How Parents Financially Cripple Their Children
By Victor Ochieng
While being an adult is all about age, some aren’t brought up responsible enough to act as adults.
A parent must be smart enough to know when to support a child and the stages at which to let go of some things. When your child is beginning to learn how to walk, you’re always running around them, trying to support them so they don’t fall. However, if you don’t let them move around on their own, it takes them too long to learn how to walk.
The same is true of financial support. For how long should you to support your child financially? What’s your role as a parent when it comes to advising your child on financial matters?
In an open letter written by Peter Dunn, an author and speaker, he advises parents to learn to remove themselves from their children’s lives at different stages. He gives an example of teaching a child to ride a bike. It gets to a point when the child is taught how to ride a bike without the training wheels. In most such instances, the parent is even more scared than the child; the parent doesn’t want to let the child go because of the fear that the child might fall and get hurt. But then again, if the parent doesn’t let go, the child wouldn’t learn how to ride a bicycle.
In the same breathe, Dunn says when it comes to financial support, a parent has to teach their children to grow up responsibly. They’ve got to learn to plan and manage their finances without the parent having to constantly micromanage their finances and possibly have to constantly bail them out.
It’s understandable that as a parent, you fear what would happen if you removed yourself. A point to note, however, is that your continued presence neither does you nor them any good. Your child will never learn to be responsible.
In such a case, what happens when you’re no longer there?
Dunn insists that your absence from their lives when you’re still alive will do them more good than harm, and it will do you good as well. In fact, when your child is already trained on how to manage their finances; being able to only go for what they need; budgeting with what they have; and being smart enough to stay away from debts; you, as a parent, get some level of financial freedom.
Never feel guilty because you have a lot of money; that’s your money; ensure you train your children to earn their own and learn to manage it properly.