Author Topic: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?  (Read 1293 times)

Livingthedream55

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Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« on: November 27, 2017, 01:31:07 PM »
I bought "The Automatic Millionaire" for my 20 year old daughter (living at home, finishing college) a few months ago and have asked her a few times to read it but she has never picked it up.

I had some hopes that it would be a quick and easy read for her that might spark some incentive for her to set up an automatic investing plan. She's about six months away from graduating college and hence will be getting her first professional job. She does minimum wage jobs (a few hours at a coffee shop, a host at a restaurant etc.) plus a little babysitting/ dog walking right now. She has a significant "Latte Factor" and I thought this book might add another voice (besides mine!) where she would get excited about the potential of investing and having a financially secure future.

Would you incentive it? I'm thinking of offering $50 if she reads it and prepares a short summary that she presents to me along the lines of a book report.

On the other hand, I "made" my older daughter bring home her 401K paperwork when she got her first job out of college and kind of strong armed/charmed her into investing 10% (incentive was free rent plus keeping her on family health insurance so she had very few monthly bills apart from a cell phone and car insurance). I could do the same for younger daughter.

Thoughts???



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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2017, 01:47:53 PM »
I think that giving an incentive wouldn't be unreasonable. How many people say "If I only knew more about investing when I was younger..."

The problem would be that she might not synthesize it if she's only doing it for money.

Is it the reading that she doesn't like? If that's it, maybe she'd prefer a podcast or audio book. They she could listen while commuting or something.

If they're in to podcasts, there are two good podcasts from Freakonomics about index investing here:

http://freakonomics.com/podcast/stupidest-money/ <-- Summary: invest in index funds
http://freakonomics.com/podcast/everything-always-wanted-know-money-afraid-ask/ <-- Summary of the "financial index card" rules of personal finance.

A link to a picture of a financial index card can be found here:
https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/01/07/index-67f786d0f1fbbf302d422c5bf30dd1624f991dac-s1600-c85.jpg

Good production quality and pretty accessible (also good titles). If she's willing to devote about 1.5 hours, she'll get a pretty good base level of financial literacy.

BAM

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 02:05:57 PM »
I would not. Putting an incentive on anything usually has two effects - making the person NOT want to do it and making them find the quickest way possible to do it. I doubt it would have the effect you wanted even if she did read it for the money.

For my 20 and 21 year olds, I've found the best way to teach them about investing, etc is to "think out loud". DH and I talk to them about it a lot, mentioning the things we've done right, the things we've done wrong, the goals we have, etc. We also talk to each other about those things while they are around (most kids/young adults like to listen to adult conversations : ).

ixtap

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 02:09:36 PM »
No.

At that age, it is usually best to just hang out so that they can relax around you and eventually ask some questions. A 20 year old with enough money for latte usually feels on top of the world and doesn't respond well to nagging.

rubybeth

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 02:54:27 PM »
What has motivated her in the past? If she's not motivated by information on its own, then you might be able to figure out what would motivate her (and it may not be money). Something like the Four Tendencies may help: https://gretchenrubin.com/2015/01/ta-da-the-launch-of-my-quiz-on-the-four-tendencies-learn-about-yourself/
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2017, 02:58:25 PM »
Yep, I would!

I'm a person very incentivized by money -if you're paying me to do it, I'll not only do it but I'll do it as well as I can- so some people's take on $ incentives don't fit my experience. I think we can't know in advance whether or not a person will synthesize info when they are paid. They may and they may not; we can't control that part. On the chance that she would, I would offer the cash.

I really like the deal you made with your other daughter, too.
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FINate

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2017, 04:04:10 PM »
When it comes to being a parent of adult children the cake has been baked, so to speak. The time for strong arming and cajoling has past, and the relationship transitions from parent-child to peer-peer based on mutual respect -- otherwise your kids will keep acting/thinking like dependants or, if they are strong willed, they will distance themselves from you.

