September 4, 2013
How To Teach Through Example
Did you know kids are in school for 14,000 hours between kindergarten and 12th grade, but the vast majority of them never have a single class on managing their finances? […]
Did you know kids are in school for 14,000 hours between kindergarten and 12th grade, but the vast majority of them never have a single class on managing their finances? Yet, the LA Times reported 2 in 3 college students graduate an average of $27,000 in debt. Many of those young people will carry that debt for years, indicating something went terribly wrong with the financial education our children receive.
The truth is, parents do want their children to succeed. Parents want their kids to be better off financially than they are, but most don’t know how to make that happen. They just assume their kids learn everything they need to know in school. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
If you do not teach your children about money, they WILL learn it from someone else. They learn from watching TV, watching their friends, and most of all, watching you.
You may not have complete control over what your child absorbs from their friends or the media, but you DO control the example you set. Whether you realize it or not, every move you make, every habit you have and every mindset you demonstrate affects your children. They watch what you do, and they will follow your example.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to actively groom your children for success. What they learn as kids will affect them for the rest of their lives. It is easier to teach good habits from the beginning than to correct poor habits later in life.
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Setting a good example is the first step in teaching your kids good money habits to set them up for a lifetime of financial success.
Take time today to think about the example you are setting. How do you spend money? Do you pull out your credit card to buy yet another pair of black shoes or another blouse? Do you swipe the credit card at the movies or the mall? What about the fast food drive-thru? Do you make 3 trips to the grocery store every week when you still have food in your pantry? Your kids are watching you do these things and it gives them an unrealistic view of financial responsibility.
Some parents try to hide their financial situation from their children. They make a point to never talk about money in front of the kids. Other parents argue and fight constantly about money. Many swipe the credit cards as if they had a never-ending supply of cash. All of these habits shape your kids’ financial habits.
As you make the decision to prepare your children for financial success, truly teach them by being open and honest with them. Get the whole family involved in your finances. Set financial goals together, as a family, for giving, paying off debt, saving, investing and even fun!
When you make a point of bringing the kids into family financial planning, they are not just learning information. They see it in action and learn by experience.
One of our very faithful clients, Londa, is a brilliant example of this! She, her husband and their 7 kids set a goal to annihilate their debt. They also set a goal to go on a luxurious cruise together as a family. Through 2 years of chipping away at their debt, they kept the vacation goal in front of them as motivation to continue their financial responsibility. This year, Londa’s family went on their long-awaited vacation and celebrated paying off $280,000 of debt in 2 years!
If you have not set the best example for your children, don’t worry! It’s not your fault. Your financial habits and mindsets were passed down to you. You are not responsible for what you didn’t know. However, now that you have the knowledge, it is up to you to make a change. It is your responsibility to give the next generation the best possible shot at financial success.
No matter how old your kids are or how long you have been in the financial situation you’re in, it’s not too late to change. You can still influence your children in the right direction. You can still equip them with good financial habits and mindsets!
Let’s do what we can to help groom the next generation for success by spreading this message to all the parents you know. I’m doing my part — won’t you do yours? Just forward this email, and take your first step to financial change by posting this link on Facebook and Twitter!
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In great faith,
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