As much as we’d love to, we can’t protect our kids from everything.
They are going to get their knees skinned and elbows bruised when they learn to ride a bike, or climb a tree.
They will probably have to deal with the mean kids and class bullies sometime in their school life.
They will undoubtedly feel the tremendous pressure of entrance exams and SAT scores when they’re ready for college.
They will likely get their hearts broken somewhere along the way. (I know, somehow this is one pain we parents feel viscerally).
Yet, we try.
We ensure our kids wear protective gear when engaging in any kind of sport.
We’re constantly on the look out for the slightest signs of bullying and then come down like a ton of bricks on the offender.
As for the entrance exams and SAT scores, we throw the kitchen sink at this problem. SAT prep classes, tons of AP’s and a trip to the slums of Nepal building huts, toilets or whatever else is deemed purposeful enough warrant a mention on college applications, is thrown in for good measure.
Not much we can do about possible heart breaks, but that doesn’t keep us from trying mightily (and failing magnificently)to manage their personal lives, as unobtrusively as possible.
Yet, there is one problem we’re collectively burying our heads in the sand about.
Their future financial situation.
That they will face financial decisions which they will be ill-equipped to handle is not a possibility, it’s a certainty.
That they will be subjected to predatory marketing tactics is a given.
That they will not fully fathom the weight or repercussions of student debt is inevitable.
That they will be lured into soul crushing credit card debt is almost unavoidable.
That they will encounter financial scams and fraud is almost inescapable, given their ubiquity.
That they will fall victim to all manner of influencers/marketers preying on their insecurities to peddle the flavor of the month is ineludable.
Their ignorance about intelligent investing practices will not only make them susceptible to even more scams but will rob them of years of compounding wealth.
Their naiveté around the power money holds will subjugate them to being slaves for it for most of their lives.
Their financial fragility will jeopardize their long term success.
All of which adversely impact their mental health and wellbeing.
All of which adversely impact their family and relationships.
All of which adversely impact every aspect of their adult lives.
It undermines their ability to step up, play full out and live a life on their own terms.
We as parents, as educators, as a society, know this to be true because most of us have lived through some version of these scenarios.
We have seen this happen time and again, if not directly to us, then to the people around us.
Yet, we bury our heads in the sand, naively hoping that if ignore it, it will go away.
Our feckless attempts as a society to educate our kids around money are a sad reflection of this.
These attempts are woefully inadequate, arrogantly optimistic and hopelessly reckless.
So yes, we richly deserve a failing grade in this matter.