While I'm not certain that Jung got it right about Synchronicity, there are still plenty of examples in daily life. Witness my thoughts about giving money to my children, which coincided with a "Ask Amy's" column in Today's Washington Post and a new entry on World of Wealth. [You may have to register to get on the Washington Post site, but registration is free.]
Amy's inquirer and Meg's family are at opposite ends of the issue. How do you handle it when you don't have the money to keep on giving the way you used to, or how do you make decisions about giving the money, when you do have it. Meg, of course, has the "problem" of how to graciously accept the gifts--we should all have her issues!
I note that many of the personal finance bloggers and those who comment on the blogs either have no adult children or have no children at all. Frankly this makes it easier for them to stand back and insist that one's adult children "stand on their own two feet." I will be interested to see how it works out for them as they do have families, and their children become adults. Given that many of us took to baring our financial souls on the internet because we were not exactly role models when it came to our own finances, will we be surprised if our kids aren't all that good at it either?
I've never had large sums to give to any of my daughters, but like the parents who wrote Amy for advice, my children do expect me to cover meals out, to help them with payments here and there when they run into trouble, to cover tuition and books for college (fortunately, my granddaughter is using the local community college for her higher education), and generally to "be there" for them financially. I don't think any of them has a clear idea of what I make or what my expenses are.
I have two conflicting mindsets about all of this. On one hand, I adopted children who were damaged, both emotionally and organically. I knew it was unlikely they would ever achieve my level of education or income. So helping them out has been built in to my parenting, and that did not end when they became adults and left home. On the other hand, we all have to be realistic. I cannot afford to support five families. I have to prioritize what I'm willing to give my children, and I do make an effort to equalize the monies that I give out.
I estimate that, on average, I spend about $600 a month on my children and grandchildren. Not all of that is spent in any given month, but I spend more than that three times a year when my granddaughter's college tuition comes due. So, $600 a month on average. That is money that could go a long way toward reducing my credit card debt.
I have not completely worked out how I feel about this expense. Right now, I include it in my budget. And right now, it is all financially doable. But I wonder how it will play out if/when I find myself in the position of Amy's letter-writer.