I Am Not An ATM Machine
Phil Clavell

Vehicule Press

The subtitle of this slim volume is “How Parents Can Regain Control of Their Lives While Still Loving Their Children,” and this should be required reading for every parent who has trouble saying “no” to a child. More and more parents are facing the hard economic fact that children are leaving the family home at a more advanced age, and often coming back from time to time to live in financial dependence on their parents.

Clavell discusses the type of children who drain their parents (“sponges, deadbeats, squatters”), and also addresses the unfortunate fact that some grandparents are caring for their grandchildren financially, as their children won’t take responsibility for their children’s lives. He talks about the importance of taking a stand, difficult though it may be, but he also addresses the common reasons that parents have for falling into faulty dependence patterns. He gives practical advice for dealing with various scenarios, with ways of saying “no” that aren’t hurtful but rather open and honest. And he underlines the fact that if your child asks you to co-sign a loan with him (or her) it’s because their own credit is bad or not established. Just say no. mRb