofJandL Registered User Posts: 1,349 Senior Member
    Of course both the grandson and his parents should express their gratitude for the help with college funding, but it sounds like the whole family has a hard time with communication. Expecting other people to change their behavior to suit you when you don't tell them clearly what you want is an effective way to guarantee disappointment. If you like being a martyr, stay with that plan. If not, tell both the grandson and his parents that you would like (fill in the blank here, what is it you would like? Be specific.) or else you will find other uses for your money. If you want to preserve or even improve the relationships with them, work with them, remind them, encourage them to behave in ways that make you happy, and do the same for them.

  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 10,212 Senior Member
    "Dear grandson,
    we love you, but have been hurt by your (recent) behavior toward us.
    We have offered to pay $8,000 a year to help with your college costs, but we are not a bank and don't appreciate being treated as such. If additional expenses come up you can request our help, but not demand we pay it as soon as possible and then not even acknowledge the receipt of the gift.
    We feel unappreciated and taken advantage of. We have not decided what we will do about it, but we needed to tell you how we feel.
    We also think that you are old enough to get a part time job at college or in the summer to help pay for books and other expenses not covered by our gift of $8,000.

    Your grandparents"
  • uclaparent9uclaparent9 Registered User Posts: 1,277 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    i think you better talk to him and give him a chance to change if you still love him!
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 68,465 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    we have not decided what to do at this point. the next bill wouldn't be until december or january. we don't plan to involve his parents.

    Please make your decision very well in advance of the December billing date...and then stick to it.

    Make that decision ASAP so that the parents will have time to figure out how to fund the $8000 you have been paying.

    I know you don't want to involve the parents in the decision...but at the end of they day, they need to know...they do. So please be aware of that.
  • MotherOfDragonsMotherOfDragons Registered User Posts: 3,958 Senior Member
    My biggest question is what was nana expecting when she gave him the money?

    It seems to me like she was using it as a means to produce a behavior from the grandkid that she'd either like to see, or like to see more of.

    My guess is that she was using the gift as a means to control the kid and drive a wedge between him and his parents, and he was doubtless well aware of the tainted origin of this "gift" and was less than appreciative of it.

    Money you don't earn always comes with strings, and I don't think he was enjoying the puppet dance Nana was expecting from him, and behaved accordingly.

    This was not a gift freely given-not even a bit.

    I'll reserve my judgement about the kid's behavior because it's hearsay-none of us saw how the kid is actually behaving towards the grandparents. If that sort of behavior is the norm for that family, then it should not be punished.

    Nana's holding this over the kid's (and his parents') head and stewing a whole head of drama over it, all for the power. You can bet she's not going to resolve this quietly or with the best of intentions, or with any sort of "listening to understand" (I loved that post!).

    Have fun with that, nana. Don't expect them to show at your funeral.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 26,465 Senior Member
    Many here are assuming nana is accurately representing. She said no "genuine" thank you, no "prompt" answers to texts/calls. Maybe I'm being literal, but that doesn't say he doesn't thank them or ever call. It says it's not exactly as she wants it. Maybe she'll come back and explain more. And I get that she can want what she wants.
This discussion has been closed.