Growing up, my parents did not discuss money with their children. They saw themselves as responsible for their five children, to be certain. They worked hard to ensure that they met their obligations to us, for sure. But, they did not have conversations with us about how money was earned, budgeted, or dispersed.
We understand why parents do this. Most parents want their children to be children. They want their children to grow up without the anxiety of knowing how the adult world operates. But, by doing this, parents fail their children. We miss out on providing their children with the most important education piece of their lives. The education about how money matters.
After all, not everyone will need to understand the complexity of the pythagorean theorem or how to play the violin. But, everyone needs to know how to manage their money and plan for their financial future. The lessons we teach our children about money will help improve their chances of success and happiness in the world. Here are a few lessons that are helpful for our children to learn…
The Importance of Money
In my opinion, the first and most crucial lesson our children need about money is its importance. We must educate our children that MONEY IS IMPORTANT because it is required in order to live in this world. But, we must also inform them that MONEY IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE WORLD.
There is a crucial balance in this lesson. We want children to learn that they must work hard to achieve their goals. But, we must also help them learn that simply earning money is not the goal itself. We need to teach them balance. We need them to learn that ambition can become greed.
What’s more, we must teach them that not everyone has had the same education about money as they have. We must teach them that others will value their money more than they value them. We must educate them to be generous but not someone else’s ATM.
The Importance of Budgeting
Children are insatiable. They want everything and they want it now. We must teach them to balance their immediate desires for things with the needs that they will need in the future.
There are several ways we can teach them about budgeting. Some parents provide children with some money that they must then budget. But, without teaching them the valuable lesson of earning money, they do not learn the importance of working for what they have.
Another difficulty of this lesson is that we do not really know what our future needs are. We assume that things will always be as they now are. But, there is just no guarantee of that. Children have that same difficulty. To them, the idea of growing up is not equated with the idea of growing old. They do not envision themselves as older and incapable of earning money. Truth be told, there are some adults who fail to grasp this concept. For that reason, many fail to plan for things like retirement or disability. But, giving a child some education on this will increase their likelihood of successful long-term planning.
The Importance of Charity
Finally, an important lesson that we are failing to teach our children is the need for charity in the world.
While I do think that it is crucial to teach children that others should not use them (I’m thinking gold-digging significant others), I nonetheless believe that for our planet to improve we must push for a spirit of charity in our children. One way that you can do this is by forcing your children to filter through their clothes and toys for the purpose of giving items away. An important component is to resist letting them sell items. As they get older, teach children to give their time to a cause and finally teach them to set aside a percentage of their income to give to charity.
By inculcating children on the importance of budgeting, charity, and money, we can further enhance their education to create the type of society that this world needs and deserves.
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT LESSONS YOU THINK CHILDREN NEED ABOUT MONEY?