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Watching your children fly the nest is an incredibly proud feeling. Whether they’re off to university, or buying their first home it’s an exciting time, but one that can bring additional financial pressure on the Bank of Mum & Dad, which can put a strain on relationships within your family. 

It’s no secret that the cost of living is increasing. Parents are being leaned on to provide financial support to their children with property deposits, and even funding living costs at university, all whilst trying to balance their financial plans for the future.

Talking openly with family about the practicalities of supporting your children as they fly the nest is important. These conversations can help you to identify the level of support you’re able to provide, and manage the expectations for your children. We’ve worked in partnership with Relate to produce a wealth of content to support you in having those important and constructive money conversations.

Find out more information on how to help your child onto the property ladder

Starting the conversation

Below you'll find some valuable tips from Relate, the leading relationship support charity, to help make M-word conversations easier for you to have.

6 tips to help you start conversations

1. Listen to each other.

Listen to your partner’s views on supporting your kids and avoid speaking over them. If you disagree with them, let them know that you understand their view before putting across your own opinion.

2. Make an effort to get on the same page.

Have a conversation as a couple to make sure you’re on the same page before talking to your children about how you can support them financially. There may be a difference in how much you both want to spend and how you want to do it – see if you can reach a compromise.

3. Acknowledge that your children may have different needs.

You may have children who have different attitudes towards money and different needs. How you approach talking about money with them may differ: think about what style each of them would benefit from.

4. Be aware of the power dynamics that exist around money.

Discuss how much freedom you want to give your children in terms of your financial support, or any checks and balances you want to put in place.

5. Be open with your children.

If you pay for something for one child like university fees, a car or a house deposit, think about how this may be perceived by your other children. If you can, explain your reasons to your other children. You might say: “Remember when I helped you to pay off your student loan? Well now I’m giving your brother a similar amount of money for a house deposit. I hope you understand.”

6. Manage the situation with your previous partner.

If you’re separated, it can be tricky if you feel one parent isn’t offering financial support. If you can, talk to your previous partner about how you’re feeling, avoiding the use of accusatory language as this could lead to conflict