The most important Parenting tip in the area of Money and Children is: Communicate to your children your values about money.
Since our childhood to a large degree determines our later (married) adult life, it is important to be clear about what we would like our children to develop in terms of their financial life.
I do not know how you were raised as a child, but I know that there were some very clear and weird things we were told about money. First of all, how it was earned, how as children one could earn was unknown, it was made very clear- verbally as well as non-verbally that money was not a child’s domain.
One exception: the completely ridiculous piggy bank in which coins could be deposited so one could save and buy something.
Then at a later age it became apparent that Grandfather (thank you grandpa and grandma) had opened some savings account which contained somewhat larger amounts and into which on certain occasions some more money was deposited, only to be accessed by me at the age of 18.
A horrible negative message about money and children!
Grateful as I am for all that the message was: money can only be gotten through saving and external saving, but all cash flow depends on the good will of others, and is not within your power! A horrible message! And it was supplemented by comments such as; “money does not grow on trees”, and other negatives fostering a negative attitude about money.
Other statements are so grossly negative and untrue that I refuse to write them down, but I am sure some might have a good idea…
Does any of this sound familiar when it comes to money and children?
I am sure it does to many people.
So I grew up with a totally disempowered mind-set about money and children.
What I believe about money and children and what I believe we need to teach our children is this.
Money is neutral (energy). Like with anything, it depends how you use it, what place it has in your life.
There are many ways a child can learn to empower themselves with money, doing chores, being encouraged to make money through creative venues, seeking paid jobs as soon as that is appropriate agewise, and so on.
Furthermore, it is good to explain that we are all to some degree financial slaves and hence not free, and it is good to explain to children that there is a sick financial debt system governing our lives, and that there are emerging initiatives that will allow for positive money systems.
It is also good to point out that money and children is like a shoe, too tight is uncomfortable, too large does not walk well either, but a comfy fit is what we need.
Children will benefit so much from having parents who trust them, who stop this trans-generational fear mongering of the importance of earning a living, versus doing what you are talented at or where your passion lies. Because now so many of us are unhappy or morally corrupt , having sold out our souls and/or dreams for the sake of “having enough money”, which more often than not means spending all your time making it, so you can spend it!
Money is great! We are able to and capable of self-management in areas of finances.
The most important Parenting tip in this area of Money and Children is:
Communicate to your children. Be clear about your values regarding money and try and get a sense of what your children’s values are regarding money (if any), and slowly guide them towards financial maturity and self-reliance.
For more on this subject check out my book; Oops! The Parenting Handbook.