I have to say that this has been a very sensitive topic for me teaching your kids about money while you’re co-parenting can become a struggle. Both parents have their opinions about what the kids should be learning, when they should be learning it, and how they should be learning.
So when you add a complicated topic like money to the mix it can make things even more frustrating. For the past seven years Nolan my son’s dad and I have been doing this. And I am proud to say we have been successful at it.
We recently recorded a podcast episode of Podkash Kids where we talked about this subject. From that conversation I feel like four important things has helped us co-parent. They are teaching our son about money was being okay with agreeing to disagree, know that communication is key when teaching your kids any important topic like personal finances, setting a goal you both can agree on is important, and understand that your personal flaws may have effects on the other parent and your child.
Please don’t get me wrong this has been an uphill battle that we both had to be willing to fight. There were times in the past where we won’t willing to talk to one another about money. We learned how to get over our personal feelings and do what was best for our son. I know the subject here is money, but this is an important topic in parenting in general. Of parents agree on a point of view, or goal it makes it easier to manage your kid when the other parent is not around.
Let’s talk a little more about three of the four tips I mentions in the beginning if this post.
Agreeing to Disagree
When you have two different people from to different backgrounds it only makes sense that you’re not always going to agree on everything. But even if you don’t agree you still need to have the conversation.
You also should understand that on this one point you won’t be teaching your kids the same way. Your child may benefit from the different kinds of teachings because children learn in 4 different ways. Maybe one parents teaching is easier to understand and the other parent’s information may become useful in the future.
An example of this maybe credit cards. Perhaps one parent doesn’t use credit at all, and another have a ton of debt but also has great credit. This could be a situation where things can get a little interesting.
Communication is Key
Communication is key in any relationship it doesn’t matter if it’s a wife and a husband, a child and a parent, two co-parents, or a couple of friends.
Having conversations in the beginning makes it easier for you to resolve any issues that may occur in the future. It also gives you a clear plan on how you celebrate any successes that your child may have. Communication also allows you to create clear boundaries and or expectations for each parent.
I understand that in some extreme condition’s communication may not be possible like in a case of domestic disputes or some other circumstances. However if you can work it out having open lines of communication with both parents can make co-parenting so much easier no matter the topic.
Know Your Flaws
No one wants to admit that they have flaws the funny thing about it is that we all do. No one is perfect. The problem with flaws is that sometimes they shield you from the truth, they alter your perception of a situation, and they limit your ability to solve a problem quickly and effectively.
By knowing what your personal flaws may be you can adapt to the situation at hand and do what’s best for your child. Sometimes that’s not always what’s best for yourself. No you’re not perfect, I’m not perfect, no one’s perfect. You should make whatever adjustments you need to make sure that your kids can learn this topic of finances because it’s going to affect every part of their life for the rest of their life.
With the correct amount of communication, being humble, and sometimes just agreeing to disagree you will have what it takes to co-parent your child with the best of them. Knowing and adjusting your flaws is about being humble when you don’t want to. Communicating with someone when all your really want to do is hang up, walk away or zone out can save your child’s financial life. Buuuuuut I’m not saying a reasonable break from the conversation isn’t needed sometimes. But don’t make running away from the hard conversations a habit. And if all fails just agree to disagree and move on with your life. Things have a way of solving themselves sometimes.