Dealing with Adult Children who have Financial Needs

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Some people call them boomerang kids, others call them Kidults—whatever you call them, as parents we need to be prepared when our adult kids want to move home. We asked our Facebook Fans how they have dealt with adult children moving back home. Read their ideas below.

Take our adult kid bail out polls here:

Have your adult kids (older than 24) asked you for a financial bail-out?

How much of a financial bailout have you given your adult kids?

If you’ve given them money multiple times, please use a cumulative amount.

We asked our Facebook Fans:

How you would deal with and adult kid who wants to move back home?

Young man in a suit intently playing video games.

Have an Exit Plan

Demetria said: Make sure there’s an exit plan if the kids MUST come back home. If they come home, make it uncomfortable enough for them to be motivated to get back out on their own. Keep them accountable. I think they are obligated to create budgets with parental approval if they end up back under mom or dad’s roof to ensure they are taking steps to move on with their lives.

Hoping They’ll Stand On Their Own Two Feet

Jenny said:  Here, here, Demetria! I have two nephews (28 and 30 years old) STILL living at home with their parents. Granted, there are some extenuating circumstances at the moment (their mom has cancer) but we are hoping that eventually, they will move out on their own.

Are there ways to get the older ones to move out? I’ve heard horror stories about grown kids with kids of their own moving back home with Mum and Pop. Are we raising kids that can’t stand on their own two feet? Enquiring minds want to know!

Charge Them A Percent of Their Pay

Marie said: I charge my kids 30% of their take-home pay. Which is what my parents did to me. And I make them save 30% as well, then they have to budget the rest. It makes them very aware of prices.

Tough Love!

Fred said: Tell them to grow up. Serve them some tough love.


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Grocery “Care Package” Ideas

Have you given your Adult Kids aid in the form of food?

Groceries: Buy him a grocery gift card, several bags of groceries or put together a care package and leave it anonymously on his doorstep. Everyone has to eat, and this can free up money to pay bills. If he continues to struggles for several months, help him locate a nearby food bank or apply for food stamps.

Here is a list of helpful items to put in a food survival box to help someone who is struggling financially. Obviously, if there is a particular food he or she dislikes, don’t include it in what you give.

A Suggest List of Grocery Care Package Items

 Shelf Items
  • Beef Jerky
  • Breakfast Cereal
  • Canned Pineapple
  • Canned Soup
  • Granola Bars
  • Instant Hot Cider / Hot Cocoa
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Jelly
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Peanut Butter
  • Popcorn (microwave)
  • Powdered Milk
  • Pretzels
  • Raisins
  • Spaghetti O’s
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Tuna Fish
   Toiletries / Miscellaneous
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothpaste

   Perishable Items

  • Bread
  • Butter or Margarine
  • Carrots
  • Eggs
  • Fresh Fruit (in season)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Milk
  • String Cheese
  • Vegetables in season
  • Yogurt Cups

Here’s another question we asked our Facebook Fans:

Boomerang Question:

What would you do if your adult child asks to come back home for a second time, but you’re seeing some habitual “issues” that remain unchanged and possibly harmful to them and your family?

Tough Love!

Michele Poirier Browning Says she tries to, “Explain to them that I was seeing some issues happening. And I would be happy to help them work on them but that was the only way they were going to be coming back home was if they worked on the issues. And if not they didn’t they were on their own. And if they don’t want to come home under the rules of my house then they are on their own. TOUGH LOVE!!”

Set Limits

Jennifer Bufkin said, “I would set limits on time and how much help I would extend, but wouldn’t turn them down cold. Sometimes the best lessons are learned the hard way.”

Give Adjustment Time

Gina Fusco Heid: My 21-year-old returned home. She’s not going back to school and dragging her feet on finding a job. Everything is recent, so I’m giving her some adjustment time, but soon she’s going to have to make a move. I’m more than happy to have her here if she returns to school, or have her pay rent if she starts working. But this is not going to be an extended vacation.

Be Patient and See If They Have a Real Problem

Karen WG Wow, these answers all seem very harsh. What if because you said they couldn’t come back home they were on the street? Homeless? Is that truly the “Tough Love” approach you wish to employ with your kids? Is there a reason for the habitual issues? Is it a lack of knowledge? Is it an issue that gets them the attention they need? Is there a mental issue that has gone undiagnosed? Is there a way to provide support through means of psychologists, drug rehabs etc.? I don’t know that there is enough information in the question for an answer.

Turn Your Back on Your Kids?

DeeDee Ethridge Blair I agree with you Karen!!!! If my children are ever in need, I would find it awful hard to turn my back on them……especially if there was an issue that caused them problems. Would Jesus turn his back on his children if we reached out for help????

