If you are like most parents, your primary objective is to support your children to be prepared to handle the pressures of adulthood. If you have wondered what the most important thing you can do to support your child now, this article has your answers and it may not be what you think. If there is one human trait which helps to navigate all of life’s stages, it is resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back, move forward, and learn from negativity and setbacks in life. As a parent, the greatest gift you can give your child is the gift of learning how to make mistakes, learn from them, and grow as a result. How you do this may be surprising. The foundation for developing resilience in your child is threefold: 1) to develop resilience in your own life; 2) to allow your child the freedom to make mistakes, the security to learn from those mistakes and the opportunity to move forward after those mistakes; and 3) to let your children see you make mistakes and role model resilience for them with vulnerable power.
You want to strike a balance between open communication with your children, sharing your mistakes and lessons, and shielding them from information that may create unnecessary insecurity.
Here’s an example of what I mean: imagine that you face a situation at work that creates adversity for you. You could come home and complain about your coworkers, your boss or your team, or you could take full responsibility for where you might be creating a stressful situation and share with your child what you are going to do to face the challenge head on and make it better. And, wherever you notice that you could have done better, or made a mistake, tell your child about it and what you learned as a result.
And, when your child makes a mistake, celebrate the opportunity to learn, rather than reinforcing the “wrongness” of the experience. Remember, some of the most successful people on the planet failed first. What made them an ultimate success? They had the resilience and support to recognize that failure was simply part of the journey and to keep going.
So how does estate planning fit into developing resilience in your children? First and foremost, resilience comes when your children know that no matter what happens, you love and accept them and will always be there for them. It is having that deep knowing that creates the security that allows your children to take the risks that others can’t or won’t. That’s the ultimate foundation of true life success.
When you’ve handled your estate planning and talked with your kids about what you’ve set up (when they are old enough, we’ll invite them in for a family meeting to explain your plan and why you have made the decisions you did), they get the clear message that you’ve done everything possible to be there for them, even if you cannot be there physically.
And by including them in the process, when they are old enough, they began to see that you trust them, that you are working with them to design a future that is positive for your whole family and that you trust and respect their input.
If you don’t feel that your kids are trustworthy enough to be included in your estate planning process, let’s have a conversation about where you can get the support to heal the core generational wounds being perpetuated throughout your family line and how we can support you in resolving them now.
Estate planning can (and should) be about so much more than just passing on your money. It can be a perfect opportunity to uplevel all of your Family Wealth, and create a future your whole family is excited to live in to together. We can help.