Chapter Five

Teach Your Children Well

You are probably not on this road alone; chances are you have children (young or older, it doesn’t matter) and perhaps a spouse. If so, then pay special attention. Even if you don’t have children, it’s a good idea to focus on this chapter because they may be in your future.

Children are born inquisitive: They watch, touch, feel, taste, and have a shrewd perception of what’s going on around them. I’m not a child psychiatrist, but I’m telling you that kids know when something’s going wrong or out of whack within the family unit. They may confront you about it or they may just hide this nagging feeling inside. It’s up to you as the parent to make most family matters as transparent as possible—especially when it comes to finances. Kids listen and they see things. They observe changes and overhear conversations on the phone or in person.

You can’t fool a kid. They see other parents driving fancy cars and hear their friends discussing the things their parents bought. It’s not unusual for a child to come home and ask his or her parents why they don’t have a swimming pool or a new car. When they come home with such questions don’t dismiss them with a trite answer; sit them down and explain to them what’s going on. Teach your children the value of money and allow them to make this journey with you. It will most certainly prepare them and shed light on what’s really important in life. Remember, there are things more valuable than money. Life lessons ...

Get Power Up: Taking Charge of Your Financial Destiny now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.