I cannot help but notice quite a few threads posted by new members with adult children, agonizing over whether or not to support these adults financially. I thought I would share a portion of my story that I don't often discuss here, since I am usually posting about my two troubled stepsons. I did not fully launch until my early forties. My mother was a classic enabler. She had no boundaries or expectations and let me do as I pleased. Over the years she easily spent $20,000 covering my expenses. Her help was much appreciated but it did NOT help me grow up, not one bit. I moved into my first apartment at 21. I covered my rent, car payment and groceries. My mother paid all of my utilities, my car insurance and gas (for the car). My mother continued paying at least a portion of my bills until I was 41. At 34, after years of chasing a dream of working in the arts for a living, the economy tanked and the part-time, temporary jobs I used to cobble together an income mostly disappeared. Now, my mother started paying my rent. I relocated out of state hoping for a fresh start. My mother financed the move. When I had trouble finding work where I was, she paid every cent of all of my bills. Rent, car payment, food, everything. At this point my mother was a widow in her early sixties. Soon thereafter, I had an epiphany and realized there was no end in sight to my dependency. I was overwhelmed by guilt and shame. I was stuck in a perpetual state of childhood. It felt terrible and eventually I could not live with myself. Something had to change. Because of her own issues my mother never set boundaries with me. In the end I set goals for myself. I asked my mom if she would be willing to let me move in with her while I went back to school and trained for a new career. Yes, I would still be dependent, but the drain on her expenses would be much less if I lived with her. She, of course, agreed, and three years later I emerged with a masters' degree and a job. Over the next two years I started adulting in a way I never had done in the past. I am proud to say that I have been fully independent for five years now. This year I turn fifty. It took THAT LONG for me to finally launch. My mother's caretaking did not help me grow up. It kept me stuck longer. I only grew up when I, myself, came up with a plan that included action steps for me (going back to school) and an expiration date (leaving once out of school and working). In the end things worked out for me, but I would have grown up faster without the help she offered out of both love and codependency. Support and help with limits and expiration dates would have served me much better than being suspended in a long-term, open-ended state of adolescence. I felt independent in some ways but in the back of my mind I always knew that what I had back then was not truly mine. And that made me resentful which perpetuated the cycle more. I hope this is helpful for someone. I doubt my stepsons will ever come to my wife and me for this kind of help, due to the family dynamics in play. But if they do, our help will certainly have an expiration date and conditions attached. I have lived the alternative and I want them to launch long before their fiftieth birthdays or even their fortieth.