When a parent gets a panicked call from an adult child begging for help you have a choice.
Some people don’t believe they have any choice, but do whatever is necessary to provide aid and relief to their child. It doesn’t matter if the child is four or forty, some parents will swoop in to save the day.
I don’t know what your experience is, but in mine, there are adult children who will use their parents as a loophole for accepting the consequences of their actions. It doesn’t matter how often a parent bails their child out (and you can read that both literally and figuratively), there will come a time that the parent will be helpless to correct the situation.
For example, times:
- when your child gets into a financial situation that you can’t possibly cover,
- when an unexpected pregnancy occurs,
- when they break their relationship,
- when their relationship breaks because it was a bad choice to begin with,
- when they lose their job because the car you were against from the beginning breaks down, resulting in another day of no pay,
- drug or alcohol dependency
- when all of these things happen at the same time.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you any insight into the handling of these pleas for help. I’m struggling to find a solution to this problem myself. Each parent must come to a decision about what they are comfortable living with.
Some parents go the tough love route; the “you made your bed, now lie in it” approach. Other parents devote not only their money, but their lives to taking care of the lives of their children, and by extension their grandchildren.
The majority of parents are struggling to find a happy medium, that place of providing assistance where it is most needed, without taking over the responsibility for our child’s life. That spot that protects our own emotional and financial wellbeing, while maintaining the true responsibility, and any lessons to be learned, strictly with the responsible person (your child).
It is difficult providing advice and emotional support to a child without rushing in to save them. But hopefully, experience will teach our children those things we couldn’t teach. Hopefully, our children will figure it out and become truly adult, because we will not be here to help forever, no matter how much we might want to be.