We’re wired to protect our children. Sometimes those instincts get out of hand. It’s important that you allow your children to experience risk and failure in a safe environment so that they can prepare for real-world challenges.
- Wait it out – Don’t rush to your child’s rescue (unless harm is imminent). Letting your kids learn to cope or solve problems on their own will help them realize that certain actions have rewards and others have consequences.
- Be open and honest – Communicate on a regular basis. Share your own stories, and fill your kids in on what you wish you’d known at their age. Explain situations in which you learned from your mistakes. (Just be careful—you don’t want to get preachy.)
- Get financially savvy – Encourage your children to get involved with household finances. Detail each bill you pay and how you pay it. Show them how to save (and spend) money appropriately. Letting them save for something they really want (by doing household chores or working a part-time job) will help the value of earned money.
Be a positive role model and help them out only after you’ve given them the opportunity to problem solve on their own.