“My kid still depends on me for money. Is that normal?” This is a question that comes from a lot of parents with adult children – and when I say “adult children”, I’m talking 25 years and older. My answer to them is almost always: “No. It’s not normal”
But the bigger question is: WHY is your adult kid still depending on you for money? And what can be done to stop it?
So, let’s get into it, but reader beware… you may not like what I’m about to say. The good news is that I don’t care if you like it or not, I need to keep it real with you so that you and your spawn can both have a healthy relationship with money.
Here are some red flags to watch out for…if your adult kid:
- Still lives with you
- Asks you for money (more than just once in a while)
- Lives in your house with their children or a significant other without paying normal amount of rent
- Relies on you when they’re in a money pickle
- Doesn’t have a job
- Gets any of their bills paid by you
- Has a job but isn’t contributing fairly to the household
….then you’ve got an issue.
I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t have an issue! Shouldn’t I help my kid? Isn’t that what parents are for?”
To which I answer: Parents are there to guide their children, not to do it for them. The same way you taught your child to put his own pants on, go potty, walk on her own, etc. you need to teach them how to handle their own financial affairs so that they won’t need you, a partner, a spouse, or the government in the future. You need to teach them how to be self sufficient because guess what happens if they aren’t?
The moment you die or you can’t help them anymore, they are lost, misuse their money, get into debt and lack self esteem, knowledge and confidence in life. I know this because after 20 years in banking and as a financial advisor, I see it all the time. You are creating a generational money mindset problem! Is that the type of legacy you want to leave to your child? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
So what’s the solution?
Stop babying your grown ass kids! The more that you allow your kids to deal with their own money issues, the more you guide them. They learn how to deal financially and in life and they become resilient vs dependent. It’s a very big difference.
If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish you feed him for life. Begin slowly having them handle their own financial affairs. Begin lovingly saying ‘no’ when they rely on you for money. Have them pay a realistic amount of rent and utilities to help out the house. Slowly teach them how to fly before they fall hard on their face when you’re no longer here.