We just love watching our kids grow. We love to see them bloom into smart, confident and capable individuals, who can support themselves and even their own families, some day.
Most importantly, we want to see them being independent. Independence, is key. Case in point, as our great nation approaches its 75th Independence Day, we realize that for every individual, group, or country to flourish to its full potential, it first needs to be independent, self-reliant and able to think and ideate on its own.
And so, as good parenting suggests, we encourage our kids to develop their own skills, gain experience and stand on their own two feet. But herein lies the problem: Our actions often clash with our intentions.
Because, though we advocate independence, there are some aspects that we always feel our child will not be able to handle without our supervision and management. One of these aspects is the all-important skill of Financial Planning.
Our kids do grow up, but when it comes to Finances, we proclaim them to be ‘just kids’ who will be overwhelmed if required to take financial decisions for themselves.
Well parents, I think there’s something you ought to know about our smart kids, as is evident in these two commonly found case studies:
Can Earn, Can definitely Learn
Like every proud parent, a client of mine was elated when his daughter recently got a job and started earning a regular income. He couldn’t wait to start discussing her financial portfolio with me, saying we both, him and I, could plan it for her, as she was “just a kid” and wouldn’t understand.
Dear parent, if your kid is big enough to start earning, she is surely big enough to start learning about how to handle her own finances.
Let your kids get familiar with the nuances of Financial Planning, experience the ups and downs of investments, learn the importance of patience and form a regular habit of saving for a secure future and for their goals. This is a life-skill that every child should learn. The earlier, the better.
A client of mine wanted to divert a considerable amount from his investments towards a commercial property for his college-going son. His justification? He wanted his kid to have a place that he could use to start something on his own, when required.
Well, that could help. But, only if we could dive into the future and see it clearly. What if he doesn’t even want that commercial property? Why risk a perfectly well-established liquid investment on something that is not even a guaranteed financial goal? Here’s my sound piece of advice:
- Let your kid have the right to decide what he really needs. That way, there can be no regrets or mistakes…only the joy of having exactly what is required.
- You have to give your kid the freedom to use his own earnings, in his own way. That includes ensuring that you are not a burden on him in your old-age. Your support for old-age is supposed to be YOUR savings, not his.
- It is a fact that you cannot be around forever. Making your kid dependent on what you can provide, will only make him weak and incapable of being self-reliant.
So parents, don’t deny your kids the pleasure of building their own castles just because you don’t think they are ready or they don’t have the right tools. Remember, you ARE one of the tools. YOU can fill them with confidence and trust in themselves, so that, even when you are no longer around to guide them, they are well-prepared to handle things on their own. Mind you, that’s the most crucial step in making your kid truly independent and responsible.