What would you do if your grown-up children wanted to do this? 71

Let's Talk


View Profile

However old you get, your children are always your children to you and no amount of time passing will change that. But at what, if any, age should you stop helping them when they run into troubled waters?

Many of us think when the kids leave home the first time and get a job, that’s it, unless their marriage fails and they need a place to lick their wounds.

My step-daughter used to come back frequently when she had had a major blue with her husband, but thankfully things settled down after a few years and they became more adept at solving their own problems.

However, there’s another major problem nowadays that is making adult children turn up on your doorstep and want to move back in: money.

A buoyant housing market with record prices in places like Sydney is making it harder than ever for young couples to get a foot in the housing market, so they are turning to their parents for accommodation while they save and even a gift of money towards the deposit if their parents can afford it.

And even when they have their first home, it doesn’t stop there. In a job market where some jobs are vanishing and others are rapidly changing, there is no such thing as job security any more. Suddenly, you can find your adult child and their family on your doorstep when one or both of them lose their job and they have to rent their own house out to pay the mortgage.

It can be fun and great companionship having them stay in the short-term, but what about long term, say if your 40-year-old son or daughter wanted to move back in for a couple of years while they saved money to get them out of their financial predicament?  Would you a) Help them just because they asked you to? b) Help them only if they were in acute need? or c) Tell them that they can stay only short term and must come up with another long-term solution that does not involve staying with you?

Let’s talk: Would you help your adult son and daughter if they told you they wanted to move back for a couple of years to save money? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. The short answer is. No bloody way. At 37 our son learnt the hard way and is responsible for his own life.

  2. The short answer would probably be yes. But of course it would be important to set some ground rules. I would certainly expect them to pay their share of the bills ie electricity, gas etc.

  3. I had that problem a couple of times and it can be very uncomfortable having a conversation about them moving out. So my answer to it was to put my house on the market and moved to a lifestyle village, problem solved.

  4. The answer for us is .a. Of course. Where ever we are is their home. Been there,done that. My three have all left the nest now but if they ever need anything really they know we are here for them,unconditionally, 24/7. As long as we draw breath. Oh and they don’t have to ask, we offer.

  5. I’d be a bit reluctant to have an open ended back at Mums occur, but certainly short term, a couple of months or so. It would depend too on which offspring, two out of three I could have around a lot longer than the other whose lifestyle choices conflict with mine.

  6. very hard to comment on this as it has not happened to me. I think I would offer to help with their rent in a separate premises. However, they would have to prove that they were serious in saving. I know of a case where a mother allowed her son and daughter in law to move in to save money. The daughter in law just took over and soon the lady had no say in the running of her home. She was expected to pay all bills, buy groceries but could not watch her choice on her own TV. The poor thing would just stay in her room and read. While I don’t think my kids would be this way, I would still rather they had premises of their own.

    6 REPLY
    • I think everyone knows when it’s time to call it quits. The case you described was allowed to happen. No-one stopped her from changing the locks on the doors and dumping all their stuff outside. Some people need to be needed and cannot set boundaries

    • Jenny Whan. You sound as if you are a very strong woman. Not every woman can be. The lady I mentioned is the most gentle, kind hearted person and has been taken advantage of. Hers is not the only story of a similar nature. The situation is resolved now and she has her home back to herself, but for three years she went through hell but told no-one.

    • That’s just ungrateful on the daughter in laws side . I would have spoken up , and had some rules for her . Maybe this lady was just a very soft person unable to stand up to a strong personality . But it happens .
      Personally she wouldn’t get to do that with me , my home my rules .

    • Gee, Barbara! A bit harsh I think. As Carolyn suggested, this lady is a very soft, gentle person. She does not have the “weapons” most of us have to stand up to the emotional blackmail her DIL threw at her.

    • Personally I find the son to be a weak person to allow this type of behaviour in his Mother’s home, obviously he will be hen pecked> I felt sad when I read this kind person was treated in her own home, and Barbara Gaston, your comment was very harsh, there are a lot of people who are railroaded by their own children, not everyone is tough

  7. They are your children and as such you should be prepared to help them out in a difficult situation. Always. I would never dream of being so mean as to sell my house so they couldn’t stay. Do you expect them to help you if the need arises? I’m here for my kids whenever they need it.

  8. That’s a hard one.
    Difficult to meld into each others routines.
    2 women in the kitchen and all that.
    I would help for a period of time but take off on a holiday and leave the house to them for a while to settle in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *