How to Help Your Adult Children
By Jerry Stearns
When children are still children, they assume that as soon as they become an adult they'll be free to do whatever they want in life. And they innocently assume that they'll be able to do so too. The reality is though, that once those children have had a taste of true adulthood, they often realize it wasn't quite what they expected. Many children face hard realities once they've tried to make it on their own as an adult, and eventually they mature enough to realize that Mom and Dad know a thing or two, and maybe they can help.
One of the most common problems adult children need help with is money and finances. Some children seem to think that as soon as they became an adult, they had no more rules or responsibilities to adhere to, so they end up making financial mistakes that cause problems over time.
If the adult child recently got their first credit card for instance, they may have went on a large shopping spree or two without realizing just how difficult it would be to pay off that balance with interest later. Sometimes new adults out on their own get so excited by their first high paying job, that they feel as if they're rich and on top of the world. They've never had this much money before usually, and they know they'll be getting large paychecks continuously in the future too, so one of the first things they do is go on a spending spree. Maybe they're overly optimistic about how much rent they can afford for instance, or they don't realize all of the expenses that will come with owning that snazzy new sports car. In the end though, they end up with financial problems and often they come to Mom and Dad for help.
Sometimes adult children will simply ask their parents for advice with money management and financial problems, and sometimes they'll ask for money outright. The best way you can help your adult children with money though, is to try to teach them more about it.
Teaching your adult children about something can be a bit more tricky than it was when they were younger though, because many adult children feel as if they don't have to do what Mom or Dad tells them since they're adults now. So when you offer help in the form of advice, you have to be careful that it doesn't sound like you're trying to tell your adult children what to do.
Other things adult children sometimes need help with involves relationships. If they have a new boyfriend or girlfriend for instance, they may ask for help and advice about simple things such as what to get the person for their birthday, or what do they actually mean when they say "x".
If the relationship has turned serious though, your adult children may need your help with advice about whether they should move in together or get married. If your adult children have children of their own, sometimes they need help from their parents about parenting itself.
Regardless of what your adult children need help with though, you can help the most by offering gentle advice and encouragement. And sometimes you can even help by simply relating a similar story about something that happened in your life and how it turned out in the end.