When the subject of boomerangers and/or grown children who constantly need financial help from the parents comes up there are several concerns the parents have that make them fearful of showing tough love. The two most common I hear are:
- What if they keep my grandkids away from me?
- What if they hate me the rest of my life?
Being afraid of the grandkids being kept from us is selfish. It is OUR responsibility to help our kids GO tackle the real world on their own two feet. If they try to punish us with more immature behavior that is on them. We have to be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to teach our kids to GO. Do we want this to be a generational problem that is passed on to the grandkids so that they end up being boomerangers too because we weren’t willing to do the right thing and teach their parents wisdom that they can pass down to them? If we let fear of not seeing our grandchildren prevent us from doing the right thing we aren’t doing the grandchildren any favors.
The chance of our kids hating us for the rest of our life if we show them tough love is a risk we’re already taking. Are we afraid of hurting their feelings when we yell at them or yank their arm out of socket to keep them from walking in front of a car? Will we be worried about their feelings if they’re trying to kill one of their siblings? Why should we be worried about their feelings as they kill their financial future and that of their children? Remember this post about inheriting poverty? This is your opportunity to end or prevent the curse.
The chances are at some point in everyone’s life this stuff is going to be learned one way or the other. Our kids are either going to learn how to manage their own resources and love us for teaching them how, or they’re going to dwindle our resources until there are none (whether we’re alive or dead) and wonder why we never taught them. They’re either going to learn it from us through a tough but loving relationship, or they’re going to learn it from someone tougher and meaner than us with no love for them at all. Either way there is a chance that when it comes to their finances they might love or hate us for how we do or don’t teach them. I’d rather take my chances on teaching them.
Think about this – if a boomerang child is unwilling to accept the tough truth about being a self sufficient adult then they are probably loving us for the wrong reason in the first place. Is that the kind of love we want to have with our children when they’re grown?