How long will you support your adult kids?

Katherine - posted on 05/22/2011 ( 21 moms have responded )




How long do you expect to be paying your kids’ bills? If you answered “18 years” or even “until she graduates college”, think again. According to Forbes, almost sixty percent of parents support their young adult children, and that number has been steadily rising.

It’s not that our kids are slackers. It’s that they’re graduating into one of the worst recessions in U.S. history. Young people are unemployed at considerably higher than the national average. The trend goes beyond the economy, though. Some experts say it’s generational: that Boomer parents were too willing to sacrifice for their kids and now those kids can’t support themselves.

Considering how much less independent little kids are today than they were during my own childhood, that suggests today’s helicopter parents might be flying those helicopters for a long, long time. What will they do when they run out of gas? By which I mean cash, energy and willingness to support their kids into adulthood.

I’m hoping not to support my children past their college years. It’s expensive enough raising them now. But I’m aware of the reality that many college grads won’t find a sustainable job the minute they graduate. My kids may well need support during the gap between the end of education and the beginning of full employment. If they do, it’ll be me who gives it to them. No one else will.

I wonder if, by the time we get to our own kids’ college graduations, supporting your kids post-college will have become the new normal. Do you anticipate giving your kids’ financial support as adults?


~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/22/2011




If they go to college I will help....but if they have a job in college, I will probably help a little...probably more than I think I would. If they think they are gonna graduate high school, not go to college, and live off of us...FAT CHANCE! Get a job! Take care of your own bills

Ez - posted on 05/22/2011




60%? Really?

I moved out during my first year of university. I worked two jobs to pay my rent and bills. My Dad helped with a couple of big things I needed (like buying my computer that I needed to study), but otherwise I did it on my own.

I have grown up knowing that I can go to my parents in an emergency (and I have done on a few occasions). But they are/were not there to pay my way through adult life. I wouldn't have wanted them to. The sense of pride in being independent is huge as a young adult. I can't imagine being a 20yo uni student and still sponging off my parents.

My home will always be open to my daughter. If she is studying, I will not expect rent/board. Otherwise I will be insisting she contribute something to the household (proportionate to what she is earning).

Amber - posted on 05/22/2011




Well....we set up Roth IRA's for our son, does that count as supporting him as an adult? lol We're also paying for college (and housing), but anything fun or luxurious will be coming from their own pocket. If grades aren't good and partying takes the place of studying, I'm pulling my money out.

I want to give my son the tools to be successful in life. If he's struggling, I won't have a problem with helping him out. But I will not give him everything on a silver platter, nor will I bail him out over and over again. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your child is let them fall on their face and teach them how to find their way to their feet again.
When I'm not here, I don't want my children to be completely lost and unable to function in the world.

To me, monetarily helping out isn't a big deal as long as they're working hard and have a good work ethic. Sometimes life just deals a crappy hand.

[deleted account]

As long as they're doing something that will bring an income and independance and they're happy. They don't have to be rocket scientists to make me proud. : )

[deleted account]

I left home at 15 years old, still went to school, had a job to support myself and rented an efficiency at a beach hotel. I worked my way up from there and did it all on my own...and it was hard. Really hard at times. I don't want my kids to be like your husband and his sister, and I would never allow that to happen, BUT I would like for things to be easier for them than they were for me. I would like to give them opportunities that were just dreams for me. I have a friend who has done so much, she learned Chinese from her dad who is a dentist and served a mission for our church in Taiwan and went to China after high school to teach English to children, then got a job in the musical department on a cruise ship and got to sing and dance every night on the seas for a living, then went to college in Utah, went to France to study art for 3 months, and now she just finished training as a flight attendant and got a great job doing that. She has been given the opportunity to do whatever her heart desires, as long as it's a responsible and positive choice. THAT is what I want my kids to have. I want them to know that they can do ANYTHING and be anything they choose. She also works hard, studies hard and makes perfect grades and is the one of the most beautiful yet most humble girls Ive ever known. Her family supported her dreams yet didn't enable her to live off them and do nothing. They did a wonderful job as parents and I always look to them as an example of what good parents are since I didn't have that example growing up.


View replies by

Nellynunes148 - posted on 07/23/2016




We will support my children as long as they need help. There's no cut off age for our children as long as they are in school and working but if they fall on tough times we will be there

Andrea - posted on 01/27/2016




I completely agree with Amber, and I do the same thing. I hope my children will be the same way with their children. I am truly happy to help, I feel really lucky that I have "good" kids.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/02/2014




This is actually funny. My son, the minute he graduated from HS, started getting pissed if I tried to pay for things for him.

As a matter of fact, now, at the age of almost 20, he's got an eye check tomorrow, and will have to upgrade his prescription. Generally, out of pocket cost of between $125 & $250, depending on frames picked...I told him I'd pay his exam fee, and for the eye cam pics, and let him decide on how much he wanted to pay for his frames (if it was above our insurance allowance). He got upset! Wanted to know how long it was going to take me to realize he was successfully self sufficient!

