It’s true what they say about giving your children the money-talk. By exposing them to the ups and downs of your household’s economics, you’re investing in a solid foundation for them to understand finances and to handle their money with care. What more could a parent want? Sadly, some take it too far and might, unknowingly or even intentionally, unburden themselves by talking about their money problems in an unhealthy and damaging way.
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Here is how you can talk about financial difficulties with your children - and the pitfalls to steer clear off in order to give them a happy and carefree childhood.
Should I even talk about money with my children?
It’s important to point out, first of all, that including your children in the household’s goals of saving, telling to them that you’re looking to save costs, and explaining to them how your energy bills work is not the same as burdening them with your trouble.
These conversations have a constructive purpose, and you’re working towards the same goal; to make your family financially independent and prosper together.The conversation might turn toxic, on the other hand, when parents give their young teenager the responsibility of balancing the books, telling him to answer the phone when a creditor calls and to lie about your financial state.
For divorced parents, it’s typical to forget about the heavy feeling of being the in-betweener and delivering messages on behalf of the other parent - often about money or the lack of it.
Other parents try to unload their worries by talking about it with their children and feel a sense of relief that someone listens and cares. They might feel better afterwards, but the child is often left with a sense of insecurity and an inability to help.
Don’t make excuses
It’s always a good idea to be open with your children and, with a positive attitude, make them understand that this household is all about saving. If you do talk about your problems, don’t blame someone else for it; your children might grow up to believe that other people are responsible for their financial failure - or success. Regain control, get in touch with Nationwide Debt Direct, and have a plan in mind when you touch the topic of finances.
It shows your children that you’re willing and able to take responsibility for where you are, at the moment, as well as making it clear that you’re a tough mommy or daddy who kicks ass when it comes to picking yourself up. That’s the kind of values we want to pass on.
Don’t control them with money
An interesting read at CreditCards tells the story of a wealthy business owner who treated his children to some high-paid positions. To earn their paycheck, though, they had to show up for dinner every Friday. Needless to say, his children carried a lot of resentment towards him - as well as a twisted view of money, in general.
Although most of us would never take it this far, some parents do tend to control their children through money; it’s not healthy for either of you and might even cause damage to your relationship.
Use money as an educational tool while they’re still young and teach them the value of budgeting - rather than how it can be used as a punishment. Your own financial problems can teach them so many valuable lessons if you just make room for it, and your children will grow up to handle their money with care.