4 Thoughtful Gifts Senior Parents Can Give their Adult Children

It was probably easier to shop for your children when they were, well, children.

Your 6-year-old daughter loved that huge box of pens and paper you gave her, and your 9-year-old son was thrilled with his gift of a new soccer ball.

Now they are full-grown adults with families of their own. You still enjoy giving your grown kids gifts, but it’s a bit more challenging to come up with things they may want or need.

With this in mind, let’s look at gifts senior parents should consider giving to their adult children—some are practical and some are more of a splurge, but all of them are sure to be appreciated:

1. Family Photos

Chances are good you have piles of family photos sitting in boxes or in albums. Unlike the younger generation, who keeps most of their photos on their phones, you have actual tangible pictures that you can hold in your hand. For a nice keepsake for your adult kids, take some time to organize these pictures and place them in albums, with each photo well-labeled. That way, your kids won’t have to wonder “Is that Great Aunt Bernice or Great Aunt Sally and who is she standing with?”

Use a stable, archival pen like the Pigma Pen to write on the backs of any photos—jot down names and other info on the edges so if the ink does bleed through at all, it won’t mar the photo. You can also use a #2B pencil—or better yet, write down who is who on the album page next to each picture. To make sure each adult child gets the same albums, use a service like FrameBridge to have copies made of each picture and mix and match the originals and copies throughout the albums.

2. Peace of Mind

It is natural for older adults to think about how their eventual passing might impact their children’s finances. To help alleviate any concerns you might have, as well as gift your adult children with peace of mind, consider taking out a life insurance policy from a company like USAA. This way, you will know that your kids will be taken care of financially and will not have to pay for any funeral expenses, medical bills or other estate-related costs when the time comes.

3. A Memory Instead of a Material Item

If your adult kids have pretty much everything they need, consider treating them to a memory of some sort. For instance, if your son still loves soccer and there is a professional team in or near his hometown, check out StubHub.com and get him and his family tickets to an upcoming game. If your daughter is still crazy for artwork, spring for tickets to the latest art exhibit at her local museum, and throw in a gift card to a nice restaurant so she can make a day of it.

4. Pay a Bill or Buy a Service

Depending on your finances and your adult kids’ situations, you could cover a car payment or two, pay for a professional housekeeping service to clean their home top to bottom, or offer to cover their cable bill for a few months. For busy adult kids who are struggling to make ends meet and/or are swamped with work and their own children and other responsibilities, this can be a huge relief.

Gift Giving Has Changed, But it Can Still Be Meaningful and Fun

As you can see, you don’t have to spend your hard-earned money on more “stuff” to fill your children’s homes. Family history-related items, memory-making activities and peace of mind are all meaningful gifts your adult children will truly appreciate.


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