How To Stop Your Children Depending On You for Everything
Long gone are the days in which you pack your children off out of the house at 18, at let them fend for themselves. Adult offspring are becoming increasingly dependent on their parents, but this is a family wellness problem that needs addressing. You have to strike that balance between being a parent to your adult child, without them relying on you excessively for financial or emotional help. You may feel responsible for feeding, caring for and providing for your adult child, but not only is this detrimental for the child, but also for you, so how can you set boundaries that promote everyone’s wellbeing.
Firstly, hold on to your wallet. It’s very important to put boundaries on financial help. Your child is an adult now, which means being held responsible for paying their own bills. If your child doesn’t have to live with the consequences of their bad choices, how will they ever learn how to improve their financial wellness? Admittedly, some situations may be so dire that your children may need your help, but this should only ever be a last resort.
When it comes to your child’s emotional wellbeing, of course you should provide an open ear and a shoulder to cry on. However, though you should listen to their problems, you shouldn’t try to rescue them. Though you may want to rush in and save the day, the best thing you can do for your child is simply to listen to their stories or problems – without judgement, and without solving them. Fixing their problems is not your responsibility; it’s theirs.
Finally, it’s crucial that you leave your kid to live their life as they choose. When you see your adult child making mistakes or doing things differently to how you would, it can be tempting to tell them how they “should” be living or what they “should” be doing. However, though you’re trying to be helpful, this kind of behaviour will only serve to frustrate your child, and build resentment between the two of you. If your child asks for advice, by all means give it. Otherwise, just make sure your adult child knows that even though they make mistakes, you will always love them and accept them for who they are.