Children and money

How Do We Teach Our Children About Money And Success?

Today, we have a guest post from Brian Z who reminds us of the softer side of money and the need to encourage our children’s dreams. 

How do we teach our children about money and success…


Without making it all about money and success?


That’s a bit of a trick don’t you think?


“Life is all about money and power. If you waste your time on anything else then you will most likely be a failure. Even worse than that…a broke failure! Money is serious stuff and it must be studied and taught in very serious ways.” Seriously! or at least that is what they want you to believe. 


We, as adults, know that this is not true. We know that there are many other aspects of life that are even more important than money. How many times do our kids and teenagers hear the negative messages around money and success in subtle and not so subtle ways?


Especially if a family is having money problems and the kids hear the adults only talk or argue about – “money, money, money… Money!”.


Ok, now that I have you hooked with the lead in I want to start this first of a series of blog posts discussing success


“I want to be an artist,” says the child.


“Well, you better have a backup plan because most artists don’t make real money,” says the parent.


Have you ever said that? I know I have, just the other day in fact. It was the impetus for this particular post.


What are we telling, or actually selling, our children and young relatives by talking this way?


“Your dream is great, kid, but it probably won’t work out.” Is that the message we want our kids to hear?


How many kids have picked up on that mixed message and prematurely given up on a dream?


Maybe they had given up on that dream before they were even 10 because the dream had been repeatedly knocked down since their parents viewed it as “Unrealistic”.


Sure, we want what is best for our children, and part of that includes them having a steady job and becoming financially independent. But do we really know which is actually the best path for them?


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Think back. Did you have a dream? Did you have more than one? Were you encouraged?


Were you given the tools or encouraged to acquire the tools you needed on your own to help make your dream come true?


What is the definition of being financially independent anyway? What is the definition of being successful? Acquiring a huge house? A new car? Being world famous? Nationally famous? Famous in your state, city, or just neighborhood?


Dreams make happy kids and happy kids with dreams make happy teenagers. Happy teenagers with dreams make happy adults. Then, are they actual real-life happy adults? Hmmm…I ponder this question as I examine my own life. Of course, there are! Those that followed the dream path or who discovered it later in life, those are typically the happiest adults.


Is there an arrival point at which you have reached your dream?


Hell no. And anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or trying to sell you something.


Each action, each point along the path of creating your dream, is part of the dream. This has been said in a million ways a billion times, I know. But, what actions are you taking to make this dream possible for your child? Or even for yourself?


Do you engage in or share either positive or negative dream talk? Will you be that first adult in your child’s life to encourage their dream? Or will you be the first to shoot it down with your practical, well-meant yet ultimately deflating words?


Below are just a few suggestions on how to provide some of the physical tools for your child or relative.


With this being the holiday season they would make simple, yet potentially powerful gifts for your dreamer.


For a writer dreamer –  Blank notepads. A journal. Cool, colorful pencils or pens. A lap desk.


For an artist dreamer – An easel. Crayons, Chalk. Colored Pencils. Blank heavier stock paper…lots of it.


For a builder dreamer – Legos. Blocks. Lincoln Logs. CAD program. An empty box & tape.


For an actor dreamer – Dress up clothes and props from thrift stores, and attending a local play.


For a singer dreamer – A microphone and soundproof walls for the parents, of course.


Once they use the tools which you have helped provide for them, then what?


Take a picture. Display the art proudly and with fanfare. Take a video. Share on social media if appropriate. Frame a drawing.


Praise – Praise – Praise.


Yes, you can also buy your child that cash register with the play money if you want. They can play banker, store owner, or franchise tycoon!


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You can further encourage your child’s dream by teaching them about money and how to handle it, use it, budget it, and save it. Then if your son or daughter is a world-famous cartoonist or the local comic store owner they will be able to carve out a comfortable life doing what they love. Isn’t that part of their dream (and yours) also?


This has been BrianZFandom visiting from the Zombie Apocalypse to share about:


The Softer Side of Money – How do we Learn, Conquer, and Teach the
Emotional and Psychological Aspects of Money and Success.


Thank you, Brian, for this reminder to nurture our children’s dreams. If you are looking for some neat ways to inspire your children and raise healthy kids,check out our recommended reading. 


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About the Author

Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.

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