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Are you manipulated by your adult child? Parents are supposed to be protectors and providers not enablers. Sometimes that means dishing out money to adult children. Unfortunately, they ask too many times for favors and they expect the parents to say ‘yes’ every time they ask for a handout. Often, children end up draining their parents of their savings and retirement money. According to studies, Americans give their adult children up to $7,000 a year.

It Becomes a Bad Habit

Even wealthy parents grow tired of giving their children money all the time. But as you’re manipulated by your adult child and the exchange becomes a regular occurrence, something has to change. This pattern could have a detrimental effect on the parent’s finances, the nest egg they worked hard to build. 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with helping your child or children out when they are in a tight spot, but when they overspend because they know mommy and daddy will bail them out, that’s a horse of a different color. Parents are being too generous at this point and should think about holding their child accountable for his or her finances. 

They are doing too much and should learn to live within their means. They are living their best life and it’s costing you an arm and a leg. Children who disrespect their parents will use them but according to the Bible, they will pay the penalty. I’m not trying to throw stones at anyone, but you know the difference between being manipulated by your adult child and helping them out. Just in case you are having trouble distinguishing the two, consider the signs of enabling a child. Be honest when you recognize one or more of them. 

When your grown child makes bad decisions, the results are that:

  • Your child lives under your roof and pays nothing 
  • You can’t pay your own bills because you’ve paid theirs 
  • You’re always pulling them out of a jam 
  • You feel like they are taking advantage of you
  • Your adult child acts out when you say ‘no’ 
  • You worry how they’ll feel if you say no 
  • Your adult child doesn’t respect you
  • You ‘pamper’ your adult child

When parents help their over-aged child with lump sums of cash, they should pay them back.

When you allow yourself to become manipulated by your adult child, they come to expect support. The parent, on the other hand, likes feeling that their child still needs them. It’s some kind of trade-off, but it’s unfair if you ask me. 

Although you’re manipulated by your adult child, you couldn’t say ‘no’ to anybody before you had kids. Children are smart. They learned how to bamboozle, trick, and hoodwink people as toddlers and the older they got, the better their skills got. However, you taught them well and they know right from wrong, but somehow, they grew to be malicious individuals. When your grown child breaks your heart, it’s difficult to repair the damage.  They say stuff like:

  • You’re never there when I need you! 
  • You have never loved me! 
  • I’ll just go live in my car then! 
  • You never think about me! 
  • You’re just old and bitter!

I’m sure you’ve heard at least one of those lies and outbursts before and shouted a few choice words or names yourself. In that case, learn how to respond to the situation so it doesn’t get much worse. Deal with this child appropriately by letting them find the answers on their own. Please, refer them to Google and you find your Bible. 

You know you are not the only dysfunctional family in the world, right? There were plenty of families going through crisis in the Good Book. And if it’s any consolation, you can find help by reading that same book starting with Ephesians 5:15 among other things.  

How to Stop Enabling Your Grown Child

How do you stop enabling your child and help them manage their money so they aren’t in your pocket? You could just say “No.” Say it and mean it. Don’t make excuses or lie. Just say, “No, I can’t help you.” Think about it. If they don’t stop digging into your retirement, you can’t retire. So, it’s them or you. 

Giving money to your adult children could cause problems in your life. There’s no rule saying you have to make your life miserable by helping your grown children. It’s not even in the Bible. So, if you’re wondering if you won’t go to heaven because you didn’t pay your child’s electric bill, don’t worry about it. Get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed. Here’s are some tips on how to deal with a disrespectful grown child in this situation: 

  • Don’t adopt guilty feelings, they are not becoming of you
  • Recognize your role in being manipulated by your adult child
  • Learn when your child struggles, it’s okay to let them figure it out   
  • Draw a line – set up boundaries 
  • Pray, pray and pray again 

All caring parents want the best for their children, but when it comes to money, enabling your child to do certain things, you must draw the line somewhere. They will be okay. You survived hardships and so will they. Your kids will learn to live within their means, get another job or borrow from someone else. 

Remind them you have a Facebook account, an Instagram, a TikTok, and a fixed income. They are borrowing money from you and saying they can’t afford to pay their bills, but you see shots of them on social media enjoying their mini vacations, shopping sprees, and expensive dinners. So on top of everything else, you got to figure out how to deal with a grown daughter that lies, too. Somebody give me a break!  

Christians say, “Pray for your child, pray for them.” Find a prayer you like and print it out or rewrite it and put it in a place you can see it often. Make it a habit of repeating it every day. It’s tough knowing you’re manipulated by your adult child. Sometimes, you’re put in between a rock and a hard spot, and getting out is not as easy as it seems or as it was getting in.


  • 6 Steps to Stop Yourself from Enabling Grown Children https://www.crosswalk.com/family/parenting/steps-to-stop-yourself-from-enabling-grown-children.html
  • How To Stop Enabling Grown Children And Why It’s Important https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/family/how-to-stop-enabling-grown-children-and-why-its-important/
  • Stop Being Manipulated by Your Adult Child with One Word https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/liking-the-child-you-love/201908/stop-being-manipulated-your-adult-child-one-word
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