One last bit of writing on point #9 in my Top 10 List for Parenting Adult Children … Be Honest.
Be honest with your adult children about failures, struggles, mistakes and confusion from your own life journey.
It helps them to not feel so alone or lost as they navigate the rough waters of young adulthood.
One particular area where it might be good and healthy to be honest with your adult kids is around money.
Our eldest daughter said to us,
"Thank you for being honest about the times you struggled with money. Thank you for sometimes talking about your budget in front of us. For letting us know, as we got more mature, that we all needed to tighten our belts for various seasons in our family's life. Thank you for letting us help you choose where to give money at the end of the year. Thank you for sitting at the dining room table and talking with each other about how much money you wanted to give away on an annual basis."
She continued by saying,
"All of this honesty let me know that money is an ok thing to have hard conversations about. And, it let me know that even though I feel I am not that good with budgeting, I know I can come to you guys for help in the future and you will both understand my situation and have the experience to help me without judging."
This spoke volumes to me.
If you can (because I realize for some of us talking honestly about money is the hardest thing) …
So, if you can, work on being more honest with your young adults about money, budgeting, giving and hardship.
It is important for them as they launch out into the world.
They need to know it is ok to be honest about money. It is ok to struggle. It is ok to have hard conversations. It is ok to budget. And it is really, really important to be generous in thoughtful ways.
It'll do your kids a world of good.
P.S. Please notice I did not say anything like:
Lecture your young adults about money …
Tell your young adults how they need to budget …
Inform your adult children that they need to tithe to the church or God will be mad at them …
Do not, for the love of God, flip over into advice-giving mode (unless they beg for it) or this whole ship will go down.