Overpowering Powdered Butt Syndrome

Rachel is dealing with powdered butt syndrome. Her parents are fiscally irresponsible. She and her husband need to come to an agreement on how to handle her parents in the future.

QUESTION: Rachel in Dallas is dealing with powdered butt syndrome. Her parents are fiscally irresponsible, and she and her husband have tried to lead them by example. Rachel’s parents have rejected it, though, and they need to come to an agreement on how to handle her parents in the future. Dave offers his thoughts on this sticky situation.

ANSWER: You’re not giving them anything, and if the physical labor is abusive, if it’s stuff that’s not convenient for you, then you need to tell them to hire somebody to do it. I don’t think I come down one way or another on this. I think I would be item-by-item on it. I don’t think by helping them hang a television for a couple of hours that you’ve enabled them somehow financially. I disagree with that stand overall. But on the other hand, you don’t need to be over there every week having to do something, because you don’t have time in your calendar to do it.

I think you can honor your parents without honoring their decisions. You honor the position of parent but not the action. We love the sinner, hate the sin. I think your husband can probably have more influence by helping with a few things here and there, but you guys maintain the right to say no, too. You come from a family where one of the ways you communicated was working together. I did, too. It’s a language in the family script in some families. Your husband may or may not come out of that place. It’s just an act of service. It’s a way to love on them to do some things for them and be kind to them. I think you can do some of that, and some things you can occasionally pick out something and make a statement with that. That maintains the connectivity where you can also have some influence because it’s kind of amazing what could come out of somebody’s mouth if you’re working with them on something they shouldn’t have been involved in. Some balance between the two, I guess, is what I would say, and so I’m not going to declare either one of you the winner on that one.