I would not nag or incentivise, which is patronizing. I would share something like "I've managed and invested my money well, which has enabled me to achieve financial freedom and retire early. If you're ever curious to learn how to do this please let me know, I'd be more than happy to teach you what I've learned over many years." Then I'd leave it at that. She may not even want to save, invest, or FIRE. But she may take you up on the offer. And if you're not bailing her out financially, enabling the latte factor, then at some point she may get tired of stressing about finances and running the rat race and desire saving/investing/FIRE as a goal.

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2017, 04:17:41 PM »
I have an almost-18 year old in college, and a 15 year old.   An 18 year old without latte money is also feeling pretty on top of the world, BTW.

What works best is if I say -- tomorrow after dinner, we are going to sit down and talk about the first three chapters of the book.
Then when dinner is over, I say .. "It's time to review those book chapters.   Do you want me to finish cleaning up for you so you can scan get the book before we sit down with dessert to discuss it?"

Not really nagging, more of a "It's time to begin"; coupled with doing it together, and I "give a little" by helping them with chores to open up their ability to do it.   My kids are not planners.  They have told me they prefer this approach to remembering all on their own (another problem for another day).

Yesterday, I knew that DD had not submitted her health claim form yet.  I asked she wanted my help, she said yes... then then next day I said " It's time to do this, grab your receipts and laptop and meet me in the kitchen".   If I waited for her to initiate, it would never happen, even though it is $170 worth of money back to her pocket.

Asking them to do something, paying them, or bribing them (if this then that), doesn't work at all with my kids.

Yep, it is telling them what to do.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2017, 04:21:08 PM »
In many cultures and subcultures, offspring continue to be mentored up to 25 or so. I was shocked to find that, because I was on my own in every way from waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay younger than that. I see value in the longer mentoring.

Also, what are most jobs if not financial incentives to do what most otherwise would not?

These two factor into my yes :)
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i_have_so_much_to_learn

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2017, 04:24:44 PM »
What about creating a program for your daughter, and instead of incentivizing just the book, creating milestones? i.e. 50 dollars to finish the book, X shares of a company for learning something else, paying her "interest" for saving Y amount of dollars in savings (i.e. you save $2000, i pay you $200).

gaja

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2017, 04:32:37 PM »
When it comes to being a parent of adult children the cake has been baked, so to speak. The time for strong arming and cajoling has past, and the relationship transitions from parent-child to peer-peer based on mutual respect -- otherwise your kids will keep acting/thinking like dependants or, if they are strong willed, they will distance themselves from you.

I would not nag or incentivise, which is patronizing. I would share something like "I've managed and invested my money well, which has enabled me to achieve financial freedom and retire early. If you're ever curious to learn how to do this please let me know, I'd be more than happy to teach you what I've learned over many years." Then I'd leave it at that. She may not even want to save, invest, or FIRE. But she may take you up on the offer. And if you're not bailing her out financially, enabling the latte factor, then at some point she may get tired of stressing about finances and running the rat race and desire saving/investing/FIRE as a goal.
This! 100% this!

I got so fed up with my parents' nagging that I basically didn't speak to them for a few years.
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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2017, 04:34:10 PM »
When it comes to being a parent of adult children the cake has been baked, so to speak. The time for strong arming and cajoling has past, and the relationship transitions from parent-child to peer-peer based on mutual respect -- otherwise your kids will keep acting/thinking like dependants or, if they are strong willed, they will distance themselves from you.

I would not nag or incentivise, which is patronizing. I would share something like "I've managed and invested my money well, which has enabled me to achieve financial freedom and retire early. If you're ever curious to learn how to do this please let me know, I'd be more than happy to teach you what I've learned over many years." Then I'd leave it at that. She may not even want to save, invest, or FIRE. But she may take you up on the offer. And if you're not bailing her out financially, enabling the latte factor, then at some point she may get tired of stressing about finances and running the rat race and desire saving/investing/FIRE as a goal.
This! 100% this!

I got so fed up with my parents' nagging that I basically didn't speak to them for a few years.

