Channel 13 WTHR out of Indianapolis posted a news story recently that got my attention for many reasons. The title to the article was “Poll: 3 – 4 parents help pay their adult kids debt.”
“According to a recent poll at creditcards.com, 74% of surveyed parents with adult children help them pay for living expenses or debt.”
It goes on to say “62% of the more than 1,000 parents polled helped out with living expenses like cell phone bills and transportation cost, while 52% helped relieve debt.”
“Some parents have a hard time letting go, and they continue to over function for their children for longer than is necessary” said Debbie Pincus, a New York – based psychotherapist and author. “It makes it more difficult for children to get on their feet because they don’t have to,” she stated.
Parents, this is and should be an eye opener to you and I as our children mature from teenagers into young adulthood.
Deuteronomy 6:7-9 tells us we should teach our children diligently at every opportunity whether sitting, walking or sleeping. And one of the things they should be learning from us is how to live on their own someday according to the word of God.
Two points I’d like to challenge us on regarding parenting toward young adulthood.
First, many of us as parents have a tough time letting go. As a High School and Jr High School wrestling coach I would often see young boys whose parents or parent were not involved in their son’s life at all. It was not uncommon sadly to say that some parents were not even aware their son was on the team.
However, there can be trouble brewing from being so involved that we never come to the age and time of beginning to let go. Often that time of healthy letting go has come and gone and we still have never let go.
I would think for most of us our first reaction to the survey (which was my reaction as a parent of a 25-year-old son and a 23-year-old daughter) was, “well I’m just helping a little. There is nothing wrong with that. Besides I don’t want to see my children struggle, at least not struggle as I did.”
In the above mentioned survey is was stated that it becomes more difficult for them (our children) to survive or get on their feet because they don’t have to.
Parents I’ve heard it said many times about today’s teenager’s and or millennials “these kids sure think they’re entitled.” Well, just maybe we no longer need to wonder why. Because 3 out of 4 of us aren’t letting go. Please know I am not pointing a finger. My wife Stacey and I have definitely found points of this issue to be convicting for us.
But what I would like to draw your attention to is that once again as we drift away from Biblical teaching and a Biblical worldview, things like properly letting go become bigger and bigger problems. The parents who are reading this as believers and followers of Jesus Christ – this should cause you to sit up and take inventory as to your own children and your teachings. Maybe there needs to be some changes.
As a parent who is reading this but has not surrendered your life to Christ – Let this be a marker in the water way, the harbor, or the channel of life. What are you teaching? What do you believe?
Which brings me to the second and last point.
As I mentioned and referenced Deuteronomy 6 verses 7-9 earlier I now want to draw your attention to the proceeding words being verse 5-6. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.”
Parent’s we can’t trust ourselves. We must trust the Lord, we have to seek His help, His love, and His guidance in raising our children.
Too often we think paying for our son’s cell phone service is okay. We can justify it by knowing it allows us to keep control of the phone and its usage. True. However, at some point it just keeps us in control and more times than not it keeps us from teaching our children proper self-control and discipline. So ask yourself by continuing to meet his wants what might you really be teaching him? Many times the result can be…… how to never get on his own feet.
No, we don’t want to send our children into the world’s ferocious teeth so it can devour them. We want to send our children into the world with a firm foundation in trusting in Christ and Christ alone. We as people, we as friends, we as parents will and do fail at times in the arena of dependability. But our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ never fails. He has overcome the world.
So I ask you, I challenge you, to consider the question, am I part of the 3 out of 4 parents, or part of the 1? Am I, or are we, teaching that mom, dad, grandma or grandpa will continue to pay for things as they grow into adult children? Or are we teaching them to love the Lord their God with all their heart, and with all their soul, and with all their might because they know their parents do?
Until next time
For His glory not ours,