Parents as a whole put their children ahead of themselves and it is the natural and admirable thing to do. As parents, the heart is usually our guide, which means that logic and parenting do not always go hand in hand. Unfortunately, operating in this manner may not be the kindest thing to do, at least when it comes to both parties’ financial stability. Some of our actions can lead our children on a much tougher road than we intended.
There are fortunate cases where some of us neglect our financial stability for the sake of our children and it actually work out well, where the children become successful enough to be able to return financial kindness to the parents, if they choose to. However, we know that this is quite rare and a gamble with the financial future of all involved. For those children who are less financially successful, life can be very difficult. They end up in a situation where they have to take care of their new family as well as their parents, which puts a bigger strain on their resources. If as parents we remain on shaky financial grounds in our later years, the burden falls heaviest on the children who care. Furthermore, we cannot simply take the stance that we don’t care about ourselves as long as our children are fine because they will care and they will assume our burdens.
In an earlier post, I noted that flight attendants tell us to put on our oxygen masks before helping our kids who are unable help themselves. This can also be applied to our financial stability in our relationship with our children. We should find that balance where some priority is given to ensuring that we prevent ourselves from becoming financial burdens for our children down the road. I generally encourage parents to open savings accounts for their children, sometimes even before they are born and to keep on contributing to those accounts. However, it is important that the greater percentage of savings is being done for the parents to contribute to their financial stability.
Every parent knows that if we are financially stable and maintain this throughout our lives, then our children benefit tremendously as this puts us in a position to do more for them as well as their offspring as the years go by. Additionally, by demonstrating good financial habits that lead to our financial stability, we would be setting good examples for our children from a financially responsible standpoint. If as a parent this doesn’t seem logical to you, then chances are you probably never experienced such a burden yourself, have not thought it through enough or you may not care as much as you think you do.
Life is certainly not all about money, but if you have ever endured poverty, you know that it is not something you would want for your children or their children. So, instead of getting them that new phone every year or fulfilling whatever impulsive desires, consider exercising restraint and save that money for your future, which is subsequently their future. That may not please them in the moment but they will thank you in the long run as they gain wisdom.