Loren Brock-Economides I agree with Karen on this issue.

Addiction Recovery Help

Gayle Paxton Will it cause harm to other family members for them to be there? Are they interested in a recovery group? Would you be helping or enabling them? Is there a different way to help them? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing but you do need to set boundaries.

My husband and I minister through Celebrate Recovery and have watched so many people turn their lives around because someone was able to tell them no. Just as the Prodigal had to reach bottom to return home many people have to do the same to change.

There’s a difference between saying no to help someone and saying no just to be harsh. Sometimes yes is more damaging than no. When Jesus told the adulterous woman to go and sin no more, he was also saying she needed to change her behavior and her heart which required her to work on herself. That’s what recovery is all about.

Protect Your Younger Kids from Older Kids Dysfunction

Gloria Jeanette Sloane Glass I just went through this, in October one of our sons wanted to come back home and we let him.

That was the Biggest mistake ever. He wouldn’t work on his issues and only got worse till I told him he had to leave. It was horrible and then another son recently asked to come back who has a lot of the same issues as the first and I just tough loved it from the beginning and said no.

I still have 8 younger children at home that I have to protect and plus there were things that I didn’t want them to see or have to deal with. the older ones are in their 20’s and it’s time to grow up.

Family IS Family – Let Them Come Home!

Marie Joyce I would let them come home. But there would be rules. They would have to either go to school or get a job and pay rent. I have also been in this situation and going back home was my only option. It was not forever and now I have been able to give the same support to my mother who now lives with me and my children. Family is family xx

Bad Issues – Need Good Limits

Miranda Ellis I disagree with Karen, DeeDee & Loren. We’re talking about an adult in your house who has issues bad enough to hurt someone else. You’re just going to let harm come into your home and take over? If we’re talking drugs or issues like that (which is what I assume since we’ve used the term HARMFUL), they have to want the help, you cannot MAKE them want help or make them get help, despite what the show intervention wants you to think. You shouldn’t let harmful things into your home, period. They need to deal with their issues or prove they are working on them before something awful happens to the rest of your family. They are adults, not kids anymore. They have to decide.

I also don’t know of anyone who resolved harmful issues because you enabled them. You have to put your foot down, say deal with it or don’t come back. They have to hit rock bottom before they need or want you and not just use you. It is harsh, but drugs and death are harsher. Seeing your child in a casket is most harsh, I think. There are drug addicts who have literally died and been brought back to life after they shot up… and they talk about it like it’s Sunday brunch with their mom. Just part of life for people like that.

Not to say it’s easy, or what you may want to do, but allowing harmful issues to live in your home will only make them worse, not better.

Protect Your Younger Children

Laurie Lv Although im not sure what the “HARMFUL ISSUES” are at hand; i will assume it involves drugs. Having said that; if one allows any type of harm, whether it be direct or potential harm; harm is harm.

If there are other children in your home and you allow your other children to move back into your home, knowing full well these kids had issues you could actually put yourself in the situation to get your minor children taken away. Yes, family is family; however, I would never put my family and especially my other children in harm’s way. Assuming this is a drug-related problem; you are better off giving them a dose of tough love by telling them you love them, but you cant help them. Explain to them that they need to check themselves into a treatment facility to work through their issues at hand. Moving them back into your home is not helping them; it only further enabling them.

My Teen Years Were Horrible

DonKeri Kent My parents rescued my sister, over and over again, we had strained relations, I ended up living with one parent and they sent her away, my teenage years were horrible with the constant fighting. If bringing a child home /adult child disrupts the family and brings no eventual peace, then you don’t sacrifice a ship for one mate. Make sure you don’t step on the boat prior to leaving the dock.

Have a Serious Talk

Karen Stewart Having a job does not make your adult child self-sufficient. We all know that there are jobs and then jobs that pay enough to live. There are courses that lead somewhere and courses people take to just to get by or they take because you said they needed it to live in your house.

So you need to decide with your child and have a serious talk about providing for themselves and help them lay out a plan. Help them find career counseling, medical help, whatever they need to help them get out on the road to living life!

If arguments break out then you need to calmly discuss that they are adults and we will discuss this later (today or tomorrow) when everyone has had a chance to calm down. If they meet a problem then ask them how they think they should solve it; instead of giving them the answer to the issue. Tell them that you are confident that they have the courage to deal with the problem and that you know they will succeed in finding the right answer to their problem.

Help from a Distance

Selina McNelley if it will harm family…id say “NO!” They need to grow up and be responsible and “harmless” to both themselves and your family and home before they are able to return. if whats going on is harming them then help from a distance but not your own home.