BOSTON (CBS) – Being somebody’s parent is a tough job. Just watch the parents of the Olympians watching their kids.

And what I found most frustrating, this new baby didn’t come with an instruction manual. I checked! As a new mother, I searched for an instruction manual because everyone I met felt it was their duty to tell me how to raise this kid. I wanted an instruction manual just so I could have a guaranteed outcome.

If I did this, my child would go to a great college. If I did that, she would get a full scholarship to the college. If I did this, my child would be an Olympic gold medalist. I discovered that there’s just no guarantee, no warranty, and no instruction manual. I was on my own!

When I held my daughter in my arms for the first time, I remember looking down into her tiny face, wrapping her little fingers around mine, and promising her the world. Now, her father and I didn’t have the world, but we wanted to get it for her, and when her little brother came along, we wanted him to have it also.

And so it is with being a parent. We want so much more for our kids. Your goals change when you become parent; a house in a good school district is more important than a new BMW or a motorcycle. Funding a college education may supersede planning for retirement.

We make these mental promises to our children; an unwritten covenant. We don’t want our kids to have to struggle the way we did. We want them to have a good education. We want them to have a room of their own, toys, nice clothes (no hand me downs for them), books to read, a computer, a cell phone.

If we don’t allow our kids to struggle, they won’t acquire coping skills. If we never make them budget their allowance, they won’t acquire money management skills.

If we never make them wait for a new game or a new toy, they will always expect instant gratification and then abuse their credit card privileges as adults. If they never have a summer job they won’t acquire a work ethic.

Teaching kids about money is one of the toughest jobs you will ever have! So you will need to always be aware that the kids are watching what you do when you pull out the credit card or have a money fight with your spouse.

Studies have shown that most kids learn their money skills from their mothers.


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.


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