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Backroads

Requiring Private School. Or, let's get to the point, using money to control others

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I recently saw a comic elsewhere and, having seen the same sentiment around before, it's on my mind and I wanted to discuss it.

A gentleman said he pays for his grandchildren to go to private school because he doesn't believe in public school. That's fine, I'm fascinated by and in love with the range of educational options, and it sure is nice for him to handle the tuition. 

But the next part of the comment was that he would never let his grandchildren go to public school. 

No, he did not have custody or guardianship of the grandchildren. They lived with their parents.

This being the internet, I have no idea what relationship he has with these family members. But I was rather disturbed at such an absolute statement. As the grandparent, did he really have the authority to make this demand? And, sure, ultimately his kids or grandkids likely can do whatever they want. But he brought up the fact that he had worked hard all his life, therefore had plenty of money, and therefore could do whatever he wanted.

My thought is that I've seen this sort of idea multiple times. Grandparents offering money, paying for school, etc, but also doing so with some semblance of control. If these grandparents did work hard to provide for their families, do they have the right to expect such things?

 

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30 or so years ago in grad school, my wife and I got to know a wonderful young undergraduate who wanted the join the Church. Her nascent testimony was a wonder, and she was truly inspirational. She went home to visit her family and tell them the news of her baptism. We didn't hear from her for weeks, even after she was supposed to have returned.

One day we ran into her on campus. She seemed distracted and didn't really want to talk to us. Made some excuse and went off. We never saw her again. Came to find out that her parents had called their preacher to give her the anti-Mormon "deprogramming". When that didn't work, they threatened to cut her off completely, financially and otherwise, if she joined the Church.

I wish she had been able to find the strength at her young age to tell her parents, lovingly and with respect, that she had made her choice. But that's a lot of leverage to use on a young woman. I'm sure there are thousands and tens of thousands of stories out there just like hers. He who controls the purse strings has the whip hand.

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10 minutes ago, Vort said:

30 or so years ago in grad school, my wife and I got to know a wonderful young undergraduate who wanted the join the Church. Her nascent testimony was a wonder, and she was truly inspirational. She went home to visit her family and tell them the news of her baptism. We didn't hear from her for weeks, even after she was supposed to have returned.

One day we ran into her on campus. She seemed distracted and didn't really want to talk to us. Made some excuse and went off. We never saw her again. Came to find out that her parents had called their preacher to give her the anti-Mormon "deprogramming". When that didn't work, they threatened to cut her off completely, financially and otherwise, if she joined the Church.

I wish she had been able to find the strength at her young age to tell her parents, lovingly and with respect, that she had made her choice. But that's a lot of leverage to use on a young woman. I'm sure there are thousands and tens of thousands of stories out there just like hers. He who controls the purse strings has the whip hand.

My sister had a mission companion who had sold some of her own personal property to fund her mission. Turns out her family had withdrawn all financial support after her baptism and the girl had to withdraw from college.

On a practical note, I can understand withdrawing financial support. It's your money, you can do with it as you will. But it seems especially manipulative to withdraw emotional support.  

Edited by Backroads

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13 minutes ago, Backroads said:

But it seems especially manipulative to withdraw emotional support.  

I'm going to quote myself to add to my string of thoughts.

To go back to the gentleman and those like them, could that personal saga of "I'm a hard worker who made many sacrifices to get where I am today" become a sense of entitlement? I worked hard, I made a life for myself, and therefore I am now to be worshipped? LIke, they expect the love and devotion of their family because of what they did, and therefore use money/love to control them?

 

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42 minutes ago, Backroads said:

My thought is that I've seen this sort of idea multiple times. Grandparents offering money, paying for school, etc, but also doing so with some semblance of control. If these grandparents did work hard to provide for their families, do they have the right to expect such things?

I can be a very spiteful person, particularly in scenarios with unspoken and assumed expectations. If I sense someone is offering something and may be expecting some unspoken control, I gladly accept the offer. When the time comes where they seek to exact that control, I say “uhhh no…” and they say “but I did X for you!?” And I say “that wasn’t a transaction. You offered it”.

Unfortunately, my family and friends are far to reasonable for me to actually experience many of those situations.

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17 minutes ago, Backroads said:

I'm going to quote myself to add to my string of thoughts.

To go back to the gentleman and those like them, could that personal saga of "I'm a hard worker who made many sacrifices to get where I am today" become a sense of entitlement? I worked hard, I made a life for myself, and therefore I am now to be worshipped? LIke, they expect the love and devotion of their family because of what they did, and therefore use money/love to control them?

 

It absolutely could be a sense of entitlement.  D&C 121 warns of it.  

Someone who is providing something, should have the right to stop providing it....  That is a leverage point.

This is why many of us do not want the government providing things... it does not take much to push on that leverage point for other things.

 

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6 hours ago, Carborendum said:

I'm never going to let my grandchildren starve.

