Do You Bail Your Kids Out?

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I just got off the phone with my precious 17 year old Eric, who is needing his second “favor” of the day – in other words an errand that involves me driving something to him because he forgot it. I’m getting short on patience…

Many of you will think that I’ve made my own bed and now need to lie in it.  A seventeen year old doesn’t just all of the sudden develop the need to be bailed out of irresponsible acts.  I will plead guilty to being the princess of bail outs.  But in my own defense, I was raised by the Queen!  My mom, despite having five kids, came to our rescue more times than I can even remember.  Forgotten lunches, assignments left on the counter, soccer cleats left in the trunk – you name it, she likely had to deliver it at one time or another.  Somehow, all of her children grew up to be responsible citizens.


I’m gearing up for a good talk on responsibility when Eric comes home tonight from his night class at City College.  It’s ironic – in some respects he’s the world’s most responsible kid, but at other times he can be quite forgetful!

Does this happen in your home, and if so what’s your take?  Should I “just say no” to future bail outs, or continue my wishy washy ways?

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

2 Comments

  1. As the mother of 5, I did some bailing out myself! Although I did try not to go overboard, I did want our children to learn to be responsible. There is a fine line between bailing children (and adults) out and not being there for them. I finally decided not to bail them out if not doing so did not harm academics, teammates, family etc. However, if others would suffer because of their forgetfulness, I was there to help.

    With one particularly forgetful child, I began docking her allowance for “gas money” when I had to come to her aid. She was my child who learned best when she feels it in the pocketbook!

  2. I do not bail my kids out with homework. We have a whole “it’s not done until you pack it” rule around here.

    BUT I do bail my kids out with lunches, because if I don’t, there is no other option for them to eat at school. I used to let it go when they were in a different school, where they could just buy a hot lunch (we had tickets purchased in advance). But now they have no recourse if they forget lunch. I don’t think it’s right to make them miss a meal.

    My husband is much more likely to bail the kids out than I am.

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