I definitely agree with this, but I think there can be a healthy amount of teaching/mentorship mixed in with mutual respect/trust - they are not mutually exclusive. But the child has to learn to want that mentorship, especially at that age.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 04:49:06 PM »
...I think there can be a healthy amount of teaching/mentorship mixed in with mutual respect/trust - they are not mutually exclusive. But the child has to learn to want that mentorship, especially at that age.

Agreed on all counts.

Also, nagging is distinct from mentoring. It's a completely different activity. I would venture that lots of us parents would do well to learn the latter in time :)
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ROF Expat

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2017, 07:18:07 AM »
I wouldn't incentivize or push unless it seems that your daughter is ready to read the book and seriously consider the message.  When she graduates, moves out of your house, and has to live on her own salary for a while, she might become more interested in personal finance.  That would be a good time for you to offer her that book and maybe some others (I'm a fan of The Millionaire Next Door).  There's also a chance that she will get herself into some financial trouble by not living within her means.  In that case, if she comes to you for financial help, I'd make reading some of these books part of the price of my help in bailing her out.  The most important thing you can do is continue to set a good example of financial literacy and responsibility.   

Chesleygirl

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2017, 09:11:21 AM »
I believe someone  must be motivated on their own first.

I've been trying to get a friend to read books like "Your Money or Your Life", for years now. She isn't motivated to save or invest, and I finally gave up. When she gets money, she spends it or gives it to someone who needs it. I can't change her fundamental, core values about money. Most of it came from seeing the way her parents handled money, too.

bridget

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2017, 09:17:55 AM »
You have led the horse to water. If you try to force her to drink, she’ll probably just resentfully choke on it.

NeonPegasus

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2017, 09:39:56 AM »
When it comes to being a parent of adult children the cake has been baked, so to speak. The time for strong arming and cajoling has past, and the relationship transitions from parent-child to peer-peer based on mutual respect -- otherwise your kids will keep acting/thinking like dependants or, if they are strong willed, they will distance themselves from you.

I would not nag or incentivise, which is patronizing. I would share something like "I've managed and invested my money well, which has enabled me to achieve financial freedom and retire early. If you're ever curious to learn how to do this please let me know, I'd be more than happy to teach you what I've learned over many years." Then I'd leave it at that. She may not even want to save, invest, or FIRE. But she may take you up on the offer. And if you're not bailing her out financially, enabling the latte factor, then at some point she may get tired of stressing about finances and running the rat race and desire saving/investing/FIRE as a goal.

Yes. This.

Hopefully, you have been having financial conversations with her for many years now. Any future efforts should be aimed at providing guidance, not forcing her down the path.

If I were your daughter, I probably wouldn't have picked up the book yet either. I wouldn't be ready to read it until I had a real job with real money where I could set a budget because I learn best by being able to apply the information immediately to my situation.

To continue guiding her, I would identify opportunities as they occur and focus on small parts at a time. For instance, when your daughter gets her first "real" job after graduation, congratulate her and then give her a quick primer on what paperwork they'll present her with and how you recommend she handles it - things like having her pick a high deductible health insurance policy and why or automatically signing up for 401k contributions so she never gets used to having that money in her paycheck.

You will have to strike a good balance based on your daughter's strengths and personality. No matter what, though, she is an adult and should be treated as such.

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2017, 09:49:48 AM »
O hell no. A 20yr old is an adult.
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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2017, 10:17:53 AM »
I wouldn't give a cash reward for reading the book.  What might work better is to see if your daughter wants to do a book club WITH YOU, where you all both discuss the pros and cons of the approaches in the book.  I know that I would have been more likely to do something like that at age 20 than have my parent push a book on me or demand I read something.  It's the difference between being vested in something together versus being bossed around.

Also, I have not read The Automatic Millionaire so I could be off base here, but it might be more interesting for her to read a collection of anecdotes like The Millionaire Next Door rather than a straight up "how to" finance book.

