I’ll never forget it. It happened years ago and my husband of just a couple of years then, was positively giddy (he’ll hate that I called him that but oh well).
Buff’s daughter by his first marriage, had gotten a job and not just any job; she was gainfully employed in a career she had studied for and one Buff had paid for.
Related: Life Lessons Buff Parham
Until that time, she was hardly resting on her laurels; she was hustling, moving, taking jobs where she could but the fact of the matter is, the money she made working part-time at Crate and Barrel wasn’t making a dent in her student loans or living expenses.
And you know what that meant. Parents lending financial support.
This is nothing new; I remember my mother doing it for me after I graduated from college. The question on the lips and strained pocketbooks of all parents though is.. for how long?
Seattle psychotherapist Linda Herman seeks to answer that very question with her book, Parents to the End: How Baby Boomers Can Parent for Peace of Mind, Foster Responsibility in Their Adult Children, and Keep Their Hard-Earned Money.
Here’s the link to her site–> Parentstotheend.com but like a whip-smart business person, she doesn’t put the answers there.. you have to buy the book. But it does give us a great jumping off point for this debate. How much financial help should you give your kids? Does it go on and on (and ON)? And if that’s the case, knowing they always have you to rely on, how will they ever learn to make it on their own?
Truth be told, my own kids don’t have a great relationship with money, something they get from me, I do believe. But a sputtering economy and two entrepreneurial parents have given Casey and Cole a better handle on money. They don’t get everything they want (they never did, really) and now, they’re both old enough to take on jobs in order to have spending cash.
If I carry this out to my kids’ adults years, my financial support would look something like this:
I would help them through college, including paying part of their tuition as well as after college until they got jobs. Not REAL jobs in their chosen fields but ANY job. Then, I can realistically see helping them with the basics; food, rent and so forth, as long as they too, are contributing. Oh and the basics do not include the refilling of a Starbucks card or cell phone; they’ll work for those.
The rest I think we’ll have to take it as it comes; maybe it’s too simplistic, but that’s sort of how I see it.
Of course, I reserve the right to make changes along the way.
What about you? How long will you keep the parental purse-strings open? Have you been through this already? Share with those of us just getting started!
Oh and take the poll too!