(I try not to invade my adult children’s privacy too much, so please forgive the vagueness of this post.)
One of my children, the one who most ignored what I taught them about money, is now (finally) watching what they spend and trying to keep their expenses down. You can’t imagine how happy this makes me.
You see, as a homeschooling parent, I got used to quick (if not instant) results. For instance, I could tell how my kids were doing in math by the percentage of problems they got right. If the percentage was low, we’d work harder on math and soon the percentage would go up. Victory!
But what I’ve forgotten in the years since my children grew up is something I proclaim to younger homeschooling parents all the time: readiness! How well I remember that my kids learned to read when they were ready. Starting before they were ready only resulted in frustration.
So while it’s good that I taught my kids how to live debt-free while they were teens, the problem is that I expected them all to live that way from day one. One of them did, but the others have been learning slowly as they needed to learn, as their readiness developed. I’m just beginning to understand that readiness is a concept that applies to adults as well as children.
I need to remember this when my adult children make mistakes that fly in the face of what they were taught. Apparently they weren’t ready for that particular lesson when we were homeschooling. Now that they’ve reached a point where the lesson actually applies to their life, I guess I just need to be available in case they ask for help…and be happy that they finally did learn the lesson.