As parents, we are blessed with the opportunity of caring and nurturing for our children. Our jobs are merely to help with the process of developing a happy and self- sufficient adult with loving hearts.
We are given this task to feed, protect, care for, worry about, and teach these helpless babies and watch them grow and mature within eighteen years into an adult. Within these same eighteen years we ourselves are learning how to let go of our hearts in small increments, relinquish control until the child becomes an able bodied productive citizen. That is a lot to ask.
When I am presented with questions about helping adult children with finances, these questions are the most difficult to answer. Mostly because I have observed the most loving and caring parents tend to have the hardest time ‘saying no’ for the sake of the child. Tough love is really hard… that’s why they call it Tough. Letting go of authority and stand by and allowing our children to make mistakes is very difficult.
Ask yourself these following questions:
Does my child rely on me to bail them out when times get tough instead of them being creative to fix their own problems?
Is the adult child coming to you for money at least once a year?
Do they currently owe you money but don’t make payments on time?
Do they have other loans, such as signature loans, payday loans or high balances on credit cards?
If you answered YES or YES BUT… then you could be enabling them instead of teaching them to grow.
Ask yourself this question. When I’m no longer here, who will they turn too?
To stop enabling them and start helping them there are a few rules to start.
1. Tell them the new rules. Let them know lovingly that in order for them to become fully successful in their lives you will no longer be their bank. You will be there for helpful advice and viable options to fix problems but the bank is now closed. This gives them ample time to prepare themselves for the next emergency.
2. STICK to your word! I cannot stress this enough. All kids need consistently. So don’t say anything you are not willing to back up with action. Carefully and thoughtfully say what you mean.
3. Let them come to you. Not for money but for advice. You must lead by example. Be willing to give them advice without judging. This is important. They are going to make mistakes. Let them. Some kids only learn by making their own mistakes, not by what you say.
4. Praise them on their good decisions. Everyone like authentic praise. When they make that good financial decisions tell them you’re proud. Tell them why and how much they have grown since the prior years.
The bottom line is this: We as parents want the best for our children. Sometimes we don’t want them to hurt, so we come to the rescue too soon. Wait and see what they do, allow them to learn. Teach by example, sit back, and watch them grow.
For more help with this subject and other money questions contact me today.