Someone once said money has eyes which has never been truer since every time money enters my pocket there is something or someone who tries to keep it for themselves, including my boys. Similar to many of my friends who are now parents, I found myself responding the same way as my parents and grandparents did whenever I requested money as a child. More specifically, when my older son asked for yet another game or app or pair of sneakers, I find myself saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” Similarly, when my younger son made plans to see yet another 3D movie, I found myself snapping way too often whether he thought I was made of money. Because I never had a real money talk with my kids, the lessons I was teaching them was that when I had money they got what they wanted, but if I didn’t have money, I made them feel bad about asking which was much like what I experienced as a child.
I hated my childhood money story of not having enough and always wanting what other kids had despite the fact that my mother who had limited education, limited support and limited cognitive skills tried the best that she could. Since no one spoke about why we didn’t have and thus couldn’t do, I grew up feeling negative about money, hating to talk about money and feeling inadequate about money. Unfortunately, even when I had opportunity after opportunity to change my money story as an adult, a wife and ultimately as a, I found myself focusing on the feeling of lack that I experienced as a child instead of merely transacting an exchange with money.
In effect, that feeling of not having and the subsequent rejection in turn grew into an insatiable need to show others that we were good enough to be in the same class as the Joneses. That feeling of rejection is often internalized by women which manifests as stronghold that limits and restricts us from appreciating money for what it really it, a tool. And because there is nothing new under the sun, I would like to share 5 tips to help you raise children with rich money mindset instead of a broke one.
1. Teach your children how to delay their gratification. Give your children a budget. I tell my boys all the time that nothing worth having is free. And while both try to argue me down because of free samples at Sam’s Club and Costco, they appreciate that most things they want comes with a price. In knowing the price of the things they want and the amount I’m willing to pay, they get a choice of whether to spend or save to have a bigger budget the following week. And because I don’t want them to repeat my money experience, I’m relentless about how much I will spend on their childish requests. In response, my sons have gotten better at sharing their coins and “saving” up to have more fun every weekend or so.
2. Let your children earn money. Similar to most parents, I will give my boys an incentive to make money, but I will also bribe them. Whether I need them to be more quiet than usual while doing conference calls , allowing me to sleep for a few extra hours on weekends or to just do what I need them to do, I will give them a few coins. And nothing gives kids more pleasure than seeing their money grow to achieve a particular goal. Of course, parents can use the increase as a lesson about interest or even compounded interest by giving kids an incentive to hold on to their money week after week by matching their children’s savings at particular milestones.
3. Let your children learn the hard money lessons early. Some lessons must be learned, but the consequences of bad decisions won’t be catastrophic when they are learning the lessons as children instead of wasting their coins as teenagers and young adults. So allow them to make mistakes and bad decisions on what they actually spend their money on. In effect, they will hopefully learn that money is a tool that shouldn’t be wasted on just anything nor be emotionally attached to everything.
4. Try to alleviate any bad feelings about money. It isn’t easy robbing Peter to paying Paul, paying down debt, raising a family and making decisions about who and what to give to based on the ebbs and flows of money. However, parents who are committed to raising children who are faithfully enriched instead of financially broken, will be relentless, vigilant and committed to doing whatever they must to ensure the spirit of lack doesn’t affect their children’s money story. Accordingly, don’t speak negatively about money, about lack or about scratching and surviving because when you do, lack enter into your existence and limits you and those affected by you.
5. Teach your children to trust God to supply all of their needs. Without faith, it is impossible to please God with our praise and worship about what he’s done, what he can do and what he’s going to do. Accordingly, you must be just as committed to teaching your children to be good stewards with their money just as much as you are committed to training them up to trust God.
Do you have any other suggestion to help children have a rich money mindset instead of a broken one? Please leave a comment below and let me know. Additionally, please don’t forget to share this post with your friends because one day their kids will also be taking care of us when we’re old and fabulous.
Toni Moore, Esq.
Toni is an attorney and business coach who is committed to helping women uplevel their success.
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