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12 Ways Parents Can Stop Enabling Their Spoiled Adult Kids

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If all of your kids are now grown up, congrats! It’s a bittersweet moment: You know you’ll miss them, but you can feel the weight of being primarily responsible for their well-being being lifted (maybe). But what if your kids are used to you bailing them out at all times? Then it might be a different story.

With adults and kids, chances are you’ve reached that magical retirement age (or will soon) and are ready to ditch the constraints of work life. Sounds like a lot of fun, right? Then the phone rings. It’s one of your adult children you could never say “no” to. They get what they want when they want on demand.

But something inside an aging parent has changed. Now, it’s time for retirees to put their foot down as parents. After all, their children are adults. They should act like it, right? But after so many years of enabling, where do you start?

1. Accept responsibility now

Man with Paper written No on It
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The painful truth? The reason why your adult children have been spoiled is that you couldn’t say “no.”

Giving them everything they wanted to make them happy was the goal. However, you need to let them know that if they want something, they must get it themselves.

Nonetheless, don’t feel ashamed about what you’ve done. You still love your children. And love between a parent and a child should not be based on material things.

2. Help them prepare and understand financial literacy

Child with calculator in his hand
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Shockingly, spoiled adult children may have never had a bank account. Because they had everything handed to them. Chances are they will have a low level of understanding of financial literacy.

Show them how to create a budget and educate them on the differences between income and expenses (aka, living within their means). Parents are the best teachers here when it comes to this subject.

3. Emphasize the importance of earning and saving

money happiness
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Spoiled kids may not understand the importance of earning money because they get what they want if they ask. This is a time to emphasize the true meaning of earning their money through various means like a job or side hustle.

Once they make a steady income, encourage them to save, especially for emergencies. While you could help them out in emergencies, you won’t always be around, and they should have their own buffers in place.

4. Educate them on credit and debt

Women Purchasing Grocery with Card
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This will be tricky. Because there’s a good chance that “spoiled children” might not know the concept of credit and debt. Explain to them what makes each important.

Remind them that a credit card isn’t limitless and that overusing it can lead to debt. It should also be noted that getting out of such debt – credit card or otherwise – will be difficult.

5. Discuss the importance of work ethic

money savings
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A spoiled child may have never worked a day in their life. Tell them that work is more than just the paycheck they earn. It’s about accomplishing tasks that make them feel even more fulfilled. Working harder and smarter will help them build their own wealth without the need to leech off yours endlessly.

6. Preach responsibility

Stressed African American women has financial problems
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No one lives forever. That’s a sobering life fact that everyone knows.

If you have been covering monthly costs for them, such as cell phone bills or credit card balances, make it clear that it’s now their own responsibility.

7. Providing independence

Friends eating pizza
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It is important for parents to educate their adult children on independence. The freedom as an adult to make choices based on their own preferences and needs and with their own money is a truly liberating feeling.

8. Teach them other life skills

Mother and Daughter Cleaning tiles and laughing together
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If there are certain life skills that your children may lack due to being “spoiled,” it may be time to address those issues accordingly. What are the things that they don’t know how to do? Know what they are and find ways to help them.

Examples might include cooking, cleaning, paying bills online, etc.

9. Lead by example

happy older couple with money and piggy bank
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Give your adult children insight into how to succeed with their finances based on your own experiences. Share your strategies for saving, investing, and making regular payments like the mortgage.

10. Foster open communication

Mother and Son
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Honest communication always opens a lot of doors. Ask them questions about what they know or don’t know about their finances and help them set financial goals for their future.

11. Encourage entrepreneurial thinking

man sitting and thinking business suit
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This can apply not just in financial situations but also in life itself. Teach them the importance of being creative and solving problems. Let them know they can also utilize their skills and earn money by helping people with their know-how and expertise.

12. Show them how to invest for the future

Buying House With Savings
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Investing money and letting it grow over time can be a beautiful thing. It’s like tending to a garden. Show your adult children the importance of investing.

Remind them that it’s not a “get rich quick” scheme but rather a thing where it can take time, money, and smart decisions to get there.

It’s time to live your retirement worry-free, knowing that your adult children are responsible, know how to handle their money, and can build their lives accordingly.

12 Purchases That Aren’t Worth Making in Retirement

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Retirement marks a major lifestyle shift. The thrill of newfound freedom after working all those years is exhilarating, but it’s vital to reconsider how you spend your hard-earned savings.

After a lifetime of work, you deserve to enjoy yourself—but not at the expense of your financial security.

12 Purchases That Aren’t Worth Making in Retirement

19 Things You Shouldn’t Fear as You Get Older

sad old woman
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As we grow older, it’s common for our fears to grow alongside us and sometimes hold us back from enjoying our lives. Many of these worries come from not knowing what will happen as we age. The media (social and news) also makes older folks unnecessarily fearful about their health and vitality- often painting a picture of disaster, decline, and disease.

19 Things You Shouldn’t Fear as You Get Older

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