This morning I was reading a great article on what all the talk of “entitlement” means to the kids and young adults of the day, and it was really eye-opening to see the changes that have come about in society as we know it.
If you get the chance, you should check out the article by David Murray titled “Entitlement: the Gimme Generation” here http://headhearthand.org/blog/2012/02/21/entitlement-the-gimme-generation/ .
What I found as the most significant truth within this article is the fact that we are raising a generation to be very lazy, uncaring, and downright fruitless with their finances. Of course it really hit home for me, because I spend most of my days thinking about how to give people better tools with their finances.
In the end, we need to realize that while all of this is going on around us, there are some very important implications that we can do with our own kids to make it better. We can give our kids the tools to be more responsible than the rest of the world, and really, to be completely different than their friends.
I want to challenge you to look at your family, to seek ways in which you can raise your kids to be more responsible with their money, and to teach yourself a lesson on what it means to give God the glory in the way you handle your finances.
Here are 3 things your kids should see, experience, and know first-hand in the area of finances in order for them to leave the nest “well-equipped” for the life they have ahead:
1. Lead By Example
Work to give your kids the best example in your own life of saving, spending, and wisdom in all areas. When they are on their own, chances are, if you put all of your expenses on a credit card, they will do the same. Your kids will simply follow what they see you doing, and will grow up to think that is “normal”. So think about those set of eyes that are watching your every move, and keep in mind the financial future you hope they will have some day.
2. Introduce Money Concepts
This can be at a very young age, and the sooner you start to talk about these things, the more they will understand where money comes from, how it is earned, how to wisely spend it, and when you should hold back and use some self control. If you never take the time to talk to your kids about these concepts, it will probably never surface later on in their lives.
3. Say “No”
At some point, all parents have to say “No”, and often, this happens on a daily basis. But consider saying no to your child on something big, something they will have to sacrifice to really deny themselves of that privilege. I think it goes without saying that as an adult being financially responsible means having to say “no” to yourself quite a few times, and to sacrifice the “here and now” for the future. So think of your kids in that same way, they need to know how to exercise self-control early on if they want to have that quality when they are older.
Put these three things into practice as early as you can with your children, and if they are already grown, that’s OK. They may have to learn these lessons for themselves, yet you can always help guide them in the process.
If you have made mistakes in your finances either in your early years or in the more recent past, don’t be afraid to share some of those things with your children. Let them know that you made a mistake, and you are working to make it better. One day they will appreciate the wisdom and advice, and you may prevent them from making the same mistakes themselves.
Have any ideas on practical ways you can teach your kids to be good with money? Please share!
By: Erika Pizzo