DEAR ABBY: My husband and I disagree on something. Do you think parents MUST do the same things for each of their children, even when there is a great discrepancy in the children's behavior and attitude toward their parents?
We have helped out one of our sons who was having financial difficulties. Now the other son, "Sean," expects to receive the same, although he is defiant and does not treat us with the same respect as his sibling. My husband says because we did it for one child, we must do it for the other. I disagree, and think it's rewarding bad behavior. -- FEUDING IN WISCONSIN
DEAR FEUDING: Sean does not have the right to "demand" anything from you. However, to give one of your sons money while withholding it from the other will create a rift between them that may never heal, and I do not recommend it.
Tempting as it may be to use your checkbook to command compliance, please realize that it won't gain you the respect you feel is lacking. A better solution would be to insist on family counseling as a condition of giving the money. It's an investment that could yield great dividends.