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I Refuse to Buy a Car for My Son, Even Though I Did It for All My Other Kids

Staying loyal to one’s word is an essential component of parenting. But what happens when the commitment cannot be maintained due to changed circumstances? Despite his best attempts to raise his children into successful individuals, a father had to accept that one of his sons had grown up to be spoilt and ungrateful. So he resorted to Reddit, wondering if he was being too severe when he decided to finally give his son his lesson.

A father explained his dilemma.

I (49M) have four children: twin sons (27 each), a girl (25F), and another son (21M). This post is about Jack, my youngest kid. Since they were children, I promised my children two things: first, that I would totally pay for all of their college expenditures (housing, tuition, food, etc.), and second, that once they graduated from college, I would purchase them a car. I kept that commitment for all of my children except Jack, and now I want to know if I was wrong. I paid for Jack’s college expenditures, but I refuse to buy him a car for several reasons, which are listed below.

1. I co-signed my name on the lease for Jack’s room, which he shares with a buddy, and I pay Jack’s share of the rent every month. The friend began taking advantage of my name being on the lease and stopped paying rent, knowing that I would cover the amount since I did not want missing payments on my credit score. I requested Jack several times to ask his roommate to pay his half, but the youngster would not answer, and I ended up paying for six months of his friend’s rent as well, until I finally resolved the issue by removing my name from the lease.

2. Jack is really unpleasant and entitled. He speaks to us as if we were his low-performing employees; he only contacts us when he needs money and ignores us otherwise, and we have no idea what we did to him to deserve that treatment.

3. When my wife was ill last year, all of my children flew home to be with her. Jack didn’t want to, but one of his siblings purchased him a ticket and persuaded him to fly out. Instead of being grateful to be beside his very sick mother in the hospital, he spent the entire visit making everyone run errands for him (his sister had to cook a very specific type of meal for him/we had to drive him to the gym at a very specific time he demanded, etc.) and acted as if having to fly out was a major inconvenience for him.

I even discussed with my other children whether we were poor parents for allowing Jack to behave this way, but none of them understand why he became so entitled and spoilt. The rest of my children are very different from Jack, yet we all get along and care about each other.

For the rest of my children, I paid approximately $100,000 on their entire college fees. Jack’s college years cost me $180k due to his reckless spending and refusal to save money. So I declined to purchase the promised automobile. Jack is upset and has gone to his grandparents to complain about me. My mother-in-law already despises me and is now calling to accuse me of favoritism because I purchased a car for everyone but Jack.