The Prodigal Daughter

Donna and her husband have a prodigal daughter. She's 19 and left Donna with her pets, including horses and birds. Dave advises giving Donna's daughter a deadline before she sells the horses.

QUESTION: Donna in Los Angeles and her husband have a prodigal daughter. She’s 19 and left Donna with her pets, including horses and birds. The horses are the financial drain, and they won’t sell for much in this market. Dave advises giving Donna’s daughter a deadline before she sells the horses.

ANSWER: Theologically, you ought to let her fall on her face. You called her a prodigal. Go back and read the story. If I remember, the boy was eating in a pig trough. That’s called financially falling on your face. He came to himself, meaning he started to realize that he was eating in a pig trough. He didn’t do that because someone took the pig trough away from him and handed him a golden plate. He laid in the pig trough until he came to himself.

You’re asking two questions. You’re asking about the horses, and you’re asking about helping her financially. I’m not going to help her financially at all. She is going to hit the bottom hard. Let her bounce. As far as the horses go, she’s got 30 days to come get them at her expense, or they’re going to be gone and I’m going to sell them. I can’t feed them anymore. Just call her and explain to her that if she wants them, she needs to come get them by August 1 or they’re going to be gone because you can’t feed them anymore. It’s not a matter of trying to pick a fight, and you don’t need to raise your voice. You don’t need to have an argument about it. It’s just a simple statement of fact.

The kid’s making decisions, and when you make decisions, there are results from your decisions. What you plant is what grows. Right now, she’s planting plenty of stupid and poison is going to grow. It’s sad. It breaks your heart. It is your kid, and you don’t want to see her make bad decisions, because you know it’s going to take her a decade to recover from this stupid, and she’ll have some of these scars the rest of her life. But she’ll find herself eventually. You just continue to be firm and pleasant and firm and pleasant. Don’t get drawn into 19-year-old drama. As far as the horses go, I sure hope you can find them a home. Maybe you could even give them to somebody to keep from having to sell them.