Thursday, May 13, 2010

Parents Are No Longer Super Human

When I was a child, my parents were larger than life. To me, they knew everything, could solve any problem and would make everything right. I knew they weren't super heroes, but surely they were super human :-) I believed what they said about everything, especially about doing well in school, being frugal, and working in a field that paid well.

Perhaps I was naïve, but it wasn't until my high school years that I realized my parents were closer to human. Looking back, I'm sure my parents faced their share of challenges, which they didn't share with us. For example, my dad worked long hours to achieve a middle class lifestyle. We didn't see him much as kids. Also, he experienced career setbacks, which I didn't learn about until much later.

It seems children already know that today's parents are merely human. Our five year old daughter already knows that her parents can be wrong. She often reminds me of the times I burnt a pizza or purchased speckled bananas, which then went bad. However, for some cases, she probably should listen to mom and dad. For example, she doesn't think she'll ever need to earn money, since she can always find enough loose money in our house :-)

Personally, I don't feel bad that our daughter sees us as human, and not super human. We try to be transparent about our challenges in ways she can understand. I think it will help her to become self sufficient faster, since she will learn to think for herself earlier in life. Best of all, she'll be pleasantly surprised as she gets older, when she learns that we were right more often than she thought :-)

For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial or parenting advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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