Adolescent minds in mature bodies

I have seen adolescent minds in mature bodies all over. Yes, you have seen them too. These are young men and women who financially graduate from depending on their parents but still believe they can go back to their parents when things go wrong. They look at their parents as their kind of insurance against financial shocks. Of course, parents for what they are, will likely come to your rescue more times than not.

By the way, the reverse is true too—with parents depending on their children for financial support after they retire. I can hear you asking, ‘but is that not why families are there for?’ Well and good but realities and modernity should make us all grow—the one you are relying on now, will not be there forever. We all are mortals, remember that.

So my advice is simple: It is always best to assume that you are an orphan—for the truth (which hurts) is that you will one day be without anybody to lean on (unless you die before your parents or guardians).

Let me tell you something, especially you young people. This is my free advice. Never expect anything form your parents once you move out. Being independent means that you have chosen not to depend on your parents/guardians for anything. Remember that in your independence, your parents are setting you up to be their equal, not their child. They don’t rely on their parents for support (well, if they do, then your family has bigger genetic problems than I can handle).

However, talk to your parents about the financial fears before you decide to be on your own. If you are considering a move with some risk, simply find out what your parachute is like before you fly out. Don’t assume anything at all. Simply have a healthy conversation with yourself to ascertain if you are ready or not.

Quite often, your parents will be able to offer you assistance in non-financial ways but don’t hold a grudge if you don’t hear what you hope to hear. If you believe that your parents would help you no matter what and you hear otherwise, don’t get bitter. A healthy relationship and conversation with parents is an invaluable thing to have through thick and thin. Just because they don’t provide financial support to you any more is a poor reason to abandon that relationship.

Nevertheless, when a crisis occurs, be open about it. Once it is clear that there is no financial expectation, you should still be open with your parents if financial crises hit. They can provide emotional support, counseling, and perhaps other invaluable non-financial assistance.

Better still, ask for their assistance to plan ahead of any crisis that you could be foreseeing. This is a very useful step for protecting yourself from future mistakes. Suggest that your parents set up a savings account with you that can only be withdrawn with signatures from both of you, then make deposits into this account as an emergency fund. Your parents may be willing to make some deposits as well. Then, if you face a financial crisis, you have got several things in your corner: great counselors who can provide advice and financial resources to draw upon if there is no other way out. Even better, this measure prevents you from dipping into that emergency fund for unnecessary things.

But once you find a marriage partner, back-off from seeking parental support completely unless your very life is in danger. But never think you can always be relying on your parents—kuno ndi kunja kumayanja lichero!

Blessed week-end to you and yours as you grow-up into financial independence.

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