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When do you stop feeling sorry for someone who wont fix their situation?

I have run into this issue a couple times since school started. We live in a pretty poor area and people dont have jobs, are losing their homes etc. Still most of them do whatever they need to do to support their families.

There is 1 family we deal with regularly, and I would say for the past 9 or more years they are ALWAYS broke. The little girl they have is always in cheer and softball. All of these things cost extra. For me personally if I didnt have gas money or money to get into the games my kid wouldnt be playing. Am I wrong here? Instead this one family will sit outside and wait for someone to pay their way in. This past week for practice the mom called and asked the coach to ask the other moms to give her a couple bucks each in gas money so her dd could come to practice. The coach said no, she would not ask us to give her money. She was upset when she got off the phone (she is also my friend outside of practice) and was telling me about how this family is just that way. She didnt want to bad mouth them but at what point do you tell someone its been long enough? You cant afford cheer, softball, uniforms, shoes, etc but the family thinks that other families (struggling themselves) should pity their kids and help.

Maybe I am wrong here but I personally refuse to help. I think at some point you have to cut back, tell your kids no you cant afford these things, get a job, and stop asking people for their money. Am I wrong? Again I am not talking about hitting a snag, I am talking someone living this way for YEARS.


Asked by gemgem at 3:24 PM on Jan. 29, 2012 in Relationships

Level 42 (148,630 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • You can't help someone who won't help themselves. I can't stand people who always ask for handouts. I work hard to provide for my child and if you want your child to participate in all the extra curricular activities then you should do the same. I have no pity for people who won't help themselves.

    Answer by BeautyGuru at 3:27 PM on Jan. 29, 2012

  • Don't like help-dependent out of choice type of people. I believe that many people would rather run from feasible solutions than to take responsibility for themselves

    Answer by BlueSaphire at 3:39 PM on Jan. 29, 2012

  • When I see that someone isn't willing to help themselves by working and cutting back, I'm not going to work my ass off to help them.
    I do feel sorry for this little girl though. Imagine how embarrassing this must be to her. I couldn't nor would I do that to my child, if we couldn't afford it, we'd find other things to do.

    Answer by PMSMom10 at 3:45 PM on Jan. 29, 2012

  • I see families like this ALL the time at work. They feel everyone owes them. From free medical care, food stamps to what you're saying.
    We, the parents, set the example for our kids...Will these kids have the same mentality as they grow up? Sad, isn't it.

    Alot of us work so hard so we can provide for our families and it just pisses me off to see healthy, ambulatory people take advantage of the system and other good natured people.

    Answer by PMSMom10 at 3:55 PM on Jan. 29, 2012

  • you just have to decide for yourself when to say No. apparently, this family has received so much, for so long, they have become 'entitled' to it. the kids won't understand, and for that, i feel sorry for them..they will be the ones to suffer because of the poor choices the parents have made.
    whoever is 'in charge' needs to put their foot down and stop the handouts that aren't the responsibility of the scholarship programs. i'm sorry, but sometimes people need to realize that not everyone gets to do everything. its the first lesson in budgeting your finances (or time, really)...if you can't afford it, you don't do it. if you can't afford it FULLY, you don't expect others to pay your way.
    not really a hard lesson, just reality.

    Answer by dullscissors at 4:17 PM on Jan. 29, 2012

  • I'm afraid there is no reason to feel bad for the parents, maybe the kids, but not the parents. When my husband was laid off years ago, my kids didn't get to participate in certain events. It never would have occurred to me to ask other people to pay for them to attend. Definitely wouldn't have asked for money so that I could go to the games, or for gas.

    We do the things we can afford to do, and don't do what we can't afford to do. If I know someone is struggling, and doesn't have money for necessities like food on the table, I will take a bag of groceries over, or help in some way, but this is entirely different.

    Answer by ohwrite at 4:13 PM on Jan. 29, 2012

  • There is helping someone who is working to help themselves and then there is enabling. It's ridiculous that it is expected that other families should cover costs for this child. That Mom needs to find any work available at all and then she can put gas in the car. I live in a great neighborhood and know a few moms who clean houses to make ends meet.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:16 PM on Jan. 29, 2012

  • Oh I know it is embarassing since shes now in middle school and her moms been at this since she was in Kinder. They dont even pay for their kids to play. They get "scholarships" which is money put aside for kids in need (emergency etc). I have to think what if GOD forbid my dh lost his job? My kid probably would not get a "scholarship" as long as people taking advantage like this family are around.

    Comment by gemgem (original poster) at 3:47 PM on Jan. 29, 2012

  • I learned this lesson...a "friend" needed help making her mortgage payment she was only short $100 so I lent her the money. The next day I saw her and her 3 kids at the movies, they all had popcorn and drinks. I knew where my $100 went and it sure was not to the mortgage. I have a hard time feeling sorry for people who are in tough situations but they also seem to have their priorities messed up.

    Answer by Noosa at 7:17 PM on Jan. 29, 2012

  • I would not pay for their way. So no you are not wrong. I do find it wierd that they have to pay to watch their kids play. I have never heard of that the parents paying to watch the game. To be on the team, for equipment, snacks, uniforms and such yes you pay, but to watch them play no. I personally wouldn't even have my kids on a team if I had to pay to watch them play it just doesn't seem right.

    Answer by sheloveearth at 7:21 PM on Jan. 29, 2012