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My son is 5 years old. He got a small part in a movie and was paid for his acting. I have full access to the money, so I borrowed it and bought a lot of stock for my business. It’s cheaper to buy in bulk. My mother is disappointed in me, but I tried to explain that I can’t expand the business without the money. She said all I think about is my business. Is what I did wrong? I’ll be able to pay him back.
Yes, you can legally take the money if you like. But all too often, such “loans” turn into the kind of gifts that you never get around to paying back. You apparently mean well, and I’m happy to hear that you intend to reimburse your son. However, those good intentions are no justification for your actions.
Consider a few facts:
- You took the money to fund a business. Even with hard work and a good business plan, things don’t always go well. There is no guarantee you will be able to pay the money back.
- The money may legally be in your possession, but it is not yours. That money should go directly toward your son’s future well-being, most likely his education. (I can almost hear you saying, “If my business does well, we’ll all be better off.” That’s a cop-out, and I suspect you know it.)
- Even if you pay the money back, your son must pay an opportunity cost. In effect, he invested in your business, when instead he could have invested in stocks, bonds, or real estate. Your job as a responsible parent is to invest your son’s money directly on his behalf, preferably in financial instruments safer in the long term than inventory for a small business. Instead, you took the money to enrich your own enterprise. So when you pay the money back, do it with interest. There’s something vaguely sordid in making a profit off money earned by someone too young to realize you’ve absconded with it.
Yesterday my sister wanted to go tanning, so our neighbor’s father took us. After she got out of the car, he started to touch me inappropriately and say nasty things. I told him to stop, but he kept on. Should I tell the police? I don’t know what to do. My sister and I stay home with our kids, and I’m afraid he’ll do something worse.
If you don’t want to make a big deal about it, you don’t have to call the police. However, you are well within your rights to make that call, and if the neighbor’s father has a brain in his head, he realizes that.
I recommend that you call the police and swear out a complaint. If the conduct didn’t go beyond what you said in your question, it’s unlikely the man will face a particularly severe penalty. But involving the law lets the man know you mean business. It also establishes a pattern of conduct, so you will have less trouble getting help in the event of future harassment.
If you choose not to call the police at this time, I suggest you take the following steps:
1) Sever all contact with the man, and probably with the neighbor as well. Don’t talk to him, don’t go near him if he’s around, and don’t under any circumstances let him in your house. If the neighbor asks why you’ve changed your conduct, tell the truth.
2) If the man talks to you, tell him that unless he stops, you’ll call the police. If he doesn’t stop, call the police.
3) If the man follows you or simply won’t leave you alone, call the police immediately.
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