Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Dad Knows Son Needs Financial Help, but Won't Take Any

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My son is a very proud young man. When my father died, he left all the grandchildren a little money. My two daughters used theirs towards college, but my son used it to start a small hiking/camping tour guide business out in California. His business was booming for the first three years, then the pandemic hit and he had to lay off three of his five employees, and is now on the verge of having to take a second mortgage on his home to keep up with the bills he has to pay. He told us that he has picked up a little business, but not enough to keep him afloat much longer.

My ex-wife (his mother), my current wife, and I have all discussed what we can do to help, and we’re all willing to lend him enough to cover his bills for the next few months, until things get back to a more normal state.

So far, he has told us he doesn’t need or want our help, and to stop treating him like a little kid. He has barely spoken to us since we made the offer, and I don’t know what to do to make things better with him again. I want him to know our offer still stands, but don’t want it to be a wedge in what has always been a good relationship.

Did we do anything wrong in making our offer to help? --- JUST THOUGHT IT WOULD HELP

DEAR JUST THOUGHT IT WOULD HELP: I think there was no harm in extending your offer, provided you didn’t present it in such a way as to make your son believe you had no confidence in him and his abilities. Clearly, he was doing well before the pandemic, and once the economy improves and people are allowed and inclined to return to favorite pursuits, hopefully his business will pick up again.

You’ve made your offer, now its up to him to take it or leave it. Your renewing it may only fuel his resentment, misplaced or not.

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