My whole life my mother has told me, that as a mother (parent) you never stop worrying about your kids, no matter how old they are.
I have to admit, I wasn’t really sure what that meant and the true depth of that statement before I had my own children.
Remembering back to being pregnant with MY LITTLE KING 10 years ago, that worry actually began in utero.
I remember while he was in my belly, I would worry if everything was ok. I couldn’t feel him, nor hear his heart beating, so I would hold out for the monthly check ups, just so I could hear his little heartbeat.
Breathing a sigh of relief when I heard that unmistakable sound.
When he started to move in my belly I remember being totally elated as I could feel him, so I knew he was ok.
Until the times, I couldn’t feel him moving and the fear would creep in, was he ok?
I remember one time, naively thinking, I so look forward to him being born, as then I won’t have to worry any longer if he is ok, as I will be able to see for myself.
A whole new lot of fears began when he was born, some totally valid, many irrational. Either way, Irrational or otherwise, I quickly realised what my mother had been telling me my whole life, was true. As a parent, you never stop worrying about your children no matter what age they are.
Our job as parents is to feed and water our babies, so they grow to be healthy functioning beings. For the most part, we provide them with shelter, love and guidance, and ultimately teach them right from wrong, to be safe and we try to protect them as best we can.
As the years go by this seem like a harder and harder task, especially with all of the outside influences creeping in more and more as they get older.
Jumping forward a few years, and my fears for the future seem to get bigger and more real.
As fast as they seem to be growing so does the technology they access. There are many positives about the reach of technology today, but it also means it is getting harder and harder for us to protect our children.
As kids grow into teenagers and try to carve their way in the world, all the while grappling to work out who they are; they are tempted by so many different things that are sure to throw them off their path, things that seem so very alluring at the time. On reflection, I believe these things are sent to test us. Whether we pass these tests or not it is in the eye of the beholder unless of course, it comes to the final devastating blow and a life is lost, whether by accident or on purpose.
While working out who they are, our kids are often surrounded by peer pressure, bullying. As parents, we carry fears about teen pregnancy, drugs and the BIG one, suicide.
In the last 3 weeks, since we opened #debtangels to the public, we have been able to help an overwhelming number of new clients be able to breathe again, sleep better and get on the road to being back on track.
What I have noticed in this time is how many of our clients, have come to us via a very concerned parent. For the most part, we will receive an enquiry from the parent; these are very upset parents at their wits end, unsure what to do about, or for, their adult children (typically aged between 20 and 40 years old). These parents are riddled with the very real fear that their child is drowning in debt and consumed with concern about not only how they will manage it, but what if they can’t.
I often say how frustrated I am with the education system, that kids aren’t taught basic money management at school.
In saying that there are many life skills that children aren’t and should be taught at school – best I don’t get started on that topic – lol we would be here all day!
The fact of the matter is; kids aren’t taught how to manage money at school. Often parents will teach them basic savings at home, then they get into the work force and their bank usually offers them a credit card. For a young person, this is a very alluring thing, given we live in a world of instant gratification now. This is so different to the delayed gratification that was the norm in our grandparent’s time. It used to be so simple and make so much sense – save up until you can afford it– then go and buy it.
Once someone has a credit card or personal loan, it becomes, in my opinion, open slather for the banks. You then get sent application forms (worded like you have already been approved) for many other banks, offering you yet another credit card.
Again ever so tempting, to an untrained, UN-experienced person, who has been lured by a gimmick (free points, zero interest transfer, no interest for 24 moths etc) and who then gets SLAMMED with high interest, fees and charges on multiple cards – often simultaneously.
The pressure and the stress of the impending payments and the frustration and shame of not getting anywhere, even when you pay off lots of money; coupled with the ultimate temptation of being offered more and more credit – becomes too much for some to bear.
Sadly, being in Debt is a very dark and lonely place. It is hard to know what to do and how to get out of it when you are in the middle of it and even if you do see some light – it is so far in the distance it is often very disheartening.
When I was in massive debt I know what I did; I pushed everyone I cared about away.
I was often horrible to my mother, continually pushing her away, in a view to keep her at arm’s length so I didn’t have to be honest with her, and ultimately myself, about the depth of the situation I had got myself into.
I developed terrible habits that I used to distract me from my situation. Every day I was pretending to myself and everyone else that I was fine, for 5 years! Then I finally realised if I didn’t face my fears (the creditors) life would continue to be unfulfilling, frustrating and pointless.
Depression and Suicide are very real and are affecting more and more people every day. This can include people who are drowning in debt. Leaving parents worried that their child is so stressed and overwhelmed that there is a chance that their child might take their own life.
I can’t help but think that the answer to all of this or at least, a big part of it is education. This is why, at Debt Angels we pride ourselves on not only working with people to resolve their immediate debt crisis, but we also work with them to educate and train people, so they don’t end up in the same situation again.
Said in another way – instead of fishing for people, we teach them how to fish.
Should you know anyone who is hard up against it when it comes to debt, or you know of, or are a parent who is concerned about their child (no matter their age) please feel free to get in touch with us and have a chat. If we can’t help you, we will point you in the direction of someone who can
It’s time to come out of the shadows and live again
Always remember, we are here if you need an Angel to Guide you.
Much Love and Gratitude
You may also want to check Lifeline website…