Please don't misunderstand me. I am not judging those kids who chose to continue living at home or the parents who support them. My dearest friend is twenty-eight years old and still lives with her parents. However, she has an amazing prayer ministry. She cooks and cleans for the family. And she has plans to be a missionary. There are situations where having your child continue to live at home is the wise thing to do.
It may be that when the time comes, one or both of our daughters may choose to stay home. I don't know. Sher Bear says that she will always live with us and take care of us. Perhaps we will need taking care of by the time she is grown. LOL! We will cross that bridge when we come to it. But our intention is for all three of the kids to have the skill set, ambition and opportunity to make their way in the world and move out of our home.
Jor Man turned eleven years old this week. And we took the opportunity to reassess what he is learning. Big Dad and I explained that our intention is for him to use this time to discover God's gifts and talents, and explore how he might use those to support his family someday. He balked. He didn't want to think about it yet. Yeah, well, who really does?!
We ensured him that this is just a time of exploration. He could identify several interests to pursue, and change his mind if he wants. Now is the time to do this. We would like for him to have a good first guess (or two) at his future career by age 13.
Then, at 13, we will begin to pursue appropriate apprenticeship opportunities. Trying out a job before you put your time and money into preparing for it, gives you the chance to find out if you really like it or not - before you've invested "too much" to change your mind.
Hopefully, assuming the field he wants to go into does not require an advanced degree, he will already be working, maybe even in his own business by age 18. Then he will be in the position to move to his own place and support a family.
But for now, exploring the possibilities looks like talking with mom and dad about his interests, praying and asking God for direction, reading books and getting a firm handle on how much life really costs. Our first go around, one thing was for sure, Jor Man want to be rich. (Don't we all?!)
So I decided to begin a unit study in financial stewardship. Here's the plan so far:
Reading The Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey. Jor Man has been reading (and enjoying!) five pages a day, writing down three things he learned in his journal, and then we discuss it together. This has started many interesting conversations about such things as whole vs. term life insurance, car payments, credit card debt, and pawn shops. I love this book because of its biblical basis. It also warns against using debt as a tool for creating wealth. This principal would have saved so many people during the recent financial crises.
We watched Maxed Out, a movie about the debt crisis in this country, on NetFlix. I liked it because it showed many, many real examples of people in debt. It also showed the desire of credit card companies to pray on the poor, and on college students. It is important to me that my kids understand that the credit card companies are not their friends.
I want to go through Richard Bolles classic, What Color is Your Parachute, with him. Perhaps we can further narrow down the field. This book looks at many different areas to determine what job would best suit you.
When we were first married, almost twenty years ago, Big Dad did a form of intensive career counseling, called DOMA. It was so helpful to us in determining that he wanted to get his Masters degree in Human Resource Development, and go into corporate learning and development as a career. Ralph Mattson, the creator of DOMA, has written a book, Discovering Your Child's Design. This book, from a Christian perspective, takes the parent through the process of learning more about God's specific design for each child. We plan to read this and go through the process over the next couple of years for Jor Man.
Next we will read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki. I realize that there is a teen version of this book. But, really, the grownup version is so "dumbed down" that it is easily accessible to an eleven-year-old - especially when he is checking in with mom and dad every day for comprehension. The book is not well written, but the information is invaluable. I will add the caveat that "Rich Dad" recommends using debt as a tool to build wealth, which I do not agree with. That is why we are reading The Total Money Makeover first.
My favorite book for understanding how wealthy people get wealthy, Rich Dad's Cash Flow Quadrant, is next. Also by Kiyosaki, it carries the same caveat. It explains, in detail, the different ways to create income. I think it will be revelatory for Jor Man, and I cannot wait to hear what he thinks of it.
Lastly, I want Jor Man is read the book, The Duggars: 20 and Counting! I have been reading it, and am inspired by their financial principles. Not only are they debt free, they have no mortgage, and they have passive income from commercial properties. (Rich Dad would be proud). While the book is interspersed with stories about parenting, marriage and faith as well, I was struck by their faithfulness to God's plan to not owe money to anyone. God regularly met their needs, just in time, in miraculous ways.
The Campster, with her awesome new reading skills, noticed and read to me the other day from the top of a dollar bill, "In God We Trust". She was amazed to find that on the dollar.
Perhaps our forefathers meant it as a reminder to each one who holds a dollars in their hand, not to trust the dollar, but the Lord.
Wish you were here!