Parents helping their adult children after they leave home?


Parents helping their adult children after they leave home?

What do you think?

Both our children have left home, one is married. We help them both in any way we can.

Whilst the eldest doesn’t want or need financial assistances, we do help in many other ways.  At Christmas and birthdays we give gifts that we know they want but can’t afford to buy themselves — for example we bough our eldest a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for Christmas. However help doesn’t need to be big or expensive — when my son pops over he usually leaves with something, last weekend it was some blocks of dark cooking chocolate, cans of tomatoes plus some lemon cake (for my daughter-in-law).  But it could be some bowls from the kitchen I no longer use, some cookbooks I think they may like, or jam or chutney that I have made or something I have spotted when last shopping that I thought they might like.  We also share DVDs and books to help with costs. I also like to take my eldest out for morning tea, or for a wander through our local markets - it means spending time together but allows me to spoil him which is alway nice, no matter how old your children are. 

However with our second son, financial assistances has been on-going and sizable (and I thank the Lord often that we are in the situation to help - its times like this that I know why I am working).  When I am grocery shopping I will buy things that I know he needs and at present I am buying much of his kitchenware (it’s amazing what you can pick up from a thrift store and Aldi is great).  He needs this help at present (it has made such a difference and removed some of his stressors), and hopefully in time he will be able to manage on his own  affairs and we will cut back the financial assistances.

Whilst I think it is important to help one’s children financially, it is also important to know when to say no and encourage them to stand on their own two feet.  Parents do need to draw the line at some point, especially those who cannot afford large handouts.  It’s also very important to teach your children (boys and girls) financial management skills and how to run the household budget. These are important life skills and if not taught can lead to all sorts of problems later in life.  With my eldest, I taught him how to budget (live wisely) and run the household finances long before he left home — as a result he (and his wife) are very savvy when it comes to savings and frugal living (they impressed me during a recent trip to Costco as I observed them buy them monthly groceries). However my youngest needs more lessons in frugal living and how to budget, but slow and steady we are getting there.

We may not be able to afford to give our children substantial finances for buying a home, however there is many other ways a parent can help.  For us, this has included buying furniture and white goods (which we have done for them), pay the occasional bill if things are too difficult (certainly been doing this latterly) and certainly later in life I plan to help with any children they have.  

This is all about getting the right balance - teaching independences but helping out to reduce the difficulties they may have.  Life is tough for young people starting out, bills seem to keep coming and the cost of food keeps going up. Parents supporting their children doesn't stop when they leave home - it continues on forever in many different ways. Even sharing a cup of tea can be helpful or going out for a meal can brighten up their day. Its helping without a controlling and organise their lives. It is their lives and I see myself as standing on the sidelines ready to help when needed. 

*****

Comments

  1. I was always grateful for the help my mother gave me, especially gifts for my children. I did have a sister who I thought took too much, but Mom never had a problem giving to her. It really was none of my business. Your sons are probably just as generous with others as you are with them. God bless you Jo.

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    Replies
    1. I couldn't imagine not being generous with them , the are too precious:)) and yes, I am already seeing their kindness and generous to others which warms my heart .

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  2. I do wish I had a mother to turn to, spend time with, share things with... My father has been wonderful in sharing things with us, but there's something special in the way mothers know the perfect things for their children - even just little things or time spent together even if financial help isn't needed/possible. I hope I can help (and be there for) my children when they're grown, too. Mothers (and grandmothers when appropriate) are such wonderful people in so many different ways. :)

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    1. It is true, mothers know those little things that can make their child happy and it doesn't need to be about money . Only last week I gave my youngest five jars of jam because I know how much he likes it on toast + made him some homemade granola to cheer him up. I wish some mothers realize it isn't about expensive gifts that our children love, it is the small things made with love that they remember and treasure the most.

      You and your sisters are all in my prayers this month, I know it must be so hard. Just keep hanging onto those wonderful memories that your mother left you with. And I am completely confident that you will give your children all they need when the are all grown up:)

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  3. I think it's important to take it on a child by child basis as you've done. Sprinkling it with prayer and wisdom is important, too. It would have been very difficult for my husband and I starting out if my mom and dad hadn't helped us out.

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  4. I love what you do for your kids, this is how families should be.

    Hubby feels we should do more for the kids eg help with house deposit etc when they are older, but I figure we've had to work hard, we're not doing our kids any favours by continuing to spoil them well into adulthood! They had a great childhood and they've got us as parents, what more could they want?! ;-)

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