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  • Rica Reveals Ups And Downs Of ‘Weaning’ Her Family From Financial Support

    ‘What a thing to carry in your heart,' shares Rica about the time she had to withdraw support so she can rest and study.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
Rica Reveals Ups And Downs Of ‘Weaning’ Her Family From Financial Support
PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM/RICA PERALEJO
  • How do you wean your parents or family member from being financially dependent on you?  This was the delicate topic discussed in Episode 3 of Poprica, the YouTube program of celebrity mom and Smart Parenting’s Editor-At-Large, Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio.

    Weaning and keeping the relationship

    In the last episode, Rica shared valuable tips on how to go about making that hard decision of whether to continue supporting one’s parents financially or not, especially when resources are stretched and when one has also a family of his own. 

    This time around, Rica discussed how one can tread the delicate lines of weaning one’s parents from financial support without sacrificing the good relationship enjoyed with them.

    Rica shared her experience with her own family whom she started supporting when she was just a child actress. Not only did she support her parents but other family members as well.

    However, the time came when she had to wean them from financial dependence because she wanted to stop working to make time for her personal goals, in particular going back to studying.

    “I cannot tell you how stressful that was because this time I wanted to decide for myself but I knew that decision entailed a sacrifice for everybody else in our family. What a thing to carry in your heart,” she recalls.

    She says she knew her reasons for withdrawing support were valid. “I really wanted to take a rest and take a breather. It was not a wrong reason. I really needed it for my own sanity.”

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    Expect that feelings will be hurt

    At that point, Rica says she decided to just support her mom by letting her have the income from the lease of a condo she owned.

    “I still continued supporting my mom in a way that I can and with the amount that I know is good enough… it was big enough for her, but also at the same time [it wasn’t an amount that] was hurting me, and wasn’t making me sacrifice [my ability to afford] things for my family and for myself.”

    As for the rest of the family members she used to support, they will have to be more independent this time, she says. “So kung tatanungin niyo ako kung ano ba yung method na ginawa ko, it was continuing to support them, but only my mom nalang. Hindi ko na sinu-support yung mga iba pang miyembro sa pamilya ko. They had to find ways to earn money on their own.” 

    Rica admits that there were feelings that were hurt in the process of weaning. “I think it’s a noble thing if you can give back to your parents and support them as much as you can pero from my experience [if I continued supporting them] siguro makaka affect talaga sa pag-iipon ko para sa future ko at para sa pamilya ko.”

    PHOTO BY SMART PARENTING POPRICA
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    In the end it all turned out for the best because her siblings learned to become more independent. “Nagkaroon talaga ng samaan ng loob… but we're all okay now,” she says.

    "This is a very emotional thing. They equate, sometimes, you withdrawing support from them as you not loving them. And while you know that's not true in your heart, it's just really a reality that you need to face and deal with. Have faith na as you are kind and loving and patient to walk all of yourselves through this transition, that a time will come that even those 'sama ng loob' will be healed," she shares. 

    “When I withdrew support, they started seeking out things on their own. Baliktad na baliktad na po ang buhay namin ngayon. Sila na ang nagsusupport sa akin,” she adds, referring to the many gifts she has been constantly showered with by her siblings now that they are earning on their own.

    Taking off from her personal experience of weaning her family from financial support, Rica enumerates the emotional ups and downs one may likely face in the process and shares tips on how to successfully lessen support without affecting the bond and relationship with parents and siblings.

    Tips in weaning your family or siblings from financial support

    1. Weaning doesn’t happen overnight. 

    Weaning family members from financial dependence, like weaning a child from breastfeeding, doesn’t happen overnight.

    “I really believe that its more of a process than an overnight thing because kailangan niyo pag daanan ng dahan dahan ang maraming bagay because you’ve made this— you've turned this (supporting family members) into a habit,” says Rica.

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    PHOTO BY SMART PARENTING POPRICA

    She reiterates that the process should be gradual so everyone involved can properly process things and adjust to the changes.

    2. Walk them through it.

    Rica says that walking family members through the changes that may happen in their lives can help pave the way for better understanding. After all, she says, they have created a system that made them dependent in on your regular support and to suddenly take that away from them can ruffle a once harmonious relationship.

    “Yun yung inaasahan buwan buwan ng buong buhay nila so you have to walk them through it.  Give them a good talk about it and also at the same time, don't just abruptly stop support,” she advises.

    3. Help them become more independent.

    “Sometimes when we let others depend on us, we feel like it’s a good thing, and it is,” says Rica. “We also feel good about it, however, something is lost.” 

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    What they lose is the belief that they can help themselves thus Rica says it is important to help them find out how they can have other sources of income instead of allowing them to be constantly dependent on you.

    As hard as the transition was, in the end, Rica’s family was forced to  ‘tap the best in themselves’. “ When I withdrew support, they started seeking out things on their own,” she says. These days, she shares, it is her family that would often give her gifts because they are successful in their own right.

    Weaning support requires great balance. Expect to be overcome with guilt at first but also expect the people you have once supported to be free of their dependence on you. In the end everybody benefits as proven by Rica’s personal experience. 

    “There's that bright side to letting our family to stand on their own,” she says.  “They get to discover their own strengths and they become more proud of themselves,” she ends.

    Watch the full vlog here:

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