Teaching Your Children About Money Lesson #2: The Power of Money
Many of us were raised in hostile environments where money was concerned. We saw our parents running after money to pay for groceries, spending many a fortnight calculating budget numbers, by hand at the kitchen table to make ends meet all the while cursing money as it was the root of all evil.
I guess this is why we have such a complex love-hate relationship with money. While we love it when we have much, we deeply hate it when it is scarce. We have been told that you are better off healthy than wealthy, that those who make a lot of money must have done something wrong to come by it, that money doesn’t bring happiness, that it only brings more problems.
With this kind of upbringing, I wondered: do I want to teach my children to hate money? To fear it?
Do I want them to understand how it works and the great power money can bring to one’s life.
Some people misunderstand this question and think that I love money and that I think money can fix everything. But they are wrong. I actually don’t love money. But I know it’s importance, what it can give to someone. I know about the power of money and I want to teach my children this money lesson.
When I talk about power, I want to talk about freedom of choice, about financial independence, about living a stress-free life. I want also talk about the power of being generous, about giving to others, the power to help, about being able to sustain to your family’s need.
Teach my son that money can serve good causes
It is never easy to leave early in the morning and sometimes arrive home late at night. While I religiously spend time with my children to play with them several times a week, I always feel guilty the day or two I have to kiss them goodnight while they are already asleep in their beds.
When my son tells me he misses me, I tell them that I have to work hard. Yet, instead of telling him that we need money to live, that I have to leave him to make money because we will lose everything we have if I don’t, I turn this situation around to a different point of view:
I help him remember how much he loves staying at home with mommy, how much he likes playing soccer and learning how to skate, how much fun we had bowling and going at the zoo. Then, I tell him that to be able to do such wonderful activities, we need money”¦ and unfortunately, we need to work to earn it ;-)
I want to show him that money can be used to provide activities, to enjoy life, and to have magic moments with our family.
This money lesson is not only about treating yourself
I also want to teach my children that money has the great power of helping others. As I previously mentioned, we give toys and food at Christmas time. I teach my children that some people have less money and that we should do what we can to help them.
Telling them that I am giving $5 per pay check to charity or that I give to our church won’t reach them. However, when they go at the grocery store to buy food for the one in needs, they understand the immediate impact.
They become somewhat proud of “participating” by putting the food in the basket and selecting a few treats for other children who might not have the chance to eat all the “good stuff” during the Holiday Season.
I keep telling them that we are fortunate to have our health as well as money and this is why we ought to share with those who have less.
Final thoughts about money and power
While teaching my children about money, I don’t want them to hate or fear money. I want them to see the marvellous things money can help to achieve. In the end, money is often a booster. If you want to do good things, money will only help you do bigger or better ones!
Image source: M.ADA
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