20-40-60 Etiquette---When should parents quit picking up the tab?
YOU ASK! WE ANSWER! YOU DECIDE!
QUESTION: My husband and I are in our early fifties, we have 4 children, only one is still at home…two of my daughters are married, and have good jobs.
While the kids were in school we didn’t mind paying for meals out, vacation expenses etc…however…now that several are married and have good employment; how do I approach the question, When do you start letting adult children pay their own way for dinner, vacation, movies, etc…it does get pretty expensive.
We don’t want money to prohibit our time together, and I know it isn’t right for me to make vacation plans and expect them to pay for tickets, etc, unless they were consulted..how does one go about politely informing adult children that it’s time for them to pay up?
CALLIE’S ANSWER: Never quit paying!
No, I wish that was the right answer, but there is a time and a place for you to pay. This all depends on YOU! You have to limit it if you need it to, or want it to. I think the best way to quit paying is to quit offering. Let your children know before the plans happen: “my treat” if you’re going to pay, or a home cooked meal is always less expensive.
LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: You raise a good point; sometimes both parents and their children all miss the transitions from childhood to adulthood. I’m even guilty of this and in recent years have questioned why I assume my parents will take me out to dinner. I don’t think it’s OK for me to assume that anymore — we’re all adults, and with grandchildren, meals eaten out can get expensive. Now I offer to pay, even though often they still do. I’m thankful for that, but it’s not a necessary prerequisite to spend time together.
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