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Dave Says: How to Give Advice to Your Parents Going Through Divorce

Dave Says: Helping My Dad

Dear Dave,

My parents are going through a divorce, and money issues are a big part of the problem. My dad bought several rental properties and poured money into them. Then, he lost them to foreclosure and isn’t making a lot in his new, commission-based job. How can I, as a 25-year-old kid, tell him that his career choices aren’t working?

Ryan

Dear Ryan,

I’m sorry to hear about your mom and dad. Divorce is never an easy thing, no matter how old you are.

You’ve probably heard lots of old sayings about how winners never quit. Well, in many cases those are false statements. Winners and successful people quit all the time; they quit doing things that aren’t working. This doesn’t have to mean that you quit on a dream, but it could mean you change the methodology you’re using — especially if it’s not getting you anywhere.

Part of being a successful entrepreneur is having the ability to recognize when something isn’t working and change it. You sound like a smart, caring young man, but there’s little chance that a twenty-something with very little life experience will be able to convince his father of these things. I mean, he’s probably in his fifties, right? Plus, he’s going through a divorce, and it sounds like he’s broke and emotionally worn out.

You’ve got a great heart, and I’m glad you care enough about your dad to try and help him. But in this scenario, I think he needs to talk to someone like a pastor, or even an older relative or good friend closer to his own age — a guy with a little more life experience. Maybe you could talk to someone like this and explain what your dad is going through. Ask them to talk to him, and see if he’ll open up to some new ideas. 

In the meantime, just be there for him and show all the support you can. You’re a good son, Ryan. 

—Dave

*Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He has authored five New York Times best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 8.5 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.
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