Parents use financial support to control student


Dear Amy: I’m a 19-year-old college student. My parents still try to control me. When I’m home, they tell me when to go to bed and when to get up.

They will tell me to delete something on my Facebook page if they find it offensive. They say if I don’t delete it, I won’t get into grad school or get a job. I’m aware of the consequences of Facebook postings. I know that when I apply for anything, my Facebook profile will be reviewed.

If I refuse to comply with my parents’ demand, they threaten to take away my car, computer and other items. They say they’ll withdraw my tuition for college and force me to go to community college, where I will not get an education toward the career I want.


Recently, my parents confronted me for posting a video of myself with my hair not brushed perfectly, and for writing something sarcastic about Christmas (I’m an atheist, and my parents are Jewish).

I “unfriended” my father on Facebook. They then threatened to take away my computer (half of which I paid for) and withdraw my tuition for next semester. My parents care about me, but their care is keeping me from being independent.


Dear Smothered: You could start taking baby steps into adulthood by calling your folks’ bluff.

If they don’t like what you post on Facebook and want to take your computer away, then hand it over and use one at the public library.

If they want to withdraw their financial support and force you to drop out of school, tell them that you’ll accept their consequence and find an hourly wage job and a room to rent.

Your parents use their financial support as leverage. I suspect that your education and success in life are so important to them that they will continue to support your desire to stay in college, but forcing the issue will prompt a conversation.



Dear Amy: “Giftless” wrote to you with a question about people who ask for specific gifts and gift receipts.

A few years ago my sister-in-law gave me a list of gifts for herself, my brother and their children, which I followed to a T.

The day after Christmas, my brother showed up at my door asking for all the receipts so they could return my gifts.

Now they only get gift cards.

Been There

Dear Been There: These post-Christmas gift demand stories really warm the heart. Thank you.

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