7 Reasons Adult Children Should Not Take Handouts From Their Parents

Rant 31

There is a time and place for parents to buy things for their children and help them financially. But that time and place has a different cut-off for everyone.

For some, it's the age of marriage. For others, it's 18, period, end of story. For others, it's much murkier. They have parents who continue to take them shopping, pay for their children's day care and private school tuition, and even supplement vacations and other extravagances. Wow.

A heated discussion on CafeMom brought this question to the forefront and it's a good one. As a mom myself, I can't imagine helping my 30-something child raise their child. But tuition? I would give that in a heartbeat if I could afford it. Education is education, after all. Nevertheless, as a grownup, I would have some issues taking money from my own parents. So here are 7 great reasons NOT to take cash from your parents as an adult:

  1. Your kids will expect it, too: If you take money from your own parents to raise your kids, they will expect to get money from their grandparents their whole life. So who will be on the hook for their kids and so on and so on. It only perpetuates itself.
  2. There are ALWAYS strings: Money is a complicated issue and anyone who says there are no strings is as wrong as can be. A grandparent who pays tuition may feel they should be allowed to select schools and on and on it goes.
  3. There is bound to be some shame: Come on now. You are a GROWN up taking money from your parents. That’s embarrassing.
  4. The lack of independence can hurt you: When you can depend on someone else to fix your problems, it becomes very easy not to fix them yourself. At a certain point it really starts to hurt you.
  5. It’s not REALLY yours: You know that feeling when you get something you didn't earn? Yeah. It’s not so hot. It feels a little like ... it’s not yours at all. If you accept gifts from your family, that is the way it would always be. Stuff you earn yourself just FEELS better.
  6. Your won’t be able to shake your own kids financially: You will look like a giant hypocrite if you don’t pony up college cash, shopping money, and eventually help pay your grandkids' daycare. It’s only fair, right?
  7. You will OWE your parents: At some point, you will be expected to do things for your parents. If your parents are ungenerous scrooges, you get to say, “sorry I am busy” when they need you. But if they are giving you money? Forget it. You are at their beck and call. Night and day.

Do you take money from your parents?


Image via Tax Credits/Flickr



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nonmember avatar melissa

I think it's all about your perception.

A person who would take money from their parents could certainly argue differently to each point of yours.

The issue here is - many people want to live with the perception that one is right and the other is wrong. Well god made people who take money from parents and others that don't. So im just going to love them all anyway and try my hardest to let people live and learn in this life.

Rosas... RosasMummy

My parents would rather help us financially through my degree years than see us go hungry or homeless. They'd also rather help us out a bit financially with holidays or whatever (that we do with them) than go by themselves. without them we would be seriously screwed. I know that I would rather give my child whatever I can when she's older than watch her go without especially if, like us, she's working hard ad doing everything she can, why would I hesitate to Make her life easier? your parents do not need to teach u that life is hard etc etc, they need to be the one place that u can always go to in ur hour of need

court... courtneyrachel

I'm 25, I work two jobs and am currently in nursing school. Because I don't make very much at either of my jobs, even though i work 80 hours a week, my mom helps me out sometimes. I don't agree with any of your article. I am independent aside from a few times that i've run short trying to make a better future for myself. My mom sees that I am trying to make a better future for myself, so she offers to help and doesn't expect anything in return BECAUSE SHE IS MY MOM. Maybe that's how it was in your family, but in mine, my parents are always willing to help if need be.

nonmember avatar Myturn

No sense in waiting until you're dead to give out the inheritance. At least then you can see the enjoyment it brings.

mande... manderspanders

Its one thing when you legitimately need help to get through a rough patch; when you are a person who generally is self-sufficient and resourceful and doesn't expect the handout.

It's a whole other thing to continually ask mom and dad for a handout (or just expect one) because you failed to plan or fail to sacrifice.  If you can't afford to go on vacation, then you don't go - you don't ask your parents to pay for it (either directly or indirectly).  If you can't afford spend a small fortune at the holidays, then you don't... you don't ask your parents to fund it.

My grandma passed away yesterday.  On Friday, she was talking some nonsense (being in a confused state) but the ONE THING that she said repeatedly (probably 30 times) was WE MAKE DUE WITH WHAT WE GOT. 

That's a lesson most people could stand to learn.

MyToe MyToe

Not to put too fine a point on it, but doesn't every child owe their parent in some way?

Waag Waag

I don't ever ask my parents for money but they have helped me move when my husband deployed with them paying the expense to come get me and my stuff they will again do it in a couple weeks so I can live close to them and have help while my husband is deployed they have also paid for me to be able to come see them since we couldn't afford it. I feel bad but then again anytime they need anything I'm more than willing to do whatever I can to help.

chigi... chigirl1228

I am 26 and my mom still does things for me. She still buys me gifts and is paying for my wedding. She also does this for my brother as well. I agree with the above comment that it is all perception. I can easily argue each one of your points. I cut the apron strings a long time ago and I never ask for handouts. But if she notices that I need a new pair of shoes or something she will stick it in the mail or send some cash. She is my mom and she will always want to be needed.

moons... moonshooby

My husband's two brothers are financial and life-sucking bums. They have put so much stress on their mother she has had two heart attacks and three mini strokes. Both are in their 30's. The youngest WON'T work to support his wife and four children. He is in trouble for not paying child support for the last 11 years and brings all his problems to Mommy. She pays their rent just to keep them out of her house, buys everything they need that food stamps won't buy and pays their electric bill. The other son lives with her and more often than not chooses to buy expensive things for himself and not help pay for his part of the bills. He treats her like she is a child (that he doesn't like much), tells her what she should or should not do and disapproves of everything she does without his express permission. I've told her many times they will be the death of her. She says she has to help the youngest for the babies, she doesn't want them to go without. The older one she is currently trying to convince him to leave soon but he is an ass so is being stubborn. My point is that being too indulgent makes adult children sometimes not be self sufficient and expect and rely on them til death.

2cent... 2centsCDN

I completely agree with manders...and my condolences on the loss of your Grandmother.

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