Last week I reached out to my readers, asking for questions they would love to have answered by experts in my upcoming book. Thank you to those who responded! I greatly appreciate it. (By the way, it’s not too late to send me your questions!)
There was one question I would love to tackle myself, although I did send it to another expert as well.
She wrote in, “How do we as parents know the difference between what is enabling compared to guiding/helping?”
What a great question! I think many parents struggle with this, myself included.
Here’s my personal take, short and sweet…
When we ‘enable’ our kids, regardless of age, we are ‘rescuing’ them. When we ‘guide and/or help’ them, we are ‘protecting’ them. Big difference, but very hard to differentiate, especially in the heat of the moment.
What parent feels comfortable watching their child fall/fail/stumble/struggle? I’m thinking none of us!
But, sometimes, this has to happen in order for our kids to grow and learn. (Big side note here…I’m addressing this more for the parents of teens, not little ones.)
Full disclosure, I’m personally experiencing some backlash from enabling my son. It sucks. It’s exhausting. It’s frustrating.
Trying to unwind this isn’t easy, but I’m working hard at it. As a parent, I’m constantly learning too!
Keeping our kids safe from harm and danger is one of our fundamental duties, not to mention what’s in our heart. Guiding them with knowledge, wisdom and our life experiences is absolutely necessary and encouraged. I have always told my son that I am like the guardrails on the big bridge he is crossing in life. I will keep him from falling off the edge, but he will navigate the road.
But, it’s not in his best interest, nor mine, to constantly rescue him from mistakes. He won’t learn anything this way. In fact, I’m doing a disservice to him! We as parents want our kids to grow up to be strong, independent and compassionate adults, and constantly rescuing them gives them the message that we don’t believe they can handle it.
In the end, we should always protect our babies, regardless of age. That’s a given. What we shouldn’t do is constantly rescue them from messes they get themselves into. It will kick us in the teeth later.
Believe me, I’m looking for a few new front teeth myself.
P.S. I made the recent decision to slash the price of book, How to Ditch Your Allowance and Be Richer Than Your Parents to $9.99! My hope is to reach one million families! I’ve also made the book on Kindle for only $3.99! Both are available on Amazon!
Summer is the perfect time for kids and teens to get out and work! They can’t, after all, learn how to manage money if they don’t have it, right?!
Getting a J-O-B may or may not happen immediately. There are lots of kids looking for summer jobs, with just a limited amount of opportunities out there. This is where you, the parent, get to introduce them to the world of entrepreneurship!
Finding a way to make their own money, doing what they enjoy, is very rewarding for them. And, the probability of them making more than minimum wage is pretty darn good!!
So, what to do, you ask? Here are a few samples of what teens that have taken my workshop have done…
- Given guitar lessons! If your teen plays any instrument, have them give lessons to younger kids!
- Walk dogs. My son did this and made a lot of money! There are many older folks, and very busy, working folks, that just can’t get out and walk their dogs.
- Teach a senior citizen how to navigate the internet. Seriously, this is huge. Many older people just don’t get how to email, join Facebook or just surf the net. Kids these days can do this in their sleep!
- Start a T-shirt business. One young man in my workshop loved graphic design and he took that creativity and started making T-shirts that he sold online.
I could go on and on with ideas. Bottom line, have your child/teen determine what they like to do, that fills a need for someone else. Create fliers, make business cards and start sharing! Social media is a great way to let others know what they are doing.
Have fun with this and don’t forget to teach them how to manage the money once they earn it!
Let me know how it goes!
P.S. My online money school not only teaches youth about money, there are many videos that teach about entrepreneurship and how to build a business! I’m offering 30% off for one week only. Enter “summersale” as coupon code at checkout.
Recently I was interviewed by Natalie Ledwell of “Mind Movies”, who hosts “The Inspiration Show.” If you haven’t heard of her, check her out! She is doing amazing things in this world and I would love for your kids to watch her too!
This episode covers how parents can help their teens and college bounds kids become money savvy. I share a bit of my story, as she does as well.
Watch it here and let me know some takeaways you experienced.
As always, feel free to email me with any questions. I’m always here to help you and your family with money questions!