Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Former Freddie the Freeloader Speaks Out

By far the most frequently read post on this blog has been the one entitled Freddie the Freeloader and Minnie the Moocher from August 10.  According to my blogpost stats, it has outdistanced the next most read post by almost 70%.  No doubt some of these viewings were from people merely doing Google searches looking for the image of the Red Skelton character that is in the post.  Nonetheless, I get the feeling that there are a lot of Freddies and Minnies out there and that people who see it happening want to know what they can do to help.

Letters about this subject are also very common in the advice columns of the columnists listed in my previous post.  Lots of siblings and in-laws fretting about parents who were enabling a freeloader, or from parents themselves who think their freeloading child is just intrinsically incompetent and wondering what to do about him or her. 

One recent letter caught my eye, however (  A former Freddie reported that his parents finally got wise and cut off the money flow.  The former Freddie expressed his appreciation for that.  He really hit the nail on the head:

"I am a 28-year-old male who was spoiled growing up. My every wish was entertained. No surprise that when it came time to spread my wings, I failed to launch. I was terrified of growing up and its attendant responsibilities. I tried moving out a few times, but never took it seriously because I knew my safety net (my parents) was always there to bail me out.

When I lived with them, I was a disrespectful and lazy slob who never contributed to the household. My loving parents, especially my mother, put up with it for many years, but they finally put their collective foot down. Because they stood up to me, I can proudly say that I am a man. I now live in a luxury apartment with my wife. We take pride in our place and keep it spotless. Money is tight, but I manage my finances and work hard.

I can now say no to myself because my parents finally did. And I have a better relationship with them and the rest of my family now than I did before. Please, parents, don't be afraid to say no to your children. They will thank you for it later."

Most of the parents of freeloaders have been told by a lot of people that they are enabling their children and causing them to act in an impaired fashion, but they refuse to listen.  They don't seem to believe that it is true.  In fact, their typical response is to get angry at the person giving the sage advice, as well as to become extremely defensive.

Readers: Why do you suppose that is?  I provide my own theory in Chapter Two (Don't Blame Us) of my new book.


  1. Some people feel they do nothing wrong. They are offended if you say any thing to the affect that they are wrong. I think it is pride and ego. They also have to learn every thing the hard way.
    Some people are control freaks who need to fix every thing. They always bail out there children no matter how bad they are.

    There are several typed of people who let there kids stay on. Each one has a different issue.

  2. This could not have come at a better time. We have a Freddie at our house. He is lazy and a slob. He is disrespectful, also. I have been afraid that if I cut off his money supply, he would leave angrily and never forgive. But you have opened my eyes. He may be mad for a bit, but I think he will come around when he has matured. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  3. I agree, it's very difficult not to help people, especially when this person is a family member