Parents willing to help adult children with money |

Parents willing to help adult children with money

David Migoya
The Denver Post

Despite a faltering economy and unemployment numbers that continue to creep higher, parents are still likely to help children who fall into a financial quagmire, a new study finds.

But moms and dads draw the line at the type of debt they’re willing to cover for their kids, the study for reveals, and not all the help is free or without a finger-wagging.

More than one in every five fathers said they would provide more than $20,000 in financial assistance to their children if the debt were to pay off a credit card or some other life expense such as a mortgage or utility bill, the poll of more than 1,000 adults found.

And that’s even if they did not expect to be repaid.

But when it came to mothers, just 12 percent said they would cut the same check in the same situation.

Where both parents drew the line was in helping children pay off a gambling debt. More than 61 percent of the fathers and 66 percent of the mothers said all bets are off.

The results were a surprise to some who said they contradict the norms of how society has viewed parental interactions and which parent is considered the disciplinarian and which is not.

“It was startling because you think of moms as the soft spot,” said Ben Woolsey, director of marketing and consumer research at “Perhaps it’s because more women than men control the bill-paying and the household budgets and they draw the harder line than the fathers.”

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