The 2020 COVID 19 pandemic has caused a far-reaching economic situation and has left millions of people struggling financially. With food banks struggling to meet demands and an estimated 14 billion jobs lost, our adult children are facing unprecedented financial losses. These losses are expected to rock the nation for many months and may very well rock your own pocketbook.
Every parent wants to provide in a crisis, especially basics like food and shelter. It is equally important to have retirement savings ready when you will most need it. So how do we best help our adult children in crisis?
Setting proper boundaries means helping those you love without depleting the funds that are set aside for your own emergency purposes. Do your homework before making offers to provide cash and understand your own limits.
Provide Other Options
Sarah’s son, recently out of college, drove a broken down vehicle and lived on a shoestring budget that included a college loan payment. When his car broke down, he came to his mother asking for a loan.
“I really wanted to help” she said “but I knew my son hadn’t even looked into other loan options. I asked him to first talk with his bank about a loan and then visit a couple car lots to see what was available. In the end, he didn’t qualify for a loan and couldn’t afford monthly payments, but he had done his homework, so I set a limit of $2000 loan to purchase a new/used vehicle. My loan included a monthly payment plan. 3 months later and he has been faithfully paying it off.”
Providing other options is a great way to not only expand knowledge, but it may be a better way to get the provision our kids are looking for.
Give Some Perspective
This is the first time that many of our adult children are facing financial struggles and it is new territory for them. Now is an ideal time to learn more about simplifying, saving money and being financially frugal. Have an open dialogue with your children about the practical ways they can find their way through this crisis, and specifically how you can help. Tom, who lived as a child through the years of the Great Depression of 1929-1939 shared with his family from his own experiences during the depression.
“That was the worst economic downturn in history,” Tom said, “incomes were slashed, jobs lost, and hours reduced to part time, just like we have seen this year. Financial instability was faced by everyone. Our family motto became ‘Use it up, wear it out, or make do without.’ We planted a garden, simplified our wardrobe, and no longer spent money on entertainment. My grandparents moved in with us which was a help to them and to my parents as my mom had to get a job working part time to help make ends meet. We all learned a great lesson about how to discern wants from needs and also how to be generous with our neighbors.”
Scripture talks plainly about a parent’s desire to help in Matthew 7:9. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?”It also talks plainly about one providing for one’s own family.’ “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8) But God promises “if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)
Although you are often left in a difficult position when your kids are in crisis, it is absolutely possible to be generous, providing the help that they need, and by using wisdom, remain within the boundaries of what you can provide.
CRISTA Senior Living offers Independent and Assisted Living in Shoreline and Silverdale. We can help you prepare for transitions. Email or call us today. 206-546-7565.
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