No,not the sex talk. Been there, done that. Even so, this one is uncomfortable, too, because it is about something that's just as private and intimate: money. Adam's simple request last night spurred a two hour discussion not only about the cost of the upcoming milestones and adventures in his life, but also about identity theft. This isn't typically the type of stuff we talk about in my house, and I'm starting to question if I'm doing enough to prepare my kids for a financially healthy future.
I've often said that even though I adore my dad, and that he is a great dad, if there was one thing I wished I could change it would be the lack of financial information and education I had growing up. I went away to college with a checking account and a few bucks; by the end of my sophomore year I'd been "chosen" for a no-limit credit card and went a little wild. I had no idea what the concepts of interest–much less compound interest–were about, nor did I understand how my careless spending on stuff I didn't need would cost me in the long run.
I haven't started that conversation with my kids yet, but realized that it's right around the corner when Adam said 'hey Mom, I need my social security card to fill out this online application.' So, after I got done secretly freaking out, we spent some time talking about the reasons to guard his social security number, how it can be stolen without anyone actually seeing the card and how that might affect his ability later in life to get a loan, buy a house or maybe even be considered for the jobs he wants most.
And, since teenagers don't always trust their parents as much as they trust google, we googled terms like 'identity theft prevention' and happened upon Identity Hawk . Their info about social security number theft was enough to get through to Adam. Their Resource Center is full of info about identity theft, identity fraud and how to prevent both. Looks like we'll be doing some reading over Christmas break.
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post but the thoughts and events expressed are unique to me and would be the same regardless. You can read more about our disclosure page here.