Who Am I to Interfere?

My 12 year old and I were chatting with a friend of ours last night and he told us a story about a successful entrepreneur who showed incredible signs of independence at a really young age. At the age of 6, he would get angry with his mother for waking him up in the morning because he could “do it himself!” He would make his own food, buy whatever he needed with the money his parents had given him – until he was making his own. He went on to earn a degree from MIT and create a very lucrative career. As I was listening to this, I recalled several conversations I’d had with my daughter recently about the subject of money and independence. From a very young age, she has shown her entrepreneurial spirit. She’s always creating product, has several sidewalk stands every summer (popcorn, lemonade, oak saplings, blueberry tea, etc.), and recently asked me how to make money with her money. Although I am supportive of her endeavors, I realized that I was managing how she spends her money. She received a gift certificate for her birthday and wanted to buy an office chair for her desk. I told her that that was something her parents needed to buy her. She wanted to buy a new winter coat and we told her that was something that we needed to buy her. Something felt off as we were saying it, but I wasn’t sure why. I started to realize why when she said she wanted to start modeling so she could buy the family vacations. I felt sick and grateful at the same time. I was once again impressed by her generous spirit, but I was also crushed because I immediately thought about how we were not in a position to provide this for our family at present. We are in a transition at the moment that has our finances rather taught and I am daily struggling with the feeling that I am not providing for my family. This all came in a rush last night as I realized that I was equating “providing” with money. As I meditated on this, I realized that we are providing in many ways, but I was feeling inept because we are not rolling in the dough right now. My husband provides a fabulous example of following your passion. He is a fabulous professional musician and works a full schedule doing what he loves. We are providing our children with the opportunity to homeschool for as long as they choose. We are providing our children with the resources they need and desire for their education and growth, frequent visits with friends, memberships to their favorite activities, continuity of care, etc. I have just stopped working a job that interfered with my ability to be present for my children and am pursuing what I love to do, as well. I am providing a conscious example of how to take care of yourself, follow your dreams, be kind to others, be generous with your time and resources, and be conscious of your actions. I am definitely providing for my family and I work a full time job doing it. Once again, this requires my own internal work to ensure that I am focusing on the right stuff to create the live I truly want.

All this to say that I was jumping into my daughter’s intentions around spending her money because I felt she was buying things that I was “supposed” to be buying as her parent. Who am I to interfere in how she wants to spend her money? She earns money babysitting, manages her allowance, and is mindful about how she spends money. We provide for their needs and if they want to spend their money on something they want without asking us for it – who am I to manage that? What I was doing was unconsciously altering their very real and fabulous knowing in an unlimited source to “my parents are my source.” Ugh. So, back to the drawing board. Time for a conversation with my daughter to relate my realization and return her power to spend her money as she chooses.

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