My husband doesn’t want adult children tied to our purse strings
Tell Me About It
Q Our children are all in their 20s and finished third-level education for the moment.
Their lives are in flux: as unpaid internships, poorly paid jobs in the service industry and attempts at emigration turned sour, temporary work and so on seem to be the norm.
We have given them some financial support, but another couple we know have taken the opposite approach, offering zero financial support to their young adult children, forcing them to sink or swim. My husband is determined to try out the theory.
The kids are coming to me in a panic, since they know I have my own money, and I cannot cut them off, though I feel bad going behind my husband’s back.
A Playing one parent off against another is a game that never gets tired. First of all, keep an honest line of communication with your husband – when the kids are finally gone, he’s the one you’ll be left with.
It sounds like he’s being a little dramatic to cut them off suddenly.
The transition from “childhood” to “adulthood” is getting longer. Even before the recession, parents were helping their adult children purchase boom-priced homes, and more adult children were remaining at home longer because they could not afford to rent, so this is not just recession-related.
In the US, research has found that three out of four 18-28-year-olds are getting financial help from their parents and that it has no effect on their self-esteem.
The benefit of being a generous parent, the research found, is that children who received parental support (an average of €750 per year) were more secure emotionally due to a strong child-parent bond. The more often they gave it, the stronger the bond.
“It shouldn’t be too surprising that, as the world changes, the way we parent and invest in our children’s futures changes too,” believes Prof Monica Fitzpatrick Johnson, who conducted the research at Washington State University.
“I am less concerned about a small risk of undermining the wellbeing of those young adults who do get financial support than I am about the futures of those young adults who do not get support.”
Remember that all families are different, and while that other couple may be talking tough, you don’t really know what their financial arrangements are.
Q When we met, I was more sexually experienced and open than my inhibited boyfriend. He’s so wonderful that this wasn’t a problem at first.
Happily, he was a fast learner at satisfying me, but sadly he’s not so comfortable with me exploring his potential for pleasure.