People often ask me what they can do to reverse the growing problem of financial illiteracy affecting this country and beyond. The answer is simple: break the money taboo cycle. In order to help our kids learn how to handle money well, we need to start talking about money within our homes. Unfortunately, many parents don’t realize that they have made money a taboo topic or the damage it causes.
Every single child grows up to handle money and it affects every aspect of their life, including their relationships. According to Women and Money Magazine, 25% of married or partnered adults report that financial concerns have had an impact on these relationships; 33% have difficulty discussing money with their spouse or partner; and 25% often have heated discussions with their significant other about money and household finances. It’s no wonder money is often cited as the leading cause for divorce.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. It’s been my experience the money hang-ups that adults face today were typically formed in their childhood from observing our parents and how they handled their money. This creates three major problems:
- Kids quickly learn money equals power but because we are so secretive about money, they don’t know how to wield that power responsibly.
- They mimic our money emotions, sometimes in the form of loud, scary arguments or guilt or shame or jealously or giving away our money power.
- They don’t always fully understand what they see, so their imagination fills in the blanks and not always correctly.
While I cannot prevent my daughters from ever making a money mistake, I can do everything within my power to help them build a healthy relationship with money, including how to talk to loved ones about money. Just as my father broke the money taboo cycle in our home, I am doing the same in my home. I hope you’ll do the same.
The Key to Financial Happiness
In today’s video, I share the key to financial happiness, for both the young and old, and demonstrate how to have these important money conversations with your kids.
How are you breaking the money taboo cycle in your home?