Should All Parents Give their Adult Children Money When they need it?

Many parents really want to help their children out, not just when they are young and dependent on them but also as they get older and are adults. Although it can seem like a very kind and generous gesture there are negatives as well. It is worth thinking through whether it us the right thing to do.

If your child tells you that they are in a difficult financial situation and they need help desperately then, if you have the money available, it can be very difficult to refuse them. Obviously you love them and want to help them as much as possible, but once you give them help once, they will keep asking and before you know it they could have had a huge amount of money from you. Again, you may think this is a problem, but actually it can lead to all sorts of problems, which may not be that obvious to start with.

Firstly, if someone knows that if they need money there is somewhere that they can go to get it, then it is possible that they will stop budgeting so well. They may see less need for them to go out and earn the money that they need as they no longer have to They may spend more than they can afford because they know that they can get help with paying for it if they need it. You may feel that they would not do this, but it would be something that they are doing without even realising it.

It is also worth thinking about what might happen if you can longer give them money. You will run out eventually and then what will they do? They will no longer have anywhere to go to get financial help, but they may still be living the same lifestyle, where they are not budgeting and perhaps not earning. This could mean that they could get themselves into lots of debt and have no idea how to get out of debt again or even have to declare themselves bankrupt. This could make it really difficult for them to have a good future as they will find it hard to ever borrow money again and it could even make it hard for them to rent property and it is unlikely they will be able to get a mortgage.

Another consideration is how it will impact your relationship with them as well as other members of the family. It may be tricky to notice but there may be other family members that are jealous of what is going on. They may not say anything but they may think that it is unfair that they are not being given the opportunity to get extra money and extra help even if they are doing okay themselves. Jealously can be a nasty thing and it could mean that they no longer like you or they blame your child and no longer like them. This may be hidden by them as it may not be something that they want to bring up with you but it could come out in other ways, such as anger or just not socialising so often. A way around this could be to make sure that the children always get equal amounts so if one asks for something, they all get given the same amount. This should stop any jealousy between them. However, it will mean that it will be a lot more expensive for you.

Of course, one solution would be to refuse to do it. This can be extremely hard though as you will have to leave your child to struggle. However, you could offer them help in the form of advice as to how to cope in their situation. If they are young and still dependent then try to teach them good money management and then it is less likely that they will get themselves into the situation in the first place. Another, more gentle approach is to offer them help once only and then some advice and explain that next time they are struggling they can come to you for help with regards to knowledge but not financial. Hopefully they will then understand that you will not be available to help them all of the time but you will be there to support them.

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