Do you ever question whether or not you’re getting this parenting thing right? I know I do. Every. Single Day.
I was told early on as a new parent that if you’re afraid you’re messing up your kids, then you’re probably doing a pretty good job. Only really good parents worry about whether or not they’re doing the best job possible. I sure hope that turns out to be true!
The other day I was working out at the gym with my trainer, King Hoover. I have mentioned King before to my readers. He is part fitness trainer, part counselor, part motivator, and part sounding board for me. I told him the other day that I felt like I wasn’t doing a good job in any area of my life. I had begun to feel like every day was a marathon of dealing with the tyranny of the urgent. In other words, I was living in a state of crisis management. I was being reactive, rather than proactive because I was being pulled in so many different directions. After a while, I peered at King behind tears I was trying to hide and questioned, “Were you ever afraid that you were missing out on precious time with your kids when your boys were young?”
Finally, King looked me in the eye and said something I’ll never forget. “Emily, your kids don’t want to be with you all the time any way.” I paused and just stared at him. No one had ever told me that my kids don’t want to spend every waking moment with me. “Emily, teach them principles and values, and then give them space to apply what you have taught them. They need time to apply what you’re teaching them at home. They will always come back to you. Then repeat the process over and over until they are ready to be launched as an adult.”
Teach your children principles and values, then let them have the freedom and space to apply what you have taught them at home. Wait for them to succeed and occasionally fail. Then talk about what they learned. Ask them lots of questions. What worked well? What did not work so well?
What a novel idea! How liberating too. We all need time, freedom, and space to apply what we’ve learned, even as adults. My financial planning clients also need time to implement what I teach them. For example, if they need a cash reserve account and we have agreed upon a certain amount to keep in savings, they need time to earn money and put it away. If they’re saving for college for their children or for retirement, they need time to save money every month, systematically, over and over, until they reach their specific financial goals.
I hope you will reach out to our office if you want to learn core values and principles about managing your money well. Then we will give you time to apply what you have learned. Then we will re-evaluate, make adjustments, and keep moving forward. For more information, visit me at: www.emilygstroud.com. #FaithfulFinance