Parents Still Paying Grown Children's Bills

RENO, Nev. -- It can be difficult for some parents to decide when they need to stop financially supporting their grown children. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 2 out of 5 parents still pay for their 18 to 35 year-old children's cellphone bills and Netflix accounts.

They're called helicopter parents; they continue to hover over their kids' lives long after they leave home. Is this a healthy trend?

Jennifer Oropeza's 19-year-old daughter, Cassandra has always been self-sufficient, until she left for college. She's now a freshman at Boise State with a low-paying job and relies on her parents to pay for her phone bill, rent and groceries.

"We want her to focus on her education instead of worrying about making enough money and pay for everything," Oropeza said.

According to Harris Interactive Survey, parents like Oropeza are spending about $108 extra a month on phone, music and video services.

"I don't want to see her struggle a lot. We don't pay for her classes at all. we just pay for her other expenses," she said.

This could end up hurting her daughter in the long run. Family and Marriage Therapist, Beverly Paschal says this behavior makes it okay for children to rely on parents to solve all their problems.

"If they aren't taught to be independent, what happens when they have to be?" Paschal said.

Providers like Verizon, AT&T and Spring offer incentives for kids to stay on their parents' plan opening a new account for one cell phone costs about two to four times more than adding a phone to a family plan.

"You need to let them know, 'here's a copy of your part of the bill, please send me a check.' and the first month they don't send the check, they're off the account," Paschal said. "What mom and dad need to do is simply say 'I'm done supporting you and I need to look forward to my future and I need to make sure I have enough in my retirement plan.'"

Parents enjoy feeling connected with their children, but Paschal says the best thing to do for their kids is to let them go.

"It's that figuring it out and it's that thinking on their own that makes them be able to be independent when they launch from college."


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