It’s true. One of the most important things we have to do as parents is talk to our children about money. By that I mean addressing topics like how we make it and how we spend it, how much our family has in comparison to others, and why we have more or less than they do. How much our family gives away, to whom and why, how much we should save and why . . . and the list goes on.
Although talking with our kids about money isn’t easy, help is available. And some of that help is right here on this website.
Let’s start with this picture of 10-year-old Edie and her piggy bank.
It has 4 sections designated Save, Spend, Donate and Invest. Edie’s parents believe it is the responsibility of each of us to support institutions that make a difference in the world. To emphasize that, at the end of each year Edie counts the money in her Donate section. If there is at least $2.50 there, her parents multiply that donation amount by a factor of 10, if she chooses to give it to an organization they are willing to support themselves.
The second helpful item is a set of personal interviews with some parents who are trying to raise their children with a sense of their place in God’s economy of enough for all. They openly share their stories, quandaries, and prayers around helping their children develop an honest, faith-grounded understanding of the role money plays in our lives. The interviews, available on CD or as a downloadable mp3 file, are presented as one program for only $5. There is so much good information here that it is worth listening to over and over again.
To find two more items, look under the Resources tab, where one of the menu options is “Recommended Reading.” A click there will take you to a list of resources, one of which is “Parenting Faith and Money—A Parent’s Supplement to the Money Autobiography.” This tool can help us become aware of our feelings and actions around money so that we can be intentional about what we’re communicating to our children.
A second resource among Faith and Money Network’s recommended readings is a sample chapter from FMN’s study guide. Called “Mom, Can I Get That? Families and Money,”
the article shares some reflections on parenting issues of faith and money by FMN board member and parent, Susan Taylor.
I grew up with a father who said nothing about money and a mother whose only money comment was, “We can’t afford it.” I was left feeling like my wants and needs were of no importance and not worth discussing. Do your kids a favor. Don’t underestimate their ability to cope. And no matter what your circumstances are, I urge you to use these tools we’re providing to help you explore money questions together.
By Judy Osgood