I’ve struggled with the idea of raising successful kids recently. I wondered if I was any good at parenting. I’m learning that tying your identity to your child’s can prevent you from doing what’s best for them. The notion of not separating identities prevents you from fully letting go when it’s time for them to leave the nest.
We know that raising kids is never a walk in the park. We do our best to give them a sense of security by providing for their basic needs. Yet we sometimes struggle with various aspects of their lives. We tend to either try to raise them how we were raised. Or we desperately try to be radically different from our parents.
While there is no textbook on raising successful kids, we can learn different methods to give them the tools and strategies they need to discover their purpose and live successful lives. Using education as a backdrop, I recently spoke with three moms who shared their tips on raising successful kids.
1. Let Them Go Without Guilt – Eugenie Burton
One of the challenges we face as solo moms is how to effectively co-parent with our ex. It goes without saying that if it's done well, that the process benefits our children.
Eugenie's advice is to not make your child feel guilty when they are heading off to college. When we wring our hands and try to convince them how much we will miss them, it puts a lot of pressure on your college-bound kid.
You may do this, especially if you are a solo parent. Don’t let your child worry about you while trying to navigate their own way through their first time away from home.
Eugenie emphasized that it’s essential to miss them and show that emotion. But letting them worry that “you don’t know how you are going to do without them” might be putting too much pressure on their young shoulders. Your child loves you. They don’t want to see you fall apart. So give them the same sense of security you always have.
Be honest but review your intentions. Don’t let them worry about you, as they leave home and adapt to being on their own.
Eugénie Burton is a Lifestyle Coach who has a passion to help women get unstuck and be awesome as they approach their 40's & 50's, by empowering them to change their lifestyles to fulfill their dreams. She currently runs her own business - Designed2Live - and has inspired women across the world through her speaking engagements, online membership, virtual get-togethers, and online courses.
2. Use the College Application Process to Teach Them About Money – Kelly Radi
Author, speaker, and mom of two adult daughters, Kelly Radi sat down with me to talk about raising teenagers. In the first of this Education Series, Radi also reiterates that we should use the college application process as a teachable moment.
Radi says to use the college application process as a tool to teach your kids about money, credit, and taxes. This is a chance to be open and honest. You can also use this time to assure them of your support.
This may also be the perfect time to establish a procedure for how you will communicate once they slip off to college.
We talked about:
- keeping the line of communications open with your teens and young adults;
- using the college application process to cement their learning about money & finance; and
- learn to let go when the time comes
Kelly Radi is the author of Out to Sea: a Parent's Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage, A book about how to help your teens navigate the college application process. And Wonder-Full: Activate Your Inner Superpowers--No Cape Required
So, if you weren’t able to teach your kids anything about money before, the college application creates an opportunity to give them a primer before they head out on their own. Part of the application process involves filling out the Free Aid to Student Financial Aid(FAFSA) form. This is how colleges determine the source of, and how your child will receive financial aid. You will answer questions regarding taxes, savings, income, credit, assets, and liabilities on the FAFSA.
Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a benefit available via the FAFSA if your child qualifies. Wages are paid as part of your financial aid package. Here is another chance where your child can learn about salaries and payroll taxes.
Kelly advocates that parents walk hand in hand with their young adults through the college application process. She says this is one way to strengthen knowledge about money and finance that is lacking in the high school curriculum.
Raising children is not for the faint of heart. ~~ Kelly Radi
3. Give Them The “Secret Sauce” – Bonnie Burkett
Studies show that college graduates earn more on average than high school graduates. But how do you get a college degree without putting yourself into a financial sinkhole?
SoloMoms! Talk podcast guest, Bonnie Burkett lays out a framework for successfully earning a college degree in a fraction of the time without mortgaging your future.
Bonnie's book, Enough! The College Cost Crisis" How to protect your wallet and your student's financial future., "can help steer your students towards what they will love and what they do well so that their educational path is perfect for them to get to do what they do best!"
One of the topics we discussed is finding the right program. She also shared one of her "secret sauce" from her book.
You can earn a college degree without digging yourself into a financial sink hole?
Bonnie’s book can help you navigate the rugged landscape that is characteristic of getting a college degree.
Talk to your child about what they want
She also believes some kids can figure out their true purpose and develop a program to successfully reach their education goals. Most also can develop the tools and strategies necessary to pursue their purpose.
If you and your child decide that college is for them, Bonnie can help steer you towards what they will love and what they do well so that their educational path is perfect for them to get to do what they do best.
Bonnie’s book is a perfect companion read to Radi’s Out to Sea. Enough! covers strategies you and your kids can use in developing their true selves.
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