Educating Children on the Responsibilities of Wealth
Jul 09, 2018
How do you use your wealth? What responsibilities do you believe come along with having wealth? How does your wealth influence your sense of who you are as a person? In other words, identifying your own attitudes about wealth is a very important first step in determining how best to talk with your children about wealth.
In some cases, attitudes about wealth can conflict with actions. For example, do you contribute large sums of money to charitable foundations but refuse to give a dollar to a homeless person? Do you talk about valuing family over money but argue selfishly with relatives about money? Thinking about your attitudes and your actions can help set the stage for very positive discussions – talks that can serve as great learning experiences for the entire family.
If you’re looking for a few more specific tips, you might want to consider the following:
Talk with your children often about the things you value in addition to wealth. Emphasize the many other ways you consider your family to be rich – love for one another, friendships, good health, learning and more.
Use an allowance to teach children how to handle money. Rather than tying an allowance to chores or using it as a reward, help children learn what to do with their allowance. For example, you might have them divide their allowance into three equal parts. A third for their own enjoyment, another third for savings and a third for charity.
Teach your children the difference between their wants and their needs. And don’t neglect to talk about the importance of shopping wisely, comparing quality, price and value.
Most important, help your children feel thankful for your family’s wealth. Talk about wealth as a resource to be respected and nurtured, rather than something to be squandered or taken for granted.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your child is to help them acquire the skills and motivation needed to earn money for themselves. Doing this will make them morally and financially responsible and prepare them to overcome the obstacles they will no doubt face in the future.
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