I laughed, and said it's a mom's prerogative to help out when we want. I don't understand how so many parents are allowing this to continue. Yes, getting out on your own is not easy, but it HAS TO BE DONE!

[deleted account]

I signed the lease to my first house the day after my 18th birthday. Since that day i have no ever asked my parents for a loan. Sure i sometimes need help with a bit of bread or milk or something for the kids but money wise it's all on me now.
While i was still at home i was working my arse off for minimal pay, helping around the house, buying food for the house and still paying board. Free rides don't happen in my family but there is and always will be a lot of love and support.

Stifler's - posted on 05/22/2011




I was expected to have a job after school was over and study and pay board aswell and so will my kids be but I do not come from the kind of family who refuses to ever give each other money or fights over who owes who what. I can't edit my post dammit.

Stifler's - posted on 05/22/2011




Of course. I moved out at 19 and my parents still buy me things, my grandma still gives me money etc. Even back in the day, my grandma still gave her kids money after they moved out.

Elfrieda - posted on 05/22/2011




I am putting some money away to help with my son's college fees, but don't expect to pay for all of it. He's not going to go to do ME a favour. If he wants to go, I'll help him, but if he does an apprenticeship or something like that instead of formal schooling, I'll be pleased, too.

Mel - posted on 05/22/2011




Until my kids have a job, which will be encouraged as soon as they start high school then depending on what they are earning they can start paying rent. I see what babying a kid does to them, in my husband who is almost 28 and has had our gas cut off and a million disconnection notices or warning or late notices for everything including rent and cant even get a credit card because of a bad history, even though he was single (at the time of getting his loans) getting a full time wage and living at home with no expenses and no housework nothing. So no I would definately not raise my kids to sponge off us its not good for them long term, I deal with my husbands lack of proper parenting (by his parents) every day which leaves as at breaking point all the time, not just financially but everything. My inlaws obviously have the views and get angry at other parents who dont think the same, that you dont have children to pay rent. But they know I dont agree with them having 25 yr old kids sponging off them and having every single thing done for them.

For me I was out of home by 11 and the last time I lived at home for a short period of time was at 15 I think, before I was 16 people couldnt get money for looking after me so I contributed where I could but there were times when Iw as just studying, this was just friends parents of course after 16 needed a job, if I didnt support myself in a rented house/share house then I wouldnt have anywhere to go , so I knew how to support myself. Only way to be.

My brother is 19 still living at home but definately has his fare share of chores and he pays board of course

Charlie - posted on 05/22/2011




Hmmm...... I had a job as a teen and made a contribution to the household money wise ( and cleaning wise ) I also moved out at 17 and paid all my own bills .

I hope my child will be confident and able enough to be able to do the same , If they are living at home after graduation they will be paying board and utilities ...I will be there if it is an emergancy but they will pay me back .

Becky - posted on 05/22/2011




I will help them out for as long as they need it, but they will be expected to act like adults too! Like Teresa and Krista, if they are not in post-secondary education of some kind, they will be expected to have a job and pay room and board if they live with us. They'll be expected to help around the house as well - help with meals, do their own laundry, pick up after themselves, etc. If they want a live-in maid, they can get their own place and hire one!

Krista - posted on 05/22/2011




I'm with you, Teresa. If they want to keep living at home after graduation, they either need to be enrolled in some form of post-secondary education, or they need to be working and paying me a small amount of room and board, and working towards their independence. As long as they're not living at home and just sitting on their butts.

[deleted account]

I like what my pastor has done w/ all his kids... You have until the end of the summer after you graduate high school to either be enrolled full time in college or have a job and pay rent (or move out). I will probably do something similar... even if I CAN afford to help them out which I really don't anticipate being a possibility. Not quite sure how that'll pan out w/ my girls since they won't even be 18 until the December after they graduate high school.....

[deleted account]

Lacye- What your mother did was wrong, unless you were a horrible kid with no boundaries and violent tendencies. Telling your child to get out with no warning is cold hearted and mean in my opinion. I could / would never do that to my kids.

I will support them through college and help them get started in life so that they can have opportunities that I didn't have. Now, if they chose to quit school / college, not be proactive in getting an education and securing a career, no I wouldn't support them, they would be on their own to see how those grand descions work out for them. But, as long as they're on the right path I'll help them all I can. The 'right path' does not include 'using' mom and dad for all you can get, though.

Lacye - posted on 05/22/2011




My dad and stepmother kicked me out of their house the day after I graduated high school. They said I was old enough to take care of myself. Now I won't be that extreme with my daughter, but she will have a job to help with the bills. Even if it is just a part time job.

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