It’s not what you say, it’s what you do that your child pays more attention to. As we struggled with our debt for most of his life, we had discussions, sometimes stressful ones, about it. He must have been taking it all in without us even noticing. Until a couple of weekends ago I had no idea of how he was feeling.We talked about college and the costs and the following discussion ensued:Me: ‘You’ll be filling out scholarship forms, and we have the FASFA form filled out and we’ll find out how much in grants and loans….’Dash: ‘No loans! I’m not going into debt for college.’Me: ‘Good idea. I agree with you about that. Then we need to figure out what you can afford for college and how it will be paid. We have some money saved up for you, but you might pick a college that costs more than that. What would you do?’Dash: ‘If I have to go to community college for 2 years I’ll do that, then transfer to a 4 year college and use the money you’ve saved. Maybe I’ll go into the military and they’ll pay for my college.’Me: ‘That’s a good plan, but remember that if you change your mind about the military after you have graduated, at the very least have to pay them back for it – I don’t know for sure about that, we’ll have to check. If I were you I’d think about getting your college degree then joining the military afterwards. That way you have the most flexibility. You might also think about part time jobs.’Dash: ‘I’ll think about it. I just don’t want ANY loans! I’m never going into debt for ANYTHING!’I don’t think it’s JUST our situation he’s reacting to; he has some friends and acquaintances whose parents have lost jobs over the past few years, and he sees their stress level and how it’s affected their lives. I think that this generation of students in high school will have a very different idea of life than what I did growing up. And I think it’s a good thing.Andrea
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