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Family Forum – My husband spoils our children

Family Forum advises how to find common ground with parenting, read on…


We are a wealthy family of five with three adult children living at home, free of charge.

Our kids are very privileged, with college educations and university costs covered. They have received cars, air fares and mobile phones, with most expenses paid.

My husband can be overly generous. I am worried he will continue to give handouts to our kids. I am not liking what I see, as they seem to have a heightened sense of entitlement and absolutely zero awareness of the real world.

My husband did not go to private schools or have any family money. We are self-made and when our parents loaned us money, we paid it back. We paid board and we supported ourselves. I am very proud of that since it kept us grounded.

When they do leave home, he intends to buy a house full of brand new furniture and whitegoods for them. We bicker constantly about this and I feel we need to adhere to a plan to avoid arguments.

My fear is that they will never learn to stand on their own two feet.

Is there a way we can meet in the middle or do we just toughen up and stop babying them? Or maybe you feel my husband has a valid point.


Raising and supporting children successfully is easier if there are shared parental values and behaviours. While it seems that you and your husband are at odds in this case, there may be some common ground. Finding those areas of agreement, on which to build a fresh collaborative approach will certainly be challenging, but worthwhile. However, the panel expects you will need some help to achieve this, especially as your efforts to date have been ignored or dismissed.

The situation would be best dealt with in a supportive and non-judgemental atmosphere. You may be able to gain this by yourselves or take advantage of some guidance from a family counsellor.

If your husband is not willing to attend counselling, it would still be beneficial for you to go alone.

Your husband’s desire to give the children all the things he never had is understandable. However, part of growing up is learning to do things for yourself and making your way in the world through your own efforts.

Your children may coast along knowing their father will provide for them and rescue them if need be. But there will be times in the future when they will have to make decisions and choose courses of action based entirely on their own experience. It is important that, at their age they learn to stand on their own feet.

Encourage your husband to consider what would be best for the children long-term, when you are no longer here to provide for them.

Submit Your Questions

Family Forum is a panel of general practitioners, medical specialists, lawyers, therapeutic and financial counsellors to discuss each letter before the appropriate professional answers it. The panel is appointed by Relationships Australia SA.

Have you got a question you’d like us to tackle?

Fill out the form below or send questions to Family Forum, The Advertiser, 31 Waymouth St, Adelaide 5000.

We treat communications in strict confidence except when the law demands otherwise, as in child abuse.

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