Presumption Can Cause Trouble

Carol has a daughter leaving on a trip. Carol's ex-husband told their daughter he would give her the spending money, but now that hasn't come through. Should Carol let her go with no money?

QUESTION: Carol in Dallas has an eighth-grade daughter leaving on a trip tonight. Before Carol agreed to let her go, she told her daughter she would have to come up with her own spending money. Carol’s ex-husband told their daughter he would give her the spending money, but now that hasn’t come through. Should Carol let her go with no money?

ANSWER: I never encourage parents—no matter how bad the other one is—to trash the other one. I’m trying to figure out how to teach her a lesson without the lesson being that her dad is a twit. Yeah, we pull it out of the car money and put it back. I think you’re on to something there, but I think that then you’ve got to pray for some wisdom on how to discuss with her that money promised by anyone is not money in your hand. You can’t make decisions based on money that’s coming. You’ve got to make decisions based on money that’s here. Translation: You shouldn’t have spent the money on your boyfriend unless you already had the money from your dad. Your lesson is to not spend money that you don’t have.

The word is presumption. She presumed upon money coming in. These are the people who write checks with no money in the bank hoping they’re not going to get back to the bank until they get a paycheck. If it were a pattern on her part or you had told her directly not to do something and she did it and disobeyed you, that would be one thing, but this is a little touchy because it’s a key person in her life who’s being a twit. I don’t really want to break her spirit with that, but I do want her to learn the lesson. I would approach this discussion that way. She needs to learn to not try to beat her paycheck to the bank or beat her hot checks to the bank with her paycheck and not develop this pattern of presuming upon money that’s not here. That’s her big takeaway, and that is not the trashing of her dad, although there’s plenty of room to do that.

You do this this time, and grant her some grace, but every time we have a mistake like this, we try to not make the mistake twice and talk through and create a teachable moment. Here’s what you should’ve done, you understand that. If I don’t have agreement on that or I get whining or argument out of you, then there’s not going to be any money. You can’t count on money until it’s in your hand. That presuming upon things is what needs to be reset, and then yes, I would let her use the car money. That keeps us from having to trash Dad, and we can still make our case and have the teachable moment.

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