Recently I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about talking to your teen(s) about money. The writer raised a lot of good points for and against and that got me thinking. For me, it isn’t about whether we should talk about finances to teenage children, but when and how?
Here is what I know for sure …
Money impacts all we do. Having an ample amount makes life easier, no doubt. And how we feel about the spending and saving of money (i.e., managing finances) has a direct correlation to our childhood experiences (basically what we saw and heard from the adults in our life)—leading to how we deal with money ourselves and how we teach (or do not teach) our own children about money management.
Here is what YOU need to ponder …
- Why have (or haven’t) you started to introduce money responsibilities to your teenagers?
- If you have started, pat yourself on the back. In fact, if you started when your adolescent was in elementary school, treat yourself to something special because you deserve it! How’s it going overall?
- If you haven’t started letting your teen manage some cash or haven’t at least started introducing them to the knowledge and skills associated with paying their way in life, why not?
Note: Regardless of how you answered this question, read on and look for following blogs that could spark ideas and actions you haven’t considered yet.
- How can you go about preparing your children to handle the decisions and obligations that lead to independent living as an adult, through good money management?
- After all, beyond earning money to pay their own way, the need to understand what “living within their means” means. Spending, constraints, budgeting, savings, growing wealth, and processes for large financial moves is just the beginning.
- Are you comfortable with the teens in your life getting a glimpse of your own monetary issues? Could the adolescents you are influencing benefit from honesty related to the successes and failures you have endured as an adult?
- I find some of us may be concerned that sharing our family financial constraints may unduly stress our adolescents and divulging significant assets may cause an entitled attitude by our teens. Some of us may feel sharing family financial information gives our adolescents a sense of ownership in family decisions that are ultimately parent decisions. Or perhaps you are embarrassed to discuss financial mistakes that were made and have your kid think you aren’t perfect after all … all valid considerations. However, if we don’t try to influence the formation of financial habits in our children now, then who will do so and when will that happen?
Mull the above over for a few days and talk to your spouse (or other adult supporter). Then, look for my next blog posted one week from today (2/18) for specific ideas on introducing or continuing the money management lessons with your teenager.
Make the most of your day!