finances-how much to discuss?
February 27, 2007 11:47pm CST
We havce a disagreemnt on this issue. I feel we should not discuss our financal situation in front of our son at all. Come on he think we are paupers now. He dreams of growing upo and earning lots of money so that he can buy himself lots of toys. He is seven at present. I grew u in a home where money was neve discussed in front of us but we knew what our parents could afford and could not afford. somehow we never demanded much. My hubby has been raised in a home where money is a big thing and its spent with lot of careful planning and discussions. questions are asked why one needs money and what is the need for purchasing a thing like that. in my home oney was left in a box and we just told our parents why we took it and how much we took. without them askig and pondering over it. we never spend more than what we should have. I feel it should not be a continuous on going discussion in my home too. it might have a negative imapct on my son's psyche-he may grow up valuing it more than he should-I mean wanting to accumulate it needlessly. having an apetite to have lots of it because of the way its discussed by my hubby. like cost of his toys and why cant we afford it or cost of grovery list and how much we saved on it etc. he dscusses everything with him. He gives him money but never lets him spend it the way he wants to-it should be spent on educative things like books andnot toys my son desires. I feel if its his allowance once in a while he should be allowed to treat himself too. may be not everytime. he sees toys at other kids places and wants to have them but he is not allowed to. I keep quiet for the sake of peace but its now bothering me and I am too worried. His unfulfilled desires may lead him to a negative path-am I worrying needlessly? can anyone help me?
4 people like this
• United States
28 Feb 07
It sounds to me that you and your husband disagree on how much your child should value money. You are of the opinion that money is practically irrelevant, i.e. it should not be sought after. Your husband seems to be closer to the idea that money should be valued and its power understood. Am I way off on this? Personally, I believe that in our world today, money is extremely powerful. Once your child(ren) become adults, they will be on one of three main paths (1) They will understand how money works and how to wield its power. (2) They will understand that money is powerful, but not understand how to wield its power (3) They will not understand the power of money. Each path comes with significantly different results in all aspects of life. If a person is on path (1), they understand how to make money work for them. As such, they will eventually become wealthy. They will discuss and be interested in money with others more than either of the other paths. They will always want to learn more about most everything, including money. If a person is on path (3), they will never have savings, investments, or a large amount of possessions. They will likely go through life wishing that they could be like those who are wealthy, believing that it was luck that got those wealthy people into the position they are in. They never discuss money unless they have to because they are embarrassed with their own financial status. If a person is on path (2), they are somewhere in the middle, if you will. Usually, they have a small amount of savings, maybe some investments, but nothing significant. They try to save money rather than spend it, but usually are not able to save anything significant. They try not to concern themselves with money. They avoid talking about it, not so much because they are embarrased, but because they believe it is not something to be discussed in public. They kind of float through life, trying to enjoy life without money. They believe that money is not the reason they will be most happy or not, so it is unimportant. They also do not understand how to become rich and sometimes feel that those who are rich must be doing something immoral. Which path do you want your children to be on. I cannot make that decision for you. Personally, I want my children on path number 1. I would rather have them be able to use the power of money to their advantage, rather than fearing it. I want them to understand how money works, what it is, what it means. I want them to feel that they can discuss money. I want them to be interested in how they can create money for themselves. As such, I openly discuss money with my children. I try to teach them what I know about money at every opportunity. I do not let them know exactly how much money I have when they are very young, because they do not yet understand providing for needs before wants. That is another lesson that comes as soon as possible. It is not that I "am taking their childhood away." On the contrary, I am giving them an adulthood. It is not my job as a parent to let my children have fun. It is my job to educate them and prepare them for the real world outside of my home. Also, I have found that children often have more creative genius than the average adult. I can get more good ideas from one intelligent child than from a room full of so-called intelligent adults. In the end, as a parent, it is your job to look at where you want your child to end up. Then, and only then, can you see what path you want to lead him down. Once you know the destination, plot out a course to get him there and start leading him down that path. Good luck to you.
• United States
28 Feb 07
P.S. If you are in a different group than you want to be, you can move. It simply takes more education. Take some books about finance out of your local library. Personally, I am a big fan of Robert Kiyosaki. David Boch, and Ric Edelman are also great authors. I wish you all the best.
2 Mar 07
A very thought out answer indeed except that I do not want my kids to yearn for money but earn enough to enjoy a life. Money is one thing you will always be short of for something or the other. even if you earn 100000 dollars per month there will still be things you wont be able to have enough money for. I want my kids to be happy in whatever they have. The wish for money and more money is one thing I do not want them to have. I call it greed, I want them to look down and see how rich they are than millions of others. There is a cut off limit to how much you want and how much you need and we all define that for ourselves. If you keep looking at people wealthier than you -you will always lack for money but if you keep seeig how much more you have than those who have nothing you will always be rich.
• United States
4 Mar 07
I agree with you totally. Let a 7 year old enjoy being a child. Besides not wanting to burden him with adult problems and concerns, you're right that by constantly talking about money he could become obsessed with earning more and more and he could become superficial and materialistic. Of course he can't have everything that he wants (few children can), and I think that sometimes you have to remind him of the value of things so that he appreciates that you have to earn what you get and you have to take care of your possessions. That doesn't mean that he needs to know all about the household budget. When we were little we had to put a small part of our allowance in our bank account (to teach us the importance of saving) but the rest was ours to do as we wanted to. We could waste it on a toy or candy or save it for something bigger. Either way it teaches a lesson. I think that your husband should try to keep more of the financial details between the 2 of you and not discuss them with your son. The day when he needs to be concerned about money will come soon enough; for now, let him be a kid.
8 Mar 07
exactly my thinking, thanks laurie, nice to see that at least someone understands m,y point of view too. I want my kid to stay a kid as long as he should and not be burdened by household budget. Infact I was trying to tell my hubby to statr star system to help him learn the value of how to earn and spend money and even learn to keep his room clean.
• United States
28 Feb 07
I think you're right. A kid should be allowed to be a kid. He or she should not have to worry about serious financial matters at such a young age. I do agree that it's important to teach children the value of money but they should not be burdened by such things that only adults are able to manage anyway. Growing up, money was not discussed in front of us but I knew we were not rich and there were many things we couldn't afford but it never bothered me. We were however taught the value of saving, given allowances, paid for chores/good grades but at the same time, it was not the ultimate thing to try and achieve. My parents always taught me that there's more to life than money. I think it's hard for you coming from such different backgrounds and trying to find some middle ground for your child now. But I do see and understand your concerns. I would have a talk with the hubby again to try and work out some kind of middle ground and arrangements that you can both agree on and be comfortable with.
28 Feb 07
you need to be very carefull in these matters as right from the young age you need to make the kids aware of the money value like what is money and what happens if u dont have money..for this u can start at very young age e.g 3 years by giving them small and big coins for segregating and then while buying things let them give money so that they understand unless v give maney to the shopkeeper we cant buycertain things.once they grow they will understand also once they are grwoin up u need to inlcude them in the monthly budget and ask them if they want any specific thing in that month. if cannot budget for that month then u need to dicsus with them and keep some money aside and tll them that nex month also u will keep some money aside and then we can buy the thing which he wants to they will also understand the things properly.
• United Kingdom
6 Apr 07
I think you are Finances where never as such discussed in front of my 2 Kids either but I would try to explain to them about Money as they do need to grow up with the Knowledge, so that they know when they are older how to deal with things I would not worry to much and leave him with his Dreams