Awhile ago, a mentor of my husband’s related a story in which his teenaged daughter told a friend “We can’t afford that.” This doctor was pleased that his daughter, not having an entitlement attitude common among wealthy young people, truly thought herself poor, even though the family was substantially well off.
I’ve been mulling that anecdote in my mind for a number of years. This friend deliberately and successfully withheld information about the family’s financial situation from his children. There’s a sense where I like this. The family clearly had a different lifestyle than others with similar wealth. At the same time, if the children thought that the only thing holding them back from certain purchases was a lack of funds, was the experiment truly successful? What if that daughter grew up and married a man who was also wealthy? Would she have learned the same fiscal restraint her father demonstrated? Would it have been better to be more transparent with his children in order to teach them to handle money?
I want to start a series on money and children. At breakfast, we’ve been talking for the last few weeks on Luke 12, an amazing chapter when teaching biblical principles of money to children. I have lots of questions I’ve been asking myself. The first question I want to talk about is, as a Christian, how transparent should I be with my children about financial matters?