BOSTON (CBS) – Parenting is a very tough job. Just watch the angst of the parents of the dancers during a recital or kids playing in a soccer tournament.

Kids don’t come with an instruction manual. I was hoping for an instruction manual! I wanted one so badly. I wanted to be able to do the best job I could. I was looking for a guaranteed outcome; a successful kid.

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If I did this, my child would go to a great college. If I did that, she would get a full scholarship to that college. If I did this, she would be an Olympic gold medalist.

We want so much 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 smart phone.

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

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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. Kids learn much more from what you do rather than what you tell them to do!

Studies have shown that most kids learn their money skills from their mothers. Just one more pressure on mom!


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.

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