When is it time to say "NO" to helping your grown child?

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  1. New Understanding profile image78
    New Understandingposted 5 years ago

    When is it time to say "NO" to helping your grown child?

    It starts with helping pay a bill, then another and another.  When is it time to say "no" and how without feeling guilty?

  2. profile image0
    Michelle Widmannposted 5 years ago

    I'm not a parent, so I can't exactly give first hand experience, but I see two sets of parents in my life who have children like this, and it is very frustrating to watch them feel so powerless.

    I guess my advice would be to sit down and explain to them that it's for their own good. What I can say from personal experience is that I was headed on the same path until I was scared. I graduated from university and realized I had a ton of debt to pay off and my parents told me that it was my job to pay it all off. By throwing me out on my own (metaphorically), I was forced to move out of my comfort zone, get a job, and now I'm looking for apartments and taking my own steps to living an independent life.

    The longer you wait, the harder it will be. The guilt is probably unavoidable - as a parent, you want to take care of your child - but they need to know that you love and care about them, but you can't take care of them their whole life. Everyone has it inside them to be independent, and it can only come out as a survival instinct, when you haven't given them another option or a way out. It sounds horrible, but I think it's the only way.

    1. New Understanding profile image78
      New Understandingposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I agree. The question was actually about my parents who went from paying utility bills for my sister  to paying the rent while my sisters husband sits around doing nothing. My parents get very frustrated but can't call it quits although they want to

  3. duffsmom profile image60
    duffsmomposted 5 years ago

    Wow that is a really tough question. It is so easy when on the outside to look at someone's situation and say - well you are the parents and you are enabling your child. 

    But as a parent, I know it is not that simple. I really don't have an answer for you. I am not sure I could turn down either of my daughter's if they were in need.  Even if it is the right thing to do, I don't know if I could.

  4. brakel2 profile image78
    brakel2posted 5 years ago

    The time was a while back for me or should have been. We give too much because of their debts. We cut back on the amount, but we are softies. If I had it to do over, I would do it differently. My gut instinct is they need to be responsible adults and learn by their mistakes. In the long run, this should give them more pride. They might need two jobs, but that's life folks.

    1. New Understanding profile image78
      New Understandingposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That's how I feel. If they keep getting treated as children they won't grow up.
      Thanks brakel12

  5. Abby Campbell profile image92
    Abby Campbellposted 5 years ago

    This is definitely a tough one as we parents always want to help our children no matter the situation. However, children do need to "grow up" - especially when they are adults.

    First of all, you shouldn't feel guilty. You would be helping your grown child by saying "no" if he/she is "able" to do for himself/herself. Remind yourself of that when you are feeling guilty.

    As for the grown child, I would say that it's time to say "no" if he/she is "able" to do for himself/herself. If your grown child is working and able to pay for personal bills, then it's time to place that responsibility on him/her. If he/she doesn't know how to manage money, then it's time to take the steps to show him/her how. If lessons aren't learned, then it's not your responsibility to "save" him/her. Sometimes, they need to "fall down" to learn how to get back up.

    1. New Understanding profile image78
      New Understandingposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Maybe guilt isn't the best word, but  it's the "what ifs" that cause the biggest concern like "what if"  they go homeless, "what if" they won't let us see our grandchildren.  It's really more worry then guilt.

    2. Abby Campbell profile image92
      Abby Campbellposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, we parents do worry. If your grown child goes homeless due to irresponsibility, then it may be a lesson for him/her. If not, then maybe he/she needs to get serious help from a professional. As far as grandchildren, you have rights legally too.

  6. Sue Bailey profile image81
    Sue Baileyposted 5 years ago

    When they keep on repeating the same mistake over and over again I would say.  Perhaps they fail to pay their rent and are at the point of being evicted time and again or they run out of food because they spent money on going to the pub or buying cigarettes or drugs.  That is the time to stop because if you keep bailing them out they will never learn how to live responsibly.  In cases where there is good reason for them being unable to meet all their expenses, such as unforseen unemployment then that is a matter for your conscience.

    1. New Understanding profile image78
      New Understandingposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I agree.  Helping out for a good reason such as unexpected circumstances that are temporary, but it's funny how, especially grandchildren are affected it's hard to watch even though you know you have to let them find their own way.

 
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