Each child is hard-wired differently. Some may have a natural drive to succeed in school, some may need more incentive to get there. Is it worth some “tough love” to teach them the importance of securing their own future? Today’s teachable moment will help answer that.
Today we are joined by my friend and fellow Dave Ramsey-trained financial coach, Kim. She is our first contributor to share a story about her children at the collegiate level. This is a powerful example of following God’s guidance and helping a child realize (for himself) the consequences of his actions.
I can’t wait for you to read it.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Kim. I’ve been married for 31 yrs. Our children are 31 and 26. We have 4 grandchildren ages 6, 4, and twins at 19 mos.
We own a construction/general contracting company and I am a Financial Coach.
What teachable moment would you like to share?
A teachable money moment was with our son when college was getting close. We had paid for our daughter’s college as we didn’t want her carrying student loans and entering marriage with debt. We could afford it & she was diligent in school so we felt good about helping her in that way.
Our son, however, wasn’t as compelled to make school a priority. He wanted to play soccer, with studies being secondary.
After pondering for days how to handle the financial aspect of his schooling, one morning in the shower I prayed and asked God to give us a way to be helpful, yet challenging to him. Almost immediately it came to me: have him pay up front and we would reimburse him for any classes where he made a ‘C’ or above.
So if he made D’s or F’s , the cost was on him. I bounced it off my husband & he thought it was a great plan.
A day or two later I approached our son, then nearly 19 yrs. old, and shared the “plan”. His first response was,
“How come you didn’t do that for Mandy?”
“We didn’t have to be concerned about Mandy’s grades, her attending class or doing her homework.”
To which he promptly retorted,
“You have a point”.
We laughed & chatted about how he could literally earn every penny back if he applied himself & didn’t mess around.
His freshman year proved us wise in using this God-given plan. He flunked one class and got a ‘D’ in another. Fortunately, because he was attending community college, the cost wasn’t out of control. The next year was better with a ‘W’ in one course, which again he was responsible for.
What was the most rewarding part of the experience?:
A few years later came the most rewarding part: We are happy to report his 2.7 GPA the end of his sophomore yr. changed to 3.75GPA at his 5th and final year. He also earned a place on the Dean’s List.
What was the most challenging part of the experience?
The most challenging part was to enforce what we had laid out in the plan.
There were some lessons for all of us through doing it differently for him:
- Our son was accountable, and he was the determining factor of how much he/we would pay.
- We learned once again to ask God for direction, wisdom and specific revelations.
- Our kids often need different approaches to instill important values.
If you enjoyed this teachable moment by Kim, head over to her coaching page on Facebook, check out the great content and give it a great big “like”!
This article is part of an ongoing series called “Teaching Your Children About Money”. If you have a teachable moment to share, please feel free to tell me about it at lauraharris(at)piggybankdreams(dot)com.
Join the Discussion: Name a time when some “tough love” helped shape you into a better person (as a child or an adult).