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how to offer without offending

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#1 emnut

Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:39 PM

SIL is one of many affected by the changes to the parenting payment.  As a result she is planning on quitting her study that she has one year of a 4 year degree left to do since financially she just can't do it.  DH & I have decided that we would love to see her finish her degree as that would give her & her two children a far better future.  PIL would also like to help her but don't have the funds to whereas we do.

We have decided that we would like to offer to somehow provide enough funds to help her through, maybe by covering some of her rent or utility bills or something for the year.  We are happy to give her the money outright but know that she won't accept that.  So we are essentially looking to loan it to her without any expectation that it will be repaid, but having said that if she wanted it set up in a way where it was to be repaid when she is working we would do that too..  Our only expectation for her would be that she finish the degree.

How would you approach this without causing offence to her or making her feel inadequate as we know she is very upset by the whole scenario?

#2 idignantlyright

Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:57 PM

I would probably just sit down and discuss it straight out. Then tell her if she feels bad about you paying the money, then she can babysit or something when she has the time. Just let her know there are no expectations or anything.

You and your DH are wonderfull people.

#3 Cherish

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:01 AM

If you could afford it can you pay/loan her what she will lose in parenting payment? That way things can continue on for her as they have been. Might be easier for her and you?

What a generous thing for you and your husband to do, heart warming op original.gif

Could you simply sit down with her and say 'dh and I would really love to see you complete your studies. We would like to offer you some assistance by providing xyz. We hope you aren't offended but we think you've worked too hard to just have to give up now.

#4 Guest_AllegraM_*

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:19 AM

That is lovely Op.

I would dscuss it frankly and also try to mention examples of where you and your DH may have accepted much-needed help in difficult times.

#5 Lalliana

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:27 AM

What a wonderful thing you are doing, she is so lucky to have such an amazing family. I would sit down and tell her exactly what you have just told us. I don't think she would be at all offended, she has worked hard and you are simply offering to help her finish what she started.

#6 Chelli

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

That is such a lovely thing to do original.gif

#7 cantthinkofone

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:48 AM

That sounds like a great thing to do.

I don't know too much about centrelink payments or your sister in laws situation but could she go onto newstart?

#8 Sentient Puddle

Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:49 AM

What a lovely thing to do OP - good on you!

#9 LynnyP

Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:02 AM

It sounds wonderful of you.  I would be upfront with her.  Maybe you could say you were going to buy her something big when she graduated and now you would prefer to spend the money to enable her to graduate?

Can't she work part time and study part time?  It doesn't have to mean not completing her degree.  I worked full time, studied part time while having children and most of the women I was friendly with at university did the same?  Quite a few were single mothers too?

#10 happening

Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:06 AM

This is such a kind and loving thing to do.  A genuine offer made with love and acceptance feels and sounds nothing like pity or 'duty'.  I'm sure your SIL will hear the love in your offer and repay you a thousand times over with the brilliant and happy life she creates for her children and herself with this help.


#11 madmother

Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:08 AM

What a lovely thing for you to do! Many people could afford this, not many would offer.

#12 dorkalicious

Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:35 AM

Just be straight up- it is a truly lovely offer.

#13 Guest_zeus359_*

Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:56 AM

Perhaps, if you have kids, you could ask her to babysit on occasion to "repay" the debt. It's a lovely gesture, but it may make her feel indebted to you, and some people do not like this.

#14 DS1979

Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:04 AM

Wow, you and your husband sound like wonderful people. original.gif

Maybe just tell her that you have some extra savings that you would love for her to loan to see out the end of her study as you feel like she has worked so hard and it would just be such a shame to stop now when the end of the tunnel is so close. Or would she be more likely to accept money from your PIL rather than you? If that is the case then maybe let them make the offer with your money instead?

I know if someone offered this to me I would be reluctant to take them up on it as I hate owing people BUT if it was an offer from my parents they would possibly be the two people I would accept it from.

I hope she accepts the offer, to work so hard with your sudy only to have to give it up at the final hurdle would just be heartbreaking.

#15 emnut

Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:59 PM

QUOTE (cantthinkofone @ 18/11/2012, 10:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That sounds like a great thing to do.

