Photo credit: Patrina Anthony of B2ful Photography
By Sheena Robinson
Many parents rejoice as their children graduate high school and begin their journey as an adult. Although you are no longer responsible for your child legally at the age of 18, you should still play an active role in their financial life.
I remember when I completed high school. I was so excited to be called an adult, but I was clueless about what it would take to live a financially successful adult life. Because I was not financially equipped when I entered college, I instantly fell into debt.
Credit card companies wasted no time sending me offers in the mail. Because I didn’t understand the power of interest and how credit cards could affect my credit, I made poor decisions. It wasn’t until after I graduated college I realized the importance of building a strong financial foundation.
As a financial parent, it is important that you stay connected to your children even after they graduate high school and leave home. You play a vital part in helping them set the tone for their financial future. When it comes to interacting with your adult children you should utilize the T.E.A.M approach.
Top (l) Caleb – Patrina Anthony of B2ful Photography; Top (r) Zion – Patrina Anthony of B2ful Photography;
Bottom (l) Damaris – Pretige Photography
T – Transform from a hands-on parent to a coaching parent. You should give your children the freedom to experience their lives on their own but be there to provide solutions. Many children leave home and communicate very little with their parents because they didn’t have a healthy relationship. It is important to encourage your children and not make them feel like they can’t come to you for advice. Always have an open-door policy. Allow your children to share their thoughts. If you disagree with anything they say simply offer them some suggestions on ways they may be able to improve their situation rather than offer criticism.
E – Evaluate your child’s progress each semester rather they are in college or not. It is important that you are your child’s number one fan. Check in with them often to make sure they are on track to reaching whatever goals they have set out for themselves. If your child is not happy with the way things are going, you should be willing to help them refocus and get back on the right track.
A – Advance preparation is key to success! If you have information that could help, make your child’s adult life a little easier share it. You should be willing to provide your child with the tools and resources they need to excel in whatever they decide to do.
M – Make sure your child has access to financial education and has a mentor/coach. It is important that your child learns how to become their own money manager. When your child has the proper financial knowledge, they can start building a solid financial foundation early.
Even if you didn’t give your child an opportunity to learn financial education when they were younger, using the T.E.A.M approach allows your child to still win! Your children build confidence in knowing their future is bright and you have a chance to continue to play a significant part in their growth. So remember as your child graduates and starts a new chapter in their life, you also graduate into a new role as a coaching parent.
Sheena Robinson, The Financial Parent Consultant, is a certified financial educator, certified life coach, entrepreneur, empowerment speaker and author of Financial Parenthood: The Keys to Raising a Rich Kid. She is the founder of Diva 4 Wealth LLC, an organization dedicated to helping women become more financially savvy. She is also the founder of Financial Parent Academy, a 501(c)3 organization committed to helping parents and children with financial success. To contact Sheena, you may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Anthony Cody
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