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Supporting Adult Children in Your Middle Age

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 8 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Supporting Adult Children Providing

Most people believe that once their children are grown, they will be completely independent, but that isn't always the case. Often, parents find that their adult children are still in need of their support. Short term assistance may be helpful in helping kids, but there is a fine line between being helpful and simply allowing grown children to remain dependent.

Financial Difficulties

Early adulthood can be difficult, especially from a financial standpoint. Young wage earners are not likely to be making much, yet the expenses of living on their own can be considerable. Additionally, many young adults find that they are not able to resist the temptation of credit card offers and may build debt that they have a hard time managing.

Some middle aged parents try to offer some financial assistance to their grown children, although it may not be wise to take too much responsibility for the finances of their offspring. Learning lessons the hard way sometimes provides the most lasting impressions.

Relationships Gone Bad

Often, when adults turn to their middle aged parents for help, it is the result of a romantic relationship having gone badly. Those who are married or have been living with a partner can find themselves both emotionally and financially devastated if the relationship hits troubled times. Keeping up individually with expenses that were previously divided by two may have grown children either seeking financial help from their parents or asking to move back home.

In either case, midlife parents may find themselves offering housing assistance to their grown kids after they were expecting to be enjoying their empty nests. Providing emotional support is expected, but not all parents are in a position to help their grown children with living expenses.

Helping with Grandkids

Most people help their grown kids when they can and even welcome them back home, if necessary. Sometimes, though, middle aged parents decline their kids' requests for assistance, instead hoping that by forcing them to stand on their own two feet, they'll gain maturity and independence.

If grandkids are involved, though, even the toughest parents are likely to soften and lend a hand. There is something about the smiling little faces of grandchildren that can prompt middle aged grandparents to open their homes and their billfolds, even if they feel that their kids have been irresponsible in needing their help.

Drawing the Line

Almost everyone goes through hard times at one point, but some people tend to make a series of bad choices and seem to be in constant need of rescuing. Parents of grown kids who live irresponsibly and then wait for someone else to clean up their messes may come to a point when they simply refuse to provide back-up for their children's mistakes.

It can be hard to turn down loved ones, but it's also not wise to provide so much assistance that the kids fail to learn to care for and provide for themselves. Each set of parents must decide for themselves the wisdom of providing support for their adult children, but most every parent has limits.

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