DEAR ABBY: I strongly disagree with your response to "Too Trusting in Delaware" last summer. You stated that most parents are repaid money they lend to their children. In my experience (and that of 97 percent of my friends and acquaintances), parents of today are not repaid.
You missed the sad point of the letter: that the children are not "dishonest" or "bad" -- they are financially irresponsible. Young people starting out today want everything; they never want to wait. The terms "budget" and "save" are meaningless to them. Borrowing money to buy a computer and Christmas presents is typical of their mentality.
We were brought up to see food, shelter and basic clothing as the only essentials. Today, young people believe that television sets, computers, answering machines, pagers, CDs, videos, microwaves, etc., are required items. Their credit cards are "maxed" out and they need co-signers on loans -- but they continue to buy, buy, buy.
Advice from parents is unwelcome. They only want gifts or "loans." If parents refuse, they are considered selfish. "You have everything and/or lots of money" is the lament. I have learned to respond, "I didn't have everything at your age. I have acquired my possessions (or money) through years of working and saving. Try it!" -- HAPPILY SELFISH PARENT, HAYWARD, CALIF.
DEAR HAPPILY SELFISH PARENT: You said that you were brought up to see food, shelter and basic clothing as the only essentials, but apparently that message wasn't taken to heart by your own children.
Of course, it's never too late to learn to be financially responsible, so you are not wrong to deny them money for luxuries. But please go a little easier on the young people of today, many of whom were never taught the importance of living within their means.