You Have to Take Control

Steve says his son is on his auto insurance and cell phone accounts for the discounts. He's 19 and supposed to pay his share each month but doesn't. Dave advises Steve to take control of this situation again.

QUESTION: Steve in Indianapolis says his son is on his auto insurance and cell phone accounts for the discounts. He’s 19 and supposed to pay his share each month but doesn’t. He does work and lives at home. Dave advises Steve to take control of this situation again.

ANSWER: Just tell him next time he’s late, he has to get his own cell phone. You can take him off the car insurance at any time. You can change insurance mid-year. What if you sold a car? You don’t have to pay insurance through the whole year. You can just take him off the plan. As far as the cell phone goes, I’d rather have it in a drawer and me be paying it than I would him not paying me. It’s not his. It’s yours.

You just feel like the slave because of the relationship. That’s not because of the arrangement. You actually have the control, which makes you the master in the master-slave arrangement. You just have to be willing to act. I’m going to sit down with him one more time and say, “You know, I’ve done a really bad job, son, of communicating this to you because you didn’t believe me. You need to believe me because this is the last time we’re going to talk about this. The next time you’re late, I’m canceling your car insurance and your cell phone. Don’t be one freaking minute late again because I don’t want to have this discussion with you again. As a matter of fact, I’m not going to have a discussion with you again. Your cell phone’s just going to go dead. I’m going to cut it off. Your car insurance is just going to go away. You’re not going to have any.”

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