I have decided to change my kid’s names from Jack and Michaela to Dow and NASDAQ. Why you ask? It’s because I believe that raising them is like investing in the stock market. As long as I put something into them each month, I am bound to get a good return on my investment. At least that’s what the experts tell me. Recently I have found that my success with the kids has been similar to my recent returns in the stock market. Dismal! I have scratched my head, reviewed my parental investing strategy and made some adjustments. But still I am not seeing the returns that I had hoped for. I keep telling myself that’s its not how I start but how I finish. This would make sense if I was a marathon runner, but as a single dad I am a sprinter. I sprint from school event to sporting event, from grocery store to doctor’s appointments, from homework assignments to dinners. I want to see a return NOW!
My financial planner tells me to have patience. Follow the plan, and that all things are difficult before they are easy. Easy for him to say, he’s getting paid monthly on what I invest with him. I want to see a return NOW!
I know that I am not the only single parent that wants a return on his investment NOW. Why does this have to be so difficult? You give, you love, you encourage, you discipline and you lead, but still I am not seeing the results. I want a return NOW!
Years ago the market was so much easier. My stocks, like my children hugged me each day, they talked to me, they shared with me, they were happy that I was investing in them. But something has changed. Something is different. I’m not feeling the love these days. I need the old market back. Oh how I yearn for the good ole days when all I had to do was walk in the door, turn on the TV and I was told that I was getting a great return on my investment.
Now you are probably saying to yourself “Bill what have you done to cause your children to be this way”? Well actually nothing. You see I have two teenagers. That’s right teenagers. What a difference an age makes. I am still invested in them, I still believe in them but they like the last few years stock market, they seem to have a mind of their own. I am told that highly effective people start with the end in mind. I am told that successful investors need to go from being traders to long term investors. I know that I am going to have to take some losses along the way if I want to succeed. But I have to tell you, I am not sure if I am prepared for these teenage years. It seems that no matter how many times I try and figure it out it changes before my eyes. I guess that all I can do is continue to invest in my kids the same way that I have been investing for years. Consistently, with patience and with the belief that:
“Teenagers have never been very good at listening to their parents, but they have never failed to imitate them”.
Bill McLeod is the founder of www.singleparentstown.com The author of “Kickin Butt as a Single Parent – 99 Tips That Every Single Parent Must Have” and a Life Coach to Single Parents www.billmcleodcoaching.com . He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org