Finally, when I was in college, my parents did this awesome thing.  They gave me a small amount of money to open up an online brokerage account.  (At that time, this was a brand new technology! Trade fees were only $5.) I think it was a few hundred dollars, and they might have given me $50 here or there for it.  I researched my own stocks and funds, and bought and sold as I saw fit.  My parents didn't interfere at all- I could earn or lose money completely on my own.  It really took the fear out of investing for me. 

Also, when I graduated from college, my parents bought me a (modest) car.  The deal was that I would make monthly "car payments" into my Roth IRA (which was also online and self-directed).  This also worked really well-- I was able to save up a lot of money this way, learn the investment ropes, and understand investment vehicles at a young age. 

Yes, I realize that the above 2 suggestions re. giving cash for investment comes from being lucky to be the child of parents who did such things.  But if you're able to do it, even with relatively modest sums of money, that might be a very good way to educate your daughter about stuff by having her actually DO IT rather than only read about it.

Livingthedream55

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2017, 12:44:44 PM »
Thanks! Lots of very helpful input here. I am going to let this go and take no action on the book idea.

I think (when the time comes) I will offer the same deal that I offered her older sister (no charge for rent at home if daughter saves at least 10% in a 401K once she gets her first professional job). 



rubybeth

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2017, 06:39:30 AM »
Thanks! Lots of very helpful input here. I am going to let this go and take no action on the book idea.

I think (when the time comes) I will offer the same deal that I offered her older sister (no charge for rent at home if daughter saves at least 10% in a 401K once she gets her first professional job).

That's an incredibly incentive! My parents did a similar thing by paying for state college tuition as long as I lived at home.
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Livingthedream55

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2017, 07:04:54 AM »
Thanks! Lots of very helpful input here. I am going to let this go and take no action on the book idea.

I think (when the time comes) I will offer the same deal that I offered her older sister (no charge for rent at home if daughter saves at least 10% in a 401K once she gets her first professional job).

That's an incredibly incentive! My parents did a similar thing by paying for state college tuition as long as I lived at home.

Doing that also!  : 0 )



rubybeth

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2017, 07:55:57 AM »
Thanks! Lots of very helpful input here. I am going to let this go and take no action on the book idea.

I think (when the time comes) I will offer the same deal that I offered her older sister (no charge for rent at home if daughter saves at least 10% in a 401K once she gets her first professional job).

That's an incredibly incentive! My parents did a similar thing by paying for state college tuition as long as I lived at home.

Doing that also!  : 0 )

Awesome! Part of me wonders if something a little more geared for your daughter's age would appeal to her. I subscribe to the Financial Diet on YouTube and they also have a blog. They do posts that are pretty relevant for young female professionals starting out (how to look stylish and professional on a budget, and impulse buys vs. genuine wants are two most recent blog posts), and they are two women in their 20s who share a lot of helpful financial and life info. You could simply send her the links and say another young woman (me!) mentioned that it's a handy resource. :D

https://www.youtube.com/thefinancialdiet
http://thefinancialdiet.com/
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Livingthedream55

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2017, 12:58:10 PM »
Thanks! Lots of very helpful input here. I am going to let this go and take no action on the book idea.

I think (when the time comes) I will offer the same deal that I offered her older sister (no charge for rent at home if daughter saves at least 10% in a 401K once she gets her first professional job).

That's an incredibly incentive! My parents did a similar thing by paying for state college tuition as long as I lived at home.

Doing that also!  : 0 )

Awesome! Part of me wonders if something a little more geared for your daughter's age would appeal to her. I subscribe to the Financial Diet on YouTube and they also have a blog. They do posts that are pretty relevant for young female professionals starting out (how to look stylish and professional on a budget, and impulse buys vs. genuine wants are two most recent blog posts), and they are two women in their 20s who share a lot of helpful financial and life info. You could simply send her the links and say another young woman (me!) mentioned that it's a handy resource. :D

https://www.youtube.com/thefinancialdiet
http://thefinancialdiet.com/

Just did!  I'll let you know if she has any response/feedback!  : 0 )



ManlyFather

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2017, 04:57:28 PM »
I have an almost-18 year old in college, and a 15 year old.   An 18 year old without latte money is also feeling pretty on top of the world, BTW.

