One of the problems I sense with parents wanting to teach children about money is that we want to cram years worth of lessons into a few weeks. We’re not really good at understanding that children don’t work that way.
Today I want to consider how much information is enough for my children to know about financial situations in the home, but I realize I need to articulate something else first. It might be unsatisfying to remind myself and others that this is obviously a wisdom issue. The family situation and personality and development of children do make a big difference in how a child responds to information.
So, I want to consider some goals (based on scriptural principles) that can help me know when and how to make this call.
- Regardless of our financial situation, I want my children to use good stewardship: taking care of the resources (time, money, possessions, skills) what God has already given.
- Regardless of our financial situation, I want my children to become givers.
- Regardless of our financial situation, I want my children to know the riches they have in Christ, and to be thankful for them. These include, but are not limited to, physical blessings.
Each goal can be broken up into many short-term goals. Teaching a child to use good stewardship includes teaching him not to step on toys, to put away his books, to work hard, to understand the relationship between work and money, to use money he has earned wisely, and so on and on. As we try to teach these goals, I realize that out of necessity, I need to give our children the information they need when they need it.
On Thursday, we’ll talk about this transparency.