Before I begin my parents were amazing people that worked hard to raise their children with values, respect and appreciation. It is one thing to tell a child to do this and do that but it is very different to show them why! Answer the why!
Where have they gone? What are they? These things called family values. These things that I grew up with. I would come home from school each day and my mother would get home from work, make me do my homework which I hated, and then we sat down as a family at the dinner table. The conversations at the dinner table were without a doubt some of the most important in my life. We talked about school, work, homework, girls, things I screwed up and so much more. Now not everyone comes from a 2-parent home like I did. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t develop a relationship with my father until I was 19 years old because he worked his hind quarters off providing for my family.
Single family homes have significantly more difficulty achieving the goal of instilling family values but because they are single family homes it is probably 200 times more important to make an effort to do so. It could change a young person’s future. If you have read the “Sorry for Yourself” Syndrome article you know that I am not good with excuses. I believe everyone is capable of greatness and I provide inspirational speak to everyone in hopes that it will click and open eyes.
So why am I writing this? Here’s why! As students get older parents take less and less of a part in their life. High School Parent/Teacher nights throughout the United States would prove this. Why do we play such a small part in the lives of our children as they get older? Wouldn’t it be even more important to meet the teacher as they get older? That way we can understand what kind of future they want or what they may be going through. If we think about our teenage years they were probably the most rough, depressing, anxiety filled, difficult years of our lives that were filled with indecisiveness. However those exact years are probably what made us who we are today.
Our parents are our first teachers. They have the ability to change our lives. Ask Presidential candidate Ben Carson or read his book, “One Nation,” to find out how much one parent can influence the life of a child. My parents were stubborn. I would ask about money issues and my mother had no problem telling me that it is none of my business. I have heard students tell me the same thing when they ask their parents. I wonder if that is why I had so many money problems growing up. My mother refused to teach me about the money mistakes she made. She refused to teach me about bills. Check writing, mortgages, loans, borrowing and credit cards. I had to learn the hard way. Myself! She relied on someone else to teach me about the most critical piece of living. Finances! She relied on others to teach me about the most critical piece of handling those finances. Education!
Put back the family values folks. Teach your children. Give them the knowledge as if it were a watch handed down from generation to generation. Let them learn and help them progress. Don’t fear them knowing and understanding your financial life.
One small story and then this is done. A student of mine talked to his parents. Him and his siblings sat down and discussed the finances. They were all crying because of how bad the financial situation was. Between my class, their understanding and openness and the siblings passion they were able to lower their overall monthly expenses for their family. Communication, Education, and Finances! FAMILY!