Mothers pay: Poll reveals mum continues to support kids in adult life

20 March 2017

  • Mums most likely to lend their ‘grown-up’ kids money, help with childcare and do their ironing
  • But good manners is the most valued skill passed down from mum, according to national poll
  • Dads also play their part: providing lifts, helping with DIY and maintaining their children’s cars

It’s not just cash from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ that adult children rely on, but ongoing withdrawals from the skills-bank too, as many look to their parents for support with everyday essential tasks - especially their mothers.

New research from Nationwide Building Society, which was commissioned ahead of Mother’s Day to highlight the ongoing supportive role mums play throughout their child’s lifetime, shows that grown-up children continue to rely on their parents long after they have flown the parental nest, with mums bearing the brunt of the burden. One in six (17%) mothers continue to lend their adult children money, compared to less than one in ten (9%) fathers – though dads are more likely to provide decorating or DIY expertise (11%) than mums (4%).

However, it’s the day-to-day help that mums provide that really makes their contribution stand out – almost one in six (16%) mothers still provide cooking and baking to their adult offspring, compared to just two per cent of fathers, and more than one in seven (15%) mums still wash or iron their fully-fledged offspring’s clothes, compared to just one in a hundred dads (1%). One in ten (10%) mothers still shop for their adult children and its grandma who provides the majority of childcare duties (12%) – six times more than grandad (2%).

But it’s the softer skills, imparted by mothers, that seem to be the most valued. More than a quarter (26%) of children aged 18 plus say they most value the manners their mothers had taught them, with 30 per cent of men saying it was the attribute they most valued, compared to less than a quarter of women (22%). Close to a third of young adults aged under 20 were among this cohort who most valued good manners (31%). The top six most valued skills from mum include:

  • Good manners
  • Life lessons
  • Cooking
  • Family values
  • Housekeeping
  • Financial planning

But it’s the softer skills, imparted by mothers, that seem to be the most valued. More than a quarter (26%) of children aged 18 plus say they most value the manners their mothers had taught them, with 30 per cent of men saying it was the attribute they most valued, compared to less than a quarter of women (22%). Close to a third of young adults aged under 20 were among this cohort who most valued good manners (31%). The top six most valued skills from mum include:

Larry Banda, Nationwide’s Director of Financial Planning comments: “It’s encouraging to see appreciation of the financial skills passed down by mums featuring so prominently. Careful budgeting and organisation of finances can make a huge difference to both wealth and wellbeing – and learning to prepare for a rainy day, as well as bigger purchases to come, can make the difference toward achieving your goals in adulthood. It’s yet another example showing mum really does know best!”

Other maternal skills mentioned as most valued included organisation, kindness and compassion, and being taught to read or sew.

To celebrate Mother's Day, Nationwide is asking people to visit its social channels on Facebook and Twitter to share what they’ve got from their mum, or someone they think of as a mum, using #GotThisFromMum. This could be sayings or habits, shared passions, physical characteristics, values or objects. Some of the stories will be chosen and made into unique poems especially for Mother's Day, courtesy of the poets from our Voices Nationwide advertising campaign. Find out more on our website.*

About Nationwide

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

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