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Should I continue to support my teenage son financially?

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a male company employee in my 40s. I can’t decide whether I should continue providing financial assistance to my son, who finished high school this spring.

He wants to work in the manga industry in the future. He is now helping out at a manga-related company while working part-time somewhere else. He told me his part-time work would pay his monthly living costs of ¥70,000 and then started living alone.

I bought him a ¥200,000 personal computer because he told me he needed it to help the company. I also gave him ¥400,000. After three months now, he has only ¥10,000 left. And — unbelievably — he’s received only ¥30,000 for his part-time work.

My son always soon gives up after setting a goal.

When he said he wanted to play in a band, I bought him a guitar. However, he gave up playing before he became able to perform any piece. Then he started attending a 50-hour cram school course that cost ¥300,000. He left after the first five hours.

He submitted applications for entrance exams to eight universities. When he was notified he failed for one of the schools, he gave up on the exams for the remaining seven.

I’ve been financially supporting him in the belief that the more money I invest in him, the better results he can achieve. How should I respond if he asks me for more money for such purposes as attending school again to prepare for university exams?

F, Tokyo

Dear Mr. F:

Honestly, I’m concerned about you rather than your son. Aren’t you aware of the strangeness of your own views about education and the use of money?

It makes sense that your son would help out at a manga-related company while working part-time, but was he supposed to earn only ¥70,000 a month from part-time work? Did you think he could really live on ¥70,000? From that, he needs to pay for rent, food and other expenses.

That’s why he’s almost used up the ¥400,000 in three months. What puzzles me more is that he’s received only ¥30,000 from the part-time work. What’s that all about?

It’s not a matter of your son having a goal or not. You don’t think seriously about his life, do you? You aren’t serious regarding money, either.

Your son thinks you’re a soft touch and takes advantage of you. In other words, you’re at his mercy for his own convenience.

This matter is already out of your control. Ask your relatives to come together and discuss this matter with you. The sooner, the better.

Tatsuro Dekune, writer

(from Aug. 1, 2016, issue)Speech

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