There are no guarantees in life, but everyone wants to do as much as they can to help keep their family safe. For different parents, this can mean different things, and every family will need to come up with their own set of rules and practices. Below are a few things to think about as you consider what safety means for your family.
This is an important aspect of making sure your children have a stable and secure life, yet money can be a sensitive topic for people. There’s a reason that financial issues are often the reason for divorce. Talking to your partner about your attitudes regarding money and how you want to teach your kids about money is important. You should also create wills in which you name a family member or friend that you want to be the child’s guardian if anything happens to you.
A life insurance policy can offer financial protection. The policy should be sufficient to cover your income until the child is an adult. You may also want to consider adding in enough to pay for a college education. If you purchase a permanent policy, you may be able to sell it when your child grows up as part of a life settlement. You can review a guide on life settlements and how to approach this process going forward.
Education and Career
What does your child want to be when they grow up? A 529 plan is one way that parents can save up money for tax advantages for a child’s educational expenses. Even if your child doesn’t attend college, they may be able to use it for other education-related costs. You can look at the rules for 529 plans within your state. Helping them learn about different potential career paths and how to follow them can be a big part of ensuring that they have financial security as an adult as well.
Like money, how much independence and responsibility to give a child can be a point of conflict between parents. It can be tricky to balance the desire to keep your kid safe with the knowledge that they must learn to deal with difficult challenges out in the world. In addition, children differ. If you have two kids, you may find that one is naturally more independent while the other needs to pushed into trying new or difficult things. Try to allow them to take on age-appropriate challenges while also ensuring that they know you are always there for them.
Keeping the lines of communication open as a family, either through meals shared together, family nights or even family meetings, can be another important element of safety. When you’re talking regularly with your child, it’s easier to identify specific issues they may be having at any given time. For example, children might go through a period of anxiety about house fires or natural disasters. Working as a family to create a safety plan can help give them a sense of control. Regular communication can also help you be more alert to problems such as bullying or even any health issues your child may be experiencing.
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