Should You Support Adult Children?

Let me preface this by saying I am not a parent. But I know a lot of them, and I have parents myself. From what I see and know about being an adult child, I feel like I can give a good answer to this question. I believe it is natural as a parent to want to help your children, and it’s ok if you do. But at what point do you say enough is enough, or do you never stop offering to support adult children?

Should You Support Adult Children?

The answer to this question is yes and no. Let me start with the yes. When it comes down to emergency situations, you should always help your children if you can. Emergencies come up. We lose jobs, we don’t have enough money at times, and we just get into sticky situations. If there are no other options available to us, we’re going to go to our parents for help. If you have the means to help, you should.
Additionally, if you’re trying to give your child a better position or start in life, and you have the means to do so, go ahead. There’s nothing stopping you from putting your children in good positions. Now that means different things for different people. My parents were generous enough to give me down payment money on a house, and have helped me get cars in the past before I was able to buy my own free and clear. For some people that means starting education accounts or giving them access to their parent’s good credit. There are so many ways to go about this and it’s ok to do these things.

When You Should Not

Let’s discuss the no. Sometimes, it’s ok to say, “no I’m not going to help you”. Everyone has to grow up and take hold of their lives. Chances are your child has had plenty of chances to get themselves together, and they have not. Let me be real with you. You don’t owe them anything. If your children manipulate you into giving them things, cut it off. In a position where you are financially strapped, don’t run yourself into the ground for an able-bodied adult. If your children are rude, disrespectful, and look at you as a piggy bank rather than a parent, that is also problematic. Grown children have to grow up. It is ok to help them, but they also need to learn the value of helping themselves. Parents are not piggy banks, food banks, or are the only lifeline in this world. Children, when they get older, must start relying on themselves. We all have the means to work, save money, and get the things we want. So do not enable them, but empower them to do better.

Most parents I know will go to bat for their children and help them when the need arises. But most of them would not allow someone to take advantage of them and not even try to have some semblance of a life of their own. Help your children as much as you, but also teach them how to survive on their own without a heavy reliance on you.

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