I don't know too much about centrelink payments or your sister in laws situation but could she go onto newstart?

she will go to Austudy instead but it means that she would only have $400/fortnight after paying for rent to pay literally everything else.  Essentially what we want to do is cover the extra each fortnight that she will no longer be getting.

QUOTE (LynnyP @ 18/11/2012, 11:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can't she work part time and study part time?  It doesn't have to mean not completing her degree.  I worked full time, studied part time while having children and most of the women I was friendly with at university did the same?  Quite a few were single mothers too?

In her case, there are medical reasons as one thing that prevents this, but also that her degree next year requires almost 6 months of full time placement.  She has no childcare options for working out of usual business hours (she lives too far away from us for us to be able to help by looking after her kids for her if she could have somehow coped with the study/work (which is doubtful anyway).

QUOTE (zeus359 @ 18/11/2012, 11:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Perhaps, if you have kids, you could ask her to babysit on occasion to "repay" the debt. It's a lovely gesture, but it may make her feel indebted to you, and some people do not like this.

This is a good idea thanks given that is one of our concerns with offering if - that she will feel indebted even though we don't want her to.

We are having dinner with her tonight so will probably talk it over with her tonight.  The suggestion of using PIL's won't work as she knows they are struggling to cope on the Aged Pension atm so she would never accept anything from them.

#16 Nicole-Bris

Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:13 PM

Can we please have an update after you've discussed it.  Would love to hear what happened.

#17 mitty82

Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:23 PM

I would discretly visit and find her bills....an old paid telstra account, and ergon account....and perhaps pay a lump sum of them and go and get a woolies gift card with a lump sum amount on it for groceries. This is where she will need it most.

I have a lovely sister who has offered to help pay our deposit for our house. She knows how hard we worked to save for it. We didnt accept however were very greatful if we did need it that the offer was there.

Take her out for lunch and tell her how proud you are of her study and her family and you know she is thinking about quitting and with only a year out of finishing that you would love if you could help her achieve that goal. and then make your offer.
You are so selfless!!!

#18 Sabine75

Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:44 PM

Tell her it is for her children's  future along with all the rest

#19 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:34 PM

Tell her she can pay you back if your teenagers turn into hormonal monsters they can go visit their aunt wink.gif

I think you are doing a lovely thing in offering OP. Hopefully she takes you up on it original.gif

#20 ShamelesslyPooks

Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:42 PM

She can repay you by giving your niece/nephews the advantages in their upbringing that her education and employment will bring them. She can repay you by working really ****ing hard on her final year.

Bless you, OP.

#21 ~BumbleBeeeee~

Posted 18 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

whatever happens, I think that's such a lovely thing to do original.gif

#22 emnut

Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:52 PM

QUOTE (PussyDids @ 18/11/2012, 09:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tell her she can pay you back if your teenagers turn into hormonal monsters they can go visit their aunt wink.gif

If only I thought of that before talking to her last night (though I have boys - they are somewhat easier than girls aren't they as I think back to how horrid I was).

We started with an outright refusal & ended the night with her thinking about it.  She has applied for a job which she thinks she would probably take if she is offered it (we are hoping not since we can't see her being happy doing it) but otherwise we have told her the offer is unconditional other than continuing her study and is on the table until uni returns next year, or if she decides to continue study but finds it too hard financially.  I think she understands our reasoning for the offer - DH's family is very close & really we just want to see her continue to be happy as she has been working towards her goal.

#23 Therese

Posted 19 November 2012 - 06:59 PM

What a lovely offer OP. Even if she doesn't accept you have done a lovely thing.

#24 katrina24

Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:05 PM

You are doing a great thing OP. I hope you SIL realises what a special offer this is and is able to accept the help. I agree with the others that you can leave it open to discuss ways of her paying it back (I like the babysitting one and the idea that she will be a positive role model for her children and yours as well by finishing her study).

#25 emnut

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:10 PM

Just updating - SIL found out today that she didn't get the job she'd applied for.  She has accepted our offer as on the basis of it being an interest free loan that she will pay back when finished her studies & working & that she gets to look after our boys for a few hours 1 afternight/evening a month so we can have some together time.  Very very happy with the outcome.

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