Sure, but I'm betting your kids will be more in agreement with that.

But what if your kids wanted your grandchildren in a mode of schooling that wasn't your top choice? Would you intervene? 

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Grandparents offering money, paying for school, etc, but also doing so with some semblance of control. If these grandparents did work hard to provide for their families, do they have the right to expect such things?

Well, they can offer but their children can choose not to accept it? I think it's naive to think they will pay for all these things and expect nothing in return. This doesn't mean the grandparents are right but I don't think the parents are as oblivious as we might think. They want the cake and eat it too: They don't mind the grandparents to pay for school fees, and yet they don't want anyone telling them anything about their children. They want grandparents to babysit their children most of the day for free, but they get angry if the grandparents feed their child a particular food, etc. They don't mind to live under their roof, but you can't tell them anything even though they aren't paying any rent.

You can't have it both ways, if you don't want others to use money as leverage or as a way to manipulate you, then don't accept it if you don't need it.

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9 hours ago, Backroads said:

Sure, but I'm betting your kids will be more in agreement with that.

But what if your kids wanted your grandchildren in a mode of schooling that wasn't your top choice? Would you intervene? 

First, let me say that in today's world, we understand that parents, not grandparents make these types of decisions for the children.
We also understand that wealthy grandparents can "bribe" the parents into doing things with the grandchildren for money. 
Then it is up to the parents to accept or reject that bribe (ehrr - ehmm gift).
And I'm on your side of the control / ethics argument.

What I'm offering is that perhaps (without knowing all the details) the reality of the situation may be that the grandparents don't have to do much twisting of arms to accomplish this.  Perhaps, it is more of an aid than a domination.  We don't know the details and all the family dynamics.  So, it's difficult to judge.  But I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt when the end goal is one that I would think would be a good one.

But I could be wrong.

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21 hours ago, Backroads said:

I recently saw a comic elsewhere and, having seen the same sentiment around before, it's on my mind and I wanted to discuss it.

A gentleman said he pays for his grandchildren to go to private school because he doesn't believe in public school. That's fine, I'm fascinated by and in love with the range of educational options, and it sure is nice for him to handle the tuition. 

But the next part of the comment was that he would never let his grandchildren go to public school. 

No, he did not have custody or guardianship of the grandchildren. They lived with their parents.

This being the internet, I have no idea what relationship he has with these family members. But I was rather disturbed at such an absolute statement. As the grandparent, did he really have the authority to make this demand? And, sure, ultimately his kids or grandkids likely can do whatever they want. But he brought up the fact that he had worked hard all his life, therefore had plenty of money, and therefore could do whatever he wanted.

My thought is that I've seen this sort of idea multiple times. Grandparents offering money, paying for school, etc, but also doing so with some semblance of control. If these grandparents did work hard to provide for their families, do they have the right to expect such things?

 

People ALWAYS speak in absolutes, but they NEVER really mean it.

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22 hours ago, Backroads said:

This being the internet, I have no idea what relationship he has with these family members. But I was rather disturbed at such an absolute statement. As the grandparent, did he really have the authority to make this demand?

Heh.  The only "authority" that a parent has over the family of a grown, independent, self-sufficient child, is the authority willingly granted by that adult child.   If said child is, oh, I dunno, getting their bills paid by dad, or want dad to buy 'em a car or something, then there's a little more authority.

On one end of the scale, we have a righteous patriarch sitting lovingly over multiple generations of progeny.  Everyone is close, everyone seeks and values the dad's opinion, and family reunions are regular huge efforts that nourish and strengthen all 102 of them.

Somewhere near the other end of the scale, you have "grown" kids, living "on their own", maybe they have a means of income, maybe they don't.  Even though they have their own children, they basically are still dependent children themselves.  Grandpa pays the bills, and grandpa still pulls the strings.  If the kids don't like it, they can quit taking his money.

I suppose the far end of the scale, is where you find toxic dysfunction and unrighteous dominion.  Grandpa uses leverage like emotional manipulation, blackmail, threats of self-harm, or any of a hundred other nasty tactics to get his progeny to bend to his will.  And his progeny is usually not emotionally or financially mature enough to tell grandpa to get bent.

 

So basically, not knowing the family, we don't know from what position grandpa makes such a statement.  He might be a wise and loving patriarch, he might be an evil tyrannical overlord, or anywhere in between. 

(Just from what I know about how many folks there are on the crappy end of that spectrum, I'm guessing he's somewhere in the middle.  But I don't know.)

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I think it’s fair, that if you’re contributing to something, to have reasonable expectations of what the contribution is going for.  You also have right to choose withdrawal support if things aren’t going. 

On the or there side:people receiving the contribution have the right to know what the associated expectations are, and to decline the contribution of things aren’t reasonable or they choose to take a different path.  

 

 

And all all of the above should be separate from affection!  Love is not a bartering chip!! 

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