3 things that great parents teach that good parents don’t.
Loving your kids is what average parents do.
Caring for your kids needs is what average parents do.
Appropriate physical affection is what average parents do. (Give your kids hugs. Its not rocket science, though it is simple, good science. ) Grounding your kids in their faith. Basic assumption.
After working with young adults for the last 20 years, I’ve found that young people who start their adult lives with these 3 skills lead healthier, better lives than their counterparts, who come from “good families.”
Great parents teach their kids how to manage money and build wealth.
Many families struggle with money. The expectation, it seems, from children at least, is that education through a bachelors degree should be paid for. However, credit card companies target young adults because they know if they can get them in a cycle of debt, they will keep them there for a long time. Great parents give their kids a firm understanding of the real costs of living, helping them to understand budgeting and money management. Even more helpful would be teaching them to invest. My first job offered a company matching 401(k). I had no idea what that was, and turned down the opportunity to begin early. How I wish I hadn’t, 22 years later. Again, buying a house early means the possibility of a paid off mortgage in your early 40ies.
I’m not getting any kickback (though I’m open to it 🙂 ) But start here with Dave Ramsey’s stuff.
Great parents teach their kids about relationships
My first week of college, my new roommate latched on to a young lady. Merely a couple days later, I heard him on the phone trying to manipulate her.
“Maybe you don’t love me as much as I love you!” I remember him crooning over the phone.
Three days later? Even my 18 year old self knew that was pure manipulation. Yet the girl let this creep hang around.
Great parents teach their kids how to recognize manipulators, how to deal with difficult people, and how to extricate themselves from unhealthy relationships. Good girls don’t fall for bad guys because they like bad guys, but because bad guys know how to manipulate good girls. They same works the other way around. Start here.
Great parents teach their kids self-discipline.
I was amazed during my years in college at how many of my fellow students slept in and had to drop out because they stayed up late every night playing video games, and then didn’t make it to class. I used to joke that my dad would kill me if I lost my scholarship for bad grades. I’m sure he wouldn’t have done so, but I also know that self-discipline was something that many young people have never had to have. Helicopter parents have scheduled their lives to the minute. At the first moment of freedom, young people who have led an overly scheduled life can fall apart.
On very practical area is eating habits. I, like many people, grew up in a home where salad was on the menu every night. My mother worked hard at providing good, nutritious meals. What I, like most others my age, failed to get was the whole idea of portion control. Cafeteria food is not only not as nutritious, but it is also abundant. The “freshman 15” reflects someone who has not had to make self-discipline choices until away from his/her parents.
This is particularly true for many who were student athletes in high school. Competitive athletics means, by necessity, consuming volumes of calories. That reduced demand in young adulthood leads many of loose their way. I know I did. 🙂
Here, in random order, are things you can help your young adult figure out.
1. How to buy stock in a company.
2. How to save money on cars.
3. How to use a hammer.
4. How to rewire an electrical socket.
5. How to shop for a mortgage, and pay off a mortgage in 7 years.
6. How to make wise eating choices.
7. Sleeping in is not an adult habit.
8. How to break up with a girl/boy.
9. How to do a job interview.
10. A practical skill (carpentry, masonry, electrical work, plumbing). These alone will save thousands and thousands of dollars.
11. How to make a 5 year financial plan.
What other things do you think parents could help kids with to better prepare them for life as an adult?