There are a few things that really cause terrible stress in life, the death of a loved one or the threat of a serious illness or terrible event among them. We also fear losing our jobs or getting into some sort of terrible accident. Our children, spouses and friends often cause us terrible stress as well because we are so close to them and care about them. Money causes most of us stress especially during financially difficult times when we are concerned about how we will pay our bills or continue to provide for our families.
These are all very reasonable concerns and the sorts of things that should be on everybody’s mind. However, we often communicate our stress regarding money to our children and the way we pass how we handle money on to our kids. Many of us don’t realize that our children watch us closely and mimic our habits as they work to form their own characters. The way we handle money is important because it shapes our lives and thus the lives of our children. One way to ensure that your children do not experience the same sort of stress that you experience about money is to make sure they get the right message about money.
So what are some positive messages about money that you need to deliver to your kids? What about money causes you stress? Are you bad at saving? Is money the only important thing in life? Have you lost money on stupid investments? Do you constantly stress about money issues?
If your first feeling about money is stress there is a good chance that your children will feel the same way. Your children observe you stressing over money and they do the same. Your stress tells them that something is wrong about the situation. Obviously you don’t want your children to stress about money constantly. You must find ways to deal with your stress about money as you can’t hide it from your children. If you fight with your spouse about money your children will probably fight with their spouse about money as well.
If you have trouble saving or managing your money, your children likely will have issues with saving and managing their money, too. On the flip side, If you are a good example of careful money management and saving you will pass this message on to your children. Talk to your children about saving and show them how you save money. Show them your checkbook and how carefully you record all of your expenditures and income. Make it clear to them that it is very important to write down everything about money matters. This is especially important today, when everyone assumes that electronic records are sufficient. As many of us know, however, electronic records are not always accurate. They tend to also make people lazy in their thinking about money.
It is equally important to send a message to your children that money is not everything in life. If you constantly stress over money, your children can feel that just as they know when you spend all of your time thinking about money they will do so as well. Communicate to your children that money is only a means and never an end in itself and that family and friends hold the highest importance. It is critical to remember that lessons you convey to your children about money will stick with them for the rest of their lives.