What works best is if I say -- tomorrow after dinner, we are going to sit down and talk about the first three chapters of the book.
Then when dinner is over, I say .. "It's time to review those book chapters.   Do you want me to finish cleaning up for you so you can scan get the book before we sit down with dessert to discuss it?"

Not really nagging, more of a "It's time to begin"; coupled with doing it together, and I "give a little" by helping them with chores to open up their ability to do it.   My kids are not planners.  They have told me they prefer this approach to remembering all on their own (another problem for another day).

Yesterday, I knew that DD had not submitted her health claim form yet.  I asked she wanted my help, she said yes... then then next day I said " It's time to do this, grab your receipts and laptop and meet me in the kitchen".   If I waited for her to initiate, it would never happen, even though it is $170 worth of money back to her pocket.

Asking them to do something, paying them, or bribing them (if this then that), doesn't work at all with my kids.

Yep, it is telling them what to do.

+1

This is how you get kids to do stuff they don't want to do, but you know they NEED to do. 

Carrot vs. stick is not the only way to get someone to do something, and Goldilocks hit the nail on the head with this one.

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2017, 08:00:09 PM »
I would give the kid this: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2052814389/get-your-money-together-your-purr-fect-finance-wor
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MrsPete

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2017, 08:14:27 AM »
Pay her?  No. 
Offer her the book, offer to discuss with her?  Yes. 

What we did to help our kids transition from college /our dime to making their own way:

- We set a good example for their entire lives.  We let them know we were saving, talked about investing and smart shopping frequently. 
- As college graduation approached for our oldest, we were very clear on exactly what we would do:  She was /is always welcome to come home ... her car was hers free and clear ... her car insurance was paid through X month, and after that she'd need to be prepared to pay X amount ... we'd pay her phone through the end of the year, and after that she was free to stay on our group plan, but she'd need to pay 1/4 of the cost.  I think being very clear on her financial expectations helped her.
- We sat with her as she made pro-and-con lists for her various job offers.  She didn't take the job I thought was best, but it's turned out well. 
- We strongly recommended that she NOT trade in her paid-for car.  It's nothing special, but it's safe and reliable.  She chose to start a small, separate account into which she pays a "car payment" ... she uses it for her once-a-year car insurance and it will be for her next car. 
- She began working in her field about a month after college graduation, and she asked our advice about 401Ks, etc.  We let her know we were very willing to help her with those initial decisions.  Now, 18 months into her job, she understands everything ... but we've let her know we're always here with the voice of experience. 

« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 08:22:28 AM by MrsPete »

FINate

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Re: Would you pay a 20 year old to read a book?
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2017, 10:00:21 AM »
Pay her?  No. 
Offer her the book, offer to discuss with her?  Yes. 

What we did to help our kids transition from college /our dime to making their own way:

- We set a good example for their entire lives.  We let them know we were saving, talked about investing and smart shopping frequently. 
- As college graduation approached for our oldest, we were very clear on exactly what we would do:  She was /is always welcome to come home ... her car was hers free and clear ... her car insurance was paid through X month, and after that she'd need to be prepared to pay X amount ... we'd pay her phone through the end of the year, and after that she was free to stay on our group plan, but she'd need to pay 1/4 of the cost.  I think being very clear on her financial expectations helped her.
- We sat with her as she made pro-and-con lists for her various job offers.  She didn't take the job I thought was best, but it's turned out well. 
- We strongly recommended that she NOT trade in her paid-for car.  It's nothing special, but it's safe and reliable.  She chose to start a small, separate account into which she pays a "car payment" ... she uses it for her once-a-year car insurance and it will be for her next car. 
- She began working in her field about a month after college graduation, and she asked our advice about 401Ks, etc.  We let her know we were very willing to help her with those initial decisions.  Now, 18 months into her job, she understands everything ... but we've let her know we're always here with the voice of experience.

Nicely done, thanks for sharing. You make a good point: it's a process rather than a point in time event.