Should Parents Break The Rules?
I have a confession .... as a parent I've broken the rules on more than one occasion. And I'm OK with it. The latest examples: Co-signing on a loan for my daughter, and financing repairs on her car. I never imagined I'd ever co-sign on a loan for anyone, let alone a child but here's how it all came down. My daughter was set to graduate from U.C. Davis and head to Memphis where's she been hired by Teach For America. She has completed her education without school loans, working many hours a week, at times overnight and full time to cover expenses. But once she began her training in Memphis, she would have no income until the end of August. TFA covers food and lodging, but anything above those basics wouldn't be included, such as going out, purchasing school supplies for the students she's working with, etc. So I broke the rules. I told her to apply for a loan to cover her living expenses until she got her first paycheck. Yep, I instructed her to go through the process of applying through a bank, arranging direct payments, making a budget of how much she would need to get through the summer, and have enough left over for renting an apartment. The bank, unimpressed with the promise of revenue coming from her first job at the end of summer, said they needed a co-signer. So, yes, I co-signed. So far she's made payments on time, and is even checking her balance on a regular basis. She's making decisions about extra-curriculars and how much she'll need to get into her first apartment.
Financing the repairs on her car may not be as justifiable. I mean, she has blown the head gasket on three cars, after all. I hope she's finally learned that she needs to check the oil, water and temperature on a car regularly, understanding that ignoring those issues won't resolve the problem. But you know, my daughter left school a week early, missed her graduation to fly out to Memphis to begin her training. I decided fixing her car was just going to be a gift of grace. And a graduation present.
My hope is that the support and faith I show in my kids will give them the strength and courage to follow their own path and believe in themselves enough to pursue their dreams and passion. And maybe breaking the rules once in a while can actually be a good thing!
What about you - have you broken any rules lately?